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Published on: September 8, 2013 / Comments: None

The LIMBERboard is a flexible, lightweight, arduino

Normally it’s like yay, another Arduino compatible board hits the market (yawn).  But this one is kinda cool.  It’s essentially an Arduino on a flex circuit, except the flex circuit is designed to be a little more bendy then traditional flex circuits.  The creators seem to be targeting it towards the wearable market.

The LIMBERboard sports an ATMega168 micro, a 3-axis accelerometer, Bluetooth, and a lithium ion battery.  It is currently being crowd-source funded on dragon innovation, a kickstarter-like site for hardware startups.


Published on: August 27, 2013 / Comments: None

Taking apart a bluetooth OBD-II interface

Isn’t it fun to take stuff apart and see how things are made ?  Well Michael over at EDN likes to as well!  He’s got one of those cheap-y eBay Bluetooth OBD-II adapters and while what’s inside isn’t much of a shocker, it’s still nice to look at how things are made.

Inside is a bunch of power regulation, a CAN bus transceiver, a Microchip PIC and a ready-made bluetooth module.  Usually when you crack these cheap clones apart the soldering looks pretty shoddy, but this one looks pretty clean except for the Bluetooth module for some reason.

Check out the full teardown.

Published on: August 25, 2013 / Comments: None

Another sweet Raspberry Pi media center carputer

All in all it took about 45 minutes to install.  I hardwired the power cables to the back of the Stereo so it will only use power while key is turned on.   Plugged the video cable in to the Video in and same with the audio.

Randy decided to trick his truck out with an embedded Raspberry Pi media center running through his in-dash DVD player. He’s hardwired everything to the truck so it powers on when the key is turned on and hid all the visible wires.  He can even charge his phone off of it.

We’ve seen people do this before, but I guess having an in-dash Pioneer DVD system makes this job a cinch!

Here’s a run down of the hardware.  He’s running OpenElec XBMC due to the fact the OpenElec distro mainly runs off of a read only ram-disk, so sudden shutdowns have less chance of corrupting the SD card.  He’s got a 10 port powered USB hub, WiFi / Bluetooth, 2x 32GB flash drives and a mini wireless keyboard and mouse touchpad.  Once booted it connects to his phone via wi-fi hotspot.  Randy estimates it cost him about $135 bucks to put this together (sans the DVD player I presume)

Randy’s got some install instructions here.

Published on: July 30, 2013 / Comments: None

Talking to your Arduino from your Android phone via Bluetooth

It sounds simple enough, but actually putting it all together is the difficult part.  Kerimil shows you had to create an App for Android using App Inventor, gives you a default sketch and takes you into blinkydom.

The app is simple, turn an LED on, turn an LED off.  Kerimil steps it up a notch by using voice commands on the phone.  This is a great start for getting more complex apps to work.  Writeup / source here.

He later added some videos where he apparently improved his sketches sending data from the Arduino to a web site via the phone.  Writeup / source here.



Then moving right along to alerting the Arduino to an incoming SMS message.



Really awesome stuff, with just the ingredients shown here you could craft some really cool things to automate your home, control a robot, or whatever.