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9 DIY Smart Home Automation Projects for a Shoestring Budget

Smart home appliances are more popular than ever. The Internet of Things (IoT) unifies everything from lighting to full security systems. Once separate systems, many things in the home are now controllable from a smartphone.
As a new technology, some elements of home automation do not come cheap. However, with a DIY attitude and some cheap components you can build your own smart home on a shoestring budget! Here are nine examples to get you started.
1. Blynk
Most smart home devices come with an app for control via smartphone or tablet. Blynk is a service designed for controlling IoT devices.
In our introduction to the Blynk service, we show several methods for using the free app. The easy to use service is perfect for monitoring and controlling DIY smart home setups. In addition to the online service, it is possible to install Blynk to a server locally. Blynk gives you quick and easy control of any Wi-Fi enabled microcontroller and is a strong tool in the arsenal of all home autom..

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7 Cool Bluetooth DIY Projects That’ll Upgrade Your Old Gadgets

Bluetooth is among the most widely accepted ways for two devices to communicate with each other. Every phone, tablet, and laptop comes with Bluetooth built in, as do several peripherals. So with a little do-it-yourself (DIY) tinkering, you can do some wonderful things with this technology.
For any project in this list, you will need to know the basics of DIY electronics and have the necessary tools at hand. Some projects require specialized tools, as noted. And of course, always remember to take all the necessary safety precautions before you begin.
1. Connect an Arduino to Arduino via Bluetooth
The basic project you need to master is setting up Bluetooth on an Arduino microcontroller, and making it talk to another Arduino board wirelessly. Martyn Curry has an excellent step-by-step guide for this, connecting two Arduino boards as master and slave.
Naturally, you’ll need two Arduino boards and two Bluetooth receiver modules for this. To begin, start with his basic tutorial where h..

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How to Emulate the Commodore Amiga on a Raspberry Pi Using Amibian

Love retro gaming but not sure where the best games are found? Looking for some retro gaming gold? Then why not take a look at Amibian, the Raspbian-based Amiga emulator for the Raspberry Pi?
Emulating the Commodore Amiga has never been easier or more satisfying than this.
Amiga: One of the Most Loved Home Computers Ever Amazing graphics, unique physical design, and the antonym of the bland IBM/PC compatible market. No, I’m not talking about an Apple computer, but the Commodore Amiga. Capable of audio, graphics, video, standard office tasks, and an awesome video gaming platform, the Amiga dominated home computing in the USA and Europe between 1985 and its final appearance in 1994.

(In the UK and Europe in particular, the decline of the Amiga lead to the rise of game consoles and home-based PCs.)
However, the Amiga is not dead. Remnants of the Amiga’s legacy can be found on modern platforms, such as Android and iOS, although only a few games have been re-released on mobile.
You ca..

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How to Set Up a Raspberry Pi Camera Module

Many accessories are available for the Raspberry Pi, but among the most popular is the camera module. But how do you safely connect one, and then get the best out of it?
If you haven’t tried Raspberry Pi photography, now is the time. Here’s how to get started with the Raspberry Pi camera module.
Setting Up the Camera Module
Own a Raspberry Pi, and want to get started with the camera module? Perhaps you want to make some time-lapse movies, or build a motion-detecting security camera. Whatever your project, if it requires a camera, your best option is the official camera module. Setup is straightforward, and requires you to:
Connect the camera module: A ribbon cable connects the camera to the Raspberry Pi. Enable the camera: This can be done in the configuration screen. Securely mount the camera module: A suitable case is required. Take a picture: Use a simply command line instruction. Before you get started, however, you’ll need to ensure you have everything you need. A Raspberry P..

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