Analog Device’s AD8232 is an integrated signal conditioning block for ECG and other biopotential measurement applications. It is designed to extract, amplify, and filter small biopotential signals in the presence of noisy conditions, such as those created by motion or remote electrode placement. This design allows for an ultralow power analog-to-digital converter or an embedded microcontroller to acquire the output signal easily.
The device can implement a two-pole high-pass filter for eliminating motion artifacts and the electrode half-cell potential. This filter is tightly coupled with the instrumentation architecture of the amplifier to allow both large gain and high-pass filtering in a single stage. An uncommitted operational amplifier enables the creation of a three-pole low-pass filter to remove additional noise. The user can select the frequency cutoff of all filters to suit different types of applications. [via]
Single-lead Heart Rate Monitor Analog Front End - [Link]
10 Tiny Development Boards That Are Up to the Task @ EE Times.
Not so long ago, the typical development board was big, bulky, and often handmade. Recently a flood of Lilliputian-size development boards has been released — one for just about any need.We’ve assembled a collection of 10 boards so small you might lose them in the cushions of your couch.
10 Tiny Development Boards That Are Up to the Task - [Link]
What is an FPGA, and how does it compare to a microcontroller? A basic introduction to what Field Programmable Gate Arrays are and how they work, and the advantages and disadvantages.
EEVblog #496 – What Is An FPGA? - [Link]
The Aithon board is an integrated robot controller board with a 32-bit ARM microcontroller and a powerful software library.
The Aithon board is a microcontroller board that combines the power of a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4 with several integrated features that make robot building and experimentation fun. We set out to create a board that has more processing power and memory than the typical Arduino, yet has integrated hardware that you would not find on a Raspberry Pi.
Aithon: 32-bit ARM Microcontroller Board - [Link]
Olympia, WA, April 29, 2013, Olympia Circuits introduces the Arno Shield to expand their line of products for new Arduino users. The Arno Shield contains all the components necessary to learn Arduino programming when plugged into an Arduino compatible board without any messy wires. The original Arno Learning Kit was introduced last year and received a great response as an innovative approach to learning the basics of electronics and Arduino. The shield provides another way for new users to dive into the world of Arduino and breaks down barriers to learning about microcontrollers.
The Arno Shield will be available for purchase at olympiacircuits.com on May 2nd.
The Arno Shield shares the same features of the Arno, but in a familiar shield form factor. Bring your own Arduino compatible board, drop in the shield and start learning to write sketches.
The Arno Shield comes with the well regarded book “Learn Arduino with the Arno” which gives step-by-step instructions for more than forty projects. All the components for the projects are built into the Arno Shield, so no wiring is necessary, just plug and play. The Arno shield, like the original Arno, is fully compatible with the Arduino programming language and integrated development environment.
To allow for a wide range of learning projects, the shield includes the following devices:
- Four green LEDs
- One RGB LED
- One infrared LED
- Two momentary pushbutton switches for digital inputs
- One thumbwheel potentiometer to introduce analog measurements and controls
- One piezo element to create tones and measure vibrations
- One phototransistor to detect infrared and visible light
- An I2C digital temperature sensor to introduce between-device digital communication
Users of the Arno have enjoyed the ability to dive right in to programming without messing with wires and small parts. Like the original Arno, the Arno Shield and an Arduino compatible board make a good travel kit that wonʼt get you hung up in security. For more information see the product page at http://www.olympiacircuits.com/arno-shield.html and contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Olympia Circuits announces the Arno Shield - [Link]
Here is a great article on EDN discussing how to select the right mcu for your project. Jacob Beningo writes:
Selecting the right microcontroller for a product can be a daunting task. Not only are there a number of technical features to consider, there are also business case issues such as cost and lead-times that can cripple a project. At the start of a project there is a great temptation to jump in and start selecting a microcontroller before the details of the system has been hashed out. This is of course a bad idea. Before any thought is given to the microcontroller, the hardware and software engineers should work out the high levels of the system, block diagram and flowchart them and only then is there enough information to start making a rational decision on microcontroller selection. When that point is reached, there are 10 easy steps that can be followed to ensure that the right choice is made.
10 steps to selecting a microcontroller - [Link]
PICkit 2 programmer is open source, so you can build your own:
PICkit 2 was originally built by Microchip as open design programmer with the schematic, source code and firmware available to boost the popularity of the PIC devices. Because of that it is easy to build a clone version of the original device. Most of the clones will produce unregulated 5 volt VPP where the original Microchip PICkit 2 provides adjustable VPP output to allow 3.3 and 2.5 volt parts programming. The schematic I have used is based on the original PICkit 2 without programmer-to-go functionality. That functionality allowing a hex file to be downloaded to the PICkit 2 to later program PIC microcontrollers without a PC with a simple pressing programmer’s push button. I do not think that functionality is required for a hobbyist but allows simplify the schematic by omitting two 24C512 EEPROM chips. The Eagle Files designed using only thru-hole mounting parts.
Build your own PICkit 2 programmer - [Link]
This mini breakout board is designed to simplify prototyping and experimentation work with the popular 18-pin PIC16F series microcontrollers. It is small in size (1.95″ X 0.75″) and is breadboard friendly. It supports PIC16F84A, PIC16F628A, PIC16F88, PIC16F648A, PIC16F1827, PIC16F1847, and other 18-pin microcontrollers in the same series.
Mini breakout board for 18-pin PIC16F series microcontrollers - [Link]
Ronald Willem Besinga writes:
One of the basic usage of the TIMER peripheral on every microcontroller is to provide the accurate timing mechanism. Using the TIMER peripheral as the basic timing, we could easily develop a stopwatch and display it to the 8-Digit seven segment numeric LED display. Thanks to the Maxim MAX7219 chip which enable us to interface this 8-Digit seven segment LED display much easier using just three wires of the SPI (serial peripheral interface) to display the hour, minute, second, and hundredth of seconds to the 8-Digit seven segments LED display.
Build your own stopwatch using Maxim MAX7219 Serially Interfaced, 8-Digit LED Display Drivers - [Link]
When collecting data from a sensor, it wonʼt be very long before you need to calculate some statistics on that data such as the mean and standard deviation. A touch sensor is a good example. Its data may not be very stable and an average needs to be calculated in order to determine a valid touch. Standard deviation is another useful measurement in helping determine the quality of the data gathered.
Because of the very limited memory in microcontrollers, the luxury of storing large data sets is not possible. This article describes a means to collect such a dataset with a very small storage footprint.
Statistics on the Arduino (also Pic or any microcontroller) - [Link]