Linux Voice has this awesome tutorial up on making your home brew even better by adding in a Raspberry Pi. They write, “The BrewPi isn’t an easier way of making of making beer. It’s an easier way to make it perfect.” We’re sold!
Beer is lovely. But when you’re making it at home, the biggest challenge (after discovering a way to boil vast quantities of water) is always finding somewhere to leave your brew to ferment. It’s this stage of beer-making magic that turns what’s known as wort into beer, creating alcohol and oodles of flavour. And for this stage to work well, you ideally need to be able to manage the temperature of the environment your beer is sitting in. In the UK, many amateur brewers resort to using an ‘airing cupboard’, normally situated next to the hot water tank and used for drying clothes. This isn’t a bad place, because it’s warmish – many beer kits like to ferment at around 20 degree centigrade – and the temperature doesn’t fluctuate massively. But it still fluctuates, and it may even prove too warm. Many yeasts, especially for ale, prefer things a little cooler (18–20 degrees, ideally, but this depends on the beer). And lifting 25 litres of wort into a first-floor cupboard could break your back, and you’ve got a hygiene nightmare if it falls over, or falls through the flimsy shelf its sitting on.
BrewPi is the answer to this conundrum. It’s a brilliant project that brings together a love of Linux, a little hardware hacking and plenty of beer into one fermenting barrel of hoppy goodness. It’s essentially a device that controls the environment surrounding the fermenting bucket of beer, enabling you to make perfect beer every time, regardless of climate and house heating cycles. Many people use an old fridge or freezer as the surrounding container and connect the BrewPi to a cooling and heating mechanism to enable its clever algorithms to create the perfect environment for your beer. The BrewPi itself is a mixture of hardware, software and initiative. Not only has its creator, Elco Jacobs, built an incredibly effective system for fermenting beer, he’s created an extremely helpful community of BrewPi enthusiasts, an online shop and an assembly system for easy access to all of the bits and pieces you’ll need.
Antipasto Hardware Blog made this fun project for their fish tank! Full tutorial here.
This may or may not have implications for real-life shark tracking, but I’ll take an excuse to have my shark tweet me when he (or she, I’m no marine biologist) breaches the perimeter over to the sunny side of the tank.
Of course, I’m doing this with my toy shark-on-a-stick and only a laser level and a light sensor, but it’s possible to make this much more accurate and granular just by adding more strategically placed sensors/light sources into the mix…
As soon as the laser is obstructed by Bruce the shark himself, that light value drops. Once it’s below 400, the Android program issues a Red Alert warning that the sensor has been tripped, and sends a tweet.
As you can see in the system diagram the brains of Magpi Radio is a Raspberry Pi computer. These are small, cheap linux computers that pack a lot of horse power, making them perfect for internet-of-thingsy projects like this. Here are some of the benefits of the Pi when picking your hardware:
• Speed: The Pi runs at 700 mhz with 512 MB of RAM. I never experienced any latency when making this project.
• Audio: Playing audio files is a breeze through the audio jack and supports pretty much any format you throw at it.
• Programming: You’re not limited to a specific library or language. I wrote the Magpi software in Ruby to leverage the excellent Twitter gems (twitter and tweetstream).
You’ll also notice an Arduino in the diagram, which handled the physical interface (the knobs and light). The reason I used the Arduino in addition to the Pi is because the Pi doesn’t have great support for analog io. I was able to read the volume potentiometer with an ADC chip through the GPIO pins, but because there’s only 1 PWM pin I wasn’t able to control the RBG LED. (If you’re interested in using the Pi’s GPIO pins for sensor io, I’d recommend the WiringPi lib).
MCP3008 – 8-Channel 10-Bit ADC With SPI Interface – Need to add analog inputs? This chip will add 8 channels of 10-bit analog input to your microcontroller or microcomputer project. It’s super easy to use, and uses SPI so only 4 pins are required. We chose this chip as a great accompaniment to the Raspberry Pi computer, because its fun to have analog inputs but the Pi does not have an ADC.
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
Tech in Motion celebrated Social Media Week with their Wearable Tech Fashion Show in NY. As the only participating U.S. city in this world wide event, the venue was packed, and photographer Olivia Christina squeezed through the crowd to capture images. One of the top designers was Sensoree with “therapeutic bio.media”. The photo above shows one of the designs combining knitting, 3D printing and an EEG monitor to map thoughts and match brain states to colors. Here’s another thoughtful piece, a mood sweater that uses galvanic skin response to show how excited the wearer is through LEDs in the collar. Sensoree is very intrigued by physical movement and has worked with dance companies — the pieces are a true pleasure floating down the runway.
Another future thinking designer, Continuum, utilizes 3D printing to create shoes. A variety of styles was displayed, including intricate cut-outs, and wedges that even Cat Girl would approve of. Although the style below seems rather prismatic, many of the shoes have an organic feel, resembling vines and petals. With so many people having foot concerns, it may well be that 3D printing is the future of all footwear. Imagine custom beds and shoes made individually for your feet. This area shows lots of potential and Continuum has already posted “invites” for pre-orders on their site.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, 3D printing was also shown for fingernails. The Laser Girls have used their design abilities in the field of nail art with stunning results. Not only are they doing nails, but they are also doing nail rings. Textures range from knobby bright colored pixels to smoother gothic filagree. One texture that is particularly interesting on their site is the faux stone finish. Many women were fascinated with this affordable entry into tech fashion, so expect to see more like it in the future.
Adding a big splash of color to the runway was Leslie Birch’s FLORAbrella. You may remember she was one of the winners of our Adafruit/Element 14 Get Closer Challenge. Cameras were in the air for the rainbow pattern and Tweets referred to it as “my high-tech umbrella.” Many people at the show were shocked to learn that they could make it themselves, using a FLORA microcontroller, Neopixels and color sensor.
Many of these fashions are proprietary, but can be accomplished by a DIYer through open source. Look to 3D printing resources such as Thingiverse and microcontrollers like our FLORA and Gemma. One thing these fashions all share is a sense of customization for the user, and there is no better way to customize than to make it yourself. Why not start off with our color changing scarf project? Make the streets your runway!
Meet Vanilla Nieves, Chihuahua and professional model. She recently garnered attention at the New York Pet Fashion Show with her LED studded skirt and collar. Her couture was designed by two Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) pet fashion designers — Ada Nieves and Gladys Delgado-Garced. Here’s what Gladys had to say about the design.
I attend a dog fundraiser each February, and based on the theme, I come up with a design. This year it was luminaries, and when my friend sent me the skirt I thought, why not do rain patterns?
Gladys loves LEDs and immediately set to work on constructing the circuit. She started with a small matrix and gradually increased the size, testing as she went along. The final skirt had a total of 96 surface mount LEDs — 81 on the skirt matrix and 15 on the collar matrix.
I like the electronics, the fact that the animations can be changed hundreds of times. I like the way the matrix turned out, and with the two microcontrollers you can do patterns like diamonds, rain and X’s. People were in awe and very impressed. They really liked the lights and even MTV was there. I like that pets can enjoy fashion, too!
Obviously these two ladies enjoy their petite clients, so expect to see more glam designs. Want to turn your dog into Lady ChiHuaHua? Get a FLORA or GEMMA microcontroller and some NeoPixels for your creation.
It looks like a child’s watch, but this open source wearable, named LEWE, measures biometrics according to Bits and Pieces from the Embedded Design World. This Arduino wristband looks bulky now, but it’s merely to facilitate explaining construction.
According to Boris Landoni of OpenElectronics, the goal of Project LEWE is to leverage available tech and create a low cost platform using sensors for data collection.
“[Ultimately, everything can be] integrated into a single board or two, in a more compact fashion that can be worn thanks to a special container with a wristband.”
The current iteration of the LEWE prototype currently supports at least five functions, including:
Measuring body temperature and sweat rate
Local display of recorded data
Relaying information to a smartphone app
Sending and storing data to the cloud
Organizing data in graph form for analysis
This wristband uses a variety of shields, which are rectangular, and also uses a digital readout. It would be very interesting to see a circular version that gives biometrics through visuals, rather than numerically. This could be done with a FLORA and a Neopixel Ring, similar to the FLORA NeoGeo Watch. A temperature sensor could be incorporated that would take a reading and send the results in the form of color, or amount of Neopixels lit on the ring. A heart rate sensor could also be used with results blinking the Neopixels. Sending information is definitely the tricky hurdle. Since most shields are bulky, it may be wise to figure out a method such as an SMS module, so information could be sent as a text message to a device. Whether you attempt to do this using a traditional Arduino, or create your own version, this is definitely an exciting challenge.
We’ve seen turn signal jackets, but like most things in tech, wearables are getting smaller. These turn signal gloves by Zackees allow lightweight illumination, as seen on siliconANGLE.
Zackees looks like any fingerless glove and it’s washable. What makes it different is the super bright LED lights that let others know where you’re going. The LED lights are activated by a metal contact switch placed between the thumb and index finger. To activate the turn signal, the metal contact switch must make contact. Though Zackees is intended for cyclists, it can also be used by runners and skaters.
With a little imagination, you can create your own gloves. A GEMMA micro-controller and Lipo battery could be used with some neopixels to form the signal for each glove. Then, conductive fabric with a bit of padding or two metal female snaps could be added in the thumb and finger area to activate the signals of the gloves. Have some fun and don’t forget to post your version!
Brooks Zurn has created a sizzling dress with an LED matrix that can display words, inspired by the famous Twitter Dress. With some help from her friends at FamiLAB in Florida, she’s got 576 neopixels glowing.
I used 4 of the Adafruit 144 LED’s/meter neopixels. The full meter consists of two strips soldered end-to-end, so I de-soldered it in the middle to create the segments. After thinking of a few different approaches, a friend advised I sew sleeves for the strips , and then attach those to the garment. Then I found Adafruit had a Neopixel matrix library. It had a variable that could be changed for end-to-end, so I adjusted that. After that, it just worked!
When asked about the micro-controller and power supply, Brooks had some unexpected answers.
I actually used an Arduino Uno, because I wanted to make sure it worked before sewing anything. I found that 576 neopixels all on at the same time used a lot of current — approximately 18mA/neopixel. So, one of my friends had some good suggestions: don’t turn them all on at once, keep them set dim, and use a more powerful battery. I used a tablet/ laptop USB power supply and stripped one end of a USB cord so I could plug the battery into the Arduino. Then it worked.
Brooks is also working on her own wedding dress, which promises to be quite illuminating. Stay tuned!
The Adafruit Shield Compatibility Guide now literally goes to eleven: alongside the original five shields are details for six more: the Ultimate GPS Logger Shield, Wave Shield, LCD Shield w/16×2 Character Display, CC3000 WiFi Shield, 2.8″ TFT Touch Shield and 1.8″ TFT Shield w/Joystick. Pin usage, links to libraries and tutorials, it’s all there!
Arduino shields are splendid in concept…but, as new Arduino variants mutate and evolve, one inevitably runs into the issue that each board has its own distinct personality, and just following the shield pinout is no longer a guarantee of interoperability.
Our new guide aims to clear up this confusion. It’s a one-stop cross-reference with each combination of Adafruit shield and Arduino board, finding workarounds where incompatibilities exist and improving our library code along the way.
We have five Adafruit shields to start with: PWM/Servo Shield, Assembled Data Logging Shield, Motor/Stepper/Servo Shield, NeoPixel Shield and the PN532 NFC/RFID Shield, and we have these working across all the mainstream Arduino boards: Uno, Leonardo, Mega (all variants), even the Due! More shields will be added incrementally until the whole stable is represented.
Gobble Gobble day is next week, which means the hotly anticipated (by us!) and dreaded (by you!) holiday shopping season is beginning. Luckily for you we’re making it easier this year with our 2012 Adafruit Gift Guide series. Each day until Christmas we’ll roll out a different theme, everything from wearable electronics to Arduino shields, from 3D printers to photography to gift certificates from sites Adafruit likes!
Adafruit Ultimate GPS – We carry a few different GPS modules here in the Adafruit shop, but none that satisfied our every desire – that’s why we designed this little GPS breakout board. We believe this is the Ultimate GPS module, so we named it that. It’s got everything you want and more.
FLORA Wearable Ultimate GPS Module – This module is the best way to add a GPS to your wearable project. It’s part of the Adafruit Flora series of wearable electronics, designed specifically for use with the Flora motherboard. Installed on the PCB is the latest of our Ultimate GPS modules, a small, super-thin, low power GPS module with built in data-logging capability! This module’s easy to use, but extremely powerful.
Geogram ONE – An open source tracking device that is packed with features.
Quad Band GSM
66 Channel GPS based off the MT3339 Chipset
Atmega328p with Arduino Bootloader preinstalled
6 axis digital accelerometer
On board single cell lipo fuel gauge
6 pin FTDI connector for connecting optional FTDI cable
USB conection for charging Lipo battery
4 Analog inputs (3 can be used as digital IO)
2 Digital IO lines
Cooking Hacks 3G + GPS shield for Arduino - The 3G + GPS shield for Arduino enables the connectivity to high speed WCDMA and HSPA cellular networks in order to make possible the creation of the next level of worldwide interactivity projects inside the new “Internet of Things” era. The module counts also with an internal GPS what enables the location of the device outdoors and indoors combining standard NMEA frames with mobile cell ID triangulation using both assisted-mobile (A-GPS) and mobile-based (S-GPS) modes. There is also a version that works with the Raspberry Pi!
Coobro Geo - an easy to assemble GPS navigation kit. Upload coordinates, turn it on, and the Coobro Geo will help you navigate to any destination on earth by using LEDs to show you the correct direction and distance remaining. Before you leave on your quest, press and hold the breadcrumbs button and the Coobro Geo will remember your location and help you navigate back. Store up to five pre-entered destination coordinates and five breadcrumbs, or modify the open source code and store as many coordinates as you want. Use the Coobro Geo to help you find geocaches, store and navigate between hot fishing spots, complete a scavenger hunt, or simply help you find your car after a hike.
Here are your 2012 shipping deadlines for ordering from Adafruit. Please review our shipping section if you have specific questions on how and where we ship worldwide for this holiday season.
UPS ground (USA orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 14, 2012 – Arrive by 12/24/2012 or sooner.
UPS 3-day (USA orders): Place orders by Wednesday 11am ET – December 19, 2012 – Arrive on 12/24/2012.
UPS 2-day (USA orders): Place orders by Thursday 11am ET – December 20, 2012 – Arrive on 12/24/2012.
UPS overnight (USA orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 21, 2012 – Arrive on 12/24/2012.
UPS International: Place orders by Monday 11am ET – December 17, 2012. Can take up extra time due to worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2012 or sooner.
Please note: We do not offer Saturday service for UPS.
Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012, Christmas, no UPS pickup or delivery service.
Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, New Year’s Day, no UPS pickup or delivery service.
United States Postal Service, First Class and Priority (USA orders): Place orders by Friday – December 14, 2012 – Arrive by 12/24/2012 or sooner.
USPS First class mail international (International orders): Place orders by Friday – November 23, 2012. Can take up to 30 days ore more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2012 or sooner, but not a trackable service cannot be guaranteed to arrive by 12/24/12.
USPS Express mail international(International orders): Place orders by Friday – December 14, 2012. Can take up to 15 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2012 or sooner.
Have you ever done something silly on a lark and then found it was a big hit? So it went with a “beta test” Halloween idea on the Adafruit Show & Tell last week of my electronic demon costume. This video is a summary of what was done there… and what I’m now scrambling to finish properly before the big day! Video on YouTube (please subscribe!) and Vimeo.
Some updates since this was shot: a Ustream chat participant during Show & Tell suggested using a paintball mask as a base. I’m currently working on the faux ribcage idea… there may be enough space to move most of the electronics there and have just batteries in the pack. We shall see!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Each day this month (Monday-Friday) we’re going to have a special “Electronic Halloween” post here on Adafruit. It will be a hack, mod, project or something we’ve found that combines all the best things about electronics and Halloween.
Okay, so the BOE Shield-Bot’s hermit-crab-like “eyes” can’t really operate as OCRs, even with this magnifying glass. But, these infrared emitter/receiver pairs can let it avoid objects or drop-offs, and gauge close-range distance well enough to follow another ‘bot. And, with a Sony-programmable remote, you can have an IR Remote Controlled Shield-Bot (a bonus mini-project with code and video posted).
Thanks in advance for your bug-hunting help!
Here’s a video of the Parallax BOEBot in action! We also took this one minute exposure of the bot zooming around the table. Video on YouTube and Vimeo.
Parallax BOEBot Robot for Arduino Kit (Board of Education). We are very excited about this one! This kit brings the excellent design and tutorials of Parallax to the Arduino world. Make your Arduino the onboard brain of a mobile robot and learn robotics, electronics, and programming with this versatile kit and its accompanying step-by-step lessons. The Board of Education Shield plugs into your own Arduino (not included) and mounts on the popular Boe-Bot robot chassis.
With this kit and your own Arduino module, you can follow the Robotics with the Board of Education Shield for Arduino lessons with over 40 hands-on activities.
Learning to program your robot’s Arduino Brain
Calibrating the robot’s continuous rotation servo motors
Using lights and speakers for status indicators
Assembling the robot
Using touch-switches to navigate by contact with objects
Using phototransistors to navigate by light
Using non-contact infrared sensors to measure distance and avoid or follow objects
The original Robotics with the Boe-Bot text for the BASIC Stamp microcontroller has enjoyed worldwide popularity with teachers and hobbyists, and has been translated into seven languages. Author Andy Lindsay revised his work for the Arduino community, and Parallax Inc. is making it available as a free, online tutorial at http://learn.parallax.com/ShieldRobot.
Board of Education Shield PCB
High-quality aluminum robot chassis, continuous rotation servos, and wheels
All the electronic components and sensors needed for the Robotics activities
All the assembly hardware needed (nuts, screws standoffs)
Please note: Arduino + USB cable not included! We suggest picking up an Uno + USB cable to complete the kit if you don’t have one at home already.
Hello world! In my first post, I would like to use this opportunity to introduce myself.
I’m a high school technology education teacher of three different automation and robotics courses. The curriculum in my lab is mainly centered around the Arduino microcontroller, which I’ve used successfully in the classroom since 2008.
I believe in providing students with opportunities and resources to pursue any field that interests them. A Makerbot Thing-o-Matic, a 50 watt laser cutter, a PCB mill, Microsoft Kinects, Arduinos and sensors of every shape and size are just a few of the items that we have in the lab that help their ideas become reality. STEM education is something very important to me. In addition to getting students interested in engineering, my other goal is to help students become more comfortable with technology rather than be intimidated by it. I get no greater satisfaction than when a student tells me he was able to repair his headphones because I taught him how to solder or that she fixed her guitar because she noticed that the knobs on it were just potentiometers. I want to empower my students so they use these skills in every area of their lives.
I’m also a coach of a FIRST Robotics Competition Team, an international robotics competition for high school-aged students. I am a great supporter of FIRST’s mission, to inspire youth to pursue STEM-related fields.
Phillip and Limor have been very generous in allowing me to join their blog and I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experiences with everyone.