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LCD 1602 and Pi – Part 2: Configuring and Orange Pi for 1602 LCD with i2c

Part 1 is here: http://www.mintrix.net/blog/2019/08/07/1602-lcd-displaying-interface-ip-addresses-for-a-headless-raspberry-pi-part-1/

So previously, I talked about how to set up a Raspberry Pi with LCD 1602 via i2c. It was extremely easy on Raspian. you simply have to enable the i2c support and boom you can run the python script and it works. However, Orange Pi is a clone of RPi and it doesn’t run Raspbian, so it takes few more steps to get that working. So here is the step by step on how to set the sucker up and at the end of the day, it should be pretty much exactly the same as the Raspberry Pi setup.

TL; DR: just watch the video at the end….

So just follow these simple step

STEP 1: apt-get install -y python-smbus i2c-tools python-dev
Download the required modules.
python-smbus
i2c-tools
python-dev

These files are necessary for the python script to run in the near future.

STEP 2: edit /etc/modules file with “nano /etc/modules
add “i2c-dev” in the file no quotes!!

STEP 3: edit /boot/armbianEnv.txt file with “nano /boot/armbianEnv.txt
add “overlays=i2c0 i2c1 i2c2

By default, I2C buses are not enabled, except for the s_i2c .
To enable other i2C buses, you need to edit the overlays in the /boot/armbianEnv.txt
overlays=i2c0 i2c1 i2c2
Then, reboot. After you will have 4 buses in /dev/i2c-*.
You can then scan the buses with “i2cdetect -y n”, where “n” is the bus number.

ref: https://forum.armbian.com/topic/4154-not-armbian-orangepi-zeroplus-h5-i2c/

STEP 4: reboot and test io
reboot

After OrangePi reboots, you will have 4 buses in /dev/i2c-*.
You can then scan the buses with “i2cdetect -y n”, where “n” is the bus number.

i2cdetect -y 0
i2cdetect -y 1

STEP 5: test with script
Download the lcd_i2c python script from Matt Hawkins.
type :
wget https://bitbucket.org/MattHawkinsUK/rpispy-misc/raw/master/python/lcd_i2c.py

and run the script by typing

python lcd_i2c.py

woo hoo!!! you are done!!!

References:

https://www.abelectronics.co.uk/kb/article/1061/i2c–smbus-and-armbian-linux

https://forum.armbian.com/topic/4377-using-16×2-1602-lcd-with-i2c-connector-with-orange-pi-pc/

Cremation

So yesterday, I saw my father for the very last time. I witnessed my fathers cremation. I saw my fathers body laying there peacefully. My mother cried, she told me that my father is leaving us. I told her that My father already left us last week, and he is off at a better place and we gave him a proper sendoff already. This is just the body that we need to send off so that dad can rest. I may sound very crude, but I believe that it is true we have to close this chapter and move on to the next. I miss my father very much I think about him everywhere I look. But the fact is, there is nothing I can do to bring him back. There still a lot of things to do after this. I still have to help my mom situate everything and take my dad to his final resting place. 2019 has been a really tough year.

Dad’s funeral

Yesterday was a busy day. It was my dad’s funeral. The day started very very early, Dad’s viewing was at 9:00 am and the Mass was at 10:00. Flowers came in around 8:10 and Dad arrived at 8:30.

This was the first time seeing my father after he left us and it felt strange. He looks really peaceful. He almost looks like he was in a deep sleep. Mom cried after seeing him, saying that it doesn’t even look like my father. But I thought they did a pretty good job.

Through out 9-10, people trickled in. And flowers came in from friends and family. Including many flowers from friends from Auburn who could not attend and from Tuskegee University where my father taught for many years, and from Gigamon.

It was a beautiful mass!! We had a Vietnamese choir and a number of local Chinese parishioners attending and supporting the mass. The Mass was entirely in Chinese which was pretty cool. This was really good for my mom as well.

All and all, I thought the funeral went pretty well for pulling everything together in a such a short time. There were amazing people at this church!! Thank you everyone !!!

It was great to see all our friends and families together, even though it is at such a difficult time, but it also shows the celebration of life that my father lived and inspired.

Good bye Dad

Yesterday 8/14/2019 at 4:35pm, my father left us. He has been fighting cancer for the last 9 month. Initially, treatment went pretty well, but last 3 months the conditions turned for the worst. The last month was really tough for my father and my family. My dad went from a fully functioning person to completely bedbound. For the last few weeks, my dad spend his remaining time at my home on hospice. We try to do our best to make sure he was comfortable. There were good days and there were bad days, but it was a constant emotional stress on my mom.

Yesterday, for the first time in my life I saw the end of life for another human being. That was my father.

Yesterday I think I finally grown up. Witnessing my father’s passing and seeing my father’s life slipping away from his eyes and seeing him taken away to the funeral home. It really makes one think of what really important and continue to cherish all that we take for granted.

My dad was and extremely brilliant man who knows how to live life. Professionally, my dad was an excellent professor who inspired many in the field of computer science and information assurance. (Including myself) In private, my father was a great husband, a wonderful father. My dad loves fishing. He taught me everything I know about fishing , how to tie a hook, how to hook a live minnow, how to dock a boat on a trailer.

My dad was also a very handy person and always taught me to think like an engineer. I remember when we built our back deck together and how he taught me how to use a hammer and power drill properly. I also remember his love for his garden and his pond, where my mom and dad built the pond by hand, one stone at a time.

My father was an excellent billiards player and even close to winning few regional tourneys.

Finally, my father loved seafood and different type of exotic and wonderful fruits. He never ate too much but he knows what’s good!! My love for good food and fruits are a direct influence from him. In the end, it was really tough for him to not being able to eat.

My dad lived a short but very interesting 71 years. Growing up in Taiwan, he had a wonderful career as an electrical engineer,but gave it up to immigrating to the US in the 80’s to get his Ph. D and to give his kids new and wonderful opportunities. I believe he made a direct positive impact on many life’s, especially Min-Jye and mine.

We will all miss you, Dr Chen!!!

I miss you Dad!!!

LCD 1602 and Pi – Part 1: 1602 LCD displaying Interface IP addresses for a headless Raspberry Pi

So I’ve been working on some projects for work and I dug into my collection of parts and pulled out my OG raspberry pi’s (RPi). I am using them as endpoints for a proof of concept project for OT visibility. But since they are all headless, (meaning there are no monitors or keyboards for input and output), the RPi’s just looks boring and also, I have to dig through the DHCP server log to see what IP address the RPi grabbed.

So I thought to myself, there got to be a better way. Since there are a bunch of these GPIO (General Purpose Input /Output) pins on the RPi’s, and there are some display connectors, I have a few options.

  1. get a touch screen for the Raspberry Pi and go from there.
  2. Maybe a simple LED?
  3. Maybe some LCD displays?

Option 1 is too much of an overkill. Option 2 just doesn’t show enough information. Option 3 seems like it could work. So I started to research on using LCDs.

Here is what I’ve found and Yes it is super easy. So I found these 16×02 LCD displays. So there are two ways to output to these displays, you can use multiple GPIO pins and connect them to the 16×02 displays or you can use a I2C chip and connect to the LCD display using only 4 pins. This includes 5v Vcc, GND, SDA (Serial Data), SCL (Serial Clock). So what is I2C?

I2C stands for Inter-IC, it is a serial communication protocol. It is very handy. So instead of doing a bunch of soldering and breadboarding, I was able to connect it up and get everything running in 5 minutes. Don’t believe me take a look below.

So yes… under 5 minutes is just the physical wiring but actually configuring the SD card take a little bit more time. Which I can go into a bit more in my next post.

Materials used:
1602 Serial Blue LCD Module Board with i2c – https://amzn.to/2GOdvz6
Breadboard Jumper Wire – https://amzn.to/2YP4Q9C
Board standoff assortment kit – https://amzn.to/2GMlqNa
Raspberry Pi (model 3 b – not the same as in the video) – https://amzn.to/2YLP1wo
Small wifi adapter for pi – https://amzn.to/2Kf9BkW

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions.

Part 2: is here
http://www.mintrix.net/blog/2019/08/21/lcd-1602-and-pi-part-2-configuring-and-orange-pi-for-1602-lcd-with-i2c/

Check out the other blog

So it’s not that I haven’t been writing in my blog lately, it is just that I haven’t been posting in this blog.

So check out my other blog, which I talk about my recent experiences in learning Japanese…

http://certcircus.mintrix.net/

Another tough few weeks

Summer of 2019 really sucks!!! Last week dad was in the hospital all week and he was finally released on Thursday, because there is nothing that doctors can do and he is now on Hospice. Before 2019 I did not even know what the word hospice means. But I am learning really quickly about this service and what it is offering.

So what is hospice anyway ???

From the definition above, it is basically care for the terminally ill. This means that the doctor has given up and comfort care is the only thing that they will do while the patient is on hospice. In the US, there are multiple type of hospice, in patient hospice, adult home hospice, and home hospice.  Now by no means am I an expert on all of this, I am just simply documenting my experiences and what I have learned this week.

In patient hospice, means the person is staying in a hospital like environment, and the focus is on comfort and not curing the cause any longer.  The social work told me it was close to $400 a day for this service.

Adult home hospice, it is like in patient hospice except it is in an adult home with multiple other patients with care takers there.  Some will have nurses.  This is less expensive than in patient hospice, but may still cost over 10K a month.

Final option is home hospice.  This option is fully covered by Medicare.  In fact, MediCare provides all the necessary equipments, including hospital beds, meds for comfort, etc.  Since it is home hospice, the hospice service, also provide a 24/7 hotline with nurses on call, you also get a social worker, chaplain (which I don’t know what they do), and a nurse.

It is really tough seeing my father in the condition that he is in.  I still can’t believe how quickly we are at this stage, when only one month ago he was on an Alaska cruise and everything was good OK.

Sometimes, I feel that I am grabbing for straws and hopes.  I am a straight and narrow type of guy, I never in my life thought I would ever walk in to a pot shop and yet last week, i walked into a pot shop and bought some CBDs for my father.

It’s been a tough June 2019

Today is the last day of June 2019. This month has been extremely tough. I am not talking about work. My father has been sick and during the last month we visited the Emergency Room 3 times and admitted to the hospital twice.

Finally some new youtube videos

Take a look at few of my new youtube videos. First one is from last month when we visited Lopez Island, WA for the first time. It was amazing!!! I love Spotted Shrimps.

Lopez Island Shrimp Fest

Second one was from 2018… just the dive compilation … it is a learning video of how to splice and also what I need to be aware of when I am filming in the future.


Diving in French Polynesia

Well, this is interesting

Mintrix migration is done… I think. so yeah… this will be interesting. I hope we will have more interesting stuff to come.

Hello and good-bye again … Houston

All Systems Go 2019

So this week I’ve been in Dallas with my company participating in our company SKO.

Travel Stats:
Date: 01-14 to 01-18 2019
Destination: Dallas, TX
Purpose: for work

Airline: Delta
Airport Lounge: SLC – Delta Sky Club

Hotel: Dallas Fremont

The first time staying at Dallas Fremont Hotel. It is where I spent the last for dag

Highlights with Photos below –>

Let’s reboot this bad boy

So I was thinking, I’ve traveling alot for work, so maybe I should write this down. So hey why not do a travel log? So I am thinking, for 2019, I will start document my travel around the world. So let’s start with today.

Travel Stats:
Date: 01-09-2019
Destination: Boise, ID
Purpose: for work

Airline: Delta
Airport Lounge: SeaTac Terminal A – Delta Sky Club

Hotel: Hampton Inn Boise

The hotel is not a comfortable as some of the other. My main issue is probably with the pillow.

Highlights with Photos below –>

SeaTac Terminal A – Delta Sky Club

What? a shuttle at SeaTac from Gate B20 to the airplane

My early morning flight

Sky view of SeaTac Airport

Good Morning Seattle

Dinner at Bardenay

Idaho Capitol

Another Year flies by … Good Bye 2018

It seems like just yesterday that I was writing in my blog saying good by to 2017. All the sudden, I only have few more hours until end of 2018 and it will be 2019. But let’s recap 2018, it was such an amazing year with so many things. going on.

First, 2018 is a year of books for me.
For the first time I finished a number of books this year. Following are the books I finished in 2018

1) Artimis – Andy Weir
2) Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
3) Armada – Ernest Cline
4) We Are Legion (We are Bob): Bobiverse – Dennis E. Taylor
5) For We Are Many : Bobiverse 2 – Dennis E. Taylor
6) All These Worlds : Bobiverse 3 – Dennis E. Taylor
7) Lock In – John Scalzi
8) Head On – John Scalzi

As one can see I have a pattern. I like scifi. Out of all these books, my favorite is probably Ready Player One. There are so many things that just played out in my mind like a flowing movie, I guess that is why the movie was so aweful to me because I’ve already watched the real movie from the book :). It is really great book if you grew up in the 80’s. It triggered so many memories.

So 2018 is also the year of less traveling. I still travelled a lot, but definitely not like 2017. Following are places I’ve been in 2018 (in no particular order)

1) Missoula, Montana
2) Billings, Montana
3) Yellow Stone, Montana
4) Bozeman, Montana
5) Portland, Oregon
6) Boise, Idaho
7) San Jose, California
8) Phoenix, Arizona
9) Las Vegas, NV
10) Auburn, Alabama
11) Atlanta, Georgia
12) Tahiti
13) San Diego, California

By far the best time we had traveling in 2018 is our club trip to Tahiti!!! Such an amazing trip. Life changing. Thank you Gigamon!!!

But with all this traveling for work I still only made Platinum Status on Delta and Gold with Marriott. So for 2019… see you later Marriott and Hello Hilton!!! (which match me to Diamond status already!!

Tennis this year has been a rebuilding year. I played alot of men’s team however, I lost alot of games. I am still at a 3.0 level, but this summer, I think finally found my forehand.

With the training that Vicky and I have been doing with our personal trainer, I’ve lost around 10 lbs from 2017 weight and my over all game is definitely faster. I hope to continue this trend in 2019 and hopefully be a much better and healther self.

Nothing really new for 2018 at tech wise other than upgrades on my internet as of today…. woo hoo finally I am back on fiber!!!

and for 2018, Hugo turned 6 and we had a huge scare. He had surgery to remove a ball that he swallowed. I really thought I was going to lose my lovely Hugo, but he is a strong boy and he survived and are now healthy and happy.

oh and before we turn to goals for 2019… it looks like we hit many of the goals from my last post

– lost some weight 10lbs 😀
– printed some pictures for my wall… aka TAHITI
– Complete back patio… check!!!

Now onward to 2019…

I am already predicting 2019 to be a tough year… but I will continue to be postive and healthy and make some things happen. So goals for 2019…

1) Continue to Train with personal training trying to get to my true core and lose that last bit of belly
2) Finish home and basement fix up.. including more prints and fix my zwave setup
3) Learn some basic Japanese!!!!
4) For the love of my work… let’s make my number already!!
5) definitely spend more time with family!!!! See my Mom and Dad more and my Sis and family too!!

Good Night 2018!!!

Good Morning 2019!!!!

Yeah … I need to write more in my blog!!!

 

Good Night 2017 and Good Morning 2018

Wow, I can’t believe it has been a year already. It seems like yesterday, I was just here posting how I need to post more on my blog and how this blog has become an annual post. So I’ve been so blessed this last year and I am sad to see it fly by so quickly.

So let’s look back at some of the highlights for 2017.

Places that I’ve went to in 2017

1) Taiwan, first time in close to 10 years
2) Japan, I love this place
3) Palm Spring, CA
4) Bay Area, CA
5) Fort Lauderdale, FL
6) Mobile, AL
7) Auburn, AL
8) Anchorage, AK
9) Boise, ID — first time here and it’s pretty amazing place
10) Portland, OR
11) Sun River, OR

Highlight events in 2017

1) Chinese New Year in Taiwan
2) Middle of no where hot spring resort in Japan!!!
3) Eclipse from the plane
4) USTA Tennis Mix 6.0 Sectional trip to Sun River, OR
5) USTA Tennis 40+ 3.0 Sectional trip to Portland, OR
6) USTA Tennis 40+ 3.0 National trip to Fort Lauderdale, FL
7) USTA Tennis Mix 6.0 National trip to Mobile, AL
8) Year end trip to Kona, HI

So with all this travel, I made platinum status on both Delta and SPG/Marriott. This means I stayed over 30 days in hotels in 2017… that is way too much.

But with great sacrifice, there are also some good rewards. This year, I was so lucky to be on two wonderful tennis team with lots of wonderful friends. Our 40+ men’s team made it to national in Florida and we almost made it to the top, taking home second place at the national tournament. Vicky and I also made it to Nationals in our 6.0 mix doubles team, and we also placed second at the mix tournament in Mobile, Alabama.

My tennis level remained at 3.0 with a very rough early start. I ran in to some mental challenges, that I am still trying to conquer and over come. But all in all with another year down, I feel my tennis and Vicky’s tennis has improved a lot. Oh and Vicky is now 3.5.

Workwise, it has been a super busy year, being a sales engineer, I am on the road almost every week. It is very tough on my loving wife and family, but Vicky has been very understanding and loving! Like I said, I am very very lucky.

Tech wise, I finally retired my Pebble :(. I loved my Pebble Steel, but I finally opted to go with an Apple Watch 3 with AirPod, which is almost life changing. pretty cool stuff man!

So as for misc, I am Auburn Club president again, by default, it has been a tough season, not the football team, but for the club. it seems that I am not getting much local support, with all my work travels and tennis it has been hard. But really appreciate all the friends that did step up to help out!!

Finally, we had a big scare with Hugo, but everything worked out, and he is ok and happy as ever.

So as for goals for 2018.

1) Improve workout and lose that belly. Tennis has been great for Vicky and I, however, I feel we plateaued and need to do something to improve our fitness level. We will see how this will turn out next year.

2) Continue to have more world travel and maybe print some photos for my house

3) Need to get that back yard completed

4) Let’s make club for 2018 … I am very close to making club for 2017 so let’s make it in 2018

5) Spend more time with family

6) I am sure there are more goals, but I will post as I think of them.

Happy New Year!!!

Welcome 2018!!! See you next time I post ::)

Good Bye 2016 and Happy 2017!!!

Well… and there we go another year. 2016 has been very good to me. I know many says 2016 is a horrible year, but 2016 to me has been really blessed.

So let’s reflect what has happened.

First, I am an uncle again!!! Welcome Ethan Chan!!!
In earlier 2016, we decided to buy a new house. This was such a life changing experience. This also lead to a career change, I decided to leave BlueCat, one of the best job I ever had. Oh and for the first time in my career, I received 3 different awards from BlueCat for my performance!!!

But with these changes lead to even better experiences. We love our new neighborhood and believe it or not… I love my new job with Gigamon even more!!!!

so on other news…
This year (2016) has been a year of tennis and travel and no travel.

First of all tennis ….
Well… I got bumped from 2.5 rating to 3.0. It is a really nothing, but my goal for 2017 is to get to 3.5. Vicky’s 3.0 team made it to the Nationals again and got 3rd place!!!

As for travel in 2016 I’ve been traveling a lot for work but not much personal travel because of our new home purchase. Because of this this was also the first year that we (Vicky and I) spend both Thanksgiving and Christmas with our pup, Hugo, in Seattle.

So where have I been for work this year?

Toronto, Canada
San Francisco, Califorina
Portland, Oregon
Eugene, Oregon
Spokane, Washington
Anchorage, Alaska
Las Vegas … way to many times in 2016

Personal travel this year
Auburn, AL
Atlanta, GA
Phoenix, AZ
Vancouver, Canada

This year has been a stay home year, but that has been really fine with me, because during the work week, I’ve been traveling pretty crazy during the year for work.

Once again, looking back at 2016 for me, personally, it has been pretty good. We’ve been very blessed and I hope 2017 will be another peaceful and wonderful year.

So of course, this is a new years eve post, so I have to post some goals.

1) Improve my Tennis Game
2) Spend more time with family
3) Try to make it to next years Presidents Club Trip
4) Have more social events and share our wonderful home with friends
5) Ride my bike more
6) Change up my diet a bit
7) Reconnect with my friends
8) Do some home automation
9) Work on the back yard
10) Travel the “world” and have fun!!!

Happy New Year 2017!!!!

Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Happy 4th of July 2016

Happy 4th everyone. 14 years ago + 2 days I became an American, and every July 4, I am so happy to be an American!!!

USA USA USA!!!

Where was 2015???

Funny… I remember when this blog first got started, I was posting 2-5 times a day, then it was once a day, then maybe one a week, then maybe once ever two weeks, or once a month, once a quarter… then once a year? and I just missed 2015 entirely!!!! you would think that with the invention of mobile devices and better and easier apps, I would be posting more often, but sadly no I did not.

So just to recap what happened in 2015…

Traveled alot… including

Auburn
Portland
Toronto
San Diego
San Francisco
Houston
Atlanta
Las Vegas
Glacier National Park
Beijing
Osaka
Kyoto
Caribbean Cruise
Kona, HI

yep it was a year of travel.

So 2015 was also a year of new things.

So last year I joined USTA and started to play team tennis, mixed double in particular. I did not play much, and not a single win last season, but I did lose over 10 pounds which is a win in my book.

Speaking of tennis… last night at my Men’s 3.0 team, I got my first USTA win in a men’s doubles game.  It was a 2-6, 6-2, and 10-8  (tie breaker) win.

I still need alot of work, but it is a good start.

Goodbye of 2014 and Hello 2015

2014 has been a year of joy and sadness. So let’s look back.

Sadness

Passing of my father-in-law

My father in law passing away was very hard on my wife and my family. Although, I only knew my father-in-law for 5 years, he has been wonderful to me. I am very blessed to have shared great conversations with him about his past and history. Those are all great memories that will be kept alive. RIP.

Happiness

New Job
2014 is another big year of change. I finally after many years left my consulting job with Sparing and went to work for a Canadian Software Company called BlueCat and it is one of the best decisions that I’ve made. This was one of my biggest event that happened to me in 2014.

My New Nephew (Toby)
2014 I gained a new relative. My little sister is not a mother and I am now an uncle!

Spain and Portegal Trip

2012 was a huge travel year for me, but this year was also an amazing year. Vicky convince me to to

NYC 5 Boro Bike Tour

Iphone 6

2 books read/heard
The first book was one of the Best books this year. It is the Martian. I would recommend it to anyone who love a real science based Sci-fi.

The second book was “All you need is kill”. it is what the movie “Edge of Tomorrow” is based on, but the book is so much better and so much more

Events around the World

Seahawks Won the Superbowl

3 crash plans in south Asia

Increased Cyber security everywhere

Looking forward to 2015

In 2015, my goal will be try to rebalance life and become more healthier. I know this is a common goal, but I hope this is a goal that I can achieve.

New Years Resolutions

  • Workout at least 30 minute – 60 minutes each day
  • Start Japanese Language Class
  • Start volunteer work (e.g. CISSP,church … etc)
  • Read and Listen to couple more books
  • Do more tech side projects

DIY: Basic Moteino (Arduino Clone) Project – Part 1

Recently, there has been some mail theft in my neighborhood (yeah Seattle sucks sometimes).  So I thought to myself, I need a way to notify me when my mail arrives.  I though I should do something with my Raspberry Pi, or maybe there is something better I can do.  So I did some Google searches and Boom, I found this.

A Mailbox Notifier using an Arduino clone (Moteino) [1].

http://lowpowerlab.com/blog/2013/03/01/mailboxnotifier-moteino-based-mail-event-notifier/

This solution uses a wireless serial connection to send information from the mailbox back to the gateway.  It looked perfect so I decided to order few of these awesome and cheap Moteinos (an arduino clone).

After a few days they arrived.

IMG_2438.JPGIMG_2439.JPG

It’s been over 15 years since I last messed seriously with electronics.  I went to my storage and dug up my old tackle box full of electronics components.

IMG_2441.JPG

it still have a piece of my old EE junior lab project robot.  See it is a vintage robot parts from 1998.

IMG_2443.JPG

Yeah, that robot use to follow a black line on a white piece of paper… oh the old days.

Anyways … focus on topic… so getting the parts was only the first step.  Getting back in to it took a little bit of time, but it is like riding a bike, I picked it up pretty quickly.

So in the next series of blog post, I will try to go through my steps and hopefully this will help others that are trying to set up a Moteino project.

I found this Griff’s[2] intro to Moteino to be very helpful so take a look.  I will try not to repeat what was there, but I will highlight few things that helped me.

http://w5vwp.com/moteino.shtml

STEP 1: Setup your soft environment

The first thing, before you began to build and test is to setup your lab environment.  You will need to set it up so that you can easily push your arduino/moteino programs on to your actual controller chip.  BTW the simple arduio program is called a sketch.

First set up your USB port.  since I am using my macbook pro, I needed to install the usb drivers for the FTDI adapter to connect to the moteino.

The drivers are located here: http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm

The details on the FTDI adapter can be found here:

https://lowpowerlab.com/shop/index.php?_route_=FTDI-Adapter

and also here:

 http://lowpowerlab.com/moteino/

This link above also provides alot of details on Moteinos [3].

There are two ways you can load a sketch into a Moteino.

1) Use the Arduino Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

You can download it here:  http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Software. The set the IDE to Arduino Uno and you should be good to go.

There are also lots of information and examples on the arduino website about sketches and how to write sketches.  Take a look at them here: http://arduino.cc/en/guide/Environment. Please note that the Moteino’s pin outs are different than the Arduino Uno so the you will need to change it if you are using the built in examples. (e.g. the moteino onboard LED is on pin 9 vs pin 13 on Uno).

CAUTION:   I am using a macbook pro as my computer interface environment, I am running OSX 10.10.  I ran into few problems setting the Arduino IDE up.

First, the IDE is a java program and it needed an older version of java which OSX doesn’t have, so download it from Apple support here: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1572.

Second,  I was not able to upload my sketch right after I installed the USB driver and the Java, because it was saying the serial port is already in use.  You will need to do the following at the command prompt and that should fix it.  Oh and 777 is pretty insecure, so use at your own risk.

$ sudo mkdir /var/lock
$ sudo chmod 777 /var/lock

2) Use codebender.cc

Codebender is one of the coolest things, it is almost as cool as Bender R. Rodriguez.  Code bender allows you to store and code your sketches (Arduino program) on their website.  With a use of a browser plugin, it allows you to connect to your hardware controller (Moteino or Arduino or others) and upload your code.  It is super fast and fantastic.  I was able to set everything up with in minutes and best of all you can share your code with others or use others code. It’s super easy.

So during my initial setup to make the build in blinky led blink, I was able to set it up on codebender and under 5 minutes from pluging in the Moteino into my macbook pro usb port and sign up for an account and push the code down.  it is pretty nifty and I did not run into any java or permissions problems like I did with the IDE.

 STEP 2: Setup your physical environment

Once you got blink (blink sketch to blink the onboard LED) to work on your moteino, you are ready for the next step, setting up your physical environment.  For me, I got two motenios so I can have a node and a gateway.  The gateway is the moteino that is located at base and the node is the motenio that will be out at remote.  To model this easily, I am using two breadboards.  the Moteinos do not come with headers solders on, so I will need to do that myself.  Like I stated earlier, its been over 15 years since I solder things on PC boards.  I took my 15 year old soldering iron out and went to work.  After about 10 bad solders/cold solders, I finally remember how to solder.

How I found it to be the easiest to solder the headers on is to put the header on the bread board and place the moteino over it in place.  This way it will not move.  When soldering, have the soldering iron on the outside facing in and the soldering on the inside toward the pins.  Once the soldering iron is hot and ready, bring it in close to the pin and run the solder by it and lift up.  The solder will melt as soon as it touches the iron and bubble around the pin and when lifted up, it creates a good clean solder.  Give it couple of try and you should be able to get the hang of it.

So this is the result of my work.

IMG_2436.JPG

IMG_2435.JPG

 

CAUTION:  Be careful when soldering, you don’t want to accidentally melt and remove any components that is on the moteino board.  Also  be careful when soldering in on the antenna.

I will continue my progress in part 2.

Ref:

[1] Low power lab Mailbox Notifier: http://lowpowerlab.com/blog/2013/03/01/mailboxnotifier-moteino-based-mail-event-notifier/

[2] Griff’s Digital Ham Radio Site: http://w5vwp.com/moteino.shtml

[3] Low Power Lab All About Moteino:  http://lowpowerlab.com/moteino/