Primary Organiser: Jonathan Oxer
Organisational Google Group: http://groups.google.com/group/arduino-miniconf
The concept of Free / Open Source Software, already well understood by LCA attendees, is complemented by a rapidly growing community focused around Open Hardware and "maker culture". One of the drivers of the popularity of the Open Hardware community is easy access to cheap devices such as Arduino, which is a microcontroller development board originally intended for classroom use but now a popular building block in all sorts of wierd and wonderful hobbyist and professional projects.
Interest in Open Hardware is high among FOSS enthusiasts but there is also a barrier to entry with the perceived difficulty and dangers of dealing with hot soldering irons, unknown components and unfamiliar naming schemes. The Arduino Miniconf will use the Arduino microcontroller board as a stepping stone to help ease software developers into dealing with Open Hardware. Topics will cover both software and hardware issues, starting with simpler sessions suitable for Open Hardware beginners and progressing through to more advanced topics.
Morning Sessions: Hardware Assembly Tutorial
Registrations for the assembly session are now closed, but there will still be space in the room so feel free to turn up and try your luck.
The morning will be used for a hardware assembly tutorial. Due to space and helper limitations we have to cap it at 32 participants, and if registrations exceed capacity we will give priority to Rocketry Miniconf attendees who need to assemble their datalogger package. To participate in the tutorial you will need to pre-register. (note: registration is now closed)
We'll pair participants up and provide each pair with a soldering iron, solder, and cutters for use during the session. We'll also have experienced hardware hackers as helpers, with a target of one helper for every pair of attendees. There will be plenty of people around to help you out if you have problems or questions so don't stress about not knowing what to do. Even if you've never even seen a soldering iron before you'll be fine.
This year we've arranged two different kits for you to choose from so that you can pick one that suits your interest and level of ability.
The first kit is called the "KitTen", and it's a general-purpose Arduino-compatible board that you can use in a variety of projects. It's fairly simple to assemble so even beginners should be able to put it together with confidence in the time available. To see details of what it includes (and a sneak preview of the assembly process) see:
The second kit is called the "MobSenDat" (Mobile Sensor Datalogger), which is a specialised Arduino-compatible board designed for data acquisition and storage, and can be used the following day at the Rocketry Miniconf to mount inside a rocket airframe. Note however that you must have already registered for the Rocketry Miniconf (which is now sold out) if you want to use it for that purpose. It's a complex board with a number of nasty surface-mount parts on it, so we'll be providing them with the SMT parts pre-fitted to give you a head start. The rest of the parts are just regular through-hole parts so it should be quite within the capability of anyone interested in giving it a try.
Afternoon Sessions: Presentations
The afternoon sessions will be more traditional presentations covering a variety of hardware and software topics, and are open to anyone who wants to attend.
High Altitude Arduino: Project Horus (Joel Stanley, Mark Jessop)
Project Horus is an amateur high altitude balloon project based in Adelaide, Australia. 12 launches have been successfully performed as of November 2010 by a team of volunteer enthusiasts from the amateur radio community. The aim of the project is to build and fly low cost weather balloon payloads into the stratosphere, capturing photographs and video, recording sensor data and providing a reliable launch platform for high altitude experiments.
The core telemetry system used in all launches transmits GPS positioning and temperature data via a UHF down-link. Originally using an Arduino Duemilanove board, custom hardware was later designed, though still using the Arduino software development platform. All hardware and software is open source, and available on the web at http://projecthorus.org/
This talk will answer the question "why would you launch a balloon 35km into the air?", some of the requirements that drove the choice of Arduino, followed by a discussion of the hardware and software built. It will include a demonstration of the telemetry system in action.
Joel Stanley and Mark Jessop have been working on custom telemetry for Project Horus.
Shield Design: Do It Right! (Jonathan Oxer)
Once you've had some experience assembling projects on solderless breadboard or prototyping shields the next logical step is designing your own custom shields. This session will give you an overview of the process of designing and producing your own shield, showing you traps to avoid and best practices to make sure your project is a success.
Jonathan Oxer is co-author of Practical Arduino, and curator of the Arduino Shield List at http://shieldlist.org/
Dragino + Arduino (Andy Gelme)
Description to come.
Lunar Numbat Board Design (Luke Weston)
Description to come.
Greenhouse Control Using Arduino (Bdale Garbee)
Bdale and his son Robert are in the midst of an Arduino-based greenhouse controller project. This talk will review what caused them to get started on it, the circuitry and programming to date, and what they plan to do with it in the 2011 growing season.
Bdale Garbee is Open Source CTO at HP, a past Debian Project Leader, developer of the Altus Metrum rocket telemetry system, an Amateur Radio operator, and has even helped design and build an amateur satellite.
Building Smart Outlets Using Arduino (Jazz Yao-Tsung Wang)
With the growing deployment of Smart Grid, it's more important to build smart outlet based on open hardware and open standards. In this talk, we would like to share our experience about building smart outlet using Arduino. With Arduino, we could design an outlet which is suitable for the size of existing electrical outlet. It is capable to measure the current usage and control the ON/OFF state via web-based UI. It could collect and control 8 smart outlets via ZigBee connection. You could check out the demo video from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iz2Ctpn6yKA.
Jazz Yao-Tsung Wang is a co-developer of DRBL/Clonezilla team in Free Software Lab, NCHC, NARL, Taiwan.
No REST For The Arduino (Aneesha Bakharia)
Arduino and Pyaler make the “internet of things” vision a reality. Pyaler is a Python gateway that enables access to Arduino devices via a RESTful API. This presentation will cover the basics of RESTful API design for devices. A REST API will be designed to control a simple Arduino device that prints messages to a Graphical LCD Display. We will also expose sensor device data via REST and utilise this information to create mashups.
Aneesha Bakharia is an educational technology researcher and technical author. She has qualifications in Microelectronic engineering, digital design and music production. Aneesha has authored books on Ruby on Rails, C#, ASP.NET and Java Server Pages.
Arduino Security (Philip J Lindsay)
Description to come.
Disclosure of interest: The kits being used in the miniconf are branded "Freetronics". Freetronics is a company started by me (Jonathan Oxer) after the Arduino Miniconf at LCA2010 largely as a result of the experiences with the hardware assembly tutorial. When dealing with ordering parts from multiple suppliers, coordinating design and manufacturing of PCBs, tracking incoming payments and outgoing reimbursements, and all the other things that have to be done to pull off something like the Arduino Miniconf it made sense to create a legal entity to handle it. The financial side of organising the last Arduino Miniconf was particularly messy, with both Andy Gelme and myself losing out personally by covering many costs ourselves. So yes, you'll see the name Freetronics on things related to the Arduino Miniconf, and yes, it's a Pty Ltd company. But it's one that was created partly to help make the Arduino Miniconf a success; all the designs are released under Open licenses that you can manufacture and sell yourself if you have the inclination; and the kits are being provided as cheaply as possible to make it affordable for attendees. I know this is a long-winded disclaimer, but I don't want people to think I'm doing all this just to promote my own company. I won't be making money out of the Arduino Miniconf: in fact I'll almost certainly end up taking a financial hit again, but I think it's totally worth it to see new people get involved in the Open Hardware movement.
Miniconfs/ArduinoMiniconf (last edited 2011-01-21 14:06:37 by firstname.lastname@example.org)