We had a PCB made for the ESP01 Neopixel adapter project featured in a prior post. In that project we used an ESP826 to create a web site monitor. In this post we do a review of the board supplier, PCBCart. The quick summary is that they did a great job for a reasonable price and I had the boards in about 10 days. Read the full review after the fold…
– February 1, 2016
Using an ESP-01 module with the Arduino IDE to make a website monitor.
Pictured here is the breadboard which runs 24/7 to monitor this web site.
I’ll describe each part as we walk down the image to the left.
6-Pin header I used for an FTDI
Big red button
ESP01 breadboard Adaptor
BreadboardBuddy Pro , from Tindie. Used for USB to UART serial, reset button, and power supply.
More about each of these below.
– January 29, 2016
Those of you that visit often have probably noticed that my site has been down often. The problem with that server has not been definitively located so we have moved to a new system. We are looking forward to getting back to regular projects using the new Arduino, Raspberry Pi and ESP8266 boards.
We have also gotten into 3D printing, it is an addiction, have been designing and printing a bunch since Christmas when a LulzBot TAZ5 was added to the lab. If you have been watching the Twitter feed (uCHobby), you have seen some of the recent creations.
– January 21, 2016
We bought 3 Star Shower Christmas lights to use around the home. These devices cast a grid of sparkly "stars" and look awesome on trees as the tree moves in the wind. The "stars" are creating using a red and green lasers passed through a diffraction film.
Only one survived the rain. The other two found there way to my bench for laser extraction. I found several items to use in future projects.
– January 1, 2016
My old friend Florin has a very neat video blog called VoltLog. Looks like I’m going to be spending a few hours catching up. Maybe he will be as famous as David Jones’s EEVBlog some day. Go Florin, Go!
– June 15, 2015
This project/experiment uses two ESP8266-1 modules to make a set of paired LEDs. Each module has a button and an LED. They connect to an MQTT broker to share the LED status. Press the button on one module and it’s LED comes on, it sends that button to the other module and it’s LED comes on. Press again and both go off.
Think of this like a signal system. You want your wife to call you, instead of interrupting her, you signal. One of these modules would be placed in the kitchen, the other at the office on your desk, yes, sexist I know. But for this example, assume we are talking about June and Ward Cleaver.
Ward wants June to call but does not want to interrupt her, he presses the button, his light goes on and seconds later the paired module lights up. June notices her’s go on as she is making cookies for the kids. She presses the button to let Ward know she got the message. Ward’s light goes out seconds later, he knows his good wife will call when she has a moment.
I imagine there are a lot of uses for a signal pair like this…
– June 1, 2015
Google recently announced “Brillo” an operating system based on Android, for IoT devices. The new OS is small, about 25MB and includes OS features such as Bluetooth and Networking. Messaging is a major part as well, called “Weave”.
Brillo does not seem suited for small micro-controllers like the Arduino but I would expect to see a lot of small Arduino like boards to come very soon running “Brillo”.
Weave, looks to be based on JSON which is a good thing. But also could be a problem for micro-controllers to deal with. My money would be on MQTT for small devices.
I’d bet the “Brillo” boards would work with Android development tools like Android Studio, let you create code in Java, with full remote debugging and Arduino like I/O features. This could be awesome.
– May 29, 2015
We recently built the Digital O-Scope kit from BangGood in China. It is based on the STM32F ARM processor and includes a nice color LCD. It’s single channel and not very fast but plenty fast enough to look at audio signals. For about $30 and an hour of assembly time (yours) it’s a good deal.
It’s not all easy though. The kit includes both through hole and surface mount parts. There is a major error in the documentation because the surface mount parts are never even mentioned in the assembly instructions. The PCB comes with the the STM32 soldered on but there are a lot more surface mount parts you have to install. These other parts are easy enough to solder by hand so it’s not a major issue. But it is a challenge to look up all the parts one by one from the schematic. If you get one of these kits, start by installing all the SMT parts, its much easier to get them on without working around the other parts.
I did talk to the original maker company and they will fix the documentation. I was impressed with the quick response. Apparently they have a version of the kit with all the SMT parts installed and the documentation in my kit was the wrong version.
I have bought several items from BangGood and have not been disappointed. Usually I’m surprised at the quality. The prices are so low it’s hard to believe on some items. I don’t expect the quality to be good but often it is.
The real pain with shopping via China the lead time. It takes weeks to get some items.
– May 27, 2015
Recently I’ve been playing with the Spark.io module and have been waiting (forever) for the new Proton. Supposedly it’s shipping soon.
I have also played a fair amount with the various ESP8266 modules.
Still looking for that ultimate solution for making an Internet connected IoT device, maybe this is it…
– May 27, 2015