Skip navigation
1 2 Previous

Andy Clark's Blog

27 posts
This weekend I popped up the Birmingham to see the Makers Central exhibition. So that people could recognise me, I made myself a flashing EL Wire badge. It was mostly focused on YouTubers and a lot of Woodworking but there were some gems for the electronics enthusiasts such as the Raspberry Pi, Pimironi, some Robotics stands and some of the UK's Hackspaces in attendance.   It was good to see XRobots who's been making 3D Printed robots and skateboards. And I also spotted PricklySauc ...
I wired up a couple of push buttons between D3 and Gnd, and D4 and Gnd. I had hoped to use the Gamepad library as that seems to be the right kind of thing to use. However, the AdaFruit library download does not contain Gamepad, and I could not be bothered to compile it from source.   So I'm just checking the button value directly in a loop and that seems to work correctly. I borrowed an idea from AdaFruit regarding setting up the buttons, using an array. I'll likely tweek this a bit before ...
Following on from the game prototyping I've started on the hardware.   To display the numbers I wired up a small LCD I had spare from earlier experiments. It's a "Chip on Glass" model so it's very small and has an inbuilt I2C slave chip that's compatible with the ST7032i. As well as these pins there's a back light on the side of the LCD that needs powering. I added a resistor and drove that from the supply line of the Trinket. The LCD also has an inbuilt voltage booster to allow it to ...
My mini-craft drill is a bit old now and often slows to a crawl when put under any load. That's a 12v device with a transformer which weights a ton!   So I picked a Dremel 3000 kit from CPC at the end of last year as part of the prize for the wacky automation devices   Dremel 3000-5, 240V Rotary Multi-tool with 5 Accessories & EZ Wrap Holder - DREMEL | CPC UK     It's one of the smaller kits with just a holder the drill and a handful of accessories but given that I'v ...
My tutorial to create some Christmas lights got accepted for HackSpace mag #1   It was a part woodwork and part electronics project designed to give the reader some inspiration and ideas for their own projects. For banks of LEDs were controlled using an Arduino, BlueTooth module and some Darlingtons. See - https://hackspace.raspberrypi.org/issues ...
I decided to wire up the Google AIY box to Marty the Robot. OK Google!  The first thing to do was to upgrade the software so I did not have to press the button to work the robot. I followed Eric Duncan Google AIY upgrade steps.   After stopping the service sudo systemctl stop voice-recognizer.service  I then edited the config file to switch to "Ok Google" mode rather than button mode.   nano ~/.config/voice-recognizer.ini  And set the trigger to be trigger = ok-go ...
Andy Clark (Workshopshed)

RoboGuy

Posted by Andy Clark (Workshopshed) Top Member Aug 12, 2017
The dancing Element14 Blue Guy which was sent to me by tariq.ahmad was slightly damaged in transit so I resurrected him as an experimental crime-fighting cyborg named RoboGuy.   Stay out of trouble! ...
I've used the Picon Zero board from 4Tronix before when I was working on the Dragon Detector project. It is the same size as the Pi Zero and can drive 6 outputs, 4 inputs and 2 motors via H-Bridges. So it seemed a good option for driving my latest car project. Prepare the Pi The Picon Zero runs via I2C so you need to run raspi-config and enable I2C in the settings.   It's also worth updating the apt-get cache as we'll be installing some software. sudo apt-get update   Install tools ...
Just back from an excellent talk by Tim Hunkin of "Secret life of machines" fame. He started things off with a description of how a telephone works and demonstrated a loudspeaker made from a crisp packet. He then went on to talk about his latest arcade creation "I-Zombie".   Photo credit: Martin Evans   This latest game combines a classic optical illusion (Peppers Ghost), carved wooden figures, video screens and some cunning mechanics. The front of the phone as two video screens w ...
When I was sent the BeagleBone Blue board my first thought was what could I build that needed 8 servos. I'd seen some fun examples in the MusicTech challenge so a music player seemed like a good idea. I bought some small servos, a glockenspiel (which has metal bars vs a xylophone which has wooden bars) and some wooden balls. The balls were drilled and mounted on some short dowels made from lollipop sticks. These were attached to the servos using rubber bands, this has two reasons firstly it a ...
As I've been experimenting with the BeagleBone Blue I decided it would make sense to do a bit of coding with Node.JS rather than Python as I've used for a few previous project. I also wanted to see if I could connect it up to MQTT as I planned to use that for another project. Node.js is a platform built on Chrome's JavaScript runtime for easily building fast and scalable network applications. Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient, perfect f ...
Talks Early in 2015 I was asked to give a talk about the Enchanted Cottage project that I completed last year. A group of eager London Arduino enthusiasts learnt about my struggles and successes with the Arduino Yún. One of the attendees was Brian Byrne who runs the Linuxing in London group, he approached me later in the year to talk about another project, more on that in a bit.   Workshop My next challenge for the year was from Emma Bearman, she had also spotted my enchanted proje ...
During my earlier experiments with GPIO on this board, I realised that it does not natively support PWM. I had a 4tronix Picon Zero board from my preparation for the Gnomes event and thought that could work with the DragonBoard. As for the LED and IR detector I needed to use level shifters to connect up the board, so I added a second set to my breadboard and wired that up to the power and first I2C bus on the DragonBoard. This board has three I2C buses, two on the low speed connector and one ...
When my Dragon Detector spots a new dragon I want it to notify the operator that something has happened. When looking for ways to do this, I discovered the IF THIS THEN THAT "Maker channel" this allows you to trigger IFTTT flows by calling a URL of the following form   https://maker.ifttt.com/trigger/{event}/with/key/{channel key}  You can also pass in parameters so that you can customise the flow. I added the IF client app to my mobile and configured a simple "recipe" to link the mak ...
As mentioned in my previous blog on Dragonboard 410C GPIO I was planning to use the libsoc library from Jack Mitch. I though I'd installed this correctly but when I tried to access it from Python it was refusing to import the library. Re-reading the GPIO blog article from 96boards I'd not compiled this correctly. So I tried that again and this time was successful.   ./configure --enable-python --enable-board=dragonboard410c make sudo make install sudo ldconfig /usr/local/lib   As the ...