New Nexus

I have so much to write. I had better just get started.

This blog is still about Arduino and stuff, but the stuff is getting big. The few hours a week I get to spend on this is not nearly enough. Mostly I struggle for motivation of any kind and this is just another thing I'm not doing. Were motivation not an issue I would have a good set of projects completed by now. This blog post is just going to be a ramble about the things I wish I was doing, and will do as energy and time permit.

I've done precious little Arduino code lately. I've been working on iOS apps and developing using Swift in Xcode. But that doesn't mean I've moved on. So that I can have a web service to share data between instances of my apps I've started learning Ruby on Rails. This, for me, is a shortcut to a RESTful API that my iOS apps can use. If the terminology doesn't make sense don't worry; I'll go into more depth later. The funny thing is that having a RESTful API for my iOS apps made me realise I could access them from Arduino, Raspberry Pi and other microcontrollers/mini computers.

I know I sound like I'm writing for an audience but I really don't know who wants to read this. I'm writing for myself to read back over later. I'd prefer to have something written well or I'll be tempted to spend time correcting my own spelling and grammar. Yeah, wow! So from here on out this blog should hopefully get a bit diverse.



I have no hold-ups in this area. While I'm not proficient with data-driven apps, I can push through whatever I need to do to make things work. The exciting part is being able to integrate apps with a central server and have devices also linked in. For example, I want my phone to get a notification when the temperature outside the house has dropped below the temperature inside the house (in summer) so I can know when to turn off the air conditioners and open the windows. Likewise the reverse in winter. This, of course, requires that there is a central server somewhere and some electronics to measure temperature and push that information to the server.

Ruby on Rails

I did a bit of research before deciding to spend the time and effort to get to know Ruby on Rails. If you're a C/C++ coder used to working on embedded platforms Ruby on Rails will be totally foreign for you like it was for me. For all its strangeness you have to be amazed at the power you can wield with seconds of programming. It is freaking awesome. Sure, there must be other frameworks that have this kind of effort:benefit ratio, but I'm no web developer. Seeing what is possible by making it happen in a few minutes is truly wonderful.


I think writing C/C++ for Arduino is now my second-most proficient behind Swift. But I love it. The raw "running on bare metal" (almost!) feeling you get is excellent. You're not tied up debugging someone else's work. If you want to you can code everything from scratch!


Why is it certain things pop into your head? Why do I have a fascination for particular projects while others instantly bore me? How can it be that projects that (even to most people) are boring yet interest me. I've stopped trying to analyse this. I'm just going with it. Here are three things that have held my attention for some time ...

Cooking App

A what? Yes. An app that contains utilises database of all your favourite recipes, preferred brands, usual places to shop so that you can quickly audit your pantry and fridge, plan your meals, and buy everything that's on sale or in bulk so you can eat well while saving money.


That name might step on someone's trademark! But I seriously have an interest for automated grass cutting. How much experience do I have that might be applicable in this field? None. Or nearly none. But the combination of GPS, local positioning (read: iBeacon etc), computer vision and LiDAR are just exciting to me. I have explored bits and pieces and have started to put money behind getting actual progress on this.


This sounds really lame too, but as I said I'd really like to have a set of temperature and humidity sensors around the house. Tying these into some kind of actuators would be great but I can see it quickly becoming a decision about which platform to implement on. It'll need a CANbus or an IoT operating system becoming the main argument.


I have two engines for my car. One that it's had for a few years and is definitely not healthy although I've been unable to diagnose exactly what's wrong with it. The other engine I've test driven and it definitely works. So the swap is in progress.

I have purchased a 3D printer which is fun all by itself but I want it to help me develop the Mowbotics and Climate projects. I have also purchased a laser engraver and a tiny quad rotor UAV.

That is all.


  1. Nice start Chris, and getting started is always the hardest. I'll be interested in the Mowbotics, that is a definite winner if you can pull it off. Vibration is the real enemy of electronics, so maybe a combo of arduino, drone and a modification of your laser engraver... LOL
    But start with the things you love, and grow from there.


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