Entries from August 2007 ↓

Soldering Clap Switches

After watching recent Systm episodes, I decided that I would try and get into electronics. The most specific part that I decided I wanted to get into was the AVR programming. But before I get to that, I decided that it would be a good idea to learn how to solder first!

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Off I went to a Maplin store. You walk into maplin and you are instantly greeted with millions of electronic things, of which I didn’t know what they were. Walking around there, for a while, I discovered some electronic kits. These “make your own” kits are manufactured by Velleman, and I can recommend them.

So after browsing through the many different kits, I ended up choosing a Clap activated switch. Whilst I was there, I grabbed a soldering iron stand, as I already had the soldering iron + solder.

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Opening the kit presented me with millions (ok, 20) resistors, and a bunch of other electronic parts. Two days later, and the solder sucker having to be used occasionally, the kit was finished. One thing I forgot to purchase was a transformer to plug it in with. After visiting maplin I came home and found the transformer was faulty. It is one of those changeable voltage transformers. This one, however, would only work when set to 6 volts. After getting a replacement, finding that it was faulty too, buying a different one instead, I finally got the clap switch to work.

And am I surprised that it worked first time? Well… Yes!

And where will I go from here then? Read on…

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Vodafone 3G card in Ubuntu

Update: Since writing this blog entry many developments have happened with mobile internet under linux. These days you can just plug and go. NetworkManager will even help you find the right settings. However, I haven’t tested this particular mobile broadband pcmcia card with recent versions of Ubuntu, but assume that it works well. Leave a comment if you have any problems 🙂

First off, I realise that I haven’t posted a blog entry in a while now. I don’t know why I haven’t, as I’ve had plenty of time, it being the summer holidays and all. I always find my self wanting to do so much stuff in the summer holidays, and somehow turn up doing hardly anything. ‘Tis a shame.

Anyway…

After reading this mailing list post on ubuntu-uk, I was surprised these 3G datacards actually worked under ubuntu. Therefore, I instantly zoomed off to ebay and purchased one for £34 + postage. I made sure it said unlocked in the ebay listing, as I currently have a virgin mobile sim card and didn’t want to waste/switch to vodafone.

So the datacard turned up and I popped my phone SIM in it. Following the guide that was written in the mailing list, I configured it. This was using kppp. So I made everything was in there right and tried to connect. One problem though. Everytime I tried to connect kppp would lock up instantly. “Ah dear”, I though.

After much researching, I managed to set up the datacard using gnome-ppp, which is equally, if not more, easier to set up the datacard in. And here is a little guide I’ll write in full for you…

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