I am exhibiting at the World Maker Faire (September 23 – September 24)

August 24, 2017

I haven’t been actively maintaining my blog these days. I recently moved to the Buffalo, New York area and settling down. I am willing to keep up with my blog posts. I have some great news to share with my readers.

My brother and I are going to be exhibiting at the World Maker Faire on September 23rd and 24th, 2017 in New York City. We are going to be showing off a DIY Personal Health Dashboard.  We have been working on a visual aid that motivates one to stay physically active.

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I plan to share my progress of our dashboard through the different stages.

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We look forward to seeing you there.

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Pursuing a 3D printing hobby while living in the Rust Belt

September 4, 2017

I finally got around setting up my 3D printer over the Labor Day weekend. I needed the printer for my World Maker Faire preparations (Psst.. Stop by our booth if you are in the area).

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Since my move to Buffalo, I haven’t unpacked all of my boxes and I cannot locate some accessories like 3D print removal tool, Kapton tape etc. I tried removing the first print using a pair of scissors and cut my fingers.

I decided to get a 3D print removal tool and I could find only one store in Buffalo that sold 3D printer accessories. You can visit the store only by appointment. 

The alternatives were Micro Center in Cleveland or Amazon. I chose the former and drove to Cleveland (I am a bit crazy). Micro center is an official distributor of the Raspberry Pi and they carry everything from Arduinos to 3D printers, filaments and other accessories.

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Microcenter’s DIY stash

I got a spool of color changing filament, 3D print remover and a Raspberry Pi Zero W.

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I think the options are limited when it comes to in-store purchases related to 3D printing in the Rust Belt. Fry’s electronics has stores in Chicago and Podunk, Indiana. Micro Center has stores sprinkled across Ohio.

It appears that Micro Center’s employees rely heavily on sales commission. Employees chase you around to help and stick a label on your selection. They keep hovering over you and I was not comfortable taking a picture of their 3D printing aisle.

I miss the SF Bay Area as I could have solved my problem by crawling through Craigslist or going to Fry’s Electronics (The Bay Area has about 3 or 4 Fry’s branches).

After a 6 hour trip, I got to put the remover to good use.

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By the way, I forgot to buy some Kapton tape.


Color Coded GPIO headers

August 26, 2017

I came across this color coded GPIO header for the Raspberry Pi Zero from the Pi Hut. This can be really useful while prototyping a circuit. 5V pins are coded red, 3.3V pins are coded yellow, Ground pins are coded black.

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It can help avoid connections to the wrong pin.

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I usually refer to the GPIO pinout when I am connecting to the UART or the I2C interface. I always mix up the pin names. I wish the header had side labels like the Arduino.

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Given the header height, I guess it is not practical to have labels. You can buy the headers from here.


National Maker Week (June 16 – June 22)

June 21, 2017

 

This week is being celebrated as the National Week of Making by Nation of Makers – a nonprofit dedicated towards supporting the maker movement in the United States.

When the new administration took charge of the White House in January 2017, they took down all pages related to the maker movement in the United States. It is not known whether these pages would be restored in the near future. I learned this from watching Adafruit’s Show and Tell and I also learned that Nation of Makers decided to take lead on driving the maker movement.

They are encouraging makerspaces to conduct maker townhall events by offering grants to them. I promised myself to celebrate this week by building something useful (another blog post coming soon!).

I also wanted to share some interesting news to celebrate this week. Digi-Key and Adafruit announced that they will be donating a Circuit Playground to Girls Who Code for every Circuit Playground sold on their website. Check it out!

I also recommend checking out this week’s Ask an Engineer episode from Adafruit (shared below). Happy Making!


Etcher – A tool to flash an SD card for the Raspberry Pi

May 12, 2017

We came across a tool called Etcher from Resin.io.  It is a tool meant to flash an image onto an SD card. This is especially useful to quickly setup your new Raspberry Pi. It is a one step process where you can select the image and flash the SD card for your project.

We put together a video that shows how to flash an image for your Raspberry Pi:

 


Raspberry Pi Zero Enclosure – 3D print time lapse!

May 7, 2017

I wanted to document my projects in vivid detail. Recently, I 3D-printed an enclosure for the Raspberry Pi Zero W. I recorded the printing process. The enclosure consists of two halves. The top piece broke while trying to remove it off the bed. In my second attempt, I printed the top piece separately and managed to remove it carefully.

Psst: I am learning to make good videos and I look forward to hearing your feedback


You can now use Google’s AI to add voice commands to your Raspberry Pi – The Verge

May 4, 2017

Google has released hardware that enables to interact with your Raspberry Pi 3 using Google’s Cloud Speech API. Check it out!

Source: You can now use Google’s AI to add voice commands to your Raspberry Pi – The Verge