Archive for the "software" Category

Arduino suddenly freezing up? Here’s how to fix it.

Every once in a while, my Arduino IDE suddenly takes forever to launch, sticking at the splash screen for a long time. Even after it launches, it’s still basically unusable, because the pull-down menus also freeze up, and take an eternity to respond. It happens to me every time I download a new Arduino IDE, [...]

ITEAD Studio IBOX – Part 3: Installing Java and Processing

ITEAD Studio asked me how to install Processing 2.1.1 on Debian 7.0 running on the IBOX, because they want to use the IBOX as a Lampduino controller. This article describes the installation procedure. All of the commands must be typed into a shell Terminal. 1. Install openjdk and librxtx # apt-get update # apt-get install openjdk-7-jdk [...]

Noritake 24×6 Character VFD Module

I’ve always thought VFDs were pretty cool. They used to be the rage in high end consumer electronics. Back in the mid 70′s, I built a VFD alarm clock. Recently, I got my hands on a modern VFD module to play with. The Noritake-itron SCK-Y100-24063-N14 is a very flexible 24×6 character VFD module in the same [...]

Logging Rainforest RAVEn/EMU-2 Data to ThingSpeak (node.js on Raspberry Pi)

Last year, I bought a Rainforest EMU-2 energy monitor.  It wirelessly talks via zigbee to the smart energy meter that SCE installed at my house a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, its logging capabilities are rather primitive. All it does is give you a crude bar graph of the current and previous day’s usage. SCE [...]

Logging Nest Thermostat Data: Update 1

I have updated my Nest thermostat data logger. The changes are as follows: added fan status, heater status, and AC status. polling interval increased from 15 min to 1 min. data are pushed to ThingSpeak only if at least one field changes. The new node.js code: The corresponding ThingSpeak Channel also needs to have 3 [...]

Logging Nest Thermostat Data

I recently had a Nest Thermostat installed at my house for free by my gas company as part of a pilot program that they’re running. It’s a pretty cool device, though I wouldn’t spend $250 to buy one. I like the fact that it’s a lot easier to use than my previous smart thermostat, especially [...]

LeafCAN v2 Firmware in Alpha Test

I have been working on v2 of the LeafCAN firmware, which adds a whole slew of new screens, selectable via a rotary encoder.  The rotary encoder is connected to the AD0/1/2 pins on the expansion header of the LeafCAN V2 hardware.  The code is currently in alpha testing, and is available in the development branch [...]

UCTronics 3.2″ TFT LCD Arduino Shield with Touchscreen

Updated 2014-03-14 I’ve been looking for a way to add a touchscreen UI to my projects.  To this end, I purchased a UCTronics 3.2″ TFT LCD Arduino Shield.  Most of the cheap TFT touchscreens that I found need about 38 pins, and therefore, need to interface with an Arduino Mega.  What makes this UCTronics shield unique [...]

Build a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Controlled RGB LED

I have been wanting to play with my RedBearLab BLE Shield for some time, but have been too busy. This weekend, I finally was able to allocate some time to experiment with it. I decided to do something relatively easy as my first project, so as to familiarize myself with the Bluetooth API’s on both [...]

LiquidTWI2 v1.1.0 Released

For the Adafruit RGB LCD Shield (MCP23017), I changed the GPIO writing from 16-bit to 8-bits. This increased the library size by 14 bytes, but it’s well worth it, because writing a 47-character string has sped up from 99ms to 76ms on my Arduino Duemilanove – that’s about a 25% increase!  This is vs Adafruit’s [...]