Ambient dashboard

Hi, im quite new to arduino and microcontrollers in general.

But yesterday I finally got the Arduino, I ordered from Segor Electronics.

I had a plan to create a Ambient dashboard, that is to have some analog meters that would convey some digital information. In an non obtrusive way, i think it has a very fine name, peripheral awareness. there is a bit more and some pictures at my blog.

Now that i have the prototype up and running I have som qustions that some of you might help me to figure out?

So far the plan is to use bash scripting to send data to the arduino, but would it be better to do it in c. I'm am not used to either, I usually use java, but as far as i can tell its difficult to get java to work with serial io ?. And the sending data part would it be better to some how have the arduno poll for for data, rather than just sending data to it?

Cool project...

I recently saw a project like this in Make #11. The project went something like this;

PHP web page scraper -> Latronix serial to ethernet -> Arduino -> Analog Meter

You can use Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to sort of "average" out the on/off pulses inherent in digital signals to output to your analog device. Check out; for a few ideas on code.

I acually found that piece of code while looking for information and used it as a basis for the arduino code.

On the computer I use parts of the c code from tod bot and i found a another piece to monitor bandwidth(bwmon). its still very much in a prototyping state, but it can display the bandwith usage.

Are you using PC or Mac?

I ask because you might be able to have the meter display "packet" usage. Similar to bandwidth... a program to display the packets sent and received. I have both; with the mac you can get a program called kisMAC trunk r239 to display all sorts of cool radio data (wifi). With the PC you might be able to use the standard internet connection program. Anyway, cool project and good luck.

BTW - I think it might be easier to write a page scraper for the internet based weather data or something... if all else fails.

Thank you

I use linux and ended up doing it in C using this method

So its up and running, the code still need some finetuning both on the pc and the arduino side. I also found out that I had to set a maximum rate for the movement of needles, else its annoying to look at them waving forth and back.