Dmitry Grinberg writes, “Lighting a room is always a complicated task. This is especially true if you’re an engineer. You see, we all love blinking lights, RGB LEDs, really any combination of those things. When it came time to figure out the ligting situation for my room, I immediately knew that lots of LEDs would be involved. The room is 4 x 4 meters. WS2812 strips come in 4m length at 60 LEDs per meter. This cannot simply be a coincidence – it was meant to be! This is cool and all, but lots of problems remain to be solved. Luckily, they all were.”
Readers who’ve been with us since the beginning of this year might remember Bernd Krolla’s beautiful and elegant Raspberry Pi-based Wordclock. Since we last wrote about it, Bernd and friends have continued to work on the project, and they’ve added a few new features, which Bernd introduces here.
The main change since January is that all the Wordclock’s software is now plugin-based. By default it uses one that indicates the time in words; other plugins allow other display functionality, with a new menu button to switch between them. A number of new plugins use the Wordclock’s letters as pixels to display low-res images and animations: you can view sunrise and sunset along with appropriate time information, the current phase of the Moon, and a basic local weather forecast with icons.
The coolest plugin, in Bernd’s opinion and in ours too, is by new project co-author Markus, and lets you play a classic ’80s game.
Bernd and the rest of the team would like as many people as possible to experience the joy of Wordclock, so you can find all the code used on GitHub, and there’s comprehensive documentation covering both the hardware and the software the project uses. If you want to optimise a Wordclock layout for a different language (or a different shape of display), Miniature Giant Space Hamster’s instructions are the place to start.
Ready your skeins, because we’re gearing up for a new SparkFun Live! Join us Tuesday, October 6, at 3 p.m. MDT, when Liz will show us how she made her awesome knitting bracer - a custom armband loaded up with all the tools you need to complete your knitting project, including a MicroView so you can keep track of your stitches!
If you’d like to build along with us, you can find the wishlist here, and Liz will be standing by during the live build to answer any questions. See you then!
Arduino WiFi Shield 101 is a powerful IoT shield with crypto-authentication that connects your Arduino or Genuino board to the internet wirelessly. Connecting it to a WiFi network is simple, no further configuration in addition to the SSID and the password are required. The WiFI library allows you to write sketches which connect to the internet using the shield.
The shield is based on the Atmel SmartConnect-WINC1500 module, compliant with the IEEE 802.11 b/g/n standard. The WINC1500 module provided is a network controller capable of both TCP and UDP protocols. The main feature is an hardware encryption/decryption security protocol provided by the ATECC508A CryptoAuthentication chip that is an ultra secure method to provide key agreement for encryption/decryption, specifically designed for the IoT market.
Last year, Massimo Banzi introduced the shield:
“In this increasingly connected world, the Arduino Wi-Fi Shield 101 will help drive more inventions in the IoT market. Expanding our portfolio of Arduino extensions, this new shield can flawlessly connect to any modern Arduino board giving our community more options for connectivity, along with added security elements to their creative projects.”
The WiFi Shield 101 is the first Arduino product fully supporting SSL and all the communication between your board and our secured server. With the power of the Arduino Zero and the WiFi Shield 101 it is possible to make secure IoT applications simply and just using the Arduino Language.
A working example and instructions on how to get started are available on Arduino Cloud, a work-in-progress project that gives you access to a pre-configured MQTT server for your IoT sketches using only your Arduino account. More examples and features will be available in the next months.
In this video Dangerous Prototypes and Pax Instruments visit a silicone molding factory in Shenzhen, China:
We recently visited a silicone compression molding factory with our friends at Dangerous Prototypes. This is the same technology used for making our silicone keypads for the T400 temperature datalogger.
I put together a short video showing the overall process. The process begins by mixing a base material with colorant using a roller machine similar to a pasta maker. Then chunks of the material are placed in a mold, which then enters a press. The silicone is compressed and takes the shape of the mold. The mold is then heated and the material cures in a few minutes.
This is an USB stick which measures the supply voltage of the USB port and current drawn by the device connected to the port over the stick. Then it calculates the power consumption of the device and displays the whole information with the help of the small OLED display on the board. The stick itself is also powered from the USB port.