The last 3 weeks went in figuring out the Arduino and learning a little about basic electronics. I hadn’t paid much attention to electronics in college, so it was as good as a start from scratch. Right from reading how current flows to how microcontrollers process data. And resistors, phototransistors, potentiometers(pots!), capacitors, breadboards, switches, relays, power supplies….you get the idea. The programming part has been comparatively straightforward, since I have had some familiarity with VB6 and VB.net because of the (awesome) final year project. (I long to go back to work with my guide, Mr.Bamnote. Amazing time it was. More about this in a later post).
It’s been good, good way to pass the time in-between writing essays for the MBA programs and dohffice.
Last week I began work on my first ‘real’ Arduino project. The idea is simple: I want to create a system which sends an alert each time a particular container is kept in the refrigerator. When the container goes in, mom can set the ‘shelf life’ for that container through an app on her phone, i.e for the food in the container. As the shelf life approaches, she gets reminders on her phone, so she can take it out before it spoils….
Its a simple idea. For now, I have the following system in mind:
Location 1 is a unit that would attach to the fridge.
Location 2 is the unit which will eventually be replaced by mom’s phone.
I have got these parts for the project:
- A RDM6300 RFID reader (125 KHz) with two tag cards.
- NRF24L01+ 2.4Ghz Wireless Module for the radio communication between the two locations.
- Will be getting another arduino board to help the NRF24 and RFID reader communicate at location 1.
For the programming side, it’s the Arduino IDE. For the later part, where I will be writing an app for the phone, I am thinking of using Processing.
As of this writing, I have mostly figured out the code and circuitry for the RFID reader part. I may need to replace the RFID reader later because of the limited range, but its good for ‘prototyping’ (Damn I am using geekspeak already :P).
In the next post, I will go into the details about the code and circuitry, and will upload the code and the circuit diagram of my current progress.