Original Apple 1 setup – demo of a working piece of history
This is one of 6 known working original Apple 1 personal computers from 1976. There were about 200 Apple 1 ever built and 43 units are identified to exist to date (08.2012). This Apple 1 had been originally restored and framed in 1993 by an Apple enthusiast. I restored this machine in 2012 to fully working condition (there was a faulty PROM) and attached an ASCII keyboard, monitor, power supply and an ACI (Cassette Interface). In the demo the machine executes some test programs and loads from cassette BASIC and a graphics demo.
The original Apple 1 came only as ready built motherboard: there was no keyboard, no case, no monitor and no power supply included. The buyer/user had to find and attach the peripherals himself.
The machine is pretty solid now – I booted this A1 more than 50 times in the last 2 weeks and it worked flawlessly.
Original Apple 1 setup – demo of a working piece of history - [Link]
LiPo Booster -
LiPo Booster is a breadboard-friendly boost converter board based on the TPS61230 IC from Texas Instrument. It has an output voltage of 5V, and is designed to be used with a single cell LiPo battery.
For normal and half size breadboards, the LiPo Booster can be plugged into the power rails without blocking the vertical 5-pin strips. It can also be used with a tiny breadboard or breadboard of any sizes as shown below.
LiPo Booster - [Link]
According to a press release from the ALPS Electric Co their HSHCAL humidity sensor is currently the world’s smallest commercially available digital humidity sensor. Preliminary information released by ALPS on the chip shows a 2 x 2 x 1mm package with six contact pads. [via]
The sensing mechanism uses changes in capacitance to measure relative humidity in the range from 0 to 100 %. Humidity readings are output as a digital value with a 14-bit resolution and a quoted accuracy of ±1.5 % RH at 25 ºC, 50 % RH. An internal temperature measurement feature outputs temperature information which is also used internally to compensate for the temperature coefficient of the humidity sensing element and improve linearity. The HSHCAL sensor operates from 1.71 to 1.89 V and draws 15 µA operating at 1.8 V and 1 Hz.
The company anticipate that the device will principally find a home in mobile devices such as Smartphones, wearable electronics and also in air-conditioning, air purification and refrigeration applications. The device is now in full production.
A Tiny Digital Humidity Sensor - [Link]
A startup Japanese company called Power Japan Plus have announced a new type of rechargeable battery which they claim is a significant improvement compared to LiIon batteries. The battery was developed at the department of applied chemistry at the Kyushu University in Japan.
The press release suggests that vehicles equipped with the battery would have a 300 mile range, indicating a better energy density than LiIon batteries. They also claim that the battery can be recharged twenty times faster than LiIon and can be cycled more than 3000 times without loss of capacity.
If that doesn’t tick enough boxes they also go on to say that the battery does not produce any significant temperature rise during operation so there is no need for additional cooling and no risk of thermal runaway. Details of the design are sketchy but they state that the only active material used in the battery is carbon, making it cheap to manufacture. The battery is described as using an organic electrolyte where positively charged lithium ions flow to the anode and negatively charged anions flow to the cathode, which would suggest other elements are also at play. The design is said to be 100 % recyclable. Power Japan Plus are currently focussing their research on a new type of carbon-complex battery made entirely from organic carbon.
Is Dual Carbon the Way Forward? - [Link]
A new development board has been released from the Arduino – Arduino Zero:
A new development board has been released from the Arduino stable of development products. This board has been developed jointly by Atmel and Arduino and targets ‘The next generation of IoT development’.
The Zero board contains an Atmel SAMD21 microcontroller, built around the 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ processor. The board also packs 256 KB of flash and 32 KB of SRAM. Shield connectors are Arduino R3 compatible at 3.3 V. The (EDBG) Atmel embedded software debugger is available to aid program development.
Acording to Massimo Banzi, co-founder and CEO at Arduino “The Zero board expands the Arduino family by providing increased performance to fuel creativity of the Maker community. The flexible feature set enables endless project opportunities for devices and acts as a great educational tool for learning about 32-bit application development”.
Arduino Zero Targets the IoT - [Link]
An Arduino-based RFID access control to open garage door using RFID by Jason Hamilton:
This is my Arduino-based project that allows you to use RFID for access control to open a door. The door can be anything that can be controlled by a relay. In my case it will be a garage door opener.
This is the initial prototype. Next I plan to build it on a prototype shield and then if put it on a PCB. The top section of components (Arduino and breadboard) will be placed inside the garage and the bottom section of components (LED, buzzer, NFC/RFID reader) will be placed outside (in a project box).
RFID access control for garage door - [Link]
Want to run Arduino code in a PIC MCU?
Here’s an approach that enables Arduino code to be configured for execution with the Microchip Technology PIC32MX250F128B small-outline 32-bit microcontroller. It uses the Microchip Technology MPLAB X IDE and MPLAB XC32 C Compiler and the Microchip Technology Microstick II programmer/debugger.
Execute Arduino code in a PIC MCU using MPLAB IDE - [Link]
Andrew @ theresistornetwork.com build a Video streaming board using the STM32 Nucleo board and a Gameduino 2.
I like to check out the thrift stores in my area for one of a kind technical gems to add to my collection. A few years ago I came across a Connectix QuickCam. This is one of the earliest webcams that didn’t require a separate video capture card. Due to how easy it was to install, it was incredibly popular. So much so that Logitech ended up buying Connectix out and forking the product under their own brand.
When I saw it in the store I really had no idea what it was aside from the fact that it was a webcam and it had a parallel port. My first instinct was that a parallel port is simply a collection of TTL lines that I could emulate with a modern microcontroller. I finally had some time to put it into action and decided to stream video frames from the camera to a Gameduino 2 and the FT800 video processor that it uses.
FT800 with Streaming Video on Gameduino 2 - [Link]
Tony Keith build an Arduino DMX tester, he writes:
I work part-time (more of a hobby) in the lighting industry and use DMX since it is the industry standard for communicating or controlling devices (lighting fixtures, controllers, consoles, etc..) I have seen commercial DMX testers on the market but I wanted to create my own.
I have been working on an idea to create a low cost (<$50), Arduino based DMX tester.
The tester would provide the following functionality:
Simple input protocol for entering commands using 4 X 4 (16) key pad matrix.
Support LCD display (4 x 20) Character
Output DMX for single channel or a range of channels at a set intensity level.
Arduino DMX Tester – Inexpensive Tester for Sending DMX-512 - [Link]
Crystal clear VR gaming & viewing experience. Universal transformable controller. Plug-and-play. Compatible with all games & movies!
The headset is equipped with Full HD display (1920×1080, 1.03 megapixel per eye). The sharp picture is projected onto your retina through the aspherical lens without distorting the image, allowing every pixel to remain in sharp focus. While wearing the headset, you’re surrounded by the largest 4:3 standard screen in the world, which gives you a 100° diagonal field of view. This gives users an IMAX-like experience in the comfort of their own homes.
Thanks to the internal 9-axis IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) for head rotation and movement tracking, the headset is ready to immerse you in a gaming experience like nothing you’ve experienced before.
ANTVR KIT: All-IN-ONE Universal Virtual Reality Kit on kickstarter.com - [Link]