Apps4Arduino – [via]
We created Matatino, a framework that lets you communicate between your Mac applications and your Arduino. You can follow our tutorials to get started with adding Matatino to your project.
To see Matatino in action, check out Meters for Arduino.
We will be adding more examples, libraries and tutorials for the Android ADK, iOS Redpark Serial Cable, Processing and OpenFrameworks in the future! You can stay informed about updates through RobotGrrl’s blog Apps4Arduino category feed.
Do you have a hardware project that you need some great software for? Tell us about it, and we would love to help you out!
Apps4Arduino - [Link]
HOW TO – Building a simple Fritzing component… Bertrand writes – [via]
This is me shaving a yak. Shaving the yak, if you don’t know, is what you do when a seemingly simple task necessitates many recursive and unforeseen sub-tasks in order to be carried out.
The story goes like this… Let’s say that I want to paint a picture, but I’m in a shack in the middle of the desert and I don’t have a canvas, brushes or paint. I do have a piece of strong cloth, a few pieces of wood, and the rocks around the shack can provide some pigments that I can mix with some oil. For the nails, I can extract some from the shack’s structure itself. For the brush, I’ll need some quality hair. Well, long story short, before I know it, here I am, in the middle of the desert, shaving a yak.
Today’s metaphorical yak is the representation in Fritzing of a $0.95 part, a knob potentiometer. Fritzing is a wonderful Open Source tool for designing electronic circuits. Its only shortcoming is that its library of components is not yet complete enough that it can be used to design all circuits. In my case, it’s lacking the SD card reader that I’m using, analog sticks and… this small $0.95 potentiometer. Well, in fact, for the potentiometer, I could have easily used one of the stock components from Fritzing that is close enough, but for my first component design, I wanted to start with a fairly simple part so I went ahead with it anyways, with the hope of having a better fit in the end.
Building a simple Fritzing component - [Link]
Circuit Sidekick for iPad, Collin writes – [via]
My new electronics reference & calculation app for iPad is now available for download worldwide.
Current features include:
- Resistor Color Code Converter w/ forward & backward functionality
- Resistor & Capacitor Series/Paralell wiring calculators with schematic views
- Capacitor Code Calculator with integrated capacitance value conversion
- Decimal/Hexadecimal/Binary Number Converter (+ standard ASCII codes)
- Integrated PDF Viewer with search & storage for IC datasheets.
- The touch-based Ohm’s Law Triangle – V = I * R, in classy wood finish!
The first update which adds several new features/enhancements is already near completion and will be available soon.
Feel free to send any comments/suggestions my way – I’d love to hear your feedback!
Circuit Sidekick for iPad - [Link]
Visualizing EAGLE Edits with a Gerber Viewer, westfw writes… [via]
I’ve written a shell script that will process EAGLE’s backupfiles into gerbers, and then load them up into the open source gerber viewer (gerbv) in a way that highlights that have been made between the backup revisions. More explanation, example, and the code are here
Visualizing EAGLE Edits with a Gerber Viewer - [Link]
Serial port monitor – Peek at your COM ports!… [via]
A while ago we did a tutorial on how to reverse engineer USB protocols using a USB logic analyzer, for when you have to develop your own USB drivers (say for a product that only comes with Microsoft support!) We also wanted to point out that if all you’re doing is debugging or reverse-engineering a basic product that uses serial (a COM port) you don’t need to shell out for a analyzer box! Instead you can use a serial port monitor, a piece of software that can spy on the COM port. These can also be handy when you have to debug software you wrote – to see what’s really going out on the hardware.
We tend to need to reverse-engineer stuff in windows so we use a nicely written piece of software called PortMon. Its a little old but it works great!
For example, while reverse engineering how to use our serial JPEG camera, we had a windows software that could control the camera but we wanted to port it to Arduino (or any microcontroller really). Since the software used a serial COM port, we started up PortMon, then started up the driver software
Then whenever data was sent back and forth, we’d get the data in HEX. For example here you can see the first READ (data sent out to the camera) as “76 00 31 00 00″ and the WRITE (reply from the camera to the computer “56 00 31 0C 01…”
Serial port monitor – Peek at your COM ports! - [Link]
It provides a quick reference manual for the two most popular Hardware Description Languages (HDL): VHDL and Verilog. This app is written by engineers, for engineers. For every construct in VHDL, our app provides the nearest equivalent in Verilog, and vice-versa (or indicates if there is no direct equivalent).
Experienced custom digital logic designer for FPGA or ASIC? Electrical engineering student just learning the ropes? This app (which runs on iPhone and iPad) includes the following features
Searchable dictionary of every keyword, operator, and data type for both languages.
Handbook provides simple example for every single reference
Common functions in each language
All pre-defined attributes for VHDL (e.g., ‘leftof’)
All primitive gates and drive strengths for Verilog
Filter by language (VHDL, Verilog, or both)
Filter by language elements (keywords, operators, attributes, data types, etc.)
VHDL Ref is a new app for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. - [Link]
Surrey experts in space technology have today launched a Facebook competition challenging the British public to develop innovative applications that will run on its smartphone-powered satellite due for launch into space next year.
STRaND-1 (Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstrator) weighs just 4kg and is a collaborative effort between engineers at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) and University of Surrey researchers. It is being built in their free time to test innovative ideas for lower cost space missions.
In the spirit of the mission, the four most creative, novel and fun ’App’ ideas will be selected to fly on the Android phone inside STRaND-1. Winners will be invited to STRaND’s Mission Control to observe their app on the nanosatellite as it orbits Earth. [via]
Satellite innovators launch smartphone Space App competition - [Link]
Gerber Viewers. Nothing makes an engineer more nervous than a “tape-out” – that moment you send files off to a manufacturing house for PCBs (or chips). Will the returned product be correct, letting you continue onto manufacture? Or will there be a (dumb) mistake, setting you back 3 weeks and hundreds to thousands of dollars? Even the best engineers I know still get antsy and nervous in the lead up to a release!
That’s why its so important to do everything you can to avoid problems. Now, there’s not one engineer out there who has done nothing but fab perfect designs each time. Heck, even Microsoft had XBox manufacturing problems, they happen! But every step you take to avoid an easily-fixable problem is worth your attention.
Before we send of PCBs, of course we do a ERC/DFM check inside the software but even then, we always take a look at the final GERBER files before they are zipped up and sent off to the fab house.
Gerber Viewers - [Link]
BlueZigbee takes on and off commands from an Android phone and sets a GPIO pin on a remote circuit with this information, allowing for control of relays or other objects.
This program was written as a demo of how the BlueScripts Android application can be used in a simple embedded system to accomplish something useful without having to write any code for Android.
BlueZigbee: simple relay application - [Link]
BlueScripts is a program for the scripting of Bluetooth ASCII messages to Bluetooth radios via an Android phone and an XML file. It is open source.
BlueScripts allows the user to automate sending messages to Bluetooth radios for embedded system projects without the need to input the messages on a terminal application or write a separate Android program.
BlueScripts: communication across Bluetooth - [Link]