Franklin

Got my Spark!

This is so awesome. One of my childhood dreams is to connect everything to everything and everyone to everyone. Wait no that’s Au4.. well the part to connect everything is true. It started with wires and lights when I was like 5 years old or something. Then audio gear and software instrument routing (VSTs). Later my 7 remote servers maintained each other, that was pretty cool as each of them monitored the other, they did whole OS installations, upgrades, recoveries. It served no real purpose, I only wanted to learn. Sadly everything needs money and that made me decide to dismantle the whole thing. The only part that is still online is the @FreeflowTV script which collects parkour and freerun related videos to post them on Twitter.

Growing up

A couple of years ago my parents gave me the Arduino Uno kit and I finally took a dive into the world of small electronics. It has a learning curve with all those resistors, different kinds of LEDs, sensors, voltages, etc, but this stuff is nice to learn. However, it is missing networking features. Sure you could get an ethernet shield but that makes the thing bigger and it eats resources from the Arduino.

Arduino Uno r3

Arduino Uno r3

So I later got a Raspberry Pi model B which can connect to Arduino and has ethernet, usb and runs on Debian. I’m so familliar with Debian that I ended up using the Pi for other things such as AirPlay receiver, NAS and wifi scanner. The Pi is very small for a functional linux computer but kind of large for implementation in my kind of projects. It’s also a little slow unless you use an external usb drive, but then it gets bulky.

Raspberry Pi model B, from pchfreak.de

Raspberry Pi model B, from pchfreak.de

Spark!

So, last year I joined the Spark Core campaign on Kickstarter. It’s a tiny computer that speaks the Arduino language and has wifi built-in. The Core is so small you can fit two of them on one small breadboard. Imagine the possibilities! Basically it is a combination of the Arduino Uno as prototype tool and the Raspberry Pi with the networking features. Even better they can all still connect to eachother.

Spark core photo

Spark Core

But there is more. Spark is building their Spark Cloud platform. All programming happens wireless, the Core connects via wifi to spark.io and is linked to your account. From there you can program it on the fly without usb cable etc and control it remotely with the API. I couldn’t resist to quickly build a Node.js module for this.

My whole internet world just blended into something awesome. Electro, Arduino scripts, internet connected gear and node.js, everything is possible now.

The code

Check out my repo on Github for the source-code, documentation and example code.

When you are already into node.js simply run npm install sparkcloud to get the latest working version.

Example

var spark = require ('sparkcloud') ('your_access_token');
var core = spark.device ('123456789');
core.func ('switchLed', console.log);
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2 Comments

  1. Very cool, would this allow me to run other nodejs modules. I am trying to get socket.io working with the spark core

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