Azure IoT Kit

WP_20160405_15_57_12_Pro.jpgI received one of these fun kits this year at Build 2016.  Here is the link, in case anyone is curious or wants to buy one.  It contains Adafruit’s custom ARM M0 SAMD board (similar to the Arduino Zero, but much smaller), and a bunch of components to mess around with on it.  Anyway, I figured that since the Azure guys (essentially) gave me the kit, I should use it to run through their tutorial.

WP_20160409_19_44_55_Pro.jpgAfter getting the graphics test running with the OLED Featherwing board, I ran through their Azure IoT Hub tutorial.  (Also pictured here is the temperature, pressure, and humidity sensor.)  NB: Make sure to follow the steps explicitly—the tutorial requires at least one forked version of a library that’s already available on the normal Arduino library manager.  Plus check to see if you have at least Arduino 1.6.8, which was just released in March.  I had an older one, because I was unaware of this fact.

azureIotOutput.jpgHuzzah, data!  The spike pictured here is me breathing on the humidity sensor.  Later, I discovered that the standard Azure setup they had me use for this tutorial would have run me out of credits in about three more days; so I removed it!  Alas.  Maybe there will be less pricey tiers later on.  It was fun to try out though.

Inexpensive TFT

On and off, I’ve been working on a project to build a learning toy for my son.  It started out in various forms, but is now destined to become embedded within an old PS/2 keyboard I’ve had lying around unused for a good while (except as an occasional toddler plaything).  At any rate, I needed a display of some sort to permanently embed in the project, and since it will likely take a beating over time, I wanted it to be fairly inexpensive.  I ended up finding this device on Amazon, and finally received it last week.


Using Adafruit’s ST7735 library, it works perfectly.  Thanks to the blog post here, I was able to set it up fairly easily.  Here, you can see it hooked up to my Adafruit Pro Trinket.  The only addition I had to make was to insert a LD33CV 3.3V voltage regulator between the Trinket’s power supply and the bread board’s power bus.  The product claims that it has a built-in level shifter, but the data sheets  have conflicting information about this.  Better safe than sorry.  Once the project is more complete, I plan on swapping the Trinket out for a dedicated ATMega328P, and will give it a lower voltage power supply also.