EVolocity Innovation Challenge Parking Aids

At evelocity boot camp on the 22nd of March we talked about aids for use in the parking challenge. For example, a Netduino and one or more ultrasonic rangers could be used to measure the distance to obstacles placed around the car park.

In the picture below the LED bar is displaying the distance to the base shield box with each LED segment representing 2cm.
Netduino based Park Distance Control

Bill of Materials for this project (Prices as at March 2015)

This code is just to illustrate how this could done and should not be used in production

public class Program
   private static OutputPort triggerOutput;
   private static InterruptPort echoInterrupt;
   private static long pulseStartTicks;
   private static GroveLedBarGraph distanceBar;
   private const int MillimetersPerBar = 20;

   public static void Main()
      OutputPort distanceCin = new OutputPort(Pins.GPIO_PIN_D8, false);
      OutputPort distanceDin = new OutputPort(Pins.GPIO_PIN_D9, false);

      distanceBar = new GroveLedBarGraph(distanceCin, distanceDin);

      triggerOutput = new OutputPort(Pins.GPIO_PIN_D5, false);
      echoInterrupt = new InterruptPort(Pins.GPIO_PIN_D4,

      echoInterrupt.OnInterrupt += new NativeEventHandler(echoInterruptPort_OnInterrupt);

      Timer distanceUpdate = new Timer(distanceUpdateCallbackProc, null, 0, 500);


   public static void distanceUpdateCallbackProc(object state)

   static void echoInterruptPort_OnInterrupt(uint data1, uint data2, DateTime time)
      long pulseWidthTicks;

      if (data2 == 1) // leading edge, start of pulse
         pulseStartTicks = time.Ticks;
         pulseWidthTicks = time.Ticks - pulseStartTicks;

         long distance = pulseWidthTicks / 58;

         Debug.Print("distance = " + distance.ToString() + "mm");

         uint ledBar = 1;
         ledBar = ledBar <<(int)(distance / MillimetersPerBar );

Azure Event Hub Service Gateway V0.5

In a previous post I had developed a simple Microsoft Azure EventHubs Service Gateway for Arduino and Netduino devices which required Internet Information Server(IIS). Running IIS in some home environments could be a bit awkward so I have got a basic light weight version going which is hosted in a self installing Windows Service. The gateway supports four command line parameters.(The install and uninstall must be run as administrator otherwise the requested process will fail)

  • Install – install the service
  • Uninstall – uninstalls the service
  • Debug – runs the service in interactive mode
  • Name – allows you to specify the name of the service in the Services Manager.

The code does some basic logging to the Windows Event log and can be configured to start automatically when the computer starts.

The configuration file has two settings

<add key="Microsoft.ServiceBus.ConnectionString" value="YourConnectionStringGoesHere" />
<add key="Microsoft.ServiceBus.EventHub" value="myhomemonitor" />
<add key="baseAddress" value="http://your.URL.goes.Here:8080/" />

The code is based on the self installing service sample code that ships with the Wix# toolkit.

   string connectionString = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["Microsoft.ServiceBus.ConnectionString"];
   string eventHubName = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["Microsoft.ServiceBus.EventHub"];

   NamespaceManager namespaceManager = NamespaceManager.CreateFromConnectionString(connectionString);

   EventHubClient client = EventHubClient.Create(eventHubName);

   EventData data = new EventData(request.Content.ReadAsByteArrayAsync().Result);

   // Set user properties if needed
   data.Properties.Add("UploadedAtUTC", DateTime.UtcNow.ToString("yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss"));
   data.Properties.Add("UploadedBy", "devMobileAzureEventHubGateway");

catch (Exception ex)
   eventLog.WriteEntry(string.Format("Application initialisation failed {0}", ex.Message), EventLogEntryType.Error);

The Azure EventHub Service Gateway Code V0.5 is a bit rough but I will enhance it as time allows. First steps will be improving logging then creating a WIX# based installer.