April 25, 2017

Wireless IP camera review - T7838WIP

  Hello everyone, how is it going? Today I will be reviewing a nice wireless IP camera: the T7838WIP 720p WiFi capable camera, made by VstarCam and brand-labeled by MANY others. Note that I have also recorded the above video with the actual T7838WIP camera.

Some specs:

- Up to 720p video (1280 x 720, HD)
- WiFi capable (works with Ethernet as well)
- Infrared LED's (night vision!)
- Supplied by 5v power adaptor
- Pan 355º and tilt 120º
- Captures and reproduces audio on camera
- Works paired with the Yoosee app (Android and iPhone)
- micro SD card for recording (up to 32GB)
- Supports ONVIF protocol (can be paired to compatible DVR's for recording and monitoring!)

Starting it up is as easy as three steps:

- Download the Yoosee APP on your phone (and open it)
- Power the camera UP on the same WiFi network as the cellphone
- Follow the app instructions!

   This camera has positively surprised my in many ways: the fist is the image quality, 720p over WiFi; there is also the capability of capturing and reproducing sound to and from the camera and the APP (you can listen and talk to whoever is close to the camera - I recorded the video this way!). Finally the capability of panning and tilting around -in real time- amazing. 
   As far as buying this camera yourself, I can only recommend it and give you two links where you can find it: GearBest (here) and BangGood (here). I hope you guys like the camera and this article about i; see you soon!.

April 23, 2017

Arduino-based datalogger - DIY data logging

   Update: this project is also on Hackaday.io: https://hackaday.io/project/21409-arduino-datalogger-with-microsd-card

   Hey everyone, how are you doing? Today's video is all about a project I have been thinkering around (and designing) for a long time: an Arduino-based data logging system. It basically reads data from Arduino micro's analog and digital inputs and saves it to a microSD card.
   The reason I created it is that I need a datalogger myself; I am always experimenting with analog and digital data from physical systems (rc cars, servo motors, etc etc) and I simply love to record said data for after-the-fact analysis and comparison.
   I have programmed it to read all four analog inputs of Arduino micro (A1..A4) and store the data in '.csv' format inside the microSD card; it allows me to easily post-process and copy/paste/move information. 
   The schematic diagram (made in Fritzing) for the datalogger is seen below, and the Arduino code can be downloaded in this link (or copyied from below as well - use it without worries).

Source (original image): here

  Here are links for you to buy every necessary component to assemble this project yourself. Buying from our partner (ICStation) helps us keep the blog going:


April 21, 2017

FritzenMaker's Youtube Channel

Hey everyone, how is it going?

   I just would like to give you heads up that I now own an Youtube channel. Is is also called FritzenMaker (link here) and will be the main content platform for FritzenMaker (besides this blog, of course!!).

Have fun here:  FritzenMaker Youtube Channel !!

January 25, 2016

My first ever Instructables - a PCB mockup out of cardboard

   This blog post is about my first-ever Instructable entry: a PCB mockup made out of cardboard. I will explane it better:
   I live in a third-world country (Brazil); as so, many of the materials have to be imported. I work with embedded systems development, so importing electronic components is basically a daily task for me. I basically buy most stuff from China and get free shipping, and it may take up to 90 days to a free-shipped material to get to my hards: this is because customs in Brazil are slow and tough at the consumer, always willing to tax us a bit more here and there.
   One of the biggest slow-downs of an electronic product development is the manufacturing (and iterations necessary) of the printed circuit board (PCB), because it is almost an "art" and most designers don't make it right the first time.
   So basically on a scenario where anything can take 90 days to make it to my hands from China, I cannot afford making big mistakes!; this is why I have come up with a cardboard-based mockup of my current PCB design, so that I can mechanically test it before sending it to the (PCB) board house.

   Of course (as it is simples plain paper and cardboard) you cannot connect it to and a power supply or the like; this technique is intended to mechanically-test component collision and positioning only!.
   You can find my full instructable on this link. Hope you like it and share the knowledge with your friends.

December 16, 2015

Professional Electronics Blog - FritzenLab

Hello everyone, how are you doing today? the end of the year is approaching fast, right?

   So I came here today to present you my newest venture: an embedded systems professional blog!. I just left my job at a tech company in Brazil to startup an electronics design house, and decided that in paralell I would run a blog.
   One of my passions is to learn electronics, and be able to teach people what I have learned; this is exactly what I plan to do in my new FritzelLab ( <3 ), be able to pass my knowledge to everyone that wants to learn; all of that in a free and open way. 

The blog will be written in Brazilian Portuguese (my mother language) because my target is the Brazilian market and its proeminent maker scene!. You can enter my blog in here: www.FritzenLab.com.br .  

Feel free to comment and suggest (even in English if you will!). 

See you all, 

March 30, 2015

Tilt-based led light

Hello makers, readers and curious!

   I´m here today to bring you a sort of toy I have made for the Arduino Day (March 28th, 2015). It is a simple tilt-based LED light (images below), and despite the fact that it features no Arduino (!?), it made me proud of my maker capabilities!. 

   The working principle is simple: depending on the  position of the tilt ball switch, the LED lights or not; you can check the schematic below. I have used the following materials:

- 2x 1.5V coin cell batteries
- 1x 100R/ 0,125W resistor
- 1x 5mm red LED
- Soldering
- Glue, to put the batteries together :) 

The original idea came from my mom, which is a special children's teacher, and it intends to stimulate and entertain them, and help them learn quickly.

I have not tested the toy with children so far, but will be glad to share the results with you when I do. See you guys next time!.

March 10, 2015

The Hackaday Prize 2015 !

Hello readers, how are you doing today?

   So I´m back to this blog after some time, now to spread the word about an incredible opportunity form the Hackaday website team: today is the beginning of a new Hackaday prize, the @HackadayPrize 2015!. This is a maker competition in which you can submit your idea to change the world (or just to water your plants more efficiently..), and for which there is a go-to-space first prize.

   I have entered a project in the 2014 edition, having reached the quarter-finals with mine `chip timing for running clubs´, you can see my project in here. For this year´s prize, I am planning to enter this open source weather station here, which features a bunch of sensors and communications options, all of that being supplied by a fraction-of-watt solar panel!.
   By the way, the 2014 champion was a project called satNOGS, satellite tracking stations. So if you guys have any project idea and would like to share it (and maybe win a trip to space and many other perks), enter the Hackaday prize now!. See you guys soon.

November 20, 2014

Open source - explained in LEGO!

   Browsing the internet (as I do every single day of my life) sometimes exposes me to some very interesting stuff; as for example this video (below), explaining with LEGO (in stop motion) how does the Open source movement works. That's some worth-watching-content, for sure!.

October 21, 2014

A substitute for the DELAY function - Arduino

Hello guys, how are you doing today? 

   Ever since I came across the Arduino platform, I felt really pissed off with (the existence) of the delay() function, because it was created with the (evil) solo purpose of wasting time between executions of the loop() function. 
   I have rapidly created a counter to substitute this function in every sketch of my own, with the downside of having to adjust the counted number for every single program (because different program sizes take different times to be executed). This scenario have just changed, because I am presenting you my very own professional way to not waste precious time of your Arduino. It is a sketch that allows you to run a piece of code every 'x' microseconds while leaving the rest of the time free for execution of more code!. 
   The code takes advantage of the micros() function, present in the stock Arduino language and IDE, which returns the time (in microseconds) that Arduino has been running since the last reset. Essentially what I do is to execute my main function (which I can freely choose) only every given time; this "given" time can be adjusted by updating its value (in microseconds) in an IF loop.

   The sketch is available on my GitHub and doesn't require any special library or installation, only the stock micros() function. Essentially your custom code, such as blinking leds, goes in between the quotes I have wrote (as seen below): 

   The main advantage in this code is that you can execute a code every 'x' microseconds (utilizing the sketch exactly as it is) or multiple codes every 'y' microseconds (by adding new IF conditions based on the same couter). You can not forget to fill your setup() function as needed; your timing will always be respected, since you don't write a code big enough (that takes more time than your delay) to be executed. 
   I would greatly appreciate to hear from you guys, any suggestion, criticism, upsides, downsizes, anything that can make the code work better. You can reach me on twitter @embedded_clovis or email: clovisf AT gmail DOT com .  

September 19, 2014

Those are my thoughts about solar roads

So I am bringing something different for you guys today! It is a video that really reflects my thoughts on the recently-IndieGoGo-funded Solar roadways:

And they have raised over $2M dollars :) . 

September 05, 2014

Beta-testing Arduino-ZERO

Hi guys, this is just an update post to tell you two things: 

1- I will be back to this blog once I go forward on my "chip tag for running clubs" project and once the things stabilize in the college (beginning of a new term is always crazy!).

2- I was selected as one of the Arduino-ZERO (link here) beta-testers! It has been so nice and so crazy test everything on that board, you have no idea. I have signed a waiver saying that I cannot share any information related to the platform, so I will only be telling you things related to this project when the beta-testing is over (and the product releases).

Stay tuned for news, and happy coding and hacking!! :-)

July 23, 2014

RFID tag reader with ARM microcontroller

   Good afternoon makers, and welcome back to Embedded-Clovis blog. Today I will show you one of the first steps in the make of my Chip Tag for every running club (click here) project: the RFID tag reader. It is a part of a Hackaday prize project I am in, so I think it is important to share it with you.
   RFID stands for Radio-Frequency identification and is a technology that reads/writes tag's (cards, keychains, tokens) contactless (by air); it may or may not feature a power supply in the target device, and when it doesn't have a power supply the energy for the target comes from the air as well (from the host device).
   I bought the module RFID-RC522 breakout board from a random seller on eBay, that features a MFRC522 RFID chip from NXP working on 13.56MHz; I also bought some programmable RFID cards/keychains for testing: the MIFARE 1K . I haven't tested recording data on it but this is surely the next step in my journey (since I will need that on my "Chip tag for runner's" project. 
   The schematic of my project can be seen below, featuring a Freescale FRDM-K64F development board, a RFID-RC522 module and an USB cable connected to my PC. Every time a card is ready (in a 2-3 centimeters range) its data is sent to a serial console on PC: I am using the Arduino IDE console on this project. 

click in the image to Enlarge

The wiring is done as follow: 

MFRC522 SPI_MOSI => PTD2 port of my board
MFRC522 SPI_MISO => PTD3 port of my board
MFRC522 SPI_SCK => PTD1 port of my board
MFRC522 SPI_CS => PTE25 port of my board
MFRC522 MF_RESET => PTD0 port of my board
MFRC522 3.3V => 3.3V of my board
MFRC522 GND => GND of my board

   There is a test code on GitHub here,  for reading tags and sending its information to the serial console of a PC. It is important to mention here that most of the code was taken from libraries and examples created by other users on the mBed platform (please refer to the GitHub link above for credit information).
   This was only the first step on the development of my summer project (Chip tag for running clubs), but I am sure it will help people get started with RFID technology. Having any question or concern, please contact me via Twitter: @ClovisDuino  or e-mail: clovisduino AT gmail .com . See you guys next time; have fun hacking and making!. 

July 04, 2014

Weather datalogger with ARM cortex-M4 - part1

   So, after blinking LED's and reading buttons I want to go further and deeper inside my ARM Cortex-M4 board: I am developing a data-logger for Temperature, Humidity and light level; It will store its data inside a micro-SD card, available on-board the FRDM-K64F I have.
   The sensors I have in my hands right now are the linear LM35 temperature sensor, the DHT11 digital temperature/humidity sensor and a LDR(light dependent resistor) for visible light level measurement. In the picture below you can see the setup of my experiment; it is  possible to see the big light-blue component (DHT11) aside with LM35 (the TO-92 case) and my Freescale development board with a microSD card connected to it. The LDR is missing in the picture, but is present in the actual prototype.

   Besides the sensors and microSD my board also features a Timekeeping chip, a Maxim DS1302 in a breakout board with a battery mounted on it; That chip makes my data-logging look more "professional" by keeping track of the time of every reading (or event). My code can be download from here and the schematic diagram is seeing below. 

Schematics- click the image to enlarge

   One reading is made every 10 seconds and the data is stored in the microSD card. I have tested the setup for several days, for as long as 21 hours every time. Turns out the system is very reliable: it can be seen below in the temperature plot that both sensors feature a similar behavior, validating the reading of both (analog for the LM35 and digital-serial for the DHT11).

Click in the images to enlarge

   I selected that specific period of time (5AM- 5PM) because it is the most interesting in terms of temperature and light level; There are some considerations to be done in here:

1) The temperature and the light level increase when 5PM gets closer, and that is because my room is facing northwest, so it starts getting a huge amount of sunlight around that time.
2) My light sensor (LDR) is not calibrated and I also don't know its characteristics, so I simply put a series resistor (1Kohm) with it; As a post processing I scale it to fit into a 0-5 arbitrary scale. Around 7:30PM (not on the pictures above) it reaches almost 4.5 with direct sunlight over it.
3) Some noise is expected to appear in the pictures above (as is possible to observe), as the system takes one measurement every 10 seconds. These pictures feature around 12 hours of data!.

   That was the part 1 of a series of improvements I am planning to make on that project; My next step will be using the network hardware available on-board (Ethernet) to send all that data in real-time for a web page I will create. Another piece of future work will also be powering the module with a solar panel (which I have bought already). And finally adding a rain sensor to it, so I can have a complete meteorological station in my house!. All of that was powered by this amazing Freescale development board (FRDM-K64F). 

Thank you guys and see you soon,