Adventures with a Pi2Go Lite robot

Having received a Pi2Go Lite for his birthday, my eldest son finished assembling it and wanted to move on to some software. He’s used Scratch at school so the intention is to use ScratchGPIO (thanks @cymplecy) to control it and get it following a line. There seems to be little documentation on using the Pi2Go with Scratch though.

I thought I’d get him started by providing an SD card with Raspbian installed and working.  We then plugged it into the TV and booted, set the SSID (we’re using a Pi3) and connected to the WiFi.  I then installed Tightvncserver so he could remote desktop into it.  All good so far. Continue reading

Experimenting with Thingspeak and ESP8266

A friend recently gave me an ESP12E module to play with. I’ve previously played with the ESP8266 at Open Source Hardware Camp 2015 when Omer Kilic ran an ESP8266 workshop. The workshop focused on NodeMCU and LUA.

My immediate thought there was to use LUA again and I built some NodeMCU firmware to experiment with different LUA scripts.  It worked pretty well.  Later I wanted to have a go with the NodeMCU support in the Arduino IDE.  That turns out to be very nicely done :-)

I’ve therefore added a couple of DS18B20 digital one-wire temperature sensors to the board and made use of the OneWire, DallasTemperature and Thingspeak libraries in order to collect data and push it to the web. Continue reading

Quadcopter project resumed

Over a year ago I decided I wanted to build a small Quadcopter. I bought some Hexatronic 5 gram brushless DC motors (HXM1400-2000) and some 6A Turnigy speed controllers. I designed a lightweight aluminium frame on CAD and did some research on how to stabilise it and control the four motors.

I came across an open source flight controller project designed for Quadcopters called Simple Flight Controller (SFC) which is based on an MSP430 – specifically the RF2500 2.4GHz development modules. I modified the source to compile on MSPGCC and got it to say “hello world” to me but then had to shelve it due to pressing work projects. Continue reading