So, it’s been a while since I wrote any articles, mainly because I’ve been busy in general and also busy making things. It’s just more fun to do things, rather than write about them.
But since I didn’t want any potential reader who stumbles across this site to think, that it is abandoned by the author, I decided to start posting updates on what’s to come (hopefully on a regular basis).
Now without further delay, the updates…
I started playing Mech Warrior Online (MWO) and noticed the abundance of key bindings. So I immediately decided I need a custom controller, to comfortably organize all the key bindings. So I used another Teensy 3.0 and built a 26 key (actually 22 keyboard keys, 3 switches and 1 push button) matrix keypad with touchscreen and SD card. The touchscreen is there to manage the different keypad layouts and the SD card holds the layout data as well as some graphics to display on the screen.
A detailed article with schematics and source code will follow.
This was just a quick test to see how fast a setup like this could be. The controller is a Teensy 3.0, the image has been sent to it via USB serial and then written to the display via SPI. It took like 30 minutes to set up, but I figured it might be interesting to some people. I’ll post the firmware as well as the Python source for converting images to the proper format for this display.
Well, the 3rd version of the Cubieboard ( http://cubieboard.org ), called the Cubietruck has been released recently. Apart from a better processor ( A20, dual core ARM ), more RAM (2GB) it also has a GBit LAN port, rather than just 100MBit as the older Cubieboard did. Since I used the old Cubieboard mainly as a fileserver, I was jumping at a chance to get a faster connection in it. But for the hardware upgrade I decided it was time for a design upgrade as well. So I built a new case (admittedly rather big for such a small board, but I needed that space for the other hardware in there). The server case now contains the Cubietruck, a microcontroller, a fan, a 4x HDD mount, an 8″ VGA touchscreen, lots of USB Ports and a PC ATX PSU, which powers the whole thing and the living room lights.
As you might’ve guessed by now, the microcontroller generates PWM signals to control the lights and also the case fan. The build isn’t finished yet, but I’ve got enough material for another article already; although by the time I get around to writing that article (remember, there are more to come), it might be a lot further along its way to completion (at the very least, the case will get its paint job by then).
The living room lights actually belong to a bigger project. They’ve been up and running, previously controlled by a different microcontroller, hooked up to a Carambola. It’s part of my grand home automation project, which probably won’t be finished for another year or so. Nevertheless I’ll include a description of it in the article of the Cubietruck (maybe even with server side source code, as I’ve got prototype interfaces based on a Website and an Android app. Everything is in an alpha state, as I’m trying to figure out which interface will be best in the future).
So that’s it for now. I’ll make sure to write updates more regularly in the future.