From Slack to Spaces

This post is part announcement and part analysis; the announcement first - The Garage Lab now has its own Google Space. The goal is to have a place to share works in progress, interesting projects from around the internet and a way to float ideas or pose questions. Most of…

Practical (3D) Printing

Although it is getting better a lot of articles about 3D printers and 3D printing concentrate on the tchotchke factory aspect or the high end metal printers and ignore the simple, utilitarian uses that are a much better example of the impact of this technology. The charging cradle for my…

GreenPak Programmable Matrix

I had a batch of PCBs arrive yesterday which included the boards for my ESP8266 based sensor system so I should be able to do a followup post on that project in the near future. This batch also included my breakout boards for GreenPak 3 mixed signal programmable logic chips.…

ESP8266 Network Configuration

One of the more challenging issues with wireless sensor nodes is performing the initial configuration required to get them to connect to your wireless network in the first place (in this case I am talking about 802.11 a/b/g/n based WiFi networks). To connect to a WiFi…

NotDuinos - The Arduino Core on Other Devices

In my last post I mentioned that there was an Arduino compatible core available for the ESP8266 - in this post I cover how to install this core as well as cores for other non-Arduino hardware. A Brief History of Arduino The Arduino system started in 2005 as a project…

ESP8266 - The Easiest Way to Automate Your Home

Recently I've been looking at a way to quickly build and deploy some wireless sensors to feed data into my home automation system and took a second look at the ESP8266 modules sitting in my parts drawer - these devices seem to be the quickest, cheapest and easiest way to…

Bread Heads - AVR Breadboard Programmers

I recently found myself needing to reuse some older prototypes for a newer project, as part of the repurposing I needed to flash an Arduino compatible bootloader on the AVR processors in them. The design didn't include an ICSP header so I wanted to find an easier way to flash…