Color coded weather forecasting with Raspberry Pi

pi_weather_forecasting

It is hard to display weather forecasting in compact form especially for longer periods. Text based display would look too cluttered. Color coding looks more promising. AughtNaughtZero have shared his instructable on building 32 hour weather forecasting device on Raspberry Pi. For displaying various weather parameters he used custom 6×16 RGB LED matrix. Raspberry Pi pulls weather data from Weather Underground API using Python script. The each of 6 rows of LED matrix is dedicated to different parameter: temperature, pressure, humidity, wind speed, chance of precipitation, and weather condition arrays. The each column of of each line is spread for 32 hours of data where each dot is color coded to represent the forecasting for two hour period. The python script uses couple libraries and code snippets to handle color … Continue reading

Control ESP8266 GPIOs with Android

android esp8266

ESP8266 is a great small WiFi module that carries a microcontroller which can be programmed to do basic IO controls. Having WiFi functionality gives number of possibilities to access module remotely where you can control things withing reach of your network coverage. Rui Santos suggests building a simple Android app which could be used as control panel to ESP module. In his tutorial he goes through necessary steps of programing ESP8266 module with LUA script and so building Android application with MIT App Inventor. App Inventor is very easy to use and you are able to create simple applications within hour. The app building consist of GUI designed and visual code blocks (similar to scratch on Raspberry Pi). In his example he demonstrates how to control two LEDs from Android … Continue reading

All you need to know about frequency counters and building one

fpga frequency counter with Android connectivity

Andy Brown was working with embedded project where he needed to test oscillator accuracy. The first thought was to grab frequency counter on eBay and continue working. Bus somehow he ended up building his own counter with great characteristics and Android connectivity. He used FPGA to do the counting. FPGA is faster comparing to MCU. Its hardware like nature and parallel operations allow reacting to incoming signals much faster than MCU would do. He included STM32 microcontroller in his built to take care of logging and connectivity with external world. His frequency counter is able to precisely measure frequencies up to 50MHz. He took special care when designing reference oscillator, because the accuracy of counting depends on it. He built a prototype four layer board which includes Bluetooth module for … Continue reading

Tiny OpenWRT Linux computer

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Linux based development boards are all around. Raspberry Pi is probably the leader among cheap and powerful solutions, but there are more options to choose like CHIP, OrangePi, BeagleBone or other more expensive options. Raspberry Pi Zero seems to be small but it lacks some built in functionality like Ethernet. If you look for smaller Linux based computer you could give a try to VoCore. It is practically built around Ethernet plug, but features most required parts like WiFi, USB, 20+ GPIOs. VoCore is able to run OpenWRT Linux which is capable to perform most of Linux tasks. It is suitable for home automation projects, WiFi routing, or to be placed as node in other embedded system. VoCore features Ralink/Mediatek 360MHz RT5350 MIPS processor, 32MB SDRAM and 8MB SPI flash. … Continue reading

Expanding Raspberry Pi 3 WiFI range with external antenna

raspberry_pi_2_external_antenna

With appearance of Raspberry Pi 3 the new wave of hacking begun. This time the attention falls on new WiFi functionality. As wardr states: “It’s not clear why an external antenna is not an option for the Pi 3 ”. Having said that he thought why not including one by himself. He found that there can be two options of including external WiFi antenna. One could be more barbarian – just remove chip antenna and solder it to left top mount pad. This is more messy part as you need to scratch ground plane to make it possible soldering copper mesh. Another way is more civilized. On the bottom side of Raspberry Pi 3 there is two exposed pads where U.FL connector almost fits. Yet you still need to clear … Continue reading