Internet button installment 2

The first cut of code for the Internet button is now up and running. It’s really so far concentrated around 2 buttons and 3 response states :

Button 1 sends out a “button1” event to the Particle Cloud.

Button 3 sends out a “button3” event to the Particle Cloud.

And 3 response states.

State 0 is the “unknown state” set before the Internet button has been sent any state information. Also tied to the function “waiting_for_response” in the Particle Cloud.

 IMG 2320

State 1 – sets all Led’s to red. Tied to function “onccupied” in the buttons firmware – tied to the same name in the Particle Cloud.

IMG 2321

State 2 – sets all Led’s to green. Tied to function “occupied” in the buttons firmware – tied to the same name in the Particle Cloud.

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The Particle cloud advertises the 3 states tied to the specific Internet Button in our house.


This is the first step in understanding how to use the Internet button – and the first cut of the firmware. The buttons can now publish events to the Particle Cloud (which in turn can attache these events to other functions) and set states by calling functions in the buttons firmware from other software. (more about this later).

The good thing about the Internet Button is that it’s completely standalone, with the exception of a power source, currently seen as a USB plug in the pictures.

This years last barbecue

In high winds and later on some rain – this years last barbecue party

IMG 2316

This time the bbq computer is visible in a plastic box on the left side of the computer – running off a battery on top of it. Slightly marred by me being unable to get a sable wireless connection in this part of the garden I’ve had to use a long extension cord and networking over mains…

It all works, and when the rain set in I covered the sensitive bits in plastic bags, while we could still sit inside and wait for the chicken to get up tp the correct temperature, thanks to the meat probes in addition to the pit probe.

Internet button – calling it

You can call functions in the onboard software of the Internet button fairly easily like this from the Particle CLI :


as one may guess this first calls the function “unoccupied” with the parameter “1”, and  returns a status (1), then calls the function :occupied” with the parameter”1”.

This is done purely for debugging – in the end I will use curl or a call from the home automation system itself, telling the button if the house is going to be occupied or not (seen from the heating systems point of view).

I bought a Internet Button

I ordered a “Internet Button” some time in November, and it arrived just before Christmas Eve.

In the company material it looks like this :




and I could see a number of interesting uses for a wifi connected button.

In reality it’s quite a lot less good looking and well constructed – but very interesting nonetheless.

It looks more like this 


It’s a combination of a Photon micro controller with wifi and a subsidiary board with 4 buttons and 11 neopixels (with space for a 12th – which was omitted as it would normally be obscured by the USB power cable.

More interesting is that it comes with a full cloud “enabled” development system, including over-the-air updates of the software on the Photon. 

More about this later when I get time to write up my experiences (good and bad) of getting this button integrated with the house automation system in our house.

BBC News: The advantages of a bilingual brain

I saw this on the BBC News App and thought you should see it:

The advantages of a bilingual brain_87363929_87363928.jpgThere’s an increasing amount of scientific research that suggests the extra work bilingual brains do when translating has additional benefits – especially in old age.
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