It’s a pseudo-analogue connected device that gathers the current weather for any given location and shows you, in a very not-so-digital way, the results. No LEDs, no LCDs, just a simple, passive, wooden display.
The real point of this tutorial is to show you just how easy it is to connect a microcontroller to the internet and gather data. In this case, we’ll be looking at the OpenWeather API. They have a free tier, which is great, and the structure of their data is really easy to understand and implement. Think of this project as a starting point for connecting the virtual world with the physical. What you do next is up to you.
On the brains & connection to the Internet:
Building the circuit couldn’t be easier. We chose the Adafruit Feather HUZZAH because it has all the components we need to get connected to WiFi, and it can easily control a servo. Many other Arduino variants would work, as would many ESP8266 or ESP32 boards, but the Feather HUZZAH is our go-to board because it’s so simple, and it even has options for battery power, allowing for portability.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.