NEW PRODUCT – Uzebox Starter Kit – v1.0 – The Uzebox is a fully open-source, DIY 8-bit game console. It is designed specifically for people who know a little bit of programming to expand into designing and creating their own video games and demos. A full-featured core runs in the background and does all the video and audio processing so that your code stays clean and easy to understand.
This electronic kit comes unassembled: it includes the PCB, pre-programmed chip, and all components including a pre-soldered video chip. All but one of the components are through-hole, so you can build it yourself without difficulty. However, it is a 1-2 hr project and its best to have used your soldering iron before this project.
Parallax Partners with the U.S. Army and Carnegie Mellon University to host the 2013 National microMedic Contest to Encourage Medical Innovation
Uncle Sam Wants You! Now’s your chance to change the way our country does medical simulation and battlefield care. The 2013 microMedic National Contest is calling the best and brightest, that’s you, to help invent new medical applications using microcontrollers. With over $25,000 in cash and prizes awarded to the winners, what are you waiting for? Contestants may use any microcontroller they desire in their application. Parallax is offering two flavors of the microMedic Application Idea Kit full of tons of sensors and cool parts; one kit has the multi-core Propeller chip, the other includes the Board of Education Shield (for Arduino).
In order to help you in your quest we’ve created a special discussion forum for the microMedic contest, provided a list of project ideas and created a bunch of mini-tutorials to help you get started with the kit sensors. We’re even giving away 100 free kits to the first qualified entries. This contest is open to participants of all ages with special prizes for educational and public division winners.
NEW PRODUCT! littleBits Teaser Kit – Curious about littleBits but don’t know where to start, or what it is? Want to offer a friend a tiny touch of magnet magic, you’ll love the teaser kit! Tiny enough to fit in your purse or pocket, but still big enough to impress. Each bit has a simple, unique function (light, sound, sensors, etc), and modules snap to make larger circuits. With a growing number of available modules, littleBits aims to put the power of engineers in the hands of artists, makers and children. Contents: coin battery (rechargeable via micro usb cable) bargraph pressure sensor.
See our new TIMESQUARE Watch Kit in all it’s blinky glory in this video that shows you the watch’s features, tells you how to set the time, and overviews the trickier parts of assembly. Check it out on YouTube (please subscribe!) and Vimeo.
The question of the day is: “What makes a good BOM?” There are a lot of BOM formats in use. It’s one area that the standards train more or less left behind. Well, there are standards. For example, IPC-2581 covers not only BOM standards, but a replacement for Gerbers and the whole manufacturing data package. One of these days, we’ll all be using the IPC-2581 formats for our data and life will be beautiful all of the time.
And here is his list of pointers to consider:
"BomItem" or "Item #": This is just the line number. Each type of part gets an item line, not each part. If the pat number is the same, you just put it down once and give the quantity.
"quantity" or "Qty": How many of this specific part you need per board
"RefDes": The reference designators used by the parts on the PCB silk screen. All of the same part number should be in the same excel spreadsheet cell: i.e., "R3, R4, R5, R6". You can also indicate a contiguous range with a dash: "R3-R6" or "R3-R6, R10, R15"
"Manufacturer" or "Manf": The name of the component manufacturer. It's best to spell out the full name, e.g., "Texas Instruments", but common abbreviations such as "TI" generally work too. The less ambiguity, the better.
"Mfg Part #" or "Manufacturer Part #": The part number that you would use if you were buying this exact part from the manufacturer or a distributor. All of the suffixes are important too. For example, "PIC16F88" is not enough when you really need a "PIC16F88-I/P".
"Dist. Part #" or "Distributor Part #":Not strictly necessary, but can help in cases with a bit of ambiguity. Again, this would need to be the exact part numer as you would order it from that distributor.
"Description"or "Desc": This is the component description as given by the manufacturer. Again, this isn't strictly required, just a good idea.
"Package": This is the standard package type, e.g., "SOT-23", "TO-92", "0201". Again, not strictly necessary but can be a good redundant check.
"Type": Optional indicator of the generic type. e.g., "fine pitch", "smt", "thru-hole", "Leadless". Not required but can help with assembly quoting.
Check out the DIY-centric “Making Things” series at the experimental retail venue STORY during the month of October, in partnership with GE Garages. (Schedule for talks.)
In particular, check out Oct 21st when I will be giving demos for using 3D printers and Adafruit DIY electronic kits in tandem. (I’ll share the Skillshare link to sign up for the hands-on demo this week when it launches.)
3D Printing & DIY Electronics w/ Matthew Griffin, Adafruit
A hands-on interactive workshop where participants can learn about the design practices of 3D printing and execute wild and ambitious ideas in solid plastic. Matthew Griffin is Adafruit’s director of community support and evangelism. He has a long held passion for using technology to create art and document experiences.
Steve on Flickr writes: “A recently acquired 1978 Heathkit dip meter, in excellent shape and tested very close to calibration. Had to replace the rotted foam that held the 9volt battery in place, but that was no hardship.”
One of our favorite things to sell here at Adafruit are experimentation/beginners kits. We know that with every one of these kits that we sell, we are introducing someone to a new hobby or skill. Thankfully, Adafruit stocks a huge variety of experimentation kits for all age levels. Here are our favorites:
We also offer a great starter pack for the Arduino. This pack includes everything you need to follow along with Ladyada’s fantastic Arduino tutorial. Once you have completed the online tutorials you will have some great gear to get you started on your first project. We also have a budget Arduino pack that will allow you to finish Ladyada’s tutorial as well.
mbed is another really powerful microcontroller that is also super easy to use thanks to the mbed online IDE. We have this neat mbed RFID/NFC starter kit that will not only introduce you to the mbed, but also teach you how to incorporate RFID/NFC into your projects.
Wave JT is a multi-function LED chaser/scanner/sequencer. Wave JT incorporates Joule Thief to power the LEDs, so it operates on just a single AA battery.
Wave JT has over 16 sequence patterns, and speed can be adjusted by double/triple tapping the button. It’s the most compact yet versatile LED chaser.
Sequence patterns include many variation of the classic “Larson Scanner”, random sparks, fade in/out, flashing, etc.
This developed as a spinoff from the hardware and controllers I’m designing for a range of nixie clocks and watches as a ‘simple’ project that wouldn’t need much software to complete it.
All visible parts are made from materials contemporary with Nixie technology and no modern plastics or resins are used anywhere in its’ consruction (other than the electronic components and PCBs). The board and pieces are machined from phenolic resin laminate and assembled using brass fittings. The brown base pieces have been filled and wiped with gold and silver engravers wax, giving a ‘worn gilding’ appearance.
The displays are ex-Soviet Nixie gas display tubes, manufactured in the early 1980s.
Kinetic Creatures are a set of three walking cardboard animal sculptures. The Creatures, Elly the elephant, Rory the rhino, and Geno the giraffe, are each made up of cardboard pieces that you assemble using tabs-and-slots. By turning the wire handle the creatures come alive with a simple mechanical motion.