Introduction: HackerBoxes 0006: Internet of Things (IoT) Projects Featuring the Particle Photon
Hacking the Internet of Things! This month, subscribers to HackerBoxes are working with the Particle Photon IoT Board to control devices over the Internet, collect sensor data over the Internet, store data into the cloud, and so much more.
This Instructable contains information for working with HackerBoxes #0006. HackerBoxes is the monthly subscription box service for electronics hobbyists, makers, and hackers. Even if you are not a HackerBoxes subscriber, you can always join in the fun using your own materials and equipment. Of course, if you would like to receive a box like this right to your mailbox each month, please SUBSCRIBE HERE and join the HackerBoxes movement. We would love to have you!
Step 1: HackerBoxes #0006: Box Contents
- HackerBox #0006 Collectible Reference Card
- Particle Photon IoT Wi-Fi Board
- IR Remote Control Kit with Receiver and IR LED
- DHT-11 Digital Humidity and Temperature Sensor
- Microphone Module (amplified)
- NeoPixel Strip (RGB LEDs)
- Micro USB Cable
- Dupont Wires
- Prototyping PCB
- 400 point Solderless Breadboard
- Red 5mm LEDs
- Resistors (220 and 10,000 ohm)
- IoT Traffic Light Kit with Ping Pong Ball Light Diffusers
- Laptop Decal "IoT HACKER"
- Exclusive HackerBoxes Reversible Screwdriver
Step 2: Collectable HackerBoxes Reference Card
This month's collectable HackerBoxes reference card features the IoT Reference Model published in a Cisco White Paper along with reference information for the Particle Photon IoT Board. The Particle Photon was originally known as the Spark Core and was funded through a Kickstarter campaign. Check out the video.
Step 3: Particle Photon IoT Wi-Fi Board
This month, we are delighted to be working with Particle to feature the Photon IoT System.
To get started with the Photon Board click on over to particle.io/start
The online tutorial will guide you to set up your Photon, update the firmware, install the Particle Mobile App on your smartphone or tablet, and test some initial interactions with the Photon IoT Board.
The tutorial will also help you to complete your first few IoT projects:
- Blinking and LED over the Internet
- Reading a Photoresistor over the Internet
- Assembling an Internet-Enabled Motion Sensor
With these basics of collecting data from a sensor, actuating an output, and closing the loop on a practical system application, you have firmly entered the world of The Internet of Things. Apply your "IoT HACKER" decal with pride! Note that there is also a tiny Particle decal hiding underneath the Photon Board in its matchbox.
Great thanks to John’s DIY Playground for the excellent video introducing the Photon IoT Board.
Also, check in with Particle for more IoT modules and accessories including the mobile/cellular enabled Electron Board.
Step 4: IoT Cloud-Based Weather Station Data Logger
Are you ready to log weather data to the cloud? No pun intended!
This great tutorial is from Open Home Automation. Environmental data is collected from a few sensor sources. These include a photocell and a DHT-11 (Digital Humidity and Temperature Sensor) (datasheet). Note that the data line of the DHT-11 needs a "pull-up" resistor attached to Vcc (the positive power rail). The schematic shows a 4.7K resistor for this pull-up, but a 10K resistor will work just as well.
Step 5: Internet-Enabled Traffic Light
This traffic light project can be used as a fun light demo or as something useful like a "do not disturb" indicator for your lab or office.
With the traffic light image printed onto cardstock or a label at 6x4 inches, the spacing is just about perfect for illumination using a NeoPixel Strip with 30/meter pitch. NeoPixels are WS2812 RGB LED chips with a single pin serial addressing scheme. The awesome NeoPixel Uberguide from Adafruit has the technical information you could ever hope for on the subject.
The traffic light can be used on cardstock alone or stuck onto something more substantial such as a small project box or even a cardboard box. If only you had a small cardboard box, right? Just cut out the "light" circles using a utility knife. Then cut a "spherical dome" (think of a contact lens) from a ping pong ball to serve as a light diffuser. You should be about to get two diffuser lenses from each ball. These can be glued or taped over each light hole from behind. A strip of three NeoPixels can be attached to the back side of the card (or the inside of the box).
Step 6: IoT Baby Monitor or Audio Bug
Step 7: Internet Based IR Remote
An Infrared (IR) Remote Control kit can be used in an IoT context to trigger IoT events from the IR remote (via the IR receiver device) or to transmit IR signals using the IR LED.
Since a lot of television viewing is now controlled using mobile devices, the old IR remotes are often only needed to power the TV itself on and off and perhaps to adjust the volume. It would be nice to move these last IR functions onto the mobile device were they can be controlled with an app or browser over Wi-Fi. IoT IR Remote Control to the rescue!
Step 8: Congratulations!
You haven take quite an adventure into the Internet of Things. Motion sensors, audio bugs, weather data loggers, IR blasters, and traffic lights, oh my! What can't you control and monitor from the Internet of Things? What else did you create? If you enjoyed this Instrucable and you would like to have a box like this delivered right to your mailbox each month, please SUBSCRIBE HERE.
Please share your success (below and/or on the HackerBoxes Facebook Page) and certainly let us know if you have any questions. Thank you for being part of the HackerBoxes adventure. Please keep your suggestions and feedback coming. HackerBoxes are YOUR boxes. Let's make something great!