Ran across this the other day, and figured that it was worth posting, since I found it particularly useful:

Spark Core Pinout

All credit for this goes to Jonathan Beri.

Wow…so the project is going slower than I thought. I imagined that things would be going quicker, but this is not the case. Regardless, here’s the progress so far:

All of the component pieces are purchased:

  1. Spark Core
  2. Relay shield
  3. Spark to ‘duino shield
  4. Sensor shield
  5. Soil moisture sensor
  6. Submersible pump
  7. Hoses for garden
  8. 5 gallon bucket — you can get these at Lowes for ~ $2.50, or you can just go to Chick-fil-A and ask them for a pickle bucket…same difference.

By all estimations, this should allow me to accomplish what I need to. Now, it’s going to be on to the coding. In the mean time, here are pics of some of the stuff involved in getting this sucker up and off of the ground:

So now you can see what’s going into this project. The next bits to work on are the coding. That is, to get the darn thing to turn on the pump when the moisture levels are low. I’ll have the code posted for that. I’m also going to put this up on Github when I’m finished so you can give it a whack.



Hi folks,

I’ve been getting my command-line fu on, and figured I’d pass this one your way. I’ve come across cases where I need to convert .pfx files from Windows boxes to the more Linux friendly .pem files. Feel free to take and use at your leisure:

\# Script extracts contents from a .pfx 
\# file so that they can be used on Linux. 
\# Variable $1 should be the filename of the 
\# .pfx file 

\# ./pfxextract filename.pfx 
\# The script then will extract the cert & key 
\# from your file and give you the necessary file 
\# for *Nix devices. Output is then cat'd to stdout 

\#Extracts Contents of PFX file 
openssl pkcs12 -in $1 -nocerts -nodes | sed -n '/BEGIN PRIVATE KEY/,/END PRIVATE KEY/p' > $1.key.pem 
openssl pkcs12 -in $1 -nokeys | sed -n '/BEGIN CERTIFICATE/,/END CERTIFICATE/p' > $1.cert.pem 
openssl rsa -in $1.key.pem -out $1.key 
\#Cats file to screen 
cat $1.cert.pem 
cat $1.key</pre>

Hopefully you find this useful.

Got any suggestions on how I can improve it? Let me know.



So, I owe all of this to a colleague of mine. Give it a run in your terminal, but be forewarned, you might want to look away if you’re sensitive to light. Also, as a protip, don’t wall this on a server with more than one user. This is one of those “personal use only” kind of scripts:

yes "$(seq 1 255)" | while read i; do wall $(printf "\x1b[48;5;${i}m\n"); sleep .01; done</pre>


The travel season for us is quickly approaching. That means I’ve got to find someone to water my plants. Or, I could just automate the process. Thanks to Esologic’s posts on his PiPlanter, I’ve got something to work with. I’m going to make a few modifications though:

  1. I don’t have the luxury of keeping the Pi and breadboard close to eachother. So, we’re going wireless thanks to Spark Core
  2. I’ve got a ton of plants, so this might end up having more than 1 Spark Core involved–we’ll see
  3. Given that my garden’s composed of different plants with different moisture needs (succulents, veggies), I’m going to have to figure out a way to water the plants based on those needs
  4. Database isn’t going to be present locally, but is going to be done through Rackspace’s Cloud Database Offering (full disclosure, I am a Rackspace employee, hence my using this for my database for the PiPlanter project)

There’s some more that’s going to go into this project, but for starters the goal is this:

Get a moisture sensor to talk with the Spark Core, and have that interface with the Pi to control when the plant is watered.

For the time being, this post, and any others related to the project are going to live here. I’ll keep you posted as things progress. A fair warning, it might a couple of weeks before the next post, due to my RHCE studies taking precedence.

Stay tuned for more.