Arduino Planet

December 10, 2018

adafruit industries blog

What is Open Source? It’s wine from New Jersey @WinemakersCo_Op #OpenSourceChardonnay

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Nxopen Source Label-1
“What is open source?” – it’s wine from New Jersey.

Each winery of the Co-Op grows Chardonnay at their respective vineyard sites. Upon harvesting the 2016 crop, each winery transported 1,000lb of Chardonnay grapes to William Heritage Winery, where the grapes were pressed together. The grape juice was divided equally, and the winemakers of each winery fermented and developed the wine in their own respective styles. The result is four unique wines developed from the same single source of grapes.

“Open Source is a play on the same term from the software world,” said Co-Op Executive Director John Cifelli. “With open source software, developers are welcome to modify the source code to create something, sometimes collaboratively. In our case, the wine grapes are the source code, and the winemakers are the developers.”

“Open source” is a trademark of The Winemakers Co-Op Inc. of New Jersey (Serial Number 87797142 / February 14, 2018).

Related

It’s sold out in the places I could find, if anyone knows where I can get a bottle of open source, please post up in the comments.

by phillip torrone at December 10, 2018 02:44 AM

December 09, 2018

adafruit industries blog

Happy Birthday Grace Hopper #STEM #WomenInTech #GirlsWhoCode #COBOL #Programming

Adm. Grace HopperBy Unknown (Smithsonian Institution) – Flickr: Grace Hopper and UNIVAC, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19763543

Happy Birthday to Adm. Grace Hopper, born on December 9, 1906 in New York City.

Wikipedia:

Grace Brewster Murray Hopper (née Murray; December 9, 1906 – January 1, 1992) was an American computer scientist and United States Navy rear admiral. One of the first programmers of the compiler related tools. She popularized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL, an early high-level programming language still in use today.

During her lifetime, Hopper was awarded 40 honorary degrees from universities across the world. A college at Yale University was renamed in her honor. In 1991, she received the National Medal of Technology. On November 22, 2016, she was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

by Mike Barela at December 09, 2018 11:58 PM

Adafruit Weekly Editorial Round-Up: December 3rd – December 10th

ADAFRUIT WEEKLY EDITORIAL ROUND-UP

We’ve got so much happening here at Adafruit that it’s not always easy to keep up! Don’t fret, we’ve got you covered. Each week we’ll be posting a handy round-up of what we’ve been up to, ranging from learn guides to blog articles, videos, and more.


BLOG

This project from Josie is nothing short of a gingerbread masterpiece – Jo HighVoltage Gingerbread Merry-go-round Circuit Playground Express and Crickit

More BLOG:


LEARN

Crickit Powered Dancing’ Snowman!

More LEARN

Browse all that’s new in the Adafruit Learning System here!

by Kelly at December 09, 2018 08:00 PM

Dangerous Prototypes

App note: BLDC with hall effect sensors using SCT on LPC84x

an_nxp_an12164

Motor control on LPC84x MCU app note from NXP. Link here (PDF)

This application note describes an implementation of brushless DC motor control with hall effect sensors using the SCTimer/PWM on LPC84x.

by DP at December 09, 2018 05:00 PM

App note: Ambient light sensor SFH5701

an_osram_sfh5701

App note from OSRAM on their ALS device SFH5701, its operation and application method. Link here (PDF)

The SFH5701 is a small, two-wire, linear output current ambient light sensor (ALS) with current amplifier and dark current compensation. The ALS is capable of resolving a wide range of ambient light levels (10 mlx – 10 klx) tailored to the spectral response of the human eye and operational from -40 °C to 100 °C.

by DP at December 09, 2018 01:00 PM

December 07, 2018

Dangerous Prototypes

Free PCB coupon via Facebook to 2 random commenters

BP

Every Friday we give away some extra PCBs via Facebook. This post was announced on Facebook, and on Monday we’ll send coupon codes to two random commenters. The coupon code usually go to Facebook ‘Other’ Messages Folder . More PCBs via Twitter on Tuesday and the blog every Sunday. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • We’ll contact you via Facebook with a coupon code for the PCB drawer.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month, please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.

We try to stagger free PCB posts so every time zone has a chance to participate, but the best way to see it first is to subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

by DP at December 07, 2018 11:59 PM

SparkFun Electronics News

Friday Product Post: Lasers & Blasters

The new RPLIDAR is here, and a new WiFi IR board "blasts" onto the scene!

by Chris McCarty at December 07, 2018 01:00 PM

December 06, 2018

NYC Resistor

Faux Gingerbread Build-And-Smash on Sun, Dec 16

Faux Gingerbread Build-And-Smash is taking place at NYC Resistor on Sun, Dec 16. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

This is not your typical craft class. Make-Along is a self-guided craft workshop where participants learn new skills, explore new materials, and make great things!December’s Topic: Faux Gingerbread Build-And-SmashHave you always wanted to build a ridiculous bit of confectionary architecture? Do you fantasize about reenacting a monster rampage through a cityscape? Come and we’ll provide supplies and tips for building a crazy faux gingerbread houses out of graham crackers, cookies, and candy. Once you’ve finished your masterpiece, you’ll have the option to take it home to show off (and nibble on), or else you can join in the cookie carnage… as we have a photoshoot of Godzilla smashing the freshly made cityscape.Are you a beginner? We’ll provide graham crackers, cookies, candy, icing, sandwich piping bags, and lots of inspiration!Are you a master? Show off your skills and inspire others! Bring a project, use our materials, and hang out in a great space while doing what you love.

Get your tickets on Eventbrite..

by Classes at December 06, 2018 08:00 PM

SparkFun Electronics News

Enginursday: Efficient Arduino Programming with Arduino CLI and VS Code

I’m always looking for the most productive way to get my work done. When I’m in software-engineer mode, my familiarity with the features of my development environment play a huge role in that efficiency. My favorite integrated development environment (IDE) varies by programming language, but, increasingly – whether I’m programming in C/C++, Javascript or Python – I try to find any excuse I can to use Visual Studio Code.

VS Code (not to be confused with Visual Studio) is a free, open source code editor supported by Microsoft. It has a long list of features including powerful key-bind-ability, file navigation, extensions to support just about any language and a pleasantly modern UI.

VS Code editing an Arduino lib/example

I’ve used VS Code as my IDE for platforms ranging from the nRF52840 and the C-based nRF5 SDK to a Raspberry Pi running Python scripts. However, a big chunk of the software development we do here at SparkFun revolves around Arduino, which usually means utilization of the Arduino IDE. Compared to VS Code, the Arduino IDE’s feature-set is limited – there’s basic syntax highlighting, auto formatting, and line numbering, but not much more. It’s missing modern IDE features like:

  • Quick code navigation – Whether it’s find-by-reference (instantly navigating to the definition of the function you’re using), search-by-symbol (quick navigation to function or symbol definitions within a file), or a quick link to a compilation error, code navigation is critical to managing large code bases.
  • Auto-complete – This feature can, of course, help complete long constant names, but it can also provide insight into the parameters that a function may be expecting.
  • Version control integration – Whether you’re using git or SVN, many modern IDE’s provide source-control integration that can show, line-by-line, the changes you’ve made since your last commit.
  • Refactoring – Need to overhaul a function’s naming scheme? Or convert a common block of code into a function that can be more widely used throughout your application? Sounds like a refactoring job! A modern IDE can help with that.
  • Integrated Terminal – Whether you use bash or the Windows CMD, an integrated terminal can save you loads of time. This tool allows you to run “make,” “grep,” or any of your favorite terminal commands without ever swapping windows.

Until recently, beyond exploring Arduino’s “Use External Editor” preference, there wasn’t much to be done to add more functionality to the Arduino development workflow. That all changed with the release of Arduino CLI.

Arduino CLI is a command-line software tool that features board and file management functionality plus compilation and programming tools. Whether you want to download a new Arduino library or upload a compiled Arduino sketch to a RedBoard, the Arduino CLI is there for all of your scripting and command-lining needs. Taking it a step further – combined with an IDE or editor (like VS Code) – Arduino CLI can become an integral part of a powerful, DIY Arduino sketch, library, and core development environment.

To document this pairing, I wrote up a quick tutorial:

New!

Efficient Arduino Programming with Arduino CLI and Visual Studio Code

December 6, 2018

How to eschew the Arduino IDE for a combination of and Arduino command-line tool (Arduino CLI) and a professional code editor (Visual Studio Code).

The tutorial explains how to pair VS Code with Arduino CLI to get the best of both development worlds: a modern IDE and the simplicity of Arduino’s API and board support.

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by Jim Lindblom at December 06, 2018 04:32 PM

December 05, 2018

NYC Resistor

Intro to Command Line on Sat, Dec 15

Intro to Command Line is taking place at NYC Resistor on Sat, Dec 15. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

If you’ve ever tried to use a Raspberry Pi in one of your projects, or put a webpage on the web, you’ve probably run into the command line.

Get your tickets on Eventbrite..

by Classes at December 05, 2018 06:00 PM

SparkFun Electronics News

From the Field: When the Space Robots are Away...

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be letting some of our customers take over the blog to talk about how they use their favorite SparkFun tools and products in their projects, businesses and everyday lives. The best part? All the SparkFun items on their wishlist will be on sale today only!


I’m Sam Povilus. I work at Ball Aerospace and I am a long time customer of SparkFun. Professionally, I write software for space robots, either for testing or actual on-orbit operations. A vast majority of my time is spent making sure that my software or others is going to work all of the time. With the space shuttle no longer in operation, the products I make cannot be touched by human hands once delivered. That means our software is the only thing that can be changed, so it has to be perfectly reliable.

As you can imagine at work I do a lot of very intense, frustrating tasks, so when I come home I don’t really want to deal with the nitpicky details, I just want a product that I can put together and have it work. This is where SparkFun comes in: I like knowing there are parts available for the projects I want to build, and the tutorials available to teach myself anything I need to know. I have made a number of things with SparkFun products that I am kind of proud of, and that sit around my house being more or less functional.

Sam’s Wishlist (on sale today only!)


I should mention at this point that I am a huge fan of the Raspberry Pi, especially the Pi 0 Wireless. Easy access to I2C, SPI and GPIO on a platform that also has SSH access and Linux packages, and it costs $10, making it my favorite “edge node” (I am not an IoT engineer and find the concept foreign, but I think this is the right term, feel free to correct me in the comments). I own a totally unreasonable number of them.

Here’s a collection of some of the projects I’ve worked on at home:

Linux patch


I used an SSOP to DIP adapter to work on and test my kernel patch. I ran into a problem where another engineer had picked out the ADS7828 and I had to make the software work no matter what. Thankfully we were using Linux and I had a number of options when it came to interfacing with it. The simplest for me was to write a userspace driver that interfaced with the Linux I2C subsystem. That worked, but I wanted to go further on my own time.

A driver already existed for that part, but it wasn’t doing what I wanted (it didn’t allow for the use of an external reference). One of the things that my hardware engineer had done was use an external reference. The ADS7828 has a built-in reference, but it isn’t as accurate as using an external one. In most applications the internal reference is fine, and when I started looking at the code it appears that the driver did not support using it when initializing the drive with the device tree (this patch implied it did, and was extraordinarily misleading and cost me a lot of time).

I wanted to add the full functionality of the ADS7828 to the kernel, first so I could say I had submitted kernel code, and second so anyone in the future could use this part without the confusion I faced. To do this I need a platform for testing the driver, that’s where the SSOP to DIP adapter came in. This tiny, $0.95 part made it possible for me to get that code into the kernel. Without that I never would have been able to create a test setup that made me confident enough in the code to submit it upstream.

This is probably the project I am most proud of; getting something into the Linux kernel is kind of a pain, both from a political and technical perspective. If you have a need for it there is a lot of information out there about how to do it, but the maintainers are (rightly) very strict about what gets into the kernel and how you must submit it.

Cat toy


I made a cat toy on a Raspberry Pi 0 Wireless using the SparkFun Pi Servo HAT and a laser module.

Is the Raspberry Pi overkill for this project? Absolutely. Is having NTP and SSH available so I can turn it on and off from my bedroom and automate timing worthwhile? Heck yeah. (It really pissed off my girlfriend when it went off at three in the morning and our cats played with it. Side note: Make sure you set up the timezone on your Raspberry Pi right or you are destined for an angry significant other). You can find the code here.

The cats played with it for about a month. They completely ignore it now.

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Cat ignoring laser, staring at the wall. There is nothing more interesting going on. He still doesn’t want to play with it. Cats are dumb.

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Laser toy and enclosure

Humidity/temp sensor


I live in Colorado and get really dry skin and nose bleeds in the winter. Accordingly, I wanted to log the humidity of my condo, just so I would know. I used a Si7021 breakout, a 3.3V Pro Micro (used a 5V RedBoard first and blew up my first Si7021 breakout; don’t make my same mistake, check your voltage) and a SparkFun 7-Segment Serial Display, along with a Pi 0 W. The neat thing about this project is it both displays the temp and humidity while logging it to another Raspberry Pi that runs a PostgreSQL server. I have another application that runs on my laptop (or anything with Python) and connects to that database server and creates a Django web page that graphs the humidity.

I was really lazy in that the way the Si7021 works, it doesn’t lend itself to Linux use (it will hold the I2C bus, which makes Linux pretty mad), so I used the Pro Micro as an intermediary. You can find the code here, here and here.

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This is the whole thing. The blue wire is the reset wire on the Pro Micro. There is, in internet tradition, a banana for scale. I have something on the order of 20 Raspberry Pi’s in my house, so the MAC address is strictly necessary for identifying devices if the DNS self-reporting function goes down for some reason.

Garage parking sensor


I, too, wanted to make a garage parking sensor. I took a slightly different route than @ROB-24601 did here. I used a 5V Pro Micro, an Ultrasonic Sensor and a Lumenati 3x3. This code is still very much in development and not working.

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You can find the code here. Feel free to respond in the comments with any suggestions to make this work, or ideas on how to get my cats to play with the toy I made them.


Special one-day pricing available to customer and guest checkouts only. Prices expire at 11:59 p.m. on the day each post is published.

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by Chelsea Moll at December 05, 2018 04:18 PM

Arduino Blog

Mood-controlled RGB light wall

In the build shown below, Evan McMahon dares to ask the question, “Have you ever been disappointed by a mood ring?” While that might seem a bit random, the answer is a likely “yes” if you’ve ever worn one with the expectation of any sort of accuracy. Fortunately, he didn’t just pose the question, but also came up with a clever solution, using an array of lights under Arduino control.

For the setup, McMahon uses the camera on his iPhone to take video of his smiling or frowning mug, and analyzes it with the help of Unity running on a computer to translate this into his apparent state of mind.

This info is then sent to an Arduino Uno, which puts the programmable LED lights into dance mode if he’s happy, and makes them shine blue if he’s a bit blue himself!

I made another thing! This time it’s a mood wall that reacts to your facial expressions. I made it out of an Arduino, poster board, disposable cups, NeoPixels, an iPhone X and a whole lot of cutting. The wall itself is driven by Unity, sampling animations and particle systems to make a final light show presentation.

by Arduino Team at December 05, 2018 02:44 PM

Teenager automates his family’s holiday lights with an Arduino Mega

As first reported by the Des Moines Register, this year 14-year-old Josiah Davenport decided to animate 3,500 Christmas lights on his family’s home with the help of an Arduino Mega. The lighting pattern is synchronized with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Wizards in Winter,” which passersby can listen to by tuning in to 89.5 FM on their car radios. 

This ambitious installation was started back in July, and took around 100 hours of research, programming, and assembly. How the lights look at night can be seen in the first video below, while the second and third outline how everything was assembled.

Davenport notes that it’s been a fun endeavor, but is happy to see it come together, hoping that it brings a smile to people’s faces this holiday season! You can read more about the project in his local newspaper’s article here.

by Arduino Team at December 05, 2018 02:35 PM

December 03, 2018

Arduino Blog

A useful Christmas tree water level indicator

It’s that time of year again, when many the world over chop down a tree, then insert it into some sort of water dish to keep it green for a month or longer. This normally works out well, but means that someone has to keep it hydrated, climbing under sharp branches to intermittently check the water level.

As originally seen on Reddit, this is a perfect job for Arduino, and with some very simple wiring, maker “Boskovitch” created a clever setup that shows water levels with three blue, yellow, and red LEDs. A depth sensor in inserted into the water, which feeds analog readings to an Arduino Nano that is used for control.

Threw this together last night for my dad. He’s very anal about keeping his tree healthy, and he gets on his stomach and sticks his hand in the base to check the water level a couple of times a day. So I threw this together so he doesn’t have to crawl under the tree anymore. After the semester is over I might add an automatic watering system with a solenoid valve and gravity feed.

Want to recreate this setup for your own Christmas conifer? Check out Boskovitch’s write-up here.

by Arduino Team at December 03, 2018 02:20 PM

December 01, 2018

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

Ultraviolet Hanukiah

For Hanukkah this year, Ol Rappaport modified one of our Deluxe LED Menorah kits into a custom fluorescent acrylic body, substituted UV LEDs and used a USB power supply.

by Lenore Edman at December 01, 2018 05:44 PM

November 30, 2018

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

November 29, 2018

NYC Resistor

Intro to Soldering Workshop: Make an LED Tile on Sun, Dec 9

Intro to Soldering Workshop: Make an LED Tile is taking place at NYC Resistor on Sun, Dec 9. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Soldering is one of the most important skills you’ll need for working with electronics. Come join us for an introductory through-hole soldering workshop. Soldering enables you to create sturdy connections between electrical components.

Get your tickets on Eventbrite..

by Classes at November 29, 2018 06:00 PM

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

Maker Gift Basket

Gareth Branwyn posted an article on creating a gift basket for makers. It is full of awesome tools, including one of our favorites, the resistor lead forming tool.

He’s also having a give-away for his example basket!

To be eligible, all you have to do is post an entry, on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, mentioning my book, this article, and/or the idea of a tool gift bag, and include this link and hashtag: https://amzn.to/2DPaXAd #tipsandtalesfromtheworkshop. The only things you have to include are the link and the hashtag. You can post as many times as you like. On Dec 12th, I’ll do a random drawing from the hash-tagged entries and send out your gift basket.

Note: This drawing is only available to those residing in the United States.

by Lenore Edman at November 29, 2018 05:24 PM

November 21, 2018

one girl's diary of improvisational engineering

scanlime041 – Pineapple Slime Oscillator

Watch on YouTube or Diode Zone:

Assemble the Boldport Ananas with me, in a trippy music video full of fluorescent goo and disco ball motors! This is a fun electronics kit that calmly pulses its yellow LEDs with a set of transistorized ring oscillators.

Thank you so much for watching, subscribing, and sharing my videos. And a special thanks to my supporters on Patreon, where recurring donations make this content possible.

Find out more about the Boldport Ananas.

If you’d like some of those cool scanlime stickers or Servo AF stream gear, check out the shop.

For previous episodes, check out the full scanlime playlist.

Each episode is compiled together from many livestreams which you can hang out with on the companion scanlime-in-progress channel.

Follow @scanlimelive for live streaming announcements.

by Micah Scott at November 21, 2018 06:58 PM

October 30, 2018

adafruit industries blog

Switch Trinket M0 “Modchip” Install #Trinket

Switch Trinket M0 "Modchip" Install

Post by  on imgur – using the Adafruit Trinket M0 to talk to a Nintendo Switch as a “modchip”. Now ignorant editor me will say “I don’t know about such mods but at least in the US they just ruled that we have the right to repair our gear” so I’d guess this is a repair. As with any repairs not put out by Adafruit, you’re on your own on this. Now Noah writes:

This is the guide I got a lot of info from here. I had this planned out before I stumbled upon this, but it was a huge help to have a list of probe points to tap into on the Switch motherboard. This thread is awesome and a great help if you decide to this yourself and run into issues. “Nintendo Switch modchip install cause I’m bored and have nothing else to do.”

See the entire repair on imgur.

by Mike Barela at October 30, 2018 03:50 PM

October 25, 2018

adafruit industries blog

400 badges MADE IT! Hackaday Superconference @hackaday @hackadayio@digikey #supercon @adafruit

400-1

Badges

400 of these hackable Python powered devices arrived, TODAY for the Hackaday Superconference | Pasadena Nov 2-4 2018. Adafruit is sponsor. Special thanks to Digi-Key for helping us make this happen!

Batts
The badges made it to CA, the 400 batteries are being ground-shipped and will arrive early next with plenty-o-time to spare!

For all our badges, we keep a repo’ on GitHub, here’s what is on the hackaday badge.

The Hackaday Superconference is the greatest gathering of hardware hackers, builders, engineers and enthusiasts in the world.

Supercon 2018 is 3 full days! Join us November 2-4 (2018) in Pasadena, CA. The conference begins on Friday, November 2nd at 10 am with workshops and badge hacking. Supercon attendees are also invited to celebrate with drinks and appetizers at our kick-off celebration at Supplyframe headquarters that Friday (November 2nd) evening.

The complete schedule is up and it is incredible!

Get your tickets now!

by phillip torrone at October 25, 2018 11:42 PM

October 24, 2018

adafruit industries blog

#Crickit Critters for Halloween!

Peep these spooky adorable #Crickit critters! 🎃 👻🤖😈👹💀 – even #trashbots can go trick or treating!

by Kelly at October 24, 2018 05:32 PM

October 21, 2018

mightyOhm

September 21, 2018

adafruit industries blog

Download Adafruit AR in the App Store! #AR @adafruit #iOS @apple

We are currently experimenting with QR Codes and AR. Here in this video, we are using the image tracking framework to track the QR code image and position to plant a Adafruit HalloWing M0 Express model on top of it.

Stay tuned for more to come💀

Have you downloaded our AR app yet? Well, what are you waiting for?☺ Download our free Adafruit AR in the App Store today, click here! Who doesn’t’ like free stuff? 

Check back to the Adafruit Blog for all Adafruit AR news and updates. 🤖

by Trevor at September 21, 2018 07:06 PM

September 19, 2018

adafruit industries blog

‘conserve the sound’ – listen to sounds made by vintage technology | #history #retro #retrotech

CTS (conserve the sound) is a collection of audio recordings of Sony walkmans, VHS decks, mechanical film shutters, actual typewriters, and the like. And yes that includes the sound made by opening a paper map! We all have our stories of yesteryear’s technology – CTS is the sounds we used to hear!

For example can you guess what this is:

(the answer will surprise you!)

»Conserve the sound« is an online museum for vanishing and endangered sounds. The sound of a dial telephone, a walkman, a analog typewriter, a pay phone, a 56k modem, a nuclear power plant or even a cell phone keypad are partially already gone or are about to disappear from our daily life.

Accompanying the archive people are interviewed and give an insight in to the world of disappearing sounds.

»Conserve the sound« is a project form CHUNDERKSEN and is funded
by the Film & Medienstiftung NRW, Germany.

Currently »Conserve the sound« is continuously extended.

We welcome suggestions in general, sound suggestions, stories,
anecdotes and of course collaborations.

via:

[hat tip to David S for the tweet heads up!]

by nicknormal at September 19, 2018 02:06 PM

September 10, 2018

adafruit industries blog

September 07, 2018

adafruit industries blog

Download Adafruit AR in the App Store! #AR @adafruit #iOS @apple #Cricket

 

We have a new update still in beta but here’s a quick sneak peek at what we are working on😉.

Here we are using Arkit’s image tracking framework to display a 3D model of a Circuit Playground mounted on top of an Adafruit Circket rotating over a picture of a cat. More updates soon!

Have you downloaded our AR app yet? Well, what are you waiting for?☺ Download our free Adafruit AR in the App Store today, click here! Who doesn’t’ like free stuff? 

Check back to the Adafruit Blog for all Adafruit AR news and updates. 🤖

by Trevor at September 07, 2018 06:13 PM

August 30, 2018

mightyOhm

August 29, 2018

adafruit industries blog

Farmers are Turning to Lasers – Beginning with 4AM Laser Light Shows! – to (Silently) Repel Pesky Birds | #publicradio

Originally heard this report via WNYC AM820 in NYC — listen:

During every berry-picking season in the Pacific Northwest, blueberry and raspberry growers fight to prevent birds from gobbling up the crop before harvest. This year, some farmers are trying something new to scare away the thieving birds: lasers.

Justin Meduri manages a large blueberry farm and cherry orchard outside Jefferson, Ore. Birds like both fruits.

“Flocks can move in of up to 2,000 to 3,000 starling birds,” Meduri says. The starlings gorge themselves and knock down berries right as the crop is ready to pick. When he didn’t take countermeasures, Meduri says the damage was “Inconceivable, huge. We had almost a 20 to 25 percent, maybe even 30 percent damage loss.”

Meduri says he previously hired a falconer to protect his fields. But the falcons were expensive, temperamental and sometimes flew away. Then last year, he became one of the first farmers in the U.S. to install automated lasers.

“You’re creating this kind of laser light show at 4 o’clock in the morning,” Meduri says. “That’s the time when birds come out.”

The lasers cross over in erratic patterns. The sweeping green laser beams emanate from what look like security cameras atop metal poles.

They also work during the daytime. But in sunlight, the human eye can only see green dots dancing across the berry-laden bushes.

Read more here.

by nicknormal at August 29, 2018 05:37 PM

August 27, 2018

adafruit industries blog

State And Events In CircuitPython: Part 1: Setup #CircuitPython

A really interesting and thorough article by Josh Johnson on the Collected Works of jjmojojjmojo blog. Josh states:

This is the first article in a series that explores concepts of state in CircuitPython.

In this installment, we discuss the platform we’re using (both CircuitPython and the Adafruit M0/M4 boards that support it), and build a simple circuit for demonstration purposes. We’ll also talk a bit about abstraction.

This series is intended for people who are new to Python, programming, and/or microcontrollers, so there’s an effort to explain things as thoroughly as possible. However, experience with basic Python would be helpful.

The article goes in-depth about Adafruit’s CircuitPython compatible boards and demonstrates connecting external buttons to several boards. Great series, we look forward to more.

CircuitPython Boards by Adafruit

 

by Mike Barela at August 27, 2018 08:15 PM

August 17, 2018

Keith’s Electronics Blog

Chewing ABS to Make New Filament

Like many other 3D printer owners, I’ve long dreamed of processing post-consumer plastic into new filament for printing. I’ve now taken a couple of steps in that direction.

ABS plastic pelletized with sheet-metal nibbler tool

It should come as no surprise that at times I’ve had a surplus of CRT monitors (surplus of CRTs is redundant, I guess?), many not working. I pulled their PCBs and salvaged their components, put out the metal for recycling, and … cut up the ABS cases into flat chunks and stored them. Did the same with dead inkjet printers people kept giving me — I think they must come in the bottom of cereal boxes.

In tangentially-related news, I’m doing some OpenSCAD design work and a friend is printing the parts for me, as my CupCake has not rehabilitated itself yet. The parts are supposed to friction fit and he has only PLA and I think it’s too brittle for a good fit — if the parts fit at all, they slide too easily. I think they need a little give to slide together, stick in place, and slide apart, so I want to try ABS. I have 3-mm ABS filament but his printer of course uses 1.75-mm filament. I could buy some 1.75-mm ABS filament, but I have all this bulk ABS sitting around …

kitty litter bins of post-consumer ABS plastic

So last night I dug out my bins and color-matched my project to the medium grey ABS and scrubbed it in the kitchen sink with soapy water and let it dry.

washing post-consumer plastic in the kitchen sink

Still hadn’t figured out how I was going to chew it up into pellets. There are plastic shredders, even DIY ones, but they seem frightfully expensive especially once you include the motive power.

I pondered misusing all my different power tools, bearing in mind that my goal was to get pellets somewhere in the size range of rice to peas. ABS dust would probably be fine for re-forming into filament — but much more difficult to capture/collect without impurities like wood dust from other use of the power tools. Tablesaw, sander — dust. Bandsaw, rotary rasp — coarse dust. Drill press — interesting idea but would probably produce spirals that would have to be re-cut; plus any type of bit would be prone to grabbing the plastic and having to clamp it down in each position would take time.

Router table with router set to lowest speed and taking shallow passes — very promising, and very finger-scary. Jointer — definitely the right size chips, and more finger-scary. Lathe — hilarious!

And remembered my hand-operated sheet-metal nibbler.

This morning I produced a good tablespoon of pellets (shown at top) in ten minutes of hand-work as a proof of concept and today I ordered a Filastruder.

I’m still pondering … but I do have a pneumatic nibbler somewhere and I’m thinking about a table design whereby I could feed the plastic to the nibbler. That should be pretty safe, as the nibbler’s up/down action won’t be nearly as prone to grabbing the workpiece and sucking in my fingers.

Although I am going to want some red ABS for this project …

by Keith Neufeld at August 17, 2018 01:38 AM

August 14, 2018

one girl's diary of improvisational engineering

scanlime040 – Test Jig Quick Look

I found these two test jigs for sale at a local business that was relocating. They would have been used as part of the quality assurance procedure for smart bike lights. Later we might go into more detail on the firmware, or repurpose the formidable hunks of metal for another project!

Thank you so much for watching, subscribing, and sharing my videos. And a special thanks to my supporters on Patreon, where recurring donations make this content possible.

If you’d like some of those cool scanlime stickers or Servo AF stream gear, check out the shop.

For previous episodes, check out the full scanlime playlist.

Each episode is compiled together from many livestreams which you can hang out with on the companion scanlime-in-progress channel.

Follow @scanlimelive for live streaming announcements.

by Micah Scott at August 14, 2018 09:47 PM

August 11, 2018

one girl's diary of improvisational engineering

scanlime039 – Unboxing Cameras and LEDs, USB 3 and pre-UNIX

In my live streams I’ve been inviting you to send me new reverse engineering projects at my P.O. box. In these videos, I’ll introduce a few of the items I’ve been receiving, with a bit of the mystery preserved!

Thank you so much for watching, subscribing, and sharing my videos. And a special thanks to my supporters on Patreon, where recurring donations make this content possible.

If you’d like some of those cool scanlime stickers or Servo AF stream gear, check out the shop.

For previous episodes, check out the full scanlime playlist.

Each episode is compiled together from many livestreams which you can hang out with on the companion scanlime-in-progress channel.

Follow @scanlimelive for live streaming announcements.

by Micah Scott at August 11, 2018 10:00 PM

August 10, 2018

code, circuits, & construction

HTML Interface For a Digital Multimeter

It’s been a long time since my last post on this site. Time to update it a bit. Introduction Recently, some colleagues of mine and I were looking for a digital multimeter that could be used by people with low … Continue reading

by tigoe at August 10, 2018 05:18 PM

August 04, 2018

adafruit industries blog

NYTimes on the ‘Evolution’ of Robotic Hands | #robots #ArtificialIntelligence

The New York Times take an interesting look at How Robot Hands Are Evolving to Do What Ours Can. They broke down the hands they looked at to Spinner, Gripper, Picker, Bed Maker, Pusher, and finally take a look at the future of it all. (Unfortunately things like soft robotics aren’t really examined at all. But the article does contain a bunch of neat quick video clips like those below.)

Robotic hands could only do what vast teams of engineers programmed them to do. Now they can learn more complex tasks on their own.

A robotic hand? Four autonomous fingers and a thumb that can do anything your own flesh and blood can do? That is still the stuff of fantasy.

But inside the world’s top artificial intelligence labs, researchers are getting closer to creating robotic hands that can mimic the real thing.


 

by nicknormal at August 04, 2018 12:17 PM

July 19, 2018

mightyOhm

Ten years of MightyOhm

On this day in 2008 I created my first post on a brand new website. The site looked a lot different back then, and it wasn’t until the following year that I shipped my first electronic kit, the HV Rescue Shield! Today marks ten years of MightyOhm.

by Jeff at July 19, 2018 01:33 AM

July 15, 2018

adafruit industries blog

Adobe redesigned the Terminator’s iconic interfaces for today

Via FastCompany

The Terminator franchise is remembered for its incredible direction, strange moments of robotic perspective, and landmark special effects. Take the liquid metal T-1000 robot that was able to melt its way through gaps in bars or holes in windows. It was one of the first uses of computer-generated graphics on film, and yet it was so artfully executed that it will still give you shivers when rewatching the film today.

The movie’s interfaces, in particular, are some of the most iconic in film history. So, when Adobe was searching for a project to advertise the capabilities of Adobe XD, its free UX/UI prototyping software, the company quickly honed in on the idea of redesigning a few of the 1991 film’s on-screen interfaces. Specifically, Adobe wanted to update Terminator 2′s first-person HUD, or heads-up display, which is used by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800, with a more contemporary aesthetic as a way of showing off the power of XD. To stack the deck in its favor, Adobe hired Territory Studios, known for designing UIs in sci-fi films like Avengers: Infinity War and Blade Runner 2049, to collaborate on the project.

Adobe licensed two specific frames to redesign, each of which features the red-tinted point of view of a killer robot attempting to make sense of the world around it. If you remember Terminator 2, the T-800 lands naked in the modern day and begins scanning for clothing and a sick ride. Nonsense numbers fill one corner of the Terminator’s screen, while the interface outlines shapes of objects for identification. This classic footage is really a beautiful play to signal computer vision to the audience, and not all that different from the bounding boxes that companies use to train vision AIs of today.

“The originals we saw as defined by the outline. We didn’t want to lose that outline,” says Marti Romances, creative director and cofounder of Territory Studios. “There’s some stuff on the sides [of the interface] we added as what if we could have more info than just the model. Fuel, things like this. It was just trying to give it a modern take of what they did on the original film.”

See more!

by Jessie Mae at July 15, 2018 08:00 AM

uC Hobby

Crash course in Electronics and PCB Design @ Udemy

Nurve Networks has just opened a Crash course in Electronics and PCB Design. The course features Arduino and CircuitMaker. The course covers basic electronics through advanced concepts like Microcontrollers.  You learn how to do schematics, and PCB design by making two electronic game projects. The Instructor is Andre’ LaMoth.  A great friend and a super engineer.  […]

by uCHobby at July 15, 2018 12:02 AM

July 10, 2018

Keith’s Electronics Blog

Booting the MakerBot CupCake after Five Years Part 3: Heated Build Platform and First Print

Friday evening I left off with the extruder working again. Saturday I focused on the heated build platform.

I’ve always had astoundingly good luck with kapton tape since nophead’s serendipitous discovery, probably because I (still) prefer to print in ABS. When the build platform is warm, my prints stick to it absolutely with no raft or mouse ears and once it has cooled, they release easily. That’s a pretty compelling combination.

kapton tape for MakerBot CupCake heated build platform

So my first step was replacing the scraped-up kapton that I gouged the last time the printer was on. I bought a 4″ roll way back when and I keep a strip of unsticky tucked under the end so I don’t have to peel it up with fingernails and get fingerprints on the stickum.

In the past I’ve always replaced the tape by sticking down the end and using a credit card to “squeegee” it onto the surface, and it can be tough to avoid getting bubbles. Yesterday I unrolled enough tape to cover the platform and when I had it stretched out, it was easy to align the front edge of the tape with the front edge of the platform, at which point I squeegeed it down with my thumb with no bubbles at all. Huh, well, I guess I’ll remember that.

I heat my build platform with the rackmount laboratory-grade power supply the CupCake is sitting on. From my 2010 blog post about making the heated build platform (gosh, this blog thing is handy), I see that I ran the power supply around 24V to heat the build platform to the neighborhood of 180-200C, then backed it off to 12V. This is a definite opportunity to control via software in the future; but for now, I’ll keep doing it with a manual control the way the pilgrims did.

Setting Nozzle Height by Extruding Onto the Platform

I’ve never got the Z-axis endstops integrated into my build process — if someone knows how to implement that (some G-code preface), I’d love to hear about it — and getting the right nozzle height has always been one of my biggest recurring challenges with this machine. So I decided to take a different approach and set the extruder to run while jogging the build platform under numerical control and lowering the nozzle until the extrusions stuck well but didn’t flatten badly.

freehand extrusion on MakerBot CupCake heated build platform

I got a blob every time it stopped between jog steps, but the process worked pretty well — I got the height tuned to stick the extrusion down to the build platform without squishing it badly out of shape.

freehand extrusion from 3D printer heated build platform

Removed from the printer, you can see that the ABS was starting to scorch. I’d been running the nozzle at 228C based on my 2012 post; but somewhere I found that I’d backed down to 220C, and that does seem to work better.

First Print (from Saved Gcode)

I don’t have my machine’s calibration parameters loaded into Skeinforge yet, in part because I can’t find Skeinforge (which is supposed to be integrated into ReplicatorG, but I don’t find that to be the case); so I can’t slice and print an STL file. But I have G-code files that I’d generated for this printer, and it should work to print those.

plastic clip made on 3D printer

This clip didn’t turn out so well. The G-code was generated to print at 228C and the printer stopped extruding partway through, I think because the ABS was overheated. I could update the G-code to run at 220C instead; but I’m going to want to get Skeinforge running to slice new models anyway. So this was a fine proof of concept.

Thermistor Is Calibrated

I found (and subsequently remembered) that a few settings are saved in the printer’s NVRAM, including the thermistor coefficients. They’re accessible in the Machine / Toolhead Onboard Preferences... dialog:

So it really was running at 228C when it said it was.

Remaining Issues

  • After positioning the nozzle at the build platform’s origin, I raised it high out of the way. When I told it to return to home, the Z action paused about once a second on the way down and stopped about 13 mm above the build platform instead of running smoothly back to its original position. For goodness sake, you should be able to get the basics right.

    I haven’t checked whether the motherboard was signaling the stepper driver and it was skipping steps (doubt it) or whether the motherboard was malfunctioning, so I should do that yet.

    I’ll never be able to automate nozzle positioning if the CupCake can’t reliably move the nozzle into position.
  • Skeinforge doesn’t seem to be integrated. I can install it separately, but I wonder why it’s not there.
  • I need to recover all of my calibration settings from the hard drives of my crashed computer and put them into Skeinforge that doesn’t exist. And then add that location to my backup system.
  • ReplicatorG shows the preview of the STL when I’m clicking on a file to open but doesn’t have a preview window after loading where one can rotate and reposition the object. I thought that was available even before the Skeinforge integration, but I could be misremembering.

by Keith Neufeld at July 10, 2018 12:51 AM

July 09, 2018

adafruit industries blog

‘Make Software More Accessible’ – Andreas Stefik Talks ‘Accessibility for the Visually Impaired’

The Software Engineering Radio site is a trove of great podcasts spanning ~12 years discussing everything from DevOps to IoT and in this case visual impairment as it relates to software development – something greatly overlooked in both training and application of softwares. It’s a cool talk with UNLV CS Associate Professor Andreas Stefik – there’s lots to absorb and think about:

Andreas Stefik talks with SE Radio’s Felienne about how blind and visually impaired people use the computer, most commonly with a screen reader. They discuss how screen readers work and what programmers can do to make software more accessible for this group of users. The episode starts with the basics, like adding alt tags, giving links meaningful names, not storing information in images, and validating websites with accessibility checkers. The conversation builds up to frameworks and libraries that can be used to create more accessible interfaces, as well as different accessibility architectures for different programming languages, and how to cater for broad diversity in visual impairments. They also examine programming while blind and how to create accessible APIs, programming tools, and programming languages.

The podcast page also includes lots of accessibility related links:

by nicknormal at July 09, 2018 05:37 PM

July 07, 2018

Keith’s Electronics Blog

Booting the MakerBot CupCake after Five Years Part 2: Installing Software

The next step in running the CupCake 3D printer is reinstalling the software and connecting to the machine.

ReplicatorG 0026 main screen

It went surprisingly well, with the only real snag being my misremembering the installation process, leaving me stuck in NotConnectedLand for a while.

What Software

A lot has happened in the world of hobbyist 3D printing since the last time I had the CupCake powered up and both new firmware and new driver software are available. I’m interested in upgrading both as I have time; but for a first boot, I want to change as few variables as possible. That means leaving the firmware that’s on the CupCake and matching a legacy version of ReplicatorG to what’s on it. And I had no idea what was on it.

Fortunately I have a blog and on that blog I write some things.

I went to my own blog’s MakerBot CupCake blog category and quickly found the January 2012 post on rebuilding the heater in which I had written:

… I upgraded ReplicatorG from 0024 to 0029r2, and let it upgrade my firmware from v2.4 (I think) to v3.0, and lo! lost communication between ReplicatorG and the CupCake…

This is apparently a known problem …

Anyway, downgrading ReplicatorG to 0026 restored my connectivity …

So there you have it: I need ReplicatorG version 0026 to connect to the 3.0 firmware currently on my CupCake.

Happily, the ReplicatorG web site is still online in spite of MakerBot’s acquisition by Stratasys (though I note there have been no code updates since the acquisition). The download page has dowload links for only the last version (0040) but also has links to the Google Code archive, which on p3 has that 0026 for the Mac that I’m looking for.

Running ReplicatorG

I downloaded ReplicatorG 0026 and tried running it from the disk image before actually installing it on my laptop. I got the standard security warning:

OS X security warning about ReplicatorG

and had to look up to right-click and Open rather than double-click and change security preferences. After much playing around yesterday, I see that OS X Sierra does not remember approval I’ve given to run software on a disk image but does remember approval I’ve given to run software once it’s installed.

Once I got past that, I got a Java version error:

ReplicatorG 0026 needs Java SE6

Shockingly, clicking More Info... in that dialog does something useful — it takes me to Apple’s JRE download page for that version. After regaining consciousness, I installed that software and ReplicatorG starts up like a champ.

Can’t Connect to the CupCake (Because I Installed ReplicatorG Wrong)

It doesn’t appear to see the CupCake, though,

ReplicatorG no machineNode found

giving the error:

Could not load machine 'null' no machineNode found
could not load machine 'null' please check Driver-> <Machine Name>

It does see my FTDI USB-serial cable under Machine / Serial Port. It does not have anything listed under Machine / Driver and it does not bring up anything when I select Machine / Machine Information…

I don’t find much online about this. A Thingiverse Sailfish firmware comment sounds as though I simply have the wrong machine type selected, but I can’t even select a machine type. The tail end of a ReplicatorG comment thread sounds as though it can’t see USB-serial ports on current OS X versions, but it does see it. A much older MakerBot forum post mentions success after reseating the FTDI cable; but I don’t even know whether that’s the same issue and reseating mine didn’t help.

Installing ReplicatorG Correctly

It seemed obviously wrong that I couldn’t bring up the Machine Information… dialog, and I hunched that something was wrong there. Researching about the machine type, I saw that the ReplicatorG machine configuration page mentions a machines.xml file, which I didn’t have. But that sparked a memory — the ReplicatorG disk image had a machines folder in it and … oh, yeah.

The ReplicatorG Mac installation page clearly says to create a ReplicatorG folder under Applications and drag the entire contents of the ReplicatorG disk image into it. Which I hadn’t. I’d just dragged the app because in spite of remembering and knowing better, I’d just dragged the app.

I deleted the app from Applications, created the folder, dragged the contents, started ReplicatorG by right-clicking and choosing Open, and boom. Connected to the CupCake.

First Extrusion

I went back to my same blog post and found the nozzle temperature that works well for my CupCake, then set that and ran the extruder:

ReplicatorG 0026 extruder control panel

I don’t have any of my CupCake’s calibration settings loaded in yet, in particular my thermistor coefficients, so this temperature is only an estimate; but it worked well enough.

MakerBot CupCake test extrusion

First squeeze! Software installed; connected to and controlling the machine.

A Brief Aside About the FTDI USB-Serial Driver

When first I ran the ReplicatorG software, I wondered whether I had the FTDI USB-Serial driver already loaded on my MacBook from working with Arduino or whether the driver was missing and was the cause of the problem. ReplicatorG did find a USB-Serial under the Serial Port list, but I still questioned.

A bit of research shows that the driver’s presence or absence can be seen by running System Information and looking under Software / Installations. I didn’t see it there and I found that it can also be checked by running pkgutil --pkgs | grep -i ftdi . Didn’t see it there either.

The FTDI driver version supplied with ReplicatorG was of course quite old and I didn’t know how well it’d work on a newer OS X release. I went to FTDI’s Virtual Com Port (VCP) driver page, downloaded and installed version 2.4.2, and found that it made no changes to what I was experiencing. I’m wondering whether the FTDI driver is by now supplied as part of OS X or whether it silently installed when I installed the Arduino software on this MacBook.

by Keith Neufeld at July 07, 2018 03:18 PM

July 04, 2018

code, circuits, & construction

Datalogging with Arduino

There are several ways to save data from a sensor attached to an Arduino. If you’re connected to a personal computer, you can simply send the data from the Arduino to the personal computer serially, and save it to a … Continue reading

by tigoe at July 04, 2018 04:34 PM

Serial to Browser using node.js

Updated 28 July 2015 This is a brief introduction to using node.js and websockets to connect a serial device, like an Arduino microcontroller, to a browser. To make this happen you’ll need: An Arduino, and the Arduino IDE an HTML5-capable browser. … Continue reading

by tigoe at July 04, 2018 04:19 PM

July 02, 2018

adafruit industries blog

NEW GUIDE: A NeoPixel Pomodoro Timer #AdafruitLearningSystem

 

Many people get value from a simple tool called the Pomodoro Technique.

It’s a time management technique used to break work into periods of activity separated by short breaks. Each activity period is called a pomodoro. Why “pomodoro”? The technique was developed by Francesco Cirillo, who named the technique “pomodoro” as a nod to the tomato kitchen timer he initially used.

This guide goes through all the steps for you to build your own Pomodoro Timer using the Adafruit ItsyBitsy M0 Express programmed in CircuitPython.

ItsyBitsy M0 Express

See the full build details for the timer project here on the Adafruit Learning System!

Have you created a cool timer project? Maybe an ItsyBitsy project? Let us know in the comments below!

by Mike Barela at July 02, 2018 06:19 PM

June 29, 2018

adafruit industries blog

A Look at that @Drake ‘Mechanical Puppet’ from @Sprite’s 2010 ‏’Spark’ Commercial | #puppets #drizzy #robot

AKA Make Robot Drake, Not Robot Enemy

I was delving a bit deeper into my own blog about an interview with Mike Elizalde from Spectral Motion, whose interview at v-e-n-u-e included this awesome shot:

Mechanical puppet of Drake from a Sprite commercial. Scott Millenbaugh and Jurgen Heimann of Spectral Motion are seen here making mechanical adjustments.

(Note the incredible dog / bear / animal head on the cabinet seen over Scott Millenbaugh’s right shoulder – what is that thing!?)

I was really curious about that… puppet / mech / animatronic / bot mannequin, and wanted to know more. The caption references a commercial for the lemon-lime flavored fizzy drink Sprite. But I haven’t had television since shortly after 9/11 – so a 2010-era commercial was way down on my list of anything I could recall or have a familiarity with seeing. So I looked it up:

Even having watched the commercial, you’d think everything was done in computer graphics – I certainly did. But, there was that picture above of a real-world “mechanical puppet.” I couldn’t reconcile the two, so I dove a little deeper!


 
The commercial is the product of agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty‘s NYC office, the puppet was created by Spectral Motion and then completed by Montreal’s The Workshop, who write,

The process included creating both 3D generated and live action and the seamless integration of the two. It began with a complete body scan of Drake. We then created a 3D model of him and cut him into the pieces we wanted to move. The model was then sent to the effects house and they created an animatronic puppet of Drake. On set we used a motion control camera and perfectly aligned Drake’s last position to match the robot clone of him. Using the same camera movements we shot the puppet exploding. In post, we regenerated the footage of Drake to align with the movement of the robotic puppet and created the 3D liquid simulation of the water moving through him.

Even the ‘splash’ effects were real-world (at least for reference, for the CG operators), as captured by numerous clips at reelfx.com:


 
I’m fascinated that so much work went into a 1-minute ad spot, and involved real-world film, animatronics and mechanical parts, photogrammetry, 3d-modeling, audio composition, and more. Also Drake has a new album out today, so this seems serendipitous!

by nicknormal at June 29, 2018 01:55 PM

June 26, 2018

adafruit industries blog

American River People are Coming to NYC – on a DIY Shantyboat of Course! | @WModes #ArtTuesday


the Secret History of American River People project have embarked on their cross-country tour from California to upstate NY, where they will subsequently be floating through the Hudson Valley towards the mouth of the river at Upper New York Bay, but stopping at White Box in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and at the Waterfront Barge Museum in Red Hook, Brooklyn, for exhibitions to conclude their journey. I’ve been following the Secret History project for some time now so really looking forward to seeing this boat and its community and art. You can see more of the creation of this shantyboat here and learn more about supporting the project here. Their Secret History of American River People blog is a trove of wonderful tales.

 
From building the actual boat to wiring up its flux capacitor and more, maker skills are essential for ambitious art projects like this:

by nicknormal at June 26, 2018 07:22 PM

Playing Video on the Handheld Pokitto Game Device @Pokitto #Gaming

POKITTO is a do-it-yourself gaming gadget you assemble and program yourself. With Pokitto, you can learn programming & building electronics in a fun way.

Over on spinalcode.co.uk, they recently managed to get full screen video streaming on the Pokitto!

They extracted the individual frames from a movie file using ffmpeg. A windows batch file first evaluates the video and creates a 256 colour table, this is part of the secret. Only 256 colours are used for the whole video which helps get it playing on the device.

ffmpeg

To see the whole process, read the whole blog post.

Do you like pushing the boundaries of small handheld electronics? Let us know in the comments!

by Mike Barela at June 26, 2018 02:33 PM

June 11, 2018

NYC Resistor

LED Dress at the Interactive Show 6/16

 

Michael Seri will exhibit his LED neon light dress Lock Her&Him Up at the Interactive show this Saturday 6/16! The chain mail dress is fitted with neon-esque LED tube and powered with batteries. Michael writes: “This dress will be worn by a model in different locations in NYC as a means of social justice and expression on the issues that are on the forefront of society.”

The 9th Annual Interactive Show: Self Driving Carbs

NYC Resistor’s Interactive Show returns for its 9th incarnation. Our annual party and fundraiser invites hackers from around the region to show off their cool interactive projects with free beats and beers provided. Tickets $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

This year’s theme is Self-Driving Carbs. Biscuit swarms! A giant edible house! Posters you can chomp on! More projects to be announced soon. Keep checking the Resistor Blog for previews! And don’t worry there will be a gluten-free dance zone.

Grab your tickets now and get ready for a delicious evening of tech and tastiness!

by Becky Stern at June 11, 2018 06:12 PM

VR experiences Shadowbox & Computer Beach at the Interactive Show 6/16

 

Andrew Katsikas’ Shadowbox is “a Virtual Reality experience inside a box where the walls are made up of shadows that are ever-changing. Shadows are derived from movement/patterns observed in the natural world and distilled down to their essence. Shadows pulse in and out, reacting live to the music that is playing.”

Andrew Katsikas will also exhibit Computer Beach:

Computer Beach challenges and elevates the medium of 360 video by rejecting realism and emphasizing escapism. By combining the aesthetic of VHS-style “glitch” art, Vaporwave/Psychedelic culture and looping footage of a gorgeous beach in Martha’s Vineyard, we cultivate a hypnotic and transformative experience and make it available to everyone.

Come check them out at the Interactive Show this Saturday 6/16!

The 9th Annual Interactive Show: Self Driving Carbs

NYC Resistor’s Interactive Show returns for its 9th incarnation. Our annual party and fundraiser invites hackers from around the region to show off their cool interactive projects with free beats and beers provided. Tickets $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

This year’s theme is Self-Driving Carbs. Biscuit swarms! A giant edible house! Posters you can chomp on! More projects to be announced soon. Keep checking the Resistor Blog for previews! And don’t worry there will be a gluten-free dance zone.

Grab your tickets now and get ready for a delicious evening of tech and tastiness!

by Becky Stern at June 11, 2018 01:42 PM

June 09, 2018

NYC Resistor

Dat Phan’s Photon Molecule Interactive Origami LED Light Sculpture at the Interactive Show 6/16

Dat Phan will present his origami LED sculpture Photon Molecule at the upcoming Interactive Show on Saturday, July 16.

Photon Molecule is a modular origami piece laced with programmable LEDs. Viewers can interact with the sculpture via a Leap Motion hand-tracking sensor. There’s no meaning behind it; it is just meant to be pretty and fun.

Dat Phan is a recent transplant from San Francisco. While there, he was involved in and drew a lot of influence from the local Art+Tech and Burning Man communities. Although he studied software in school, he loves making tangible work-physical objects that take up space and are part of the environment alongside us. Having developed a love of light via photography, he combines his programming skills and crafting skills to create animated light sculptures. He takes a lot of inspiration from physics and nature and aims to push the aesthetic boundaries of physical lighting effects.

 

The 9th Annual Interactive Show: Self Driving Carbs

NYC Resistor’s Interactive Show returns for its 9th incarnation. Our annual party and fundraiser invites hackers from around the region to show off their cool interactive projects with free beats and beers provided. Tickets $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

This year’s theme is Self-Driving Carbs. Biscuit swarms! A giant edible house! Posters you can chomp on! More projects to be announced soon. Keep checking the Resistor Blog for previews! And don’t worry there will be a gluten-free dance zone.

Grab your tickets now and get ready for a delicious evening of tech and tastiness!

by Becky Stern at June 09, 2018 03:09 PM

June 04, 2018

NYC Resistor

Psychedelic Selfie Maker at The Interactive Show 6/16

 

Randy Sarafan will be exhibiting his Psychedelic Selfie Maker at the upcoming Interactive Show on 6/16. Get more info and pick up your tickets! Randy writes:

The Psychedelic Selfie Maker was initially built to test the sad theory that people would take selfies of themselves taking fractured infinite selfies of themselves. This setup creates infinite video feedback as seen through a teleidoscope. When you stand between the teleidoscope and the rear projection screen, you become part of the infinite feedback and the video gets weird. All of the effects are optical. No special effects processing is done on any of the video.

The 9th Annual Interactive Show: Self Driving Carbs

NYC Resistor’s Interactive Show returns for its 9th incarnation. Our annual party and fundraiser invites hackers from around the region to show off their cool interactive projects with free beats and beers provided. Tickets $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

This year’s theme is Self-Driving Carbs. Biscuit swarms! A giant edible house! Posters you can chomp on! More projects to be announced soon. Keep checking the Resistor Blog for previews! And don’t worry there will be a gluten-free dance zone.

Grab your tickets now and get ready for a delicious evening of tech and tastiness!

by Becky Stern at June 04, 2018 03:46 PM

May 18, 2018

adafruit industries blog

NEW GUIDE: PiGlass, a DIY wearable computer #AdafruitLearningSystem

PiGlass is a DIY wearable computer!

PiGlass can be used to take HD pictures and videos, those files get automatically uploaded to Dropbox via a Wi-Fi connection.. You can stream music from your phone to PiGlass with Bluetooth as well as stream YouTube audio with mps-youtube. A bone conduction transducer can be added to be used instead of headphones. YouTube videos can be streamed to PiGlass using the RaspiCast app for Android, the camera on PiGlass can be livestreamed to YouTube.

You can control PiGlass, once assembled, via your phone via SSH over Wi-Fi.

piglass wearable computer

The step-by-step guide walks you through the design and implementation using a Raspberry Pi Zero.

Check out the full guide on the Adafruit Learning System here!

 

by Mike Barela at May 18, 2018 01:39 PM

April 11, 2018

adafruit industries blog

Custom Connector for 1980s-Era Canon X-07 Serial Port | #retrocomputing #3Dprinting

Amazing post from Ketturi electronics designing a custom adapter for a 35-year-old retro computer:

Canon X-07 is great little handheld retro computer. But being Canon, nothin is standard. Canon has always insisted using weird proprietary connector for devices, and usually it is impossible to find connectors that would fit them. This is also a case with X-07. It uses weird connectors for serial- and parallel ports. They look bit like a normal D-sub connector, and D-sub connector almost fits into them, but it is not a good fit. I wanted to make new connector that matches X-07’s serial port perfectly, so I took my callipers and 3D cad and started to work.

Read more here.


 

I soldered cable on contacts. Printed partes were not installed during soldering, and white acrylic pin holder did not melt like printed parts would have been. I also installed small strain relief rubber jacket over cable. Other end is just terminated with normal pin-header style connector, so that I can plug it into USB -> TTL serial port adapter. X-07 uses ~5V logic in the serial port, and it cannot be connected to normal RS232 port without level converter circuitry. There is also 4.6V output from batteries in one pin, that could power level converter, IR transmitter or maybe even bluetooth serial adapter. Connector also has software switchable 38,4kHz signal for infrared transmission modulation.

Read more.

by nicknormal at April 11, 2018 11:41 AM

March 14, 2018

adafruit industries blog

Researchers from University of Tokyo & Dai Nippon Printing Develop Wearable E-Skin Sensors and Displays Using Micro LEDs | #WearableWednesday

A new ultrathin, elastic display that fits snugly on the skin can show the moving waveform of an electrocardiogram recorded by a breathable, on-skin electrode sensor. Combined with a wireless communication module, this integrated biomedical sensor system – called “skin electronics” – can transmit biometric data to the cloud.

This latest research by a Japanese academic-industrial collaboration, led by Professor Takao Someya at the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Engineering, is slated for a news briefing and talk at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas on February 17th.

Thanks to advances in semiconductor technology, wearable devices can now monitor health by first measuring vital signs or taking an electrocardiogram, and then transmitting the data wirelessly to a smartphone. The readings or electrocardiogram waveforms can be displayed on the screen in real time, or sent to either the cloud or a memory device where the information is stored.


 
Read more here, h/t engadget for the story.


Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

by nicknormal at March 14, 2018 03:35 PM

January 22, 2018

uC Hobby

$5.00 Buck/Boost Power Supply Module from China

A quick look at a power supply module I recently picked up from China via eBay.  Listed as: “DC-DC Step Up Down Boost buck Voltage Converter Module LM2577S LM2596S Power N2” at a price of $3.20+$1.85 shipping.  Input 4-35V, Output Adjustable from 1.25 to 25V. Current adjustable 0 to 2Amps.  There are three 10-turn adjustments for […]

by uCHobby at January 22, 2018 07:00 AM

January 19, 2018

NYC Resistor

Fireflies: camera-based musical instruments

camera-based instrument in concert

We asked Adelle and Matt about their camera-based musical instruments. Here’s what they said.

What’s a camera-based musical instrument?  Basically, it’s two cameras facing upwards, about a foot below a player’s hands.  When they move their hand, it’s converted into different types of notes, sound effects and volumes, to create an expressive performance.

Three fireflies under construction

We made 3 of these.  The form was shaped like a musical soundwave: we prototyped it on the laser cutter, and eventually got it CNC milled.

This is part of the CES Intel Keynote pre-show performance. It was the opening of the show, to show off the instruments’ nuance and control before the concert gets too big. The middle instrument was piano sounds; the one on the right was synths and electronics; the one on the left was chords and atmosphere. The show opened dark: the performer, Kevin Doucette, used his hands to bring up the lights on the instrument as well as the synthesisers, then waved his hands to switch keys on a virtual keyboard.   Kevin played the Killers’ “Are we human or are we dancers?”.

In this instance, the performer is wearing gloves with sensors in them, and is using finger bends to trigger notes.  Yes, it looks like a theramin – but it’s way cooler and has blinkenlights.  But seriously, the LEDs are there to show the musician where they are on the instrument and the types of notes that they’re playing (ed: but they’re still cool).

We built this instrument to use the cameras (they’re good at doing fast hand tracking and depth); we added the LEDs because if you have an invisible instrument you don’t know where you are, and the LEDs give feedback to train your hand in space.

Firefly generations

Here’s the lasercut and CNC versions side by side: here, we’re doing LED tests.

(insides of the camera-based instrument)

Here are the insides: the frame, the LED controller and the acrylic housing around them.  The cameras are Realsense.  There are two programs (developed by Nerdmatics) running on linux in the back end, and TouchDesigner to control the lighting.

Firefly guts

Here are the guts of the instrument

Realsense cameras

Here are the cameras

Camera teardown

And the camera teardown

Come talk to us about this project!

by SJ Terp at January 19, 2018 01:00 PM

January 02, 2018

adafruit industries blog

TOAZ (Transformative Orientation-Aware Zootype) is a 4-Legged Quadrupedal Robot | #robots

Check out the video below to see TOAZ in action – that’s a pretty neat maneuver how it can lay flat and then upright itself, and those ‘spider dance’ moves are pretty wild! The project is available here on GitHub with full parts list here.

TOAZ [ Transformative Orientation-Aware Zootype ] is the world first Open-Source Carbon Fiber Transformable 4-Legs Robot. It is build based on Adafruit Feather Development Platform.

Thanks Iok for sending this in!



by nicknormal at January 02, 2018 04:38 PM

December 19, 2017

adafruit industries blog

8-Bit “Rickrolling” Jingle Strikes Cornell Campus | #prank

You can see the battery (likely a CR2032) and speaker unit in the image above – but there’s no word on the brain of the device. The Cornell Daily Sun reports on someone pranking fellow students with a jingle that we all know and appreciate:

For more than a week, students and staff in at least four campus buildings heard a five-second tune, but couldn’t pinpoint exactly where it was coming from.

Some ignored it. Others questioned if they might be imagining things after one too many all-nighters. Many wondered where the noises, which began around Halloween, were coming from and what was producing them.

“It was driving me crazy all week,” said Fred Cederstrom, a student manager at Temple of Zeus in Klarman Hall.

“Every day, you just got madder and madder,” Patty Dennison ’18 said, recalling that she and others finally became accustomed to the noise that permeated the Statler Hall lounge every 30-or-so minutes.

The eight-bit tune (click here to listen) is a sample of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up,” and hundreds of students in at least four buildings — Statler, Duffield, Klarman and Gates halls — have been repeatedly “Rickrolled” for more than a week by devices they suspect were placed by a prankster or pranksters.

As soon as Cederstrom recognized the song, he thought, “Oh no. I get it now.”

Read more.

by nicknormal at December 19, 2017 06:37 PM

December 11, 2017

uC Hobby

Bad Desk Lamp + 3D Printing = Cool Camera Mount + Useful hand Magnifier

I recently purchased a hot-air gun + soldering iron station from X-Tronic which came with a desk lamp magnifier.  The desk lamp was not functional so I took it apart to fix.  It was made so poorly, I considered it too dangerous to use.  It went on the scrap pile. Today, I decided to make […]

by uCHobby at December 11, 2017 08:02 AM

December 08, 2017

adafruit industries blog

GEMMA and CircuitPython: Moar guide updates! MOAR!

Adafruit’s new GEMMA M0 wearable microcontroller comes with CircuitPython support fresh from the factory. Plug it into USB and use any text editor to open and edit the “.py” file…it’s just that simple, no IDE to install!

We’re updating most of our “classic” GEMMA guides on the Adafruit Learning System to provide example CircuitPython code for the new board along with the original Arduino sketches, and bringing the latter up-to-date where needed. GEMMA M0 can run either one.

With something like 160 GEMMA-related guides in the Adafruit Learning System, watch for updates in small batches. Here are the latest:


NeoPixel Ring Bangle Bracelet — Wear a bangle of light! Build a charming bracelet from four NeoPixel rings and GEMMA, Adafruit’s tiny wearable electronics platform.


Larson Scanner Shades — A simple cyberpunk/Tronpunk fashion project!


3D Printed NeoPixel Ring Hair Dress — Here’s an elegant wearables project for those really special occasions. A 3D Printed LED Hair Dress, powered by an NeoPixel ring and Gemma, Adafruit’s tiny yet powerful wearables micro-controller.

Logan’s Run Hand Jewel LED — In this guide, you’ll learn how to build a bright glowing light that can be used for cosplay elements, decor and wearables. The circuit and components are fully contained in a 3D printed cylindrical enclosure.

Kaleidoscope Eyes (Trinket-Powered NeoPixel LED Ring Goggles) — Fashion headwear for cyberpunks, steampunks and Daft Punks.

by PhilB at December 08, 2017 11:10 PM