Arduino Kit

glenwilson

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I've got Philips Hue lights and some other home automation stuff like remote heating control. I like the lights as you can easily change them to suit watching a movie or reading and so on. With the Amazon Dot you can just say "set lights to movie" reading/etc. Yes, you can use a switch and so on but it makes things easy as you don't need to find a remote or switch. Practicality rather than laziness. It has been proving very useful for my mum who is now getting on a bit - she can turn on outside lights before she gets home for added security by just asking Siri to "Turn on outside lights".

We got the remote heating as it replaced the normal timer. As we had different or changing work days it is useful to be able to change the schedule on a day to day basis. Plus if you are on holiday you can turn it off and save energy. Changing to all LED bulbs and the heating control is saving a noticeable amount of energy which will cover the initial cost of the bulbs etc.

The main problem with the Hue lights is the cost. Even other bulb manufacturers bulbs cost a similar amount and LED strips are ridiculous for what you get though it is convenient.

So I was looking at other ways to have LED strip lights. The Hue strip is about £60. You can get remote controlled LED light kits for about £20 but the range of colours you can choose can be limited and though they work I have found they can be iffy quality wise.

So. Arduino is a small processor that can be programmed to do nearly what ever you want (it is similar to the Raspberry Pi). The UNO is about half the size of a mobile phone that can be powered by USB or off a 9v battery. There is also a NANO version which is about the size of a USB memory stick. It had been something I wanted to have a play with for a while but it was knowing what to buy. The board on its own can be programmed but won't do much so you need to get other bits to connect it with the outside world. You can get tons of stuff of eBay but you end up having to source loads of stuff from many places. I noticed on Amazon that they had a flash sale of a kit for £35 (it is now £40) that had most of what I wanted to play with all in one kit. The Arduino will control RGB strip lights (with some programing) so that is my initial aim. After that I would like to get the lights to match the others colours.

The kit I got: Amazon product
After about 30 minutes of playing I was able to do this:

 

glenwilson

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:) Just added up all the various bits in the kit and I reckon to buy them separately it would be £100+ so not a bad saving. You get ultra sonic sensor, stepper motor and so on which means there is a lot to play with. Controlling lights is the main thing as you can run a strip of LEDs of a big rechargeable battery making it easy to instal without having to run power cables.
 

glenwilson

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One of the other things I have been wanting to do is a temperature and humidity sensor. We have got one for inside/outside but wanted something else to measure in cupboards, wardrobes and so on. So after about 10 minutes of putting the wiring together and about 30 minutes of programming I got this running. I would like to add storage to it so I can record temps and humidity changes over time.

 
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glenwilson

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I have updated the temp and humidity meter to now include a real time clock. This will now alternately display the temp and humidity and then the time and date. With the real time clock it will run of a battery and keep time. The next modification will be to add some storage to it so I can the record the temperature, humidity and date and time and keep track of it to see what is happening.

 
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glenwilson

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After some playing around with different functions and options I have created this stand alone temperature and humidity meter. I know I could have gone and bought one but where is the fun in that? Seriously this was just meant as a learning task on the coding side. I have an add-on board that will enable me to connect it to a network (via Ethernet) and store data on an SD card. What I would like to do is keep it running and monitor temp and humidity over a longer period to see what is happening. We have a couple of cupboards that are on outside walls and I would like to see how they vary compared to the room.

Next step is to make some proper circuit boards rather than this temporary version. The temperature on the display looks high but that was because I was handling it - it eventually returned to room temp.

 
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glenwilson

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One of the things that I have wanted to learn is how to solder. With so many tutorials on YouTube there was no excuse not to try again. So I got some simple boards to try with and this is my first attempt and it actually worked. Though this will be useful for arduino stuff there have been other things that some simple soldering would have been able to fix. Even simple cables and stuff should hopefully be useful.

 
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glenwilson

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Been trying a few things with the Arduino. You can order the boards from china for about £1.50 each so they are pretty cheap! mY soldering is quite bad so I need some practice and one of the projects I would like to do is create some lighting for different things. Obviously you can get strips of LEDs but they need more power than the board supplies so I got a 16 LED ring to have a play with. The video below shows that by adding a potentiometer you can set it up to display different lighting patterns. With this set-up you need to adjust the brightness within the program but adding another potentiometer I will be able to manually adjust brightness.

I want to improve my soldering 'skill' so that I can try and fix things if they brake or do things properly!

The music in the video was created using loops that are included within Logic Pro X. Uploaded the video and then saw adds on it. A bit weird as I didn't tick that box. Then realised there was a copyright claim from someone using the Concourse Synth loop in their song "Today (Wednesday)" by Pepaseed. If you listen ref=nb_sb_noss it will sound the same because we both use the same loop. However, the software licence says that it can be used for free to produce derivative content. So that is what I have argued and will need to see where this goes. My argument was that if I create some music and publish it using any of the loops in Logic Pro nobody else could use them for any commercial music. Obviously I wouldn't want to steal someone else's copyrighted work. But I'm willing to fight when appropriate and in this case they are the ones abusing the licence agreement.

Reading software licence agreements is a boring exercise. Trust me on that!!



 
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lakaelo

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The music in the video was created using loops that are included within Logic Pro X. Uploaded the video and then saw adds on it. A bit weird as I didn't tick that box. Then realised there was a copyright claim from someone using the Concourse Synth loop in their song "Today (Wednesday)" by Pepaseed. If you listen ref=nb_sb_noss it will sound the same because we both use the same loop. However, the software licence says that it can be used for free to produce derivative content. So that is what I have argued and will need to see where this goes. My argument was that if I create some music and publish it using any of the loops in Logic Pro nobody else could use them for any commercial music. Obviously I wouldn't want to steal someone else's copyrighted work. But I'm willing to fight when appropriate and in this case they are the ones abusing the licence agreement.

Reading software licence agreements is a boring exercise. Trust me on that!!

lol had some equal stuff with some dogvideo. free music from a moviemaker and than a copyright claim. at least i uploaded a "silence" edition :D