Posts Tagged ‘meetup’

NERP: Spark Core – Warm and Fuzzy Computing

Monday Feb 17th at 7pm Jeff Camealy will present his talk “How to control your electric blanket with a Spark Core”. He describes his use case: “The Spark Core is a small Arduino compatible chip with built in WiFi and Cloud connectivity. This functionally can be used to easily create a device that can be controlled remotely. We’ll see how we can use the Spark Core Cloud to create an iPhone App to direct your blanket from the comfort of your .. blanket.”

nerp_spark-core-2

Lest Jeff sell himself short, it should be said that he’s spotted a technology that’s powerful and significant, but also somewhat strange. Until now the Arduino programming environment hasn’t often been associated with cloud computing. It’s not clear to me whether this is a niche application, or the start of a trend in small embedded controllers. Not surprisingly, the ARM architecture continues to insinuate itself into every corner of embedded control. The Spark Core uses an STMicroelectronics STM32F103 ARM M3 running at 72 MHz. The WiFi is provided by a TI SimpleLink CC3000 module. If you don’t like the cloud you can use the Spark Core as an ordinary USB-programmed controller that has WiFi. The spark.io site contains these [edited] points to help in understanding what the Spark Core does:

The Spark Core is a tiny, open source Wi-Fi development board that makes it easy to create Internet connected hardware. The Core is all you need to get started; power it over USB and in minutes you’ll be controlling LEDs, switches and motors and collecting data from sensors over the Internet!

There’s no need to ever plug the Core into your computer; you can write code in our web IDE and download it wirelessly to the Core. The Core uses Wiring, the same programming language that Arduino uses. Plus, with an accessory called the Shield Shield, you can connect the Core to a standard Arduino shield.

The Cloud is the mother ship that the Spark Core connects to when it comes online. Once the Core is paired with the Cloud, it becomes accessible from anywhere in the world through our open but secure REST API. Cloud service comes free for life with the Core. [excerpts from https://www.spark.io/]

Excitement!

Thanks to Drew Fustini and the kind folks at element14, we’ll have a drawing for a fully assembled Gertboard. “Gertboard is the ideal add-on for Raspberry Pi. Designed by Gert van Loo, it is a flexible experimenter board that plugs directly into your Raspberry Pi, and out into the physical world…” [element14]

NERP is not exclusively raspberry pi, the small computer interest group at Pumping Station:One in Chicago. Find NERP and Pumping Station:One
at http://www.meetup.com/NERP-Not-Exclusively-Raspberry-Pi/
and http://pumpingstationone.org/

NERP meets every other Monday at 7pm at Pumping Station:One, 3519 N. Elston Ave. in Chicago. Doors open at 6:30pm. The next meeting is Feb 17th, 2014. NERP is free and open to the public.

Ed Bennett ed @ kinetics and electronics com
Tags: electronics, embedded, NERP, Open Source, raspberry pi, hackerspace, Beagle Bone, Element14,
Pumping Station One

14

02 2014

NERP: Teensy 3.X – a 32-bit ARM microcontroller board for <20$

The Teensy name has been around for several years in the land of 8-bit MCU boards, but the 32-bit Arm platform introduced in Teensy v3.0, is a game-changer. PJRC (http://pjrc.com/teensy/teensy31.html)sent a few Teensy 3.0′s to Anna (our Electronics area host) at PS:1 with no discussion or fanfare. Thank-you, PJRC.

AT NERP TONIGHT, Ed will show the Teensy 3.0 hardware, Arduino tools, and some sample programs. After that introduction to the Teensy 3.0, Colorado Rob will show how he programs the Teensy 3.1 with a combination of tools and utilities from Eclipse, GNU, Freescale (manufacturers of the Teensy ARM MCU), and freeRTOS. ALSO – We’ll also raffle a new in box original aka white BeagleBone. Thanks to Drew for the donation!

The Teensy 3.X’s cost less than $20 and include all the peripherals you expect in a regular MCU. Some specs on the Teensy 3.1 are:

MCU MK20DX256VLH7 Cortex-M4, 72Mhz (96MHz overclocked), 256k flash, 64k RAM, 2k EEPROM, 34 dio pins, 21 analog input pins, etc.

The Teensy 3.0 is (mostly) pin compatible with the 3.1. The v3.0 uses an MK20DX128VLH5 MCU with 34 dio pins, 14 analog input pins, etc. Other spec values are one-half or less of the ‘DX256VLH7.

The 32-bit ARM chips are internally much more complicated than 8-bit processors, but the user doesn’t have to be aware of this when programming them. The Teensyduino IDE from PJRC provides a familiar user interface and Arduino(TM) libraries that make getting from zero to blinky very easy. There are additional libraries that provide access to some of the ARM-specific resources such as the USB port.

I’ve been exploring the v3.0 samples and am pleased with their sale price and performance. My setup is the basic Arduino install + Teensyduino on Linux. After doing the Arduino install I played with some sample code that does HID mouse and keyboard emulation on USB. Making it work was pretty straightforward.

Colorodo Rob writes:

I have been playing around with the Teensy 3.1 for a few days. It’s an ARM board for $17.
http://store.oshpark.com/products/teensy-3-1

My thoughts on it so far are that the CPU is way overkill for most embedded things that you’d program with the Arduino programming environment and library.* Also, there is a huge increase in complexity to overcome to program if using “real tools”. But the Arduino tools are easy to set up and use. But for my embedded project, the Freescale CPU it uses has the potential to save a bit of money. Even though the CPU costs more than the AVR part I currently use, it includes a USB controller and a voltage regulator, so those component costs go away. I’ve been following a tutorial for setting up a dev tool chain for these CPUs using Eclipse, GCC and Freescale’s tools:

http://mcuoneclipse.com/2013/07/20/dyi-free-toolchain-for-kinetis-part-1-gnu-arm-build-tools/

I’m looking at FreeRTOS (modified GPL) now. I’ve just gotten the ADC working with DMA which is pretty cool. My completion handler gets called when there are 32 samples ready for me, which is what I need for the carrier detect algorithm. The Freescale tools are pretty powerful for what they allow you to do, and an RTOS provides interesting departure from the sequential programming typical of Arduino development.

*Rob and I differ on this point…

NERP is not exclusively raspberry pi, the small computer interest group at Pumping Station:One in Chicago.

Find NERP and Pumping Station:One
at http://www.meetup.com/NERP-Not-Exclusively-Raspberry-Pi/
and http://pumpingstationone.org/

NERP meets every other Monday at 7pm at Pumping Station:One, 3519 N. Elston Ave. in Chicago.Doors open at 6:30pm.The next meeting is Feb 3rd, 2014. NERP is free and open to the public.
Ed Bennett ed @ kinetics and electronics com
Tags: electronics, embedded, NERP, Open Source, raspberry pi, hackerspace, Beagle Bone, Element14,
Pumping Station One

03

02 2014

NERP Tonight! FPGA’s with Ste

NERP is not exclusively raspberry pi, the small computer interest group at Pumping Station:One in Chicago.

Ste Kulov (like “steve” without the “ve”) is the signal processing guru of Pumping Station:One. He’s also a great teacher who’s enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge of the theory and practice of analog and digital circuit design. Tonight Ste will show NERP what FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) chips do and how to use the chip manufacturers’ development tools.

Xilinx.com

Xilinx.com

FPGA’s are very fast logic chips that can perform better than microprocessor CPU’s in a number of high throughput applications. FPGA’s are programmable, but FPGA programs aren’t necessarily seqences of instruction like a C program would be. In fact, on an FPGA you can “write” a CPU. All the cool kids are learning to use FPGA’s, and you should, too!

Tonight’s agenda from Ste:
1.) What are FPGAs & CPLDs and what do they do?
2.) Why would you want to use one?
3.) Explain how you would program one using a hardware description
language such as VHDL or Verilog.
4.) Go over a quick Verilog example & demo of displaying “NERP” on the
4-digit 7-segment display on my dev board.
5.) With the remaining time, demo off my Nintendo DS video output
project to illustrate the neat stuff you can do with these things.

Find NERP and Pumping Station:One
at http://www.meetup.com/NERP-Not-Exclusively-Raspberry-Pi/
and http://pumpingstationone.org

NERP meets at 7pm 3-25-13 at Pumping Station:One, 3519 N. Elston Ave. in
Chicago. NERP is free and open to the public.

Ed Bennett ed@kineticsandelectronics.com
Tags: announcement, electronics, embedded, meetup, NERP, Open Source, raspberry pi–

Happy Happy
-Ed

http://KineticsAndElectronics.com

25

03 2013

NERP tonight with Drew: Beagle Bone and Pi Face

beagle-hd-logo

NERP is not exclusively raspberry pi, the small computer interest group at
Pumping Station:One in Chicago.

Tonight Drew Fustini will demo the Beagle Bone.

BeagleBone (http://beagleboard.org/bone) is an open source, low-cost
credit-card-sized Linux computer that connects with the Internet and runs
software such as Android 4.0 and Ubuntu.

BeagleBone is capable of interfacing to all of your robotics motor
drivers, location or pressure sensors and 2D or 3D cameras. It can also run
OpenCV, OpenNI and other image collection and analysis software.

Through HDMI, VGA or LCD expansion boards, it is capable of decoding and
displaying mutliple video formats utilizing a completely open source software
stack and synchronizing playback over Ethernet or USB with other BeagleBoards.

Drew will also hit the high points of a Raspberry Pi interface board called the
Pi Face (http://pi.cs.man.ac.uk/interface.htm)

Pi-Face Digital is the first of a range of interfaces to allow the Raspberry Pi
to control and manipulate the real world. It allows the Raspberry Pi to read
switches connected to it – a door sensor or pressure pad perhaps, a microswitch
or reed switch, or a hand held button. With appropriate easy to write code, the
Raspberry Pi then drives outputs, powering motors, actuator, LEDs, light bulbs
or anything you can imagine to respond to the inputs.

Find NERP and Pumping Station:One
at http://www.meetup.com/NERP-Not-Exclusively-Raspberry-Pi/
and http://pumpingstationone.org

NERP meets at 7pm 3-11-13 at Pumping Station:One, 3519 N. Elston Ave. in
Chicago. NERP is free and open to the public.

Ed Bennett ed@kineticsandelectronics.com

11

03 2013

NERP – Raspberry Pi and Beer – Monday 9-10-12

RPi beer temp controller

The next NERP (Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi) meeting will be at 7pm Monday Sept. 10th. See the NERP Meetup page for more information on location, meeting format, etc.

NERP is Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi, and this Monday’s meeting will also discuss Android and beer.

During fermentation beer must be kept at fairly precisely controlled temperatures. The required temperature varies with the stage of fermentation and other factors.

Any self-respecting beer temperature monitor would be accessible from the ‘net, and this one is no exception. Monday, Eric Stein will show Brewing Station: One’s  Raspberry Pi based temperature monitor and controller. Eric will show how the Python code and electronics work and discuss some issues around controlling temperature. Sampling the product will have to wait until Beer Church taps the keg.

The Desktop is DEAD, Long live the Desktop: The Android 4.0 miniPC

Jay will be doing a short walk-thru and talk about the user-land experience with the new Ricomagic MK802 thumb-drive-sized pocket-computer. Jay will be demoing android 4.x, Fedora, Ubuntu and/or puppy linux on the Ricomagic MK802. The Ricomagic MK802 is a $65 Cortex A8 1GHZ processor with 1GB of DDR3 Ram, 4 GB flash, wifi and a 500MH GPU (Mali 400) with HDMI video. The small computing landscape is changing fast, and the Raspberry Pi is only part of the story.

07

09 2012

NERP (Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi) meetup 08-27-12

NERP Meetup at PS:One

The bi-weekly NERP (Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi embedded systems) Meetup  focused on  serial i/o. Serial interfacing allows connecting “stuff” to a processor using a small number of wires. There are different ways of making serial connections to processors, and last night we talked about two of them. Drew showed how to implement I2C interfacing to several devices he had out for demo. I2C (I-Square-C) is a way of wiring smart devices like sensors, displays, and microcontrollers to a host computer. The Raspberry Pi has connection pins for I2C on the board and a kernel module for talking to I2C devices from user land. Ed quickly demoed a couple of examples of  UART serial technique with a Raspberry Pi running a login on a dumb terminal demo and an RS485 to PC interface on a Macbook. We’ll examine practical applications of these connection methods and others including SPI in future meetings.

The NERP description and meetup are at   http://www.meetup.com/NERP-Not-Exclusively-Raspberry-Pi/ . (It’s not necessary to use the Meetup signup to attend NERP, but it helps us anticipate how to set up the electronics lab for the number of attendees. Also it shows Meetup that people actually attend the meetings.) .

We’re looking for people who would like to show their work or lead a NERP-related discussion.  We’d especially like to hear about works in progress (i.e., unfinished), both in hardware and software.  Python, C, interfacing, non-Rasapberry Pi embedded systems, media, networking, and physical devices are particularly interesting.  Contact Ed (ed -> kineticsandelectronics – com) to schedule a day.

28

08 2012

Chicago Net Squared Social Change Meetup on 1/9/2012

On Monday, January 9, Pumping Station: One is hosting the Chicago Net Squared meetup:

Social change makers and web innovators have come together in cities across the nation to share ideas, network, and build community web resources and network. Now join us, so Chicago can grow more technology savvy social change organizations that benefit our local communities. Staff and volunteers of non-profits, web innovators, and any individuals pushing for change are encouraged to attend.

learn more at http://www.netsquared.org

join the meetup group here: http://www.meetup.com/net2chi/

where: Pumping Station: One Main Room 3354 N Elston Ave, Chicago, 60618

when: January 9, 2012 6pm-8pm

who: anyone may attend

cost: free, but non-members are encouraged to donate to help PS:One pay the rent

02

01 2012

Chicago Open Science Meetup Sunday

Chicago Open Science Group

ChiOpenSci

ChiOpenSci‘s first meeting will be this Sunday, September 12 at 4pm!

Come and learn how you can be a part of open research and be a citizen scientist.

We’ll be discussing projects, open science tools, and defining goals for ChiOpenSci.

Where: Pumping Station: One 3354 N. Elston Ave

Cost: Free and open to the public

Who: Citizen scientists, professional scientists, enthusiasts, hobbyists, experimentalists, computationalists, theorists – interested in studying natural phenomena and studying problems via the scientific method and sharing their results.

10

09 2010