On hold again

Well, my plans just don't seem to be working out.  I've had some more health issues, first with the recovery from my last surgery, then early this week I fell again but this time I hurt my good knee.

Once I am recovered enough I'll be scheduling the next class, I don't want to jinx myself and set a time because it seems like whenever I do something else happens.

Next Class

Well, I got busy with some issues at work, and haven't been able to work on the communications or the wind anemometer.  I'm going to try and get some time on it next week, but I'm going to go ahead and schedule the next class.

We'll have our next class on March 18th, and I'll add it to the calendar.  We'll work on the communication between the station and the PI, and also the Anemometers.

Last Class

We had a great class, aside from the people who were out sick, but we worked on the communication from the weather station to the inside console.  I had some problems getting the radios to work in the weather station software and I'm working on getting that fixed now.  We did go through doing the Raspberry PI initial install (and finally got Van's display working) and discussed the anemometer.

I'll be redesigning the one we decided on to make it a little more weather friendly, and then I'll be printing them for the next class.  The other parts I all have except for the hall sensors which are about $6 a piece, and I'll order a bunch and everyone that wants one can pay me at the next class.

I'm hoping to have the fixed software for the NRF24 radios integrated into the weather station code and working by the end of next week and then I'll publish it on the github repository.  Those of you who are familiar with GIT and would like to contribute to the code just request access and I'll grant it for you.

I'll also schedule the next class next week, and right now I am shooting for the first or second Saturday in March.

Class Saturday

Well we are all set for our class for Saturday.

In working on getting the Raspberry PI working with the NRF2401 I ran into some issues, so instead of connecting directly to the weather station like I originally planned instead we'll use the second Arduino that we were going to originally use with the LCD as a bridge to the Raspberry PI.  The Arduino inside will have the NRF2401 module and will talk with the weather station which I've already proven out, and then it will talk over serial to the Raspberry PI.   We will need logic level shifters to convert the 5v on the Arduino to the 3v GPIO pins on the Raspberry PI and I have 15 of them we can use.

I've also found a nice case we can print for the Raspberry PI, and then we can start designing the case for the external weather station, and I also have picked out an Anemometer that we can print and build for our weather station.  I haven't found a tipping rain gauge I like yet, so I'll keep searching or we may have to design one ourselves.

We will meet at 9 am at my work, 635 Vine Street in Winston Salem, and if anyone arrives late just give me a call at 336-289-9262 and I'll come up or send someone to let you in.  Again you can park in front of the building, there should be enough spaces there, and we'll order pizza again from Burke street if everyone is good with that, or as an alternative we can order subway which is right up on 4th street if someone is willing to run out and pick it up.

Rough itinerary for Saturday:

  • Test the NRF24 on our Arduinos and make sure they are all working
  • Setup everyones Raspberry PI
  • Setup the second Arduino that will talk to our weather station, and we'll set up unique ID's for everyone so we can all test at the same time.
  • Setup the Arduino to Raspberry PI connection.
  • Discuss the next steps for the cases, anemometer and rain gauge.

Looking forward to seeing everyone Saturday!!!

Great class and the next one is on the calendar now

Had a slow time, but it was good getting the radios working for almost everyone.  I'll work on having a better testing program for January's class.

We will take a break during December for the holidays and then pick up on January 21st with working on setting up the Raspberry PI weather station console, designing the case to hold the weather station, and get started on the anemometer, weather vane and tipping rain gauge.

I'll have an updated parts list for the new parts we'll start on in January, and I'll have extra parts that people can buy at the class.

Thanks again for everyone who came to the class!

Neat new display

There's a new e-paper display being sold by Embedded Adventures who also make the lightning sensor and other sensors for Arduino.

It looks pretty darn nice and is only $27.  I'll probably be ordering one to experiment with, and if anyone wants to try one here's the link

That was fast :)

Ok, I've confirmed that we'll be having the class here at my work Inmar on Saturday the 12th of November.  Thanks again to David Mounts for allowing us to hold the class here.

The address is 635 Vine St, Winston Salem, NC.

Map on Bing

I've also created a list on Amazon with the parts we need for the class, it'll be easier to update than the spreadsheet.  I've posted the link on the links page. Of course feel free to get the parts from other vendors like Banggood, Sparkfun, Adafruit, it's totally up to you where you get the parts.  If you're not sure if the part is the same one go ahead and email me a link and I can double check it for you before you order it.


Great class on Saturday

Had a great time on Saturday, and I hope everyone else did as well.  We went through and made sure everyone understood the new code and got all the way up to the point of working with the RF radios.

During the next class what we will do is go ahead and connect the radios up to the Arduino's, and test them and how they communicate with another Arduino.  I'll have a master Arduino with a display that will poll the weather station for weather data and display it (which was the original design).  Anyone who wants to build this part is welcome to, it's going to consist of an Arduino with the NRF module, the Nokia 5110 display and a couple of push buttons.  I have a LOT of push buttons if anyone needs them, and I think I'm going to work on mounting a couple of sets on breadboards so they can be plugged into the Arduino easily.

Once we have everyone's Arduino communicating properly, then we'll switch over and get the Raspberry PI's setup and configured.  If you have an extra monitor please bring it, otherwise you definitely should bring at least the Raspberry PI, a keyboard, a mouse, whatever SD card is needed for the version of Raspberry PI you have, and a power supply.  We did find some nifty small 7" LCD screens on Amazon for about $30 and that is a very convenient option especially for the class.  If not I'll have at least one monitor possibly two that we can use to get everyone's Raspberry PI setup on the network and we can use them through VNC on your laptop.

We will then go through the basics of the Raspberry PI and how to connect things to them, we'll probably hook up a light and some switches and program those.  Then we'll go ahead and hook up the radios to the Raspberry PI and try and get them talking to the weather stations.

I'm going to be working on the software for the Raspberry PI this month, and also on building an anemometer and a weather vane, which should be very easy to hook up.

Right now I'm planning to have the next class on the 12th, and I'll post again once I've confirmed that I can get the conference room here at Inmar.


Releases for the Barometer and Moisture sensor

The code for the Barometer and Moisture sensor has been released on GitHub.

I'll finish the RTC code, the UV Sensor and the light sensor.

The communications between the Arduino and the Raspberry PI at first we will test with another Arduino as I have that code already debugged and working, and I'll add that to the weather station.

Then we will be working on the Raspberry PI section of the code which should not require any changes to the Arduino code.

Saturday I'm hoping to get all the Arduino code loaded and working, and then start discussing the Raspberry PI and go through the initial setup of a Raspberry PI.  The final version of the software for the Raspberry PI will be available in a package you can download and just flash onto an SD card without having to make any code changes so it'll be easy to deploy.  The advantage of doing it like this is you'll always have a way to restore the Raspberry PI to the default setup that works with the weather station so you can experiment and if something gets messed up you can just restore it from the package and it will start working again.

First release of the weather station code

The first version of the newly refactored code we'll be working with next weekend has been updated on Github.  

This is the new format we'll be coding in, and it includes the code for the temperature sensor.  

I'll be working on the code for the other modules that will build on this and posting it to Github as I complete them.

I also have a surprise for everyone for the class next weekend, but you have to be there to receive it :)

Parts List Updated

I just updated the parts list with the new UV sensor and all the links have been verified to work.  I also added a link to a Raspberry PI kit that is sold on amazon that is very nice.  It comes with the SD card pre-loaded with NOOBS (the operating system for Raspberry PI) power supply, video cable, a nice little case, basically everything you need to get started in one place.

In addition to that parts list you'll need the general supplies like breadboard wires, breadboard and cable for your Arduino, monitor, keyboard and mouse for the raspberry pi.

By no means feel that you have to get that one, and you can get any raspberry pi board at it will work with our project.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the class next month.


Awesome class

Thanks to everyone who came to the refresher class.  I'm sorry we couldn't cover more, but that was part of the reason I wanted to hold this class.  I needed to get my feet wet again and get comfortable after not doing much with the Arduino's.

I'll be working on the updated parts list and I should have it up by Monday so everyone can get their parts together and make sure they are ready for the class in October.  I'll be including the new light sensor I've picked out, just need to make sure it's still available, and also all the Raspberry PI components we need.  

One point you don't need the latest and greatest Raspberry Pi to use for the weather station, the A, or any of the B models will work just fine so don't feel like you need the latest and greatest for this project. 

Thanks again for everyone who came out, you're enthusiasm and questions were awesome and it all makes it so worth while to me.  

Also thank you to David Mounts and Inmar for lunch and letting us hold the class here at Inmar, it was a very relaxed and nice atmosphere.