Tag Archives: Arduino

Arduino Communication with an Android App via Bluetooth

With the arrival of the IoT and the need for control, devices now need to do more than perform the basic functions for which they are built, they need to be capable of communicating with other devices like a mobile phone among others. There are different communication systems which can be adapted for communication between devices, they include systems like WiFi, RF, Bluetooth among several others. Our focus will be on communication over Bluetooth.

Today we will be building an Arduino based project which communicates with an app running on a smartphone (Android) via Bluetooth.

Arduino Communication with an Android App via Bluetooth – [Link]

Particle Mesh – A Mesh-Enabled IoT Development Kits.

Particle, which has been known for its collection of  IoT focused development boards, and its Internet of Things (IoT) platform (Particle Cloud) has launched a new set of mesh network-enabled IoT development kits called Particle Mesh. Particle Mesh is expected to provide developers more insight into implementing mesh networking technology. They help to collect sensor data, exchange local messages, and share their connection to the cloud.

Particle Mesh Hardware
Particle Mesh Hardware

Particle Mesh features a new family of mesh-ready devices with Wi-Fi, BLE and LTE connectivity and also integrated with the Particle device cloud. Particle mesh consists of three main boards: The Argon, The Boron, and the Xenon. Each of these Particle Mesh boards has at least one form of outside connectivity option (LTE/3G/2G, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth) and an onboard mesh network hardware to facilitate setting up a mesh network for local communications between sensors and other particle mesh boards. All three devices are built around the Nordic nRF52840 MCU + BLE + mesh radio and follow the Adafruit Feather specification making it compatible with most Adafruit FeatherWing hardware accessories. (more…)

RGB Led Driver Shield for Arduino Nano

This is my second project for LED Driver based on CAT4101 IC. The first project was for single White LED. This project has been designed to drive 3 channels of RGB LEDs with PWM signal which helps to create multi-color LED light. Arduino Nano is used to generate PWM signals for RGB LEDs and board has 3 tactile switches and Analog signal input to develop various RGB LED related applications. Each channel can drive load up to 1A and input supply up to 12V DC. 1A X 3 Constant current LED driver shield for Arduino Nano has been designed for verity of LED related applications. The shield provides accurate LED current sink to regulate LED current in a string of LEDs. The LED current is mirrored and the current flowing from the RSET is set by PR1. On board 2W X 3 LED are used for testing purposes.

RGB Led Driver Shield for Arduino Nano – [Link]

SensiBLEduino – A full fledge ‘hardware-ready’ development kit for IoT and supports Arduino

IoT which translates to the Internet of Things has been a significant buzz for the last five years while disrupting major Industries (from Agriculture, Energy, Healthy, Sports and several others).

SensiBLEduino
SensiBLEduino Development Kit

IoT adoption has seen rapid development in the makers’ world, with different makers and manufacturers producing various forms of boards, chips, software to facilitate quick IoT development. Boards like ESP8266 from Espressif System is used for rapid prototyping and a low-cost choice for Wi-Fi-based IoT applications. Israeli based IoT firm SensiEdge has launched the SensiBLEDuino, an off-the-shelf, hardware-ready development kit based on the open-source Arduino for rapid prototyping of IoT applications.

SensiBLE is a full fledge customizable solution for those wanting to design IoT products. It helps to fasten development with a variety of sensors onboard, along with Bluetooth LE 4.1 capabilities and a low-power ARM® 32-bit Cortex®-M4 CPU with FPU. Some of the main challenges when embarking on IoT product development are; what platform will I use? What sensors are available to achieve my goal(s)? How do I handle connectivity? What about the Cloud Platform to use, and so on. Developers or product designer always result in the use of several boards or modules to achieve this while also increasing the time to bring the product to life. The SensiBLE kit removes most of these fears; it combines hardware and software in tiny form factor to allow developers get their product to market quickly at lower development costs. (more…)

Simple Arduino Data Logger

Schematics

A data logger is an electronic device or instrument that records data over a period of time. It allows the user to record time or location stamped data which can be viewed at a later time or real time.

Irrespective of the type of data being logged or the kind of data logger, these devices usually contain two main units, the sensor unit and the storage/communication unit. The sensor unit may involve the use of an external instrument or a sensor embedded within the device. Increasingly, but not entirely, data logging devices are becoming more based on micro processors and microcontrollers, which has opened up a whole new level of data gathering and storage.

Simple Arduino Data Logger – [Link]

Adafruit Feather 328P – Arduino Uno on the Feather Family

Adafruit Feather 328P is the latest addition to the ever-expanding feather family boards manufactured by Adafruit. The Adafruit Feather development boards are a set of development boards made by Adafruit that can either be standalone, stackable or both. The feather boards all includes a LiPo battery connector, which will allow projects to easily be powered by LiPo batteries for on the go use.

Adafruit Feather 328P
Adafruit Feather 328P

The Adafruit Feather 328P is based on the popular Atmega 328P, the same processor that powers most Arduino maker boards especially the legendary Arduino Uno. With the Feather 328P, you can bring classic Arduino Uno code and even libraries to the Feather form factor. Measured at about 51mm x 23mm x 8mm (without the headers soldered in) and it weighs just 4.8g.

The Feather 328P is lightweight and a small form factor development board. At the heart of the Feather 328P is an Atmel ATmega 328P running a 3.3V and 8MHz. At 8MHz, the feather 328P can’t fully compete with the Arduino Uno which runs at 16MHz but is fair enough. The Feather 328P includes a 32KB of flash memory (storage memory), 2KB of RAM, and it uses the SiLabs CP2104 to give it a USB-to-Serial program which also provides users with some integrated debugging capabilities.

feather on a breadboard

The Feather 328P boards come without any headers soldered, so you have to solder yourself to start using it for prototyping. Unlike the Arduino Uno and some other Arduino board which are not fully breadboarding compatible, the Feather 328P fits perfectly into a breadboard and will be great for quick prototyping without the need for jumper cables.

Like other Feather development boards, the Feather 328P also includes a LiPo battery connector for any 3.7V Lithium Polymer batteries with a built-in battery charging. It will charge straight from the micro USB port, and you don’t necessarily need a battery to make it work, it will run just fine straight from the micro USB connector. The Feather will automatically switch over to USB power when it’s available making sure your project never goes offline as far you still got some juice in the battery though. You can also measure the battery voltage through one of the analog pins, the analog pin must not be connected to anything for this to work.

The following are some of the specifications of the Feather 328P:

  • Size  – 2.0″ x 0.9″ x 0.28″ (51mm x 23mm x 8mm)
  • Weight – 4.8 grams
  • Processor – ATmega328p @ 8MHz with 3.3V logic/power
  • Power –
    • 3.3V regulator with 500mA peak current output
    • Built-in 100mA lipoly charger with charging status indicator LED
  • USB serial converter (CP2104) for USB bootloading and serial port debugging
  • GPIO –
    • 19 GPIO pins + 2 analog-in-only pins
    • 6x PWM pins
  • Connectivity –
    • Hardware I2C, SPI.
    • For UART devices, should use SoftwareSerial
  • Others –
    • 8 x analog inputs (two are shared with I2C)
    • Pin #13 red LED for general purpose blinking
    • Two LEDs for serial data RX & TX
    • Power/enable pin
    • 4 mounting holes
    • Reset button

The Feather 328P comes with an extra prototyping area to add some couple of components without using a breadboard. The Feather 328P is available for purchase and priced at $12.50, you can buy now online at Adafruit Store. To find out about the other feather boards, check them out here.

Driving an 8×8 (64) LED Matrix with MAX7219 (or MAX7221) and Arduino Uno

8×8 matrix Demo

Hi guys, today we will be focusing on displaying mini graphics and texts on an 8×8 LED matrix using the MAX7219 (or MAX7221) LED driver and the Arduino Uno.

The 8×8 LED matrix displays are usually used for the display of symbols, simple graphics and texts. Made of super bright LEDs, they produce low resolution display and can be daisy chained to produce larger displays.

To enable us to control the display easily, we will be using the MAX7219/MAX7221 LED display driver module. Although this driver comes attached to the LED Matrix display that we will be using for this tutorial, its important to treat them separately, so you can understand how the LED driver works and be able to use it in case you are unable to get an 8×8 LED Matrix display that comes with the LED Driver.

Driving an 8×8 (64) LED Matrix with MAX7219 (or MAX7221) and Arduino Uno – [Link]

Maker Uno – The $6 Arduino Uno Clone Board for Students and Learners

Unless you are completely new to electronics, you probably must have heard of the household name called “Arduino”. Arduino is an open-source platform used for building electronics projects and one that pioneered the open-source hardware and the DIY maker’s movement. Arduino can sense the environment by receiving input from a variety of sensors and can affect its surrounding by controlling lights, motors, and other actuators. The microcontroller on the Arduino is programmed using the Arduino programming language which you can program to do so many things like switch on your lights when you walk in or send an alert when there is an intruder in your house.

The Arduino Uno is one of the first boards of the Arduino Family and that which fully sparked the Arduino Revolution. The success of this boards in teaching kids, students, enthusiast and even engineers has led to drastic replication of it, often called Arduino Clones or Arduino Compatible board. Arduino Clones are basically Arduino lookalike boards that perform almost the same functionality with the real Arduino but not made by the Arduino team. Some of these Arduino clones comes at a very lesser cost as compared to the $25 of the official Arduino Uno, some even as low as $3.

Maker Uno is another Arduino Compatible board released by Malaysia based Cytron Technologies, having launched their first Arduino Uno clone board “Ct Uno” about three years ago. The Maker Uno is purple in color and retails for just $6. It shares close similarities with the standard Arduino Uno with just some few differences. Its termed to be a board designed for students learning coding and microcontroller for the first time. The name Maker is to encourage everyone to be a maker and start building things.

As the Arduino Uno, the Maker Uno is based on the popular Atmega 328P microcontroller can be programmed via it’s USB port. It is also based on the includes standard female headers – means it will easily support most Arduino based Shields.

The traditional DC Jack on the Arduino Uno has been removed from the Maker Uno board and the obviously 5V linear regulator, so the Maker Uno board can only be powered by 5V from the micro USB port or the 5V header pin. It includes a piezo buzzer connected to pin 8 for audio outputs with a selectable switch to disable the buzzer, a micro USB port as compared to the Arduino Uno USB B connector, and a programmable push button. Aside from the standard LED on pin 13, Maker-UNO comes with a programmable LED on every digital pin, from pin D0 to D13.

Maker-UNO combines the simplicity of the UNO Optiboot bootloader the stability of the low-cost FTDI CH340 chip and the R3 shield compatibility of the latest Arduino UNO R3.

The following are some of the Maker Uno Features:

  • SMD ATmega328P microcontroller(the same microcontroller on Arduino UNO) with Optiboot (UNO) Bootloader
  • USB Programming facilitated by the CH340
  • Input voltage: USB 5V, from computer, power bank or standard USB adapter
  • 500mA (maximum) 3.3V voltage regulator
  • 0-5V outputs with 3.3V compatible inputs
  • 14 Digital I/O Pins (6 PWM outputs)
  • 6 Analog Inputs
  • ISP 6-pin Header
  • 32k Flash Memory
  • 16MHz Clock Speed
  • R3 Shield Compatible
  • LED array for 5V, 3.3V, TX, RX and all digital pins
  • Utilize USB Micro-B socket
  • Purple PCB!

The Maker Uno is a great board for getting started with coding and electronics. Unlike the Arduino Uno, to start development with the Maker Uno, you will first need to install the CH340 driver first. The Maker Uno is available for purchase at Tindie and Cytron. You can kickstart your Maker Uno board adventure from here.

UPDATE 26/03/2018 – 

The Maker Uno board is live on Kickstart for crowdfunding here and has 22 days to go.

Arduino E-Paper Display Review ( Waveshare 1.54″)

Our friends at educ8s.tv uploaded a new video. It’s about Waveshare 1.54″ e-paper display:

Dear friends welcome to this Arduino E-Paper display tutorial. In this video, we are going use this small e-paper display with Arduino for the first time and talk about its advantages and disadvantages.

Arduino E-Paper Display Review ( Waveshare 1.54″) – [Link]

DIY Light (Lux) Meter using BH1750 sensor, Arduino and Nokia 5110

Hi guys, continuing on our recent path of building really cool stuffs based on the Nokia 5110 LCD display, today we will be building a DIY Lux (or light) meter using the highly sensitive BH1750 light sensor.

In photometry, illuminance is the total luminous flux incident on a surface, per unit area. It is a measure of how much the incident light illuminates the surface, wavelength-weighted by the luminosity function to correlate with human brightness perception. Similarly, luminous emittance is the luminous flux per unit area emitted from a surface. Luminous emittance is also known as luminous exitance.

Lux is a measurement of the overall intensity of light within an environment for any given area or distance from the source or lux is the amount of light in an environment perceived by the human eye. The Lux meter is thus, a device used to measure the light intensity within an environment and its exactly what we will be building during this tutorial.

DIY Light (Lux) Meter using BH1750 sensor, Arduino and Nokia 5110 – [Link]