Monthly Archives: October 2019

Solution, Name that Ware September 2019

via Hacking – bunnie's blog

The ware for September 2019 is an Ameda Purely Yours Breast Pump. There’s actually a teardown of this ware on another blog. The gold strips are positions sensors for a syringe pump driven by a lead screw. I have been puzzling over design strategies for syringe pumps for a while, so I found looking at this ware to be particularly instructive.

Nobody even got close to guessing the ware, so there isn’t a winner this month. Thanks again to jackw01 for submitting this real stumper of a ware!

#FreePCB via Twitter to 2 random RTs

via Dangerous Prototypes

Every Tuesday we give away two coupons for the free PCB drawer via Twitter. This post was announced on Twitter, and in 24 hours we’ll send coupon codes to two random retweeters. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times a every week:

  • Hate Twitter and Facebook? Free PCB Sunday is the classic PCB giveaway. Catch it every Sunday, right here on the blog
  • Tweet-a-PCB Tuesday. Follow us and get boards in 144 characters or less
  • Facebook PCB Friday. Free PCBs will be your friend for the weekend

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • Check out how we mail PCBs worldwide video.
  • We’ll contact you via Twitter with a coupon code for the PCB drawer.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.

We try to stagger free PCB posts so every time zone has a chance to participate, but the best way to see it first is to subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.



Cisco switches converted into a cocktail machine

via Arduino Blog

If you want to whip up a cocktail, you can measure out the components by hand, or you could use a robotic assistant like this setup by creator Sven Tantau.

Tantau’s project employs an Arduino Nano to control 24 peristaltic pumps via a relay card, plus an ESP32 to run a web interface and send I2C commands to the Arduino letting it know which pumps to enable.  

The pumps, along with the relays and other components, are arranged inside the stripped shell of two Cisco Catalyst switches. In fact, the only electrical part from the router that’s still in use is the 12V power supply. 

This does, however, do a fantastic job of looking good while hiding the electronics inside, and transport tubing is nicely arranged on a 3D-printed grid where the Ethernet plugs once connected!

GPS Buff Up: GEO-Mapping with Google Earth

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

GPS is one of my favorite nerd subjects, closely followed by anything relating to rocket propulsion. So naturally, I had to dive deeper than our GPS beginner's tutorial. We did some brainstorming on how to take the next step with GPS - once you have a latitude and longitude, you could go ten ways from Sunday with it!

However, instead of delving into the multitude of projects we would like to work on, we asked: How would an everyday person most commonly interact with GPS technology on a day-to-day basis?

The first thought we had was, "What about Google Maps?" Navigation using a GPS system from your mobile device or web browser is an interface that nearly everyone should have some experience with. Much to the delight of GPS enthusiasts or globe groupies, Google Earth gives you the cosmic viewing power of our earth right on the screen. It has tons of features, including geo-mapping capabilities using KML files.

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What is a KML file, you might ask? It stands for Keyhole Markup Language and yes, it is similar to HTML (Hyper-Text Markup Language). This format allows us to easily organize our data (altitude, location, atmospheric data, etc.) for Google Earth. There are a lot of functions supported, but we’ll use the placement tool. When your location is loaded into Google Earth, a graphical pin is dropped wherever you are. This is not only a useful feature for knowing where you are in the world and how to get to other places, but you can use your data to log locations of the best hiking trail, the coolest bird watching perch, or the nicest coffee shop in town.

GPS Geo-Mapping at the Push of a Button

September 27, 2019

Let's ramp up our GPS tracking skills with KML files and Google Earth. We'll make a tracker that logs location and allows us to visualize our steps with Google Earth.

I thought this would be very handy for me as a fisherman. I'm far from having the skills of a professional, but it is one of my favorite hobbies. I’m always on the hunt for the best fishing spot near my home. Luckily for me, there are many lakes and ponds that have potential. The problem is, how do I know which fishing spot is the best?

In our first tutorial, I thought it would be handy to create a system where you can push a button and write down the coordinates to log your catches. Perhaps with enough data, I could find the prime fishing spots at my favorite lake. However, using the tools from Google Earth, I can easily push a button and get right back to fishing without the delay of writing everything down!

With enough data and fish caught, I can easily picture myself fishing the day away at the most relaxing, fish-packed lake near my home.

I went fishing up near Steamboat for a nice family vacation. It was catch and release, but it was an even better day of relaxation

Whatever your position, GPS is a fun and useful tool that's widely available to the public. Whether you're casting out a lure or just strolling through a park, put the power of the globe in the palm of your hand today!

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Build a Raspberry Pi chartplotter for your boat

via Raspberry Pi

Earlier this year, James Conger built a chartplotter for his boat using a Raspberry Pi. Here he is with a detailed explanation of how everything works:

Building your own Chartplotter with a Raspberry Pi and OpenCPN

Provides an overview of the hardware and software needed to put together a home-made Chartplotter with its own GPS and AIS receiver. Cost for this project was about $350 US in 2019.

The entire build cost approximately $350. It incorporates a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+, dAISy AIS receiver HAT, USB GPS module, and touchscreen display, all hooked up to his boat.

Perfect for navigating the often foggy San Francisco Bay, the chartplotter allows James to track the position, speed, and direction of major vessels in the area, superimposed over high-quality NOAA nautical charts.

Raspberry Pi at sea

For more nautically themed Raspberry Pi projects, check out Rekka Bellum and Devine Lu Linvega’s stunning Barometer and Ufuk Arslan’s battery-saving IoT boat hack.

The post Build a Raspberry Pi chartplotter for your boat appeared first on Raspberry Pi.