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11 May 2011

The spring 2011 batch of Cornell University ECE 4760 Designing with Microcontrollers Final Projects are out. Be prepared to spend a few hours browsing through the details of these cool projects. [via]

Cornell University ECE 4760 Microcontroller Designing Final Projects – [Link]

11 May 2011

blog.saleae.com writes: [via]

Woo Hoo! Logic16 is finally released. It has been a long time coming. The main bottleneck was the new 1.1.x software, and making that rock solid, but it was also plenty tricky on its own – in particular the analog front end. Analog 101 all over again, plenty of spice simulation, at least 5 or 6 board revs, a fairly high end Agilent scope and $1000 active probe. There’s things we could have done to make it a lot easier in retrospect, but part of the goal was to learn how we could design front ends for much higher end stuff. We now at least know what the right questions are, and I’m confident that we’ll be able to pull off some really nice stuff for the 3rd/4th products.

New Saleae 16bit logic analyzer released – [Link]

11 May 2011

This very entertaining take on the classic most useless machine gag is not quite so patient as its ancestors. Oh sure, it does what they all do: When you turn it on, it turns itself off. And it’ll do that over and over again. But, much like my college roommate, the machine has its limits, and it’s probably wise not to push it too far. [via]

Angriest Most Useless Machine – [Link]

11 May 2011

Google picks Arduino for Android Open Accessory “kit”… [via]

From the beginning, Android was designed to extend beyond the mobile phone. With that in mind, we’ve developed Android Open Accessory to help developers start building new hardware accessories that will work across all Android devices. We previewed an initiative called Android@Home, which allows Android apps to discover, connect and communicate with appliances and devices in your home. We also showed a preview of Project Tungsten, an Android device for Music Beta to give you more control over music playback within the Android@Home network.

A USB micro-controller board that is based on the Arduino Mega2560 and Circuits@Home USB Host Shield designs (now referred to as the ADK board), which you will later implement as an Android USB accessory. The ADK board provides input and output pins that you can implement through the use of attachments called “shields.” Custom firmware, written in C++, is installed on the board to define the board’s functionality and interaction with the attached shield and Android-powered device. The hardware design files for the board are located in hardware/ directory.

…This is the Arduino board for Android OS (2.3.4 or later) to connect I/O. This item is The same model which is devlivered by Google in USB session of Google I/O 2011. All software are working with this boards set. http://a.android.com/demokit Contents in box RT-ADK 1 RT-ADS 1 microUSB cables 2 Please download software from above URL. RT-ADK、RT-ADS main feature CPU: AVR Base mode: Arduino with USB host function

Google picks Arduino for Android Open Accessory “kit” - [Link]

10 May 2011

element14 offers PCB Fabrication Service to streamline design cycle through partnership with Pentalogix

Service provides design engineers and enthusiasts with instant quotes on element14’s global community and quick delivery of manufactured boards

LONDON– MAY 9, 2011 To further support the design process from concept to prototype, element14, the first collaborative engineering community and electronics store for design engineers and electronics enthusiasts, today announced a partnership with leading printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturer Pentalogix, to offer its PCB Fabrication Service on element14’s electronics community. This cost-effective service, available at www.element14.com/pcbservices further streamlines the design cycle for engineers and electronics enthusiasts, offering instant, customized quotes and fast, high-quality board delivery for prototype PCB implementation.

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10 May 2011

A battery, an empty metallic can, a resistor and a darlington pair transistor is more or less all that you need to make a radiation detector! Youtube user bionerd23 explains how this is done and how it works, in this absolutely awesome video. She also runs some tests with different radioactive materials! 10/10 for this video! [via]

The simplest DIY Geiger radiation detector ever – [Link]

10 May 2011

bkraz333 writes: [via]

I describe how to design a simple transistor circuit that will allow microcontrollers or other small signal sources to control low-power actuators such as solenoid valves, motors, etc.

How to design a transistor switching circuit – [Link]

10 May 2011

In this tutorial, Embedded Lab describes the basics of I2C communication protocol, its addressing scheme, and the way of connecting multiple devices on a common I2C bus. The technique has been demonstrated with PIC18F2550 microcontroller, to which two serial EEPROMS and one temperature sensor have been connected on a common I2C bus.

Inter-Integrated Circuit (I2C) communication - [Link]

10 May 2011

Arduino EEPROM Killer from John Boxall on Vimeo.

John Boxall (tronixstuff) wanted to know just how long the EEPROM in an ATMega328 would last, so he whipped up this neat test program to stress the memory. He writes: [via]

Some time ago I published a short tutorial concerning the use of the internal EEPROM belonging to the Atmel ATmega328 (etc.) microcontroller in our various Arduino boards. Although making use of the EEPROM is certainly useful, it has a theoretical finite lifespan – according to the Atmel data sheet (download .pdf) it is 100,000 write/erase cycles.

One of my twitter followers asked me “is that 100,000 uses per address, or the entire EEPROM?” – a very good question. So in the name of wanton destruction I have devised a simple way to answer the question of EEPROM lifespan. We will write the number 170 (10101010 in binary) to each EEPROM address, then read each EEPROM address to check the stored number. The process is then repeated by writing the number 85 (01010101 in binary) to each address and then checking it again. The two binary numbers were chosen to ensure each bit in an address has an equal number of state changes.

After both of the processes listed above has completed, then the whole lot repeats. The process is halted when an incorrectly stored number is read from the EEPROM – the first failure. At this point the number of cycles, start and end time data are shown on the LCD.

The result? 1,230,163 write/read cycles (per address) before failure. That’s an order of magnitude+ beyond Atmel’s specs, though Atmel does tend to be conservative with their numbers.

EEPROM Destroyer - [Link]

10 May 2011

Fabien shows us his implantation of a Twitter-enabled Geiger counter using the Netduino+. His detailed blog post discusses everything from the MicroTweet library, random number generation, and his custom Fallout3 enclosure . Well worth a look. [via]

Netduino+ Tweeting Geiger Counter – [Link]





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