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Category: Arduino

PCB Fabrication

PCB Fabrication

When creating PCBs, the quality of the work is the most important element.  If the design has a flaw, the work can lead to malfunction, damage, or worse depending on the application.  Quality is key.  It’s good practice to keep that in mind regardless if the design is complex or rudimentary. I’ve found that component placement on the board to be a good first step.  It allows you to know that parts will fit and connect with the outside world…

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PCB Design

PCB Design

One challenge with piecing together devices are the connections.  We discussed how we’ll use communications protocols to link devices that are physically separate.  This same problem occurs for our nodes that have sensors, controllers, or other circuit boards that need to be linked.  To solve this, we’ll develop and manufacture printed circuit boards, or PCBs as they are commonly referred to.  Having a custom PCB that makes the links also provides us a cleaner build.  In addition, devices can be…

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I2C – Squaring up multi device communications

I2C – Squaring up multi device communications

UART and SPI communication have benefits and limitations.  UART is confined to point to point links, whereas SPI requires additional slave select channels from the master.  Both do not scale well for multiple devices.  For that reason, I2C was developed with the introduction of device addressing in the data channel. I2C stands for Inter-integrated Circuit and it uses a clock channel to synchronize its data channel.  Only two wires are required to achieve this.  They are defined as SDA for…

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SPI vs SPI – Serial Peripheral Interface

SPI vs SPI – Serial Peripheral Interface

The UART serial communication method discussed in my last post showed a limitation of scale.  Asynchronous serial data should only be point to point.  If many devices are required, the complexity of design and cost increase. The Serial Peripheral Interface, or SPI protocol, is a method to reduce the complexity and costs of scaling.  In contrast to UART, SPI does not require complex bridgeheads.  Receiving devices need nothing more than a shift register to operate. Without going into too much…

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Serial Communications

Serial Communications

Ideas and thoughts are shared with people through speech, text, or some other form of communication.  This is how one knows, or at least has some idea of, what the other is thinking.  Electronic devices are similar.  Without communication, devices and people would be isolated in the cosmos.  Like language, devices use sets of standards and protocols to accomplish communication. In this post, I’ll introduce briefly parallel communication.  Next I’ll be covering the most fundamental communication methods of serial communication. …

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Signals – Digital, Analog, and PWM

Signals – Digital, Analog, and PWM

In this post I’ll be covering fundamental electronic signals.  These will establish a foundation for us to work from as I begin to cover more advanced signaling technology.  First, we will cover digital signals.  These are the most basic since they are either on or off.  Next, we cover RC Time circuits which allow us to use a digital port to read an analog condition.  We’ll follow that up with analog signals and how we read them electronically.  Next, I’ll…

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Controller ins and outs

Controller ins and outs

Now I would like to return back to home automation and control.  There are basically three components of the system; these are input devices, controllers, and output devices.  Lets start by covering the heart of the system, the controllers. In this section I’ll cover the controllers.  They fall into three categories, device, communications, and central. The central controller will be the Raspberry Pi.  It is Rome and all roads lead to it.  It takes input, produces output, and is what…

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Geo Tagging Sensor Data

Geo Tagging Sensor Data

Introduction – tag…you’re it There are 10 weeks left and they’ll go by fast, so we’re going to be moving quick through a lot of material.  This post will be on geotagging.  We’ll be tagging Accelerometer data along with current usage for use in heat maps hosted by CartoDB.  If you haven’t used CartoDB, create an account and take a look at the tutorials they offer.  Once you have a bit of background, come on back. Purpose – one slice…

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Academic Roundup

Academic Roundup

Summary – it’s getting closer So far, there has been 15 of 20 posts that have stayed on topic with the goals defined at the beginning of this years studies.  I’ve managed to release at least 3 posts per month that covered the intended material.  Here’s a list of those topics based on grouping. Raspberry Pi Specific Raspberry Pi – The basics Command and control as easy as RPi RPi email using sSMTP RPi Backup and Restore Hardware Selecting an…

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Spring Heartbreak

Spring Heartbreak

RPi Dashcam Here’s a step by step using raspivid, super simple. RPi Bluetooth and WiFi I found it much easier to just use a USB adapter Edimax EW-7811Un, these instructions make it look easier than what I experienced with Adafruits “Ourlink” adapters.  I think my new AP doesn’t support the Ourlink band, so I had a sourlink. Here’s one from Plugable. BLE Revisited Bluetooth basic tutorial – from Sparkfun BC118 BLE Mate 2 Hookup Guide – from Sparkfun…don’t get too…

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