Apr 302012
 

A while back I built my own thermostat using an Arduino, nodejs, and Google Calendar. It worked really well, but when I moved to a new apartment last year I couldn’t use it (because I now have window units instead of centralized heating/AC). I finally got around to putting it back together this weekend, but I had to rip out the (now unused) thermostat code. What was a Google-Calendar-controlled thermostat is now just a thermometer. Not nearly as cool, but I’m at least glad to have the portion that makes sense back up. You can see it here. Continue reading »

Aug 272011
 

At Braintree, the developers get every other Friday to work on non-work-related projects of their choosing. Collaboration is encouraged, but even if you end up working on something alone, it’s a great way to spread your excitement about whatever interests you at the moment (and it’s a nice perk to the job).

This week, my project was to get some LED strips unboxed and working. The strips are flexible circuit boards, with full-color LEDs dotting one side. Each “LED” is actually three LEDs clustered together (one red, one green, one blue), and with 21 control bits, they can display more colors than the human eye can distinguish. I bought a variety of strips, with different features, and I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do with them, but step 1 is to learn how to use them. Continue reading »

Mar 292011
 

I finished my first significant electronics project in a while: Power Hungry.  The idea is that I use sensors to monitor the actual voltage & amperage usage of various devices in my apartment, and I wirelessly transmit that to a base station, which calculates various statistics.  The results are then beamed to my linode server, where I have some graphs of the data.  The ultimate goal is to use this data to reduce my overall energy usage, but for now I’m just working on establishing a baseline, so I can best judge the effectiveness of whatever changes I make.  The results so far, though, are fairly interesting. Continue reading »

Mar 272011
 

I recently picked up a graphic LCD display and a clear touchscreen panel for a project I’m starting.  They’re a lot of fun (and pretty cheap), but there are a lot of wires needed to get it hooked up, which means it’s somewhat fragile to move around.

If (like me) you like to move around when you code (couch/coffeeshop/bed/etc), then you’ll want to build a breakout board for your setup. Continue reading »