Friday, February 1, 2019

Nordic nRF52840-Dongle (2.4GHz RF Development Board)

Recently I've gotten into low-power RF technology and have become quite the fan of the nRF52 SoC for that reason. Of all the BLE-capable chips I've used so far these ones reign supreme in terms of functionality and ultra-low power consumption.

One of the more interesting boards I've seen powered by them is the nRF52840 dongle, directly from Nordic Semiconductor. It's tiny, well constructed, and supports a very nice set of specs:
  • 64 MHz Cortex-M4F
  • 1 MB Flash
  • 256 KB RAM
  • 2.4 GHz Transceiver (supports Bluetooth 5 with long range)

In this video I introduce the Nordic nRF SDK for programming these dongles:

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Exploring Sub-GHz Radio With RTL-SDR and GQRX

Today I took a look at some hardware for working with sub-GHz radio transmissions, especially FM. All of which came in a previous HackerBoxes box. My favorite item was definitely the RTL-SDR dongle! I could play around with this thing for hours surfing the radio waves and listening to weird broadcasts. There's even a Python library named pyrtlsdr for working with these devices so you can scan/record radio transmissions programmatically:

Next I'm going to solder together the FM transceivers included in the box and play around with writing Arduino firmware for them. Those things should work similar to the LoRa modules I've been using but they trade in the long range for increased bandwidth. Should be good for streaming data locally and still have much better range than most home WiFi or Bluetooth.

Here's a video overview of the hardware included in HackerBox 0034 as well as a demo of the RTL-SDR dongle using GQRX to visually and audibly explore the radio waves.

The audio in my videos has also improved a bit since being sent this Purple Panda lapel microphone. If you do any audio recording with your laptop or phone this little mic is cheap and it definitely improves the quality over a builtin mic. [Not a sponsor, they did send this for free but it's also only $20. I really needed a mic.]

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Nordic Thingy:52 Dev Kit (First impression)

Today I'm playing around with a Nordic Thingy:52 Bluetooth 5 development kit from Nordic Semiconductor.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Build your own IoT Device Hub | Bluetooth | LoRaWAN | Tutorial

In this video I show how easy it is to build an Internet of Things device hub using only a Pixl.js and a little bit of Javascript code. To demonstrate I control a few devices using Bluetooth Low Energy and LoRa (Long Range radio).

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Getting Started with GPS Modules | Tracking Device | Tutorial

Today I took a GPS module and a microcontroller for a walk in the park and wrote a few lines of code to show my GPS coordinates in real-time.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Concurrency on the Internet of Things (Arduino, MicroPython, Espruino)

In this presentation I talk about what concurrency actually is, why it matters for Internet of Things applications, and which platforms are best at handling it.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Experimenting with Electric Paint

Just recently I got my hands on some electrically conductive paint and decided to put it to the test. It functions well for creating resistive elements like custom potentiometers, and also seems to work really well for capacitive touch elements. At the end of the video I painted a small patch of it on the side of my monitor to add a touch button that can be programmed using a small Python script (included in the video description).

Anyway, here it is:

Friday, October 12, 2018

LoRa IoT Network Programming | RYLR896

Hey everyone, so I just got some LoRa modules from REYAX to experiment with long range network applications and these things are so cool! So far I've made a long range security alarm, a button to water plants on the other side of my property, and some bridge code to interact with IP and BLE networks.

Just thought I'd do a quick video update on this stuff:

The module I wrote is part of the Espruino collection now:

I got these LoRa devices from REYAX:

They seem to only sell them on e-bay right now: RYLR896

Sunday, October 7, 2018

DIY Pumpkin Bluetooth Stereo

It's October and Halloween is my favorite holiday so to celebrate I built this Jack-o-lantern Bluetooth stereo out of a real pumpkin. It sounds great and should be really easy to scare people with (nobody expects the Jack-o-lantern to talk to them).

Check it out:

Friday, September 28, 2018

Building a Programmable Laser Turret

Using only a couple of servos, a laser module, some hot glue, and a microcontroller of your choice, you can easily build your own laser turret to annoy your cat.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Running a Python Web Server on a Microcontroller

I built my own RGB smart light that can be controlled with an HTTP API using only a little bit of Python code and a WiPy 3.0.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Learn to Solder Kits

These Learn to Solder kits from Rocket Dept. are a great way to teach your youngsters about soldering and basic electronics. One of them controls three LEDs with push buttons, one is a large RGB LED connected to three potentiometers so you can customize the color, one is a bug that vibrates to walk around, and the other is a firefly in a jar.