Today’s post is a How-To for a project I recently completed: a temperature-only Weather Underground Personal Weather Station made from an ESP8266, a MAX31820 temperature sensor, and a few miscellaneous parts. The whole project fits inside a 3D printed project box for mounting on an exterior wall that is sheltered from the weather.Continue reading Build a Minimal Weather Underground Station
Category Archives: Electronics
Well Depth Sensing: Soldering, Soldering, Soldering!
In my previous post, I designed a 3D printed sensor junction box for my well tank depth sensing project. In this post I solder… a lot.
I have 36 RJ45 jacks, 36 breakout boards for those jacks, and a pile of break-off headers for those breakout boards. Each breakout board has 8 holes for the RJ45 jack pins and 8 more holes for the header pins. That’s 36 * (8+8) connections I need to make to attach the breakout boards to the jacks. That’s 576 connections to solder!Continue reading Well Depth Sensing: Soldering, Soldering, Soldering!
Cost-Reducing the Lunar Clock: IOT Really is Here
I have to confess that sometimes I need a push to make the right design choice.
It’s been a long time – way too long – since I worked on my Lunar Clock project. In the meantime, Sparkfun has introduced new, inexpensive microcontrollers aimed at Internet-of-Things applications. I knew one of those new microcontrollers would be perfect for the Lunar Clock, but I dragged my feet.
Then one day, a Github user pointed out that one of the boards I was using has been obsoleted.Continue reading Cost-Reducing the Lunar Clock: IOT Really is Here
Dog Water Bowl Scale, Part 1: Initial Design Work
Now that my Dog Bed Weight Scale is sending data, I’m going to have a go at a water bowl scale. The idea is that, like the bed, the bowl will periodically send its weight to a cloud. This data should tell me when Pippa drinks, when we refill her bowl, and (maybe) how much she drinks.
The work-in-progress sources on Github, contain the beginnings of the Arduino 101 Sketch, Bill of Materials (Parts List), mechanical design/construction details, and a day-by-day project diary.Continue reading Dog Water Bowl Scale, Part 1: Initial Design Work
Dog Weight Scale Part 9: Soldering the V2 Circuit Together
In my previous post I described how to use long break-away headers, and started soldering the circuit together. In this post I finish transferring the scale circuit from the breadboard to a protoboard, and do a quick test mount of the circuit on the plywood scale base.
A reminder: I found that the Load Cell Amplifier was (by design) so sensitive to changes in resistance that just touching the resistors on my solderless breadboard caused large changes in the Amplifier output. So I wanted to solder all the parts down.Continue reading Dog Weight Scale Part 9: Soldering the V2 Circuit Together
Dog Weight Scale Part 8: Electronics, Version 2
It’s a good time to recap: This project is a scale that will sit underneath my dog Pippa’s bed, so that I can measure her weight automatically, at night while she sleeps. The project-in-progress is Open Source, at my CurieBLEWeightMonitor Github repository. I occasionally tweet about it (among other things) as @bneedhamia.
In my previous post I covered how to choose matching resistors for the Load Sensor to convert the Load Sensor into a Load Cell that can be wired into Sparkfun’s Load Cell Amplifier. In this post, I nearly finish building the breadboarded circuit and start transferring it to a soldered protoboard.Continue reading Dog Weight Scale Part 8: Electronics, Version 2
Dog Weight Scale Part 7: Choosing Matching Resistors
In my previous post, I worked through the calculations of weight and center of gravity when using four Load Cell Amplifiers instead of one. In this post, I build the circuit for the first of the four Load Sensor / Load Cell Amplifier combinations I’ll be using.Continue reading Dog Weight Scale Part 7: Choosing Matching Resistors
Dog Weight Scale, Part 2: the Electronics
As I said in the previous post, I’m using 4 Sparkfun load sensors, a Load Sensor Combinator board, a Load Cell Amplifier board, and an Arduino 101 (since obsoleted) to build a scale I can put under our dog’s bed, to passively weigh her whenever she’s in bed.
In the previous post, I cut the base for the scale from a sheet of plywood. In this post, I’m assembling the circuit.Continue reading Dog Weight Scale, Part 2: the Electronics
WiFi and Steppers and Slots! Oh, My!
Lunar Clock project is starting to feel real!
After having no luck making the ESP8266 work with an Arduino Mega, I switched back to the wonderful Sparkfun CC3000 WiFi Shield. It is playing nice with the Mega now – with an interposed Sparkfun TransmogriShield to convert the Mega SPI pins to the Uno pins that many Shields expect. Update: I replaced both these retired boards in a later post.
I happened to have an old, inexpensive unipolar stepper motor lying around, so I’ve hooked it up and am able to precisely turn it using the Arduino Stepper library. I should probably write a Post about that. The upshot is that after reading the comments in the Stepper library source that said the pin order the library uses, it was pretty easy.Continue reading WiFi and Steppers and Slots! Oh, My!
How to Soften LED Light with a Ping Pong Ball
Some time ago I read that you can use a ping pong ball to soften the harsh light of an LED, so I thought I’d try it out.
Step 0: pick out a white ping pong ball. I used a standard 40mm ball; I could have used a 35mm Foosball instead.Continue reading How to Soften LED Light with a Ping Pong Ball