by Michael Dunn @ edn.com:
We’re living in a golden age of software, where many useful programs are available – for free!
Let’s survey some of what’s out there that just might interest an engineering crowd like the EDN community.
I can’t offer personal opinions on most of these packages, but I expect to hear back from you after you’ve test driven a few.
Mostly free engineering software - [Link]
A recent press release from Atmel has announced the introduction of the Arduino WiFi Shield 101 which can be connected to any modern Arduino R3 board to give connectivity to the Internet via any traditional Wi-Fi access points. This new Shield is said to offer secure, cost-effective, high-performance Wi-Fi connectivity. The new board is targeted at Arduino IoT applications and incorporates Atmel’s WINC 1500 wireless network controller offering IEEE 802.11 b/g/n (1×1) at up to 72 Mbps and supporting IEEE 802.11 WEP, WPA2 security enterprise.
Arduino WiFi Shield - [Link]
Days get shorter but it doesn´t have to be a problem. At purchase of Wago terminal blocks it´s now possible to gain a quality portable LED lamp.
If we want to bring electric energy to same place, we´ll reach for cables. If we want to interconnect them, we´ll reach for Wago 2273 terminal blocks …
Also this way could be characterized well-known push-wire connectors Wago 2273, as they provide practically unrivalled simplicity of usage at interconnecting of wires in installation boxes. Similar situation is also with Wago TopJob S terminal blocks at installations in distribution boxes.
Wago autumn special offer this time brings a portable LED lamp myLUX Professional (230V, 900 lm, 6000K) with a Li-Ion rechargeable battery (exchangeable) – as a gift to the above mentioned connectors and terminal blocks. If you have 230V mains line available, the lamp works on 230VAC and recharges battery at the same time. At a power dropout or in places without electric energy a battery power can be used. Two sets will be available:
Prolong the short days with a Wago autumn special offer - [Link]
Davide Gironi writes:
A Spark.io library for the BH1750FVI IC.
The BH1750 IC is a light intensity sensor module with built-in a 16 bit AD converter generating digital signal. With the BH1750 Light Sensor intensity can be directly measured by the luxmeter, without needing to make calculations. This library provides function to measure lux through I2C on a Spark Core.
Measure brightness in Lux using BH1750 sensor on Spark core - [Link]
by Suzanne Deffree @ edn.com
Arduino and Raspberry Pi are great, well-utilized DIY boards for hacking just about anything you want to design. But if you’re looking for an alternate hacker board, here are seven that Steve Nelson, Freescale’s director of ecosystem and marketing programs, presented at this week’s Designers of Things (DoT) conference.
With some starting below the $20 mark, these Freescale-enabled, alternative hacker boards are community-supported and allow the transition to low-cost commercial volume manufacturing while still being compatible and easy-to-use, according to Nelson.
7 alternative hacker boards - [Link]
ScratchDuino is a highly customizable, simple and interactive open source robots construction kit based on Arduino. Unique features of ScratchDuino are simplicity of assembly by using magnetic-mount parts and simplicity of programming the AI by MIT Scratch, a visual program language. Scratchduino can be used as an interactive educational open source platform for kids and beginners, as well as a vast experimental kit for advanced robots enthusiasts.
ScratchDuino magnetic robots construction kit - [Link]
by Eric Mack @ gizmag.com:
What if your dryer could send a notification that would buzz your phone or smartwatch to let you know your laundry is done? Well, it may be easier to tap into the brains of your appliances than you might think, with the US$20 open-source Green Bean module announced today by GE at MakerCon in New York.
Meet Green Bean, a module for hacking into appliances - [Link]
TAH is a Bluetooth 4.0 device that directly connects to your smartphone. It is now easier than ever to connect your smart devices to everything around you with Tah!
TAH – Control anything from your smartphone - [Link]
I contrast to the very timing-sensitive one-wire protocol of the WS2812, the APA102 uses a standard two wire SPI protocol – one clock line and one data line. Each LED has two inputs and two outputs which can be daisy chained. At the first sight this may seem wasteful, but it has the advantage of being supported by standard microcontroller periphery and it is insensitive to timing variations. Due to the critical timing requirement it is not possible to control the WS2812 from SOCs with multitasking operating systems, such as the Raspberry Pi. This should not be an issue with the APA102. Furthermore, the data can be transferred at an almost arbitrary clock rate. I was able to control the LEDs with 4 MHz SPI clock without any hitch. It appears that the maximum speed is mainly limited by the parasitics of the wiring.
APA102 aka “Superled” - [Link]
An instructables on motor controllers for cheap robots by JayWeeks
Almost every robot needs to power a motor of some sort or another. Problem is that motors take quite a lot of power, compared to what most microcontrollers operate with. To solve this problem, robots use what is called a motor controller, which usually amounts to some form of electronic switch that can turn on a very high voltage, using a very low one. That’s what we’ll be making today!
Motor controllers for cheap robots - [Link]