Before we begin, we must begin with an obligatory disclaimer: handling mains voltage can be very dangerous. Do not do so unless you are qualified! You could burn your house down. (Without the lemons.) That being said, [TJ] has created an interesting dev board for controlling mains voltage over WiFi with the now-ubiquitous ESP8266 module. At only 50mm x 25mm, it is easily small enough to fit inside a junction box!
Called the MPSMv2, the core of the project is the ESP8266 module. The dev board itself can support anything with GPIO pins, whether it’s an Arudino, Raspberry Pi, or anything else with those features. Flashing the NodeMCU firmware is pretty much all that needs to be done in order to get the device up and running, and once you get the device connected to your WiFi you’ll be able to control whatever appliances you want.
The device uses a triac to do the switching, and is optically isolated from mains. Be sure to check out the video after the break to see the device in action. All in all, this could be a great way to get started with home automation, or maybe just do something simple like build a timer for your floor lamp. Anything is possible!
Continue reading “Switch Mains Power with an ESP8266”
It seems like hacker-friendly ARM development boards are just exploding into the market right now. Here’s one we haven’t looked at yet. The SolderCore is made by Rowley Associates and is packed with features which help to explain the $80 price tag. [CharlieX] just ordered one and posted a bit about his first day with the device.
First off, it’s obviously the Arduino form factor. We think that’s a nice touch in a development board, but we still wish the Arduino folks hadn’t offset that one header way back when. That chip at the center packs quite a wallop; an 80 MHz ARM Cortex-M3 (from TI) with 512 kb of Flash memory and 96 kb of RAM. The in-built Ethernet jack is hard to miss, but right below it in this picture you can also see the USB On-the-Go connector. There’s a microSD card slot and both 3V and 5V regulators. [CharlieX] does a little hacking on the networking features offered, then takes a look at firmware upgrading. For that you’ll need an SD card formatted to FAT 16.
NXP holds a lot of market share for their ARM based solutions as it is. That’s why we were a little surprised when we found a link on their website announcing that they were giving away free LPCXpresso development boards, based on their Cortex-M0 line.
Catches? Unfortunately there are a few to get the board shipped and running. In order to do so, you must…
- register with a corporate email address
…the promo is targeted at engineers
- use the crippled IDE supplied with the board
…due to hard to find (non-existent?) documentation for the integrated LPC-Link
- upload an original video of the physical destruction of a competing board to the NXP website
While killing your Arduino may not sound like the most fun, some qualified readers may be interested in moving up to 32-bits for a price that is hard to beat.
We asked for responses to our last Development Board post, and you all followed through. We got comments, forum posts, and emails filled with your opinions. Like last time, there is no way we could cover every board, so here are a few more that seemed to be popular crowd choices. Feel free to keep sending us your favorite boards, we may end up featuring them at a later date!
Continue reading “What Development Board to Use? (Part Two)”
So, you want to do some programming but don’t have the budget of a major corporation? This is just the thing for you because all of these development environments are free of charge! Many Integrated Development Environments are marketed towards companies who have money to pay for such expensive environments. Here are the Top 5 Integrated Development Environments that are most widely used and recognized. Some will be used when programming past and future tutorials. The following are listed in no particular order and all make an excellent development environment.
There are alot more IDE’s out there that were not mentioned but should have been. We have posed the question at Hack A Day Answers “What are your Top 5 IDE’s?” Give us some feedback and we will be back with a revised list from the comments you give us!
Continue reading “Top 5 Integrated Development Environments”
In this tutorial we are going to cover completing the Information Tracker using DroidDraw to design the layout of this project. This will give you insight into an alternative to the stock layout manager in the eclipse environment and how DroidDraw functions. DroidDraw can be your best friend when designing Android applications or your worse enemy if you don’t know the layout of the application and how it works. This will show you the basics to this program and how to incorporate it into your development process. This is significantly easier than the previous post but will teach skills on other programs to help development such as DroidDraw.
Continue reading “Android Development 101 – Part 5:DroidDraw & Information Tracker Completed”
In this tutorial we will be pivoting from our last tutorial on Graphical Elements to start focusing on databases in Android development. The android platform uses SQLite databases in its applications and is one of five data storage options in android development. We will only be focusing on SQLite development in android because it is key to the construction of a workable/functional program. After this tutorial you should be able to implement a SQLite database that you are then able to insert and select items from tables in the database.
For this project we will be creating a Random Quote generator that has you enter quotes or sayings in a textbox and press a button to insert them into the database. We will issue a confirmation toast that allows us to see if the data was entered into the database successfully and the textbox will be blank. If a second button is pressed, the database will be accessed and told to select a random quote from the database to show in a toast on the screen.
Continue reading “Android Development 101 – Part 3:Introduction to Databases”