Adafruit 16-Channel 12-bit PWM/Servo Driver – I2C interface – PCA9685: You want to make a cool robot, maybe a hexapod walker, or maybe just a piece of art with a lot of moving parts. Or maybe you want to drive a lot of LEDs with precise PWM output. Then you realize that your microcontroller has a limited number of PWM outputs! What now? You could give up OR you could just get this handy PWM and Servo driver breakout. When we saw this chip, we quickly realized what an excellent add-on this would be. Using only two pins, control 16 free-running PWM outputs! You can even chain up 62 breakouts to control up to 992 PWM outputs (which we would really like to see since it would be glorious). (read more)
Using the enchanting TFT LCD Screen from adafruit and the DS1307 chip for keeping the time we demonstrate a wearable wristwatch with full spectrum 16-bit color. Displays the time and date in analog, digital and animated formats. Using our color library we color code the time so that each minute is a journey through the rainbow! The watch contains a Piezo buzzer so it can be used as an alarm or as a stop watch. The on-board potentiometer lets you change the time should you find yourself in a new time zone, for example. There is a great tutorial at adafruit on how to use the DS1307 chip to keep track of time. Our circuit is based on that one but use surface mount components and hooks up directly to the SDA and SCL pins on the SMD Atmega328 IC.
1.8″ SPI TFT display, 160×128 18-bit color – ST7735R driver – We just love this little 1.8″ TFT display, with true TFT color (up to 18-bits per pixel!), fine 160×128 resolution, two white LED backlight that runs on 3.3V and a very easy SPI interface that requires only 4 or 5 digital pins to send pixels to the display.
LED bulbs last decades, save electricity, don’t shatter, don’t burn you, save hundreds of dollars, and now offer plummeting prices and blossoming features. What’s not to like? You’d have to be a pretty dim bulb not to realize that LED light is the future…
LEDs last about 25 times as long as incandescents and three times as long as CFLs; we’re talking maybe 25,000 hours of light. Install one today, and you may not own your house, or even live, long enough to see it burn out. (Actually, LED bulbs generally don’t burn out at all; they just get dimmer.)
We won’t share today what a calculator is or what it does, we have all used one and certainly has been useful in many situations. We intend to do one with a TFT touchscreen and an Arduino, and we christened it: “Calcuino”. It incorporates all the basic functions:
Addition / subtraction / multiplication / division and RESET button and DELETE button.
2.8″ TFT Touch Shield for Arduino – 2.8″: Spice up your Arduino project with a beautiful large touchscreen display shield with built in microSD card connection. This TFT display is big (2.8″ diagonal) bright (4 white-LED backlight) and colorful (18-bit 262,000 different shades)! 240×320 pixels with individual pixel control. It has way more resolution than a black and white 128×64 display. As a bonus, this display has a resistive touchscreen attached to it already, so you can detect finger presses anywhere on the screen…. (read more)
dragonator uploaded full instructions on how to make this lamp on instructables for entering the UP! contest in the lamps and lights contest. Due to shortage of time and overheating problem, the robot arm doesn’t function properly. However if you do not plan to use this as a moving arm, dragonator has also designed parts to replace the servo’s and moving parts. So before dragonator figures out a working robotic arm you can skip most of the wiring and only use it as a lamp.
To make this lamp you will need a 3D printer, tools, accessories, electronics and a lot of time. First you need between 40 and 60 hours to get all the parts printed. To make your own personal GlaDOS look extra awesome, you will need to sand and paint the printed parts. This will remove most of the visible printing lines and give all of the parts the right color. After sanding, you have to prime and paint them. Then you can start with assembling the base and the body of GlaDOS and afterwards wire it up and mount it to ceiling.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!
The temperature in my office at work varies quite a bit depending on the time of day, season, and the whims of the other people I share the floor with. When I’m sitting at my desk shaking uncontrollably or sweating profusely it would be nice to know if it’s due to the temperature or just work related stress. A simple $5.00 thermometer would suffice, but where’s the fun in that? Making my own thermometer might cost ten times as much, but I might learn something in the process and it would be way cooler than any cheap store bought thing? I’d rather make something myself even if I have to pay a “maker’s premium.”
The matrices use a driver chip that does all the heavy lifting for you: They have a built in clock so they multiplex the display. They use constant-current drivers for ultra-bright, consistent color (the images above are photographed at the dimmest setting to avoid overloading our camera!), 1/16 step display dimming, all via a simple I2C interface. The backpacks come with address-selection jumpers so you can connect up to four mini 8×8′s or eight 7-segments (or a combination, such as four mini 8×8′s and four 7-segments, etc) on a single I2C bus.
Something I love to do is to take apart old, broken electronic devices and salvage parts from them. From many of these devices I get LEDs, and testing these can be very annoying if I don’t have any 3V button cells lying around. I also occasionally use miniature lightbulbs for some projects or experiments, and they take quite some effort to test, because you need a holder. So I decided to make an LED and mini lightbulb tester.
An update to a new product we announced last week. We’ve added a new photo to the product page for our 10″ Pixel Qi LCD Display, to illustrate how it looks in reflected mode.
We’re really excited to offer the revolutionary Pixel Qi display, a full color screen that can also be used in daylight. The Qi has three modes – backlit color, backlit grayscale and daylight grayscale. In normal office/indoor use you’ll want to go with keeping the backlight on to reveal the color layer. The screen works just like any other 10″ TFT with fast refresh (not like slow e-ink). When a bright light shines on it, the display turns ‘gray’ but is still visible. When outdoors in bright light, the backlight can be turned off to revert to a transflective display mode which is much lower power. For much more information please check out the Pixel Qi website.
Still trying to solidify that reputation as the office Grinch? This project will let everyone know you’re a complete jerk in no time. It’s called the 8-bit Annoying Person Remover. It detects when someone enters your office at which point it starts to play the Super Mario Bros. theme song while the display counts down 400 seconds. Just like in the game the music gets faster at the end and when it stops they know it’s time to get the heck out.
The hardware inside isn’t too complicated. An Arduino and a Wave shield do most of the work. The song played is stored on an SD card and can easily be changed. There’s a speaker mounted under the top heat vent of the enclosure. The device defaults to displaying the time of day, but monitors a motion sensor on one side to detect when someone comes through the door. This also works when someone leaves, cutting off the music and resetting the display.
Ladyada gave me some ITO (indium tin oxide)-coated plastic and glass samples to play with, so I affixed some LEDs to this transparent conductive material! Watch the video on YouTube (please subscribe)!
NEW PRODUCT – Pixel Qi 10″ Dispay with Controller – 1024×600 HDMI/VGA/NTSC/PAL – We’re really excited to offer the revolutionary Pixel Qi display, a full color screen that can also be used in daylight. The Qi has three modes – backlit color, backlit grayscale and daylight grayscale. In normal office/indoor use you’ll want to go with keeping the backlight on to reveal the color layer. The screen works just like any other 10″ TFT with fast refresh (not like slow e-ink). When a bright light shines on it, the display turns ‘gray’ but is still visible. When outdoors in bright light, the backlight can be turned off to revert to a transflective display mode which is much lower power. For much more information please check out the Pixel Qi website.
We’ve packaged up this cool screen with a driver board and power supply. Since the screen is 3.3V LVDS, it’s very hard to connect directly to a microcomputer. The adapter board has a cable that plugs to the screen, there’s a data line and a separate backlight line. (If you want to use the display in low-power backlight-less mode, simply disconnect that plug.) Simply power the controller board with 5-24VDC (we include a 9V power supply) and supply video. You can use HDMI, VGA or NTSC/PAL so you’re covered no matter what interface you want to use! There’s a little keypad thingy you can use to select the input and adjust contrast/brightness/color/etc.
Each order comes with one Pixel Qi screen, LVDS cable, controller board and power adapter. No enclosure, case or stand is included. To demonstrate it, we took some photos with the display connected to a Raspberry Pi, but it will also work connected to any device with HDMI, VGA or NTSC/PAL output. It will not work with a device that only outputs DVI or SECAM. HDMI cable and Raspberry Pi not included!
For use with a Raspberry Pi we suggest editing config.txt to set “hdmi_safe=1″ output for best results (otherwise, the Pi may not ‘recognize’ the HDMI display and revert to composite output). Unfortunately Raspbian does not natively support 1024×600 resolution so there will be some black bars around the edge. However, we used it with a Windows computer and it filled the entire screen – just check that your device can use 1024×600.
A 9V US-prong power adapter is included. The power supply may vary from the one shown in the photo, but it will definitely have a US 2-prong plug and will be a switching supply that can be used with 110-240VAC.
Resolution: 1024 x 600 (color RGB) and 3072×600 (backlight off, grayscale)