Before we get into the new parts for this week, I wanted to answer several people who’ve asked what software I use to create Fritzing parts. Fritzing parts consist of vector art (tinySVG files) and an XML file which contains the data about the part, like connector names, part descriptions, etc. To draw the SVG files, I use Inkscape. For the text editing, which can get quite extensive on parts with a lot of connectors, I use EditPad Lite, though any text editor will probably work just as well. Finally, the built-in Fritzing parts editor is useful for combining all the images together.
I’d also like to mention that you are welcome to make parts requests in the comments here or on future Fritzing Friday posts — I can’t guarantee that all the parts requested will end up in the library, but I’ll certainly take it under advisement.
Fritzing Friday is my weekly roundup of the parts I’ve added to our Adafruit Fritzing Library. This week, we’ve got multi-segment LED displays, TFT displays, and a whole bunch of breakout boards.
To start things off, we’ve got our 0.56″ 4-digit 7-segment I2C display boards, available in red, green, yellow and blue. In Fritzing, you can switch between colors using the drop-down menu, the same way you choose colors for a regular LED. Rather than use the standard “8888″ 7-segment demo, I decided to mix it up a bit — each color has it’s own 4-digit number.
Next up, our 8×8 LED Matrix I2C displays, also available in red, green, yellow, and blue. Just like the 7-segment displays, you can select the LED color from a drop-down menu in the Fritzing Part Inspector panel.
Our 2.2″ and 1.8″ TFT LCD boards can be controlled over SPI, and have a microSD slot on the back for storing bitmap images with 18-bit color depth. The Adafruit TFT library for Arduino can be used to draw bitmaps or vector shapes:
Finally, I’ve added a bunch of handy breakout boards:
First up, the PCA9685 16×12-bit Servo PWM board (above), which is capable of driving up to 16 servo motors at once. All those motors need a good amount of current, so it’s best to use a separate power supply — easily added with our 2.1mm-to-terminal block adapter (above, top). The PCA9685 Fritzing part behaves just like the real part — all the GND and V+ lines are bussed together, as are the I2C terminals on either end.
Fritzing makes it easy to virtually breadboard anything you can imagine, and helps you optimize your breadboard wiring so that everything is neat and clean before you build it physically. To make it easier to prototype your designs on our Pi Plate board, we’ve added this Pi Plate part to our Fritzing Library.
The Fritzing Pi Plate is designed to behave exactly the same as the real board. All the tie points on the stripboard section are bussed together, and the protoboard section can be wired any way you like — you can even create simulated solder jumpers. Each of the terminal blocks is connected to the appropriate board tie points, and you can run wires from the term blocks as well. In addition, there are four ‘user’ term blocks (in the upper right corner of the image above) that you can use for anything you like!