Showing posts from December, 2012

Web control an addressable LED strip using ArduinoEthernet

Edited 12/18/2011: Added Perl script and made displayColors(); call fix in event handler. Edited 12/19/2011: Added bulk update POST behavior and updated Perl script to demonstrate. Edited 12/26/2011: Fixed quoting javascript quoting problem. Edited 1/3/2012: Added support for Nokia 5110 style LCD and display bonjour name and IP. Most of my build and status "blinken light" type projects are USB or Bluetooth (Serial) controlled requiring a direct connection to the machine feeding the project it's values. I wanted more standlone device that could be remotely updated. Microcenter has the ArduinoEthernet and Netduino Plus boards, both of which have onboard ethernet. I still can't get my head around the .Net MF framework and which libraries apply to the Netduino vs some other .Net board.  The RaspberryPi is probably the biggest newcomer in this space because of its aggressive pricepoint, large feature set and broader set of developer tools.   The Arduinos are primitive

Dell First Gen SSD vs Vertex 2 in older Core 2 Duo Laptop

A recent Microcenter sale on Dell g914j 50GB first generation Server SSDs seemed like a good deal at $35.  I found it that it gives a nice performance boost to a core 2 duo system. Some folks claimed it wasn't worth the money because of poor performance vs current drives but I was looking for a cheap "pick me up" for a Dell D630, 4GB Core2Duo system. I benchmarked a Vertex 2 80GB against the Dell. Here is the Vertex2 Here is the Dell which is actually made by Samsung The Dell/Samsung has a 25% lower transfer rate but a 30% higher burst rate.  

Using the Amped UA2000 Directional Antenna in a Noisy Office Environment

Wifi hotspots have changed the way people connect to the Internet with their own devices during the work day.  Many companies have restrictive Internet policies to protect the corporate network and to manage employee productivity.  Wi-fi hotspots are andy in these situations providing connectivity for  personal laptops and tablets. This also applies to contractors who need certain kinds of external connectivity when working with their laptops on-site I work in a building where you can only get 3G or 4G reception when you are within 5 feed of the windows with "good" reception available only at certain locations. The closest spot is about 50 feed from my cube.  Hotspots are great because I can put my $35/mo Virgin Mobile Overdrive at the window and use my laptop wifi to communicate with it.  I get about 2Mbps-3-Mbs when wi-fi to the Overdrive in 4G mode. This works great until about 9:00 AM when everyone comes in with their laptops, phones and hotspots.  My computer t

Cutting the TI Launchpad to Stuff it in a Smaller Case

I've been giving away TI Launchpad Blinken-Light projects to some of my software-only friends so they can have something new to play with.  The projects are basically a TI-Launchpad, an RGB LED and a USB cable all mounted in some kind of case.  I've burned the simple firmware available on GitHub  so they can flash the LED over the serial port. Gamestop a Nintendo DS gift card tin. The TI Launchpad mounts fine in the tin if you tern it sideways but you have to shorten the board if you want the USB connector to come out the back. I used a Dremel cutting wheel to cut the board about one pin spacing below the last header pins. None of that circuitry is required to program or run the board.  That cuts off the reset switch, the two LEDs and the extra Vcc and GND pins. Here is the cutoff board mounted in a Gamestop DS Gift Card tin.  I mounted the 10mm RGB LED to the case and drilled a hole in the top. The case is pretty thin so it is pretty easy to scratch the finish