HackerSpace Monitoring with Raspberry Pi

22 03 2013

About 2 months ago, nice folks at Adafruit offered to send us a care package filled with Raspberry Pi goodness. In return, they wanted us to create something and write about it. Most of us were busy, but it seemed like a good offer, so we quickly accepted it as we thought “Well, we will have some free time, right?” Yeah, free time…

Thus arrived our care package 4 weeks ago, addressed to yours truly as I was selected to be the person responsible with the progress. Nope, it had nothing to do with me giving classes about Raspberry Pi or being experienced with embedded Linux boards; the reason is as a grad student I have a flexible schedule, enjoy all-nighters, solder fumes and programming. We discussed many projects: GPS data logger, weather display, radiation measurement server and so on. All was nice but I wanted a couple of things to try with this project: WiFi access to a hidden network (our HackerSpace has a hidden network), using a webcam, reading sensors and displaying them. That gave me an idea to have a HackerSpace status display so that we can see if anybody is in so that people without keycards can drop by. While we are at it, why not add a webcam feed to it and a temperature&humidity sensor to see if it’s a good idea to leave home (In Tokyo, summers are really hot and humid so you usually don’t wander off the regular path between home and work). That is how HackerSpace Monitor was formed.

HackerSpace Monitor during development. The switch on the left side is for status messages, there is also a wireless adapter attached to the USB hub.

HackerSpace Monitor during development. The switch on the left side is for status messages, there is also a wireless adapter attached to the USB hub.

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Using Bus Pirate with Arduino IDE

4 05 2011

Yesterday, a friend from Tokyo HackerSpace said that he bought an DIY Arduino kit. The problem is that the ATmega168P does not come with the required bootloader. Just the same day I bought two FreakDuino boards and tried to use them to flash the bootloader with no luck. FreakDuino boards had no problem as I tested the same approach using other Arduino type boards available at the hackerspace.

This morning an idea popped up in my mind to use the Bus Pirate with avrdude. I managed to program but something was off because I was not able to connect to the bootloader. I can use Bus Pirate with avrdude directly as it’s firmware can interact with avrdude. “How about embedding it into Arduino IDE?” was the question in my mind now.

While messing around the directory of Arduino IDE, I found some text files and answer to my question lies in one of them: programmers.txt

Just add these three lines to it and you are good to go (note: you might need root privileges for Linux)

buspirate.name=The Bus Pirate


Jobs getting piled up…

30 08 2010

I was pretty busy, and had to delay some of the things I had to do. But they are all getting piled up, so I have to start somewhere! These are the updates I have in mind:

  • PIC32 Ethernet Starter Kit review
  • GPS module review and BusPirate connection guide
  • C30 v3.23b Linux import has to get finished and guide has to be updated

There are also a few projects coming along with other contributors. Also a few are in my draft book, waiting for parts, tools, time etc. Hopefully I will finish the list and start them soon.