We’ve used this with great success on a Windows 7 computer, installing as a ‘generic’ Bluetooth device, but we expect it to work just fine with any modern computer as this chipset is very common. So far we’ve tested it to communicate with Bluetooth data modules only.
We got a mix of package styles, one is rectangular and the other is semi-circular. You may get one or the other in your order, both are completely identical in functionality.
So I recently got into the whole beer and wine thing, and decided if I really wanted to be professional about this, I needed a temperature controlled cellar right? Well the problem was that I didn’t want to spend any money on it, so here is what I did to make my own for minimal cost. Keep in mind much of the stuff I was able to scrounge up in my room or through various other sources, but a resourceful person such as yourself should be able to do some scrounging as well.
First order of business is how to keep the box cold. To accomplish this feat I used a Peltier Junction. To learn more about what this is exactly check out the Thermoelectric Effect. Luckily I was able to procure a device that already had a heat sink on one side, so all I had to do was apply thermal grease, and rubber band another head sink (stolen from an old computer) onto the other side. So now when power is applied one side of this will get hot and the other cold, guess which sides faces into the box?
Next up is the microcontroller. My buddy had recently given me one called an Electric Imp. This controller is neat because it is wifi enabled and connects to a cloud service, so with this I can monitor and control my fridge online (I can also modify and upload new code online). Here is my code
Electric Imp – What is the electric imp? In essence, the Imp provides an easy, integrated way to connect almost any hardware device both to other devices and to internet services. It’s more than just a WiFi card, or even a WiFi module with processing built in – it’s an integrated platform that deals with the drudgery of connectivity, allowing you to concentrate on the application instead of the mechanics.
I’ve been on a bit of a sabbatical leave these past few weeks, just to take some time to recharge my creative (and technical) batteries. I love what I do, and I feel lucky to be able to design, build and test interesting stuff all day long. Most of all, I love seeing how people take that work and do amazing things with it. I can’t overstate how grateful I am to be a small part of this amazing community! But sometimes — even in a situation or job you love, with colleagues you appreciate, etc. — you really need to step back and try to remember what got you excited about this stuff in the first place … to make sure you’re focusing your attention on the right things with the right priorities.
A big part of the reason I wanted to take a bit of a break was to look at all these (literally) hundreds of drivers I’ve written, boards I’ve designed, chunks of code I’ve collected, and see what can I do with it all. I’ve never had easier access to more data, more easily, but it’s never seemed more challenging to do something genuinely creative and useful with it. I’ve spent my last few weeks trying to finalize a pair of boards that themselves aren’t terribly interesting (there are probably a couple hundred wireless sensor platforms out there!), but it’s really just a spring-board for some other ideas I wanted to explore trying to visualize some of the amazing invisible stuff that goes on around us. I posted some technical details up about them on my own website, but honestly the technical side is secondary and I rolled my own just to use the parts I’m familiar with and already have a zillion drivers for.
I’ll post some more details about some of what I wanted to do with these boards once I get the first batch in and have 100 or so assembled later this month, but I thought it would be fun to mention what I was up to all the same … even if in this case the core platform isn’t really the main objective! LPC1xxx 1GHZ Wireless Board Preview
Austrian artist and architect Peter Jellitsch measured Wi-Fi activity and produced this artwork, Bleecker Street Documents, which includes a CNC milled sculpture.
The piece is named for the apartment where Vienna-based Jellitsch crashed during a New York residency for 45 days last year. “I used a radio-wave-measuring device several times a day in the apartment and translated the measurement result daily on paper,” he tells Co.Design.
With hundreds of handwritten data points in hand, Jellitsch set out to build a physical model of his findings. He began with a flat white plane and plotted the data points across it chronologically. At moments when the Wi-Fi signal was strong, he raised the vertice associated with that day and time. When it was weak, the vertice stayed flat. The resulting model is half model, half calendar; a three-dimensional visualization that charts signal strength over time. He milled the final model on a CNC machine and mounted it on a shipping pallet.
I opted to use an Arduino as a starting point. Using an ATmega 328 AVR on a breadboard, I could experiment various wireless technologies and see if what I wanted to do was realistic.
To begin with I was considering using an Xbee wireless module for communication, however this would increase the cost too much. What I settled on was a nRF24L01, which can be found on eBay for as little as $1.50 each. Arduino has a very good library for this and were very easy to implement.
Creating a mesh network with the nRF24L01 was actually quite simple, it has no more hardware requirements, it’s all in the code. By repeating the received message, the data is passed on to the next module in range. Of course if they’re all in range then this feature won’t be used much.
NEW PRODUCT – Electric Imp. What is the electric imp? In essence, the Imp provides an easy, integrated way to connect almost any hardware device both to other devices and to internet services. It’s more than just a WiFi card, or even a WiFi module with processing built in – it’s an integrated platform that deals with the drudgery of connectivity, allowing you to concentrate on the application instead of the mechanics.
The Imp itself is very small – 32mm x 24mm x 2.1mm – but packs a lot inside.
For starters, there’s industry standard 802.11b/g/n WiFi, complete with WEP, WPA and WPA2 encryption, along with a great antenna.
Next, there’s the processor. A Cortex-M3 core gives great performance combined with low power consumption, allowing the Imp to deal with both maintaining a secure connection to the service and also executing the developer’s code in a stable environment.
Finally, there’s the I/O. Though there are only six pins available for application use, they’re six very capable pins. UARTs, I2C, SPI, analog in and out, PWMs, GPIOs… all selectable under software control.
Developing for the Imp is quite unlike most embedded development. No SDK to install, no JTAG pods, no long download times… you develop your code in a browser-based IDE and can compile and run your code on the Imp – wherever it is in the world – in under a second. The Imp even sends logging back to your browser.
Software that runs on the Imp is written in Squirrel, a C-like language, with extensions to communicate with the hardware interfaces and the service. As the Squirrel code runs on top of the electric imp OS, you get many big system benefits like buffered I/O and crash recovery – plus you can push updates to devices in the field with a few clicks.
Data passes to and from the service over a TLS encrypted interface, and can take many forms including scalars, strings and tuples. An open API on the server allows devices to communicate with other communications networks (email, SMS, twitter, etc), web pages (displaying data and controls), APIs to communicate with other services (RESTful API, TCP pipes) and of course soft nodes, that can perform server-side processing on data that would be inconvenient to do device-side.
This innovative wifi controller has a few things that you’ll want to watch for. Although it is shaped like an SD card it will not work in a device that uses SD cards for storage. It won’t damage the imp or the device, but it wont work at all. Instead, a project that uses the imp is supposed to use an SD socket in a unique configuration with an Atmel ID chip. The SD shape just makes it easy to find matching sockets, the ID chip is so the imp knows ‘where it is’ and what program to download into its memory – so that you can swap in a new imp at any time and it will change its behavior based on the socket. If you’re starting out, we suggest picking up an April breakout board – it takes care of the ID chip, socket and power supply, letting you get on with the project!
NEW PRODUCT – Electric Imp April: Basic prototyping. The April is a handy companion for your Electric Imp card. This breakout board provides just the bare minimum for Imp life support – a socket, an ID chip, and a 3.3v buck power supply for high power efficiency. Small and cheap, it’s easy to integrate into products for demos or even use in low-volume production.
Dimensions: 51mm x 32mm x 6mm (without header) or 11mm (with header) Power supply: USB mini-B and pads for 3.4-16v battery/DC input with reverse voltage protection. PLEASE NOTE:The electric imp is not included!
NEW PRODUCT! Keyfob RF Remote Control – 315MHz – This 4-button keyfob remote goes with our three basic 315MHz RF receiver modules. It will work with all of them, sending out one of four commands that match up with the four outputs. Its small and light weight and will work up to 50-100 meters away depending on line-of-sight and obstructions. Since this is just a transmitter, if you have multiple receivers, it will turn all of them on and off at the same time (there is no sub-addressing)
These Simple RF receivers are the easiest way possible to add wireless control, painlessly! There’s no programming, configuring or addressing – simply power the receiver with 5-10VDC and press the buttons on our matching RF keyfob remote. When the A button is pressed, it activates the first pin, when the B button is pressed, it activates the second one, and so forth for all four buttons. There’s no microcontroller required, its just a simple one-to-one link.
These modules make it easy to control your project once its in an enclosure or from across the room, but there are some things to watch out for. One is that they do not have ‘addressing’ – if you have multiple receivers in a room, they’ll all work at the same time with a single remote. Another is that there’s no error checking or bi-directional link – that means the remote doesn’t know if the module received the message or not. Third, there are a few different types of receivers and each one looks identical but they’re act differently!
The M4 momentary type acts like a push button – when the A button is held down, the matching pin goes high. When the A button is released, the matching pin goes low. The pins only go high when a button is pressed
The T4 toggle type acts like an alternating toggle switch – when the A button is pressed the first time, the matching pin goes high. When the A button is pressed a second time, the matching pin goes low. The pins are turned on and off by repeated presses
The L4 latch type acts like a selector switch – when the A button is pressed the first time, the matching pin goes high. When the B button is pressed it turns A’s pin off and turns B’s pin on. When C is pressed, it turns B off, etc. Only one is on at a time. If you press the same button twice, it doesn’t turn that pin off.
The Open Wireless Movement is a coalition of Internet freedom advocates, companies, organizations, and technologists working to develop new wireless technologies and to inspire a movement of Internet openness. We are aiming to build technologies that would make it easy for Internet subscribers to portion off their wireless networks for guests and the public while maintaining security, protecting privacy, and preserving quality of access.
A new F.A.T. project by Addie Wagenknecht, WifiTagger:
WifiTagger is a device to tag wifi networks. It can broadcast up to four lines of 32 characters. Upon selecting a tag as your network, you can tag the wifi spectrum via the WifiTaggers open UI. Tags will be viewable within the list of wifi networks for anyone within the router’s range. WifiTagger lets anyone with a wifi enabled device tag digital space.
Ocado, an online grocery store in England, prides itself on its delivery of refrigerated foods: When the company says the goods will arrive at a certain temperature, they mean it.
The promise is more than a marketing boast. Aided by microchip transmitters, heat sensors and a fast-growing form of wireless communication, the boast is a measurable fact.
Inside each Ocado delivery van is a SIM-card module the size of a postage stamp that monitors the air temperature. The sensor sends data to a computer used by fleet managers back at headquarters near London every few minutes.
Ocado says incidents of spoilage of goods have declined since the transmitters were installed last year.