WiFi PIR Sensor

What IoT (“internet of things”) setup would be complete without the wireless PIR (passive infrared) motion sensor? And anyway, at this pace of ESP8266 projects, soon everything in my house will have an IP address.

This sensor is the next in a series, intended to fulfill a purpose, provide a general template for device-to-internet communication, and aid in me figuring out better and more compact ways to build these devices.

Generic input sensor interface
Generic input sensor interface

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Exporting a gmusicbrowser queue

I was looking to brush up on my C and C++ skills and become acquainted with the GNU GCC compiler, and this was one of the first topics I chose.

The idea is, take the queue of songs from gmusicbrowser and write a shell script to copy each music file to the current directory, prepending the number position in queue to the file name.

This permits the user to place all the files on a thumb drive or other device, and have them play in the same order, when the playing device plays in order of an alphabetical sorting of the directory. Two examples of devices that do this are an Onkyo TX-8050 receiver and a Kenwood DPX-500BT head unit. Continue reading Exporting a gmusicbrowser queue

3D printing a charging cradle for a Sony Xperia Z

This is a recap of a term project of sorts in Solidworks class last spring. We had to pick something to design (printing it was optional).

My latest smart phone is a Sony Xperia Z, a cheap enough out-of-pocket expense to replace a cracked Nexus 4. The new phone is water-resistant, but I found pulling the cover off the charging port every night was a pain. They do sell a charging cradle, though its poor design means it will not work with as phone case.

Copyright Sony
Copyright Sony

Considering the Xperia Z is so thin I can barely pick the phone up off a table without a case, and considering the school having a 3D printer, I found my design project. This post outlines the topics covered in my class presentation.

Appearances can be deceiving - this alarm clock has an IP address.
The finished print

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ESP8266 Arduino SMTP Server

Note: This is the first in a three-part series. Click here for part 2.

I wanted a way to have a DVR (camera system) to trigger an ESP8266 to toggle a pin (for a chime, etc). This specific model of DVR only allows sending mail and sounding a buzzer for motion detected events. One option would be to put a second ESP8266 inside the DVR and put the IO pin on the buzzer output. A method using one ESP8266 rather than two, would be to have the ESP8266 receive the email. So I set off to make an arduino SMTP server. Continue reading ESP8266 Arduino SMTP Server

Rebuilding the automation controller

After much slacking, I have concluded that it is not worth the effort to try to build a product around this idea, to then produce, market, and sell.

In the spirit of open-source, I intend to document here my progress in creating a simple, inexpensive yet powerful tool for hobbyists to build.

The automation controller is a device which allows the user to log and view sensor readings (temperature, humidity, etc) and use those inputs to control attached appliances (heater, humidifier, etc) automatically. This device can be built using parts bought from common online electronics distributors, with a low to moderate amount of soldering and assembly.

This device is based upon a microcontroller (“MCU”) which is a small computer for all intents and purposes. This MCU I have written software for, which I will make available here, free of charge.

The device runs independent of a computer, however at present a graphical frontend is used to display logs and set parameters. This software will be available here, free of charge, and requires Windows 98 or higher. In the future there will be available software for other OSes.