Friday, April 18, 2014

1st 1/4 of '14

     It's April and I haven't posted much about any of the projects I've been working on. I haven't completed any big projects that I thought warranted their own blog post, but I'll use this one to explain what I've been doing and what I plan on doing soon. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

electric imp-Controlled 120VAC Relay Switcher

     I bought an electric imp about a year and a half ago when they were released. I loved it's simplicity and made a few temporary projects involving it but wanted to keep it for something more advanced. After all this time, I decided it's better just to use it for anything rather than leave it just sitting in a box in my room, so I've made an internet-controlled 120VAC relay switcher for it and an "app" for my iPhone to switch it remotely. I'm sure there are other ways of accomplishing this project, but I was able to build the whole thing using parts I already had on hand. This blog post will be a high-level overview of what I did to make it.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Past Few Months

     I noticed I haven't posted anything for four months. Now that I have a job doing electrical engineering, I don't have the same urge to tinker on the nights and weekends. I've still being doing some small things every once and a while, but since I haven't finished any of it yet, I haven't posted anything about them yet.

     I got some new development boards that I've played with. I got two different watches from Texas Instruments. One is Bluetooth (and doesn't seem compatible with any phones made in the last few years) and the other has a 915 MHz radio that I wanted to connect with my home security system (but it has a proprietary wireless stack and I don't want to rewrite it to use with my system. Also, I had to take my security system down after a thunderstorm hit my apartment and destroyed the power system for it.) I also got a TI BLE Sensortag which seems pretty neat, but I need an Apple computer to mess with the iPhone app, so I haven't used it for much of anything. I bought some ATTiny13 chips to work with those programmable LED Christmas lights. I was having a problem using my cheapo programmer to set the clock frequency right, so I stopped working on that. I received my 2 Borderless Electronics Arduino clones. I haven't done anything with it yet but I'm keeping one of them in my car in case a situation comes up where I need to hack something. The creator of the project just launched a part 2 for that project which I decided to back because of how quick and professionally he dealt with the first one. His fundraiser was the best experience I've ever had with a crowd-funding website.

     Last week, I went to a design workshop for work and got to play with a Avnet Wi-Go module so I could use that for an internet-controlled project in the future. I also won one of the new MSP430 Launchpads with the USB HID interface but I have no idea what kind of project I would use that for. The last thing I've been working on is an internet-controlled AC switch that uses the electric imp for it's brains. I need a MOSFET with a Vgs of 3.3V to finish the electronics of the project. I can't believe I have so many electronic parts but can't find a suitable MOSFET. After that, I'll create a 3D-printed case and it should be done. It's pretty simple overall, but I'll still try and write up a blog post on it.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Adjustable RGB LED Color Cube

     I took a sculpture class during my last semester at Penn State so I could meet the required number of credits to graduate. One of the last projects in that class was to create an interactive art installation. I went through a few ideas in my head and doodled them in the Paper app for iPad. You can view the PDF of my ideas here. After I had a good idea of what my design would be, I ordered the parts I did not have on hand from Amazon and eBay. I ordered an Arduino Mega clone, the SainSmart MEGA 2560 Board for Arduino, some Common Cathode RGB LEDs, and some slide potentiometers. I also made a trip to the local hardware store for materials for the overall structure. Before the break is a video explaining the operation of the final project. After the break, I’ll explain how I created the three main pieces to this project - the electronics, the code on the Arduino that controls everything, and the casing for both the base and the controller.