Just no time!

I hope to get to play with my arduino projects over the next week when I’m off for the holidays.

The first hardware version of Lizard Climate Control project is still faithfully running with no glitches. The only adjustments I ever make are to the RTC which can’t keep time to save its life.

The next LCC hardware version will include a more accurate, temperature compensated RTC so I shouldn’t have to mess with it. However when I last played with the code for it I ran out of RAM and program storage space on Arduino. Thus I will most likely be using an Arduino Mega for the next version.

Happy Holidays!

The Next Lizard Climate Control…

I’ve started on LCC 2nd Gen or LCC2 or LCC II. I don’t know what to call it. BUT I do know it’ll be killer.

This one is going to be everything LCC 1 was not.

So far I have:

  • Ethernet
  • 64 GPIOs
  • A better RTC
  • 2 OLED displays
  • The RTC can be updated via serial — no need to upload code to the Arduino, update the clock and then reupload the LCC code!
  • More cool factor….

So check this out- I2C rocks! The awesome Centipede Shield from macetech.com is HUGELY awesome. Via the I2C 2 wire interface you now have access to 64 Digital ports. In any combination of In or Out. This is the cornerstone of the new LCC hardware. Especially since the Ethernet takes a lot of digital ports. This thing is way cool. If you need more digital ports get one asap.

The OLED displays are really neat. I got 5 from a Kickstarter project and they’re now generally available from Sabernetics Tech. They’re tiny and bright! Since you now have 64 ports you can have as many of these displays as you want. Just put each on its own port to select which one to write to…If you don’t you’ll write to them all at once! Gotta love bus networks (I2C).

I hope to make the LCC’s ability to control lights and heat sources more generic. Since the IO is so plentiful I can make the code generic enough to handle fans, heat mats, uv lights etc in different combinations.

Keep checking the site as I post updates about this project!

Real Time Clock

For the LCC project I had to add a real time clock (RTC) so that it could manage the light schedule independently of a PC. I added a fairly generic RTC shield. I could have used this one or this one. They both use the I2C bus and the DS1307 RTC chip.

The example from LadyAda didn’t allow me to manipulate the date/time components well enough so I went with a library that pulls the date/time in BCD format.  The issue was that I needed those preceding zeros on numbers less than 10. 8:8:8 is not as easy to read as 08:08:08 to me. The library I used allowed me to prepend the zero when necessary.

The library is from the Arduino Playground and also has lots of time related functions that work with any DS1307 chip.