Posted on December 10th, 2014 by Barbara Noren • Filed under Events • No Comments
Join us this Thursday, December 11th from 7:30-10pm, for the Chibitronics circuit stickers Build Night. This is a free event, and we’ll have the basic materials you’ll need, but feel free to bring any electronics you’d like to incorporate, or projects that could use sticker circuits. We have LEDs, effects packs, sensors, and even microcontroller stickers that you can reprogram (they use an ATtiny85).
If you want to get ahead of the game, check out the Chibitronics website for tutorial videos.
See you Thursday!
We had a really good turnout and raised $190. Matt led the charge, Metal kept things lively (and taught me how to deal with a broken strand in a Bukito), and I took it way too seriously for a while. Nevertheless we learned a lot about the Spark Core device and how to get them working.
By the way, I can’t thank Barb enough for designing the two kinds of covers for the Cores with Internet Button shields: flat topped, and domed. Pimptastic!
Each of us found different ways to break the Cores, rarely trying to do so:
- Chris found that certain library functions are not quite supported by the firmware. He could nearly brick a Spark Core and it took a while to recover. Chris, would you mind sending me the commands that did this (or at least a link to the code, since it was one of the examples)?
- There are at least a couple sketches on the Spark web site that do not compile in the web IDE, let alone run on a Spark Core — the code is out of date.
- Of the 12 Spark Cores we received, 3 needed special attention before they could download and run a sketch. This hints at a serious quality control problem. This definitely does not bode well for what is supposed to be a plug-and-play tool, Arduino killer, or MCU board with as much space and power built into it (ARM Cortex M3 72 MHz, 128 kB flash, 20 kB RAM; an extra 2 MB storage off-die; and a TI CC3300 WiFi chip).
- The default instructions for getting a Spark Core running often fail. They cannot be used at all in an environment with more than one person trying to sync a new Core: the phone app will just grab any broadcasting Core it finds.
- We worked through several syncs, so we now have a clearer set of steps for getting someone up and running without the vekakte phone app. I need to finish typing them, as there are different steps for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
- Having to flash a sketch by typing it into a web site and sending it via WiFi is inefficient. The device’s WiFi features are more interesting during runtime, and we just scratched that surface. Flashing the sketch via USB.
On the positive side:
- We had a visitor that got his Core to text him every time he did something (see the pic at the top of this post);
- Daniel got a working Big Button like there wasn’t anything to it (because he rocks);
- Many eyes, hands, and minds made it easy to detect and workaround problems. That was a lot of fun!
- We could use the existing Neopixel library with the Internet Button shields and get that happy RGB glow.
I will submit docs to Instructables once I have everything in steps-and-pics order.
Posted on November 9th, 2014 by matt • Filed under Events • No Comments
Crash Space #BUILDNIGHT
We are hosting an Instructables #buildnight for Spark.io, who make a development kit for connected products. Check out some of the projects created with the Spark Core here. We got a package that includes:
- (10) Spark Cores
- (10) Spark Buttons: a new shield for Spark with LEDs, 4-way clicking like a game controller, acceleration and temperature sensing. See photo of the new board below!
- (2) Maker Kits
Posted on October 24th, 2014 by at0mbxmb • Filed under Events • No Comments
Quick announcement, everyone! Holidays are coming up, so our regular Wednesday night Learn to Code with Us events at Crashspace will be slightly more sporadic.
Here are the dates when we will not be meeting:
- Oct 29th
- Nov 26th
- Dec 17th
- Dec 24th
- Dec 31st
Our normal schedule will resume on Jan 7th.
Posted on October 21st, 2014 by theron • Filed under Events • No Comments
CRASH Space was at STEAM Nation this past Saturday
STEAM Nation is put on by our friends at Star Education, and they invite students from LAUSD to participate in different education activities.
We helped the kids take apart printers, scanners, VCRs, CD players, and a XBox.
And the organizers gave us a nice certificate: