Makers have an answer for everything


10:00 am(1/26/2013)- I get a text from @leftyfb “pipes broken at lowellmakes come fast”

11:00 am-  We find our store room with 2 inches of water, laptops switches and sparkfun kits all drenched.

oops..

oops..

11:30 am- Makers get to work!! @leftyfb brings in water pumps used in his fish tank to pump water out.

1:00pm- More makes join in with mops and buckets

2:00pm- The Lowell fire, police and public works try to stop the broken water line.

3:00pm- The water still keeps gushing down the crack on the wall

water water everywhere...

water water everywhere…

4:00pm- Makers build a dam to contain the water

Dammmm...

Dammmm…

5:00pm- There is too much water for the fish tank pumps to pump out.

6:00pm- We head over to lowe’s to get a real water pump.

7:00pm- We have the water pump hooked on to a timer that goes on every 30 min. to pump the water out from the store room to a drain

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timer connected to the pump

9:00pm- Ha! now we are getting some progress. but the water still keeps pouring.

9:30pm- Makers take apart laptops and use compressed air to salvage a few remaining laptops that were not completely drenched.

10:30pm- Makers get to work on a flood detection system using raspberry pi, pi-face and a block of wood.

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pi-saves the day…

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water detection..

11:00pm- With some bad python codes and the twilio API , we put together a floating water detection system that would send us an text message if the water rises above a certain level.(code here)

11:00pm- We setup up dropcams to keep an eye on the space.Thanks dropcam!! live feed

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a watchful eye

12:00am- All the makers go home for a nap 🙂

The pump worked the whole night in 30min cycles to pump water out, the dropcam kept an eye on the leak and the raspberry pi made sure it woke up the Makers if there was more flooding…  This might have been a small problem that was completely over engineered but this shows the dedication and creativity of Makers and their skill to use what was lying around to solve a real problem. The professional water damage contractor who came in the next day was surprised and very impressed with the ingenious way this problem was tackled and he said “we could not have done this better”… Thanks to all the makers who gave up their Sunday night plans to be here and help us out. keep checking out lowellmakes for updates (or @lowellmakes)

Raspberry Pi wireless speakers


I have been trying to make an wireless speakers for quite some time, but got stuck in at couple of places. Finally I found Kmonkey‘s work with some help from Colin CW which helped me to cross those hurdles and make my own wireless speakers. The AIRPLAY method also works well with the PI, but the Bluetooth ones are more useful, I was thinking of putting one in my car. so all you raspberry pi fans out there go make your own wireless speakers.

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visit my github for code that will start the Bluetooth on startup, and wait for a connection, the code is very basic and works feel free to tailor it to your needs…

Living with your raspberry pi…


I have finally been able to put together a few tutorials on how i used my raspberry pi and how you can do the same, i have referred a lot of tutorials and guides to come up with this, and i hope this would be useful…The Host Your website instructable is quite basic and would help you get started on your raspberry pi, The talking to sensors tutorial is more advanced and required an advanced understanding of linux commands and Python. So go ahead have fun living with your raspberry pi…

Day at the MAKERFAIRE 2012


I was super excited to meet all the wonderful, talented and creative makers from all around the world. here are a few of the photos from my trip..

I think maker fair was more about 3D printers this time, they even had a 3D printing farm, Make 3D and a lot of exhibits  on 3d printing and few on shop bot( bot which works on wood). Make also introduced their new Replicator2 the new maker bot from MAKE. they were a lot of goodies from PJ tools and Xprotolab (20$ oscilloscope + logic analyzer . I was quite amazed with the Xprotolab, tiny little oscilloscope and logic analyzer that can fit on your bread board, i did like the I2C logic analyzer it gets rids of all the waveform and shows your the raw data..not bad for a 20$ oscilloscope.

Make also gave away a free edition of the make magazine, in the MAKE stall. I also got to meet PETE from spark fun electronics who does according to PETE, a very friendly guy!!

here we go…

The most innovative make bot ever, and i luv the precision. the B9 creator

Arduinos cant get any bigger…I was happy to hear about the new arduino with the ARM cortex M) now we can play music with the the DAC on chip (it works… saw him do it) and has a debugger and USB host . Loved the speech by ALF the mastermind behind the AVR architecture.

i had always see this on you tube…non Newtonian fluids

and there was light…lots and lots of LEDs

That is eben from raspberry pi, a very inspirational talk, on how he can afford to make and sell raspberry pi made in Wales,UK for 35$.

Me with the Co-Founder of Arduino project, a man with a big heart for opensource….

PETE from sparkfun very humble and friendly…

the Metro card Robot, turned a lot of heads…

This tiny robots are really cute..

and there was music..

and a free 3D-MAKE magazine…

firefox@makerfair to introduce the new webmaker

i did buy a T-Shirt got a few stickers from sparkfun…took the train to times Square…

God bless america….(thanks for reading….)

luv the the MakerFaire and u T….

Eating you Raspberry Pi


i recently bought the super cool super cheap Rasberry Pi, it is a low cost ARM dev board, that has an ARM 11 from Broadcom BCM2835 running at 700MHZ, a video core and 256MB of RAM. The board has USB, Ethernet , GPIOs, HDMI, Analog Video, Audio, CMOS camera and LCD connectors almost everything you need… and its just for 25$…
The support for this board is just amazing and the unlimited possibilities for expansion and development, i installed the Raspbian “wheezy” from the Download site. this website gives u all the details you need on how to setup your SD card to get this baby booted. I did have some trouble using MAC OSX, the pi would not boot, but using the windows tool it worked… after you have set up your your SD card all you have to do is connect ur USB Keyboard, USB mouse, USB power (u can use your Mini usb phone charger), Ethernet (if you want internet Access). HDMI or Analogue Video to your TV/Monitor. You should see the Raspberry Pi logo almost instantly on you screen. It takes approximately 30-45 seconds to boot up. for the user name just put in “root” and hit enter.  execute startx command to go to your desktop…

the Rasberry pi has a few browsers like dillo pre installed (sadly does not play FLASH). The GUI is simple and fast, running multiple application is quite a crunch for the CPU, The Package is pre installed with python and u can get libraries for Raspberry Pi to control the GPIO and other peripherals. you can get more details from here for low-level peripherals. or download the GPIO python library here.. i have hosted a website on this tiny server…its running a Apache2, no-ip service for dynamic ip, SQL lite and phpsysinfo for server status view, go to the site now, i should be posting an tutorial on how to get this done soon…