“If I can buy a Raspberry Pi so cheaply, why would I ever use an Arduino for an electronics project?”
I often hear this from people who are new to embedded programming and electronics. This post is the first of two, aimed at beginners in the embedded world. We’ll go over some of the differences between a typical Arduino and a Raspberry Pi, and the reasons you might want to use one or the other for a project.
This post is about last month’s Shenzhen Maker Faire. It follows on from Shenzhen Trip Part 1.
Shenzhen was my first Maker Faire that wasn’t “Mini”. Mini Maker Faires are organised externally to Make Magazine but under license, and there have been two of those in Australia – Melbourne in 2012 and Sydney in 2013. Both were great fun, but I was looking forward to attending a “Big” Maker Faire.
Earlier this month I was lucky enough to head over to Shenzhen, China, for Dangerous Prototypes’ Hacker Camp and Maker Faire Shenzhen. I flew over with Jon Oxer (from Freetronics), and Mitch Davis (from Hackvana) was on our flight as well. Good Melbourne contingent!
Ian from Dangerous Prototypes has put a great series of day-to-day blog posts up on the Hacker Camp mini-site explaining the full program, so I won’t bore you by repeating them. Needless to say he and Jin, and the other organisers, did an insanely great job of showing us all the things they love about living in Shenzhen. I want to highlight just a few things from the trip that stood out for me.
I’ve been messing around with Bluetooth Low Energy on a few projects lately. There’s some fun stuff out there, but like a lot of embedded stuff it can be a bit tricky in a non-Windows environment (I run Linux whenever I can.)
One module I’ve come across is the Laird Technologies BL-600 Series. The BL-600SA is a complete, FCC module certified, Bluetooth Low Energy systems-on-a-chip. It costs $13US in single quantity at Digikey.
Inside the metal can the BL-600SA is actually a Nordic nRF51822 Cortex M0 microcontroller with built in Bluetooth Low Energy, bundled with its supporting components and a chip antenna.
Misappropriating discount store LEDs to improve the illumination in my microscope.
“Sony Smartwatch now open-sourced“? “takes wearable tech into open-source territory“? It’s a shame this is almost entirely untrue.
(Updated 21/6 with some info about the Bluetooth/FM chip.)
I’ve assembled a network installer image to install Debian 7.0 “Wheezy” on the GK802 “Android TV” Mini PC. This is intended for people who want to run the GK802 headless or semi-headless, for server or robotics applications.
Last update: 24 May, see details
Problem: You have a computer running Debian 7.0 wheezy with an encrypted root filesystem. At startup you’d like to be able to unlock the
disk over ssh, maybe because it runs headless.
I bought this LG branded USB 2.0 Hub for $10 from PCDIY.
Seems to be an LG promotional item that PCDIY decided to resell. (I don’t mind, it works properly in Linux unlike most cheap hubs.)
However, the form factor is kinda big and the LG logo is pretty bright.
Taking apart a very cheap USB to Ethernet adapter and pondering on the parts found inside.
Here are two USB to Ethernet adapters:
One of them is sold on ebay for $3.85 AU ($3.99 US), including postage to Australia. The other is sold at Apple Stores for $29.