Getting Started with the cloudBit!

#Getting Started

The intention of the this guide is to be a companion to the setup steps in the Cloud Control. We’ll cover all of the same steps but with some additional videos/gifs and puns. If you’d like some background on the cloudBit and some of the concepts behind it i’d check out the intro to cloudBit guide.

###Cloud Control (to Major Tom) :cloud:

Cloud Control is a mobile dashboard that you can access from your phone, tablet, laptop or desktop. It let’s you manage your cloudBit’s settings, activate output( a green bit like a servo or a buzzer), and read input( a pink bit like a button). It’s browser based so you don’t have to download an or install anything. All you have to do is navigate to http://control.littlebitscloud.cc/ and sign in to start controlling your cloudBit(s).

Just make sure you have a supported browser.

###Cloud Control Part 2###

Settings

The settings page in Cloud Control will let you change your Wifi, the name of your cloudBit and if you’re lucky enough to have two cloudBits there is a setting that lets you daisy chain them together.

If you’d like to lend someone your cloudBit, you need to remove it from your account first. You can do that by scrolling to the bottom of the settings page.

Receive

Receive let’s you read the power or signal coming from the input (button or dimmer) in your circuit. You’ll that when you use a button values will go from 0 straight to 99 and if you use a dimmer you’ll be able to see values more granularly.

Send

Send is to trigger an output on your circuit. So if you have a servo or something similarly attached (a green bit) you can use Cloud Control to remotely set it off. Press that big purple button and watch your bargraph, servo, or buzzer go!

###First steps

If you’re totally new to littleBits you’ll need to create a littleBits account or use your exiting one to sign in to Cloud Control. Once you’ve signed in you’ll be asked to name your new born cloudBit

(image of baby cloudBit)

Side Note:

Once you’ve signed in you can also access the forums here: http://discuss.littlebits.cc/

The community is incredibly friendly and really eager to help, so say hi! They discuss project ideas, share knowledge and of course ask questions. There is a Internet of Things category specifically for all things cloud.

###Setting up the circuit

Your cloudBit requires a p3 USB power bit, you won’t be able use your p1 power bit (that uses a 9v) since it does not provide enough power. Usb is only used to power your circuit, you won’t be communicating with your cloudBit over USB so make sure you have the other end of the cable connected to your power adapter.

Now once we have all that squared away snap your power bit to your button and then to your cloudBit. You should see a purple light go on.

###Status lights

These are your cloudBit’s status lights. That light will tell you when your cloudBit is booting, ready to connect to the internet, and if all systems are go.

Just like when you turn your computer or phone on it takes a moment to “boot”, since the cloudBit is actually a fully fledged computer it also requires a moment to do the same. Once it’s ready you’ll see a solid yellow light indicating it’s read to be setup.

###Wifi

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Now remember when I mentioned that the cloudBit doesn’t communicate with your device (tablet, phone, laptop) via USB? Then how do we set it up?

Well the cloudBit communicates with your devices (through Cloud Control) via Wifi. So what that means is before you can actually use your cloudBit you’ll need to tell it what Wifi network it needs to connect to.

The way todo this is to put the cloudBit into setup mode. After the cloudBit has changed from purple to yellow you’re ready to set it up. Getting into setup mode is achieved by holding down the setup button on the cloudBit until it starts blinking blue, this will take a moment. Once it’s solid blue you can let go of the button.

Now what that has done is turned the cloudBit into a little access point. So if you search for wifi networks you should see it come up as “cloudBit_somethingseomthing”.

This is probably the trickiest part (it’s really not that tricky):

You need to now switch wifi networks from your home wifi to the cloudBit. Connect to it (it should be named cloudBit_) and wait for the cloudBit to search for your wifi network. After few moments you’ll be presented with a list of wifi networks and you’ll need choose yours.

After you’ve entered your password (if you have one) then reconnect to your wifi and the cloudBit will reboot and connect to the internet. After another few moments you’ll see a green light and all systems will be go!

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###If This Then That

Another thing you might have noticed is that your cloudBit integrates with a service called IFTTT out of the box. IFTTT or If This Then That lets you connect your cloudBit to some of you favorite apps and devices.

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The way it works is IF something happens like your cloudBit receives input (a button press) THEN do something like send a text message.

All you have to do is sign-up, create a recipe and select your cloudBit. You can also use pre-existing recipes to get some ideas of what you can do with IFTTT.

For instance your first remote pet feeder recipe would look like something this:

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IFTTT Recipe: Feed my fish every day at 10am with littleBits Remote Pet Feeder connects date-time to littlebits

resulting in:

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2 Likes

Hey!

Your cloudBit requires a p3 USB power bit, you won’t be able use your p1
power bit (that uses a 9v) since it does not provide enough power.

What is the required V? I thought USB was 5V.

Thanks,
Caroline

Hi, @Car0line! The USB is 5V, and so is the p1 power (the power module is a regulator that brings the 9v battery down to 5v). Even though both the p1 and the USB power modules supply 5V, the real difference is in the amps.

The cloudBit draws more current than the p1 can supply; that is why it needs to be connected to the USB p3 module AND plugged into the wall. :electric_plug: :cloud: :bitstar:

1 Like

Ah, I see. I did not know the transformer function of the p1. I have a CloudBit without a p3, and I planned to be clever and use a 5V Voltage regulator via breadboard and proto to make the cloudBit work. You saved me time, thank you @JackANDJude. :sunny:

And as a bonus, I didn’t fry my cloudBit when I tried fudging its power supply using the p1. ü