Archive for the "hacking" 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 [...]

ITEAD Studio IBOX Part 2: Booting up Debian Linux 7.0

My IBOX came shipped with Android TV A20 pre-loaded in the NAND flash. I plugged a Microsoft keyboard and mouse into the USB ports, and used my Panasonic plasma TV as a HDMI display.  The boot screen is a bit confusing, because it implies that the device has WLAN support: You can ignore the big [...]

ITEAD Studio IBOX – Part 1: First Look

ITEAD Studio recently contacted me to let me know that they’re going to display my Lampduino project at the Shenzhen Makerfaire. I thought that was a pretty cool idea, and am honored to hear that. They also asked if I wanted to test out their IBOX mini multifunction single board computer, which is currently in its final [...]

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 [...]

TP-WR703N: Adding Storage Space – EXTROOT

Once you have your TP-WR703N running OpenWrt, you’ll find that it doesn’t have a lot of free space for adding your own files. Here is the output from df from after installing attitude-adjustment: root@OpenWrt:/# df -h Filesystem Size Used Available Use% Mounted on rootfs 1.1M 352.0K 736.0K 32% / /dev/root 2.0M 2.0M 0 100% /rom [...]

Hacking the TP-Link TP-WR703N – Part 2: Bring it back from the dead (How to unbrick it)

This morning, I realized that I actually had a 3.3V UART in my house that I could use to connect to my bricked TP-WR703N‘s serial port .. the Raspberry Pi runs on 3.3v! I dug up the instructions on how to hook it up on the OpenWrt forum. After hooking it up, configuring it, and firing [...]