Saturday, May 28

AliExpress #2 - MB-102 Breadboard, psu, 65 M-M Cables

MB-102 Breadboard, psu, 65 M-M Cables
Day 38

Need to prototype some hardware? Everybody can use an extra solderless breadboard. This one is an MB-102, with 830 points. This also came with a small power supply switchable between 3V and 5V.

Things to note:

  1. The power rails extend the full distance, without any breaks
    (Unlike some of the ones I've tried)
  2. The power supply has a female USB plug, which means you would need a Male to Male USB cable to be able to power it from USB.
  • Order #2
    • Day 2    - Ordered
    • Day 7    - AliExpress reported shipped
    • Day 38  - Arrived in Mailbox
    • 36 Days Shipping Time

Friday, May 27

AliExpress #9 - USBASP with 10pin to 6pin Adapter

USBASP with 10pin to 6pin Adapter
Day 38

Ever wanted to play with programming? Ever wandered what those six pins were at the end of an Arduino Uno? With one of these I am going to find out :)

  • Order #9
    • Day 7    - Ordered
    • Day 11  - AliExpress reported shipped
    • Day 38  - Arrived in Mailbox
    • 31 Days Shipping Time

Thursday, May 26

AliExpress #20 - USB LED Bulb keychain (Black)

USB LED Bulb keychain (Black)
Day 38

Now these are neat. Three LED lights connected to a USB male plug. Need a light, have a USB extension cable, plug one of these in. Plug one of these into a USB battery pack and you have a flash light.

Plug four of these into the USB ports on your laptop, and you have enough light to work from in bed ;)

  • Order #20
    • Day 15    - Ordered
    • !!!AliExpress Never Stated this was shipped!!!
    • Day 38    - Arrived in Mailbox
    • 23 Days Shipping Time

AliExpress #22 - Chalkboard Sticker Labels (36pcs)

Chalkboard Sticker Labels (36pcs)
Day 38

There are a number of stores in my area which sell 6 of these chalkboard stickers with a stick of chalk for $1.50, I decided to cut out the middle man and buy 6 times that many for a dollar. Now these stickers did not come with chalk, but I was able to purchase man sticks of chalk for less then a dollar as well.

So all told, this will be a savings of seven dollars. All the fun at 1/6th the cost ;)

  • Order #22
    • Day 15    - Ordered
    • !!!AliExpress Never Stated this was shipped!!!
    • Day 38    - Arrived in Mailbox
    • 23 Days Shipping Time

Wednesday, May 25

AliExpress #15 - ESP8266 ESP-01

ESP8266 ESP-01
Day 35

The start of my ESP8266 module collection. Starting with the ESP-01, which in this case is the upgraded version. The original ESP-01 had a blue colored PCB board, and had 512kb of storage. These ESP-01 have a black colored PCB board and 1mb of storage.

I have tested these and they work well, look forward to some projects using these in the future. My only word of the wise with these is:
power them from a separate 3.3v power supply 
which can supply at least 300ma. 

Some sources say you can power these with the supplied 3.3v of power from a USB to TTL converter, but in my experience that has been flaky enough for me to have entertained thoughts that these were damaged, when they are not.
  • Order #6
    • Day 12  - Ordered
    • Day 14  - AliExpress App - Displays Sent
    • Day 35  - Arrived in Mailbox
    • 23 Days Shipping Time

AliExpress #6 - USB discharge load resistor 2A,1A

USB discharge load resistor 2A,1A
Day 34

This is a neat item. This is a switchable load resistor for testing USB chargers and "charge doctors." Unfortunately I have to wait until the charge doctors that I ordered come in for me to fully test this item.

  • Order #6
    • Day   5 @ 22.02   - Ordered
    • Day   7 @   3:04   - AliExpress App - Displays Sent
    • Day 34 @ 12:00   - Arrived in Mailbox
    • 29 Days Shipping Time

Tuesday, May 24

Pi Zero - Programming and Internet over OTG

The Source

Andrew Mulholland posted a wonderful article on his blog titled "RASPBERRY PI ZERO – PROGRAMMING OVER USB! (PART 2)". Explaining how, with very little effort, you can have your Raspberry Pi Zero act as a USB Ethernet device for your desktop. It is a wonderful article, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

I am going to be documenting my experiences setting up one of my Raspberry Pi Zeros this way.

update: You can also watch the YouTube video

The Setup
  1. Download 2016-05-10 release of Raspbian, either:
  2. Flash your preferred choice of Rasbian to an SD Card

  3. View the boot partition
  4. Edit config.txt
    1. add "dtoverlay=dwc2" on a new line at the bottom
  5. Edit cmdline.txt
    1. add "modules-load=dwc2,g_ether" after "rootwait"
  6. Plug in your Raspberry Pi Zero into your computers USB port.
    1. It should then appear as a "USB Ethernet device". or "RNDIS/Ethernet Gadget"
    2. You can SSH into it using raspberrypi.local as the address.
    3. Accept new SSH keys
      Click "Yes"

Windows ICS "Internet Connection Sharing"

If you have Windows, the easiest way to share internet with your Raspberry Pi Zero, when it is configured as a USB Ethernet device is Windows ICS. These are the steps required to setup Windows ICS.

Please note you have to have the Raspberry Pi Zero plugged into the computer and already setup as an "USB Ethernet device" before you can continue with these steps:
  1. Open Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network Connections
    1. Click "Start Button"
    2. Click "Control Panel"
    3. Click "Network and Internet"
    4. Click "Network and Sharing Center"
    5. Click "Change adapter settings"
  2. Add sharing to your internet adapter
    1. Select your network adapter
      It will be the one that does not show as "USB Ethernet/RNDIS Gadget"
    2. Right Click "Properties"
    3. Click "Sharing" tab
    4. Make sure there is a check mark in "Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection"
    5. Click "OK" button to close this window
    6. After a few moments your Internet Adapter should display "Network, Shared"
  3. Reboot the Raspberry Pi Zero
After the Raspberry Pi Zero has reboot, it should be able to connect up to the internet through the computer that it is plugged into.

If you don't see a RNDIS Network Adapter...
  1. Open Windows Device Manager
  2. Click "Other devices"
  3. Click "RNDIS/Ethernet Gadget"
  4. Click "Update Driver"
  5. Click "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer"
  6. Uncheck "Show compatible hardware"
  7. Select "Acer Incorporated." for Manufacture
  8. Select "USB Ethernet/RNDIS Gadget" for Network Adapter
  9. Click Next
  10.  You should now see your Raspberry Pi Zero

Monday, May 23

Week in Review (Week 20)

Monday May 16, 2016 - Sunday May 22, 2016
According to ISO-8601 standard, weeks start on Monday. The first week of each year is the week which contains that year's first Thursday. This oddly gives the capability for the year to have 53 weeks instead of the school taught 52.

Here I am going to try to document all "projects" that I have started, continued, or ended in the previous week.

1. Aliexpress: I am finally receiving some of the orders placed weeks ago. Last week it was some wires, this week:
2. Julian Ilett: A collection of unrelated toys and tech this week, still quite interesting.

Julian Ilett: Postbag Summary
#64  May 19   $37.77

3. YouTube: It was a little rocky to get the first video done. After a little bit more effort I was able to upload the videos for the next few items I ordered from AliExpress.

Week in Review (Week 20)