BBC News – Steve Wozniak’s tribute. – [via]
The co-founder of Apple says he will remember Steve Jobs for his “very quick mind” and “knowing what made sense in a product”. Steve Wozniak, who met Mr Jobs at school and was in a computer club with him before starting the company, said: “How many things do you own in the world… that are ‘I just have to have this… I actually enjoy doing my work on this product’? That’s what Apple brought to so many people.”
“We went into the garage when we were two young people with no money. You have to work out of your home. We had jobs on the side. We had nobody that could loan us money. We had no business experience. We were like a million young people who are so excited about the future they may have some day, in business, making something just out of their ideas. That’s what we were.” — Steve Wozniak
Steve Wozniak’s tribute - [Link]
Last year I made a simple LED Christmas sign with very basic animation effects controlled by a PIC MCU. One of my friends, who visited us during the last Christmas, liked it and asked me the recipe of the project so that he could make something similar to decorate his front porch during the next Christmas. In response I gave him the link on my blog where I have described the details of the project. As Christmas is just couple months away, I got an email from him two weeks ago, saying that he has just started working on the project. He followed everything in the recipe that I have described on my blog except the PIC programming part, which he has never done before. I told him that I can send him a programmed PIC processor but he didn’t seem happy with that. In his own words, ” I don’t want any black box in the project, I want to enjoy building every part of it”. Then I had to find an alternative way of running the LED Christmas sign without using a microcontroller. So, here I am revising my previous LED Christmas sign project by replacing the PIC16F688 microcontroller in the original circuit with digital logic ICs (74HC595 and 74HC14 ). I have also added flashing LEDs around the edges of the sign to make it look more attractive.
Make your own animated LED Christmas sign - [Link]
ESA has provided research and development guidance to Finnish company Patria, with the help of Tampere University of Technology, in designing a search and rescue radio antenna that can be sewn into a life vest.
Made from highly flexible, lightweight material that is robust against water exposure and moist conditions, and resistant to wear and tear, this special antenna has been designed for use by the Cospas-Sarsat worldwide search and rescue satellite system. Cospas-Sarsat has been operating for almost 30 years and has helped to rescue more than 26,000 victims in distress. [via]
Washable wearable antenna - [Link]
Silicon Laboratories Inc. released the industry’s first single-chip hybrid TV receiver family designed to simplify the design of TVs, set-top boxes (STBs), Blu-ray recorders and PC accessories. The new receiver family includes the Si2185 hybrid receiver, which combines a digital/analog TV tuner, a multi-standard analog demodulator, and DVB-T and DVB-C demodulators into a fully integrated, monolithic solution. The receiver family also includes the Si2115/13/11 digital-only receivers designed for DVB-T and DVB-C digital STBs offering terrestrial and cable reception.
The new Si2185/15/13/11 receiver family enables TV and STB developers to eliminate numerous external components such as surface acoustical wave (SAW) filters, tracking filter inductors, wirewound inductors and low-noise amplifiers (LNAs), thereby simplifying their designs and reducing BOM cost. The receiver family’s unprecedented single-chip integration can enable a total system savings of up to 75 percent compared to more complex two-chip solutions. [via]
Industry’s first single-chip hybrid TV receiver - [Link]
The new AS1130 from austriamicrosystems drives 132 LEDs but requires only 5 mm² PCB space, reduces external component count, allows use of cheap connectors and requires fewer PCB (printed circuit board) layers. Benefits for end users include up to 80% longer battery lifetime, more colorful effects and smoother running animations.
Using a 12×11 cross-plexed technique, the AS1130 LED driver is targeted for dot-matrix displays in mobile phones, toys, small LED displays in personal electronics, but also non-battery powered household goods, indoor public information displays, and industrial applications such as power meters. The AS1130 drives 132 LEDs, each with an 8-bit dimming control and no external resistor required. Additionally, an 8-bit analog current control allows fine tuning of each current source to compensate for different brightness of different colors, or to adjust the white balance on RGB LEDs. austriamicrosystems’ AS1130 incorporates 36 frames of memory for small animations or for use as a buffer to reduce host processor load, saving energy and processing time. The AS1130 LED driver can also extend battery life by controlling an external power supply (e.g. charge pump) which is required when LEDs need a higher voltage than the battery can supply, allowing continuous operation even under low battery voltage conditions. [via]
Microsized driver for 132 LEDs - [Link]
Texas Instruments has introduced the bq500210 IC, , which is designed to control and transfer wireless power for contactless chargers compliant with the Qi standard from the Wireless Power Consortium. The bq500210 is a second generation wireless power dedicated digital controller that integrates the logic functions required to control wireless power transfer in a single channel WPC compliant contactless charging base station.
The bq500210 is an intelligent device that periodically pings the surrounding environment for available devices to be powered, monitors all communication from the device being wirelessly powered, and adjusts power applied to the transmitter coil according to feedback received from the powered device. The bq500210 also manages the fault conditions associated with power transfer and controls the operating mode status indicator. The bq500210 additionally supports improved detection of parasitic metal objects. [via]
TI launches second-generation wireless charger controller - [Link]
Microchip Technology has announced several new 8-bit PIC® microcontrollers featuring configurable logic and a high level of peripheral integration in 6- to 20-pin packages. The PIC10F(LF)32X and PIC1XF(LF)150X MCUs integrate new peripherals, including configurable logic cells (CLCs), complementary waveform generators (CWGs) and numerically controlled oscillators (NCOs), enabling functionality that was not possible before with low pincount MCUs.
The CLCs enable software control of combinational and sequential logic, which increases the on-chip interconnection of peripherals and I/Os to reduce external component count, save code space and add functionality. The CWG works with multiple peripherals to generate complementary waveforms with dead-band control and auto shutdown for improved switching efficiencies. Additionally, the NCO peripheral enables linear frequency control with high resolution for applications such as lighting ballast, tone generation and other resonant control circuits. [via]
Microchip integrates new peripherals in small-package MCUs - [Link]
The same piezoelectric effect that ignites your gas grill with the push of a button could one day power sensors in your body via the respiration in your nose.
Writing in the September issue of the journal Energy and Environmental Science, Materials Science and Engineering Assistant Professor Xudong Wang, postdoctoral Researcher Chengliang Sun and graduate student Jian Shi report creating a plastic microbelt that vibrates when passed by low-speed airflow such as human respiration.
In certain materials, such as the polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) used by Wang’s team, an electric charge accumulates in response to applied mechanical stress. This is known as the piezoelectric effect. The researchers engineered PVDF to generate sufficient electrical energy from respiration to operate small electronic devices. [via]
Electricity from the nose - [Link]
Robot System Description :
- 2 mobile phone vibrator
- AVR ATtiny45 Microcontroller
- IR RC5 Receiver for remote control
- NiMH rechargeable battery
- LED status indicator
- Dimensions 12mm x 10mm x 18mm
Wheels less smallest Robot “ROBO-BijanMortazavi” - [Link]
A friend of mine suggested that I build something for a 74xx TTL discrete logic contest at dangerous prototypes, so I figured why not? If you like this design, make sure to leave a comment on their website for my competition entry.
The Masochist’s video card is a pure TTL discrete logic design that generates the necessary video signals for VGA. The project name came about after the hours I spent wire-wrapping the project together yielded painfully raw fingertips. So be fore-warned if you duplicate this project, don’t abuse the wire-wrap tool!
Masochist’s Video Card - [Link]