Arduino Planet

October 16, 2018

adafruit industries blog

The Computers That Changed the World

Computers That Changed the World A Seattle museum

A Seattle museum keeps its vintage computers in working order, so that visitors can experience the evolution of the machine.

Lath Carlson might have the best job in the world. He oversees the world’s largest working collection of vintage computers in his role as executive director of Living Computers: Museum + Labs, a Seattle public museum created in 2006 by Microsoft co-founder, the late Paul G. Allen.
Earlier this year, Carlson oversaw the museum’s most ambitious temporary exhibit yet, “Totally 80s Rewind.” Stocked with usable computers, it recreates an ’80s classroom, video game arcade and basement rec room. It’s open through December 31, after which the museum will add 2,000 square feet of climate-controlled floor space for more mainframe computers.

See the entire article on Smithsonian.

by Mike Barela at October 16, 2018 09:37 PM

Introducing Arm Mbed Linux OS @armMbed @arm #OpenSource #Linux

Arm Mbed Linux OS

Arm is expanding the Mbed family with a brand-new operating system, Arm Mbed Linux OS, for Cortex-A processors targeting long term Internet of Things (IOT).

A few of the highlights planned:

  • Secure, signed boot and signed updates to protect against unauthorised changes.
  • Applications can be deployed in OCI compliant containers
  • Integration with Pelion for device provisioning, connectivity and updates.
  • The option of full, commercial support for customers
  • Tools to help you get prototyping and demoing quickly
  • Both the Mbed Linux OS and our test suites will be open source

See the info at mbed.com.

by Mike Barela at October 16, 2018 08:58 PM

NES Music Emulated on an ESP32 Microcontroller @lixielabs #Nintendo #NES

Connor Nishijima at Lixie Labs brings us emulated Nintendo NES music using the inexpensive ESP32 and the Arduino IDE!

I’ve taken the chore upon myself to emulate the quirky Ricoh 2A03 APU from the Nintendo Entertainment System on an ESP32! (Using the horribly inconsistently labeled APU information at NesDev.com)

I’m sharing a library which now lets you take almost any NES music from http://vgmrips.net/ and play it on command with an ESP32 with nothing but a speaker and some wires. 🙂

The “Cartridge” library is here: https://github.com/connornishijima/Cartridge

by Mike Barela at October 16, 2018 08:46 PM

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

Fall Open House

Evil Mad Scientist Sign

You’re invited to our annual open house!

When: Saturday, November 10, 4 pm to 8 pm
Where: Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories
1285 Forgewood Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94089

You can see the MOnSter 6502 in action, check out an AxiDraw demonstration, maybe meet Zener the cat (she’s not fond of parties), do some shopping if the mood strikes, and share in food and conversation.

by Lenore Edman at October 16, 2018 04:38 PM

SparkFun Electronics News

Interactive Spooky Halloween Cat

As we approach the end of October, the spooky Halloween energy is starting to find its way into my world. I’m not much of a Halloween-er myself, but I have always felt that Halloween is an excellent excuse to show off your killer maker skills, creativity and maybe even scare some folks. This week I made a little interactive Halloween decoration that activates when someone walks by.

My Interactive Spooky Halloween Cat consists of a plastic skeleton cat I found at Michaels and an enclosure that I laser cut from black acrylic. Inside the enclosure is a SparkFun BlackBoard as the brains of the project, an Ultrasonic Sensor for distance sensing, a Qwiic MP3 Trigger Board to add some hissing sound effects, a small hamburger speaker for the sound, a small servo motor to create motion in the cat’s jaw, 16 WS2812 LEDs to create the red light and a small breadboard to make the circuit building quick and easy. A full list of parts used in this project can be found here.

interactive halloween cat

Let's take a look at how this project interacts with the world around it. When a user enters within 100 cm of the ultrasonic sensor, the skeleton and eye sockets light up, it makes a loud, angry hissing sound, and the jaw begins moving up and down.

In order to accomplish this interaction (in addition to the circuitry described further down), the servo motor is connected to a clear strand of fishing line tied to the bottom of the cat’s jaw bone, so when the servo pulls back, the jaw opens up. I also added some white elastic tied to the top and bottom part of the jaw, kind of like a rubber band on braces, ensuring the jaw closes when the servo pushes back forward. I cut small sound holes in the enclosure above where the speaker is to get the best out of the sound.

I also made some modifications to the WS2812 LEDs. First, I cut two individual LEDs from the strip and soldered them together with hook-up wire at a distance of about one half-inch. Then, I connected these via hook-up wire to the remaining 14 LEDs on the rest of the strip. I unscrewed the cat’s skull to remove it from the body and open it up, then carefully drilled holes in the eye sockets, behind which I glued my two individual LEDs. Then I put the head back together and onto on the rest of the skeleton. Finally, I carefully hot glued the remainder of the LEDs down the inside of the cat's spine.

Below is a photograph of the circuit I used in this project. Because some of the parts I used are not available for frtizing diagrams, and because it is hard to see all the connections, I created the table below the image to outline each connection used in this project.

interactive cat circuit

PART / PIN CONNECTION
WS2812 Strip VCC 5V on SparkFun BlackBoard
WS2812 GND GND on SparkFun Black Board
WS2812 DIN Pin 6 on SparkFun BlackBoard
Small Servo VCC 5V on the SparkFun BlackBoard
Small Servo GND GND on SparkFun BlackBoard
Small Servo Data Pin Pin 9 on SparkFun BlackBoard
UltraSonic Sensor GND GND on SparkFun BlackBoard
UltraSonic Sensor VCC 5V on the SparkFun BlackBoard
UltraSonic Sensor Echo Pin Pin 12 on SparkFun BlackBoard
UltraSonic Sensor Trig Pin Pin 13 on SparkFun BlackBoard
Qwiic MP3 Trigger Connect to Qwiic connector on SpakrFun BlackBoard via Qwiic Cable
Hamburger Speaker Jack Audio Jack on Qwiic MP3 trigger

My program for this project can be found below. You will notice there are two programs included. The first is the program specific for this project’s interaction. The second is written for interfacing with the MP3 Trigger Shield and should be pasted into a second tab in your Arduino IDE. The MP3 Trigger code has all been picked up from Nate’s example code for this board, which allowed me to add sound incredibly easily!

Interaction Code:

/*Interactive Halloween Cat Sketch by Melissa Felderman for SparkFun Electrnoics October 2018
MP3 trigger control taken from example code by Nathan Seidle:                 https://cdn.sparkfun.com/assets/d/d/e/a/1/Qwiic_MP3_Trigger_Examples.zip */

#include <Adafruit_NeoPixel.h>
#include <Wire.h>
#include <Servo.h>

byte mp3Address = 0x37; //Unshifted 7-bit default address for Qwiic MP3

#define PIN 6
#define numPix 16
#define trigPin 13
#define echoPin 12

bool state = true;


Servo myservo;
Adafruit_NeoPixel strip = Adafruit_NeoPixel(numPix, PIN, NEO_GRB + NEO_KHZ800);


void setup() {
  Serial.begin(9600);
  pinMode(trigPin, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(echoPin, INPUT);

  Wire.begin();
  strip.begin();
  myservo.attach(9);

  myservo.write(180);
  mp3ChangeVolume(31); //Volume can be 0 (off) to 31 (max)
}

void loop() {
  long duration, distance;
  digitalWrite(trigPin, LOW);  // Added this line
  delayMicroseconds(2); // Added this line
  digitalWrite(trigPin, HIGH);
  //  delayMicroseconds(1000); - Removed this line
  delayMicroseconds(10); // Added this line
  digitalWrite(trigPin, LOW);
  duration = pulseIn(echoPin, HIGH);
  distance = (duration / 2) / 29.1;

 if (distance < 100) {  // This is where the LED On/Off happens


    mp3PlayTrack(1);
    for (int i = 0; i < numPix; i++) {
      strip.setPixelColor(i, 255, 0, 0);
    } strip.show();

    for (int i = 0; i < 8; i++){
    myservo.write(90);
    delay(1000);
    myservo.write(180);
    delay(1000);
    }
  }

  else {
    for (int i = 0; i < numPix; i++) {
      strip.setPixelColor(i, 0, 0, 0);
    } strip.show();
    myservo.write(180);


  }
  if (distance >= 100 || distance <= 0) {
    Serial.println("Out of range");
  }
  else {
    Serial.print(distance);
    Serial.println(" cm");
  }
  delay(500);
}

MP3 Trigger Code by Nate:

//These are the commands we can send
#define COMMAND_STOP 0x00
#define COMMAND_PLAY_TRACK 0x01 //Play a given track number like on a CD: regardless of file names plays 2nd file in dir.
#define COMMAND_PLAY_FILENUMBER 0x02 //Play a file # from the root directory: 3 will play F003xxx.mp3
#define COMMAND_PAUSE 0x03 //Will pause if playing, or starting playing if paused
#define COMMAND_PLAY_NEXT 0x04
#define COMMAND_PLAY_PREVIOUS 0x05
#define COMMAND_SET_EQ 0x06
#define COMMAND_SET_VOLUME 0x07
#define COMMAND_GET_SONG_COUNT 0x08 //Note: This causes song to stop playing
#define COMMAND_GET_SONG_NAME 0x09 //Fill global array with 8 characters of the song name
#define COMMAND_GET_PLAY_STATUS 0x0A
#define COMMAND_GET_CARD_STATUS 0x0B
#define COMMAND_GET_VERSION 0x0C
#define COMMAND_SET_ADDRESS 0xC7

//Checks the status of the player to see if MP3 is playing
//Returns true if song is playing
boolean mp3IsPlaying()
{
  mp3Command(COMMAND_GET_PLAY_STATUS);

  delay(20); //Give the QMP3 time to get the status byte from MP3 IC before we ask for it

  //01: play, 02: stop, 03: pause
  byte playStatus = mp3GetResponse();
  if(playStatus == 0x01) return(true);
  return(false);
}

//Plays a given track number
//Think of this like a CD. The user can arrange the order of MP3s
//however. playTrack(4) will play whatever is in the 4th file.
void mp3PlayTrack(byte trackNumber)
{
  mp3Command(COMMAND_PLAY_TRACK, trackNumber); //Play track  
}

//Plays a file that has been named specifically. 
//For example: passing in 6 will play F006xxx.mp3
void mp3PlayFile(byte fileNumber)
{
  mp3Command(COMMAND_PLAY_FILENUMBER, fileNumber); //Play file number  
}

//Stop playing the current track
void mp3Stop()
{
  mp3Command(COMMAND_STOP);
}

//Change the equalizer to one of 6 types
void mp3ChangeEQ(byte eqType)
{
  //0-normal, 1-pop, 2-rock, 3-jazz, 4-classical, 5-bass
  mp3Command(COMMAND_SET_EQ, eqType); //Change equalizer to bass
}

//Get the current status of the Qwiic MP3
byte mp3Status()
{
  return(mp3GetResponse());
}

//Checks to see if MP3 player has a valid SD card
boolean mp3HasCard()
{
  mp3Command(COMMAND_GET_CARD_STATUS);

  delay(20); //Give the QMP3 time to get the status byte from MP3 IC before we ask for it

  return(mp3GetResponse());
}

//Get the 8 characters of the song currently playing
String mp3SongName()
{
  String thisSongName = "";
  mp3Command(COMMAND_GET_SONG_NAME);

  delay(50); //Give the QMP3 time to get the name from MP3 IC before we ask for it

  Wire.requestFrom(mp3Address, 8); //Song names are max 8 chars

  while(Wire.available())
  {
    thisSongName += (char)Wire.read();
  }
  return(thisSongName);
}

//Get the number of songs on the SD card (in root and subfolders)
//Limited to 255
byte mp3SongCount()
{
  mp3Command(COMMAND_GET_SONG_COUNT); //Get current song count

  delay(50); //Give the QMP3 time to get the count from MP3 IC before we ask for it

  return(mp3GetResponse());
}

//Change volume to zero (off) to 31 (max)
void mp3ChangeVolume(byte volumeLevel)
{
  mp3Command(COMMAND_SET_VOLUME, volumeLevel); //Change volume
}

//Play the next track
//Think of this like a CD. The audio files can be in any order. The user
//sets the file order. This plays the next one.
void mp3PlayNext()
{
  mp3Command(COMMAND_PLAY_NEXT);
}

//Play the previous track
//Think of this like a CD. The audio files can be in any order. The user
//sets the file order. This plays the previous one.
void mp3PlayPrevious()
{
  mp3Command(COMMAND_PLAY_PREVIOUS);
}

//Checks to see if Qwiic MP3 is responding over I2C
boolean mp3IsPresent()
{
  Wire.beginTransmission(mp3Address);
  if (Wire.endTransmission() != 0)
    return(false); //Sensor did not ACK
  return(true);
}

//Pause a currently playing song, or begin playing if current track is paused
boolean mp3Pause()
{
  mp3Command(COMMAND_PAUSE);
}

//Change the I2C address
//If you forget what address you've set the QMP3 to then close the
//ADR jumper. This will force the I2C address to 0x36
boolean mp3ChangeAddress(byte address)
{
  mp3Command(COMMAND_SET_ADDRESS, address);
  mp3Address = address; //Change the global variable to match the new address
}

//Send command to Qwiic MP3 with options
boolean mp3Command(byte command, byte option)
{
  Wire.beginTransmission(mp3Address);
  Wire.write(command);
  Wire.write(option);
  if (Wire.endTransmission() != 0)
    return(false); //Sensor did not ACK
  return(true);
}

//Send just a command to Qwiic MP3
boolean mp3Command(byte command)
{
  Wire.beginTransmission(mp3Address);
  Wire.write(command);
  if (Wire.endTransmission() != 0)
    return(false); //Sensor did not ACK
  return(true);
}

//Ask for a byte from Qwiic MP3
//The response depends on what the last command was
//It is often the system status but can be song count or volume level
byte mp3GetResponse()
{
  Wire.requestFrom(mp3Address, 1);

  if (Wire.available())
    return (Wire.read());

  Serial.println("Error: Sensor did not respond");
  return(0);
}

//Returns the firmware version as a float
float mp3GetVersion()
{
  mp3Command(COMMAND_GET_VERSION);

  Wire.requestFrom(mp3Address, 2); //2 bytes for Version

  if (Wire.available() == 0) return 0;
  float versionNumber = Wire.read();
  versionNumber += (float)Wire.read() / 10.0;

  return (versionNumber);
}

I hope you enjoyed reading about this project and that it inspired you to get spooky with your projects this Halloween. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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by Melissa Felderman at October 16, 2018 03:22 PM

Dangerous Prototypes

Shenzhen to Hong Kong on High Speed Rail

excitement

Even though Shenzhen and Hong Kong are basically the same city on opposite sides of a border, it’s still a frustratingly long trip to Hong Kong Central for a Reuben at Morty’s Deli. The new high speed rail line linking downtown Shenzhen to downtown Hong Kong makes the trip in just 15 minutes. A lot of frequent travelers are hoping it just got a lot easier to eat delicious pastrami on a whim, but with all the formalities of Chinese rail will it really cut the travel time? We jumped on to find out!

futian-station-2

Futian Railway Station is two metro stops from the Huaqiangbei electronics market, in the Futian Central Business District. It’s always empty, despite being several years old and absolutely massive. Unlike most Chinese rail stations, it’s actually in the middle of the city.

futian-tickets

It usually takes less than 10 minutes to collect tickets and go through the security checks. Shenzhen North station is on the same high speed rail line, but it’s so busy that it often takes more than an hour to get into the station. Foreigners can’t use the ticket vending machines, so we had to go to the window and hand over our passports to buy tickets from a human.

futian-security

Security checks make Chinese high speed rail more like flying out of an airport. Identity check, baggage x-ray, metal detector, and finally a manual pat-down. This is where Futian station really shines – it’s so empty that security takes less than a minute. Security in Shenzhen North can take 30 minutes or more.

boarding

Everyone riding the train was super excited. It was the same atmosphere as when the A380 was a new and exciting airplane to ride. Lots of pictures and selfies.

cover

This train has the Hong Kong MTR logo on the side, and seems to serve only Futian and Kong Kong stations. There were no other passengers on the train from stations further north when we boarded.

business-cabin

Second class tickets are around $9, first class is around $15. About the same price as taking the metro.

This is the first class cabin. Some trains also have a tourist class or business class with lay-flat seats, but at $50 it seems a bit too posh for a 15 minute train ride.

speed-display

Maximum speed was around 180 km/h. The entire trip is in an underground tunnel so there’s not much to see. The WIFI didn’t seem to work, but there was 4G mobile data during the whole ride.

border

In Hong Kong there’s a joint border crossing for both Hong Kong and China. After getting off the train you go through immigration to leave China, walk a bit, then show your passport to get into Hong Kong. Chinese immigration does a customs check on the way out, every bag of any size has to go through an x-ray machine.

kowloon-west-station

Kowloon West Station is magnificent, but also a bit of a chaotic mess. It’s also not really anywhere useful, it’s a ten minute walk through malls to find a metro to Hong Kong Central.

kowloon-west-ticket-windows

Returning to Shenzhen is much less convenient. The line to purchase tickets is super long, like the line for the Hong Kong Airport McDonald’s. The line to pickup tickets purchased via apps is more reasonable, like the line for the Hong Kong Airport Popeye’s. As in China, foreigners can’t buy tickets at the vending machines. After seeing this mess we decided it would be faster and more pleasant to catch the metro back instead.

Takeaways

From our door to Morty’s Deli in Central usually takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes using a cross border bus or the metro. It took about 1 hour and 15 minutes using high speed rail. A half hour faster isn’t bad, but it also takes a lot of planning. Tickets need to be purchased in advance, timing at the station needs to be just right, and West Kowloon isn’t exactly a useful location in Hong Kong.

Coming back to Shenzhen from Hong Kong seems like it could take even longer than a bus or metro. There’s huge crowds picking up tickets for destinations all over mainland China, so ticket collection takes forever. That means arriving early to get the tickets, then extra waiting around for a scheduled train. It’s so much easier to step onto the next metro back to Shenzhen and enjoy the ride.

Even if high speed rail is consistently faster, the experience of doing it requires all the focus and planning of catching a flight at an airport. We’ll take it from Shenzhen Futian to Hong Kong in the future, but with so much planning involved it’s always going to be easier to take the metro back.

by Ian at October 16, 2018 08:22 AM

October 15, 2018

Dangerous Prototypes

Yet another Masterplay clone

masterplay_clone_top

Dr. Scott M. Baker made a Masterplay clone:

The Masterplay was originally a device that allowed Atari 2600 digital joysticks to be used with the Atari 5200. In this post, I describe a masterplay clone that I created.
The analog controllers for the Atari 5200 are (in)famous for their poor feel and performance. The analog stick, while a really good idea at the time, doesn’t have a decent return-to-center feature. As the vast majority of the games for the 5200 do not make use of the analog capability, this feature while innovative, is far more of a drawback than a benefit. As such, there have grown to be a number of different solutions for connecting Atari 2600 sticks to the 5200.

See the full post on Dr. Scott M. Baker blog.

by DP at October 15, 2018 11:46 PM

NYC Resistor

Gowanus Open Studios 2018 on Sun, Oct 21

NYC Resistor is proud to be participating in Gowanus Open Studios 2018Visit us Sunday, Oct 21st, 12-6pm

NYC Resistor will be one of 300+ neighborhood artists opening their doors for free to show their works and creative spaces. We will be presenting several projects made by some of our imaginative members.  Come see a diverse range of projects, including lamps, textiles, wearables, general crafts and new media.

Gowanus Open Studios will also be a good opportunity to visit NYC Resistor to learn about our space and how to explore your own creativity! Members will be on hand to talk about the classes, activities and resources we offer regularly throughout the year.

Note:

We will only be open on Sunday, October 21st. NYC Resistor will be closed on Saturday, October 20th for a private class.

When:

Sunday, October 21st, 12-6pm    (Closed Saturday, October 20th)

Where:

87 3rd Ave, 4th Floor

Brooklyn, NY 11217

Cost:

Free

 

More information about Gowanus Open Studios 2018, including listings of participating artists and where to find printed maps:

https://www.artsgowanus.org/gos-2018/

 


 

by Classes at October 15, 2018 05:52 PM

Arduino Blog

Neon skulls illuminate to the MIDI beat

LEDs, whether single-color or programmable, have enabled makers to create a wide variety of vibrant projects at a reasonable price. Neon sign projects, which require sophisticated glass making techniques as well as high voltage for control aren’t as common, but do still have their adherents. Some have even experimented with making them sound reactive.

Up until now, sound control meant using a microphone to detect audio signals and flash accordingly. David Garges, however, is using an Arduino Leonardo equipped with an Olimex MIDI shield to individually activate three neon skulls, crafted by artist Dani Bonnet. 

His setup can be programmed via MIDI directly, or can use beat analysis software to activate the proper lights depending on audio output. 

There has been much desire in the Neon Art community for clean and responsive musical interaction with high-voltage Neon Signs. Currently, the existing infrastructure uses a microphone to detect audio and flash accordingly. Unfortunately, due to this method of processing the Neon always responds with a small delay. Clapping and shouting can also disrupt the interaction when using an on-board microphone.

This project solves that problem by transmitting musical data via MIDI protocol to a controller which activates then activates Neon Tubes accordingly. I have designed and built a system that takes a slightly different approach but accomplishes what the Neon Art community desires.

This project offers two performance modes: one that allows for electronic artists to perform seamlessly using MIDI instruments, and one that allows DJs to feed BPM analysis to the system to synchronize the Neon flashing with actual recorded music which enables Real-Time Audio-Controlled Neon.

Be sure to check out the demo in the video below!

by Arduino Team at October 15, 2018 01:48 PM

SparkFun Electronics News

VCSELs and Distance Sensing

In order to see stuff, electronically or otherwise, you have you have to first bounce something off of the stuff you want to see, then wait for some of what bounced off to bounce back at you. Then you do some math and figure stuff out. To figure out a distance from our eyes, the math stems from having two cameras at known angles. And while we can duplicate that function electronically, we more frequently use only one sensor and calculate based on known velocity of the something we hurled at the stuff we wanted to see at the time of hurling.

So, what if something is there that we can hurl at a known velocity? Well, we’ve tried rocks, and then very small rocks (it’s left as an exercise for the reader to prove why rocks are a bad choice)… but what works way better than rocks is sound because it always travels at a more-or-less known velocity. And what works way better than sound is a laser because it’s faster, less susceptible to atmospheric disturbances with much greater range, more accurate… the list goes on. In the field of range finding, lasers feature prominently. But the expense of the laser itself, among other things, has kept laser-based range finding devices relatively expensive compared to sonic varieties.

Typical laser diodes are called “edge emitters” because of the structure of the silicon that comprise them, as shown below.

alt text

https://www.photonics.com/images/Web/Articles/2007/1/1/Intel_HybridLaser_Fig2.jpg

What you’re looking at above is a somewhat generalized cross-section of a hybrid silicon laser, which is what you’d typically find in a laser diode. While you (and I) may not have the physics background to grok all that you see there, the big takeaway here is that the optical output is on the edge of that pile of layers, thus edge emitting, and the output waveguide isn’t accessible until the silicon is cut to expose it. For that reason, large-scale production and testing can become problematic.

An alternative is to make what’s called a VCSEL, or Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser. In a VCSEL, the laser output is orthogonal to the surface of the silicon, as shown below.

alt text

https://materion.com/resource-center/newsletters/materials-news-stats-and-chats/vcsel-technology-now-invading-homes

In a nutshell, the lasing action happens in the quantum well between two distributed Bragg reflectors (DBR). The top DBR is slightly less reflective than the bottom, releasing light from the top when it achieves enough energy.

Comparing the two technologies with regard to manufacturability, the VCSEL diagram is deceivingly simple. Making edge emitters is a pain because it involves grafting two wafers together for 12 hours, as well as the previous point that you can’t test them until you’re virtually done with all the labor to make them. But the VCSEL device is comprised of many, many layers that have very tight control tolerances.

alt text

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertical-cavity_surface-emitting_laser#/media/File:Real_vcsel.svg

Courtesy of Wikipedia, that’s an exploded view of a bottom-emitting VCSEL you see above. But as you can see, there’s nothing simple about the internal structure. As far as difficulty in manufacturing either of the technologies, it might be a wash between the two (I welcome commentary on this point).

The really awesome thing about VCSELs is that because they’re vertical, you can put a zillion of them on a single wafer, offsetting some of the process cost. You can also test them before you go to the extra step of busting them out of the larger die, potentially saving more time. Plus, you can also get some really cool 2D laser arrays (that should make any nerd drool).

VCSEL’s aren’t particularly new technology, conceptually dating back to the 1960’s. They tend to be found in low-ish-power applications, but that’s not a hard-and-fast rule. They can be readily found in lots of fiber optic stuff, computer mice, laser printers, and of course ToF (Time of Flight) range finding circuits - we currently sell a couple of varieties that are based on VCSEL technology.

If you want to up your laser game, VCSEL or otherwise (and who doesn’t!), check out these additional resources:

Hybrid Silicon Lasers

VCSEL’s

Laser Diodes

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by Peter Dokter at October 15, 2018 01:00 PM

October 14, 2018

Dangerous Prototypes

Free PCB Sunday: Pick your PCB

BP-600x373

We go through a lot of prototype PCBs, and end up with lots of extras that we’ll never use. Every Sunday we give away a few PCBs from one of our past or future projects, or a related prototype. Our PCBs are made through Seeed Studio’s Fusion board service. This week two random commenters will get a coupon code for the free PCB drawer tomorrow morning. Pick your own PCB. You get unlimited free PCBs now – finish one and we’ll send you another! Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • Be sure to use a real e-mail in the address field so we can contact you with the coupon.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.
  • PCBs are scrap and have no value, due to limited supply it is not possible to replace a board lost in the post

Be the first to comment, subscribe to the RSS feed.

by DP at October 14, 2018 11:37 PM

October 12, 2018

SparkFun Electronics News

Friday Product Post: Get Your Kit On!

This Friday we have a brand new soldering kit for beginners that teaches you how to make a flashlight, just in time for Halloween! We also have the new Soft Circuits Kit from ChickTech that covers the basics of e-textiles and wearables, an updated version of the OpenMV, two antennas for your GPS/GNSS devices, and additional parts for your Shapeoko and Nomad CNC mills!

As a reminder, One Day Only Sales are back for the month of October, so we’ll be having flash sales on a wide selection of breakout boards every weekday from now until October 26th. Just check the featured content at the top of the homepage each weekday for the new deal! In addition to our breakout board flash sales, we’ll also be taking 15 percent off most of our Qwiic boards through October 31st. Unfortunately, SparkX items aren’t included, but those are a great deal if you’re looking to be on the cutting edge of SparkFun’s product development.

Learn the Basics of Soldering and Circuits!

SparkFun Basic Flashlight Soldering Kit

SparkFun Basic Flashlight Soldering Kit

KIT-14877
$4.95

Are you new to soldering? This Flashlight Soldering Kit is an easy-to-assemble soldering kit designed to help teach the basics of through-hole soldering and circuit design. This kit only requires you to solder four unique parts onto a PCB and insert a CR2032 battery. Once completed, you will have a simple flashlight that will light up dark areas and keep the monsters away!


ChickTech Soft Circuits Kit

ChickTech Soft Circuits Kit

KIT-14993
$99.95

ChickTech’s Soft Circuits Kit is a fun combination of electronics, software and art! Using the materials in the kit, you’ll learn the basics of electronic circuits and coding with Arduino by creating a LED bracelet and a unique and interactive totebag - no prior experience necessary! To design your own soft circuits, you’ll learn to sew so that electricity flows, code with the LilyPad Arduino and create plenty of exciting projects!


OpenMV M7 Camera

OpenMV M7 Camera

SEN-14985
$65.00

The OpenMV M7 Camera is a small, low-power microcontroller board that allows you to easily implement applications using machine vision in the real world. The best part about the OpenMV is that it is not only capable of image capture, but also face detection, color tracking, QR code reading and plenty more. If you are looking for an economical camera module boasting multiple high-end features, look no further than the OpenMV M7!


GPS/GNSS Magnetic Mount Antenna SMA - 3m

GPS/GNSS Magnetic Mount Antenna SMA - 3m

GPS-14986
$12.95
GPS/GNSS Embedded Antenna SMA - 1m

GPS/GNSS Embedded Antenna SMA - 1m

GPS-14987
$59.95

Today we also have two new antennas for your GPS and GNSS devices! One is a Magnetic Mount Antenna and the other is an Embedded Antenna. Make sure to check them both out!


Precision Collet and Nut (for Dewalt DWP611)

Precision Collet and Nut (for Dewalt DWP611)

TOL-15037
$25.00
Collet and Nut - 0.25in. (ER-11)

Collet and Nut - 0.25in. (ER-11)

TOL-15038
$25.00
Edge Finder

Edge Finder

TOL-15039
$18.00
Zrn Coated Flat Cutter - 0.0625in. Diameter, #112-Z (2 Pack)

Zrn Coated Flat Cutter - 0.0625in. Diameter, #112-Z (2 Pack)

TOL-15040
$30.00
Downcut Flat Cutter - 0.25in Diameter, #251 (2 Pack)

Downcut Flat Cutter - 0.25in Diameter, #251 (2 Pack)

TOL-15041
$45.00

To help with all your CNC needs we also have five brand new accessories, including two new drills, collets and an edge finder! Make sure to look through them all and see if there is anything you might need!


That’s it for this week, folks! As always, we can’t wait to see what you make! Shoot us a tweet @sparkfun, or let us know on Instagram or Facebook. We’d love to see what projects you’ve made!

We’ll be back next week with even more fantastic new products!

comments | comment feed

by Chris McCarty at October 12, 2018 12:00 PM

October 11, 2018

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

Invisible Ink with AxiDraw

Joanie LeMercier has been working on a project using invisible ink and different lighting schemes with the AxiDraw. He has posted a bunch of clips and pictures in his twitter stream with the heading “Invisible drawing.”

Head over to the thread where you can see more progress shots as well as completed drawings.

by Lenore Edman at October 11, 2018 04:03 PM

October 10, 2018

NYC Resistor

Intro to 3D Printing and 3D Design on Sat, Oct 20

Intro to 3D Printing and 3D Design is taking place at NYC Resistor on Sat, Oct 20. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

A class for 3D newcomers who want to learn the basics of creating 3D models and printing them. Your instructor will take you through key concepts of 3D printing, demo the technology on our printers, and lead the class through the design process of creating a model and preparing it to print. We’ll talk about creating functional objects, creative objects, available materials, print reliability, and compare various printer models and features.

Get your tickets on Eventbrite..

by Classes at October 10, 2018 04:00 PM

Arduino Blog

Announcing Arduino’s Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure Policy

A little less than a month ago, I joined Arduino as their Chief Information Security Officer. I’ve been in touch with the team for the past couple of months and feel incredibly lucky to be part of such a talented and driven group of people.

We’re working hard on developing a robust, well-rounded security program that fits our organisation and busy improving our security posture across all departments. I am a true believer that it all starts from introducing a strong culture of security awareness — where employees feel confident and empowered to take action against security issues.  

Today, I’m thrilled to announce the first release of Arduino’s Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure (CVD) Policy.

We used some great references when putting it together and we’d like to give them a shout out here: HackerOne’s VDP guidelines, CEPS’ report on “Software Vulnerability Disclosure in Europe,” and the US DoJ Cyber Security unit’s VDP framework. We also took into consideration recent Senate testimony of experts in vulnerability disclosure in the role hackers can play in strengthening security, Dropbox’s announcement on protecting researchers and 18F’s own policy. I even wanted to publicly thank Amit Elazari Bar On, a doctoral law candidate (J.S.D.) at UC Berkeley School of Law and a Lecturer at UC Berkeley School of Information Master in Cybersecurity program for her useful advices and for providing the amazing “#legalbugbounty” standardisation project.

We’re also happy to announce that all of the text in our policy is a freely copyable template. We’ve done this because we’d like to see others take a similar approach. We’ve put some effort in to this across our teams and if you like what you see, please use it. Similarly, if you have improvements to suggest, we’d love to hear from you.

What is CVD?

Coordinated vulnerability disclosure (CVD) is a process aimed at mitigating/eradicating the potential negative impacts of vulnerabilities. It can be defined as “the process of gathering information from vulnerability finders, coordinating the sharing of that information between relevant stakeholders, and disclosing the existence of vulnerabilities and their mitigation to various stakeholders, including the public.”

Figure 1: Relationships among actors in the CVD process. Source: “The CERT Guide to Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure,” Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University

by gvarisco at October 10, 2018 02:31 PM

October 09, 2018

NYC Resistor

Halloween Party 2018 on Saturday, Oct 27

Join NYC Resistor and friends for a spooky-special night of music, costumes, and laser light. We would love it if you’d join the Halloween party! Costumes encouraged, 21+, tickets $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Halloween Party 2018 is taking place at NYC Resistor on Sat, Oct 27.

 

by Classes at October 09, 2018 08:00 PM

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

Lady Ada Lovelace Day 2018

Julie interviewing Rachel at Maker Faire NY
For Ada Lovelace Day this year, I would like to celebrate a group of young women in science, technology and making who are celebrating and uplifting each other. I had the privilege of seeing some of them at Maker Faire New York this year, and I find their optimism and strength to be inspiring.

Check out their twitter feeds, their youtube channels, and especially the connections they make. It is awesome to see these young women making a difference in the world right now.

by Lenore Edman at October 09, 2018 04:01 PM

Arduino Blog

When in Rome: Join us at Europe’s Biggest Maker Faire!

We’re just days away from Maker Faire Rome — The European Edition, where we will be partnering with Microchip in Pavilion 8.  This year’s booth will be broken up into three areas:

  • Education: The Arduino Education team will be exhibiting the flagship CTC 101 program and the Engineering Kit. Starting at 11am, there will be 15-minute demos every hour that address the ways Arduino can be implemented as a learning tool from primary schools all the way up to universities.
  • Makers: We have been working on a pair of new projects to highlight the key specs and possible use cases of the Uno WiFI. Moreover, visitors will have the opportunity to meet the winner of the Arduino /Distrelec Robotics & Automation Contest.
  • Internet of Things: This section will be focused around a smart greenhouse connected to the Arduino IoT Cloud, along with two demos of the MKR Vidor 4000. Finally, we will be showcasing some practical demos on how startups and companies have turned to Arduino to bring their products and services to market.

The Arduino booth will also include a special station dedicated to the Arduino Store, where will be giving away 500 discount vouchers for online purchases on a first come, first serve basis.

But that’s not all! Members of the Arduino team can be found throughout Maker Faire Rome’s program all weekend long. The schedule is as follows:

Friday, October 12th

10:30am: Opening Conference (Pavilion 10 – Room 1/Sala Alibrandi): Massimo Banzi, Arduino co-founder, will join Maker Faire’s opening conference ‘Groundbreakers: Pioneers of the Future’ with the talk Democratizing Industry 4.0. Register here.


2:30pm – 5:30pm
(Room 17 SC3): Debugging with Arduino: A hands-on workshop with Microchip’s Wizard of Make, Bob Martin, and Arturo Guadalupi, Arduino Hardware Design Engineer, which will explore advanced debugging techniques for Arduino sketches. More info here.


2:30pm – 3:30pm
 (Pavilion 9 – Room 11): CTC: Bring Open-Source into Your Classroom: In partnership with Campus Store Academy, this informative workshop will walk you through implementing Arduino in the classroom with Arduino CTC 101. Register here.

Saturday, October 13th

11:30am – 12:30pm (Pavilion 7 – Room 7): Arduino MKR Vidor: Democratizing FPGA: Led by Martino Facchin, Arduino Senior HW Engineer, this session will discuss how the MKR Vidor combines the power and flexibility of an FPGA with the ease of use of Arduino. More info here.

11:45am – 12:45pm  (Pavilion 9 – Room 11): In partnership with Campus Store Academy, this informative workshop will walk you through implementing Arduino in the classroom with Arduino CTC 101. Register here.

2:15pm – 3:15pm (Pavilion 7 – Room 7) Arduino IoT Cloud: The  Internet of Things Revolution: Luca Cipriani, Arduino CIO, will focus on the potential of the Arduino IoT Cloud, the latest developments in the Arduino ecosystem, as well as how to build connected objects in a quick, easy, and secure manner. More info here.

4:15pm – 5:15pm ( Pavilion 9 – Room 13): Arduino Engineering Kit: Advanced Programming and Learning Applications: In collaboration with Campus Store Academy, this workshop is concentrated on helping tomorrow’s engineers approach mechatronics and automated control. Register here.

5:45pm – 6:45pm ( Pavilion 9 – Room 11): STEAM with Arduino: In collaboration with Campus Store Academy, this session will introduce you to the Arduino Starter Kit Classroom Pack and how Arduino is being used as a flexible learning tool. More info here.

Sunday, October 14th

2:45pm – 3:45pm: Shape Your Future with MATLAB and the Arduino Engineering Kit: In collaboration with the MathWorks team and Jose Garcia, HW Engineer at Arduino, this talk will feature live demos of a robot designed and controlled with Arduino and MATLAB. More info here.

4:15am – 5:45pm (Pavilion 9 – Room 11): CTC: Bring Open-Source into Your Classroom: In partnership with Campus Store Academy, this informative workshop will walk you through implementing Arduino in the classroom with Arduino CTC 101. Register here.

Want to learn more? The entire agenda and all other important information is available on Maker Faire Rome’s website. Planning to attend? Save on admission using the code: MFR18EBGMT.

by Arduino Team at October 09, 2018 12:15 PM

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

August 03, 2018

one girl's diary of improvisational engineering

scanlime038 – Unboxing Bitcoin, Buttons, and ADB

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 03, 2018 07:00 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 28, 2018

mightyOhm

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

November 24, 2017

adafruit industries blog

Adafruit Holiday Gift Guide 2017 – All Things micro:bit

For our final installment of 2017 development board Gift Guides we’re profiling the BBC micro:bit! It’s impossible to not get excited by – and slightly adore – the size and capabilities of the micro:bit. It packs a lot of really useful features into a really interesting form factor. And it really is a wonderful learning tool. We recommend Lesson #0 for simply becoming familiar with this novel board, and when you’re ready for something a bit more challenging check out our Puppet “Text Message” System project. Also be sure to check out our micro:bit category on the blog for all our :bit-related news in one spot!


Footer

We’re excited for the Holiday Season here at Adafruit and we can’t wait to share that excitement with you! Tune into the Adafruit Blog for six weeks of hand picked Adafruit Holiday Gift Guides featuring Adafruit products, projects and more starting Monday November 13.

Still not sure if you’re on the right gift giving track? Gift Certificates are the perfect cyber-present for the electronics geek in your life and are available at any time. When in doubt contact us!


Free Deals

Adafruit offers exciting deals and free items when you shop with us.

As of October 9th, 2017 12:00 PM ET we are offering a number of free products for orders starting at $99 or more!

For orders of $99 or more – a free Adafruit Perma-proto half-size breadboard

For orders of $149 or more – a free Adafruit Trinket M0

For orders of $200 or more – free UPS ground shipping (*Continental USA only)

For orders of $249 or more – a free Adafruit Gemma M0

For orders of $299 or more – a free Adafruit Circuit Playground Express

If you love CircuitPython, then you’ll love this promotion! The Trinket M0, GEMMA M0, and Circuit Playground Express are all great boards for getting going with CircuitPython.

Some restrictions apply


Adafruit Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2017

Here are your 2017 shipping deadlines for ordering from Adafruit. Please review our shipping section if you have specific questions on how and where we ship worldwide for this holiday season.

The Adafruit Shipping Department works hard to get your orders out as quickly as we can, but once they’re in the hands of our carriers they’re out of our control. Carriers have been struggling to keep up with the sharp rise in online orders. UPS, FedEX, and USPS all experienced delivery delays over the last few years.

So all the Adafruit Shippers say: Please be sure you get your gifts early! Order as soon as you can! Once you place your order we’ll ship like the wind!

Please note: We do not offer Saturday or Sunday service for DHL, UPS or USPS.

Monday, Dec. 25, 2017, Christmas, no DHL, UPS or USPS pickup or delivery service.

Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, no DHL, UPS or USPS pickup or delivery service.

Domestic Orders

UPS Ground: Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 8, 2017 – There is no guarantee that UPS Ground packages will arrive by December 22, 2017.

UPS 3 Day: Place orders by Thursday 11 am ET – December 14, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017.

UPS 2 Day: Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 15, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017

UPS Next Day: Place orders by Monday 11 am ET – December 18, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017.

USPS First Class and USPS Priority: Place orders by Friday– December 8, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017 or sooner.

International Orders

USPS First Class Mail International: Place orders by Friday – November 18, 2017. Can take up to 30 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/22/2017 or sooner, but not a trackable service and cannot be guaranteed to arrive by 12/22/2017.

USPS Express Mail International: Place orders by Friday – December 1, 2017. Can take up to 15 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/22/2017 or sooner.

UPS WORLDWIDE EXPRESS, UPS WORLDWIDE EXPEDITED and UPS EXPRESS SAVER (UPS International orders): Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 8, 2017 – There is no guarantee that international packages will arrive by December 22, 2017.

DHL EXPRESS WORLDWIDE: Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 8, 2017 – There is no guarantee that international packages will arrive by December 22, 2017.


by nicknormal at November 24, 2017 05:30 AM

November 23, 2017

adafruit industries blog

Adafruit Holiday Gift Guide 2017 – Friends of CircuitPython

OK so you’ve worked with our Gemma, Circuit Playground Classic, Trinkets, or Metro boards – mostly because of your past familiarity with the Arduino IDE. But you’ve heard really interesting things about CircuitPython, or MakeCode and the sheer simplicity of coding using drag-and-drop blocks. If only you had some options to dabble between them all, while maintaining consistency with the same form factor you’re accustomed to for your project needs. If only! Welcome to our made-for-CircuitPython line of boards, most of which are also compatible with the Arduino IDE you’re comfortable and familiar with.

That’s right we have flavors of the Gemma, Circuit Playground (Express), Trinket, and Metro all made compatible for use with CircuitPython. “No compiler, linker or IDE required!”


The Circuit Playground Express takes the Classic and ramps it up a notch – including additional sensors, and the previously mentioned CircuitPython and MakeCode support. One of my all-time favorite Circuit Playground projects is this How Tall Is It? project that turns the development board into an inclinometer – for measuring the height of objects from a distance! (This project is also compatible with the Circuit Playground Classic.)
Check it out:


There’s a version of the full-size Metro that carries the ‘M0’ name as well – because at its core is the ATSAMD21G18 chip, an ARM Cortex M0+ processor. To explain all the differences in form and function of this Metro from the ATmega version, check out the Learn Guide Adafruit Metro M0 Express – Designed for CircuitPython.


The Gemma M0 extends our wearables options in ‘express’ territory. Make a classic theremin on a breadboard, hoop earrings, or challenge yourself to learning CircuitPython with our Sheikah Pendant or Clockwork Goggles


Last but not least from the Adafruit family of products, the Trinket M0 brings ARM power to the Trinket form factor! This brings 32x as much flash, 64x as much RAM, and 6x the speed as the ATtiny85-based Trinkets. This lets you perform some pretty amazing feats such as these Charlieplexed LED matrices that you can program some beautiful animations onto using CircuitPython:

Learn more about this project here.


Outside of our own options is the MicroPython pyboard. Read this Learn Guide to learn all about MicroPython specifically – along with our range of MicroPython-compatible Learn Guides for making everything from tachometers to holiday lights, and more!

The pyboard is a compact and powerful electronics development board that runs MicroPython. It connects to your PC over USB, giving you a USB flash drive to save your Python scripts, and a serial Python prompt (a REPL) for instant programming. Requires a micro USB cable, and will work with Windows, Mac and Linux.


Footer

We’re excited for the Holiday Season here at Adafruit and we can’t wait to share that excitement with you! Tune into the Adafruit Blog for six weeks of hand picked Adafruit Holiday Gift Guides featuring Adafruit products, projects and more starting Monday November 13.

Still not sure if you’re on the right gift giving track? Gift Certificates are the perfect cyber-present for the electronics geek in your life and are available at any time. When in doubt contact us!


Free Deals

Adafruit offers exciting deals and free items when you shop with us.

As of October 9th, 2017 12:00 PM ET we are offering a number of free products for orders starting at $99 or more!

For orders of $99 or more – a free Adafruit Perma-proto half-size breadboard

For orders of $149 or more – a free Adafruit Trinket M0

For orders of $200 or more – free UPS ground shipping (*Continental USA only)

For orders of $249 or more – a free Adafruit Gemma M0

For orders of $299 or more – a free Adafruit Circuit Playground Express

If you love CircuitPython, then you’ll love this promotion! The Trinket M0, GEMMA M0, and Circuit Playground Express are all great boards for getting going with CircuitPython.

Some restrictions apply


Adafruit Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2017

Here are your 2017 shipping deadlines for ordering from Adafruit. Please review our shipping section if you have specific questions on how and where we ship worldwide for this holiday season.

The Adafruit Shipping Department works hard to get your orders out as quickly as we can, but once they’re in the hands of our carriers they’re out of our control. Carriers have been struggling to keep up with the sharp rise in online orders. UPS, FedEX, and USPS all experienced delivery delays over the last few years.

So all the Adafruit Shippers say: Please be sure you get your gifts early! Order as soon as you can! Once you place your order we’ll ship like the wind!

Please note: We do not offer Saturday or Sunday service for DHL, UPS or USPS.

Monday, Dec. 25, 2017, Christmas, no DHL, UPS or USPS pickup or delivery service.

Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, no DHL, UPS or USPS pickup or delivery service.

Domestic Orders

UPS Ground: Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 8, 2017 – There is no guarantee that UPS Ground packages will arrive by December 22, 2017.

UPS 3 Day: Place orders by Thursday 11 am ET – December 14, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017.

UPS 2 Day: Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 15, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017

UPS Next Day: Place orders by Monday 11 am ET – December 18, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017.

USPS First Class and USPS Priority: Place orders by Friday– December 8, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017 or sooner.

International Orders

USPS First Class Mail International: Place orders by Friday – November 18, 2017. Can take up to 30 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/22/2017 or sooner, but not a trackable service and cannot be guaranteed to arrive by 12/22/2017.

USPS Express Mail International: Place orders by Friday – December 1, 2017. Can take up to 15 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/22/2017 or sooner.

UPS WORLDWIDE EXPRESS, UPS WORLDWIDE EXPEDITED and UPS EXPRESS SAVER (UPS International orders): Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 8, 2017 – There is no guarantee that international packages will arrive by December 22, 2017.

DHL EXPRESS WORLDWIDE: Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 8, 2017 – There is no guarantee that international packages will arrive by December 22, 2017.





by nicknormal at November 23, 2017 05:30 AM

November 22, 2017

adafruit industries blog

Adafruit Holiday Gift Guide 2017 – Commute with the Adafruit Metro!

Today we’re profiling our own Metro boards – the full-size and ‘mini’ versions. First up the full-size Metro may look somewhat familiar, at least in terms of form-factor-ness:


 
The size and shape of the Metro is derivative of the Arduino UNO R3, with a few of our own bells and whistles thrown in. Notably those 4 indicator LEDs on the edge of the board between the DC power jack and USB receptacle. Also the device can operate at 3.3V or 5V logic with a simple jumper, and the DC jack even includes a micro on/off switch next to it for easily powering down your project when needed without physically disconnecting the power supply.

The full-size Metro is fully compatible with all our Arduino shields as well. (The version shown above has headers pre-soldered to the board, but we sell a header-less version as well.)

To show what that could possibly translate into, here’s an example from Collin Cunningham upgrading a decades-old 2X-L ‘bot with a Metro, Wave shield, and proto shield to accommodate a LM386 amplifier circuit to give his Echo Dot a new look and feel:


 
Next up is also the Metro, but in Mini form factor!

The Metro Mini comes as a fully assembled and tested board, with bootloader burned in and also a stick of 0.1″ header. Some light soldering is required if you’d like to plug it into a breadboard, or you can solder wires or header directly to the breakout pads. Once headers are installed they can be fitted into 0.6″ wide sockets.

Similar in function but in a different size package is the Metro Mini – at only 18mm x 44mm x 4mm the Mini is truly that, while providing all the power and punch you expect out of the ATmega328 brain. The board can easily be configured for plugging into a breadboard, allowing for rapid prototyping prior to designing your own Metro shield or standalone PCB. The small form factor has a unique look, for example in this Metro Minimalist Clock:


Footer

We’re excited for the Holiday Season here at Adafruit and we can’t wait to share that excitement with you! Tune into the Adafruit Blog for six weeks of hand picked Adafruit Holiday Gift Guides featuring Adafruit products, projects and more starting Monday November 13.

Still not sure if you’re on the right gift giving track? Gift Certificates are the perfect cyber-present for the electronics geek in your life and are available at any time. When in doubt contact us!


Free Deals

Adafruit offers exciting deals and free items when you shop with us.

As of October 9th, 2017 12:00 PM ET we are offering a number of free products for orders starting at $99 or more!

For orders of $99 or more – a free Adafruit Perma-proto half-size breadboard

For orders of $149 or more – a free Adafruit Trinket M0

For orders of $200 or more – free UPS ground shipping (*Continental USA only)

For orders of $249 or more – a free Adafruit Gemma M0

For orders of $299 or more – a free Adafruit Circuit Playground Express

If you love CircuitPython, then you’ll love this promotion! The Trinket M0, GEMMA M0, and Circuit Playground Express are all great boards for getting going with CircuitPython.

Some restrictions apply


Adafruit Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2017

Here are your 2017 shipping deadlines for ordering from Adafruit. Please review our shipping section if you have specific questions on how and where we ship worldwide for this holiday season.

The Adafruit Shipping Department works hard to get your orders out as quickly as we can, but once they’re in the hands of our carriers they’re out of our control. Carriers have been struggling to keep up with the sharp rise in online orders. UPS, FedEX, and USPS all experienced delivery delays over the last few years.

So all the Adafruit Shippers say: Please be sure you get your gifts early! Order as soon as you can! Once you place your order we’ll ship like the wind!

Please note: We do not offer Saturday or Sunday service for DHL, UPS or USPS.

Monday, Dec. 25, 2017, Christmas, no DHL, UPS or USPS pickup or delivery service.

Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, no DHL, UPS or USPS pickup or delivery service.

Domestic Orders

UPS Ground: Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 8, 2017 – There is no guarantee that UPS Ground packages will arrive by December 22, 2017.

UPS 3 Day: Place orders by Thursday 11 am ET – December 14, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017.

UPS 2 Day: Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 15, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017

UPS Next Day: Place orders by Monday 11 am ET – December 18, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017.

USPS First Class and USPS Priority: Place orders by Friday– December 8, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017 or sooner.

International Orders

USPS First Class Mail International: Place orders by Friday – November 18, 2017. Can take up to 30 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/22/2017 or sooner, but not a trackable service and cannot be guaranteed to arrive by 12/22/2017.

USPS Express Mail International: Place orders by Friday – December 1, 2017. Can take up to 15 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/22/2017 or sooner.

UPS WORLDWIDE EXPRESS, UPS WORLDWIDE EXPEDITED and UPS EXPRESS SAVER (UPS International orders): Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 8, 2017 – There is no guarantee that international packages will arrive by December 22, 2017.

DHL EXPRESS WORLDWIDE: Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 8, 2017 – There is no guarantee that international packages will arrive by December 22, 2017.


by nicknormal at November 22, 2017 05:30 AM