Project 1 – Nightlight

I made an order late last week from the excellent folks at Spikenzie Labs to replace a fraction of what I lost when I left Diyode and Guelph. Mainly, a new soldering iron and some kits to play with. So now I can finish my extra Codeshields and restart a few projects I’ve been meaning to work on.

The project I’d like to work on first is a bit of illumination for the nursary. He doesn’t sleep there at all yet, but when he does, it’ll be nice to have some gentle illumination that can change based on what’s happening – so ground level lighting when we bring him in, change table lighting when we’re over there, and some colour for him to watch while he’s waiting to sleep. Because if he has a few lights, we can just put him in the crib and he’ll be happy from 7-10pm and mom and dad will have lots of time for their own hobbies. Right? Right. These had better be some great lights.

I have no real experience with Arduino, or with anything really. But, as any great artist, I know how to steal. So I’m going to start with one of the available codeshields sketches and work off that – The button, potentiometer, tri-coloured LED and white LED to start, and I’m going to include a non-codeshield componant – a Motion Sensor.

So – How to attach the motion sensor? What pins are free on an arduino with a Codeshield? Are there any extra pins on a Codeshield? Yup! Looks like pins 7 and 8 are free. I used some F/F jumpers to easily add the motion sensor to pin 7 and used it to trigger the LED – Step 1 down, now to figure out what else I can trigger on motion!


We’ve into bigger digs to make room for our growing family. Unfortunately, that no more Diyode, just when I finally have the space to put it to better use :(

Along with my already established motion sensor monitor project, I’d like to see something like a wearable temperature sensor – Maybe an Adafruit Gemma with a smart pixel or two? Something that I can swap between outfits. Babies can’t indicate well when they’ve got cold feet.

And also, more importantly, the climate control for each room of this place is a heat/AC unit that can only blow a certain temp at a certain speed until the power goes out or the sun explodes. I’d like to add some brains, like an arduino with a temp sensor and a pair of servos for the climate control knobs. Going to mock it up on the codeshield ;) If I get really ambitious, I’d like to network the rooms together with a web interface somehow…

First project post

I had been most of the way through a raspberry pi powered motion webcam before christmas, then made a string of mistakes involving a piss-poor card reader and lost all my work.

The good news is, rebuilding is going quickly. The new Raspbian image has GPIO, Python and now(!) limited support for hardware MJPEG decoding, which gets me closer to a feature I couldn’t implement before.

Current steps –
[] Find another dlink webcam to test on
[] Configure Motion to trigger a python script upon detection
[] Write the Motion trigger script and timer script to keep track of the amount of motion. Should really figure out a collision free way to do this, but my last dueling python method worked…
[] Mount my lights in the RasPi case for output through GPIO
[] Profit!

Geography, creative spaces and probably babies