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Oak Kickstarterby Wi-Fi for all things! 

Basically an ARM based Arduino with built in Wi-Fi. I often use the digiSpark module from digiStump so I’m sure this will be awesome as well.

Recently I’ve been playing with the 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…

Posted in Arduino, Development Tools, Discovering, Kickstarter, Microcontroller, Parts, Uncategorized.

nScope Kickstarter. A O-Scope for the breadboard

O-Scope, Signal Generator, and power supply all on your breadboard!  If you are a hobbyist you need this. I have an O-Scope and power supplies etc.. but having it on the breadboard will be so convenient. I could not resist backing this Kickstarter. I’ll let you know how it works…


Posted in Development Tools, Discovering, Kickstarter, Uncategorized, Workshop Tools.

Pretty Smart Lamp: Kickstarter – Bluetooth Lamp

Here is another Kickstarter we have backed.  A lamp with Bluetooth talking with your phone to do light and color based notifications. Check out the video to see what it does.

I know the creator on this one as well.  Antonio is a great guy and has been working on his “Pretty Smart Lamp” for some time now. He has done a few kickstarter’s but this one has been successful.

I am looking forward to receiving my “Pretty Smart Lamp”

Posted in Discovering, Interesting, Kickstarter.

Esquilo: Simple IoT Development – WiFi + Web IDE + Cloud by Esquilo Corp — Kickstarter

The Equilo is awesome, I know the guys doing this one and they have presented at the Austin IoT Hardware Sub-Group which I lead at the Tech Shop in Round Rock.  You can read more about the IoT meetup here.

I got to play with an early Equilo board. It’s very easy to get started with, just open a browser to access it’s built in IDE. They chose to use Squirrel language to get some very nice debugging capabilities. Debugging is something which is very limited on systems like the Arduino.  Typically you need to use a big IDE and a JTAG or other emulator hardware to do low level debugging, not with the Esquilo.

Posted in Development Tools, Discovering, Interesting, Kickstarter, Microcontroller, Workshop Tools.

Kickstarter-CHIP – Nine Dollar Linux Computer

Lots of interesting things on Kickstarter these days.  At uCHobby we love to look at all the Maker/Mico-controller projects hitting kickstarter. We will start sharing the ones we find interesting here. We usually back the ones you see and will start doing quick reviews of the items when we receive ours…

We backed this but can’t see how it’s possible to get so much for $9. This could be some kind of trick but we took the chance.

Posted in Development Tools, Discovering, Kickstarter, Linux.

My My Raspberry Pi, 2 that is..

20150218_231404 I got  my Pi 2 a few days ago and have finally done a bit of playing with it.

First thing I did was get Google Coder on an SD card. Second, I tried “Snappy”. Third, I’m waiting for the latest Raspbian image to burn as I type. I look forward to trying the Windows 10 soon.


Google Coder – Is Awesome
If you know about JSFiddle then you feel right at home with Google Coder.

It’s a web development tool right out of the box. Boot it as an appliance, headless.  Log in using “coder.local” and you have a web IDE. Complete with web server, editor, and if you use Chrome you will have a debugger.

I am anxious to try some hardware hacking with Coder. Maybe get PWM going to drive one of my servo Gauges.

Ubuntu Snappy – not what your looking for
I don’t mean to say that “snappy” is not any good, just that it’s not a canned ready to go image for your typical Raspberry Pi user.  I’m not sure what “snappy” is meant for. I saw “Ubuntu” for Raspberry Pi and jumped without looking…

Raspbian – Expected Bliss
As I watch the SD card image writing progress bar pass about 30% I’m hopeful for a nice X windows and the comfortable SSH shell. I am not ready to give up “apt-get” just yet..  The Pi-2 could be a lot faster then the original one. I was not happy with the performance of the GUI in X on the PI so I lived at the shell.  I do feel comfortable in the shell but it would be nice to see a snappy (LOL) UI.

What are you going to do with your old Pi?
I have a few old Pi’s all are the B+ models. I know I’ll make one a permanent Google Coder machine on my home network. Maybe try some hardware hacking with Coder.

I’m thinking another one will be converted into a Pandora radio. I did the Adafruit Pi Radio thing about a year ago and thought it would be nice to have a small PCB with just a few buttons. Skip, thumbs up and down, nothing else. Modify the setup to use NodeJS for a web interface and put it all together in a neat laser cut enclosure. Simple plug into your network, set it up for your Pandora, and it plays.

I wonder if I could sell the “Pandora” board and enclosure to others via Tindie.  Would be a cool way to put your old Pi to use.

Feedback Please
Is anybody out there? Marko?

Posted in Development Tools, Discovering, Interesting, Linux, Raspberry Pi.

Room Temp on Custom Gauge

RoomTempGauge We recently made a product and got it up for sale on Tindie.  This article is a kind of quick start for the ServoGauge Proto.

The general idea here is to monitor the temperature of my home office with high resolution. The temperature here is controlled and is not going to change very much. A typical temperature gauge would cover a large range of values, like 0 to 100C which would not be interesting here.

Enter the ServoGauge Proto.  Now I can easily have a custom range for the temperature gauge.  My gauge is set to work over just 10 degrees, 69 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit


Posted in Uncategorized.

Arduino Tip – Better Serial Debug

NanoOnBBWithAdapterFTDI Here you see the same photo from my review of the Nano. In that post I mention talking about the adapter board in the upper right of the picture later.. This is later…

By keeping a separate dedicated Debug serial connection you avoid the pain of having to keep closing and reopening your Debug terminal. Other benefits include having a VT100 Style terminal so you can build a nice view on your application. Controlling text color, X/Y position, flashing etc..

In the picture above you see the Arduino Nano connected to USB as you would normally have it.  This is fine but we can do a lot better.  The serial terminal built into the IDE is convenient  but closes each time you program. You have to reopen it to see your data.


Posted in Arduino, Development Tools, Hacks, Ideas, Microcontroller, Parts, Projects, Tips, Workshop Tips.

My Favorite Arduino, the Nano


The Arduino Nano is my favorite version of the Arduino. Pictured here in my breadboard next to a custom made FTDI adapter, more on that later.

The Modern Device Educato might be a close second but I don’t have one to play with yet.. The reason is simple.  I use the Arduino with solderless breadboard all the time. The Nano plugs into my breadboards with some room to spare on both sides. Provides easy access to all the I/O and is a full speed Mega328, my favorite AVR chip


Posted in Arduino, Development Tools, Discovering, Microcontroller, Parts, Review, Tips.

Arduino POE

5057970 I’ve started playing with an Arduino Ethernet board with POE.  This board is well suited to IOT projects where you can run an Ethernet cable to the device.  POE stands for Power Over Ethernet so the only connection we need to the device is an inexpensive CAT5 cable. Both a data connection and power are provided via the cable.

I got my Arduino Ethernet board from Newark/Element 14. It looks like a normal Arduino with an several extra goodies.  Ethernet RJ45, micro SD, and a second board attached to handle the POE feature.

Since the board is setup with Ethernet the “Thing” can communicate directly with IOT servers.

My first project plan was a hydroponic tomato garden. Unfortunately I was a bit delayed and learned that the local squirrels like green tomatoes.. My plants will not be able to produce for me so I scrapped that plan. Anyway…

I was going to monitor soil moisture and temperature with data sent into the cloud. A separate application would monitor the data and send back commands to open a water valve to fill the reservoir in my Earth box. 

I still plan to explore IOT using this Arduino POE module and will blog about it as I go. First step will be figuring out what to use on the inside for connection to the CAT5 cable going to the Arduino.  I know it will need to connect to the outgoing RJ45 and have a way to connect to my network (another RJ45) and a wall wart power input.  The device will combine the power and Ethernet signals into the cable for the Arduino to consume.

What should I get for the inside connection?  Have any advice, please post it in the comments.

Posted in Arduino, Development Tools, Discovering, Microcontroller, Projects.