Thursday, 7 August 2014

Asus S56 WiFi Card Upgrade

This post is a mental note on how I upgraded my laptop's wireless card from an Atheros card to a fancy Intel 7260 AC WiFi adapter. For all of $30 too!

Intel 7260 @ Canada Computers:

Really helpful tear down instructions:

Intel 7260 drivers (Windows 8 was able to find these automatically):
These drivers are the latest as of this writing.

Notes and maybe instructions on upgrading the WiFi card in an Asus K55A should be up soon too!


The Lego Mindstroms software is an awesome way for anyone to get into programming and robotics. Lego has made it very easy to build a robot out of Lego, write a program by connecting program blocks together, and then watch your robot come alive! Within (at most) a couple hours anyone can have a Lego robot driving around, doing whatever they tell it to do. This is really amazing, especially for kids who already play with Lego.  Robot competitions (Like the Ottawa Robotics Competition are now open to kids that are as old as Facebook is and can program better than some computer science undergrads. This is all thanks to Lego Mindstorms, but what if you want to dig deeper and really see what’s going on under the hood of a lego Mindstorms brick. Well, unfortunately, you can’t – at least not easily. The hardware itself can be explored and researched but you can’t do much with the software. A program that’s written using the Lego Mindstorms IDE, in all of its blocky glory, can’t be easily converted to an actual program in a real program language. This led me to begin a project called EV3ToC, a program that will convert a program written for a Lego Mindstorms EV3 to functioning C code.

Why in the world would you want to do that?

Monday, 5 March 2012

Arduino and Python Tutorial

Hi there,

I've been working on ideas for my CNC machine/3D-printer and I've decided that making it a computer "peripheral" will be the best idea. This way my computer can do all the heavy lifting and the arduino should only have to drive the stepper motors.

While looking at how the RepRap works I found their microcontroller uses G-code. What is G-code you might ask? It actually tells the 3D-printer what type of movement (linear, circular,...) and for how far to follow that movement. Since there are already free open source CAD programs (Google Sketchup, Blender) that will save as .stl files and an open source program named Skeinfordge that converts .stl files to G-code, all the software needed on the computer is free! I may develop a python or java program that takes interprets the G-code and then tells the arduino which steppers to move and how, but this could also be written into the arduino sketch so I wont worry about that just yet.

The first problem I encountered was how I was going to get all this information from my computer to the arduino. Well luckily the arduino is capable of serial communication while its connected to a computer. Now the challenge was to figure out how to do this. After a bit of researching it seemed like using python to communicate with my arduino would be the easiest. Python is already a fairly easy to understand language so learning it was not to hard. After a few aggravating hours I finally got my small blinking program to work. The idea was that python would send a message to the arduino and then the arduino would make an LED blink twice. Sadly the internet wasn't much help when nothing seemed to be working so this I figured I would make a small tutorial on how to get python running with an arduino.

Check out my step-by-step guide on Instructables!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

About and my To Do list

Whether you're hear to look at what ever randomness I've thrown on here or stumbled on here by some horrific mistake, I hope you like it!

This is going to be a place for me to write down any ideas I have for the random things I want to make. I'll try to add tutorials and instructions for most of the things I make, that is assuming I finish something. ;)

So, stuff I'm working on now:

  • Xbox gear shift for steering wheel
  • CNC Machine.
Both of these projects are going to be based off the arduino. The cnc is probably the most advanced project that I've attempted so I'm going to try to post anything I learn on here in the form of a tutorial or something to that effect.

Stuff I would really like to be working on:
  • Lego motor driver
  • Graphical Arduino Code Generator
  • Binary Clock widget
That's everything I can think of for now. I hope to get everything on that list done at some point so this blog will serve as a time lapse of sorts.