I have lots of interesting projects I’m thinking of, and I’m excited to work on them. Today, I decided to make a start on making a neopixel strip notifier for my work desk.
The idea is that I’d have an internet enabled strip of neopixels that will do various things based on hopefully some IFTTT rules, like “flash red if my mother emails,” or “cycle green if a certain friend calls.”
The first question is, what microcontroller should I use for this? I don’t want to use a full-sized Arduino with a Wifi shield for the final project. I mean, I could, but that seems kinda big. I’d like something that might fit into a much smaller space. These are the ones I know about, and a couple I have on hand.
The neopixels need their own power source, and only need one I/O for data.
- Adafruit Feather with Wifi (one of three available, see below for the one I chose.)
- Onion Omega – I was a backer on their crowdfunding campaign, so I have two. It seems a bit overkill for this particular purpose, but I don’t actually have any other use for the Omegas I have at the moment, so I might eventually try that. But I don’t know how hard it will be to program the neopixels – there already is a neopixel library for Arduino.
- Particle Photon – I bought one of these on a lark, and it’s sitting in a drawer, and initially, I thought it might be hard, but it turns out, there’s a neopixel library for the photon, so that’s another option as well.
So I’m going to use the Feather, since I’ve been knee deep in Arduino lately (working on this course – check out Boing Boing for a big discount, if available – I got the course for $30). I split the neopixel strip I have into two, so I might make another with the Photon.
First, I have to get the strip lit, and the Ardunio library installed, and see what I can do. I ordered a Feather with Wifi today. This is a new one they have, the other Feathers with WiFi were out, so I figured I’d try this one.
In the meantime, I got the Neopixel strip lit, and the library installed on my Uno, and since I have a WiFi Shield hanging about for the regular form-factor Arduinos, I figured I might as well get started with WiFi library, which I’ve never used on the Arduino.
So my next step is to prototype the whole thing using my Uno. That will be another post.