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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

ingress the new geocaching game?

As many of you know I use to be a avid cacher, hitting the top 50 finders at one point, first to find 100 5/5 extreme caches and always one looking for quality over quantity. However after a run in with a local reviewer over a number of things that I personally still stand for and the politics that came about, I like many just gave up.  I've not renewed my membership, i rarely look for caches andvi believe I still have caches found on my GPS that I can't be bothered to log yet, so why?

Well its why everyone is moving over to ingress, no more travelling hundreds of miles to get a smiley, getting ivy rash from searching through ivy for a micro or searching through rubbish in a layby for a watersoaked logbook that's seen better days.

I tried munzees in the summer and was bored rather quickly, scanning barcodes and quite often some that were rather weathered and wouldn't scan I needed something better, remembering that a friend had shown me an app last year but was only available for android at the time (now on iPhone too) I decided to give this new game ago.

Its called ingress, its about battling blue team (the best) versus greens (the enemy), you pick a side and that becomes your fraction.  The idea is to take over portals which are places of interest and of which scores you points and linking them to other portals which can be captured and recaptured many times a day in busy spots. Portals are normally submitted to show places a visitor might not go, a work of art, sculpture, area of interest or historic value.  I for one have discovered new things locally as well as visited things I've forgotten and so far other players have been great with advice and support and best of all its free.

So it looks like I've discovered a new way to pass my time and enjoy what's around me without spending loads on petrol travelling to my nearest cache. Take a look and let me know what you think.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Neopixel assembly guide and links

Firstly thank you for purchasing this board, if you have children assembling this then adult supervision will be required along with an explanation of the dangers of electrical voltage.

While I recommend a 5v 4amp power supply from you can use an outdoor lights 5v 4amp supply.

Here is what you should have to start with:

1x gpio header
1x PCB board with chip already on board
3x terminal screws

The chip should already be on the board as it was the best way for posting them, they haven't been soldered but can be although it should work how it is, please ensure the dimple is at bottom as per pic.

Using any method you have to hold board in place start by soldering the gpio header being careful not to melt the chip.

Next solder on the screw terminals ensuring they are the correct way as per picture.

When finished the board should look like this.

 Next use either the power supply from my original Xmas neopixel post or the recommended 5v 4amp one from

Cutting the end off use a multimeter to figure out the wires, on mine the wire with the line down it was positive and the plain black was negative. Strip the ends just enough to screw into the plus and negative connection on the board and place some electrical tape around each wire so if they get pulled to hard or come out they won't short or be exposed. It can be a tight fit so cutting some of the bare wire off might be needed. If attaching a outside light power supply then two good bits of wire will do after you have checked the output and adjusted it with the pot terminal on the unit and a multimeter.

Once done screw the neopixel power to the positive and negative on the board screw terminal called neo. Next screw in the data lead to the screw terminal called data. The NC stands for not connected and does nothing.

Now you are ready to program it. Please look at my Xmas neo lights blog link for more details on coding and demo code.

As usual info and links can be found on my kickstarter