Pi Day!

Just in time for pi day this month the Raspberry Pi foundation released it’s newest Pi.  Even though it been less than a year since the Pi 2 this Pi is even better.  Although it looks the same it’w what you wont need that will get you excited about this new slice.  Never again will you need bluetooth and wifi dongles hogging your Pi’s USB ports as this newest slice of Pi has both built in.  With out a doubt your placing our order at the link below right now but while you wait here are a few cool projects to read up on while waiting for your UPS man.

 

http://www.amazon.com/RS-COMPONENTS-RASP-PI-3-Raspberry-Model/dp/B01CD5VC92/ref=sr_1_6?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1458323126&sr=1-6&keywords=raspberry+pi+3

Media Center:

Forget popcorn with your move, have Pi.  If there was ever a Pi perfect for a media center this is it.  The processor bump on the Pi 3 makes it a video champion.  This life hacker article will show you everything you need to know to get started on your delicious media center. Continue reading

Makerspace to Marketplace

Our makerspace is full of amazing talent and fantastic ideas.  But how do you take those ideas out of your brain and put them on a shelf?  You might think that a hammer, saw, and some duck tape might do the trick, but you might be better off using some of the resources in this post instead.  Safety first!

Step One: Meet like minded people
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No one can tell you what project to do but you might need some help making it.  Meetup is a great place to find people with similar interests in wood working, coding, electronics, or marketing.  If your team of builders aren’t on Meetup,  you may find them here at the Makerspace. Everyone is a bit different and you will find plenty of personalities that you either mesh with or clash with. Usually you find both, but don’t let it stop you, rather let it move you forward with motivation.

Continue reading

Feed Your Inner Maker

I think we have all seen a TED Talk or three in our lifetime.  TED speakers are leaders in their respective fields and rarely fail to amuse and amaze.  These, in my opinion, are a few talks that are a must-see for builders, makers, and creatives of all kinds. Whether you need to find inspiration or you just need to be entertained you will find something in this list.

First, I have to mention is this talk about what we can learn from spaghetti sauce.  This was my introduction to Malcolm Gladwell and sent me down the rabbit hole.  This writer of “The Tipping Point”, “David and Goliath”, and “Outliers” gives several great talks but this is still my favorite. Continue reading

Rube Goldberg DoorBell Lives

rubegoldberddoorbelllives

I finally got my rube goldberg doorbell into an installable state. On the left is the door button detector. It is an ESP8266 ESP-07 making use of the U.FL connector to allow the WiFi signal to punch through from my basement to the 2nd floor where the router is located. On the right is another ESP8266 and a doorbell transformer. Just barely peaking out from under that module is an actual doorbell.

A key aspect of the system is that the door button module doesn’t communicate directly with the door bell module. Both modules log into a Mosquitto MQTT broker. The button module “publishes” events on the MQTT topic of “DoorBell” and the bell module subscribes to the MQTT topic of DoorBell. Later, I can split the topic names and have something like OpenHAB conditionally copy events from one topic to the other depending on the time of day. OpenHAB can also translate MQTT events to a service like Notify My Android so that my phone buzzes in response to a door button push.

I am excited to install this at home and see how it does!