Community Made: a C.H.I.P. Book, a DIY Telephone Switch, & a MicroSD DIP for PocketC.H.I.P.

Enough DIPs to make a stand!

Enough DIPs to make a stand! JKW’s Queso, and new TzatzikiDIP attached to C.H.I.P. & PocketC.H.I.P.

Another week, another batch of awesome C.H.I.P and PocketC.H.I.P. projects from the community. And this week there’s an extra special surprise –Neil Kolban released a C.H.I.P. book!

If you’re working on a cool project, make sure to share it with the community. And don’t feel like you have to wait to share until the project is finished. A lot of great collaboration is taking place in the forum and it’s the perfect place to brainstorm your next build.

Kolban’s Big Book on C.H.I.P.!

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Neil Kolban’s Book on C.H.I.P. is exactly what it sounds like: an entire book devoted to C.H.I.P.! It’s available from leanpub.com, a publishing platform that lets customers name their price for DRM-free technical books, though show a little love a pay a bit for the book. After all, the suggested price is only $4.99! (ง ͡ʘ ͜ʖ ͡ʘ)ง

Kolban’s book is a great read for any noob, and a handy reference for the seasoned 1337 chipster. Spanning 261 pages this book has a ton of great content. Beginning with the basics like Linux commands and an overview of C.H.I.P.’s hardware, the chapters gradually increase in complexity at a nice rate that won’t leave you in the dust. By the end of the book, you’ll be integrating all sorts of sensors and accessory boards with C.H.I.P. and controlling how they respond to sensory input with a variety of programming languages and frameworks: C, Javascript, Johnny-Five, and Node.js.

In my view, the book really shines when Kolban explains how to wire C.H.I.P. to other components and accessory boards. He covers quite an array of add-ons, but below are my favorites.

  • Controlling Neopixels
  • Adding an external Analog-to-Digital converter
  • Reading data from an accelerometer and gyroscope

And that’s just scratching the surface. Kolban’s book is jam packed with tons of great C.H.I.P. content to explore. Make sure to swing on by his site and get a copy of his book!


If You Know Your Party’s Extension…

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If you’ve ever wanted to set up a telephone network for a small business or construct a massive call center for fun and profit, ASF’s forum post is the place to start your journey.

Covering the installation basics, ASF explains how to get Asterisk, an extremely popular telephone switch software package that’s used by small businesses and enormous Fortune 500 companies, running on C.H.I.P.. Plus, you’ll also learn how to install FreePBX, a graphical frontend to help configure Asterisk to make your life easier.

The Asterisk project originates from 1999. Mark Spencer was running a successful commercial Linux support call center and wanted to increase capacity. But after shopping around for a corporate solution, he discovered they were exorbitantly expensive. Spencer figured it couldn’t be that hard to build his own and two years later he and his company were exclusively developing Asterisk.

ASF guides you through the tricky spots of the setup on C.H.I.P., and gives some good tips along the way, like reminding you to open ports on your router for voice traffic! Whatever your reason might be to run your own telephone switch, ASF’s post is the place to start. And if you run into trouble, don’t be shy, ask your questions on the forum!


This Tzatziki DIP isn’t Just for C.H.I.P.s

The Tzatziki DIP adds a microSD card slot to C.H.I.P. or PocketC.H.I.P.

The Tzatziki DIP adds a microSD card slot to C.H.I.P. or PocketC.H.I.P.

JKW has done it again! He’s created another DIP, this time a microSD card DIP called Tzatziki. Tzatziki works with C.H.I.P. and is one of the first DIPs that is also designed to fit on PocketC.H.I.P. and stay low-profile.

Rather than having header pins like most DIPs, Tzatziki takes advantage of smaller-than-normal drill holes in the PCB to pressure fit around PocketC.H.I.P.’s male header pins. Getting the fit just right took JKW a couple of tries. If the contact isn’t snug, the electrical connection between the two devices is unreliable. But if the contact is too tight, it’s nearly impossible to install on PocketC.H.I.P.. Precision is everything!

Tzatziki uses a snug grip to connect to PocketC.H.I.P.

Tzatziki uses a snug grip to connect to PocketC.H.I.P.

And since Tzatziki isn’t too thick, C.H.I.P. fits over it without adding much bulk to PocketC.H.I.P.. Think of it like a PocketC.H.I.P., Tzatziki, C.H.I.P. sandwich. (But remember, don’t eat C.H.I.P. or PocketC.H.I.P.!)

Longtime Chipsters will know the forum handle JKW. A while back, we featured 5 of his DIP designs and he’s been busy ever since. He’s constantly improving and adding to his buffet of DIPs. You can learn all about the Tzatziki and all the rest of JKW’s DIPs on his site and in the forums.


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If you’re working on a cool C.H.I.P. or PocketC.H.I.P. project, don’t forget to share your progress with the community in the forum and on twitter!

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