Arduino Network Uptime Monitor with Twitter Updates

IMG_20140217_193610We’ve been looking for excuses to use our Arduino Ethernet shield in more projects recently; we had the idea today to see if we could get it monitoring our network servers and report the status of them to Twitter.

It was actually surprisingly easy; we had the Twitter posting code from the previous project and we found an Arduino ICMP library so that we could test a ping to the hosts and see if it was responding or not, we added this to our task scheduling code and the rest just fell into place.

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A quick look at the Intel Galileo Arduino/Linux Development Board

GalileoWe’ve had the Intel Galileo for around three weeks now and tested a number of projects on it’s platform. This article will be a quick review and some instructions to get you up and running with your Intel Galileo!

There are more and more distributors now stocking the Galileo; we got ours from RS Components but you can find a list of distributors on the Intel Galileo website just here.

 

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How to do RF Communication between 2 Arduinos (and more!)

We recently ordered some very cheap RF modules online to test out with our Arduino’s that we have here, despite being very cheap products they do seem to work incredibly well – So much so that we thought they deserve an article on how to get them up and running and working with two or more Arduino’s (with example sketches)

First of all, the components you’ll be needing are:

You’ll need a basic understanding of the Arduino IDE and basic programming skills to implement the example code posted below.

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Getting Started with CPLDs – Part 1

cpldjHere at the Hackshed, we’ve recently purchased a CPLD board based around the Altera Max II EPM240 chip. The board we ordered is a cheap LC Tech product from Ali Express. On reflection, perhaps we should have ordered a better board from a well known company as our board came with no documentation of any sort.

In this article, I’m going to explain the steps involved with getting the Altera Quartus II development software installed onto a Windows PC. Xilinx chips use a different development studio which we won’t be discussing in this article.

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Making male to female jumpers

male-female-jumpersWe’ve got loads of male to male (pins on each end) jumpers here in the Hackshed but recently had to do some breadboarding with a board that only had male headers fitted and didn’t have any male to female jumpers around. Now we could have ordered some online which is the easy thing to do but we needed them straight away and the nearest Maplin is quite a way away so there was nothing else for it…. we made some.

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Building a Temperature/Humidity Arduino Bot that Tweets updates!

Whilst testing out our various sensors I thought it would be fun to make the Arduino actually tweet out what the current status of our office is. The Arduino records the current, minimum, maximum and temperature change as well as humidity and then sends out a tweet to a Twitter account with an update every 15 minutes.

The following parts were used:

Requirements:

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Microcontroller Shootout – Texas Instruments MSP430

launchpad-mspexp430g2-01Ok guys and girls, time for another development board. Today we’re looking at the Texas Instruments MSP430 Launchpad, or more specifically, the MSP-EXP430G2

We’ve never actually played with one of these before but added it to the list as a suggestion from Alex Bradbury on Twitter. Once the board arrived, we opened up the packaging and were pleasantly surprised. Inside we found of shiny new dev board with an M430G2553 chip installed along with an M430G2452 chip, a 32khz crystal and a set of female headers in case you want to swap the factory installed male headers (or maybe to build your own shield). At first I couldn’t work out the difference between the two chips but going back and reading the quick start guide which was supplied with the board, it turns out that the pre-installed M430G2553 includes a USCI module which is capable of hardware UART.

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Microcontroller Shootout – Matrix ECIO28P

ECIO-page-headerFollowing on with the microcontroller shootout, today we’re going to look at the ECIO28P from Matrix Multimedia. This is a nice little system which is based on a PIC18F2455 but with Matrix’s own bootloader flashed on to it. The system also comes in a 40 pin version which offers more I/O. The first thing to note about this board is it’s size. It measures 5.5cm x 2cm in total and is perfectly sized to fit into most breadboards. Another thing I noticed with this board is the quality of the pin headers. I know it may seem like a minor detail but a lot of other boards come with the cheapest headers available at the time of manufacturing. The pins on the ECIO28P are just that bit nicer. Again, not massively relevant but I did notice it.

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