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5 Jul 2011

Tayken documented Tokyo Hacker Space’s 12V emergency phone charger for the aftermath of the tsunami: [via]

One problem we saw was that people were in these shelters without any type of communication. Sure they had cellphones but cellular system was down and charging their phones impossible as all had left their chargers at home. We couldn’t have done anything about cellular system but there was chance that we could help them charge their cellphones.

12V emergency phone charger v2.0 – [Link]

4 Jul 2011

Ian and Kevin from Nonolith Labs write:

Our open-hardware startup just announced our first two projects, both of which are vaguely bus-pirate related. The CEE is a USB analog multitool. It can source and measure voltage and current on two channels, making it a mix of a power supply, multimeter, function generator, and oscilloscope. It’s in its very early stages, with our alpha board up at Github.

Our second project started out as a browser-based frontend for the CEE, and rapidly evolved into (what we’ve found to be) a flexible, versatile way to display data and control hardware. It’s built in Python and Javascript – out of the box, we support Firmata(on the Arduino) and the Bus Pirate’s pins as digital IOs. Our API documentation, an in-browser demo, and our Github page are linked right off of our Pixelpulse page. Check it out, and let us know what you think!

Nonolith Labs CEE USB analog electronics multitool – [Link]

4 Jul 2011

The reference voltage plays a very important role in any A/D conversion. A stable reference voltage is required for accurate and repeatable A/D conversion. While this can be achieved externally by using precision voltage regulators or zener diodes, the enhanced mid-range 8-bit PIC microcontrollers facilitate this feature internally through the FVR module, thus avoiding the use of any external components. Embedded Lab just posted a new experimental tutorial on how to use the FVR module inside the PIC16F1827 microcontroller to provide an accurate and stable reference voltage for A/D conversion.

Enhanced mid-range PIC microcontrollers provide internally generated fixed voltage references for A/D conversion – [Link]

4 Jul 2011

An introduction to AM/FM active antennas: [via]

This article is a reference design (RD) for an automobile AM/FM active antenna. The RD presents the flexibility of the MAX2180 active antenna low-noise amplifier (LNA) and shows how to set the AM and FM gain and the automatic gain control attack point. Single and dual antenna schematics are detailed, including the input and output matching circuits. Using this design together with the data sheet and device’s evaluation (EV) kit, a prototype antenna can easily be developed for a wide range of active antenna requirements.

App note: AM/FM active antenna – [Link]

4 Jul 2011

Have you ever wondered why transformers hum? I have. And no, it’s not because they don’t know the words. But seriously, at first thought, it makes no sense. They’ve got no moving parts, and how can something produce sound without moving a little air? Well as it turns out, with transformers, there’s more than meets the eye.

Magnetostriction (aka: Why Transformers Hum) – [Link]

4 Jul 2011

Alright, I think it’s about time for this silly article on plasma arc waste disposal to get knocked off the top of my site, don’t you? It’s just fluff, honestly. Filler. And I’m tired of looking at it. So how about a post on a real project for a change? Sound good? Great.

First though, a quick gripe. I hate waiting for parts to arrive. Specifically “last” parts. Like that final DigiKey order, or in my case, a shipment of PCBs from Advanced Circuits. You see, I now have everything I need to complete this really exciting new device I’m designing at work, except for the PCBs.

Garage door opener – [Link]

4 Jul 2011

Seeed Studio launched an iPhone hardware development board call the Hijack development pack: [via]

Do we have any iPhone users here? What were you thinking when Google released ADK for Android devices? You probably want to have an equal chance to play your mobile devices with open source hardware as we did. The idea of connecting iPhone with those existing open source components is great and more importantly is achievable now with our Hijack Development Pack!

Here is a clue that what the main board of Hijack looks like. It’s a little tiny thing with cubic-inch size so that you can carry it to anywhere you like. But the project itself is a fully functional hardware/software platform for creating sensor peripherals for the mobile devices. The Hijack platform enables a new class of small and cheap phone-centric sensor peripherals that support plug-and-play operation. As we said, Hijack has been tested with the iPhone 3G/3GS/4, iPod Touch, and iPad devices.

Hijack development pack for iPhone – [Link]

4 Jul 2011

dangerousprototypes.com writes:

András Veres-Szentkirályi found an old CGA monitor and wondered whether it could be repurposed for use with an Arduino. He noted that CGA monitors use inexpensive DB-9 connectors, the signals are TTL (0-5V digital), the
clocks are in the range of cheap microcontrollers (HSYNC is 15,75 kHz, VSYNC is 60 Hz), and yet 640 by 200 pixels can be drawn in 16 colors.

He dug through old technical data on CGA and worked up the necessary code, posting the results on his blog.

He believes further development is possible to clean up the timing, so his next step will be to use plain AVR C/C++ code to avoid Arduino overhead allowing finer control over the timing. He would also like to create a character map in the Flash (PROGMEM) and code up a library that would allow the display of text or simple graphics.

Arduino driving CGA display – [Link]

4 Jul 2011

dangerousprototypes.com writes:

Get your tweets in now, the Thermal Tweeter live stream will end later this week. Send a tweet to @dangerousproto and watch it print out live on the USTREAM feed.

The Thermal Tweeter is sitting in the photo studio, and we need it back to document a few new projects. Judging for the Adafruit Make It Tweet Challenge ends July 5th, and the live stream will come down shortly after

Last chance to print your tweets @dangerousproto – [Link]

4 Jul 2011

Earlier this year we ran a story on molybdenite, a mineral that held an advantage over graphene for use in electronic devices due to the existence of “band gaps” in the material that are needed for devices such as transistors, computer chips and solar cells. Now MIT researchers have overcome that deficiency by finding a way to produce graphene in significant quantities in a two- or three-layer form with the layers arranged just right to give the material the much-desired band gap.

MIT researchers give graphene band gap and open the door for post-silicon electronic devices – [Link]





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