by Raffi @ en.code-bude.net:
Today we’ll be talking about Captain Herrmano’s Mystery Box, a piece of hardware that I built over a year ago. But what is this box, what does it do, who was it built for and who is this Captain Herrmano anyway? This will be the topic of this article.
What is Captain Herrmano’s Mystery Box?
The box is a so-called “reverse geocaching puzzle”. The inspiration for this project was a reverse geocaching box built in 2009 by Mikael Hart. Unlike Mikael’s version of the box, it’s not enough to simply find and visit the target place. To unlock the treasure of Captain Herrmano, the player has to solve more tasks.
The special thing about this box is that it interacts with the player, and not just via text – it also has sound and light feedback, as well as other means of communication. But more about that later.
So who is this captain anyway? Captain Herrmano is an old pirate, whose spirit guards the chest and guides the player through the challenges. The chest, in turn, contains the pirate’s treasure.
Captain Herrmano’s Mystery Box – a Reverse Geocache - [Link]
by Mark (Moonyoung) Lee & Kevin J. Wang:
What is seeing without feeling? The field of Virtual Reality has recently been gaining much attention, with the Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard paving the path of visualizing a world that is not physically there. But what if the virtual reality experience could be enhanced by incorporating tactile sensing? The Haptic Glove we developed accomplishes just that – without seeing the physical structure of the object, you will still be able to feel the presence of virtual objects.
The goal of the project is to create an exoskeleton on the forearm arm that provides tactile perception for the user. The volume of the virtual object will be emulated based on the intensity of a light source that is placed inside a black box. Depending on the relative brightness of the source to the phototransistors that are mounted onto the exoskeleton, a distance between the user’s hand and the light source can be determined. By varying the brightness of the LED light source, the size of the virtual object will vary. To provide the tactile perception, servos mounted on the exoskeleton provides a pulling force, preventing the user’s fingers from reaching closer to the light source. In addition to the resistive force that act against the fingers’ movement, there are also flat surfaces at the tips of the exoskeleton that will flip up to make contact with the user’s fingers, which actually provides the sense of touching a real object.
Feeling the light in a whole new way - [Link]
Innovative flux and a high qualty alloy provide to Stannol Kristall 511 solder wire excellent processing properties with a minimum of clean transprarent residues.
You, who are at production of electronic devices, know, how important is a choice of a suitable solder. A designer of a given device might not focus on a solder used at soldering of the first protoype, bu tin a production it will manifest itself – sooner or later. Not that some solder would be miraculous and otherone unusable, but each one is suitable for something else.
Similarly lie in other segments, even here are some exceptions, when by using the newest materials and know-how from development of solders exist types suitable for multiple applications. One of them is solder Kristall511 Ecoloy with an innovative flux based on synthetic resins. The result is a small spatter and clean, transparent residues, which don´t influence electrical properties of a PCB, i.e. they belong to a “No clean” category – they can stay on a PCB withot cleaning. Kristall 511 is a considerably active solder and it shows its strength even at surfaces with not that optimal solderability and also there, where it´s necessary to solder quickly (for example components that are exceptionally sensitive to temperature). KRISTALL 511 was developed for automated soldering of SMT components, as well as for hand soldering and rework.
This way Stannol, as a producer with rich experience in development of solders (from 1920), produced a combinatio of an alloy+flux with properties meeting majority of requirements of production:
- small amount of transparent residues
- excellent spreading even at poorly solderable sorfaces (copper, brass, nickel,…)
- highly active
- electrically safe residues
- low spitting
- mild odour and small amount of fumes
On stock we have two novelties KRISTALL 511 Sn95,5Ag3,8Cu0,7 (593132) (diameter 1mm, 500g) and KRISTALL 511 Sn96,5Ag3,0Cu0,5 (810050) (diameter 1mm, 500g) solder wires. Technical details can be found in the Kristall_511 datasheet.
Kristall 511 solder wire won´t dirt your PCB - [Link]
Gary Servin has been working on a new project a method to flash an Arduino via WiFi using the ESP8266:
I’ve been working on a new robot called RoDI for a summer course at my Alma mater. RoDI is a low cost wireless robot to teach robotics and programming I started developing last year (reminder to self: I still need to post about it), but it wasn’t until a month ago that I started to work on it more often.
The first version used a HC-06 Bluetooth module to communicate with the computer. I wanted to to use WiFi, but the cost of the WiFi modules was a problem, since the idea was that the entire robot would cost less than 30 USD. Then, I read about the ESP8266 WiFi modules on Hackaday, and started working on a new version of RoDI, this time with WiFi :D. I wanted to be able to flash the atmega328 inside the robot via WiFi because the robot doesn’t have a USB to Serial converter.
Programming an Arduino via WiFi with the ESP8266 - [Link]
Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC) announced the launch of a new transistor output photocoupler in a low-height SO6L 4 pin package – the TLP385. With its low-height of 2.3 mm (max), 45 percent lower than DIP4 packages, the TLP385 can be used in situations with strict height requirements. Applications including motherboards, programmable logic controllers, AC adapters, I/O interface boards, inverter interfaces and general purpose power supplies are suited to the new photocouplers.
Toshiba’s new photocoupler has an isolation specification equivalent to DIP4 F (wide lead) type package products, and provides a creepage and clearance distance of 8 mm (min) and isolation voltage of 5 kVrms (min).
Toshiba Introduces New Low-Height Transistor Output Photocoupler - [Link]
Students in Cornell’s ECE4760 produced a variety of microcontroller projects in the last five weeks of the semester. Many use Adafruit products. Projects include real time video spectrograph, circuit plotter, touchpad robot, and a Skittle sorter made of cardboard.
Cornell University Students Design with Microcontrollers - [Link]
by Afrotechmods @ youtube.com
A beginner’s guide to different battery chemistries and how to choose the right battery for your project.
How to choose a battery: A battery chemistry tutorial - [Link]
by Jessica MacNeil @ edn.com:
What began as research to improve telephone service became one of the most important inventions in electronics history.
In 1945, AT&T’s research division, Bell Labs, began working on technology to replace vacuum tubes and make long-distance telephone service more reliable. William Shockley organized a solid-state physics group to research semiconductor replacements for vacuum tubes and electromechanical switches.
1st successful test of the transistor, December 16, 1947 - [Link]
Double the iPhone, double the teardown! With the iPhone 6 Plus laid out for inspection, we turn our attention to the smaller iPhone 6—though at 4.7″, it’s still a giant among iPhones. What was so big that Apple couldn’t fit it into the familiar form factor? Let’s shake it out onto the teardown table and find out!
iPhone 6 Teardown - [Link]
Lukas of Soldernerd built a DIY Arduino-based inductance meter:
I’ve just finished a little Arduino project. It’s a shield for the Arduino Uno that lets you measure inductance. This is a functionality that I found missing in just about any digital multi meter. Yes, there are specialized LCR meters that let you measure inductance but they typically won’t measure voltages or currents. So I had to build my inductance meter myself.
Arduino-based inductance meter - [Link]