SMT Manufacturing @ The Adafruit Learning System. Here are a bunch of tutorials for manufacturing small to medium scale (10 – 10,000) piece surface mount electronics. From solder paste storage to Microscope Inspection.
SMT Manufacturing @ The Adafruit Learning System - [Link]
Adafruit has launched their Circuit Playground app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It provides a collection of reference formulas at the touch of a button, simplifying calculations to make your project more fun – [via]
Decipher resistor & capacitor codes with ease. Calculate power, resistance, current, and voltage with the Ohm’s Law & Power Calc modules. Quickly convert between decimal, hexadecimal, binary or even ASCII characters. Calculate values for multiple resistors or capacitors in series & parallel configurations. Store, search, and view PDF datasheets. Access exclusive sneak peaks, deals & discounts at Adafruit Industries. All that, plus updates with additional features & enhancements – MANY NEW CALCULATORS AND TOOLS being added!
Adafruit launches Circuit Playground app - [Link]
Lithium-polymer battery charger chips @ Dangerous Prototypes – [via]
Lithium-polymer batteries are an excellent choice for portable projects. They are relatively cheap, hold a significant charge, and last for a long time. The drawback with these batteries is that they require rather complicated charging protocols. You have to watch out for overcharging, undercharging, overheating, etc…
We are looking for a standard part to use in our projects, so we decided to do a roundup of open source lithium polymer chargers from SparkFun, Seeed Studio, and Adafruit. With the exception of Seeed, all the chargers are based on Microchip’s MCP738xx family of battery management ICs that come in SSOP and DFN packages. They handle all the charging algorithms and usually only require a single external capacitor.
Lithium-polymer battery charger chips - [Link]
We needed to collect a list of Arduino libraries for some prep work for the Arduino team’s 1.0 launch. We currently have 25 Arduino libraries!
Adafruit currently has 25 Arduino libraries - [Link]
Comparing Adafruit and Gravitech microSD boards. [via]
The shape is a bit different, but both boards work as intended. Both have LEDs, but the Gravitech LED is on whenever a card is inserted (I think using the socket’s mechanical card detect switch) and the Adafruit LED blinks while data is transferred to/from the card, which I think is the more useful function. Both have “push/push” type sockets (to release card, push in, it clicks and springs back out). They are from different vendors; the Gravitech sockets seemed to have a bit more friction and were more sticky overall, and tend to grab on to the cards rather than release them cleanly, but they seem to improve a bit after a few cycles.
Comparing Adafruit and Gravitech microSD boards - [Link]
Driving an adafruit VC0706 TTL Serial JPEG Camera with a Netduino @ Fabien’s Bit Bucket. [via]
Earlier this month, AdaFruit released a nice little TTL camera, perfect for security and remote monitoring applications. The camera supports three resolutions (640×480, 320×240 and 160×120), has a built-in motion detection circuit and can output an NTSC signal, all in a fairly compact form factor. The communication with the camera is done over a TTL UART @ up to 115200 bauds…
As I’m working on a security-related project involving the Netduino, it was the perfect opportunity to put this camera to the test, starting with writing a C# driver. While interfacing with the camera over the TTL UART of the Netduino is straight forward, the datasheet describing the protocol and commands required to control the camera functions is painfully sketchy and sometime inaccurate. In some instances, some camera functions such as OSD (text overlay) are not supported in the firmware even though the datasheet documents them or only behave properly if called in a particular sequence, which of course, is not documented…
Driving an adafruit VC0706 TTL Serial JPEG Camera with a Netduino - [Link]
AdaFruit recently released a sweet little TFT display that I was dying to hook up to a netduino: the display features a resolution of 128*160 pixels, is capable of showing 18-bit colors and has a microSD card reader on the back of the breakout board. As usual, Limor wrote a nicely detailed Arduino tutorial showing how to connect the display and how to write sketches to drive it.
The Arduino driver relies on the ability of the Atmega168/368 to toggle digital lines extremely fast, which does not work well on the netduino due to the latency introduced by the .Net Micro Framework: even when configured to use hardware SPI, the Arduino driver constantly toggles a data/command output line, rspin below, which would be unbearably slow on the netduino if the same method were applied.
The netduino has one advantage over the Arduino: it has plenty of RAM. So, instead of toggling I/O lines slowly all the time and using next to zero RAM, the netduino driver allocates a 40K buffer corresponding to the resolution of the display in 12-bit depth colors (16 bits per pixel) and leaves the ST7735 in ‘data’ mode upon initialization.
Drawing always happens on the internal buffer first. Then, whenever the actual display needs refreshing, the display I/O operations are performed using hardware SPI, blasting the entire 40K buffer. It may sound crazy but using this method on the netduino is faster than refreshing a single pixel while toggling an I/O line!
Driving an Adafruit TFT Display with a Netduino – [Link]
We have had a lot of tutorials on electronic parts and Arduino lately, so we wanted to mix it up with some tutorials on the tools we use here every day at Adafruit. We have a very streamlined operation here and a lot of that has to do with the technology we’ve cooked into the business!
This tutorial is for the barcode scanner we use for shipping invoices as part of our custom shipping system. they can ‘talk’ rs-232 serial, ps/2 or USB so they are possible to connect to an embedded system. we have some usb HID interface example code as well for reading data directly from the barcode scanner.
Barcode scanners for a maker business – [Link]
Fabien writes :
AdaFruit released a monochrome OLED screen last week and I wanted to test it with a netduino. So, I ported the Arduino driver written by Limor to C#, wrote a basic test app, soldered header pins to the OLED display, hooked it up to my netduino and… nothing happened. It became clear that I needed to test the OLED display on an Arduino first to make sure that the screen was not defective in the first place. I had on hand a Boarduino that I had previously upgraded with an Atmega328 and hacked to run on 3.3 volts instead of 5 volts, removing the need to use the level-shifter provided with the OLED display.
Using an AdaFruit OLED display on a Boarduino without a level shifter – [Link]