Arduino: *Blink* *Blink*

Lately, I’ve been getting to itch to return to my roots, making electronic things. Arduino is an open-source microcontroller board that would allow me to do an array of projects. One of the first big things I tackled was an LED cube. It was a simple RadioShack(rip) kit but taught me a lot about programming the Arduino. I plan on making a larger version, something I can put at work to “show off” and to give me the drive to make other projects.

I already have a few projects in mind, listed below:

Weather Station – Using the WeatherPiArdinuo V3 shield with the WeatherRack – Anemometer / Wind Vane / Rain Bucket, I should be able to produce a weather station with wifi capability to send data back to the web server in my home. To make this project super effective, I will first have to accomplish the next project.

Solar tracker – Using the Grove/Header SunAirPlus – Solar Controller by SwitchDoc, I should be able to have it track the sun during the day and charge up a battery for evening use. I’m hoping this system will power the weather station, as well as our irrigation controls/sensors. I may end up using a Raspberry Pi for this, as it will have more processing power for the data it will be sent back to the network.

Soil sensors – Being able to keep an eye on the moisture content of our planting beds, should also allow me to control the irrigation system, I’m hoping I’ll be able to turn on each bed separately based on what their moisture is at.

Satellite tracking antenna – To make talking to ham radio satellites easier, I’ve begun developing a drive mechanism that will enable my satellite software to position my antenna towards the satellite in question and track it across its path. This will be a two-motor setup, one for rotation, and another for inclination. This is going to be a huge project since I’ll be interfacing with a computer program.

I know using pre-built boards is a bit of a cheat, but I’m new to the whole Arduino programming thing. Once I’ve gotten my feet wet, I’ll start building my own shields and circuits.

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