Massimo Banzi is the co-founder of the Arduino project. He has worked as a consultant for clients such as: Prada, Artemide, Persol, Whirlpool, V&A Museum and Adidas. He spent 4 years at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea as Associate Professor. Massimo has taught workshops and has been a guest speaker at institutions like Medialab Madrid, ARS Electronica Linz, and Doors of Perception Amsterdam. Before joining IDII he was CTO for the Seat Ventures incubator. He spent many years working as a software architect, both in Milan and London, on projects for clients like Italia Online, Sapient, Labour Party, BT, and boo.com.
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
Live show-and-tell with google+ hangout and Ustream 9:30pm ET, Saturday night 10/1/2011 ! If you have a project and you want to share and talk about it stop by the Limor Fried Google+ stream around 9:30pm and join the hangout. Make sure your camera works, you’re in a quiet area (or can quickly mute your mic) as others are presenting.
We first encountered this chip when working on the spokePOV kit. We wanted to control 60 LEDs from an Attiny2313. I only had maybe 5 pins to spare so even something like ‘charlie-plexing’ wouldn’t work. A great solution came to us with the suggestion of checking out the 74HC595. This is a chip that takes serial input (3 digital pins) and has 8 digital outputs. You can chain these puppies together to have near-infinite number of outputs. Perfect for controlling LED displays!
The maker movement and open source hardware are also gaining momentum on continental Europe, and this weekend there will be a makerfaire-like event in Berlin with a few Open hardware workshops: there will be the Milkymist + Arduino workshop you already blogged about, but also a Nanode workshop (that I’m taking organizing) and a Drawdio workshop. Would be great if you could help us promote them and spread the word. I pasted the relevant links at the end.
Did you ever want to upgrade your bread-boarded circuits to something more permanent? Or maybe you’ve got a hankering to make your own metal jewelry? Today we’ll show you how you can do both. With super simple copper etching. Lets go!
NEW PRODUCT – Mini Volt Meter. Put a voltage meter anywhere with this very handy display. These are often used by RC hobbyists for keeping track of batteries but we thought it would be great on a breadboard or enclosure.
Simply connect the red wire to the positive supply, and black to negative ground. The display has a microcontroller that will read the voltage, compare it to a stable reference and display the voltage with 0.1V precision on a 3-digit 7-segment display. It works from 3.2V up to 30V so it will be good for nearly any electronic project! The meter draws 3-4mA to power the microcontroller and display. This particular LED display is a nice vivid green, which we found very readable. Mounting tabs make this module easy to attach to any box or plate.
Jake von Slatt was invited by Hendrick’s Gin to participate in their “Curate-a-Box” contest. He decided to create an electronics-themed box, which combines Iceland’s ancient runic characters with the magic of radio, evoked by the mysterious glyphs known to us as electronic schematic symbols. As you can see, the result is nothing short of spectacular. Jake writes:
The electrolytically etched brass plate on top of the box depicts symbols used in science, engineering, and alchemy. An Icelandic Vegvísir is featured prominently surrounded by the components of a modern magnetron microwave transmitting tube. The background features the schematic diagram for a vintage Heathkit oscilloscope.
The Vegvísir is often thought of as a mystical symbol but it is in fact a very practical mnemonic device for mastering navigational rules of thumb.
Opening the box, the seeker will discover that it is lined with with pages from the 1935 edition of “Modern Radio Servicing.” as well as a “Junior Electronics Lab.” Interacting with said lab via the instruction manual will de-mystify the very nature of radio itself for the engaged participant.
re:char seeks an entrepreneurial engineer ready to change the world.
You’ll be working with our 5-person team, operating out of a shipping container workshop of our own (evolving) design.
A willingness to work on a start-up schedule and ability to live, full-time, in Kenya is essential.
Requirements: -BS in a technical field or beyond-equivalent work experience. -A willingness and desire to spend extended periods of time working in developing countries -Experience with the following techniques: welding, 3d design, fabrication, improvisation -Interest in and familiarity with low-cost design principles for bottom of the pyramid customers
Ideal candidates will also possess the following: -Experience/interest in agricultural technologies -Familiarity with biochar/charcoal production technologies -Familiarity with combustion/fuel chemistry
Some of the more interesting tools you’ll have 24/7 access to include: -4’x4’ plasmacam cnc, with parts to build several DIY cnc setups ordered -multiple welding processes (tig, oxy, arc, spot) -extensive metalworking and woodworking equipment
This fellowship will last for 6-12 months; a strong performer may then be offered a long-term, equity position This position is paid, with a small stipend + expenses You should only apply if you care more about making awesome stuff than rolling in piles of money
To apply, email me ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) the following:
1. Your resume 2. An explanation of why you want this job 3. 1 picture each and a 1-sentence description of the 3 things you’ve built of which you are most proud 4. A description of one thing you’d want to build in the shipping container shop and sell to customers in developing countries
I’d like to say that I’ve had a very positive experience with the RGB backlit LCD.
I have incorporated it into an Arduino-based dual-stage temperature controller that keeps a refrigerator at whatever temperature I set it with a front-panel switch (used for brewing beer). When the temperature is within 1 degree of the setpoint, the display is green. When it turns on the 110VAC to the cooling outlet (fridge power), it turns the display blue, and when it turns on the heating outlet (40W light bulb), it turns the display red.
It’s a great application for that display and has impressed a few people. I’d be willing to share some pictures if you’re interested. It uses three of your TMP36 sensors and an Uno.
p.s. It also incorporates an XBee so I can control the temperatures remotely (it’s in another building), but I can receive ambient air, ambient fridge air, and carboy temperatures for logging. Remote control is handy because of the temperature fluctuations required for lagering that take place over the course of days. Might as well automate that instead of walking out and manually changing the setpoints, right? :)
So I journeyed out to the New York Hall of Science in Queens, a site I remember from my childhood as a park of towering rocket ships and a massive great hall that celebrated space travel.
The one thing that is clear the moment you arrive at the Maker Faire is that the term ‘geek’ has gone mainstream. The sprawling campus of booths, tents, performances, and technology has its share of edgy Brooklyn-based performance artists. But the crowd was largely kids, families, and inventors. What Make Magazine calls “Makers.”
Clearly none of these Makers want to be pouring cement, or building cars. Rather, they want to be using a soldering iron or a computer keyboard to invent new ways to live, play, and work.
Among the trends I’d take President Obama to explore – the remarkable phenomenon that is the Arduino, an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. Arduino is a prime example of open-source technology fueling innovation abd learning. How mainstream is the Arduino? Well, it goes on sale at Radio Shack this fall. (http://www.arduino.cc/)
With Arduino 1.0 approaching we thought we could take some time to understand better the different libraries for Arduino out there including the state of compatibility with 1.0
At the moment , finding a library for Arduino is quite complex for a user (especially for beginners) because there is no official registry of libraries and some these libraries are abandoned although they might still be useful with some maintenance.
As part of the current effort to open up as many parts of the Arduino process as possibile we have thought about how to improve the situation and here are some actions undertaken right now:
1. we are working on a database of every Arduino library available. This will be published on our website as soon as it’s done. In the meantime library authors can help us by entering their library in the “database” through this link
Please add your library specifying all the required info so that we can contact you in case we need more info.
The only requirement is that the library must run on at least one of the boards listed in the Arduino IDE.
2. We have created a new repository for Arduino Libraries on github available here: https://github.com/arduino-libraries
we encourage every library author to migrate their code there (especially if they are not using a sourcecode repository) . We’ll create projects for each library managed by the original library author. This will allow each library to have a documentation page and an issue management page.
In the future we expect this repository to be part of a system that will make it very easy for the users to select and install libraries directly from the ide being warned of any update available for the ones they currently have installed.
It’s a bit of a large project in a way but in the long run it will create a nice repository of very useful code.