Greetings best community members in the galaxy!
Took a couple of days off last week so it didn't make sense to do a journal entry. Now having been refreshed, I am ready to commence with another edition of the weekly content journal. Apologies if this runs a little longer than usual. There's a reason we're trying to do this on weekly basis!
The Energy Harvesting competition will launch on August 14th and it comes from an idea from fmilburn , who recently took in the grand prize for the Experimenting with Polymer Capacitors contest. Last year, around this time we had a Solar Power Devices competition and the year prior to that we had a Solar Powered Yard Gadget. Because its for a good cause, those two contests along with Mixing Electronics & Water , which dealt with reducing potable water use were some of the most enjoyable contests to watch as projects came in. This competition will involve energy scavenging, which is where you capture a small amount of energy from an ambient energy source such as solar, wind, vibration, etc and store it in an associated storage device such as a super capacitor, rechargeable battery, and a ceramic capacitor. Recently we had an Experimenting with Polymer Capacitors competition which produced some really great content. I did not see everything but from what I did see they were pretty impressive. With that in mind, I asked rscasny for his thoughts on whether polymer capacitors would be a good storage option for an energy harvesting project and he suggested it would. It will be interesting to see if any of those experiments become part of an energy harvesting project. To help motivate you we have a special grand prize in addition to the usual $100 shopping carts.
Remote Monitoring & Control Is In the Stretch Run!
We're in the dog days (meaning it's very hot) of summer here in the Chicago office. There's a about a week to go in the remote monitoring control project competition, to borrow a phrase from baseball, we're in the stretch run. I will be putting up a qualifier doc by the end of the week. The doc is also a reminder to you, if you are interested in submitting a Remote Monitoring & Control project, its now time to start thinking about what you want to do. There has been a lot of great content generated around this subject by our community members so far, so in this thread, here's a recap of all the exciting action thus far:
What BigG needed was an automated means to monitor the vital signs, such as soil moisture and amount of sunlight as well as other secondary signals, which may cause a plant to require more or less water, such as temperature. Other aspects related to plant health such as soil nutrients were deemed too difficult to measure with sensors and so were ignored. Then he needed a means to water the plant automatically if the vital signs dropped below optimum levels. As all this was rather new to him, and nothing was found online that defined exactly what the optimum levels were, he adopted a more stochastic approach by applying fuzzy logic to determine when to water and by how much. And so the fuzzy plant watering system was born:
andyforeverest takes a 20 year bike and updates it to take fitness info to the cloud:
- Assaulting the cloud: uploading fitness data to IoT
- Assaulting the cloud: uploading fitness data to IoT (part II)
ralphjy 's project LoRaXes is a loose reference to a Dr. Seuss character in a book about the plight of the environment during the industrial age. He's building a pair of outdoor LoRa sensors which he wants to use for GPS, temperature/humidity/pressure, ambient light, water level, and PIR. He's made some outstanding progress so far:
- LoRa Experimental Environmental Sensors (LoRaXes) - Introduction
- LoRa Experimental Environmental Sensors (LoRaXes) - Initial RSSI Tests
- LoRa Experimental Environmental Sensors (LoRaXes) - Need to use a bigger case
- LoRa Experimental Environmental Sensors (LoRaXes) - Case Layout
- LoRa Experimental Environmental Sensors (LoRaXes) - GPS is Working
- LoRa Experimental Environmental Sensors (LoRaXes) - Temperature Sensor Working
- LoRa Experimental Environmental Sensors (LoRaXes) - Case Assembly Part 1
sjmill01 is going to make a data logger of 24 sensors logging data every one minute that could run without mains power or human intervention for 7 days with no wires. He shows you what's possible by taking Rosemount 648 Wireless Transmitters, an Arduino Mega, and some coding magic in Big Petro Maker Magic: $100 Datalogger That Can Save Millions and demonstrates how these projects can be used to address real world problems such as the 2019 Philadelphia refinery oil explosion.
Check out his project on the latest episode of Raising Awesome:
phoenixcomm is working on a Smarthab Remote Sensing and Control project:
- Smarthab: Remote Sensing and Control .I
- Smarthab: Remote Sensing and Control .ii Environmental Controls
- Smarthab: Remote Sensing and Control .iii Sensors
- Smarthab: Remote Sensing and Control .iv Software Design
- Smarthab: Remote Sensing and Control .iv DHT-11 Testing (video log)
lawsonkeith did a really cool Combined Homebrew & Irrigation System:
- Combined homebrew and irrigation controller using Node Red
ruchir1674 provided some much needed content using Particle boards:
dubbie decided to find out how often wandering cats and the occasional fox visit his back garden:
- CatDogFoxBot #1 : My Initial Idea
- CatDogFoxBot #2 : System Design and Gathering the Components
- CatDogFoxBot #3 : The Step Motor Scanner is Working
- CatDogFoxBot #4 : GridEye Sensor is Connected and Working
- CatDogFoxBot #5 : Collecting Some Temperature Data
Fathers and Sons
Before we get to recap of the Electronic Toys competition, let's take a moment to think about the journey of Sons learning from Fathers, and following in their footsteps. As a fan of sports, some of the best stories of sons following in their fathers footsteps that spring to mind come from the world of sports. In baseball, there is Ken Griffey Jr. following in the footsteps of Ken Griffey Sr, Barry Bonds following in the footsteps of his father Bobby Bonds, Prince Fielder following in the footsteps of his father Cecil Fielder, and Fernando Tatis Jr. following in the footsteps of his father Fernando Tatis Sr. In hockey, who could forget the amazing Brett Hull following in the footsteps of his father Bobby Hull. In pop culture, in the Game of Thrones series, Jon Snow first follows in the footsteps of his adopted father Ned Stark, who is noble and honorable, and later becomes King of the North, only to discover that he is the true born son and rightful heir to the throne of all 7 kingdoms, not just the North where he was raised. In Star Wars, Luke Skywalker grows up never knowing his real father but grows up to be a Jedi like his father, who he's been misled to believe is dead. Then he discovers his father is alive and changed his name from Anakin Skywalker to Darth Vader. After Darth Vader selflessly sacrifices himself to save his son, his father reappears to Luke as the force ghost of Anakin Skywalker, the father Luke never knew. Perhaps you have a favorite story of Sons following in the footsteps of their Father from across the pond, or wherever you hail from. If you do, then let us know in the comments below!
Here on the community we are lucky to have our own famous Father Son combination for engineers and makers with the Son, connormiller learning from his Father sjmill01 , as part of the Raising Awesome project. While its too early to know whether connormiller will follow in his father's engineering footsteps, we get a glimpse of the journey with sjmill01 working on a project in support of the Remote Monitoring & Control competition, Big Petro Maker Magic: $100 Datalogger That Can Save Millions , and also helping his son complete his first project post, Spider-Man: Into the Maker-Verse, in support of the Electronic Toys competition.
Electronic Toys Set to Soar through August into Mid September!
The grand prize for this competition is a SNES Classic that was last seen on Episode 320: SNES Classic Teardown plus a $200 shopping cart. It was torn apart and put back together by Ben Heck. Because it was just sitting in the closet we chose to include it with the grand prize because it was mentioned in the theme doc, Project14 | Win a SNES Classic Bundle or Shopping Cart for Your Electronic Toys Project! Here's a recap of the fun projects that have been made in support of the Electronic Toys competitions:
connormiller is working on a wearables project that that will involve C/Python programming, sewing, soldering, Autodesk Fusion 360, and Circuit Design. It will utilize a CO2 powered Gauntlet Webslinger, a Spidey Sense Rear Proximity Sensor to flag close objects, a Spidey Sense Rear Camera to use Microsoft Azure Machine Vision to report objects seen, and (In testing) Small vibration motor that will rest on the neck and vibrate whenever the sensors report a danger:
balearicdynamics has once again created a very beautiful and original project that stretches the creative imagination. Best of all, it involves something dear to most of our hearts, music. For the music generation, he uses an aiming to create a general-purpose mp3 with a reusable design in other projects. In this particular context the Arduino mp3 player should reproduce the classical musical-box sound; to build the circuit he has an Arduino Prototype Shield. The circuit is not particularly complex and also an Arduino NANO will work fine. The core of the mp3 music player includes all the features you would find in a commercial mp3 player such as a six level equalizer preset, track selection, volume control, amplified speaker output, and earphone output:
ravi_butani shows you how to build a DIY >$15 DIY Park Controller Plane using an ESP8266 and the Arduino IDE:
On Demand Webinar: Uncovering the Mysteries of the EAGLE Editor!
There is one more webinar scheduled in the Getting Started with Autodesk EAGLE: Webinar Series but the latest webinar is now available along with the first two:
- Getting Started with Autodesk EAGLE
- Electromechanical Workflow with Autodesk EAGLE and Fusion 360
- Uncovering the Mysteries of the Autodesk EAGLE Library Editor
The final webinar in the series will be on the 21st of August:
I have been and will continue shadowing rscasny to work with suppliers to bring webinars. This is my first time working directly with suppliers (not totally true but as part of my responsibilities) so its an exciting opportunity. There is a lot of crossover with the themes we cover with Project14 and Arduino so we're hoping to bring these programs in line with the greater community. I'm not a subject matter expert like rscasny so he will continue helping me here and I will work with him to help promote RoadTests & Reviews and other supplier oriented activities as a lot is asked of him as he has the best engineering background of anyone on the team. He's helped me get set up to host Explore the Possibilities of IoT with Symbisa , Expanding your Test and Measurement Workbench Beyond the Lab with the Analog Discovery 2 , and Wireless IoT for Everyone with the Amber Pi to help ease the transition for me. This is a new area for me so I would appreciate any advice on how you want webinars to be done. Also, please be patient with me as I learn the ropes of these new responsibilities.
Arduino Update: Close Encounters with Dave Darko on element14 presents!
Win the Xbox One All Digital Edition that David Edwards Tore Down (and Put Back Together)!
Looking to upgrade your old Xbox One or looking to get your hands on your first one? a531016 is giving away the Xbox One All Digital Edition that he tore down in his very first episode of The Electronics Inside:
rjena, our social media specialist helped set this up, so help support her by commenting! What do you have to lose? You could even win a piece of element14 presents history. If you haven't seen the inaugural episode of The Electronics Inside you can watch it here:
Last week on element14 presents, airbornesurfer reminds us that failure is something to embrace because of the lessons learned in Episode 405: RC Ornithopter Concept and a531016 shows us Pong on a Chip Teardown on the The Electronics Inside. Earlier this week, baldengineer showed us Semiconductor Measurements in WorkBench Wednesdays . Be sure to check out his supplemental blog Reading MOSFET Curves.
element14 10 Year Birthday Celebration Winds Down
Congratulations to all the Pi 4 winners that you can find by going here:
I will be closing down 10 Year Challenge | Tell Us What You Can't Live Without for an ESP8266, Arduino Uno, or Arduino Nano! shortly and sending another round of swag soon. So check that out. Be sure to also check out Happy 10th Anniversary! - A Decade of element14 Community by cstanton , In Honor of element14's 10th Birthday: What is Your Favorite RoadTest Bundle? by rscasny , as well as the great discussion we had started by e14mindi in Win a Raspberry Pi 4 in Celebration of Our 10th Birthday!
Bits & Bobs
The Azure Sphere campaign was a great success on the community so I decided to get my own (just had to pay the $7.99 for shipping). Will be excited to see what projects you come up with and who knows, maybe we'll use it in a Project14 competition some time?
Still waiting on some members to complete winner fulfillment for the Programmable Logic competition. In the past, we've been pretty lax about getting people to fulfill orders. Technically, there is a limited time to secure your prize. Unfortunately, its become a little unwieldy with knowing who is due which shipment. Will need to ask people to submit the order so that stuff like trade and compliance can be handled and budget for the Project14 program is tracked.
That's all for this edition of community content journal. So long, for just awhile.....