My name is Minas Lemonis. I am a civil engineer (MSc, PhD), with expertise in steel structures, seismic analysis and design. I am researching and teaching these fields and also I am involved in programming technical software solutions, consulting, design and construction of building structures.
This site is about one of my secondary interests: embedded electronic projects, particularly for home automation use.
Having an engineering background coupled with software development skills, I have gradually made a thinking of two distinct worlds: the real one we live in and interact with, and the computational one, inside a computer. Communication between these worlds is rather limited, and depends strongly on human interaction and/or interpretation. Surely, it is common nowadays to simulate physical problems using a computer, to analyze and get results for them under different scenarios. But, what is done inside the computer is only a representation, a model, often an over-simplified one, of the real problem. Also, the results of a computer simulation are, most of the time, manifested in our real world as text or graphics, displayed on a screen. Without human interpretation and action, nothing is affected in the real world.
Building electronic devices occurred to me, after searching in the market for a home thermostat that would take into account the outside temperature too. Nothing suitable was found, but I knew myself, that I could easily make a program for such a device. Only if I could make it interact with the gas burner and an outside wireless thermometer... Unfortunately PCs cannot read sensor signals neither can they switch a device on or off. After some research though, I discovered the Arduino platform. It was ideal for the purpose and my skills, due to its C++ programming environment and the numerous supported sensors and modules, through freely available libraries. This was just the beginning. Not much time passed before mastering the basics of the platform while a storm of ideas for projects, previously unimaginable, was going on. Soon, I found myself playing with the Atmega microcontroller, skipping the Arduino board completely, and designing custom pcb’s for my projects (hopefully my familiarity with CAD programs speeded things up). But, if these projects are useful for me, could they be for others too? At least, sharing the ideas, the code, the schematics seems the right thing.
The purpose of this site is to share the information about the electronic projects I develop. To get feedback about them. To help other people with similar interests.