Building an Apple iBeacon with CircuitPython

iBeacons are Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices used in location awareness applications such as welcoming people as they arrive at an event or broadcasting information to compatible devices at a nearby museum exhibit. The term iBeacon is apple’s implementation of the technology and reportedly, is what they use at their stores to send notifications to iPhone users as they enter/leave the store. Another great application of iBeacons is general automation using iOS apps such as Shortcuts and Pushcut....

June 21, 2020 · 3 min · L.R-S

Building a Raspberry Pi Security Camera

Security cameras seem to be have gotten pretty popular in the last couple of months. I thought I’d share how I put together one using a Raspberry Pi Zero W and some additional components. The device has the following features: Powered by rechargeable battery. Battery charges via USB. Motion activated video (and photo) recording. IR LED equipped (night vision recording). Media saved locally (Raspberry Pi SD card), no need for Cloud storage or internet connection....

April 29, 2020 · 8 min · L.R-S
HomeKit compatible laser trip wire.

Building a HomeKit Compatible Laser Trip Wire With CircuitPython

This post describes how to build a HomeKit compatible electronic trip wire to detect motion. As opposed to the more common infrared motion detection, there aren’t many options for detecting movement by interrupting a line of sight between two points. There are some alternatives that use infrared diodes, but those are limited by a maximum distance of just a few inches/feet between the emitter and the receptor. This project attempts to solve that limitation by using a regular laser emitter and a photo transistor as a receptor, so that the maximum distance is only dependent on the laser’s output power and your ability of aiming it to the photo transistor from afar....

June 13, 2019 · 8 min · L.R-S

Building a Standalone GPS Logger with CircuitPython

I’ve been fascinated by the GPS technology for years. There is something magical about being able to accurately pinpoint one’s position on the globe at any given time. Having that capability currently integrated in our phones is even more remarkable and something that we usually take for granted. The downside, however, is that accurately tracking our position is very taxing on our phones and severely impacts their battery life. I wanted a small standalone device capable of doing just that....

April 3, 2019 · 6 min · L.R-S

Zugu Case for iPad Pro 11” add-on

Introduction Ever since getting the iPad Pro 11”, I’ve been trying to get a more protective case than the ones offered by Apple. I’ve tried several options, from the cheap ones on Amazon (this one is actually pretty good) to the ones offered by Apple. After several tries, I settled on the The Muse by Zugu. Here are some of the reasons I like it: Perfect combination of protection, functionality and elegant design....

March 2, 2019 · 2 min · L.R-S