Yearly Archives: 2013

Connecting to an AWS RDS Database Using MySQL Monitor, or MySQL Workbench

Hi everyone, For one of my projects, I’ve been playing around with AWS for some time. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is pretty much a huge collection of amazing computing, networking, databasing, etc. resources which you can use to create just about anything! Among the many obstacles I’ve encountered along the way – wouldn’t be fun without them – my latest one was connecting to the RDS instance so I can actually see what’s happening. I mean, I can SSH into EC2, and probably access RDS from there. But I want

Simon SK-30A – Resetting ESC to Set Throttle Range

I am building a quadcopter, and bought SK-30A ESCs from RCTimer. I actually bought five, just in case something were to go wrong with one. I was actually feeling very thankful for buying five, because it seemed like one was not working! Well, it would only run the motor when I move my throttle stick half way up. I then tried to follow the same throttle range setting procedure used with most ESCs, and it worked! All I had to do was first turn the transmitter and receiver off, then

Botnets, DDoS, Internet … Say What?

I think a fitting start to this section of Treehouse Projects would be a post which, in some ways, reflects on how technology has completely added a new dimension to our lives within a time span of just a few decades. Recently, I came across the following article on CNet: How you may have inadvertently participated in recent DDoS attacks. For most of us, we can read through articles like these without any issues – normal stuff. Yeah, there have been virus attacks, we know what they do, how they

Wireless Laser Bound Safety Perimeter


For an engineering design course, we were taught the process of identifying a community, finding a problem in that community, discussing the problem with stakeholders, and proposing a solution to solve the problem. Of course, there was a lot more to it than that, but the reason I really enjoyed the course was because it was a great opportunity to experience the design process in its entirety. From finding a problem to building a working prototype of the proposed solution, the end result was very rewarding. My biggest role in

Meet Discovery – The Omni-Directional Remote Inspection Robot


For a recent robotics competition, I created a robot which had to complete a series of tasks in a simulated disaster scenario. From reading gauges and picking up objects, to pushing buttons and deploying payloads, the tasks were very exciting. What made it really challenging, however, was the fact that the entire mission had to be carried out without ever looking at the robot or arena (directly, anyway)! There were no restrictions on the types of robots you could bring – so there were a lot of really creative designs

Retrieving Rankings in Scoreloop Core for Android


Hi, I am writing an Android application which requires me to store scores, achievements, etc. on a server. Since I am short on time, I decided to try Scoreloop (I am also interested in monetizing my application at some point, which Scoreloop should also facilitate without me wasting an eternity writing my own code). Anyhow, I was struggling for a bit with figuring out how to retrieve the ranking of a current user playing my game. I eventually figured out how Scoreloop is setup, and was able to put this

Atmel Studio + USBasp


I normally use WinAVR for my AVR related projects, but recently found the need to use Atmel Studio. The problem is, I use a USBasp to program my chips, but Studio does not support that particular programmer because it doesn’t follow Atmel’s protocol. Anyhow, the easiest solution I found was to write the code in Studio, compile it in there, and switch to my command prompt in order to burn the hex file using avrdude. Personally, I found that to be easiest way. You could probably set up an external

RXTX Disconnecting/Intermittent Communication


Real quick post: So I am working with RXTX (Windows 7, 64-bit), and just wanted to quickly point out a few things. I am working with the JY-MCU serial bluetooth module, and was experiencing a lot of difficulty connecting to it via RXTX. Well, turns out the solution was pretty simple, and connecting is much better now. The key was this line: commPort.enableReceiveTimeout(500); Place that line right after CommPort commPort =,2000); And everything should work great (did for me, anyway). I found this solution in an e-mail thread found

jMonkeyEngine – Setting a Custom RGBA Based on Hex Color Codes


As I progress through a project I am working on with jMonkeyEngine (which is really cool by the way … jMonkeyEngine, that is), I came across the need to use a custom color for my project. So I quickly went into the API, found the ColorRGBA class, and went from there. I am working with a color generator (ColorSchemeDesigner) to help me pick out colors which work well together. The colors are given to me as the RGBA color codes, used mostly for web design. These codes include hex values

Smart Electronic Garbage Bin Locking System – ElectroBin


A few weeks ago, I entered a small design competition with a group of friends. I was responsible for the prototype. Essentially, we had to design a mechanism for garbage bins (you know, those bins you place outside your house filled with garbage). Thing is, the garbage is actually an all-you-can-eat buffet for prowling masked rodents – a.k.a. raccoons – at night. So the mechanism had to be designed in a way which would prevent raccoons from creating a mess on your front lawn by toppling over your garbage bin