Learned some IoT today

My head is swimming with new information, so dumping it here in a bit, but first, a meta- of what’s going on.

1.  I often feel “left behind” and “not having time to play with things”.  I decided to try to make it a priority by committing with a friend to spend an hour learning new stuff..  together.  So the idea is we spend half an hour on my project, and half an hour on his project, in a pair-program kind of way.

2. We did the first non-planning session of it today.  Well, it was still a lot of planning.  And what happened is:  the 30 minutes were just enough to get me unblocked and to learn which directions to go.. and then we switched over to his project.

3. I’m looking forward to revisiting this next week.

3.97.  if this works well over time, we might polish it up a bit and open it up to more folks. 

The Details. 

First, His Project:  (topic not revealed, that’s his story)

  • I saw Jupyter for the first time in action.  It was amazing.  I think I’ll use it the next time I need to go spelunk and chart in a RDBMS (instead of query, copy-to-excel, create chart)
  • Revisiting OpenCV for image manipulation and stuff
  • There might be some ML in that project’s future.  That’s up to him, of course.  My job is to provide interest and provide support and be a rubber duck.
  • I hope to learn more about running things in docker containers from him.

imageMy Project – Temperature logging for my A/C, Furnace — what I learned

  • I got an LED to blink and read a photoresistor via a WIFI connection (via particle.io and Tinker)
  • Kinda-sorta why we need resistors going to ground to make circuits work.  At least, I saw that repeated pattern.
  • What a breadboard is, and how it is wired
  • Digital vs Analog ~= 3.3V and ranges, and HI=3.3V.  Some specific pins have better A-to-D converters and can read ranges up to 4096.
  • The temperature sensor I have uses something called a One-Wire protocol, and I have to do a library-add to get the right library to read it.  It involves scanning for devices, multiple devices can be on the same wire.    However, there’s two ways of powering it – parasitic and non-parasitic.
  • It might be that when I plug power into the photon, if the other end is my computer, i might be able to debug print via a serial connection.   That will help with the one-wire scan.
  • Turns out particle.io does all kinds of cloudy-mc-cloud stuff so once i have my number, all i need to do is publish(“temperature”, value) and it heads up to the cloud.   Then if I add the integration to Azure IoT, it goes into Azure where I can do other things with it.  AWS doesn’t seem to have that integration.   There are other folks who do have ways to graph things.  I need to analyze patterns over a 6-month time period, involving the drop or rise in temperature from ambient to heated/cooled. 
  • For one-wire stuff, i need a 4.7k ohm resistor, and i’ll probably need breadboard cables.  I didn’t have them yet.  I ordered them.   Should be coming along with a few more thermistors.
  • Using one-wire, i might be able to have a separate sensor for “ambient temperature” so that i can diff the two easier and just take the delta.
  • I read up on the spec for the “Wiring” language, which is basically C/C++ but scaled down. 
  • I learned there’s a web, a desktop, a CLI, as well as a VsCode development environment.  The vscode one seems to have a debugger.  Don’t think I’ll need that, as long as I can get serial.print() to work.

Side note – I didn’t have LetsEncrypt set up to auto-renew my cert, so the https cert for this blog expired.  I had to go find my blog post to find the link to find the commands to renew it.   Done.

Author: sunnywiz


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