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22 Nov 2014

Interfacing a cheap phone camera module to a PIC32 microcontroller – [Link]

22 Nov 2014


Here’s an automatic watering system using AVR from Gadgetronicx:

Primitive irrigation systems possess many drawbacks as it fails to conserve water and human energy. So introducing Automation in it can help us to overcome these drawbacks and pave way to conserve water. This can be done with a simple Soil moisture sensor and a Microcontroller, AVR in our case. You can try out this system to automate watering the plants in your home at affordable cost.


Automatic plant watering system using AVR(Atmega16) Microcontroller - [Link]

22 Nov 2014


by elektor.com:

Although not officially released until December we were able to get a glimpse of Atmel corporation’s SmartConnect SAM W25 module at electronica 2014. This small module has been designed for use in IoT edge node applications. Edge nodes are parts of the IoT infrastructure where information interacts with physical events; these devices might, for example be inputting information from sensors or outputting control actions. The nodes also need to adapt the information to and from the network and provide data security.

Atmel’s IoT Edge Solution - [Link]

17 Nov 2014


An app note (PDF!) from Renesas on how to minimize power consumption when sensing switch inputs

A switch input is one of the simplest interfaces to an MCU. However, when very low power designs are needed the pullup or pulldown resistor for the switch can draw a significant current. If the switch input is a momentary switch the current flow is very short so it is rarely significant. However, if the switch input is a door switch or level sensing switch
or any other switch which may remain in the active state for a relatively long time the energy used must be considered
Most of the discussion that follows gives examples for pull-up devices with the switches, the same principles apply for pull-down components. Also all the discussions assume that the EVdd = Vdd (all ports powered from the same supply voltage).


Minimizing power consumption when sensing switch inputs - [Link]

15 Nov 2014


by Matt Richardson @ makezine.com:

Spark has improved and expanded their product line with the Photon wi-fi development board and a pair of new wireless modules for custom circuit boards. The Photon improves on the popular Spark Core microcontroller by adding 802.11n wi-fi connectivity, SoftAP for provisioning, more memory, and a faster ARM Cortex M3 processor. Like the Core, it sits right into a standard breadboard for easy prototyping. And best of all, it can be had for $19.

Photon – A Wi-fi Microcontroller for $19 - [Link]

10 Nov 2014


New „hardwired“ TCP/IP chip from company Wiznet resists attacks, it´s fast and consumes only a minimum energy and host MCU resources.

TCP/IP solutions from company Wiznet are known by its resistance resulting already from their principle . all the solution is hardware-based, thus it´s not possible to change a basic functionality of a device (flooding, spoofing, …). W5500 outstands by its “modesty” – it only requires a few GPIO pins of a host MCU – thanks to a high speed SPI interface (up to 80 MHz) and it also has a very low power consumption. A result of a small consumption is, that the chip heats up to approx. 40´C at a common operation, in contrast to other similar chips, which usually have 60-70´C at operation. This naturally means a higher reliability, possibility of a more dense placing of components and elimination of problems with overheating of a device built-in into a small enclosure.

Energy saving is also enhanced by Power Down and Wake-on-LAN (over UDP) modes. Single 3,3V are enough for power supply, while inputs are 5V tolerant. Status is indicated on LED outputs (full/half duplex, link speed, active) and the chip contains a built-in OS Linux (kernel 2.4.xx, 2.6.xx, 3.1,xx) & RTOS driver.

In our offer can be found the W5500 chip itself W5500-EVB evaluation board, as well as a ready-made module WIZ550S2E-TTL or WIZ550io. Examples of a real usage of Wiznet chips can be found in the document Wiznet application reference.

W5500 will resist hackers attack and save energy - [Link]

9 Nov 2014

Josh Levine writes:

It can be nice to know how much battery power you have. It becomes critically important with LiPo batteries since you can permanently damage them by running the voltage down too low. Typically battery voltage detection requires adding a circuit with extra parts and their associated power requirements. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to do this using nothing but software? Read on for a no parts, no pins, no power solution…


Battery fuel gauge with zero parts and zero pins on AVR - [Link]

8 Nov 2014


Find out the WunderBar – the OpenSensor Cloud Platform enabling to easily develop applications for the physical world.

The WunderBar IoT (Internet of Things) Starter Kit from company relayr mimics the appearance of a chocolate bar with a WiFi enabled master module, plus six detachable smart sensor mini-modules.

The WunderBar Internet of Things WiFi & Bluetooth Sensor Starter Kit is a quick start development tool for software application developers unfamiliar with complex wireless hardware designing, and a complete open-source wireless hardware reference design. WunderBar provides to hardware design engineers an out-of-the-box development tool that helps users get started quickly building, inventing, developing, and experimenting with Internet of Things senor based designs using WiFi and BLE senor applications.

Made of seven modules, the WunderBar main module is fitted with an ARM Cortex ‘M’ micro -processor, which connects to the internet through the WiFi unit. Bluetooth Low energy is used to communicate with the other modules. All of the activity that happens around the WunderBar is sent to the WunderBar platform, where you can easily access and work with the signals.

Break, place and program

It works right out of the box. It is energy efficient, fast, secure and designed for developers, makers and manufacturers.
WunderBar has six powerful smart modules, each equipped with its own Bluetooth Low Energy (Beacon) processors and battery that can power the units for up to a year. Light / Color / Proximity, Gyroscope / Accelerometer, Thermometer / Humidity, IR Transmitter (remote control), A connector to the easy Grove System of Sensors and Actuators that are all Arduino compatible and a Noise/Sound sensor. The Starter Kit has available for download various software development kits (SDKs) for iOS, Android and Node.js. including test Apps which can be downloaded from relayr.io. Libraries for node.js, python and more will be supported soon.

WunderBar is the easiest way to create innovative and useful apps to connect smart devices without needing to learn about hardware. App developers can quickly access data from the physical world with WunderBar’s easy-to-use SDKs for iOS, Android and Node.js or with our simple REST API.
Because the WunderBar is still a dev kit, with a little bit of knowledge, and the exposed GPIO pads, you can make almost anything you want smarter. More info at: www.relayr.io/wunderbar The WunderBar will soon be our standard stock item.

WunderBar brings things to life and to internet - [Link]

5 Nov 2014


by dimitech.com:

Microkite is a DTX module built to utilise the great potential of the new PIC32MX1xx/2xx microcontrollers. It integrates a power supply able to provide power to the external user circuit as well, a microSD connector for data storage and a USB-UART bridge for easy communication with a PC terminal.

The module is intended for inclusion in various control systems and follows the DTX standard pinout which opens the possibility for a trouble-free upgrade with newer models in future. The module fits into a standard PLCC-68 socket and significantly optimises the end user circuit and the later software development process.

Microkite DTX module - [Link]

4 Nov 2014


Use a $4 microcontroller to launch web pages with the push of a button over serial I/O.. by Elliot Williams @ makezine.com:

A microcontroller is a self-contained, but very limited computer — halfway between a computer and a component.

The top reasons to integrate a microcontroller into your projects are connectivity and interactivity, and one easy way to get your microcontroller talking with the outside world is standard asynchronous serial I/O. Many devices can communicate this way, from wi-fi routers to GPS units to your desktop or laptop computer. Getting comfortable with serial I/O makes debugging your AVR programs much easier because the AVR can finally talk to you, opening up a huge opportunity for awesome.

Beyond the Arduino IDE: AVR USART Serial - [Link]





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