ESP8266 experiments – making a simple development board

October 4th, 2015

The ESP8266 based WiFi modules introduced last year have made making WiFi connected sensor nodes much easier – and much cheaper.

ESP8266 ESP-01 Module Experiments

In this article I describe making a small development board for ESP-01 modules, and taking the first steps with it.

PiDroidAlpha: User Manual & new Python API revision uploaded

September 21st, 2015

Head on over to the PiDroidAlpha product page to download the new User Manual and new!

Pi Droid Alpha @

And if you like PiDroidAlpha, you can get it at Mikronauts Tindie Store

I am back from vacation! I also opened a Tindie store :)

September 21st, 2015

I should have a new version of the PiDroidAlpha User Manual and the corresponding new version of (RoboPi API compatibility layer for PiDroidAlpha) posted later today… I just have to correct a few typos :)

In other news…

RoboPi and PiDroidAlpha are now available on Tindie!

Pi Droid Alpha @

Vancouver, BC – biggest storm in a decade knocked up to 500K customers power out (including mine)

August 31st, 2015

Sorry, I intended to finish another article over the weekend, but a power outage interfered.


Here in Langley, BC, we lost power around 10:30am on Saturday .. and did not get it back until 9:35pm.

We still don’t have our cable internet service restored. Fortunately, even though the cell signal is poor, we could keep an eye on BCHydro’s twitter feed (their web site and phone support was also off-line), and we could still read on our tablets.

Apparently at one point 500,000 customers were affected… if you assume an average of three people per home, that is around 1.5 million people without power!

You have to love USB power banks, they kept our phones and tablets alive during the outage… and a spotty & slow internet is still better than no internet.

Update: I have cable internet again, and I managed to fix on the desktop where the configuration files got corrupted by the power loss. Whew.

ODROID XU4 Shifter Shield Review with GPIO compatibility tests posted

August 27th, 2015

ODROID-XU4 Shifter Shield Review @

I recently reviewed Hardkernel’s new ODROID-XU4 Big.little eight core single board computer – and I was very impressed by its performance.

The only real issue was the 1.8V GPIO spread between two connectors with 2.0mm pitch, which is obviously incompatible with all those nice add-on boards designed for Raspberry Pi’s, Banana Pi’s, and other similar SBC’s.

Fortunately, HardKernel has released a “XU4 Shifter Shield” to address this issue.

Click HERE to read my thorough review of the XU4 Shifter Shield

I even tested a few add-on boards designed for the Raspberry Pi with the XU4 Shifter Shield :)