Are you encountering any issues with developing a full-speed USB application on NXP’s LPC microcontrollers? This application note from NXP highlights some of the important issues that you need to be aware of for a typical full-speed USB application. [via]
Implementing full-speed USB on NXP’s LPC microcontrollers - [Link]
Once you start building something with microcontrollers, one thing you need to take in to account is programming adapter. This is a device which allows to upload compiled code in to chip. I don’t know if this is still a fun to build your own DIY programming adapter which is not guaranteed to support all chips nor it will be safe and reliable. AVR microcontroller niche is one of most interesting when talking about programmers. If you take a look at AVRDUDE configuration file you will find that there is about 50 of them. Many of them are DIY while other are official.
Choosing right programmer for AVR microcontrollers - [Link]
This project turns the Arduino UNO into a computer running the BASIC programming. languagedan14 @ instructable.com writes:
Hi all, this is my first instructable documenting the creation of my project, the Arduino UNO BASIC shield which turns the Arduino UNO into a computer running the BASIC programming language.
As microcontrollers are essentially low performance computers on a chip (they have a processor, RAM and ROM) they can be used to create small computer systems. The aim of this project was to use AVR microcontrollers to create a computer capable of running the BASIC programming language.
Arduino BASIC Shield - [Link]
by Claude Haridge:
Microcontroller-based products sometimes require rotary switches. As many microcontrollers have an onboard ADC, it is easy to replace the rotary switch with a low cost potentiometer, when a rotary switch is too expensive or unavailable.
Although digitizing a potentiometer setting to act like a switch requires only a few instructions, an immediate problem is that instabilities in value occur at the switching threshold between one value and the next due to electrical or mechanical noise. The solution is to introduce upper and lower hysteresis thresholds about each transition so that the potentiometer needs to move beyond a threshold before another switch state is validated. For every updated switch state, another pair of thresholds replaces the previous. In this manner, the hysteresis provides clean switching between states.
Replace a rotary switch with a potentiometer - [Link]
Over a week ago I’ve got a notice that Texas Instruments (TI) is giving away a 50% coupon for MSP430_FRAM related devices. Without hesitation ordered their MSP-EXP430FR5739 TI experimenters board that price went down to $14.50 including free shipping.
MSP EXP430FR5739 FRAM based microcontroller board is interesting piece of hardware. It features FRAM memory instead of Flash which is claimed to withstand almost unlimited number of Reads and Writes. It is also faster. It can substitute an EEPROM on board. But it is not very popular technology due to different manufacturing. On this development board there is MSP430 microcontroller which has 16KB FRAM, 1KB of SRAM. It carries eight LEDS, MTC thermistor, 3 axis digital accelerometer, optional LDR, couple buttons. So this is great for many uses.
Experiment with MSP430 FRAM board via web interface - [Link]
Microchip Technology Inc today announced from EE Live! and the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose the PIC16(L)F170X and PIC16(L)F171X family of 8-bit microcontrollers (MCUs), which combine a rich set of intelligent analog and core independent peripherals, along with cost-effective pricing and eXtreme Low Power (XLP) technology. Available in 14-, 20-, 28-, and 40/44-pin packages, the 11-member PIC16F170X/171X family of MCUs integrates two Op Amps to drive analog control loops, sensor amplification and basic signal conditioning, while reducing system cost and board space. These new devices also offer built-in Zero Cross Detect (ZCD) to simplify TRIAC control and minimize the EMI caused by switching transients. Additionally, these are the first PIC16 MCUs with Peripheral Pin Select, a pin-mapping feature that gives designers the flexibility to designate the pinout of many peripheral functions. The PIC16F170X/171X are general-purpose MCUs that are ideal for a broad range of applications, such as consumer (home appliances, power tools, electric razors), portable medical (blood-pressure meters, blood-glucose meters, pedometers), LED lighting, battery charging, power supplies and motor control.
Microchip Releases 8-bit PIC Micros with Intelligent Analog and Core Independent Peripherals - [Link]
bgyroscope @ www.instructables.com writes:
This instructable will show you how to build your own stopwatch to record multiple splits using an ATmega328 programmable microcontroller. When one presses the start button (or slaps the metal band in my watch), the screen displays the last lap for a second then continues the time on the next lap. It’s great for all you runners out there doing an interval workout.
Lap Stopwatch with ATmega328 Microcontroller - [Link]
bogdan informed us about his latest post on electrobob.com. It’s about a level translator for WS2812 LEDs. He writes:
WS2812 LEDs are one of my favourite toys. Apart from all the things that you can do with them in terms of lighting, displays or even light painting you can also use them for your projects as indicator lights.
The great advantage comes from the fact that you can use a single pin to drive so many of them and it takes just 3 wires ran across the whole box for practically any number. This in turn comes with the disadvantage of more complex control and problems driving them (5V devices) from a 3.3V microcontroller.
WS2812 level translator - [Link]
This soldering station controls a 24v 50W solder. Based on ATmega328p microcontroller, with combination of IRL3103 or IRFZ44 MOSFET, 5v 0.5A and 24v 3A power supplies,1500uF 35v capacitor, DS1307 – Real Time Clock, MAX7219 – 4 digit 7 segment LED driver, LEDs and other electronic components. Hakko 936 soldering iron handle with thermocouple control. A LM358 amplifies signal from thermocouple with gain 101.
DIY Soldering Station - [Link]
Here is a very nice build of a LED heart that creates incredible animations. Check it out.
Today we present the perfect Valentine gadget: just shake it and it will turn on and crate incredible light animations. That will be cool for sure!
We know that, as it’s Valentine’s Day, looking at the device described in this post you’ll be inclined to think that this is the usual heart-shaped Valentine gadget: in reality this is something much cooler as it’s capable to create beautiful and complex light games. Is based on the smallest microcontroller manufactured by Atmel: the ATtiny85.
Hack your Valentine with HeartThrob - [Link]