I have too many little dev boards and breakout boards and other components laying around here, picked up from cheap Hong Kong-based suppliers. I buy them thinking “oh yes, that would be handy” and then never do anything with them.
Today I have used two in one go. Blam! I made this, the Beverage-o-Meter:


One Arduino, called the server (although the wireless boards are just peers with respect to each other), sends changes in the potentiometer’s position to the client (shown above), which rotates a stepper motor in sympathy, as it were, pointing at the beverage
desired. It is probably not that diplomatic a thing to plonk down in front of someone, so before deploying, work out a rota of who gets to hold the control.

Linux Programming Raspberry Pi

Wheezier, squeezier.

I’ve put Raspbian Wheezy onto a separate SD card, having been running Squeeze since I received my Raspberry Pi several months ago. Once I’d dd‘d the filesystem onto it from the downloaded image, I mounted it on my main Linux desktop, and edited /etc/rc.local to start lcdinfo, which I copied across as a binary, and lo and behold, after unmounting, putting the card in the RPi, and giving it power, it booted and the LCD worked. Excellent.
Now for some testing…

Electronics Programming Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi plus Hitachi HD44780-compatible LCD using GPIO

It’s not listed on the microcontrollers page, because I class it way outside the embedded category, though within “small computing”, but I also own a Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Pi plus Hitachi HD44780-compatible LCD


Review of 8X Digital Tube + 8X Key + 8X Double Color LED Module

That’s a stupid name. What is it?

I think you misspelled “hello”. Even if you don’t care for the name, take one look at it, and you can see what it offers.

8 x Digital Tube + 8 x Key + 8 x Double Color LED Module

Electronics Microcontrollers

Your next μC accessory

Ooo, this is a tricky one.
I made myself a starter kit when buying my first Arduino from Oomlout. I started with their Prototyping Bundle for Arduino (although it was a Duemilanove back then, not the Uno it is now), and added an LCD display, lots of wires, some tac switches, a pair of RGB LEDs, lots and lots of red and green LEDs, a book of resistors, some still-unused H-bridge ICs for motor driving, and some shift registers to my shopping basket.
The thing I added first after that was probably a battery box, for portable power.

Electronics Microcontrollers Programming

Arduino Uno as USB HID keyboard – Part 2

In part one, I looked at the hardware side of things, and the steps required to get our Arduino Uno ready to emulate a USB keyboard. In part two, I show the software the Arduino and the BlackBerry will run.
Electronics Microcontrollers

Arduino Uno as USB HID keyboard – Part 1


Since getting a “modern” mobile phone (a Blackberry Pearl 3G 9105), I realised I was walking around with a configurable interface. That is, a little keyboard, and a display which could, with software, be both output or input (in a sense- I could draw a linear potentiometer, which I would control via the keyboard).
But also, it has comms- WiFi, 3G, and Bluetooth. The latter is particularly of interest to me, because it doesn’t involve any infrastructure, and adaptors to go from Bluetooth to serial are easy to get, and easy to use.
So the combination means being able to remotely (up to around 10-15m) control some microcontroller based device, from a custom, tailored interface that fits in my hand, and is self-powered.