Microcontrollers

Arduino: Basic Network Temp and Humidity monitor

by on Aug.23, 2012, under Microcontrollers, Networking

I don’t know why I can’t flip this image. It’s cursed.

The (albeit crooked) image above is a basic environmental monitor I built for the server rack that I keep my house’s servers in. This project features network connectivity via an Arduino Ethernet shield, an HTF3223 humidity sensor, a TMP36 temperature sensor and a Sparkfun serial LCD for a decent monitoring station that is self-reliant.  Read more for build details and the code to get it all working. (continue reading…)

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IBM RS/6000 display repurposed for Arduino

by on Jul.23, 2012, under Embedded devices, Hardware, Microcontrollers

I couldn't find a picture of an IBM server with the LCD so here are some squirrels.

I couldn’t find a picture of an IBM server with the LCD so here are some squirrels.

We managed to unearth an old IBM RS/6000 server at work and decided that since the machine didn’t work, it was time for it to go away.  Right off the bat, one of the things I noticed about this machine was that it had a diagnostic LCD panel in the bezel presumably for showing POST error codes and warnings.  Since the machine was going to the scrap heap, I decided to relieve it of the LCD and managed to get it to work on an Arduino with minimal effort.  Read on for pictures and a wiring pinout.

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Hardware: Remote Control your Arduino

by on Jul.10, 2012, under Hardware, How-To's, Microcontrollers

Arduino Uno - Image courtesy of www.arduino.cc

Have a giant Arduino powered killbot, but can’t fancy being right next to it when you unleash it on the unsuspecting populace?  Want to change the mood-lights in your dorm without having to get up off the couch?  Why not use IR remote controls to do the walking for you?  In this article, I will be covering how to use the IRremote Library written by Ken Shirriff for the Arduino to control a seven segment display as a proof of concept.  Killbot not included.

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Reviews: Sparkfun Inventor’s Kit at Mircocenter

by on Sep.09, 2011, under Hardware, Microcontrollers

Sparkfun logo

Sparkfun at Microcenter!

After reading this post on Hack-a-day, I went to the local MicroCenter to see what all they had to offer in a brick-and-mortar store.  I remember when Parallax and RadioShack had joined together and while the new availability had made it easier to get started with microcontrollers, the most common expression recalled is one of sadness at the general disarray of the parts cabinets.  Thankfully Microcenter seems to have done Sparkfun right.  Read on for my initial impressions of Microcenter’s offerings and a full review of my first Arduino kit, the Sparkfun Inventor’s Kit. (continue reading…)

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GUIDemo – A full VGA Library for the Propeller

by on Nov.19, 2010, under Embedded devices, Hardware, How-To's, Microcontrollers

The Parallax VGA GUI Demo is great for adding a pre-built GUI for your projects. The bonus is that the drivers for using a PS/2 keyboard and mouse and a VGA display are pre-built and ready to run.  With a little bit of configuration, you can add a well built UI to your application and make it easier to display output and receive input from the user.

In this article, I will demonstrate some of the basic options that are needed in order to get the GUI up and running.  While our application is going to be turning on a few LEDs, once you have these basics down you should be able to use this article and build whatever user elements are required for your application. (continue reading…)

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TI Launchpad Dev Kit for under $5!

by on Nov.05, 2010, under Hardware, Microcontrollers, Product Reviews

So many months ago (in June), Hackaday and Make were all abuzz about the TI Launchpad which is a new development platform centered around the TI MSP430 microprocessor.  The most interesting thing aside from the processor spec itself was that the entire platform came under $5 for a professionally built development kit. I placed my order and in a week, I got a backorder slip and eventually forgot about it.  (June is years ago for those of us with ADD.)  Well even though I had forgotten about it, TI had not.  A couple of days ago, I got a call from the apartment complex that it had arrived! Read on to find out what all’s in the box!

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Parts: Parallax RFID scanner now $10!

by on Jun.14, 2010, under Embedded devices, Hardware, Microcontrollers

Image courtesy of Parallax.com

Hello Everyone!   If you’ve been in a Radio Shack sometime in the last year or so, you’ll know that Radio Shack and Parallax have teamed up to bring some variety to the parts drawers.  This once $50 serial RFID reader kit is now $10 at Radio shack although it only comes with two tags.  Read more for additional details about the Serial RFID reader now on sale! (continue reading…)

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Basic Stamp: A quick guide on using a legacy joystick

by on Feb.03, 2010, under Embedded devices, Hardware, How-To's, Microcontrollers

Joystick + Basic Stamp BOE-BOT = World Domination

In this post, we’ll be going over the basics of using an old regular PC-gameport joystick with Parallax’s Basic Stamp powered Boe-Bot.  This howto will have all the information you need to get started including code, schematics and a parts list.  We will be covering how the joystick is wired and how to go about interfacing it with the Boe-Bot for an easy to use and easy to expand analog control method for your Boe-Bot.  Next step, world domination! (continue reading…)

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