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17 May 2014

Get fit for summer with your own activity monitor from this Adafruit Tutorial!

Keep that New Years resolution of getting fit by staying safe with a neopixel motion activated running band powered by Flora, Adafruit’s wearables electronics platform.

This is the activity monitor you’ll want to wear outside and at the dance club!

Get Fit For Summer With A DIY Neopixel Motion Activated Running Band - [Link]


17 May 2014


Bumpy is a DIY mp3 player based on ATMEGA32U4 @ 8MHz and VS1003 for mp3 decoding IC. It’s powered from a Li-Ion battery and Max1555  manages battery charging. TPS2112APW is  used to automatically switch between USB and battery power. The design is full open source and materials costs about $58 USD for a single board.

Bumpy is a small homemade mp3 player, with features similar to an iPod shuffle. The entire design is open-source, from the firmware to the circuit board to the 3D-printed case. Bumpy plays .mp3 files off of a micro-SD card. You can load files onto the card then plug it into Bumpy, or plug Bumpy into your computer: it will show up like a flash drive (though it’s a bit slower).

Bumpy – a DIY MP3 Player based on ATMEGA32U4 - [Link]

17 May 2014


markqvist @ unsigned.io build a  1200-baud AFSK modem on the popular ATmega328p microprocessor:

MicroModem is an educational and open-source implementation of a 1200-baud AFSK modem on the popular ATmega328p microprocessor. This makes it compatible with all Arduino boards and spinoffs using the 328p (for example the Uno, and the Microduino). Apart from a 328pBased board, you will also need to assemble 17 common electronic components to build the modem. When done, it can be used for things like ham radio APRS, TCP/IP over SLIP, experimentation with mesh-networks, long-range wireless communication with sensors (Or friends! Or strangers!).

MicroModem – 1200-baud AFSK modem on ATmega328p - [Link]

17 May 2014


Mastro Gippo writes:

I just finished wrapping up an article about a small project I did in Shenzhen during the HackerCamp with Ian. I hope you find it interesting and feature it! :)

Making stuff in Shenzhen – The Grillino - [Link]

17 May 2014


DC/DC switch mode regulators TRACO will save the most precious substance – energy. And now they´re even more affordable thanks to a lower price and better stock.

Maybe, switch-mode regulators are familiar to you from your own praxis or at least from our articles New switch-mode stabilisers Traco TSRN-1 for positive and negative output or Try the effective replacement for standard 78xx regulators and many other.
Fortunately even in this segment it´s true, that thanks to a still bigger popularity of these regulators their price drops down. Moreover, thanks to our close cooperation with the producer – Traco Electronic AG and still bigger stocks we gain a better purchase price and that´s why a better sale price for you as a result. It´s the most obvious in the most popular versions like for example TSR1-2450 and TSR1-24120 with output voltage of 5V or 12V.And the main difference between series TSR1 and TMA? TSR is a so called POL (point of load, non-isolated) regulator, thus it works as “almost lossless load” (buck converter) regulating output power similarly like classic regulators (7805, 7812), only naturally with a substantially higher efficiency. Similarly excellent is also an output voltage stability at a load variation ( typ. 0,4% / 10-100% load). Series TSRxx has the same max. output current for all output voltages, i.e. for example 5V/1A or 12V/1A. In many applications it can be beneficial that TSR operates with up to 36V input voltage.

On the other hand, series TMA is an isolation DC-DC module with an output transformer operating at high frequency (tens to hundreds of kHz). Advantage of the TMA series is a complete galvanic isolation of an output voltage (so called floating voltage) and that´s why it´s suitable even for power supplying of various measuring probes, AD converters and other devices requiring isolated power supply or elimination of ground loops. Despite a significant advantage in a form of an isolated output this type of DC-DC modules has somewhat worse output voltage stability at a load change (max +-10%/20-100% záťaž). Max. output power is constant for a given series (TMA-1W, TMR-2, TEN3-3W, …) i.e. versions with a higher output voltage provide a lower current.

The most comprehensive overview of available DC-DC and AC-DC modules will provide you the short-form Traco catalogue and datasheets at particular types.

Traco TSR, TMA – when every Watt is precious - [Link]

16 May 2014


by John Widder & Alessandro Morcelli :

The application of MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems) technology to microphones has led to the development of small microphones with very high performance. MEMS microphones offer high SNR, low power consumption, good sensitivity, and are available in very small packages that are fully compatible with surface mount assembly processes. MEMS microphones exhibit almost no change in performance after reflow soldering and have excellent temperature characteristics.

Basic principles of MEMS microphones - [Link]

16 May 2014

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]

16 May 2014


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]

16 May 2014


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]

16 May 2014


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]





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