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Cooking Hacks Blog

  • Maker-ry Christmas!

    Posted on December 19, 2014 by Cooking Hacks

    Cooking Hacks Team wishes you Maker-ry Christmas!

    Check the screenshot below including some of the Cooking Hacks fellows... :) You can see all the photos here.

    Remember you can follow us in our Instagram and Twitter Channels!

    Christmas Shopping Last Days - We wish you a Maker-ry Christmas!

    A quick reminder: Till next 23th December, e-Health, Open Garden and Open Aquarium Kits will be 10% OFF and the rest of kits and Communication Shields 5% OFF.

    Check all our Christmas products sales here.


    This post was posted in General

  • Christmas Shopping Last Days - We wish you a Maker-ry Christmas!

    Posted on December 11, 2014 by Cooking Hacks

    e-Health, Open Garden and Open Aquarium Kits 10% OFF. Just till 23th!

    We all know that sometimes is difficult to find the most suitable Christmas gifts for your family. That's why we have selected some kits and products that can help you to choose the perfect gift for any of the members of yours.

    Till next 23th December, e-Health, Open Garden and Open Aquarium Kits will be 10% OFF, 3D Printers 33% OFF and the rest of kits and Communication Shields 5% OFF.

    Check this infographic to know which of our products best fits every member of your family!

    Christmas Shopping Last Days - We wish you a Maker-ry Christmas!

    Check all our Christmas products sales here.


    This post was posted in 3D Printer, Arduino, General, News and Events

  • Send data at extreme long range using LoRa with Arduino, Raspberry Pi and Intel Galileo

    Posted on December 1, 2014 by Cooking Hacks

    What is LoRa?

    LoRa is a new, private and spread-spectrum modulation technique which allows sending data to extremely long ranges.

    You can use LoRa right now with Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Intel Galileo. We have made libraries and examples for all of them.

    The SX1272 LoRa module can be connected along with the Multiprotocol Radio Shield to your Arduino or Intel Galileo, enabling transmissions with another SX1272 LoRa module. This wireless communication module is also compatible with Raspberry Pi through the connection bridge.

    RaspberryPi Arduino Multiprotocol SX1272

    The LoRa module works in both 868 and 900 MHz ISM bands, which makes it suitable for virtually any country. Those frequency bands are lower than the popular 2.4 GHz band, so path loss attenuation is better in LoRa. In addition, 868 and 900 MHz are bands with much fewer interference than the highly populated 2.4 GHz band. Besides, these low frequencies provide great penetration in possible materials (brick walls, trees, concrete), so these bands get less loss in the presence of obstacles than higher bands.

    The great performance of LoRa in terms of sensitivity, path loss and obstacle penetration, makes LoRa a disruptive technology enabling really long range links. This is specially important in urban scenarios, with very difficult transmission conditions. To sum up, LoRa can get long ranges in city deployments, so it reduces dramatically the size of the backbone network (repeaters, gateways or concentrators).

    Transmit data at distances of several miles

    Now you can transmit data at distances of several miles, even through buildings in urban environments, and over 20 miles in open spaces.

    LoRa at a glance
    sx1272_module
    LoRa Key Features
    Module SX1272
    Dual Frequency Band 863-870 MHz (Europe)
    902-928 MHz (US)
    Transmission Power 25 mW
    Sensitivity -134 dBm
    Channels 8 (868MHz)
    13 (915MHz)
    Range LOS = 21km (13.4miles)
    NLOS = +2km (1.2miles)
    The tests

    We have performed long range tests, getting the awesome distance of 22 km (13.6 miles) in LOS configurations and +2km (1.2 miles) in urban scenarios (going through buildings). The margin in those conditions would allow even more distance (x2, x3), the only problem was to keep the line-of-sight condition.

    Modules and Documentation

    Check the complete list of kits and accessories of SX1272 LoRa module for Arduino, Raspberry Pi and Intel Galileo.

    You can also see here all the LoRa modules for Waspmote.

    Check all the LoRa's key features in this step-by-step tutorial.


    This post was posted in Arduino, Galileo, General, New Products, Raspberry Pi

  • Cyber Weekend 2014 Super Discounts Revealed!!

    Posted on November 26, 2014 by Cooking Hacks

    Superhuman Sales!

    We are pleased to announce Cyber Weekend 2014!

    This year Cyber Weekend will be held from next 28th November to 1st December. Just these four days our shop will let you buy with a Superhuman discount in the entire catalog.

    Cyber Weekend Super Human Discounts!

    From Black Friday to Cyber Monday 15% OFF!

    In particular, all products will be 15% OFF from Black Friday (28th November) to Cyber Monday (1st December).

    You can read here some curious historical information about Black Friday (28th November) and Cyber Monday (1st December).

    Be sure to mark these days on your calendar and set a reminder if you don't want to miss it!

    For more information and regular reminders, stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter channels.


    This post was posted in Arduino, General, News and Events, Raspberry Pi

  • More info about the e-Wheelchair project by Philip Case

    Posted on November 14, 2014 by Cooking Hacks

    The e-Wheelchair project

    Surely you remember the e-Wheelchair project that Philip Case, aka Cap, from UK, is developing.

    PhilipCap is creating an all purpose e-Wheelchair controlled by mind using Neurosky products. He is also implementing Cooking Hacks e-Health system to monitor vital body parameters such as ECG or Blood Glucose.

    Safety and Communication

    Today, we want to share with all of you some information about safety and communication. Cap feels it is an important point of the project and it would be nice to dedicate this post to explain something about it.

    Cap has included an automatic stop functionality to prevent the chair hitting people accidentally. He has included in the wheelchair several ultrasound sensors, one on each footrest and one behind. In the first picture you can see one of them. There will be 3 in total: all adjustable for distance and area covered. They will be fitted in the footrests and the rear of the chair.

    How does the system work?

    This sensors will stop the wheelchair at a set distance - if the chair comes near to anyone or anything, the chair will put the potentiometer to 0, stopping the chair from hitting people's legs in forward, or preventing hitting them if someone walks behind chair during reversing. It is an important part of the e-Wheelchair project due to the over 200lbs in weight travelling at any speed... The chair in motion can be very heavy and a dangerous machine, this system will work similar to the cars with Cruise Control that slow down when a car is nearing its sensors.

    The second picture shows the communication device. It is easily stacked on the Arduino board. It helps to alert 3rd party if there are any problem and allows Internet connection. It can also be used to transmit location with built in GPS.

    e-Wheelchair Project
    e-Wheelchair Project

    Cooking Hacks is giving technical support to Cap, helping him promoting his project and following his story closely! NeuroSky is providing him the equipment and development software free of charge to help people live better lives with the e-Wheelchair.

    We are sure this project has a lot of potential and is relatively cheap compared to wheelchairs without such advances and tech. We will post more info as the project move forward!

    Great job Cap!!

    This post was posted in Arduino, General, News and Events

  • Cyber Weekend 2014 arrives at Cooking Hacks!!

    Posted on November 11, 2014 by Cooking Hacks

    Superhuman Discounts!

    We are pleased to announce the Cyber Weekend from 28th November to 1th December. Along these four days, there will be special super-sales in our Shop for all products.

    banda_blackfriday_eng

    And Black Friday and Cyber Monday

    As usual, this weekend also includes Black Friday (28th November) and Cyber Monday (1th December).

    You will be able to apply a super discount coupon that lets you buy with a Superhuman discount in the entire catalog just this weekend.

    For more information, stay tuned in Facebook and Twitter. We will bring you special promotions and discounts soon!

    The complete information will be displayed soon, so don't forget to visit our blog in the next weeks for updates!


    This post was posted in Arduino, General, News and Events

  • Comparing Waspmote VS Maker Boards and Sensors for Aquariums and Gardens

    Posted on November 4, 2014 by Cooking Hacks

    In Cooking Hacks we have designed Open Garden and Open Aquarium, two Arduino based solutions for makers to control and measure garden and aquariums parameters, and to take care of these installations automating the maintenance tasks that take place in them, through wireless connectivity using Arduino Open Source API.

    In this post, we will compare the main differences between these open hardware solutions we provide in Cooking Hacks to monitor gardens and aquariums, and the Waspmote solutions provided by Libelium, Waspmote: Smart Agriculture and Smart Water. The idea is to help you to choose the platform that suits best your needs.

    We will start comparing water monitoring products: Smart Water VS Open Aquarium.

    Smart Water wireless sensor platform simplify remote water quality monitoring. Equipped with multiple sensors that measure a dozen of the most relevant water quality parameters (Temperature, Conductivity, Dissolved Oxygen, pH, Oxidation-reduction potential, Turbidity and Dissolved Ions sensor probes available), Smart Water is the first water quality-sensing platform to feature autonomous nodes that connect to the Cloud for real-time water control. Their sensors are available for both Waspmote lines: Plug & Sense! – ready to deploy in final projects, and OEM – to be embedded in a third party product line.

    Plug & Sense! Smart Water

    Plug & Sense! Smart Water

    Waspmote Smart Water OEM Solution

    Waspmote Smart Water OEM Solution

    On the other hand, Open Aquarium is an Aquaponics Sensor Platform for makers, based on Arduino. It has been designed to help makers to take care of their aquariums, fish tanks and ponds, automating the maintenance tasks that take place in them, through wireless connectivity using Arduino Open Source API. Consists of two different and complementary kits: Basic and Aquaponics, and many several extra accessories.

    Open Aquarium Monitorim Arduino

    Smart Water VS Open Aquarium Comparative Table

    Key Features Smart Water Open Aquarium
    Intended for Companies, environmental consultancies, city councils and municipalities that need to monitor water conditions in rugged environments and hard-to-access locations - rivers, lakes, swimming pools, spas and the sea. Makers and individuals that want to control Aquariums, ponds and fish tanks.
    Applications - Water consumption, reducing water and electricity costs.
    - Potable water monitoring.
    - Chemical or water leakage detection.
    - Pollution levels control.
    - Corrosion and limescale deposits prevention.
    – Fish Tank Monitoring.
    - Maintenance task automation in fish tanks, ponds and aquariums.
    Sensing Interchangeable sensor probes that measure more than 12 chemical and physical water quality parameters such as pH, nitrates, dissolved ions, dissolved oxygen, conductivity (salinity), oxidation-reduction potential, turbidity, temperature, etc. 5 sensors available to measure the key parameters in the fish tank and to control the correct state such as temperature, pH, conductivity, level and water leakages.
    Actuators Smart Water focus on remote sensing and has no actuators available. 6 different actuators to automate tasks such as feed the fish, regulate water heating and cooling, activate pumps to change water or administer medicine, and control light intensity to simulate day and night cycles.
    Autonomy 10 years. Waspmote implements power saving mode. Solar panels may be added for continuous measuring. Open Aquarium must be powered by an external power supply (12V - 2A).
    Nodes Maintenance Smart Water nodes are ready to deploy out of the box and sensor probes can be recalibrated or changed in the field, with kits provided by Libelium. Open Aquarium is a DIY product and makers maintain and improve the installation. (Calibrated kits are also available).
    Connectivity Waspmote may use cellular (3G, GPRS, WCDMA) and long range 802.15.4/ZigBee/RF (2.4 GHz,868/900 MHz) connectivity to send information to the Cloud. It ensures real-time water control, even from sensor nodes situated in remote locations. The platform can send information using wireless interfaces such as Wi-Fi, GPRS and 3G.
    Price Smart Water is a customized product. Approximate price with similar components than Open Aquarium Basic Kit: 900€. Contact with Libelium commercial team for a customized proposal. Open Aquarium Basic Kit at 199€. Check our online shop - www.cooking-hacks.com
    Gateway Meshlium is the Linux GW for Waspmote and Plug & Sense! devices. It counts with 8GB of internal storage and allows to connect the information to many Cloud platforms such as Axeda, Thingworks, MQTT, Telefónica, etc. It counts with many connectivity options: ethernet, WiFi, 3G, ZigBee, etc. Data is sent from Open Aquarium to a laptop via an USB cable or via WiFi or GPRS to the Internet.
    Open Aquarium Basic Kit

    Open Aquarium Basic Kit

    Waspmote can accommodate solar panels that charge the battery to maintain autonomy

    Smar Water One Step Solar Panel Connection

    Smart Water Sensor Probes

    Smar Water One Step Probe Change

    Let's take now a closer look to the main differences between Libelium agriculture monitoring products, Smart Agriculture VS Open Garden.

    Smart Agriculture platform can be used to monitor different environmental parameters related to agriculture such as temperature, humidity, soil temperature/humidity, weather station, leaf wetness and many other parameters. The monitoring of these parameters allows to minimize time and money as well as maximize agriculture results. The Smart Agriculture board enables control with a finer granularity than existing precision agriculture techniques. Our solution brings extreme precision to crop growing in, for example, vineyards and greenhouses, by enabling irrigation and climate control to be matched to local conditions.

    Plug & Sense! Smart Agriculture

    Plug & Sense! Smart Agriculture

    Waspmote Smart Agriculture OEM Solution

    Waspmote Smart Agriculture OEM Solution

    Open Garden is our Open Source hardware alternative to commercial home automation to remotely control indoor and outdoor plants. There are three different kits, each ready for a specific kind of growing plant scenario: indoor (houses and greenhouses), outdoor (gardens and fields) and hydroponics (plants in water installations). The kits include a suite of sensors form measuring parameters such as humidity, light, temperature, or soil moisture to monitor plants for optimal care wherever they are situated. The Hydroponics kit includes pH and conductivity probes. Its actuators can control irrigation, and activate lights and oxygen pumps.

    Cooking Hacks Open Garden

    Smart Agriculture VS Open Garden Comparative Table

    Key Features Smart Agriculture Open Garden
    Intended for Companies, environmental consultancies, city councils and municipalities that need to monitor fields, vineyards and greenhouses. Makers and individuals that want to control in-house gardens, small greenhouses, outdoor gardens and small fields, and also hydroponics - plants in water installations.
    Applications - Control micro-climate conditions to maximize crop quality and production.
    - Selective irrigation in dry zones to reduce the water resources required.
    - Study of weather conditions in fields to forecast ice formation, rain, drought, snow or wind changes.
    - Control of humidity and temperature levels to prevent fungus and other microbial contaminants.
    - Crop growth monitor.
    – Plants water needs control
    – Irrigating the plants and activating lights and oxygen pumps in hydroponics crops.
    Sensing Up to 14 environmental parameters to be monitored: air temperature, air humidity, soil temperature, soil moisture, leaf wetness, atmospheric pressure, solar PAR radiation, ultraviolet radiation, trunk/stem/fruit diameter, wind speed/direction and rainfall. Up to 7 different parameters: soil moisture, temperature, humidity, light... and has three water sensors: water pH, conductivity and temperature.
    Actuators Smart Agriculture focus on remote sensing and has no actuators available. Different types of actuators to modify the state of the plants: water pump, droppers for drip irrigation, electro valve, sprinklers, oxygen pump and growing light.
    Autonomy 10 years. Waspmote implements power saving mode. Solar panels may be added for continuous measuring. Open Garden must be powered by an external power supply (12V - 2A). The nodes are powered by a 2300 mAh battery that can be recharged using a solar panel. According to the frequency of the sensors measures, the durability of the battery can be up to 3 months.
    Nodes Maintenance Smart Agriculture nodes are ready to deploy out of the box and sensor probes can be recalibrated or changed in the field. Open Garden is a DIY product and makers maintain and improve the installation.
    Connectivity Waspmote may use cellular (3G, GPRS, WCDMA) and long range 802.15.4/ZigBee/RF (2.4 GHz,868/900 MHz) connectivity to send information to the Cloud. It ensures real-time water control, even from sensor nodes situated in remote locations. The platform can send information using wireless interfaces such as Wi-Fi, GPRS and 3G.
    Price Smart Agriculture is a customized product. Approximate price with similar components than Open Garden Indoor Kit: 800€. Contact with Libelium commercial team for a customized proposal. All of our Open Garden kits at 199€ each. Check our online shop - www.cooking-hacks.com
    Gateway Meshlium is the Linux GW for Waspmote and Plug & Sense! devices. It counts with 8GB of internal storage and allows to connect the information to many Cloud platforms such as Axeda, Thingworks, MQTT, Telefónica, etc. It counts with many connectivity options: ethernet, WiFi, 3G, ZigBee, etc. Data is sent from Open Garden to a laptop via an USB cable or via WiFi or GPRS to the Internet.

    For more information about Libelium Waspmote product lines:

    Plug & Sense! Smart Water

    Waspmote Plug & Sense!
    Smart Water model

    Plug & Sense! Smart Agriculture

    Waspmote Plug & Sense!
    Smart Agriculture model

    For more information about the Open Source platforms check the complete tutorials:

    Open Aquarium

    Open Aquarium

    Open Garden

    Open Garden


    This post was posted in Arduino, Comparative, General, Product Reviews, Waspmote

  • Trick or treat! 8 Amazing Halloween Hacks You Can Make With Arduino

    Posted on October 28, 2014 by Cooking Hacks

    Welcome to Halloween week: these days, a lot of makers are sharing their Halloween hacks and tricks. This year, we are searching for some Halloween projects to showcase them in this post.

    In adition, we have an interesting proposal for all of you. If you send us your Halloween Hack or project (surely you are "cooking" some Halloween specific hack this week) we will send you a 10% promo discount code for your next purchase in Cooking Hacks online shop.

    Send us your projects to info [at] cooking-hacks [.] com. To be eligible for the discount, you must send us a brief description of your project and some photos or a YouTube link. A link to your post, if any, could be useful also!
    Send us your projects before Friday 31th October.

    Trick or treat! Your Halloween hack for a 10% discount!

    Trick or treat! Send us your Hack and get a 10% discount

    These are the Halloween Hacks we have found so far:

    Control your Halloween decoration using Arduino

    In this hack and tutorial, is explained how to control all your animated Halloween props with a single microcontroller (in this case, Arduino Uno). The way the hack is prepared, let you exactly choreograph how and when each prop will turn on an off, for a highly customizable trick!

    You can check this amazing choreography hacking Halloween props using Arduino Uno in Instructables and in Makezine.com.

    Arduino-powered Halloween flying saucer

    Only for the craziest about Halloween and UFOs... check this incredible DIY UFO project, installed in Andrew Wyatt’s home. This Halloween flying saucer is made out of cardboard, tape, tinfoil, 8mm diffused neopixels, and it's controlled by Arduino. Featured in Thegeekyglobe.com.

    Arduino Halloween thunderbolts and light­nings

    This hack built by Brian Enigma gen­er­ates ambi­ent light­ing, but also kicks in some sur­prise thun­der and light­ning at the push of a hid­den foot switch.

    And this is just one in a series of Halloween elec­tron­ics posts. You can check all of them here.

    And 5 videos that we showcased in past years

    Check some Halloween Arduino videos here:

    Remember! Trick or treat! Your Halloween hack for a 10% discount! Send us your project NOW!


    This post was posted in Arduino, General, News and Events

  • We launch Open Aquarium! - Fish tank Monitoring and Aquaponics platform for Arduino

    Posted on October 14, 2014 by Cooking Hacks

    We are very excited this week: we are pleased to present you Open Aquarium, our new sensor platform that automate control and maintenance tasks in aquariums through wireless connectivity and yes, it comes with an open source API.

    This new Makers solution is based on Arduino, and includes specialized sensors to measure vital parameters to aquatic life. Open Aquarium has been designed to help you to take care of your fish by automating the control and maintenance tasks that take place in fish tanks, ponds and aquaponic installations.

    Open Aquarium Project -  Aquariums Monitoring for Arduino

    Open Aquarium allows to remotely control your aquarium and include sensors to monitor factors in water such as temperature, pH, conductivity; it measures water levels and leakage, and deploys actuators that can feed the fish, regulate water heating / cooling, activate pumps to change water or administer medicine, and control light intensity to simulate day and night cycles. The sensors send information using wireless interfaces such as Wi-Fi, GPRS and 3G, for a perfect solution to monitor complex Aquaponic installations.

    Open Aquarium comes with a complete open source API and a web application that allows collected information to be stored in a database and visualized from a browser or from iPhone or Android smartphone devices.

    Designed specifically for Makers, our aim is to design connected technology using open source code to help makers discover, improve, and scale new sensor-based solutions for the Internet of Things.

    The Kits

    Open Aquarium consists of two different and complementary kits:

    and many several extra accessories.

    You can check all Open Aquarium kits and accesories here.

    Documentation and support

    You can check our complete tutorial here: Open Aquarium - Aquaponics and Fish Tank Monitoring for Arduino – Step by Step Guide. Remember you can also check our forum where you can get support for Open Aquarium.

    And do not forget to check also the Open Garden Platform!

    Open Garden allows you to remotely control your indoor, outdoor and hydroponics plants starting at just 199€. Check the complete tutorial here.

    banda_open_garden_cross_eng


    This post was posted in Arduino, General, New Products

  • Some photos from Maker Faire Roma 2014

    Posted on October 10, 2014 by Cooking Hacks

    After some intense days setting up our new office - surely you have been scouting our Instagram Channel - and after putting together all the photos we took last weekend in Italy, we are happy to share with you some pics and comments about Maker Faire Rome 2014.

    Rome is awesome at fall

    But of course, we were incredibly busy these days. We were in the Innovation Week - http://innovationweek.makerfairerome.eu/ - it lasted several days, prior Maker Faire Rome 2014, and in the Maker Faire weekend itself.

    After travelling NY, it was a piece of cake to take a plane and fly to Rome - it's just three hours from Spain.

    David and Luis in MakerFaire Rome 2014
    The Guys

    Our team mate David arrived there on Monday 29th, and spent an entire week in Rome, enjoying incredible talks and meetings in the "Open Hardware Summit" and the "Social Innovation Cities" events. You recognized Becky Stern in our Instagram Channel for sure!

    Luis arrived on Friday, ready for the challenging weekend.

    Don't miss their twitter accounts! You cand follow them in @D0omY and @LuisMartinNuez!

    And the photos

    In Maker Faire Rome we found lots of 3D printers and special spaces for robotics. As is increasingly the custom, children occupied a prominent place, and several booths had special activities for the youngest.

    We enjoyed three amazing days and received tens of visits in our booth. We tried to satisfy the curiosity of our visitors with some small demos of our projects.

    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire Rome 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire Rome 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire Rome 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire Rome 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire Rome 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire Rome 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire Rome 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire Rome 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire Rome 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire Rome 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire Rome 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire Rome 2014

    Thank you all guys! See you next year in Rome!


    This post was posted in Arduino, General, News and Events

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