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ESP8266 IoT Paired LEDs

ESP01breadboard 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…


Posted in Development Tools, Ideas, Interesting, IoT, Projects.

IoT News: Google Brillo an OS for IoT devices

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.

Source: Project Brillo   |   Google Developers

Posted in Development Tools, Discovering, Interesting, IoT.

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Digital Oscilloscope Kit from China


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.

Posted in Development Tools, Discovering, Interesting, Projects, Review, Workshop Tools.

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.