Arduino Planet

July 22, 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

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by DP at July 22, 2018 10:24 PM

adafruit industries blog

Adafruit Weekly Editorial Round-Up: July 16 – July 22

Adafruit welcome newsletter footer 1


ADAFRUIT WEEKLY EDITORIAL ROUND-UP


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


BLOG

Thailand’s ESP-32-based Educational Board: KidBright

Via our friends over on CNXSoft, we hear about Kid Bright which is a Thai educational program revolving around the KidBright32 board manufactured by Gravitech. The National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC) part of Thailand’s Ministry of Science and Technology designed KidBright32 board and courses to teach STEM to Thai students.

The board is based on Espressif Systems ESP32-WROOM-32 WiFI and Bluetooth module, and comes with large holes for power (5V/GND) and 6 digital inputs/outputs, smaller through holes for I2C and more I/Os, as well as an I2C header.

Check out the full post here!

More BLOG:

Keeping with tradition, we covered quite a bit this past week. Here’s a short list of highlights:


LEARN

Using Crickit and Adafruit IO together

NewImage

This guide will explore using Crickit with Adafruit IO together. Crickit provides various ways to take measurements and control other hardware. It’s a natural fit with Adafruit IO which lets you store data and manage events.

More LEARN

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

by Stephanie at July 22, 2018 07:00 PM

Dangerous Prototypes

App note: Introduction to the silicon photomultiplier (SiPM)

an_on_AND9770-D

App note from ON Semiconductors about SiPM sensors, explaining the working principle and primary performance parameters. Link here (PDF)

The Silicon Photomultiplier (SiPM) is a sensor that addresses the challenge of sensing, timing and quantifying low-light signals down to the single-photon level. Traditionally the province of the Photomultiplier Tube (PMT), the Silicon Photomultiplier now offers a highly attractive alternative that combines the low-light detection capabilities of the PMT while offering all the benefits of a solid-state sensor. The SiPM features low-voltage operation, insensitivity to magnetic fields, mechanical robustness and excellent uniformity of response. Due to these traits, the SensL® SiPM has rapidly gained a proven performance in the fields of medical imaging, hazard and threat detection, biophotonics, high energy physics and LiDAR.

by DP at July 22, 2018 05:00 PM

App note: USB audio bridge example with STM32F0 MCUs

an_stm_DM00189562

App note from STMicroelectronics using their STM32F0 microcontrollers to playback audio stream from USB. Link here (PDF)

This application note describes a method and an example of synchronizing audio playback or audio recording with an upstream or downstream USB audio host, ensuring flawless audio listening or recording using only internal MCU resources.

Focusing on specific properties of USB microcontrollers from the STM32F0 family, the application note describes how the CRS unit can be beneficially employed for USB audio streaming synchronization. In particular, it elaborates a method of HSI48 clock frequency trimming to compensate for timing differences due to independent USB host (computer) and device (STM32F0) clock domains.

by DP at July 22, 2018 01:00 PM

adafruit industries blog

Magnets Control These 3-D Printed Robots #Robotics #3DPrinting

Via National Geographic:

With just a wave of a magnet, the robots can roll, jump, and crawl around in confined spaces. In the future, the MIT team hopes to build a stronger, more intelligent version of this robot that can be used for tasks such as medical procedures or cleaning up radioactive waste.

Each robot is designed with a unique shape and structure to match its function. A 3-D printer then uses a silicone-based rubber material to bring that design to life. The printing technique has been crucial to the robots’ design, says Zhao, because it allows magnetic microparticles to be deliberately embedded throughout the material.

A computer program aligns each microparticle in a specific direction in a certain part of the robot, which allows magnetic force to trigger a desired response. For simple functions, Zhao is able to power the robots simply by waving a magnet over them. For more complex tasks, he says, the robots will need to operate inside a magnetized chamber that can apply pull simultaneously in different directions.

Learn more and check out the video on YouTube!

by Ben at July 22, 2018 10:00 AM

Jupiter’s Moon Total Hits 79

AD1CC91C 8DB8 4935 B5E5F9797EBAE16E

International Astronomical Union reports that Jupiter now has 79 known moons, Via Scientific American

How many moons does Jupiter have? If you said four, you might be Galileo. If you said 69, you were right. Until the announcement this morning by the International Astronomical Union of the discovery of an additional 10 moons about the gas-giant planet. Bringing the currently known total to 79. That’s a lot of moons.

A research team from the Carnegie Institution for Science, the University of Hawaii and Northern Arizona University was looking in 2017 for very distant objects in our solar system, well beyond Pluto. Jupiter happened to be in the same field of view, so they also looked for any as yet unknown moons. They found 12, two of which were announced last year. Confirmation of the moons required multiple observations, and those data enabled a calculation of the moons’ orbits.

Nine of the dozen moons are well away from Jupiter and have retrograde orbits, meaning they go around the planet in what we’d think of as the “wrong direction.” They take about two Earth years to complete their circuits.

Two new moons are closer in, go the right way, and take about an Earth year for one orbit. Those eleven moons are probably remnants of larger bodies that got broken up in collisions.

The remaining moon is less than a kilometer across, further out than the two conventional moons and has a 1.5-year orbit—and the orbit is inclined. That tilt has the weird little moon crossing the paths of those outer retrograde moons. Which means an increased likelihood of a big smash-up one day.

Depending on what survives from any such collision, Jupiter may then have even more moons. Or a couple fewer.

See more!

by Jessie Mae at July 22, 2018 09:00 AM

July 20, 2018

one girl's diary of improvisational engineering

scanlime035 – Lite2Sound BC

Is there a synthesizer in your LED, or a song in the shadows? Are your lights quiet or do they roar? This surface mount soldering kit from Boldport and Rare Waves will help you hear the audio-frequency signals that hitch a ride on any light source, whether it’s modulated LEDs or the shadow of fluttering leaves.

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

Find out more about the kit.

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 July 20, 2018 06:51 PM

SparkFun Electronics News

Friday Product Post: How Qwiic-Witted of You!

Welcome back to another exciting Friday Product Post! This week we have four new products; it all starts with the new NeuroSky MindWave Mobile 2 to help get your EEG projects going. After that we have two Qwiic-enabled boards, the SparkFun Qwiic Flex Glove Controller and the SparkFun Qwiic Mux Breakout. Rounding out the pack we have a new pair of flush cutters from Xcelite.

Just as a reminder: You have until the 22nd of July to get a free SparkFun Arduino Qwiic Kit if you already have $50 worth of product in your cart! After the 22nd, we will be moving onto the next free product, so make sure to get these deals while you can, because after that (or after the reserved units are gone) they will be gone! Find out how it works at our Four Weeks of Free page.

Now that that is all taken care of, let’s jump in and take a closer look at all the new products!

All together now: E-lec-tro-en-ceph-a-lo-graph-y!

NeuroSky MindWave Mobile 2

NeuroSky MindWave Mobile 2

SEN-14758
$99.95

This is the MindWave Mobile 2 from NeuroSky, an EEG headset that safely measures and transfers power spectrum data (alpha waves, beta waves, etc.) via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) or Bluetooth Classic to wirelessly communicate with your computer, iOS or Android device. Simply slip this headset on to see your brainwaves change in real time! With the MindWave Mobile 2 you can monitor your levels of attention and relaxation — and even learn about how your brain responds to your favorite music. This headset is an excellent introduction to the world of brain-computer interface!


Make your own Power Glove!

SparkFun Qwiic Flex Glove Controller

SparkFun Qwiic Flex Glove Controller

SEN-14666
$39.95

Flex sensors are great for telling how bent something is in a project, but we’ve been running into issues with durability when using them in wearable applications like gloves. The SparkFun Qwiic Flex Glove Controller isolates the weak point on each flex sensor to allow for more permanent applications. Essentially, this board allows you to incorporate flex sensors into a glove to control lighting, sound and other effects, making it perfect for wearable and e-textile applications! To make it even easier to use this controller, all communication is enacted exclusively via I2C, utilizing our handy Qwiic system. However, we still have broken out 0.1"-spaced pins in case you prefer to use a breadboard.


Mux or Multiplexer, you decide!

SparkFun Qwiic Mux Breakout - 8 Channel (TCA9548A)

SparkFun Qwiic Mux Breakout - 8 Channel (TCA9548A)

BOB-14685
$9.95

Have a bunch of sensors with the same I2C address? Put them on the SparkFun Qwiic Mux Breakout to get them all talking on the same bus! The Qwiic Mux Breakout enables communication with multiple I2C devices that have the same address, making it simple to interface with. The Qwiic Mux also has eight configurable addresses of its own, allowing for up to 64 I2C buses on a connection.


Flush Cutters - Xcelite

Flush Cutters - Xcelite

TOL-14782
$7.95

These are simple flush cutters from Excelite that give you a way to cut leads very cleanly and close to the solder joint. Diagonal cutters are good, but if you really need to get up close and personal, flush cutters are the way to go!


That’s it for this week, everyone! There are plenty of options available for you today to start a new project with. 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!

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by Chris McCarty at July 20, 2018 11:00 AM

July 19, 2018

SparkFun Electronics News

Enginursday: Space Mining for Profit (and Fun!)

If you’re looking to buy (and have the cash to afford it), the most valuable real estate in the solar system may be at the south pole of our moon. A peculiarity of orbital mechanics has left the floors of several large craters in permanent shadow. These “cold traps,” which are hundreds of degrees below zero, may be filled with the frozen remains of a billion years' worth of comet impacts. Here in the darkness could lie millions of tons of one of the most valuable materials in the solar system: water. And a motivated group of engineers, geologists, miners and businesspeople are making plans to go get it.

A view of the Moon's South Pole from NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

NASA/GSFC/LRO

Space mines are a staple of science fiction, with famous names like Kessel, Rura Penthe and Arrakis. Looking at our current space program, it’s hard to imagine how we’ll get from where we are to the point where such massive infrastructure (as unsavory as the above examples are) is even possible. But we’re rapidly entering a new phase of space exploration: government leadership, which has provided the federal-sized investment needed to develop the technologies that first got us to space, is giving way to commercial enterprise. The first fortunes made in space were from data, such as telecommunications and remote sensing. Now companies are working on the next wave: searching for actual physical resources (and the means to extract them) that they can ship back to Earth at a profit, or better yet, leave in space to develop entirely new off-world economies.

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For the last nine years, a group of space-mining enthusiasts has been meeting at the Colorado School of Mines each year to share their research, ideas and prototype hardware at the Space Resources Roundtable (SRR) and Planetary & Terrestrial Mining Sciences Symposium (PTMSS). The attendees are experts in a wide variety of disciplines, and given the wildly speculative subject matter they’re surprisingly pragmatic… For example, many of the conference talks revolve around business plans, and when speaker Mike Jude asked whether anyone would invest in a plan with a 55% chance of return on investment, nobody raised their hand. Even so, there’s a palpable excitement that with decreasing costs from a new generation of launch providers, and signs of increasing government support, the vision they’ve been collectively working on for years may be closer to reality than ever before.

The business case for space mining hinges on the fact that launching anything from the ground to space is phenomenally expensive, and for the moment, at least, anything you need in space has to be brought up the hard way. For example, one of the most valuable things you can have in space is rocket fuel, since it allows you to move things around - the basis of commerce. On the Earth’s surface, rocket fuel costs about $1 per kilogram, but by the time you’ve expended the enormous amount of energy it takes to lift it from the ground to low earth orbit (LEO), it costs the equivalent of $4,000/kg. And if you continue moving it all the way to the moon’s surface, the price jumps to $35,000/kg. You can see why thus far, access to space has only been available to those with very deep pockets.

But if you could find a source of rocket fuel that’s already in space, you would eliminate the enormous costs of lifting it out of Earth’s gravity well, and this is where all that water at the lunar pole comes into play. If you separate water into hydrogen and oxygen - BAM! - you’ve got rocket fuel. Propellant will probably be the major initial product of lunar mining, but water is valuable in many other ways. Oxygen is obviously essential for eventual human habitation, but it is also a vital part of chemical reactions that can be used to extract resources from lunar soil, including aluminum and silicon. Conference attendee Robert Zubrin has famously spent years working on these chemical reactions for In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU). His company builds complex machines that ingest lunar or Martian resources and transform them into highly useful materials, almost like magic.

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ULA

Thus far space mining has suffered from a chicken-and-egg problem: Nobody wants to develop infrastructure beyond low Earth orbit because the fuel is too expensive, and nobody wants to invest in a refinery because there are no customers yet. But in 2016, George Sowers, then chief scientist for the United Launch Alliance (ULA) and now a professor at the Colorado School of Mines, made a remarkable offer: ULA would commit to purchasing rocket propellant mined from the moon at various prices depending on where it can be delivered, from $500/kg on the lunar surface, to $3,000/kg in low Earth orbit.

What ULA gets out of this deal is a supply of fuel for a new spacecraft they’re developing called the Advanced Cryogenic Evolved Stage, or ACES. Once launched, ACES vehicles would remain in space and serve as shuttles, hauling cargo between various orbits around the Earth and the moon. Unlike conventional spacecraft that typically rely on batteries or solar panels, ACES will be able to generate electrical power indefinitely from its own fuel using an internal-combustion engine. And of course, ACES will be able to be refueled in space as needed.

With a first-time-ever commodity buyer and a price, space mining professionals immediately went back to their business models to see if they would close. But before we get to that, what would a space mine actually look like?

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CSM Dreyer/Williams/Sowers

Doing anything in space is risky and expensive, so the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle definitely applies. Rather than a full sci-fi approach involving heavy equipment, tunnels and alien prisoners, many of the current proposals are surprisingly low-tech. One such proposal formulated by professor Sowers and his students at the Colorado School of Mines involves placing clear plastic tents over small areas of water-rich lunar soil in the south polar craters, then using mirrors on the crater rim (which are in “eternal sunlight” in the same way the crater floors are in “eternal darkness”) to reflect sunlight through the tent to heat the soil. The water trapped in the soil will sublimate to vapor in the low pressure, be trapped by the tent, and can then be pumped off, split into hydrogen and oxygen and liquefied for storage and transport. With a small amount of AI to account for the communications delay, these machines could easily be tele-operated (“grad students are cheap labor” notes Sowers), eliminating the need to send humans to the moon, at least at first.

So what would such a mine cost to put into operation? The thermal mine study above would require 29 metric tons of equipment to be delivered to the lunar surface at a cost of $2.5 billion dollars (assuming a completely commercial enterprise with no NASA assistance). The infrastructure would take five years to come on-line, and would then make $500 million per year in revenue. In 10 years the $2.5B investment will have been paid back, and the facility would begin operating in the black. Interestingly these numbers are comparable to terrestrial mines, but financing a terrestrial mine is much easier - businesspeople and investors are familiar with terrestrial risks, but space is a whole new ballgame.

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George Sowers

Everyone at this year’s conference agreed that the next step toward lunar mining operations should be the same thing you’d do for a terrestrial mine: good old-fashioned prospecting. Scientists believe that there’s water in the polar craters because lunar orbiting spacecraft have seen tantalizing hints of it, and in a very clever experiment, Tony Colaprete of the NASA Ames Research Center steered a spent rocket body into one of the polar craters, finding at least 5 percent water in the resulting cloud of debris. But nobody has directly touched lunar soil since the Apollo days, and we now believe those landings were in particularly dry areas.

Before someone writes a $2.5B check to a space mining concern, they’re going to want to see some proof that they’re digging in the right place, so it’s going to take wheels-on-the-ground measurements of potential mining locations before the heavy equipment is called in. With this in mind, NASA was working on a rover called Lunar Resource Prospector specifically to measure lunar soil for water and other volatiles; unfortunately that mission was canceled due to budget cuts earlier this year. Conference members will not be dissuaded, however, and have their own back-up prospecting plans including rovers, low-altitude cubesats and instruments that could be flown on other missions. All it will take, as usual, is funding. In fact, one conference member astutely pointed out that we should stop saying things like, “We’ll be on the surface of Mars in 10 years,” and instead say, “We’ll be on the surface of Mars in 10 billion dollars,” as that is a much more accurate description of the barrier to doing these things.

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NASA

I could go on and on about the many other topics that are covered at these conferences in the areas of policy, technology, business and science, but I’ll mention that much of this work is being done by small groups within NASA and at universities and companies around the world, so there’s plenty of opportunity to get involved, especially if you’re good at coming up with creative solutions to difficult problems. If you’re a student, I’d encourage you to get involved in NASA’s many programs and challenges, particularly their Robotics Mining Challenge, which we’ll be covering in a future blog post.

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by Mike Grusin at July 19, 2018 02:05 PM

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 18, 2018

NYC Resistor

Laser Cutting: Cut and Etch Your Own Designs with Our Laser Cutter on July 28th

Come join us for a class! Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

These classes fill up, reserve your spot now! This will be our only laser-cutting class during summer 2018.

Harness the power of an Eplilog 60 Watt Laser! In this class you’ll learn everything you need to know to make the ideas in your head become a reality with a laser.

In this three hour class, we’ll walk through all the steps from idea to pressing the “go” button on the laser. We’ll cover safety, basic file preparation, and learn how to do a burninate test to find out if a material is laserable. After the three hours, you’ll have made a plaque for your door, a keychain, a simple box or something slightly ambitious. (There is lab time for laser cutting, questions and answers, and working with Inkscape, Illustrator, Corel Draw, etc.)

After learning the basics, each student will create a simple design and cut it on the laser! A $10 lab fee is included in the ticket price and covers your time on the laser cutter to cut and etch. We have a variety of scrap material to experiment with or you can purchase laserable acrylic, Delrin, illustration board, leather, or wood. Midwest and Revell make a variety of plywood, bass and balsa that is perfect for laser cutting. The bed size of our laser is 32″ x 20″ so buy materials accordingly. Keep in mind that large-scale, complex, multi-cut projects may not be appropriate for the class. Our goal is to teach you how to use the tool, not how to reinvent the Sistine Chapel in one afternoon.

Please bring a laptop and a USB jump drive. You may choose to upload and install Inkscape or a free trial of Adobe Illustrator before you come to class to get familiar with the software and start on a vector design project.

This class is required for coming in to do work on the laser independently. If you get inspired, you can come back and laser your objects on our Monday or Thursday Craft Nights. (See our website for more info.)

This class will be taught by NYC Resistor member Maya Kutz. As with all NYC Resistor events, this class is 18+ and governed by our Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct, as well as accessibility information, can be found at www.nycresistor.com/participate/.

Please note that refunds must be requested 72 hours in advance. If you have any questions, please email classes@nycresistor.com.

Get your tickets on Eventbrite.

by Classes at July 18, 2018 05:00 PM

SparkFun Electronics News

SparkFun AVC 2018: Party, Prizes, and Your Chance to be Famous

Today we want to share with our competitors this year’s prizes, and some exciting news about the competition weekend. We want to extend a big thanks to our returning sponsor Digi-Key Electronics for continuing to support SparkFun AVC and helping make this year’s event our best party yet.

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Prizes

First things first: We have our first round of prize announcements!! This year we’ve created more focused student team competitions, added a 60-lb combat bot division and brought back Logistics Class. First-place winners in each of these categories will receive a cash prize or, like many competitors did last year, SparkFun will make an equivalent donation to a non-profit of the winner’s choice.

K12 Prizes

$250 cash prize to the winning team for the following divisions:

  • Plastic Ants
  • Featherweight
  • Logistics Class
  • Autonomous Car Wars
  • Speed Demons

Higher Ed

$250 cash prize to the winning team for the following divisions:

  • Antweight
  • Beetleweight
  • Hobbyweight
  • Featherweight
  • Lightweight
  • Logistics Class
  • Autonomous Car Wars
  • Speed Demons

Adult

$500 cash prize to the winning team for the following divisions:

  • Antweight
  • Beetleweight
  • Hobbyweight
  • Featherweight
  • Lightweight
  • Logistics Class
  • Autonomous Car Wars
  • Speed Demons

We will have more announcements over the next few weeks regarding special awards or additional prizes from our sponsors!

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Party

Digi-Key Electronics is hosting a Competitor Reception on Friday, September 7, at the Boulder County Fairgrounds from 6-8 p.m. We’ll be bringing in some delicious food and some entertainment to welcome our teams to Boulder for our 10th AVC. For all our teams that arrive a day early to check in, set up your pits, and test your bots, be sure to stick around for a fun evening!

We will be sending invitations to our registered competitors to RSVP. Non-team members are welcome to join; expect more info on the party in the coming weeks.

Your 15 Minutes of Fame

We have a dream to broadcast this year’s event to the far corners of the universe, and have thus brought in a production team to capture the whole event for a livestream on September 8. We’ll be interviewing some of you for the big screen (or little screen, if you’re watching on your phone) to capture some of the most creative and compelling competitor stories to share with our audience.

If you want to explain your robot or vehicle on camera, feel free to email us at avc@sparkfun.com and stay tuned for more info on how to share the livestream with your friends and family!

If you still haven’t registered for AVC this year, head over to avc.sparkfun.com to get your bot signed up!

alt text

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by Megan Arnold at July 18, 2018 01:00 PM

July 16, 2018

Arduino Blog

“Magical” fountain bends time under Arduino control

Years ago, engineer and photographer Harold “Doc” Edgerton figured out how to “bend time” by pulsing a strobe light at the nearly the same speed as droplets of water, making them appear to move in slow motion, freeze, or even more backwards. Today, Nick Lim of jolliFactory has created the same effect, controlled by an Arduino Nano.

His excellent build is outlined here, including a surprisingly simple circuit that controls the pump, solenoid valve, and LED illumination via a trio of MOSFETs. 

One simply places the fountain over a water supply, which pumps it up into the solenoid valve, allowing 45 drops to fall per second. The lights then strobe at this speed—or slightly faster or slower—producing the time-bending display shown in the video below.

by Arduino Team at July 16, 2018 07:21 PM

An Arduino “Whack-a-Button” Reaction Game

After Instructables user R0RSHACH’s son won a place at the World Scout Jamboree in 2019, the maker decided to create a fairground-style game for fundraising. 

The resulting device is akin to a Whack-a-Mole or Batak game that can be found at high-end gyms, and features eight large light-up buttons per player on a wooden frame.

When activated, an Arduino Mega turns on the button-lights in sequence to test how long it takes participants to push each one. While it can be made in a single-player version, the two-player game looks like a lot more fun, allowing participants to compete on opposing boards. 

Code and instructions are available here, and you can see it demonstrated in the videos below.

by Arduino Team at July 16, 2018 07:12 PM

imPulse is an energy harvesting alternative for bicycles

Javier Betancor is developing a system that collects power as you ride a bike, with the goal of powering data collection and lighting. “imPulse” uses a stepper motor for power generation, along with a geared hub to make the motor spin at multiples of the wheel speed.

While the project is still a prototype, the headlights and rear lighting assemblies already look very good, and CAD files as well as Arduino code are available here.

The aim of this project is to provide a cost-effective alternative to power generation on bikes using conventional stepper motors while adding other capabilities, such as: 

– An integrated data logging system to monitor power generated on each trip.

– A smart lighting system with addressable LEDs, working as indicators, braking lights and headlights, incorporating Light Dependant Resistors (LDRs) to sense the environment and to reduce the risk of glare.

– Power Distribution Board (PDB) to charge two different/generic powerbanks. While one powerbank is charged, the other one is used to supply energy to the system.

You can see a prototype of the lighting system in the video below, using an Arduino Uno for control as a turn signal and brake light, as well as a constant beam for visibility. Find additional information and follow along with Betancor’s progress in his Hackaday log. 

by Arduino Team at July 16, 2018 07:06 PM

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 13, 2018

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

New Book: 10 LED Projects for Geeks

We just got our author copies of 10 LED Projects for Geeks! Our friend John Baichtal shepherded this book into the world as its editor, getting contributions from a great set of folks.

The book, published by No Starch Press, turned out beautifully. It has good pictures, clear drawings, and bright colors.

It brings a few of our classic projects onto the printed page, including LED-lit Sea Urchins, Electric Origami, the Dark Detecting LED, and Edge-lit Cards. Thank you, John, for letting us be a part of this!

by Lenore Edman at July 13, 2018 09:12 PM

one girl's diary of improvisational engineering

scanlime034 – Tiny Oven Kit

This cute 3D soldering kit makes for a chill build video. The package comes our way as a crowdfunding reward, from pitching in to help Signal Ditch buy a reflow oven. Now we can all enjoy the sights and sounds of the build, but sadly I can’t share the sweet epoxy fumes. (Please do not breathe the epoxy.)

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

Source code from Our friends the Signal Ditch.

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 July 13, 2018 05:39 PM

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

NYC Resistor

EAGLE weekend! August 3 meetup, Sat 4/Sun 5 classes

August 3-4-5 is EAGLE weekend!

Looking to meet likeminded electronics hobbyists and learn more about EAGLE PCB design software? Join our free meetup Friday August 3! It’ll be a celebration kicking off our weekend classes taught by our special guest, Autodesk’s Matt Berggren. So whether you’re an old pro looking to talk feature specifics or a maker interested in learning what it takes to launch a successful hardware crowdfunding campaign, come mingle with us. Refreshments kindly provided by Autodesk. RSVP is optional, but helps us better estimate the refreshments to provide.

Intro class: 

Have you ever envied those beautiful green printed circuit boards (PCBs) that all modern electronics have? Do you want to kick up the professionalism in your projects with a real PCB? Would you like to simply learn how to better document your circuits with a nicely done schematic?

Sign up for this PCB design class and we’ll teach you how to use the awesome, free EAGLE PCB design program (Mac/PC/Linux). You’ll learn how to draw schematics, find the right footprint, lay out a circuit board, route the circuit board, and finally prepare the board for production. We’ll even show you where you can go to have your boards made.

Advanced class: 

Are you an electronics hobbyist looking to create a product? Leap from newcomer to pro with this all-day class on designing your own schematics and printed circuit boards with Autodesk EAGLE. Lunch included.

Sign up for this advanced PCB design class and we’ll teach you everything you ever wanted to know about the awesome, free EAGLE PCB design program (Mac/PC/Linux). You’ll learn how to draw schematics, find the right footprint, lay out a circuit board, route the circuit board, and finally prepare the board for production. We’ll even show you where you can go to have your boards made. This comprehensive class will also cover other advanced topics such as wireless design. Bring your questions!

Post image is from Randy Sarafan’s free Instructables PCB Design class

by Becky Stern at July 09, 2018 08:00 PM

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

Booting the MakerBot CupCake after Five Years Part 1: Powering Up

I devoted Wednesday, my Independence Day holiday, to getting my CupCake 3D printer running again.

MakerBot CupCake

Foreshadowing: It turned out as a pessimist might suspect rather than as an optimist might plan.

The first step in getting the CupCake running was powering it up and connecting it to a computer. I went out to the utility and

messy workbench with MakerBot CupCake

AAAAAAAAAUGH.

After spending all of Wednesday sorting and packing, I could see that I had only about an hour left of cleaning my workbench before I had room to even think about powering on the CupCake. (BTW, watch out for those breadboars. They will gore you if you’re carrying bread through the forest.)

workbench with MakerBot CupCake

Which leads to scheduling a vacation day today to devote to getting my CupCake 3D printer running again (and for relaxation and recovery as well — I prefer to live by a maxim attributed to Ben Franklin and was out later than usual last night seeing Ocean’s 8).

After spending another hour sorting and packing, I could see that I needed to clean my workbench before I felt like powering on the CupCake, so I did a little scrubbing and was then ready to go.

Testing the Power Supply

Out of an abundance of caution, I unplugged the power supply from the printer and tested it before powering up the printer. It’s a PC power supply; they do go bad; they tend to fail dark rather than bright; but having the power supply smoke CupCake parts would really set back this process.

testing MakerBot CupCake power supply

Looks fine, though I’m puzzled why the -5V light isn’t on. <shrug>

With the power supply reconnected, the CupCake powers up successfully and its motherboard power switch does turn the power supply on and off. First milestone reached.

by Keith Neufeld at July 07, 2018 03:50 AM

July 05, 2018

NYC Resistor

Intro to Arduino: Sensors and Input/Output on July 15th

Come join us for a class! Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Want to get started with physical computing?

Learn to program an Arduino and interact with the physical world! In this class, we’ll cover an introduction to Arduino and learn how to manipulate outputs based on sensor inputs.

Topics covered

  • What is Arduino?
  • Software setup (IDE, how to program it, the Serial monitor)
  • Reading schematics and wiring diagrams
  • Basics of breadboarding
  • Controlling output (blinking/fading an LED)
  • Reading sensor input (with a pushbutton, potentiometer and light sensor)
  • Combining input and output

Materials

All students will receive a basic electronics starter kit, which contains a starter pack of electronics components and sensors, including a breadboard, wires, light sensor, tilt sensor, LEDs, a motor, and more. Students will also receive an Arduino UNO.

Students should bring their own laptop and install some free software ahead of time:

Who should take this class?

Basic computer knowledge is assumed, and we’ll refresh a few concepts from high school physics and math. No previous experience with coding or circuits is required.

OK, awesome, I want to join!

Please be ready to start at 1pm!  We find that you will need this time to get through the whole class. Our classes tend to sell out about a week in advance so if you’re interested, you may want to sign up early.

This class will be taught by NYC Resistor member Justin Day.  As with all NYC Resistor events, this class is 18+ and governed by our Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct, as well as accessibility information, can be found at www.nycresistor.com/participate/.

Please note that refunds must be requested 72 hours in advance. If you have any questions, please email classes@nycresistor.com.

Get your tickets on Eventbrite.

by Classes at July 05, 2018 05:00 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 30, 2018

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

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

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

Tips and Tales from the Workshop

I’ve been meaning to post a review of Tips and Tales from the Workshop by our friend Gareth Branwyn, but every time I start, I get distracted by the book itself. I keep flipping through and learning new things or being reminded of tricks I once knew.

The subtitle A Handy Reference for Makers is spot on. I imagine that if you’ve worked in a particular kind of workshop all of your life, you already know pretty much all the tricks for your field. What’s great about Gareth’s book is that he sought out tips from those life-long workshop inhabitants and shared them with dabblers like me who like to try all the things or who haven’t had the opportunity to spend the years it takes to amass that knowledge.

One of my favorite tips comes just after the forward in the “Tips credits” where Gareth lists people he gleaned these from.

All of these people are amazing makers and almost all of them have websites and YouTube channels. Do a search. Having all of these people on your radar will yield an ongoing and inspired feed of great shop tips, techniques, and project ideas.

I was tickled to see a bunch of friends names in the list (including our very own Windell) but also pleased to see new names to go seek out for inspiration.

As for the book itself, the illustrations are wonderful, and the organization into types of tasks totally makes sense. When a tool is mentioned, the discussion often delves into details of how the tool works and why it’s designed the way it is.

It is all good stuff, including the quality of the book. I love the way a freshly printed book smells, and the paper used for this is a pleasant weight with a smooth, almost glossy finish.

Thank you, Gareth! This book is a gem!

by Lenore Edman at June 28, 2018 05:44 PM

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 25, 2018

one girl's diary of improvisational engineering

scanlime033 – Robot Odyssey Full Playthrough

Is this a YouTube first, a full play of the whole game? It’s a classic that many have lost patience for, including my childhood self. It’s like if Atari 2600 Adventure were full of digital logic puzzles. Let’s do this, play through from start to finish, and test the new WebAssembly port I’ve been making!

Thank you so much for watching, subscribing, and sharing my videos. And a special thanks to my supporters on Patreon and Liberapay, 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 May 25, 2018 04:07 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

February 26, 2018

mightyOhm

Mike and Key ARC Flea Market, Sat. Mar 10, Puyallup, WA

The 37th annual Mike and Key ARC Electronics Show and Flea Market is just under two weeks away.

I have no affiliation with Mike and Key, but in my opinion this is the best electronics swap meet in the greater Seattle area. I go every year. (If you know of others, post in the comments!)

The Mike and Key flea market will take place on Saturday, March 10th at the Washington State Fairgrounds in Puyallup. Doors open at 9AM (earlier for sellers). I’m looking forward to meeting other PNW electronics and ham radio folks there. I have a seller table again this year so I should be pretty easy to find. I’ll be selling a few kits along with ham radio gear and miscellaneous electronics.

Mike and Key hosts ham radio exams during the swap meet, so if you’re interested in getting a ham radio license this is one opportunity. More details on the event flyer.

More info.

by Jeff at February 26, 2018 07:09 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

November 20, 2017

adafruit industries blog

Biohacking: Learning to See with Sound

There is a software package that has been available since 1992 called “the vOICe“. It allows for sensory substitution creating an audio landscape based on camera images. The primary application for this software is to assist the blind with navigation. However, I can see from a biohacking perspective that “the vOICe” might just fall under the brushing with magic category.  Arthur C. Clarke’s famous quote comes to mind “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. Yes, seeing people blind folded that can successful find a table, pick up a fork and serve themselves might just seem like magic to on lookers.

Early home-made setup for The vOICE. Smaller cameras, phones and Raspberry Pi support are making things less awkward.

Here is a summary of the Hardware options to start experimenting with “the vOICe” today:

The above image has a WAV file associated with it so you can hear what the sine wave and block shapes sound like.

Learning the navigation queues:

The good news is that there is an excellent manual with step by step exercises such as picking up blocks on a table while blind folded. The bad news is that this process of hearing where things are needs to be done in baby steps. Just picking up brightly colored blocks from a dark table has a recommended two week training period with 30 minutes a day block practice. Full soundscape navigation fluency is expected to take up to a year.

The voice works in a very predictable way “scans the view from left to right, while associating height with pitch and brightness with loudness. Another way of describing the mapping is that each view is scanned in thin vertical slices, starting with a vertical slice sounding on your left side and ending with a vertical slice sounding on your right side.”

Reading through the manual and attempting to navigate my home with the Droid app required I make some adjustments:

  • Lower the volume – the soundscapes being played are intense and even irritating depending on what is in the current frame. Lower volume helps a lot with absorbing the sounds.
  • Practice Blindfolded
  • Move quickly (when safe to do so) or at least naturally. Moving slow is different experience that has too much thinking involved. The goal is to stop analyzing and become fluent.

by Mikey Sklar at November 20, 2017 09:00 PM

Adafruit Holiday Gift Guide 2017 – Flora, Gemma, and Circuit Playground Classic

All this week we’ll be featuring microcontrollers and development boards as part of our ongoing 2017 Gift Guides!

If you’re looking to get someone interested in a wearables-centric Arduino-compatible platform, Flora is a great place to start. The board is currently in version 3 and is compatible with a smörgåsbord of breakout sensors and modules – including GPS, accelerometer, light sensor, and even a UV index sensor, and more! If you’re curious to see more about those sensors check out the video below and accompanying Flora Sensors Learn Guide for more pictures and descriptions. The Flora book pack is currently out of stock but the standalone book is available so you could still build your own Flora ‘book pack’ for that special someone interested in wearables.


If you’re looking for a wearable solution that’s a bit more discreet, or maybe you only need a few (as in 3) GPIOs, look no further than the Gemma, a small but highly capable device (described in detail – both operationally and with example uses – at this Learn Guide). Measuring only 1″ in diameter, the unit is powered by an ATtiny85 with 8K of flash. Power can be delivered via external battery or USB – and it now even has a micro on/off switch (not shown in following video). Check it out:


Breakout Moment!

Okay so you’re interested in the Flora, but the Gemma is just so darn cute! (And you’ve heard fun things about ATtiny85.) But which one is really for you? Thankfully there’s a video for that! Watch:


OK both the Flora and Gemma look very capable. (Because they are!) But maybe you’re looking for something with just a bit more…zazz! Perhaps a light sensor on-board, oh and a microphone would be swell! And what are the chances of having a small board (I like that round form factor too) with an accelerometer, thermistor, and a bevy of NeoPixels already installed for feedback display or just aesthetics? There’s a board for that! And it looks great too:


 
It’s the Circuit Playground Classic and it contains all the sensors and LEDs previously mentioned and even more! Including pushbuttons, a miniature speaker, and capacitive-capable inputs. At 2″ round, this board packs a punch and is even cheaper than a standard Arduino – WOW!

To give you an example of the touch-and-sound capabilities of the Circuit Playground Classic check out this Star Trek combadge; and to see an example of the feedback from NeoPixels check out this electronic D6 dice project (that uses the accelerometer to detect a ‘roll’).


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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 20, 2017 05:30 AM

November 14, 2017

adafruit industries blog

Make Robot Puppy, Not Robot Enemy: Boston Dynamics’ Latest Robot Dog

via The Verge

Robot maker Boston Dynamics, now owned by Japanese telecom and tech giant SoftBank, just published a short YouTube clip featuring a new, more advanced version of its SpotMini robot. SpotMini, first unveiled in June 2016, started out as a giraffe-looking chore bot that was pretty terrible at performing tasks around the house, and, in one short clip, hilariously ate it on a cluster of banana peels like a character straight out of a slapstick cartoon.

The new SpotMini looks much more polished and less grotesque, like a real-life cross between a Pixar animation and a robot out of a Neill Blomkamp vision of the future, thanks in part to series of bright yellow plates covering its legs and body. The new bot’s movement also looks incredibly fluid. It shows just how much progress Boston Dynamics is making on its goal of life-like, animal-inspired robots that can move and respond to the forces in the real world.

See more!

by Zay at November 14, 2017 08:00 AM

October 20, 2017

adafruit industries blog

Animated ‘Snake Eyes’ Embedded in Day of the Dead Print | #ElectronicHalloween #RaspberryPi #piday

Thanks to educator Kristoffer for sending us images – and video! below – of his snake eyes bonnet with accompanying displays attached to a Raspberry Pi 3, displaying two eyes embedded inside a Day of the Dead print, itself inside a coffin-shaped frame. What a clever way to embed some moving eyes!


Adafruit electronic halloween dark HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Every weekday this month we’ll be bringing you ideas and projects for an Electronic Halloween! Expect wearables, hacks & mods, costumes and more here on the Adafruit blog! Working on a project for Halloween this year? Share it with us on Google+, in the comments below, the Adafruit forums, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter— we’d love to see what you’re up to and share it with the world (tag your posts #ElectronicHalloween). You can also send us a blog tip! Tune in to our live shows, 3D hangouts with Noe and Pedro and Ask an Engineer, featuring store discount codes, ideas for projects, costumes, decorations, and more!

by nicknormal at October 20, 2017 03:18 PM

September 27, 2017

adafruit industries blog

Seen at #MakerFaire: ‘Some Cool Stuff!’ – Specifically a DIY Kaleidoscope – by Randy Sarafan

Instructables Design Studio founder Randy Sarafan had a few projects on display at the recent World Maker Faire. He was showing some of his well-known robotics projects but the one that really caught my eye was his homemade kaleidoscope with a clamping mechanism for holding your cameraphone steady after you position the camera’s lens against the viewing receptacle (shown below) of the kaleidoscope:

A small motor could turn the kaleidoscope, or alternatively you could point it at something which itself is moving (such as images on a screen). The clamping mechanism allows you to record video or take stills of kaleidoscopic images like so:

See more of Randy’s projects here on his website.

by nicknormal at September 27, 2017 11:24 AM

July 28, 2017

todbot blog

ILOVELAMP: my Supplyframe DesignLab residency project

For four months this year I had a residency at the Supplyframe DesignLab.  I worked on “ILOVELAMP“, a project experimenting with creating lamps with configurable light emitting surfaces using addressable LED strips. Check out the project: https://hackaday.io/project/20121-i-love-lamp

by todbot at July 28, 2017 05:55 PM

July 09, 2017

todbot blog

Replacing the battery in a Macbook Pro Retina (late 2013)

I really like the generation previous to the current Macbook Pros. You know the ones. They had all the useful ports like USB-A, HDMI, an SD Card slot, and MagSafe!  And it had a long-lived battery in a thin case. That is my Macbook Pro. And it’s wonderful. But now 3.5 years on, the once [...]

by todbot at July 09, 2017 02:31 AM

May 23, 2017

DorkbotPDX

Monolith Synth

Monolith Synth paul Tue, 2017-05-23 12:06

Over the last several weeks I collaborated with Ben Davis, Darcy Neal and Ross Fish on this Monolith Synth interactive sculpture we took to Tested and Maker Faire.

This was a pretty typical usage scene at Maker Faire:

A post shared by Darcy Neal (@drc3p0) on

This crazy adventure started with Kickstarter reached out to me, only 6 weeks before Maker Faire, looking to showcase 4 successful projects in their booth. They wanted to show "creative tools" and how people used them. So I reached out to a few synthesizer folks I've met and who've used Teensy. They also suggested bringing it to Tested to make a video. So it began...

From the beginning I had a step sequencer using illuminated arcade buttons in mind. So I quickly designed this little I/O expander board and sent it off to OSH Park's Super-Swift service.

The whole project came together over just 4 weeks. Our first meetup was just to discuss what to build, followed a week later by our first build night. By then the I/O expander boards had arrived. We made not the final Monolith, but 3 breadboard prototypes, so the software development side could begin!

Another meetup focused only on software. Almost all the software was developed on these prototype panels.

In this picture you can also see the panel layout sketches on the notepad on the right side, and a blue tape model underneath on the table, which we made to get an idea of the overall size.

Ross and Darcy had synthesis plans that needed a signal-controlled PWM waveform and improvements to the envelope feature, so I worked on improvements to the Teensy Audio Library while they wrote the Arduino sketch code.

The day before our next meetup, I started turning those sketches into a design for the laser cutting. I made this 1/4 scale model of the front and side pieces. At this point, none of the back side or interior ribs (for strength) had been designed, and you can see the model lacks the many holes for screws & brackets which joined everything.

Only 2 weeks before Maker Faire we had an epic 13-hour build day where all the final parts were laser cut and assembled. Here's a photo of Darcy & Ben putting the panels together on my kitchen counter!

All the clear acrylic plastic parts were completely drawn, with all mounting holes, and made that day.

Here's the complete layout of all parts (mk2017_design):

Here's a large high-res copy of this image, and a big ZIP file with all the original Corel Draw files for anyone who wishes to try making their own.

While the laser did most fabrication work, other steps like countersinking for the potentiometers were needed. It was indeed an epic 13 hour day of making.

A couple days later, I spent a whole day completing the wiring we couldn't get done in those 13 hours. Erin Murphy (the "Soldering Goddess" at PJRC) put in a few hours on aesthetic improvements to the messy tangle of wires from so many buttons.

Just a few days later we had our last "build" session, to get the 3 separately written Arduino sketches merged and working together as one integrated project. Even though everything has been designed to go together, this session went very late. Ben did much of the heavy lifting to merge the 3 programs.

This is the final audio DSP system settled upon that late night.

Here's a large high-res copy of this image.

This was the first actual usage of the Monolith, well past 1am when we finally had it all up and running.

The next day I took it all apart and packed all the pieces and spare parts into these 2 big boxes, weighing in at 55 and 40 pounds!

This is the first time I've ever shipped a project to Maker Faire, rather than driving a truck or hauling cases of checked baggage on a plane. So much easier, and it allowed time to work on a nice handout card. After some back and forth with the others and last-minute proof reading by Robin, who caught what would have been embarrassing typos and grammatical errors, we sent this card off to be fast-turn printed.


Here is a printable PDF file for the front side.


Here is a printable PDF file for the back side.

Darcy and I flew to San Francisco early and spent the day with Tested, putting it back together while they shot that awesome video. Sometime I hope to have even 1/10th that sort of video production skill.

Since it was already put together, we had little to do setup-wise. Friday morning Ben, Ross and Darcy did some adjustments of the sound levels which really made it come to life in the space. For anyone who wishes to dig deeper into the technical details, thecomplete source code is available on Github.

All weekend long people really enjoyed playing with it. There were many really awesome moments, like this one:

Here is Kickstarter's coverage of the event. Scroll down a bit to the part about Teensy. :)

During the 3 days of Maker Faire, things went very well. We did experience a couple minor issues. Massive electrical noise from so many other projects played havoc with the capacitive touch sensing. Saturday evening I rewrote the code to look for changes from an average rather than just an increase from a threshold, which allowed it to usually work well enough. The other tech issue was a bass. When turned up louder, the bass notes would shake all the plastic panels, rattling screws and even some of the connectors loose at time. Easy to fix.

Towards the end of Sunday, the Maker Faire folks came around and gave up an award. At first I shrugged it off, since they've done the same for other stuff I've brought in prior years. But those were the blue ribbons. Apparently the only hand out one of these red one each in "zone". They said it's a big deal...

Really, the best thing about this year was working with a great team. Ross, Darcy and Ben really stepped up and did a great job on so many parts.

by paul at May 23, 2017 06:06 PM