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31 Jan 2012

element14, Microchip and Matrix introduce the new PIC18 Flowcode Developers Kit.  Lowers the barrier to electronics design with easy to use Graphical Programming 

30 January 2012 – London, element14, the first collaborative global electronics community from Premier Farnell plc (LSE:pfl), has teamed up with Microchip and Matrix to introduce the new PIC18 Flowcode Developers Kit.  This innovative development and demonstration kit is designed to offer a hands-on, easy approach to electronics design using Flowcode, one of the world’s most advanced graphical programming languages for microcontrollers.

The development platform is based on a Microchip PIC18F26J50 low power, 8-bit PIC18F26J50 microcontroller, and is integrated with temperature sensor, capacitor touch sensor and potentiometer to help developers verify programs designed using Flowcode.

“The new PIC18 Flowcode Developers Kit is an innovative, fully featured yet low cost solution designed to help developers realize their designs in working hardware,” says Mike Powell, Technology Development Manager, Premier Farnell.  “Optimized for Flowcode development, the board has several expansion options, it can be used as a black box and is mounted with a PIC 18 device that is low power, but high performance.

The competitive advantage of Flowcode is that it allows those with little-to-no programming experience to create electronic systems in minutes. Flowcode supports code generation for the PIC® (PIC12, PIC16, and PIC18 series ), PIC24 and dsPIC® series of microcontrollers. The professional edition includes drivers for a range of sub-systems including LCDs, keypads, seven-segment displays, ADC and PWM, as well as communication protocols including I2C, SPI, RS-232RS-232, Zigbee and TCP/IP, among others.

Flowcode is compatible with Microchip’s PICkit programmer as well as third party programmers. It is also compatible with the HI-TECH C compiler. A ‘Lite’ version of Flowcode 4 is included in the kit.

For more information visit element14.

31 Jan 2012

The STD32 offers the user the possibility to remotely switch ON or OFF electronic devices and to receive alarm messages via (SMS). You can switch devices either with an SMS or using a simple voicecall. Alarm messages (SMS) can be received with any mobile phone supporting SMS functionality.

With the new generation of the STD32 you now also have the possibility to receive alarm messages via e-mail. With the help of the digital camera which is available as an accessory, pictures can be taken and sent via e-mail triggered by an alarm.

The STD32 has an integrated webserver which allows direct access to the device via the internet and a standard webbrowser (e.g. Internet Explorer or Firefox) from a computer or a mobile phone with web functionality. Thus it is very simple to switch electrical devices remotely and to change the configuration of the STD32 from anywhere.

Simple GSM control

  • New! Fixed IP address (in-built server)
  • New! Camera interface (sends still images via email)
  • Two alarm inputs, e.g. for movement, vibration, temperature or moisture sensors
  • Two relay outputs, potential-free max. 6A/250V
  • Alarms via text message
  • Remote setting of parameters (on times, etc.) possible
  • Five alarm addresses
  • Basic functions can be activated by telephone with no call charge
  • Online configuration via the internet
  • Camera and built-in box available as accessories
  • Supplemented with SIM cards

STD32IP Remote Controlling /Alarm for GSM Network – [Link]

31 Jan 2012

open-electronics.org writes:

One of the first companies to focus on Wi-Fi was the AsyncLabs, who proposed a famous WiFi shield, including the appropriate libraries. What we propose is a new solution for Wi-Fi: this is a shield that the hardware was inspired by that of AsyncLabs, but in addition, we have provided a slot for microSD memory.

The basic component of the shield that we have made is a Wi-Fi module MRF24WB0MA manufactured by Microchip.  The device is a Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 RF transceiver, with a data rate between 1 and 2 Mbps, and with an internal antenna.

The WiFi shield supports both types of wireless networks infrastructure (BSS) and ad-hoc (IBSS) and is also allowed to connect to secure networks (cryptographers and are supported 64 and 128-bit WEP, WPA/WPA2 and TKIP, AES and PSK).

The library is constantly evolving, so we have provided a space where they will be published on http://code.google.com/p/wifi-shield-oe/ various versions available. http://www.open-electronics.org/arduino-wifi-shield/

Arduino WiFi Shield – [Link]

31 Jan 2012

We bring you a favourite protective lacquer for PCBs in a convenient 1l bulk package. If you used this agent so far in a form of sprays, in a bigger amount, or you need to treat devices by dipping, then this package is intended just for you.

Plastik 70 is a transparent protective and insulating coating, protecting PCBs and components from humidity, leakages and also eliminates vibrations of small components. In case of necessity, for example at repair, it is solderable and also can be removed with the Plastik 70 thinner. It is not aggressive and is well compatible to most of material used in electronics, only in the case of some very sensitive plastics, it is suitable to test their sensitivity before application.

Advantages / Features:

  1. protective transparent coating
  2. high coverage – up to 9m2/liter/20μm
  3. protects from humidity and leakage currents
  4. protects from atmospheric influences
  5. quick-drying
  6. solderable
  7. removable by a thinner
  8. universal usage on various surfaces

Plastik 70 in a 1l package can be applied by a brush, dipping and after diluting also by spraying. Plastik 70 has a relatively low viscosity and a good penetration ability, that´s why it is an ideal solution for application by dipping of PCBs or single components like transformers and coils. Inspite of the fact, that the price per 1 liter of the product at sprays is similar to the price of 1l bulk package, this 1l package is more than 50% cheaper. It is caused by almost 2,5x higher yield (lower thinner content). Lower thinner content further improves working conditions in a workshop and decreases air pollution. PLASTIK 70 can also be used as a universal protective coating on surfaces like metal, paper, paintings, furniture, etc.

Detailed description will provide you the Plastik 70 datasheet as well as safety datasheet.

With the 1 liter package of Plastik 70 you can protect your PCBs 50% cheaper – [Link]

31 Jan 2012

To be able to quickly test a suitability of a sensor for a given application will appreciate perhaps every designer. For this purpose company Sensirion brings an evaluation USB kit EK-P3.

EK-P3 is usable with digital output pressure sensors of SDP5xx, SDP6xx and SDP7xx series. Kit EK-P3 enables literally within few minutes to test a sensor in a given application and to display measured values by a viewer software, which is available on the Sensirion website. Software allows selecting all available resolutions, absolute or relative timing and also to freely choose a sampling time. Output signal can be displayed as linearized or raw data. It is possible to log and save data (CSV), or to export to Excel format.

Advantages / Features:

  1. complete USB evaluation kit with a pressure sensor
  2. applicable to SDP5xx, 6xx and 7xx sensors
  3. viewer SW displays differential pressure over time
  4. possibility to store measured data in a CSV format
  5. export to Excel available

Kit EK-P3 consists of a USB dongle with I2C to USB converter, sensor cable and the SDP610 digital output pressure sensor. Detailed information will provide you the EK-P3 datasheet.

Simplify development of applications with Sensirion pressure sensors – [Link]

31 Jan 2012

To achieve a more aesthetic panel of your device, you can use flat top LED diodes Kingbright!

We´d like to focus your attention to well-proven flat top LED diodes intended mainly for indication on various controlling and indicating panels. In comparison to standard types with a half-ball top, these types offer a significantly more aesthetic solution when used in front panels.

Advantages / Features:

  1. aesthetic solution for front panels
  2. available in 5mm, 3mm and 2mm diameters
  3. very good visibility even from angles
  4. low power consumption

From the most used cylindrical types, we keep in stock types with a diameter of 5 mm, 3 mm, as well as miniature ones with a diameter of only 2 mm. All offered types have diffused plastic packages, thus they feature a good visibility even from high viewing angles.

Don´t let LEDs stand out of the panel – [Link]

30 Jan 2012

Andrea Belloni writes:

We realized this project for the “Arduino Day” in Rome 14/04/2011. For it we used two JeeNode (Arduino variant with wireless module on-board), one Rainbowduino + RGB LED Matrix and one PC with Processing. The Processing sketch generate the “plasma” animation and sends the images stream to the first JeeNode via serial port. This JeeNode receives the images and sends it to the second JeeNode via wireless link. The second JeeNode receives the images and sends it to the Rainbowduino + RGB LED Matrix via i2c. More details on the blog’s post (for the English version scroll down).

Wireless pixels – [Link]

30 Jan 2012

mrx23dot.blogspot.com writes:

“UPB communication is a method of reliably communicating command, control, and status information across an electrical AC powerline. Because of its low cost and high reliability characteristics, the UPB communication method is ideally suited for command and control applications in both the residential and commercial markets. “ – For further details please refer to UPB Description.

One of its disadvantages it has only widely spreaded in the US (120VAC 60Hz). This article focuses on the European (230VAC 50Hz) electrical network, but with a little firmware modification it is possible to adapt it to the US mains. The price of an UPB device is around $80-$100, with this article you can build it from ~$8.

Cloning the UPB home automation system – [Link]

30 Jan 2012

armtronics.com writes:

With scrap parts, I created a Connect Four® style game using an mbed microcontroller, a cellphone LCD, and a few buttons. The circuit itself is rather easy and the Nokia LCD library is readily available online. With the right parts and two hours you can get this running on a breadboard. With a little more time, you can solder it on a RadioShack perfboard. This is a fun project that a novice can attempt. It will give them a greater understanding of serial communication and how LCDs work.

My fascination with gaming devices stems from a game console (mbedGC) some friends and I created last year. The game console connected to a regular TV and this is using a cellphone LCD screen. The LCD used connects with serial and the advantage is when graphics are drawn on the screen they stay there until overwritten. It does not need to be refreshed like a TV does. The mbedGC has to use a framebuffer that stores the pixels it wants to display to the screen and constantly refreshes the TV. This wastes time and memory. The LCD acts like a framebuffer storing the pixels for you.

mbedPG: Make Your Own Portable Game Console – [Link]

30 Jan 2012

Charalampos Andrianakis writes:

In the need of controlling a 7A 20Volt DC Motor i designed a speed controller with some cheap components. The circuit is a digital circuit and works with Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) which is one of the best ways to control a dc motor. This circuit can drive up to 33A 10V DC motor with a big heat sink placed on the switching mosfet.

Summarily i used in this circuit, the AVR ATtiny13 to control the PWM , a n-mosfet IRF540N for switching the motor and a Rotary Encoder to adjust the PWM Duty Cycle.

DC Motor Speed Controller – [Link]





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