Power Regulator repair on Photon

How to bypass and replace power regulator on Particle Photon

I accidentally shorted the 3.3v pin in the Particle Photon with ground. Within a second a puff of smoke rose from the circuit board and the photon no longer worked - when I connected power nothing happened, no LEDs lit and no boot. After a little looking around I discovered that the problem was likely the regulator which lowers the USB input voltage VIN down to 3.3V which all arduino like platforms use. [Read More]

Home Dashboard

Background There is something immensely satisfying about having something to hold which has been hand crafted. Working with code most of the time it’s rare to get an outcome that is tactile. This project recreates a Hive-like user interface experience with a few readily available components. These components connect easily to a micro-controller such as the Particle Photon. Figure2: Hive smart thermostat Figure1: Dashboard Construction Guide Parts List Photon Particle 500mA micro-USB power supply Breadboard 1602A LCD Display with I2C interface rotary encoder module knob for rotary encoder 2x 0. [Read More]

Aquarium Lighting Controller

Background I’ve had a modest home aquarium for a many years. It has always been lit by a specialist aquarium fluorescent tube. This gave out a nice light which both helped plants to grow and counteracted the excess of green caused by plants an algae. Figure1: Spectrograph of Hagen Aquaglow fluorescent tube There were two problems with this fluorescent lighting solution however. Firstly, it switches on and off instantly which can be quite unnatural and startles the fish. [Read More]

Building a Spectrometer

with a Raspberry Pi for $50

This project promises to give you super-human powers. I still find it amazing that our eyes construct all the colours for the most part1 from the mix of red, green and blue that the cones in our eyes can detect. Despite this simple three valued approach to colour that pervades our eyes, cameras, monitors and computer graphics there is a deeper reality to colour in everyday life. This projects opens the door on that reality. [Read More]

Introducing Comb9

consumer integration platform

Whilst getting things off my chest I thought it’d be a good idea to mention comb9.com! Comb9 is a consumer integration platform which I built in 2015. By consumer integration I mean it allows consumers of internet of things gadgets, social media and online services to integrate this disparate capabilities together to build new combined1 services which do more than the sum of their parts. Background Of course this idea is not new. [Read More]

Introducing Polestar

I’m not really sure why it’s taken so long but I’d like to introduce Polestar. I actually first started the project back in 2014. I got a couple of early adopters in January 2015. Since then it’s been used quietly without much fuss with a few updates along the way. Background I got the idea for Polestar at the 2014 Good Things conference in Bath, UK. I noticed a repeating pattern from the speakers - a kind of reference Internet of Things architecture. [Read More]

History Of Gödel Numbering Part 3

This is the third and final article in this series. Part 1 and part 2 describe how the concept of Godel numbers were first used to solidify the foundations of computing, then subsequently neglected by mainstream computing as it evolved until research at Hewlett Packard showed how the concept could lead to the caching of pure computation. In this final part I want to show the implications of this discovery for the future of IT. [Read More]

Building Radar Speed Camera and Traffic Logger

with a Raspberry Pi

I’ve always been interested in connecting things up to computers that they were never designed for. I could reminisce about my first drawing capture arm that used captured the two joint angles with potentiometers and used them to control the pulse width oscillators that fed into the cassette input on a ZX Spectrum. (I’ve just done a google search for this idea and came up blank - I’m sure there used to be commercial products - it looks like this technology has been lost in the digital dark ages. [Read More]

History Of Gödel Numbering Part 2

In the first post in this series I introduced Godel numbers and the important role they had in the foundations of computing. In this post I want to show how we took the concept to pioneer an approach to cache computation. A technique of identifying and eliminating redundant processing. Please entertain my third person prose. Picking up the trail In 1999 a small group of researchers in Hewlett Packard Labs were working in the domain of e-payment and digital commerce. [Read More]

History Of Gödel Numbering Part 1

At the break of the 20th century the prominent German mathematician, David Hilbert, posed 23 unsolved mathematical problems. He believed these problems were critical to progress in the field. Many, but not all of these problems have since been solved and some have given great philosophical insight. In particular his second problem asks for a proof that arithmetic is consistent, that is the arithmetic that we learn at school and forms the basis of much of the social and economic structure of our society. [Read More]