Raspberry Pi 2 + Windows IoT + Visual Basic

2 Weeks ago I came across the possibility to run Windows 10 on a Pi. We’re using Visual Basic to teach our Students programming so I simply had to try whether its suitable for a small project or a tutorial. (And at last I had a reason why I would need a Pi at my official working desk: yay!!)

Most of the students I am teaching are mechanical engineers in their second year who had some basics in the year before but are quite critical when it comes to programming. Everything needs to make sense right from the start.

So I was trying hard to find a hands-on example during the summer. My first idea was a 10 year old Mindstorms-Robot but with suddenly 35 students willing to take an additional tutorial an only one robot… not that brilliant idea any more. But anyway: this old RCX can be controlled by Visual Basic using VisualStudio 2012.

My new setup is now a Pi 2 with a sense hat and yes: its programmable by VisualBasic. As I wasn’t able to find much documentation (especially on the VisualBasic part) I’m currently writing one myself 🙂

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Current Project

Today, I finished a new prototype. It is a LED-animated picture frame:

A couple of hamsters ago, i started writing their names on a blackboard. Just a way to remember, which of them lived here a the same time.  Now, some years later, the blackboard filled up and I had to came up with a new idea.

Blackboard with hamster names  After some kind of flash of inspiration, I had the idea of aligning the names in a spiral.

Paper Draft

Family Tree - First Version

You can guess the next step: I had to mill it and fill the connections with color. Looks nice as well but not the way I intended it to look. And, while watching the mill milling, I had the idea of adding a picture to each of the tile and light everything from behind.

After Milling

After some research I bought a couple of meters of ws2812b-LEDs because I found a suitable LED player for those LEDs.

To seperate the different coloured lanes, I am using a reflection tape actually supposed to be used for vehicles. Not sure if it is really necessary but I thought it would reduce so called “spots”.

Color Check Picture Frame open Picture Frame open

Another Hackathon

A couple of weeks ago I went to Berlin to participate on another Hackathon: http://www.mediahackday.com/

Our team developed a tiresensor which can we be refitted to all cars, including an android app and a webserver. Personally, the main outcome of this weekend was the knowledge, how to connect an arduino mega ADK via usb to a smartphone (we hat no bluetooth shield available).

Actually, I can only recommend the example application from google (this one). Just keep in mind: the Arduino-Firmware might need to be changed a bit because it gets stuck during intitialization. (see here)

Well, I did not only learn some Android/Arduino stuff, we also reached the third price (here is even a picture).

I spent a part of the price money into a Pebble Smartwatch and I’m really having fun programming at the moment.

CNC Mill: Final View

Well, I didnt document as much as I intended to, but at least the cnc-mill-project is usable.
Tool View

So, here are some uncomented pictures.

Total View:

Total View

Total View

Total View

Total View

Total View

Control:
Control

Control

X-Axis:
X-Axis

X-Axis

x-Axis

X-Axis

X-Axis

X-Axis

Y-Axis
Y-Axis

Y-Axis

Y-Axis

Y-Axis

Y-Axis

Y-Axis

Y-Axis

Z-Axis
Z-Axis

Z-Axis

CNC Mill: X-Axis Linear Guides

First some pictures:

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Mounting those linear guides is a bit challenging but it can be solved taking the time to do it as accurate as possible.

The first thing to do is fixing the carriers below the future y-Axis. I put them in line with one edge of the wood. To choose the edge, I placed the guides on the planks wihtout screwing them.

With the carriers in place, one of the gudies was then srewed on the ground plate. Using the y-axis, the second guiding moved into its position. If it changes the position while the y-axis is moved the carriers are not parallel 😉

CNC Mill – Wood Base Plate

I did some wood shopping at the beginning of the week following the bill of material here. Beeing back at home, I realised: the bill of material is incomplete. But thats just one of the problems I’m faced with using an article as construction manual. Okay, maybe I am a bit to critical but why did they explain the difference between crossed slot and torx (including pictures) but skimp on how to adjust the linear guides…

Anyway, I’ve finished the base plate using some screws (actually torx 4,5x35mm) and wood glue:

Its a 1m x 1m multiplex plate with 6 1m x 7cm planks. 4 of them at the bottom crosswise and 2 on the top lengthwise:

IMG_20140416_220301

IMG_20140416_220325

I did some preparations for the y-axis-slide as well:

IMG_20140416_220435

IMG_20140416_220417

IMG_20140416_220410

new term, new project

In short: I’m trying to build a cnc mill. I’ve found a model in a german Paper called c’t hacks: Preview. It is build from multiplex-wood which suits me more than steel or aluminium.

The material I would like to handle with the mill is 8mm poplar. Everything else like milling curcuit boards is a nice to have but not mandatory.

The first part of the project is the base its going to stand on:

Base

Base

The white wood are ikea lack tables connected (55cm x 55cm) and with 16 wheels below.

wheels

wheels

On the top are 4 ruberplates (actually for playgrounds) to protect my neighbours ears from vibrations. They also show the planned area of the mill (1m x 1m).

The next step will be buying the wood (everything else is already ordered) and screwing the mills basis.