Your IoT project needs one of these wireless modules
Getting your project connected to the internet is relatively easy these days. Here are five off the shelf modules that will easily add wireless to your project.
Back when I was in school, I remember spending an entire semester making a RF amplifier board. In fact, I had to use a pencil eraser to remove oxidation on the copper traces to remove an unwanted oscillation, caused by the impedance mismatch of the oxidation on the copper traces. Talk about tough.
These days, adding WiFi or Bluetooth is as simple as adding one of the wireless modules available. Or if you are using an Arduino, skip the modules and just add a shield.
Learning to a breadboard is critical when adding electronics to a project. A skill often overlooked is how to use breadboard jumper wires correctly. For example, when I breadboard a circuit I only use Red, Green, or Blue for positive voltages and Black for ground. Other colors, it depends on the functions of the wire. The idea is to keep it clear when I look at the board, what each wire is doing.
This video from Make is a great overview of how to develop a skill, or habit, around using breadboard jumper wires in your circuit.
Engineers make a schematic to explain their circuits.
One time I was looking for a non-tourist pub in Japan. I asked someone for help. She said, “I’m sorry, but I do not speak good English. I will bring my friend and she will draw you a map.” (Exact quote!) The map her friend drew, gave directions to a bar with a “Neon Yellow Sing.” She meant sign…
The map was the method we used to communicate with each other, even though we didn’t both speak English. With this crude but effective map, I could find my next drinking place destination.
Schematics are the same as this map. Even if you don’t speak the same language, you can communicate how a circuit works when you make a schematic.
When learning to use an Arduino, you have two things to learn: programming and hardware. In the past, I’ve taught some classes on how to program the Arduino. These are the slides I used to explain what the Arduino “Language” is, basic debugging concepts, how to use variables, and basic structures.
An Open Source IDE for TI’s line of MSP430-based boards. Based on the same software as the Arduino project, Energia brings easy of use to an awesome family of microcontrollers.
Today “regular” people will start receiving their pre-ordered Apple Watch. Whether they spent $350 or over $10,000 dollars, they’ll now have a device that connects to their iPhone and tells time. Like their iPhone does. But with Bluetooth!
What if you don’t want an Apple watch, but want to celebrate a real computing achievement? Check out this video on an Apple ][ watch. Oh and it is real.
All Arduino boards contain analog and digital pins. The Arduino functions have different calls depending on the pin type. For example, when analogWrite() is called, an analog input pin is automatically changed from a digital input (or output) into an analog input. For this reason, it isn’t actually necessary to call pinMode() on the pin. However, when I write Arduino Sketches, I still put a pinMode(INPUT, A0) in setup anyway.