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nerdDoro Parallax Spinneret Design Contest Entry

nerdDoro Parallax Spinneret Design Contest Entry

Jul 31, 2011

Edit: Ohh My! :-) I won honorable mention in the contest! What fun. Too cool. happy jeffa, happy happy! See all the winners here. Hello pictured above is yours truly the author Jeff Albrecht holding my nerdDoro prototype entry for the Parallax, Inc. 2011 Spinneret Web Server Design Contest. Click on any of the images in this blog post to enlarge. nerdDoro is functionally two devices. nerdDoro is a standalone clock and thermometer with Pomodoro timer feature that can be operated by tilt actions. No buttons or switches. And it includes the Spinneret embedded web server that serves a configuration web page capable of setting the internal RTC (Real Time Clock) from a SNTP (Simple Network Time Protocol) source. It also delivers upon request an XML file of the current RTC time and temperature. Several examples accessing this data in php and .net are included. This site,, also has a widget displaying the dateTime and temperature from nerdDoro and a previous project based on Phidgets. nerdDoro functions in these capacities very well. Yet nerdDoro can be capable of so much more. In the coming months I hope to explore aspects of home automation and incorporate a Spinneret in a new project that not only monitors but can initiate functions such as opening the garage door, turning on fans – the sky is the limit. See nerdDoro in action in this embedded video or view on Youtube. nerdDoro tilt operation demonstration.   Inside nerdDoro viewed from the back with access cover removed. Note the black cable is a temporary programming cable. The long ribbon cable allows the Sensirion sensor to be placed up to twelve inches away from nerdDoro   nerdDoro block diagram with pin specifications. nerdDoro web configuration page. Displays the time and temperature updated each time the page loads. From this screen nerdDoro can set the internal RTC from SNTP. The Spinneret usr led can be toggled on and off and the LCD Backlight can be toggled as well.   Sample XML output nerdDoro produces XML of the current temperature and time. This can be read by many programs I might design without the need to reprogram the Phidget in my earlier...

Power over other Pairs

Power over other Pairs (PooP – perhaps the second o is silent) I’m working on a project I’ve entered into Parallax, Inc. Spinneret Design contest. The first thing I need to accomplish after ordering and receiving the parts from Parallax is to create power for the Spinneret. Hello World on my Spinneret will have to wait for me to create a power supply and delivery method.   Basically what PooP allows for is to plug in a DC wall wart into two of the unused of four pairs in 10/100mb cat5 cabling and on the other end add regulation and filtering to supply 5vdc to the Spinneret. I could power the Spinneret with 3.3 but I want the 5vdc for an LCD and Sensirion (temperature/humidity sensor) Last night I sketched out this rough idea with parts list and a couple questions. Click on any of the following images for a larger display. Then picked the parts at a local electronics store. For curiosity sake I also picked up this surface mount RJ45 connector. I have not used it in this current project. Note that it has two LEDs They aren’t powered from the Ethernet. Rather they are supplied by circuitry on the motherboard. I’ve often noted that they power this circuit even with the computer off. Note how I created a strain relief with a zip tie  I got this low profile box at a hardware store (Lowe’s or Home depot) It shows the input jack, the LED power indicator, and the little circuit board I got at Radio Shack to build the regulator, capacitors and power on. My handwritten schematic with some annotations. I think the 3.3 vdc regulator can be placed off of the Vout of the the 5vdc regulator contrary to the ‘proposed addition’ If you know of any resources for drawing schematics please leave a comment. Perhaps clip art or templates for use in gimp, etc.. Or an actual circuit drawing program. Budget is tight. Here it is all buttoned up. I have fifty feet of cat5 between the boxes. They are sitting next to one another for the sake of the picture. And here we go! Hello...


Power over other Pairs This post is like starting out so Wrong! It’s supposed to be about a project I’m working on delivering power over twisted pair Ethernet. I’m having a difficult time leaving the following in what is meant to be a technical post about a project that I’m seriously working on. So perhaps it was just to blow off some steam I Bingled poop and the first Youtube was a riot. A potty training cartoon spoken in what I assume is the Japanese language, then the same video with fake English sub titles. I was stuck in Youtube for awhile… I’ve just spent Three days, probably twenty hours ordering parts off the web, watching for the postal worker, acquiring parts at a couple different electronics stores locally, then some stuff at Lowes, then return defective parts and acquire some new parts at one of the electronic stores … and about two hundred fifty bucks on these parts and assemble them all to get started on my project. I now have power to my micro controller web server. Not one line of code yet. As I wrote, I think I needed to blow off some steam. There is a heat wave here at my Mom’s house in Chatsworth Los Angeles. It’s been eighty three degrees Fahrenheit or more in my bedroom laboratory (Note: spell checker just suggested Lavatory when I misspelled Laboratory) during this project. And I’ve got like a soldering iron on and a voltage regulator dissipating a lot of heat (writers embellishment) It is Sunday July 3, 20111 at 1630 the day before the United States Independence day anniversary celebration. Earlier I tweeted: “My uncle, two fingered Freddy, advises don’t light the duds while drinking the sudz. Happy independence day weekend!”. I just looked to twitter for some advice on how to get out of this sticky situation… To post or not to post that is the question! I thought maybe I would just tweet something foolish then leave all this crap out of this blog post. I guess it didn’t work as the universe has advised me thusly: Theses are all tweets in the timeline I follow within the last...

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