IOIO Servo Controller

I just doubled my Android Market presence with one fell swoop. IOIO project number two is in the books: IOIO Servo Controller.

IOIO Servo Controller

servo in altoids can smells like altoids

This project is a one-off of the PowerSwitch Tail relay project I have out in the wild. I took the button out of the mix and implemented a slider bar…removed the relay and am now driving a hobby servo.

IOIO Android app

brand placement

Displayed is the relative level (zero to one) of the slider, the slider itself, and a shameless plug. The onboard LED also fires with a brightness relative to the slider position…which I implemented in the coding and sort of left in there.

The basic concept was to get the PWM output configured correctly, in order to control the servo positioning…the slider function is pretty much just the stock slider from the Android Development docs, widened a bit for the sake of video capture. The rest was just mashing around the code I had out there…not too bad.

Check the thing in action:

This project is available for download in app form on the Android Market. Right next to my other guy…search for IOIO. I will toss the code on my GitHub account as well. Fun project…I may branch and see If I can do anything cool with a few servos. We’ll see.

Shoot any comments to joe(at)swantron(dot)com. I can help with any setup issues, if they may arise. Good luck…

Android 120V Controller

It was worth the wait…I now control 120V via my Android.

ioio android powerswitch tail 120V FTW

awesome project is awesome

I had a mostly sleepless night, again. I managed to figure out what I had been botching while trying to provide enough juice to my PowerSwitch Tail. Transistors and alligator clamps are out; extra pins are in.

Take a look at the (awful quality) video…on the main page, as the picture quality won’t grind loading to a halt.

I still need to toss some headers on the IOIO, and take some clips out of the picture for a better picture of what I did here. Look for that shortly, along with a snippet. Pretty straight forward, but we’ll have to see where this one ends up.

Android IOIO Digital Output

I am one coding session and one EE session away from having a pretty cool project to post. In the meantime, I am making some progress with the IOIO.

ioio android speaker project

+1 a bunch of wires

Eclipse and I are still having our issues, but the ADK is becoming less Greek to me. The next project should shed some light on what sort of possibilities IOIO presents.

I shot a video of one of my debugging tests. I eventually will be using an ‘open drain’ setup, in order to get 5V output, but am doing some testing at 3.3V. I hooked up an old speaker that I salvaged from a CRT tear-down to my test pins, to verify that my Android App was working.

Hit the jump to view said vid…
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Arduino 120V AC Relay Example

I got tired of poking around with LCD drivers with my Arduino. Time for a quick project to mix it up…staring at a surge protector always puts 120V on my mind. As it turns out, I tore apart an old humidifier a while ago on my ‘workbench.’ Monday night is Katie’s reality TV night…time for something sweet.

Investigating duty cycles on this plastic fan:

fan hack

fan hack

I figured that I could horse around with my PowerSwitch Tail, and make it somewhat mimic a PWM 5V setup. I was curious how long I would have to ‘pulse’ the switch with juice to keep the fan constantly rolling. I started with it fully on, and kicked my ‘active’ duty cycles lower until I reached a nearly-continual state of motion. Pause for Arduino code snippet:

PowerSwitch Tail Template

120V AC Driver w/ LED indicator

Joseph Swanson
2011 |

void setup() {
// declare pins (13, 7) for writing
pinMode(13, OUTPUT);
pinMode(7, OUTPUT);

void loop() {
// Fire relay / LED
digitalWrite(13, HIGH);
digitalWrite(7, HIGH);

// Configure for “on” time
delay (50);

// Kill relay / LED
digitalWrite(13, LOW);
digitalWrite(7, LOW);

// Configure for “off” time
delay (950);

Pause for a small small-video break:

As that code and vid indicate, 1/20th of a second is all it took to keep the fan rolling, with 19/20th of a second idle. Not bad. Not sure what the takeaway is, but that is something to mention.

Put that knowledge somewhere safe, provided the question of humidifier fan duty cycles should spring up.

WordPress 3.2 Custom Layout

After the whole fiasco that came with my upgrade to WordPress 3.2, I
decided to shell my old layout and go with a new free website
. Not only was it too bloated with jqueries, but the whole
thing was sort of outdated. Time for some new blood, to go with my new
(faster?) server.

Introducing: Swiz3

wordpress 3.2 free layout

swiz 3.1

Way quicker than the Swiz2* series. It turns out that WP has introduced a bunch of the custom menu junk that I formerly have fought with into their release, so out with the old.

Consider this a working beta, and pay no attention to anything wonky on IE…haven’t even looked at this site on that. Cheers.

Evolution of a Project

I have two speeds when it comes to projects: percolate and bazooka. Whereas my swantron comment / to / LCD project was bazooka, this Twitter deal has been percolate. Haven’t been able to jump in completely, rather, I have been poking this one with a stick.

Still poking…

arduino controlling blue lcd

dual terminals and a terminal

Making progress…snagging my Twitter page via Python, and dumping it to LCD:

body and html closing tags on my lcd

+1 closing tags

I just need to hammer out some parsing, and I will be good to go. I really need to figure out some sweet regex and drop this whole ‘import (some junk)’ stuff. Who knows…at this rate, I just may.

Twitter CLI Teaser

I sort of forget what my original project entailed…something about tweeting via the command line, for Arduino purposes. You can pretty much just toss a bunch of words in a hat, and add ‘Arduino’ and ‘Command Line’ to them, and there you have one of my typical projects.

Anyhow, here we find ourselves. I am missing some dependencies with OAuth, but have managed to get twitter working from an interactive python shell:

cli twitter

command line-y

This section is as much for my reference as it is for public knowledge…I snagged the commands that I ran to snag my comments. It first prints swantr0n (my dev account) and then my primary Twitter feed, @swantron

swantron@mini9:~$ python
Python 2.7.1+ (r271:86832, Apr 11 2011, 18:05:24)
[GCC 4.5.2] on linux2
Type “help”, “copyright”, “credits” or “license” for more information.
>>> import twitter
>>> api = twitter.Api()
>>> feedSwantron = api.GetUserTimeline(‘swantron’)
>>> feedSwantr0n = api.GetUserTimeline(‘swantr0n’)
>>> print [ x.text for x in feedSwantr0n]
[‘development account for @swantron | tune into for projects’, ‘hello world’]
>>> print [ x.text for x in feedSwantron]
[‘@vftb …you better believe it’, ‘Twitter Project Teaser : | one step closer to tweeting from the #CLI … might take a run at make it tweet’, ‘Might need to implement some sleeves into my wardrobe… @adafruit just flipped the script with open source cuff links’, ‘unsafe at any speed… updating #ubuntu on the road’, ‘Upgrading Mini 9 to #Ubuntu Natty | posting to kill time… review here ( ) lunch-aft on the morrow’, ‘ #DIY lawn mower repair from a #math major. spoiler: it works’, “#arduino no you didn’t #LCD project, stepped up a bit”, ‘working on a python script to dump info from web to LCD #arduino’, ‘ video of #boc unboxing (for the win)’, ‘#woot bag-o-crap unboxing @ not too shabby’, ‘ still finding some compiz issues in #ubuntu 11.04’, ‘#Arduino project @ | driving LCD screen via command line’, ‘@RobotGrrl… what version are you running? I had no problems with IOIO / Droid 2 (froyo 2.2)’, ‘Easy LCD #Arduino Display | | feels good to have a warm soldering iron and functional hardware’]

I will keep plugging away until I get this thing hammered out. If not, I can print this suff to my LCD for a real-time Twitter display. Could be cool either way.

Ubuntu Natty Netbook Review

I have had Natty on my Mini 9 for a few days. It runs like a top.

natty narwhal on a dell mini 9 netbook


Solid state HD equates to a sub double digit boot time…be sure to configure compiz via:

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

That is about it. Plus 1. I would rattle on about 11.04, but I already have a few posts back. Besides, I have bigger fish to fry. Namely, Gannon…

ocarina of time gannon

bring it, gannon

I’m in my 30s, and just now getting around to beating Ocarina of Time. Katie and Man-Dawg are watching the Bachelor (or Bachelorette; no effing idea) downstairs…here goes nothing

Makeshift Linux Heads-Up Display

Per my last post, I began upgrading my Dell Mini 9 last night…from Ubuntu 10.10 to 11.04. Well, at some point, it tossed a fit about not being able to snag a package, and hung on a dialogue box all night. No worries…I’ll finish this install on the way to work.

ubuntu linux netbook on my silverado dashboard

check the speedometer...

Who said netbooks are passe? Looks like that guy was designed to ride on the dash of a Silverado if you ask me.

For the record, I was not doing 110 MPH by the MSU campus. I have an issue with my speedometer. I was doing 90 MPH, tops.

My install was a success for the record. I will see if all functions are fully functional soon, and put together a post.