Raj @ embedded-lab.com build a mini LED Christmas tree for his son. He writes:
My two and a half year old son loves toys with flashing lights. For this Christmas I thought of making a mini LED Christmas tree for him. This project uses 22 multi-color LEDs which are driven by a PIC12F683 microcontroller using the Charlieplexing technique. The details of the build procedure is described in the following sections.
Making a mini LED Christmas tree - [Link]
Embedded Lab’s new development board for PIC12F series microcontrollers:
The 12F series of PIC microcontrollers are handy little 8-pin devices designed for small embedded applications that do not require too many I/O resources, and where small size is advantageous. These applications include a wide range of everyday products such as hair dryers, electric toothbrushes, rice cookers, vacuum cleaners, coffee makers, and blenders. Despite their small size, the PIC12F series microcontrollers offer many advanced features including wide operating voltage, internal programmable oscillator, 4 channels of 10-bit ADC, on-board EEPROM memory, on-chip voltage reference, multiple communication peripherals (UART, SPI, and I2C), PWM, and more. Today we are introducing a new development board (rapidPIC-08 V1.0) for easy and rapid prototyping of standalone applications using PIC12F microcontrollers.
Rapid development board for PIC12F series microcontrollers - [Link]
Brian posted an article describing how he designed and built his business card:
A business card should represent a person’s expertise. My expertise is in creating unique circuit boards, so to celebrate this I wanted to create a USB thumb drive circuit that contains my resume and contact information. This was also a great way to experience coding for USB applications using the Cortex M series of microcontrollers. As a side note, I have done other projects with Cortex M including a simple serial relay and a USB keyboard emulator, but this is the first one that is exciting enough to write about.
Business Card version 2 - [Link]
Jie Qi from the MIT Media Lab and Bunnie from Studio Kosagi are hoping to crowdfund their idea for a new method of circuit building called Circuit Stickers.
A crossover between high tech and arts and craft, Circuit Stickers are not a serious prototyping tool but aim to find new uses for easily configurable electronics circuits so that they can be incorporated into other media such as books (basic science or fiction) or even wearable electronics.
Interconnect and power tracks made from sticky copper tape (or other conducting material) are laid out on any non conducting surface such as paper, material or flexible fabric. The individual components come ready-mounted and connect to the copper tracks via pads with sticky anisotropic (Z) tape. These can be peeled off later for reuse. There are two kits available containing a sketchbook to take you through the basics, colored LEDs, sound, light and trigger sensors and a tiny microcontroller with an ISP programming connector. That old Tee shirt looking a bit tired? Spruce it up with a running light display. [via]
Circuit Stickers: Cut and Paste Circuitry - [Link]
Intel® Galileo – Intel® Galileo is the first in a line of Arduino-compatible development boards based on Intel architecture.
Galileo is a microcontroller board based on the Intel® Quark SoC X1000 Application Processor, a 32-bit Intel Pentium-class system on a chip. It is the first board based on Intel® architecture designed to behardware and software pin-compatible with Arduino shields designed for the Uno R3. Digital pins 0 to 13 (and the adjacent AREF and GND pins), Analog inputs 0 to 5, the power header, ICSP header, and the UART port pins (0 and 1), are all in the same locations as on the Arduino Uno R3.
Now there is an Intel based Arduino – Intel Galileo - [Link]
Gaurav Chaudhary writes:
This little project will demonstrate how you can build NEC protocol based Infrared Remote Control to use with various NEC Protocol IR receivers. actually there are lots of projects out there to accomplish this task but i have to write my own code because of too many requests on this IR(infrared) Remote Control Relay Board with PIC 12F675 Microcontroller people keep asking “Where is the Transmitter for this” although you can use any NEC protocol based remote ,but i just wanted to build one by my self. so here it is.
NEC Protocol Infrared remote control with a microcontroller - [Link]
This tutorial is an introductory tutorial on getting started with the MSP430 series of controllers by Texas Instruments. muaz @ zeroohm.ae writes:
There are millions and trillions of ways to start using microcontrollers. Hobbyist or people who find hard to code normally prefers Arduino as their coding environment, while engineers might prefer using AVR/PIC. The MSP430 microcontroller is an extremely versatile platform which supports many applications. With its ability to consume ultra-low power it enables the designing engineer to meet the goals of many projects. It has, of course, its limitations. It is inclined mostly towards low energy and less intensive applications that operate with batteries, so processing capabilities and memory, among other things, are limited. However it’s still called a mixed-signal processor and is capable of doing some sort of speech processing. Before starting with some exposure to hardware and software part, I assume that you all have some sort of programming knowledge in embedded c. Even if you know java or c++, you will still be able to adapt to the tutorials easily as the logic will remain the same, only the code language changes.
Getting Started With The MSP430 - [Link]
FTDI introduces on the market technology EVE – complete graphic solution suitable also for slower microcontrollers.
Paraphrase with the woman´s name is very near to a name of a new technology of display control – EVE – embedded video engine. Company FTDI as a well known producer of USB solutions with a slogan USB-made-easy, decided to bring this philosophy even to a field of graphic solutions. The first representative of a new family is the FT800 graphic chip, containing all necessary to create a powerful graphic output. Perhaps the biggest advantage of this solution is, that „EVE“ puts only minimal requirements on the speed (and resources) of a Host processor, that´s it can cooperate even with smaller „low-end“ microcontrollers (Atmega, PIC, 8051,….) with a very small power consumption.
The essence of small requirements for a Host processor resides in a fact, that FT800 contains al functional blocks necessary for graphic operations and control of the display itself like:
● graphic controller with a clock (timing) generator
● touch panel controller
● frame buffer
● memory (registers, ROM, RAM)
● graphic processor and co-processor
● MCU interface (I2C, SPI) and other blocks.
Moreover FT800 also contains an audio module (synthesizer and a DSP sound processor with DAC) thus FT800 also provides a sound output (mono).
Besides a significant simplification of a graphic output is the idea of „EVE“ also based on a fact, that it has to enable a cheap production of a graphic output for a target device. According to an example from FTDI (displayed on an attached picture), it´s possible to simply build a powerful „display“ for the price of under 19 USD (at a volume production). At the same time this solution lowers requirement for a count of components (BOM) and also for a PCB space. Graphic capabilities of a new chip are really impressive as it features even such properties like anti-aliasing (subjectively sharper image even on a low resolution display), alpha blending (shading, 3D,…) and built-in complex pre-defined shapes and tools. All programming of FT800 is object-oriented, so for example drawing of a simple bargraph takes only 5 commands. To create a graphic user interface (GUI), the user initializes an object memory (up to do 256 kB) and then controls specified objects and their attributes. The result is the above-mentioned low load on a Host processor.
Only a brief description of all technical features would take a few pages, that´s why we rather recommend you to look at the attached video, FTDI EVE presentation, and to study FT800 datasheet. Further information will provide you documents FT800_Programmer_guide, AN_240_FT800_From_the_Ground_Up and AN_252_FT800_Audio_Primer. For a development support, there are also available various evaluation boards of the VM800 series. Guide price of the FT800 is 2,75 USD (100 000 pcs).
For a detailed information about prices, availability and further support, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is a display design difficult? Leave it to „Eve“! – [Link]
techunboxed.com has a designed a simple build of Arduino board.
Arduino clones are ubiquitous. A quick web search or a look at any electronics hobbyist website will turn up some kind of Arduino-like microcontroller board. Studies have shown that the absolute last thing the world needs is another Arduino clone that adds nothing or very little to existing designs. One might surmise that these are the exact reasons why someone should never design another Arduino clone, yet here is Ktuluino.
There’s nothing original or particularly compelling about the Ktuluino. The name even has “ino” added to the end which has become so overused that it’s often painful and cringe inducing. With seemingly everything going against it, why would someone make something like this? The answer is… this board was an exercise in PCB design. I need stuff to practice on, and although there’s nothing revolutionary about this board, it is practical. Who can’t use another Arduino, or three?
Ktuluino – How to Build Your Own Arduino Clone - [Link]