Monthly Archives

November 2015

Introducing the ESP8266-12 Module

By | ESP8266, IoT | No Comments

This is post 2 of 13 in the series “IoT with the ESP8266” Don’t let the $2-3 price fool you: there is a lot of functionality packed into the ESP8266-12 module by Chinese manufacturer AI-Thinker. The ESP8266EX itself is a System on Chip (SoC) produced by another Chinese manufacturer, Espressif. Within this tiny 5mm TSLP package is: a 32-bit 80 MHz microcontroller based on the Tensilica LX106 64 KB of Instruction RAM, 96 KB of data RAM Built-in 2.1 GHz 801.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi interface (TR Switch, Balun, LNA, Power Amplifier, and Matching Network) 17 GPIO pins with internal pull-up/pull-down resistors…

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Azure Mobile Services HTML/JS Client & Auth0

By | .NET, Azure, C#, JavaScript | 3 Comments

This is post 9 of 11 in the series “Azure for Developers” You probably already know what Azure Mobile Services is, but you may be wondering what Auth0 is. I’d describe Auth0 as a complete authentication SaaS product. Auth0 offers integration with dozens of social and enterprise authentication systems, has its own full-featured authentication and management APIs, a management UI, good documentation, and even client-side login libraries. Auth0’s documentation already contains some helpful advice for integrating with Azure Mobile Services, but the only sample code is for a C# Windows application, so it took some homework to gather all the necessary information…

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Heart Rate Display with a Photon and a Microsoft Band

By | .NET, Blogs, C#, Fun, IoT, Microsoft Band, Mobile, Multi-Device, News, Photon, Visual Studio, Windows Phone | 4 Comments

Those who know me, know I love sensors, and doing things with sensors. I’ve published many posts on accessing the various sensors on the Microsoft Band: Accelerometer & Gyroscope, Ultraviolet, Skin Temperature, and Galvanic Skin Response. One subject that I haven’t gotten to is the heart rate sensor. I’ve also started to publish a few IoT posts. For this post, I thought it would be fun to integrate the Band’s heart rate sensor with a Particle Photon so you can visualize your heart rate with an RGB LED. The LED pulses at the same rate as your heart and will shift…

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Why is IoT so Expensive? Hint: It Doesn’t Have to Be!

By | ESP8266, IoT | One Comment

This is post 1 of 13 in the series “IoT with the ESP8266” So often today, I see the Internet of Things (IoT) as being associated with small form-factor general-purpose computers, like the Raspberry Pi 2, the Intel Galileo, and the MinnowBoard MAX. Don’t get me wrong: these are all great platforms for prototyping just about anything, offering fast multi-core processors, a reasonable amount of RAM by today’s standards, a plethora of I/O, and external removable storage (i.e., SD card) all at a reasonable cost if you are buying one or two… but at $35, $45, and $145, these are…

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Wiring Diagram

IR Break Beam Hot Wheels Car Speed Track

By | C#, Fun, Hardware, IoT, Microsoft, News, Raspberry Pi, Visual Studio, Windows | No Comments

Today I bring you a fun little project. The goal of the project is to measure the speed of toy cars as they run the length of a track. Kids and adults can compete to see who has the fastest car. What you’ll need: Hot Wheels Cars A track – I used baseboard molding from a home improvement store Two 5 mm IR break beam sensors Your existing Windows IoT Core setup Wiring Diagram Wiring Details (x2) IR Break beam transceiver black wire to GND (x2) IR Break beam transceiver red wire to 5V (x2) IR Break beam receiver black…

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PIR Sensor with a Photon, Particle Cloud, and a UWA

By | .NET, Blogs, C#, Fun, IoT, Microsoft, Multi-Device, News, Photon, Visual Studio, Windows, Windows Universal Apps | One Comment

My latest sensor experiment involved the PIR Motion Sensor (HC-SR501) that comes with the Photon Maker Kit. The motion sensor didn’t have the best English documentation; however, there were enough translations and fragments out on the Internet to get the job done. I decided to interface the motion sensor with a Photon, and then feed the sensor output to a UWA through the Particle Cloud by using a Particle Event Stream. The sensor has two potentiometers on its PCB. One controls the sensitivity of the sensor and the other controls the output latch delay. Turning the sensitivity down essentially limits the…

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Get your Windows 10 Developer eBook here!

By | News | No Comments

Recently Falafel published a series of blogs to help Windows 10 developers build awesome apps leveraging Visual Studio and Universal Apps and MVVM Techniques. This series takes you all the way from getting everything installed to building responsive UI’s. To make it easy for you, we followed that up with an eBook that you can download and take with you to get started with Windows 10 development on the Microsoft platform. Whether you are just getting started or a pro Microsoft developer, there is something in this eBook for you. Some of the highlights for this eBook are: Hello, Windows 10: Getting Started Upgrading…

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Touchscreen Panel Application

Windows IoT Core : A Philips Hue Touchscreen Panel Application

By | C#, Fun, Hardware, IoT, Microsoft, Multi-Device, Raspberry Pi, Visual Studio, Windows, Windows Universal Apps | 10 Comments

Philips Hue is a fabulous lighting system. It is a hub based system that discovers when new bulbs are added, allowing you to grow the collection of smart bulbs in your home organically. Hue also has apps available on some mobile platforms that make customizing and controlling your lights an easy and visual task. These are all fine and dandy, as long as you have a mobile device with you at all times. Hardware switches are available to circumvent that need, but they have limited functionality and in all honesty, they aren’t all that flashy or futuristic looking. I thought…

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Azure Mobile Apps: Writing a Fast Custom DomainManager, Part 3

By | Azure, C#, JavaScript, SQL Server | 4 Comments

This is post 8 of 11 in the series “Azure for Developers” Picking Up From Last Time Last time, I finished the overview of the helpers afforded by the MappedEntityDomainManager and how they could be used to easily implement a custom DomainManager that maps an ITableData DTO class to a database table with an integral primary key, and I profiled the SQL that was generated by performing an ID lookup as well as the SQL that was generated by querying the OData endpoint of a TableController that uses this custom DomainManager. I explained why the SQL generated by this custom…

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