Open Garage install and minor updates

Since I finished the prototype this week I decided to actually install it in place of the breadboard version in the garage.  I ended up coming up with a poor mans mounting system where I drilled two larger holes through the prototyping board, put nuts on the back, then used other nuts to keep the…

Open Garage hardware prototype v1

Behold.  My first actual prototype for my Open Garage project.  Not much has changed at this point on the code end of things but the code was updated to account for a few things.  Namely, I changed some of the pins I used and also updated how the button worked.  Previously, I had one button…

Getting started with NodeMCU ESP8266

I knew when I started all of this that my end goal was going to be working with micro-controllers.  If you’ll recall my very first post you’ll know that I bought this NodeMCU ESP8266 board from Amazon for something like $8 which I thought was a great deal.  Now that I’ve had a chance to…

Soldering – take 2

So I wanted to get back to soldering since I hadnt done it in awhile and  I gave up on trying to desolder my first attempt.  That braided wire just sucked.  So I ended up manually removing the components from the perf board (not fun (cut finger (ouch))).  So here’s my second attempt at soldering…

Working with capacitors

Before I started all of this I knew what a capacitor was.  They’re like little batteries…. sort of….  So while capacitors are pretty easy to understand, their uses cases are a little different than I had expected.  So let’s take a quick look at how capacitors work.  The easiest way to see this is by…

Using a potentiometer(pot)

So another one of the items that came in my kit was a potentiometer often shortened to pot (Im already sick of typing potentiometer so it will be pot from here on out).  The pot is an interesting device that acts as a variable voltage divider or simply a variable resistor.  Let’s take a look so you…

Electricity and the water analogy explained

If you’ve ever tried to understand amps, voltage, and resistance you’ve no doubt heard the water analogy.  It goes something like this… Consider a tank of water.  The amount of water in the tank is comparable to the amount of electrical charge in a power source.  Now consider the tank has a hole in the…

Soldering to a circuit board

Im not sure exactly what these boards should be called.  I’ve read some places where they were called solder boards, other places call them breadboards, and yet other places call them prototyping boards.  In either case, it’s a board that has holes through which you can insert components and then solder them to the board….

Understanding electrical resistance

One of the base level concepts I’ll need to learn more about is resistance.  As you likely know, when talking about the flow of electricity you typically talk about conductors and insulators.  Conductors are materials that allow the free flow of electricity whereas insulators limit or prevent the flow of electricity.  A good example of a conductor…