This article goes through how to create a VGA controller that uses a resistor DAC to create 512 unique VGA colors. The tutorial uses an Altera CPLD and VHDL code to create all the video signals. The theory, hardware schematics and software are all explained and available for viewing/download.
FPGA VGA Resistor DAC – [Link]
Back in 2000 I wrote an article for Nuts&Volts magazine about predicting earthquakes via a electromagnetic monitor. Back then the EM sensor rotated through 180 degrees taking readings as it went. That was because EM sensors were expensive. Today they are cheap and I am working on a new device that uses 8 sensors in a circle. I am not sure If I should read them or take their difference and read that?
Predicting Earthquakes via Magnetic Field Monitors – [Link]
The Sensing Platform was originally developed by the members of the FAMiLab Hackerspace in Orlando, FL as part of the 2011 Greater Global Hackerspace Challenge sponsored by element14. As they describe it: [via]
The Sensing Platform is a set of hardware and software tools that allow students, educators, researchers, and “makers” to easily collect data from multiple, disparate sensors, and then transmit the sensor data into a “hub” which allows for easy display, graphing, and logging of the sensor data. The Sensing Platform and its components are useful in school laboratories or anywhere sensor data needs to be collected as part of a learning process.
Sensing Platform: open source hardware and software sensor platform – [Link]
Internal EEPROM is a good place to store a small volume of critical data that are to be retained in case of power failure. This tutorial shows how to perform the basic Read and Write operation with internal EEPROM locations of PIC microcontrollers.
Read and Write to internal EEPROM – [Link]
Getting started with microcontrollers and simple wireless data transfer: [via]
I thought you guys might like this article, it shows you how to get started using those $10 433 MHz RF tx/rx pairs. The article explains the theory, shows an example schematic for receiver/transmitter and has the project firmware for both available for download.
Microcontrollers and simple wireless data transfer – [Link]
Parallax Semiconductor is a new company, spun off from Parallax [via]
Parallax Inc. announced the creation of a new division, Parallax Semiconductor. According to Parallax Inc. Vice-President Ken Gracey, the new division has been formed specifically to focus support for OEMs with volume commercial applications using the company’s ICs.
Initially the company’s chips, such as the innovative Propeller multi-core MCU, were primarily used in their own products. Now the company is taking their IC strategy to the next level in response to growing interest from commercial OEMs. “As our chip sales to outside customers grow, we understand they benefit from our ability to tailor a technology and business relationship that uniquely meets their needs. We want to make it easy for commercial customers to exploit the advantages our chips have to offer. Parallax Semiconductor gives us an organization designed from the ground up to do just that.”
Gracey notes the creation of the new group has no impact on the existing Parallax business. “Parallax continues full-speed ahead with our historic mission serving a diverse range of customers and applications with innovative products. Parallax Semiconductor simply extends that mission to meet the needs of a larger commercial audience.”
The new division can offer custom design services and turnkey product design and manufacturing, allowing OEMs to speed time to market and reduce their own development costs. Gracey points out that “Starting with a clean sheet of paper, Parallax Semiconductor offers the flexibility and quick response OEMs need to get the most from our technology. It’s a simple model that combines a growing library of application examples and proven software with customer-specific support from a dedicated staff of Field Application Engineers.”
Distribution in the United States and Europe will be through Digi-Key, Mouser and Parallax Semiconductor. Chinese distribution will be through the Parallax China’s headquarters in Shenzhen.
Parallax Semiconductor – new company, spun off from Parallax – [Link]
How China recycles millions of cellphones every year @ Nokia Nseries… [via]
China has the world’s largest mobile phone user population, at an incredible 889 million. And 29.6 % of these users buy Nokia devices. But what happens when the Chinese, who on average change their device every 15 months, want a new one? Most of them unfortunately just throw their old phone away with as few 1% recycled. To combat this trend Nokia introduced the “Green Box” project in 2005. This concept introduced collection boxes at more than 700 Nokia service centers at mobile phone retail outlets in nearly 300 cities. To see what happens to those Nokia devices that don’t get recycled there, check out these amazing pictures, taken by Dutch Artist/Designer David Kousemaker.
How China recycles millions of cellphones every year… – [Link]
Arduino to Twitter over USB [via]
I created a tutorial to guide you through the process of integrating Twitter with your Arduino without an ethernet shield. All you need is an internet-enabled computer. I hope some of you find it helpful. Feel free to offer comments or suggestions.
Arduino to Twitter over USB – [Link]
Brad Lyuster of Louisville’s LVL1 hackerspace wrote an excellent guide to etching your own PCBs. [via]
A few months ago, the spoiled electrical engineer that I am, I never would have considered making my own PCBs. Any project worth taking off the breadboard was worth sending to China to get made “right.”
Of course, there isn’t always time and money to send something to China. Today’s installment is the Sumo-bot board I’m trying to put together for the Hive13 sumobot competition. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like poor Snoopy bot will make it to the ring, but the board making process itself is worth talking about.
Toner Transfer and Muriatic Acid Etchant: Making PCBs at LVL1 – [Link]