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Showing posts from December, 2007

First Ardunio Program

I have finally received my Arduino and have been able to write a few simple programs for it. For my thermostat program I am interested in being able to read several analog sensors (temperature and humidity). I also need to be able to poll specific sensor values from the computer using the serial interface so I can log their values in 5 minute intervals. I don't have all the electronic components yet to build my thermostat so I wanted to write up some test sketches. I based my sketches on a todbot blog entry that I found very useful.

I was originally going to use the C code that todbot wrote to test communication with the Arduino but I soon realized the limitations. What I ended up doing is using "screen" to open a terminal connection to the serial port so I could send and receive data to/from the Arduino. In the future I will have to write a daemon that will run on my linux box that will constantly poll the Arduino for data but thats another story. For now screen …

Arduino shipped!

I love ordering things in the mail. It's the waiting I don't like. I ordered my Arduino along with a temperature/humidity sensor from Robotshop on Friday afternoon and they shipped it yesterday. Not a bad turn around time at all. According to the Canada Post website it is currently in Quebec somewhere. Now all I have to do is wait for it. I know it's a crazy time of year so we'll see how Canada Post is handling it.

Now all I have to do is find some time to goto Active Electronics and buy a prototyping board and a bunch of misc parts. I can't wait!

I should go do some work... I'm out.

Thermostat project (take 2)

Yes I am still on the thermostat kick. I just got my new humidifier installed today which is probably why I am still looking at my thermostat project. After some consideration I have decided that I'm going to scrap the whole gumstix idea. The reason I'm doing this is simply because I don't need that much computing power bolted to my wall. I've decided that the thermostat itself should be an Arduino using I2C to talk to a Temperature and Humidity sensor. Then I would have to design the circuit that would turn the furnace on and off. I have found some good documentation of how a regular thermostat works so it shouldn't be much of an issue getting that going. The Arduino would control the furnace and air conditioner, fan and humidifier. One added feature (the whole point of the project) would be to use the USB interface on the Arduino to connect to a LAMP server that would log all temperature and humidity levels and send commands to the Arduino. I just have t…

Thermostat project

It's that time of year again. Winter has hit full force here. I've been on an Arduino kick lately and came up with an idea for a project to battle the cold weather. A thermostat connected to your home network!! Why would you want to do that you ask? The answer is simple, I want to be able to control the temperature of my house from anywhere! If security is a concern then you could limit control to your local network (but that's another discussion).

First you would start with a gumstix connex 200xm along with a rs232 expansion board and an ethernet expansion board with a microSD interface for more storage. You could also go WiFi if you so desire. You will also need a temperature and humidity sensor with a serial interface.

The software system would be as simple as running a LAMP (Linux, Apache, Mysql, PHP) server. Of course I would have to develop some software to get the temperature readings from from the sensors and for controlling the furnace. …

Audio Projects

My last post had to do with making a robot that made parts for itself. It's time to shift gears and talk about making audio components. I've always wanted to put together a guitar amplifier from scratch but I've never been able to find a really good explanation on how to do it until I found this website. It's a fairly comprehensive look at how to build a JCM800 head. If you've ever been interested in putting together your own tube amplifier it's a great place to start. He has a lot of great ideas and insightful things to say about building tube amps.

What about effects? I found a really nice website online with a bunch of information on building your own effect pedals. It's called Super-Freq. He has a bunch of schematics and circuit board layouts on there. Check it out for yourself. I'm sure there are other websites out there with effect pedal layouts. Let me know if you find any!

While I was writing this post I also stumbled across Geofex w…