sobota 28. února 2015

Back from Embedded World 2015!

I did not update the blog for a few days. I was on Embedded World 2015 in Nuremberg, visited customer in Essen, and then recovering from all that :) All that were business trips, and I can tell you that all of that was exhausting. I took train to Essen and back, and that was refreshing, I really enjoyed that... but still, it's five hours on train.

We spoke to some people on MS booth (not MS directly), and we were given this 16GB USB stick. I originally thought it's a chewing gum or something. The other side says "Internet of Your Things". IoT was a major buzzword this year. Why not.

I also brought a new STM Nucleo board. I don't have it with me, and I don't remember the model number - just guessing it's the F303RE variant. Unfortunately, I didn't realize I could (and should) register for the NFC expansion board.
I did not bring anything from Essen, but we had time to have a lunch in Maredo steakhouse. Yum!
As for the hardware projects, I did a few minor things.
I was about to update the "white" clock with support for buttons to set time, and when looking into the code, I realized I did it already long time ago. It's funny, the clock was sitting on my desk for a few months and waiting for the update.
I received some goodies from China, one of them a boost-buck converter. I hooked it to the solar panels and I can see it works as expected. The panel voltage dropped to something like 2.5V, so it's still far from ideal, but it was pretty cloudy today anyway. The lead accu I ordered almost a month ago still did not arrive, and I can't test the whole setup with it (eBay case opened already).

I played with the sensor nodes a little, and added some indicator LEDs to the central node, just to show if it's alive, and if packets arrive from time to time. I wanted to use PWM, and most of the PWM capable pins are on that odd-placed Arduino connector (pins 8-13). The trick to make the connector compatible with stripe board can be seen on left. Those are originally pins extracted from right-angled pinheader, and they're bent accordingly using pliers.

I am also making another attempt with the CR2032 based node. I placed it outside on a dry place, let it report every minute, and I will monitor the battery voltage again. It started with 2.94V - or actually a bit higher, but the voltage dropped after moving the node to the balcony. Outside temperature is around 4°C, compared to something like 22°C inside, thus some voltage drop was expected. Other nodes are scattered around the home, just to keep the central node busy.

Last but not least, I again put some stuff on eBay. I sorted out the vacuum tubes I purchased some weeks ago, and found some that might sold (like DY-802, 25kV diode that could be used for X-Ray). We'll see.

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