For years I’ve been trying to find a 3d printer that works reliably and has good support. Started off with a Makerbot kit, which worked well, for awhile. Then Makerbot went crazy with the pricing and went private, so I lost heart in the company.
From there we switched to Solidoodle 3, Supported Solidoodle Press though a kickstarter, took almost two years to receive and NEVER got a good print out of the unit. The unit looked great though. Back and forth with tech support to the point that they wanted me to send back unit for repair. Which I never did, thank goodness. They were out of business weeks later.
A few weeks ago I received notice from Robo, that they were discounting remaining R1+ units, I jumped at it. So far the unit has printed everything I’ve requested, even prints that took 8 hours. A total first.
The units LEDs stopped working, so I contacted Robo, after a few trouble shooting emails, I have new Lights and a have received answers to all my issues quickly and without a lot of template replies. Fantastic printer at low cost.
After a long absences I’ve finally be able to return to my technology projects.
The first one I needed to get out of the way is the weather station. Had built one a few years back, but it was destroyed by an ice storm. Therefore I had to built a new one with a more permanent foundation.
Attempted to make the system completely wireless but somehow no matter what I tried it would be limited in one way or another. So I ended up using a Raspberry Pi that has a UPS board attached to network using a POE adapter. So the Pi gets its power from the network, although the Pi connects to the network wirelessly. And since we had to run one wire, we ended up pulling a 12 volt dc wire also, this allows the addition of more ‘features’ to the pole.
As you can see there are 4 solar panels, 2 – 6 volt and 2 – 12 volt. At this point they are only being used for a string WS 2801 RGB LEDs powered through solar chargers. Sort of controlled Christmas lights. I am attempting to make the LEDs controllable from web site.
The Weather Station consists of an Arduino with a Sparkfun Weather board and sensor array, with a lightning detector attached. A Raspberry Pi connects to the Arduino and a Relay modular. Currently everything is crammed into a plastic project box mounted on the pole. Will clean it up once new boxes come in.
My neighbors have a hill behind their house, the hill top is about 300 feet away and the hill is maybe 50 feet high. My plan is to add another weather pole on top of the hill, to see how that affects wind and temperature.
How many sensors can we plug into one Arduino and setup outdoors? This is how many I was able to cram into one Project Box.
The system uses a ESP8266 Wifi / Arduino Card with a screw terminal Shield. — I attempted to run it all with two 12 volt solar panels with a solar charger. Didn’t have enough juice, so ended up just plugging into outlet located outside.
Been wanting to get this to working for years. Finally took the time to hookup and try it out.! Worked first time (once I got the wiring correct).
Now have to wait for a spring storm to test (sigh).
Updated layout, and tested. Sensor allows for a 40 miles distance detection of Lightning or related electrical noise for an approaching storm.
UPDATE: Spent the afternoon tracking storms across South Florida. System reported Kilometers, which I added a conversion to American Standard Miles. Worked very nicely.
Since the clerks at work do me a lot of favors I wanted to something nice for them. Build a desktop flower, controlled either by the computer or sensors in the flower or flower pot. For this I looked into the Teensy 2.0, costing less than $15, it is with our companies restriction on gift prices ($25).
Basically the Teensy, is a tiny Arduino. Easy to program and wire into projects. Allowing for smart projects.
New project in the works. Push a Raspberry Pi to its breaking point.
We want to develop a mobile web server to host communications between both the PIFACE and Arduino that would grant access to users from either a closed network or the Internet. Act as a Mobile Media Server using PLEX, a Mobile WIFI hot spot, serving shared files and lastly a Mobile Web Camera using a Raspberry Pi Camera Module.
Specs so far:
- Raspberry Pi Model B
- 32 gb SIM for OS
- 32 gb Thumb drive for media storage
- PiFace control board
- Plans to add Battery and Charger
- Solar Battery Charger
- LiveCode Server
Services Already working:
- Jabber – iChat
- PHP – Web Server