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23 Jan 2011

This project by Billy Chasen shows how to make a door able to be opened and closed via a text message. The device uses a Propeller-based Spinneret Web Server and SMS gateway called Twilio. For security, there’s a whitelist of permitted senders.

Opening a door via text message – [Link]

23 Jan 2011

Switch is the ultimate modular pocketknife, with 17 different attachments so you can mix and match your most frequently used tools. Customize your Switch’s width by swapping out the inner axles, or group your tools into different “themes” – home, office, outdoors, etc. However you choose to do it, Switch is your tool, your way.

User-configured multitool – [Link]

23 Jan 2011

Jon writes:

I developed a circuit to read a thermocouple using a microcontroller without the insanely expensive and difficult to obtain MAX6675.

Turns out the TI TMP513 Power Supply Monitor chip is ideal for reading a thermocouple.  It’s got a built-in temperature sensor for cold junction compensation and the ADC designed for measuring voltage in a shunt resistor is 12 bits with a full scale range of 40 mV.  It uses an I2C interface.

I used the TMP513 with a PIC18F-series microcontroller and Swordfish Basic.  The thermocouple circuit was quickly built on an SOIC-DIP adapter circuit board.  I use a lookup table and interpolation for the best possible accuracy.  I used a type K thermocouple but a table for any desired type can easily be used.  The results are excellent.

A Thermocouple Measurement Circuit with Swordfish Software – [Link]

21 Jan 2011

From the comments on dangerousprototypes.com CPLD post:

Programmable logic meets the Arduino. The Amani 64 is a low-cost entry-level CPLD development kit, stackable with the Arduino, other Amanis, and Arduino-compatible shields. The Amani 64 by itself is a capable embedded controller but becomes an even more powerful tool when teamed up with the Arduino or other Amanis.

Amani CPLD Arduino shield – [Link]

21 Jan 2011

Tronixstuff has published the first part of their tutorial series on using a GSM cellular modem with the Arduino. In this part they cover hardware interfacing and testing, sending a text message, and embedding data within a message. This part is the latest is a series of Arduino tutorials posted by Tronixstuff. [via]

Tutorial: Arduino and GSM Cellular – Part1 - [Link]

21 Jan 2011

Zipitbot robot uses some motors and a dsPIC microcontroller to move around. dsPIC board on top communicates with the Zipit over an I2C bus and client program is able to control the ZipitBot over a wifi link. There is also a USB webcam attached. [via]

Zipitbot: Zipit based robot – [Link]

21 Jan 2011

evilmadscientist.com writes: [via]

Reading out the flash memory is straightforward with an AVR ISP programmer, such as the USBtinyISP, using avrdude from the command line. You’ll need to have a copy of the AVR toolchain– or at least avrdude –installed on your computer. There are easy installers available for Mac (Crosspack) and Windows (MHV AVR Tools) that include this software, along with the other open source tools for AVR development. Linux packages for AVR development are also available.

AVR Basics: Reading (and writing) flash contents – [Link]

21 Jan 2011

Fabien writes:

I ported the Arduino driver written by Limor Fried for the SSD1306 monochrome OLED display to the netduino last week. The Arduino driver bit-bangs the data to the display controller, which is relatively slow. I attempted to speed up data transfers by driving the display using hardware SPI on the neduino. Oddly enough, this approach did not work and I have not yet found the root cause. As a result, I resorted to the bit-bang method. Because the SSD1306 OLED display supports a variety of protocols, I’ll continue investigating the issue until I can find a data transfer method yielding better performance.

Driving an SSD1306 OLED display with a netduino - [Link]

21 Jan 2011

Dan Reetz found that the 3.5mm jack in his DSO Nano oscilloscope had a broken solder connection so he decided to fix it and document the process. This article shows how to fix it and prevent it from happening again by using glue to reinforce the jack. [via]

Fix Your DSO Nano 2 – [Link]

21 Jan 2011

Since the widespread commercial use of the transistor, electronics minded people have assembled their circuits on a printed circuit board (PCB). Even if the circuits are increasingly complex, PCB design is actually becoming easier thanks to the availability of efficient design tools in the CAD realms. Whereas ten years ago CAD software to accomplish serious PCB design was beyond the reach of many, today you can download some of these tools for free on the internet. Often these tools are free but with limitations of some kind in terms of board size, number of components or file exporting. By contrast, a recently launched product called DesignSpark PCB has no restrictions, says the supplier RS Components. [via]

Test driving the DesignSpark PCB design tool - [Link1] + [Link2]





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