Arduino

BTBox – LEGO Power Functions Bluetooth Controller

I’ve been on a bit of a LEGO Technic/Mindstorms hiatus for a while – ok, it’s been 7 years!   I have an excuse… I’ve been spending much of my hobby time making my own DIY projects / IoT stuff all while mastering Arduino.   That changed a few weeks back when I came across THIS.  I’ve been thinking of getting an RC crawler for some time, but it struck me that I have 95%...
Read On »
Arduino

BluCrawler – LEGO Rock Crawler with BTBox Bluetooth Controller

First I want to give a shout-out (and credit) to PunkTacoNYC as BluCrawler is based off his Chilli Crawler – this is his creation. I’m  just taking it down another path.     You can also find published instructions if you want to build it yourself.  For some time, I wanted to get an RC crawler, but they can be $$$.  When I came across PunkTacoNYC’s Chilli Crawler, that was I figured I had...
Read On »
Electronics

WiFi Bot Control – Using NodeMCU (ESP8266)

WiFi Bot Control was built back before the ESP8266 came out, so WiFi options were limited and the ability to directly stream data over WiFi to the same MCU that controls a robot was next to impossible.  That changed with the intro of the ESP8266.  I’m going to show you how to streamline WiFi Bot Control and remove the need for a separate webserver.  We’ll also look at options to streamline the IP camera...
Read On »
Arduino

Nextion TFT LCD – Why you need one!

I’ll start this by stating that I don’t work for iTead, and nor am I getting any sort of kickbacks…   I just really like this TFT LCD.  I stumbled upon the Nextion (which is a slick easy-to-use TFT LCD with a HMI editor) when they had their first crowdfunding campaign a year or so ago.   I ignored it as there was not a lot of documentation, and frankly, I really didn’t understand the...
Read On »
Electronics

LEGO Technic Wire Storage

What better way to store my wire supply, then to use spare LEGO Technic beams & friction pins.   After fumbling through bags of wire, pulling what I need out, and stuffing it back into the bag, I decide to take a stance and make a change!!!!  Digging into my Mindstorms / Technic supply, I pulled out some beams and friction pins.  15 minutes later, I have a nice storage solution for my silcone...
Read On »
Electronics

Review: JJRC H36 2.4G 4CH 6-Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter

I always like opportunities to try out new gadgets…  RCMoment sent me this cool little mini quad to try out –  JJRC H36 4CH 6-Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter.  First thing’s first – full disclosure.  I don’t have any vested interest in RC Moment. They sent me this quad for free.  I am not the type of person that is influenced by free stuff.  I get asked to do a review, and I will...
Read On »
3D Printing

WIoT-2 Weather Station – Nextion TFT with ESP8266

This is a continuation from my prior WIoT weather station.  I struggled with the name as it does much more than just weather…  I suppose I should have called it IoT “thing”….  Anyway, what is WIoT-2?  Well, it’s lots of things…  I use it as a cloud-connected (IoT) info center of sorts mounted near our front door.  It is a culmination of information my wife or I often look for either on our way...
Read On »
Electronics

Hot Tub: ESP8266 IoT Temp Monitor and NeoPixel Lighting

Finally got our free hot tub hooked up.   Well, not so free… Hot tubs are never free unless you have all the electrical and other bits already.  Anyway,  I wanted to add some remote temperature monitoring as well as jazz up the lighting a bit.   I wanted to be able to track the temperature and use trigger notifications if the temperature falls below a set threshold.   Of course Blynk is my...
Read On »
Arduino

ESP8266 – Lessons Learned

I’ve gotten enough ESP8266 projects under my belt to have a few lessons learned to share with you.  The ESP comes in many flavors.  One of my favorites is the NodeMCU.  I also like the Adafruit Huzzah WDT Reset Error: This error was the bane of my existence for quite some time.   When experiencing this, you typically see your sketch run and fail.  Using the Serial Monitor and carefully placed statements, you...
Read On »
Electronics

Review: RBBell – Electronic Bike Horn

Today, I’m doing a review of the RBBell electronic bike horn.   This is a battery powered piezo that beeps when the button is pressed.  Pretty simple.  It’s loud (as in 120dB loud)!  It startled me after accidentally pressing the button during my review video. I can tell already this is going to be effective when I hit the trails.   I do a fair bit of biking. Most of which is in trails...
Read On »