Embedded Lab’s new development board for PIC12F series microcontrollers:
The 12F series of PIC microcontrollers are handy little 8-pin devices designed for small embedded applications that do not require too many I/O resources, and where small size is advantageous. These applications include a wide range of everyday products such as hair dryers, electric toothbrushes, rice cookers, vacuum cleaners, coffee makers, and blenders. Despite their small size, the PIC12F series microcontrollers offer many advanced features including wide operating voltage, internal programmable oscillator, 4 channels of 10-bit ADC, on-board EEPROM memory, on-chip voltage reference, multiple communication peripherals (UART, SPI, and I2C), PWM, and more. Today we are introducing a new development board (rapidPIC-08 V1.0) for easy and rapid prototyping of standalone applications using PIC12F microcontrollers.
Rapid development board for PIC12F series microcontrollers - [Link]
Cortado connects your physical things to the digital world. Itʼs an Arduino that youʼll never plug in, and it works on all your favorite platforms including mobile (Mac, Windows, iOS, Android). It connects via Bluetooth Low Energy, an efficient protocol meant for supporting low-power sensors. If there ever was a building block for the Internet of Things, this is it.
It’s so easy to interact with Cortado, we think it will inspire an entirely new interaction flow. To illustrate this, the pre-ordered units will be turned on before they ship. If you download our app, you will get a BLE notification on your iPhone when your Cortado is nearby. Youʼll even be able to program it while it’s still in the box!
For the next month we will be holding a pre-order campaign featuring our new product. This campaign includes a special pre-order discounted price for all backers. It will launch at $18 and will increase every day as the month goes on reaching a maximum of $24, which is discounted 20% from the retail price ($30).
Cortado – Zero wires. Infinite uses - [Link]
We wrote this whole page to try to make buyers of USBasp programmer clones aware of what’s possibly out there for sale and the conclusion we came to about the units we bought, after quite some investigative work IT SIMPLY DOES NOT REALLY WORK !!!
We tried to read the flash content, and the blue led flashes, but that’s about it … it does not work
USBasp Experiences - [Link]
Terasic’s DE0-Nano houses the Altera Cyclone IV that features a low cost, low power FPGA ideal for high-volume and cost-sensitive applications. Boosting a miniature size of 49 x 75 mm and a weight of 40 g, the board was aimed for simple implementations targeting the Cyclone IV up to 22,320 LEs. The device utilizes small spacers as legs and even an acrylic cover on top of the board to provide better protection making this Development kit (Devkit) the option to choose for robust applications while giving of a sleek feel to users as they get to look through the device’s glass-like cover. The DE0-Nano definitely is one device to consider in making portable design projects where portable power is essential.
Running at around $80, users already get to enjoy a lot of other on board features. The DE0-Nano is equipped with a 3-axis digital accelerometer designed for better sensing applications. Other on board features follow in the form of 2 separate extension headers plus a third header that supports an ADC converter with 8-channels and 16 I/O Pins, 8 user LEDs, Push buttons and DIP switches. DE0-Nano also provides a three-power scheme option for designers through a USB mini-AB port, 2-pin external power header and two DC 5V pins.
Upon connection to the host PC, the FPGA Devkit automatically powers up and the LEDs start fading in and out. Once host PC has loaded up the DE0-Nano Control Panel, the LEDs stop fading indicating a full user access of the device. The DE0-Nano Control Panel is a GUI that allows users to automatically verify hardware components of the board. Users get to play around the LEDs and a GUI representation is also provided for the Push buttons and DIP switches. The control panel also allows users to work around with the memory and verify accelerometer coordinates and even provides an ADC tab that allows users to monitor the voltage levels in the different channels. The DE0-Nano Control Panel has a user-friendly interface that provides a fast response GUI that readily illustrates all changes made in the actual board. In general, the device is a great development board. It already has everything on board without having to pay for a lot of extras. Despite the DE0-Nano being an entry-level device, the well thought out and compact design definitely makes it a very complete and functional development board.
Terasic DE0 Nano – Product Overview - [Link]
Brian posted an article describing how he designed and built his business card:
A business card should represent a person’s expertise. My expertise is in creating unique circuit boards, so to celebrate this I wanted to create a USB thumb drive circuit that contains my resume and contact information. This was also a great way to experience coding for USB applications using the Cortex M series of microcontrollers. As a side note, I have done other projects with Cortex M including a simple serial relay and a USB keyboard emulator, but this is the first one that is exciting enough to write about.
Business Card version 2 - [Link]
Jie Qi from the MIT Media Lab and Bunnie from Studio Kosagi are hoping to crowdfund their idea for a new method of circuit building called Circuit Stickers.
A crossover between high tech and arts and craft, Circuit Stickers are not a serious prototyping tool but aim to find new uses for easily configurable electronics circuits so that they can be incorporated into other media such as books (basic science or fiction) or even wearable electronics.
Interconnect and power tracks made from sticky copper tape (or other conducting material) are laid out on any non conducting surface such as paper, material or flexible fabric. The individual components come ready-mounted and connect to the copper tracks via pads with sticky anisotropic (Z) tape. These can be peeled off later for reuse. There are two kits available containing a sketchbook to take you through the basics, colored LEDs, sound, light and trigger sensors and a tiny microcontroller with an ISP programming connector. That old Tee shirt looking a bit tired? Spruce it up with a running light display. [via]
Circuit Stickers: Cut and Paste Circuitry - [Link]
I grew fond of NXPs new LPC800 Cortex M0+ microcontrollers. I designed a small breakout for the LPC812 TSSOP20. This is the second revision. It includes push buttons for reset and activating the serial bootloader. The board has an integrated 500mA 3.3V LDO to supply both the MCU and connected devices from the USB port. The four pins on the top side (5V,RX,TX,GND) can be used to connect a cheap USB to serial adapter and program the device via the internal bootloader using FlashMagic.
LPC812 Breakout board - [Link]
By Jim Harrison:
The human-machine interface, once simply known as an “operator panel” or “terminal”, is changing rapidly, due to the graphical, visual way operators now interact with an industrial machine or process. At one time, designers of these systems could get by with a three-line segmented LCD display. Today, LCD interfaces are quickly replacing traditional LED and segment LCD displays as designers take advantage of the aesthetic, flexibility, and cost benefits they provide.
MCUs with High-Resolution Graphics Control - [Link]
This is a 7 segment clock displaying HH:MM:SS using PIC16F84A and 4017 digital IC. Complete source files are included.
PIC16F84A Digital Clock - [Link]
This project is an Automatic School bell system. Such a system triggers a bell (or operates any other load) at predifined time. In this version some advanced features are introduced. I used PIC18f4520 microcontroller as the brain of the system. RTC1307 IC is used to maintain the clock,date and day with a 3V backup voltage battery. Bell timings are stored in the internal EEPROM of mcu.
Automatic School Bell - [Link]