Category

Windows Universal Apps

Read/Write data from/to USB thumb drive on a Windows IoT Core device

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

Currently, universal apps are sandboxed to the point of blocking you from reading/writing data files to a removable USB drive on Windows IoT Core devices. This post will show you a work around if you really need to do this. Now, understand that this is not for store apps. If you submit an app using this work around, it will likely get rejected. However, for internal projects, it will definitely work, and work well. This is a great way of reading application initialization data and writing log data in a test apparatus and laboratory setting. Particularly when a network or…

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C# Windows IoT Core Serial Communications with an ESP8266

By | Blogs, C#, ESP8266, git, Hardware, IoT, Microsoft, Multi-Device, News, Raspberry Pi, Visual Studio, Windows Universal Apps | No Comments

Windows IoT Core is great for connecting single board computers such a Pi2 to an ESP8266, via a serial link. The hardware for such a link can be found in my previous post here. The details for a basic serial communication C# framework are detailed in this post. If you have an ESP8266, there are numerous ways of communicating with them such as LuaLoader. However, I needed to communicate with my ESP8266 through a Pi2 running Windows IoT Core. This is part of a larger automated test project for an upcoming consumer project we’re developing. In this post, I’ll cover…

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Software PWM at 0.35 Duty Cycle

Windows IoT Core: Software PWM

By | C#, Hardware, IoT, Microsoft, Raspberry Pi, Visual Studio, Windows, Windows Universal Apps | No Comments

One of the gaping holes in my opinion is the availability of PWM when working with Windows IoT Core on the Raspberry Pi. There are two approaches to solving this problem, one is with additional hardware to provide PWM functionality, the other is to achieve PWM with software. This article will focus on Software PWM. A Convenient Software PWM Library In poking around the web, I stumbled across this convenient library for Windows IoT Core. One of the implemented functions in this library is support for Software PWM. This library is also available as a package through NuGet. To demonstrate…

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Two Wheel Robot on the floor

Windows IoT: Basic Control of a Two Wheel Robot

By | C#, Hardware, IoT, Raspberry Pi, Windows, Windows Universal Apps | One Comment

In my last article, we utilized a Raspberry Pi running Windows IoT Core to bi-directionally control a single DC motor with the help of the L293D chip. In this article, we will take things a bit further and have the L293D chip control two motors placed on a chassis to create a Two Wheel Robot. Materials Raspberry Pi 2 running Windows IoT Core Pi Cobbler with Ribbon Cable (optional) L293DNE chip Adafruit 2 Wheel Robot Chassis Kit (contains 2 DC motors) One 4xAA battery pack (to power the motors) Breadboard Various M-M Jumper wire   Wiring Details Wiring Details Cobbler 5v…

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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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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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Controlling an RGB LED on a Photon with a UWA Color Picker

By | .NET, Blogs, C#, Fun, IoT, Microsoft, Mobile, Multi-Device, News, Photon, Visual Studio, Windows Universal Apps | 3 Comments

The Particle Photon makes it easy to control the color of an RGB LED. There are a number of color picker controls you can use in Windows apps. I wanted to see how easy it was to hook a Photon RGB LED up to a Windows app color picker. It ended up being a snap by using the Particle cloud functions. In this project I wrote a simple UWA that calls a Particle cloud function called “setRGB” on my targeted Photon whenever I change the selected value on the color picker. Then I implemented an event handler on that Photon’s…

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Wiring Diagram

Windows IoT Core : Inter-Application Communication using App Services

By | C#, Hardware, IoT, Microsoft, News, Raspberry Pi, Visual Studio, Windows, Windows Universal Apps | 12 Comments

Windows IoT Core applications fall into two categories. Headless applications, also called Background applications, and Headed applications which are applications that expose a user interface. The Windows IoT Core device as a whole can also be run in a headless or headed mode. You are still able to run any number of background applications on a device that is configured in headed mode. These background applications may also be deployed alongside a currently running headed application. It is important to note that there can only be one running UI application at a given time. Background applications can be thought of…

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Exploring Multi-Photon and Particle Cloud Functionality with a Useless Machine

By | .NET, Blogs, C#, Fun, Hardware, IoT, Microsoft, Mobile, Multi-Device, News, Photon, Visual Studio, Web, Windows, Windows Universal Apps | 2 Comments

There are many ways for Particle Photons to interact with each other. Even more ways for other devices and apps to interact with Photons through the Particle Cloud. To explore these capabilities, I created a useless machine. My useless machine is made up of two Photons. Photon 1 “falafel_1” has a photo resistor and a green LED. Photon 2 “falafel_2” also has a photo resistor and a green LED. However, Photon 2 also has a servo motor and a second red LED. The servo motor is mounted so that when it is rotated to 90 degrees, it covers both photo…

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Circuit Diagram for Sound Sensing with the Raspberry Pi

Windows IoT Core : Sensing Sound Levels

By | Blogs, C#, Fun, Hardware, IoT, Microsoft, News, Raspberry Pi, Windows, Windows Universal Apps | 3 Comments

The ability to sense the amount of sound in an environment can come in handy. From the hobbyist standpoint, you can create light elements with LED strips that light up based on the amount of sound, similar to an equalizer, to add to the ambiance of the playing music. From a commercial perspective, you can create alerts once sound levels exceed a certain threshold at a workplace (or classroom). You can also create helpful visual indicators for sound that can help those that are hard of hearing, such as a lighting-based baby monitor that will light up when a baby…

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Windows IoT Core Remote Wifi Scanner

By | .NET, C#, Fun, IoT, Microsoft, Mobile, Multi-Device, News, Visual Studio, Windows, Windows Universal Apps | 3 Comments

Windows IoT Core has a nice web-based device management interface. This app can configure many aspects of the device, such as connecting the device to a WiFi network. Because the web-based device management was just a web app, I thought it shouldn’t be difficult to write a remote app to do the same. I ended up with a remote app that could query WiFi networks visible to a Windows IoT Core device and connect or disconnect that device to those networks. To get started, I connected my browser to the web-based device management app for one of my Windows IoT Core…

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Orico Bluetooth 4.0 Dongle

Making a Smart Bracelet using Custom BTLE GATT Services, Arduino, and Windows IoT Core

By | Arduino, C#, Hardware, IoT, Multi-Device, News, Visual Studio, Windows Universal Apps | One Comment

In this article, we are going to cover how to setup your own custom GATT service on the Arduino platform and then interact with it using an application running on Windows IoT Core. The project we will create is a BTLE bracelet that has an LED light (NeoPixel) that changes colors based on the communications received over the custom GATT service. What is a GATT Service? GATT stands for Generic ATTribute Profile. Essentially, it is what defines the services and their associated characteristics that are available on a particular BTLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) device (it is also available on regular Bluetooth…

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Windows IoT Core Oscilloscope

By | .NET, Blogs, C#, Fun, Hardware, IoT, Microsoft, Mobile, Multi-Device, News, Telerik, Tools, Visual Studio, Windows Universal Apps | 2 Comments

In my continuing quest to see what the Windows IoT Core is capable of and my desire to push my gadgets to their limits, I came up with an interesting oscilloscope project using a Windows IoT Core-based Raspberry Pi 2 and a simple ADC. Now, I’m not claiming that you can just quickly build an oscilloscope using a Raspberry Pi 2 and an ADC and never need to spend the money on an oscilloscope ever again. The one shown in this project is limited in its temporal resolution to the millisecond range. For an oscilloscope, that’s slow, but it may…

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MCP3008 Chip

Analog to Digital Conversion with MCP3008 and Windows IoT Core

By | C#, IoT, Microsoft, News, Visual Studio, Windows Universal Apps | 2 Comments

The Raspberry Pi 2 is an amazingly powerful board, with plenty of great features at a low price-point. I invested in a couple Raspberry Pi 2 boards to use in my projects. I quickly discovered one feature missing on the Pi that I had grown accustomed to in an Arduino world: analog pins. I have a plethora of analog sensors that I like to tinker with, so I went in search of solutions to using them with my Pi boards. I did my research and invested in a few MCP3008 chips. The MCP3008 is a 10-bit analog to digital converter….

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Serial Conversion Module

ZigBee communication with Raspberry Pi 2 and Windows IoT Core

By | C#, Hardware, IoT, Microsoft, News, Visual Studio, Windows, Windows Universal Apps | 16 Comments

ZigBee Primer A ZigBee PAN (personal area network) is a self-organizing series of modems that communicate using the same protocol (based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard). Individual modems are configured to play a specific role within the network. Coordinators establish and organize the network (there is only ever one coordinator in a network). End Devices are the leaf nodes of the network, their responsibility is to provide valuable data. This data could be anything. It could be a power usage reading, a string relaying device status, or even a reading from a temperature sensor. The last type of configuration is…

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Running a touch-based Universal Application on a Pi 2 with Windows IoT Core Insider Preview

By | Blogs, C#, Fun, Hardware, IoT, Microsoft, Windows Universal Apps | One Comment

Building on my last blog post, I decided to put together a quick Windows Universal Application that I could run on my Pi 2 with my touchscreen. I wanted to determine how good the touch experience would be using the Rasberry Pi 2 and the Windows IoT Core Insider Preview OS. I was pleasantly surprised that once I deployed my application, the touch capabilities were very accurate and responsive. Creating the Application This blog post assumes that you’ve been through the setup of your Raspberry Pi 2 and your Windows PC as described on www.windowsondevices.com. The application I created is…

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Movies With for Windows Phone, Featuring Support for Cortana!

By | Windows Universal Apps | One Comment

Just released to the Windows Phone store from Falafel Software, Movies With is an app for searching and discovering movies featuring your favorite actors. Saw a movie with a new actor you really enjoyed? Use Movies With to find more movies they’ve done! You can even ask Cortana for help, just say “Movies With” followed by your favorite actor, director, composer or more and she’ll launch you right into the app to find more.    Love the soundtrack from the latest animated feature, or enjoyed the chilling film score from that last scary move? Find more movies featuring that composer….

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Hands-free WinRT: Part 3 – Cortana

By | .NET, Mobile, Windows Universal Apps | No Comments

This is post 3 of 3 in the series “Hands-free WinRT” Cortana is many things. She (yes, after using it for a while, you start to refer to Cortana as “she”) is a digital assistant, keeping track of details about you in order to be proactive in delivering information to you before you need it. She is a voice interface to perform tasks that would otherwise require starting one of the built-in apps, such as setting reminders and alarms, or sending a text message while driving. And when she cannot determine an action based on what you say (or type)…

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Hands-free WinRT: Part 2 – The Listening App

By | .NET, Mobile, Windows Universal Apps | 2 Comments

This is post 2 of 3 in the series “Hands-free WinRT” The first part of this series demonstrated how to use Speech Synthesis and “voice fonts” to give your WinRT app a voice. Now we can see what it takes for your app to work in the opposite direction: listening to your voice and producing text as a result. Platform Divergence While the Speech Synthesis API in WinRT is available to both Windows and Windows Phone 8.1, the Speech Recognition API, unfortunately, is not. With Windows Phone, you get a powerful API built right into WinRT that enables speech recognition in your…

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Hands-free WinRT: Part 1 – The Talking App

By | .NET, Mobile, Windows Universal Apps | One Comment

This is post 1 of 3 in the series “Hands-free WinRT” In Star Trek, characters routinely talk to the ship’s computer and it talks back. This feels very natural to the viewer, because the computer is just another character in the story. However, when given the opportunity to talk to my own computer today, I still feel awkward and prefer not to… especially if other people are within earshot! The exception to this is when I’m driving. My Lumia Windows Phone integrates nicely with my car’s Bluetooth, so as text messages arrive, I can have them read aloud and even reply…

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star-rating-windows-phone

Telerik UI for Windows Universal: Customizing the RadRating Control

By | Windows Universal Apps | One Comment

I’m working on a project using the new Telerik UI for Windows Universal, specifically the Rating control. This control is highly customizable, supporting different shapes and symbols, and is surprisingly easy to modify. In my case, I was satisfied with the default Star symbol, but needed to modify the color. I expected to see this as a simple property of the Rating control itself, but didn’t see one available in the Properties window nor via Intellisense. It turns out that the Rating control is a templated control, which is much more flexible than a simple property, as it allows you to intuitively specify different…

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