A couple of weeks ago, Christy ( Canida ) handed me a silvery antistatic bag of goodness that can contain only one thing: Electronic fun! It was a kit from Adafruit Industries, and I was tasked with building it and using it, followed by making it into an Instructable. That would be this Instructable. Onward!
Step 1: What You'll Need
1 YBox 2 Kit from Adafruit
1 Soldering Iron (I'd recommend an adjustable temp. iron set to 700Â° F)
1 Roll of Solder (preferably lead free, with rosin)
5 Electricity (for the soldering iron, later for the Ybox itself)
1 Computer (You don't need it, unless you want to configure anything on the Ybox. I strongly recommend a computer, as you might not care what the weather in Campbell, CA is like)
2 Internet (For the Ybox, and for the computer)
1 9V power supply from Adafruit
1 RCA Cable
1 Ethernet Cable
1 PCB Vise (recommended, you don't burn yourself as much. Unless you like that)
Some Love (All electronics projects require this)
Step 2: Check the Parts List.
So, the very first thing that you should do with any kit is to verify that you have everything. Sometimes, parts go missing (they're rather small, and sneaky. Very sneaky.) and have a tendency to hide from anti-static bags. With that said, you should dump the kit out on your table, (desk, bed, floor) and check the list to verify that you have all of your parts. If not, contact Ladyada She'll take care of you. If so, let's move on.
Step 3: Solder
There is a set of instructions here which are well written and easy to follow. Basically, you are taking all of the parts from the kit, and putting them together using solder and love. Be careful that your soldering job is done well, you can always remove a part and try again. Clip the leads on each part if they are long. I used some miniature Diagonal Cutters.
Step 4: Plug It In!
Ok, now that you have a YBox that is ready to go, plug in the Ethernet, RCA and power. You should see the bootloader screen for the YBox.
Step 5: Visit the YBox Online
That's right, your YBox is running its very own little webserver. Yaaay. Open up a web browser, and go to the IP address listed on the screen (Make sure you are connected to the same network as the Ybox). From here, you can configure the YBox to do your bidding.
Step 6: Upload New Programs
So, there are various programs for the YBox available here. You download these as precompiled binaries which you can then upload to the YBox. These include a Twitter Widget, an Alarm Clock widget, and others. You can also create your own widgets, but it is an involved process, and requires learning Spin (the Parallax Propellor's proprietary language) which is not in the scope of this Instructable.
This is how you upload programs from a Mac (Sadly (?) I do not know the specifics of this process on a PC, but you use curl from the command line there too). First, you open a terminal. This is located in /Applications/Utilities and is appropriately named Terminal. If you have never used terminal before, that's OK. Next, you need to change directory so that you can access the precompiled binary for the widget you want to use. I recommend you move that binary, which will be a .binary file, to your desktop. Then, in the terminal, you can type in:
Then, to confirm that the command worked, type in:
Which should list all of the items on your desktop. If so, congrats! If not, try again.
Then, type in:
curl http://thingnumber1/stage2.eeprom -T thingnumber2.binary
Where thingnumber1 is the IP address of your Ybox, and thingnumber2.binary is the filename of the widget you wish to upload. Some lights should blink, and some dots should flash on your screen, and then your terminal will say 'Done' and some other junk. This means that the Ybox now has your widget.
Step 7: Restart Your YBox
By unplugging and plugging in your YBox. Then, bask in the glory of the program you uploaded!
Step 8: Rinse. Lather. Repeat.
Do cool stuff, learn spin, you can even put your Ybox in an Altoids tin. That was not supposed to rhyme. Ever.
Visit Adafruit Industries for more info, and more cool kits.