Add wireless with one of these five wireless modules

5 Wireless Modules

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.

Keep reading for 5 different wireless modules to consider for your project.

DIY Battery Powered Apple Watch Charger

guypl on Thingiverse
Apple Watch Charger on Thingiverse

Apple Watch Charger on Thingiverse

Using an Adafruit Charger Board,  a cut-up magnetic Apple Watch Charger cable and some 3d printing, guypl has created a DIY battery-powered charger for the Apple Watch.

The cool thing about the design is that the 2000mAh battery he used, can be recharged with a standard micro USB cable. As someone who travels often, this setup is ideal for me. One less cable to carry and a self-contained charger for the Apple Watch.

Check out the full project on Thingiverse.


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.

For more information, there is a short writeup on their web site as well.

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.


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.

That’s right, this isn’t just some clever movie-magic hoax. Following this Instructable, you can build your own Apple ][ Watch.

Most of the major electronic blogs have covered the controversy between Arduino LLC and Arduino SRL. My first deep look into it was from Hackaday’s Arduino v. Arduino. Since it has been covered so well by others, I won’t re-hash the already known facts.

If you want to join in giving feedback to these companies, please tag your posts, tweets, and content with “#OneArduino“.

Click to keep reading and see the letter.


Don’t be afraid of learning a new tool

Behind-The-Scenes of AddOhms #14

After moving from learning a new tool to mastery, the resistance for me to switch becomes very high. This can apply to hardware tools like a drill, saw or CNC milling machine. It can also apply to software tools like EAGLE, Programming Languages or video editing software. In AddOhms #14, I gave an overview of the VirtualBench from National Instruments which I’ve covered on this blog as a hands-on, written review and video review.

learn a new tool

Photo courtesy of smuay/

For this AddOhms Behind-The-Scenes look, I talk about my experience with changing my tool set, the most critical tool in fact, I use for creating AddOhms Videos. If you’ve ever wondered how I do those hand animations, keep reading for the deepest look yet into my workflow.

Case Study in Optimization: Faster SPI on AVRs

Nerd Ralph
March 29, 2015

The Arduino Library provides functions like shiftOut() and digitalWrite().  These functions are simple and effective, but they are slow. Of course, they’re doing a lot more than just toggling bits. Faster isn’t always necessary and can sometimes lead to more difficult debugging.  And as Donald Knuth said,

…premature optimization is the root of all evil.

So what happens, when you do need to optimize? For example, if shiftOut() is too slow for your project, what do you do?  In Ralph’s post, Fastest AVR software SPI in the West, he breaks down different SPI code implementations into their assembly code.

To make the best optimization, you need to change compiler flags. So this is, in my opinion, an interesting case study in what kind of performance benefit you can get when you do some serious optimization.

Of course, you really shouldn’t, unless you need it…

Check out his post: Fastest AVR software SPI in the West

Knuth quote from his paper “StructuredProgrammingWithGoToStatements.”

element14 is running a Design Challenge called Enchanted Objects. The idea is to add magic, or modern technology, into older objects, enchanting them. How could you turn an ordinary household object into something extraordinary?

You can see the content intro video here.

With my recent interest in retro-electronics, an entry by Jan Cumps caught my eye. He’s repaired a vintage record player (turntable) using an Arduino and Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) control. For more information on his work, the project page is here. Jan’s YouTube channel is at pitface123.

Sleep Infographic Using Raspberry Pi and Fitbit API

Paul's Geek Dad Blog
Tuesday, 24 March 2015


The Fitbit API allows you to get data from a Fitbit and use it in your own applications.

Paul wrote a Python script which runs on his Raspberry Pi which extracts the data. Then we processes the data using Excel. Once doing so, he created the above sleep infographic–his first effort.

The interesting aspect here, to me, is the idea of these wearable devices and their data. It is great we have large-scale data creation, but it is even better have access to the data for processing.

Great example of charting out critical health data using easily accessible tools.  Check out Paul’s full writeup with description and code.