Saturday, 25 July 2015

Meeting 25th July 2015

Attending: Mike Hull, Mike Hewitt, Ricky, Martin, Les, Jeff and Arthur.

Basement space update

15mm copper pipework going into the shower/toilet/washroom before the walls are boarded up. The Breezeblocks have arrived, these will be used to provide a solid foundation for the shower base to sit on, while also raising the shower base enough to allow room for the waste pipe plumbing underneath.

Mike and Jeff inspecting the pipework inside the framework of the shower room.

The meetings take place on the floor above while the basement is being refurbished.

Arthur is still trying to improve the performance/balance of his robot, and spent the morning talking with Martin about how to clean up noisy signals using filters.

Ricky browsed catalogues of computer parts with the intention of building the ultimate gaming computer.

Les was working on a Raspberry pi project /game which involves barcode scanning.

Jeff is still considering what to do about the system used to maintain his Blackpool Rugby club supporters site.
Both Joomla and Blogger have been looked at as possible replacements for the existing system, but no decision yet.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

ESP8266 WIFI Serial Dev Kit Development Board

These development boards sidestep some of the problems encountered when using a bare esp8266.
Battery powered with an onboard voltage regulator, just put batteries in the holder and you are ready to start programming it.
Add the esp8266 development board to the Arduino IDE using the board manager, and you can then use an Arduino to program the blink sketch into the esp8266 board.

If you hit this problem with the firmware updating software

  • The firmware updating software only works on COM ports 1-6. If your USB<->Serial device enumerates to a higher port number than that, you will have to change it via Device Manager in Windows.
  • You can download all the required files in this ZIP file

Guide with firmware bundle, flasher didn't work for me as I was on com 8

download and used this Flash tool instead

adding esp8266 board to arduino

Get it here

using the Arduino to blink esp8266 LED

looks familiar,

void setup() {   // initialization
  pinMode(16, OUTPUT);  // set the io pin 16 to output
void loop() {   // loop
  digitalWrite(16, HIGH);  // GPIO16 high TTL, LED on
  delay(1000);           // delay 1s
  digitalWrite(16, LOW);  // GPIO16 low TTL, LED off
  delay(1000);           // delay 1s

A temperature monitoring project with the esp8266:-

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Meeting 11th July 2015 - Pi, windows 10, rtos

Basement space update.

Mike and Arthur stood in the area which will become the toilet/shower/washroom, the framework for the walls already in place.

Various projects ongoing in the temporary space (Mikes dining room)

Arthur has started using the Raspberry Pi for one of his robot projects

and wants precise motor (real-time?) control for the walking motion, but the Raspberry Pi does not
support real time operations when it is running raspbian.
Arthur has found a pseudo real-time library that may do the job and will report back about this in due course.
Doing a Google search for Raspberry Pi rtos brings up multiple
hits and possibly one of these would be of use.

RISC OS can be installed to the Raspberry Pi

and RISC OS can exert full control over the Raspberry Pi and do real time
So yet another possibility, although Arthur  has said he is not keen on learning more programming languages and operating systems.

I looked at windows 10 on the raspberry pi. The documentation is clear and easy to follow. getting started guide
You need windows 10 installed on a computer, not a virtual machine, to get windows 10 onto the pi.

New pi to run windows 10
In a post on the Raspberry Pi blog

Upton writes that the Raspberry Pi 2 will be compatible 

with Windows 10 

BUT:- "it's windows Jim, but not as we know it"

There seem to be quite a few disappointed people who were expecting a full desktop version of 

windows 10.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Nodemcu - meeting 4th July 2015

Attending:- Mike Hull, Mike Hewitt, Ricky, Joe, Les, Tony, Jeff and Olly

Basement Space update

One Half of the flooring is done.
Next job is to baton and board the walls.
Mike and Olly discussed the layout of the network cables.

James generated a fair amount of traffic on the mailing list by asking for help reseating the heat sink on his overheating Dell i7 laptop. The opportunity to dismantle this machine was enthusiastically accepted, and even brought Olly out of retirement.
Unfortunately, on the day, James did not appear. He needed to hack on his car which had failed to start.

Consolation picture: The cooling system of my Dell laptop.

Les had picked up a nodemcu at Liverpool Makefest last weekend. This is an ESP8266 based board, and Les soon had a flashing  LED using the Lua programming language. 
This board makes using the ESP8266 so much easier than a bare 8266. No messing with voltage regulators, rx/tx pins, voltage dividers etc. Just plug your USB cable in and you are ready to start using the ESP8266.

Embedded image permalink

LUA is not the only option, nodemcu is supported in the arduino IDE

Jeff had made a start using Google Blogspot Blogger for his rugby site, but is still interested in learning more about Joomla.

Thank you to Mike Hull for hosting the meeting.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Pirates Vs Ninjas with the ESP8266 - Meeting 27th June 2015

Attending: Mike Hull, Mike Hewitt, Ricky, Joe, James and Arthur

Basement Space Update.

One half of the basement space is tanked and insulated.

The flooring has tongue and groove fittings down the sides and along the ends. All the edge joins are being glued as the floor goes down.

This is the ESP8266 project produced by Arthur

The ESP8266 is programmed to provide a Pirates Vs Ninjas open wireless network. You connect with your phone or Laptop, and are presented with a basic web page with two buttons which you can click on to vote Pirate or Ninja. 
When people start voting, a servo moves the pointer to indicate which is more popular, Pirates or Ninjas.
Arthur takes this along to various events.

James, was the first of our group to notice the ESP8266 when it started it's rise to fame. Initially, I think some people, myself included, did not appreciate the  power and capabilities of this device. The ESP8266 now has many fans, and it is one of the boards already supported by the new Arduino IDE, meaning that if you are familiar with the Arduino, you can easily get started with the ESP8266.  

Monday, 22 June 2015

Meeting and Basement update

Mike Hull, Mike Hewitt, Les, Tony, Arthur, Ricky, Joe, James, Keiran and Phyllis.

As mike indicated in his mailing list post, one half of the room has had the floor insulation added, and work on the wall insulation has started.

Showing the thickness of the floor insulation. Two pairs of legs standing on it for context.

This is the thickness of insulation on the walls. Batons go on next, then plasterboard.

I spent all morning talking to Arthur about the ESP8266, and neglected to take any pictures or notes of what other people were up to, so no write up this week, Sorry!
Les, Tony and Arthur left at 12 to go to the Blackpool Raspberry Jam.

Don't forget Liverpool Raspberry Jam next week.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Blackpool LUG and Makerspace meeting 6th June 2015

Attending: Mike Hull, Mike Hewitt, Les, Tony, Ricky, Keiran and Phyllis.

Basement space renovations.

The basement is being 'tanked' with this waterproof slurry which is applied with a brush.

When the floor and walls have been done at this end of the room,

All this stuff will be moves along to allow the other half of the space to be 'tanked'

On the floor above the restorations, various hacking and making  making projects are ongoing.