Well, I really wanted to make my own version of a locket with leds, as seen on HaD some time ago. So I ordered some lockets as soon as I could. However, the seller did include a smaller locket as a gift…. And I couldn’t think of a use to it… Well, until I gave it a thought. Meet the ee-locket! A locket with 64k of eeprom embedded in it on a tiny PCB.
1st Place : Gadget Gangster Full Kit (parallax) / Nook Color (gg)
2nd Place: Multicore Startup Special (parallax) / Gadget Gangster T-Shirt (gg)
3rd Place: El’ Jugador (parallax) / Propeller Platform Kit (signed by Jon Williams) (gg)
30% community participation: Entrants are expected to help others and contribute design ideas on the forums or Object Exchange and use community resources.
How to: Start a thread for your project. (If you haven’t done so already) Post a link to that thread in this one with your intent to enter the contest. Allow your project to develop publicly, working with other forum members to fine tune your design and code. Keep old designs and code in the thread so that we may track your progress and learn from it.
25% capabilities & design appropriateness: External hardware should build upon the capabilities of the Propeller Platform, maintaining compatibility with the existing configuration.
How to: Both the original Propeller Platform & Propeller Platform USB are considered fair game. As well as any compatible board. Understand that the Propeller Platform USB will be the most common, so if you are producing a product which might shared or sold, keep the onboard SD adapter in mind.
25% usefulness: The entry should be useful to others.
20% success easy to duplicate: All designs should be open source providing schematic, code, and PCB layout files (if possible).
How to: Not understanding how to use a schematic tool, or PCB layout software won’t throw you out of the contest. Document your work as much as possible, as plainly as possible. Provide videos if possible. Make your project as easy for someone to replicate as you can. Involve others who can help you in these areas if possible. (Community involvement is part of your score.)
Propeller Platform USB. The Propeller Platform USB is an open-source platform for building your own electronics projects with the new 8-core Parallax Propeller chip. This development board has the programming/debugging interface built in along with a microSD card slot.
Design your project in Spin, a custom programming language perfect for beginners (tutorials)
Collaborate with your PC, built in USB lets you update programs or share data with your computer
Interact with the real world, 32 I/O pins let you read tons of sensors and control multiple devices
Output video or advanced audio, Built in video hardware makes video easy, microSD lets you include Hi-Fi audio samples
Expand with any breadboard or protoboard, use a custom designed module, or create your own
What Can You Do With the Propeller Platform USB?
Turning Stuff Off and On:
32 I/O pins means you can connect to many devices at the same time – multiple LED's, real-time clocks, switches, and relays. It's easy to control dozens of devices.
A unique architecture lets you simultaneously control multiple motors and read multiple sensors. Take a look at the Spyder, an auto-balancing quadcopter running on the Propeller. A screw terminal power connection helps to connect a battery, and the ultra low dropout voltage regulator runs with as little as 5.5V input power.
If you want to make your own games, adding video output is as simple as using 3 resistors and an RCA jack. Games like X-Racer are possible, and you can output video in PAL, NTSC, or even VGA. Advanced sound capabilities let you enhance your game, too.
Playback 16-bit stereo wavs stored on the microSD / SDHC card, output TOSLINK (optical) SPDIF audio with a standard LED, or create your own digital effects.
The iCufflinks use an Atmel ATtiny4 microcontroller (MCU) as the brains to controlling the LED lighting pattern. The MCU is an 8-bit processor with 32 bytes of SRAM, only a handful of registers, and 512 bytes of flash for program storage. The stack is stored in the SRAM so you don’t really get to use it for anything.
The original hardware design and software are all open source and can be found on the Adafruit GitHub. One of the things about the design is that it runs on CR1220 batteries and it is recommended that they be changed after 24 hours of use. That is what got me thinking that I could improve this product to increase the amount of time between battery changes.
I have also never read nor written assembly code for an AVR processor and the last time I probably looked at assembly was 386 stuff about 20 years ago. So excuse any minor assembly style issues. I was temped to rewrite the code in C but with the limited flash space I had to rule this out. Had this been a ATtiny9 with 1k bytes I would have gone this route. The small overhead that AVR Studio introduces was just a tiny bit too much for this limited memory space.
This is a great example of how well open source hardware can work, Scott was able to recreate and improve our wearable electronics product(s) – it’s being modded and improved and it’s only been out a few weeks.
Have you ever designed an electronic schematic then wanted to share it on your blog? Or wanted help improving your circuit on a forum? Ever peered at a tiny/massive image of a circuit on a website and wondered why on earth there wasn’t a better alternative?
We have. Back in 2010 we were working on our first major electronics project, the Illuminatrix, an array of 256 RGB LEDs that were to show animations created by people all over the world at the Burning Man festival. It involved using a lot of technology we’d never used before, so we weren’t quite sure about our circuit designs.
We tried posting on blogs and forums trying to explain our schematic and the problems we were having with it. This proved more difficult than we expected: describing a circuit in words is really hard, so we tried to post an image of our schematic instead, and our schematic project files.
This involved a lot of messing around with capturing JPEGs of the schematic and uploading all the project’s symbol libraries and schematic files. But of course people willing to help didn’t necessarily have the right software, or the JPEG was too small to read usefully, or too large to post on many of the forums. We thought that there must be a better way to share schematics, to discuss them, and to show them to people while writing about them. It turned out there wasn’t anything out there that would help us do this, so being the ambitious fools that we are we set out to create it.
CircuitBee is like YouTube for your circuit schematics. You upload your Eagle or KiCAD schematics, we crunch the numbers and create an online embeddable version of your schematic. You can pan and zoom, and mouse over components in your circuits for more details .
We’re still at an early alpha stage right now, so you’ll have to forgive any hiccups we have going forward. But you can get started immediately by visiting Circuitbee and signing up for an account. Then simply upload your schematic files, any associated library files, and let our servers do the hard work. Within a few minutes your schematic should be ready to embed on your site or forum.
Eventually we plan to add lots more useful features like downloading original schematic files, searching for components within schematics and adding notes and annotations to your circuits. We want to make it easier for all of us to communicate our circuit design ideas and to help each other improve our designs.
We hope to make CircuitBee into the most useful service for hobby electronics enthusiasts, so we’re going to keep the service free for as long as we can. We’ll need your help to reach our goals though, so please let us know what you think of the site, what needs improving and what else we can do to make learning about electronics and sharing your designs easier than ever before.
In a recent interview, one of the tasks for the candidate was to give the diode names for various schematic symbols. Some were easy and others were a bit more obscure. And to make matters more interesting, there are multiple symbols for some. Below are a few examples, but know that there are many more not mentioned here.
MANUFACTURING MONDAY – SMT Manufacturing – tips & tricks – Hot tweezers. The MX500 soldering station is particularly good for hot tweezing, it has two ports on the front. One connects to the iron and the other we connect to a hot tweezer. You can switch out tips just like with the soldering wand. The system is called MX-PTZ and you can check out Metcal’s page for all the various tips you can get for reworking different-sized parts.
Wow! — this piece by artist Gaelen Sayres is quite chilling and effective:
I have created a system that reads real time earthquake updates from around the world and depending on the magnitude it receives, disrupts and shakes a set of Japanese tableware by use of solenoid. While artists such as Susy Bielak, in her work “Quake/Temblor”, have previously explored the relationship between humans and geographic disaster, my motivation ultimately comes from my own first hand experience of Japan’s recent large March 11th earthquake.
While I got off relatively easy (knowing I had a home and family outside of Japan that I could “return” to) my Japanese friends and family did not. A week of aftershocks and lack of news coverage was more than enough to leave me wondering how much control I had over my life and to realize that even the common act of sharing a family meal without fear of disruption should not be taken for granted. That said, the choice of Japanese dinnerware will hopefully work as a metaphor for the stability of shelter and family ties (namely in Japan) being broken in some way with each new earthquake being recorded. Ultimately, it is not the tangible rattling of plates that I am hoping to capture on the plinth, but the knowledge of disruption and unease that is happening somewhere in the world outside of the viewer’s “stable” gallery.
SOFTWARE SUNDAY – Gerber Viewers. Nothing makes an engineer more nervous than a “tape-out” – that moment you send files off to a manufacturing house for PCBs (or chips). Will the returned product be correct, letting you continue onto manufacture? Or will there be a (dumb) mistake, setting you back 3 weeks and hundreds to thousands of dollars? Even the best engineers I know still get antsy and nervous in the lead up to a release!
That’s why its so important to do everything you can to avoid problems. Now, there’s not one engineer out there who has done nothing but fab perfect designs each time. Heck, even Microsoft had XBox manufacturing problems, they happen! But every step you take to avoid an easily-fixable problem is worth your attention.
Before we send of PCBs, of course we do a ERC/DFM check inside the software but even then, we always take a look at the final GERBER files before they are zipped up and sent off to the fab house.
Google suspended my Limor Fried “Ladyada” Google+ profile, no show-and-tell tonight… It’s my real name, a picture of me – my posts and my nickname. I made sure it wasn’t “Adafruit Industries” and specifically me when google asked people to only use real names in their profiles. No explanation or reason why, just nuked.
UPDATE: Profile is back, I seem to be back! Thank you friends and supports as well as whoever at google who restored me
Will try and do the show-and-tell, look for it around 9:30pm ET!
What is “Ask an engineer”? From the electronics enthusiast to the professional community – “Ask an Engineer” has a little bit of everything for everyone. If you’re a beginner, or a seasoned engineer – stop in and see what we’re up to! We have demos of projects and products we’re working on, we answer your engineering and electronics questions and we have a trivia question + give away each week. Mosfet the cat stops by too. Previous chats can be viewed at http://www.adafruit.com/ask
Google+ profile back, we’re going to try to do this!
Update: Google suspended my google+ profile (Limor “Ladyada” Fried). I made sure it was clear I was a real person using my name, nickname and a photo of me.
The next LIVE Show-and-Tell is Saturday night 9:30pm ET! BRING OUT YER TRONIX’ – if you have a project to share visit Ladyada’s google+ stream to look for the hangout link around 9:30pm ET. We will tweet it / post up in the IRC channel for “Ask An Engineer”. Remember ONLY stop in if you plan to show a project!
USB / DC / Solar Lithium Ion/Polymer charger – v1.0. Make your projects to go green this summer with our specialized USB/Solar Lithium Ion Polymer Battery charger! This charger is a very unique design, perfect for outdoor projects, or DIY iPod chargers. We’ve spent over a year testing and tinkering with this charger to come up with a plug and play solution to charging batteries with the sun and we’re really pleased with what we ended up with.
Comes with an assembled and tested charger board, a large capacitor (you will need to solder it in however you would like it to sit), a JST 2-pin cable for connecting up a battery or load, and for a limited time a bonus 2.1mm adapter cable that will convert the small 1.4mm jack to a 2.1mm jack.
3.7V/4.2V Lithium Ion or Lithium Polymer battery charger