Location visible to members
Several things going on for this meeting: member projects, Guino Dashboard, possibly flight of the quadcopter depending on the USPS. Please, read on!
As always, please bring your own microcontroller based projects to work on. I enjoy seeing (and sometimes being able to help with) new member projects every week. If you're new to microcontrollers come out and learn with us. Here's a good open source microcontroller project board: http://arduino.cc.
I'm going to prepare a brief (10-15 min) demo of this interesting bit of software for arduino: http://www.instructables.com/id/Guino-Dashboard-for-your-Arduino/
It's a gui for real time monitoring and adjustment of arduino inputs and outputs. A lot of us have probably debugged an arduino program using a slew of print statements to the serial port. It looks like Guino will be a more visual/intuitive way to debug code and hardware with just slightly more setup than those serial print statements. Lets hope its as good as it looks at first glance.
Also, we may be able to make progress on the quadcopter this meeting. According to the USPS the new KK2.0 flight control board and ESC arrived in NY yesterday (surely it'll get from NY to BHM in less than 7 days). Although KK2.0 is not an arduino, it uses a similar atmega microcontroller under the hood.
If the new parts show up before the meeting, then we will be able to use a Bus Pirate ( http://dangerousprototypes.com/docs/Bus_Pirate ) to update the control board to the latest firmware and get it up off the ground and in stable flight. No, updating firmware isn't exciting, but the bus pirate is a neat bit of hardware. For the firmware update we upload a new "sketch" to the control board directly via ICSP pins that you can find on many microcontroller based boards. The bus pirate also has capabilities to do instruction level debugging (JTAG) and communicate using a variety of protocols that most sensors use to deliver data and receive configuration instructions (SPI, I2C/TWI, UART, raw, etc). There are a slew of sensor chips that I personally want to experiment with using the bus pirate.
And now on to the regularly scheduled info...
The meeting is always free to attend and participate in, but if you would like to be a full member please bring cash or check to pay monthly dues of $20. We have incorporated as a non-profit and this money is going towards a permanent space. With membership we can currently offer the joy of being a member of an awesome group of hackers, voting rights on choosing our initial space and a 5% discount on adafruit purchases.
Meeting is BYOB and refreshments/snacks are more than welcome.