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]
Bertho shared his NoLoop galvanic isolator:
I had a problem some time ago with a nasty ground-loop and that cost me the USB port on my old laptop. It took me a while to realize what had happened and it was a generic problem we all run into more often than we think. Time to solve this particular problem once and for all and make generic isolation for Serial and SPI ports.
NoLoop galvanic isolator - [Link]
The MAX21000 is a low power, low noise, 3-axis angular rate sensor that delivers unprecedented accuracy and sensitivity over temperature and time. It operates with a supply voltage as low as 1.71V for minimum power consumption. It includes a sensing element and an IC interface that provides the measured angular rate to the external world through a digital interface (I2C/SPI). The IC has a full scale of ±31.25/±62.50/±125/±250/ ±500/±1k/±2k degrees per second (dps) and measures rates with a finely tunable user-selectable bandwidth.
MAX21000 – Ultra-Accurate, Low Power, 3-Axis Digital Output Gyroscope - [Link]
Here is a small collection of circuits that provide an interface to sensor transducers including pressure, temperature, and others.
This circuit provides a highly integrated analog sensor signal conditioner targeted for automotive applications. The device provides amplification, calibration, and temperature compensation. Output is digital. Read the rest of this entry »
Seven segment LED displays are known to be resource and power hungry. But because they are visually so charming and readable from a far viewing distance and at a much wider viewing angle as compared to any other electronic displays, they are still hugely popular. The required number of I/O pins to drive the LED segments can be reduced significantly by using an additional dedicated hardware. For example, the MAXIM’s MAX7219 device allows you to interface 8 pieces of seven segment LED modules using only 3 I/O pins of Arduino or any other microcontroller.
High-voltage seven segment LED display driver with SPI interface - [Link]
ArthurTC @ instructables.com writes:
In this instructible we will learn how we can hook up an LCD based on the HD44780 chipset to the SPI bus and drive it with only 3 wires for less than $1. Although I will focus on the HD44780 alphanumeric display in this tutorial, the same principle will work pretty much the same for any other LCD which uses an 8 bit parallel data bus, and it can be very easily adapted to suit displays with 16 bit data buses.
The HD44780 (and compatible) based alphanumeric displays are usually available in 16×2 (2 lines consisting of 16 characters) and 20×4 configurations, but can be found in many more forms. The most ‘complicated’ display would be a 40×4 display, this sort of display is special as it has 2 HD44780 controllers, one for the upper two row and one for the bottom two rows. Some graphic LCDs have two controllers as well.
3-Wire SPI HD47780 LCD for less than 1 dollar - [Link]
techshopdude @ instructables.com writes:
There are many electronic devices that use the SPI bus, or Serial Peripheral Interface bus, for communications (e.g. various sensors, LCD displays, digital potentiometers, D/A and A/D converters, wireless transmitters and receivers, audio volume controls). The devices receive data serially from a microcontroller using a 3-wire set-up that includes a chip select signal (usually titled CS – when this signal is at logic 0, a chip recognizes it will be receiving or sending data), a clock signal for clocking the serial data into the device, and the serial data stream itself.
Using an Arduino to Control or Test an SPI electronic device - [Link]
NXP Semiconductors has announced a family of small-footprint wireless modules based on the ultra-low-power JN5168 microcontroller. Supporting multiple network stacks including ZigBee Home Automation, ZigBee Light Link, ZigBee Smart Energy, JenNet-IP and RF4CE, the JN5168 wireless modules feature footprints as small as 16 x 21 mm and very low power consumption in transmit and receive modes.
All modules have 256 KB flash memory, 32 KB RAM and 4 KB EEPROM, as well as low-power sleep modes. An SPI interface allows external flash memory to be connected for applications that require over-the-air firmware updates, and all other main functions and I/Os of the chip, such as I²C, ADCs, UARTs and PWMs, are accessible. [via]
Low-power Wireless Modules Support Multiple Protocols - [Link]
Alberto Maccioni posted an update on his multi-chip opensource programmer based on a PIC18F2550. It supports PIC, I2C-SPI-MicroWire EEPROMs, some ATMEL AVRs, and (soon) other devices:
In the last few years, as serial and parallel interfaces have almost disappeared, electronics enthusiasts find even more difficult to program microcontrollers; old time programmers don’t work any more; common solutions include using USB to serial adapters (which can’t accept direct access but only slow API calls), or add-on interface chips, like FTDIxxxx, which appear substantially as serial interfaces and require custom or proprietary drivers. So why not use PIC controllers and their native USB interface? After searching a while I couldn’t find an USB programmer which was at the same time functional, free, and open source, so I decided to design one.
Open Programmer v0.8.x - [Link]
This (SPI7SEGDISP4.40-1R) is a revised version of the previous SPI seven segment LED display (4 digit) board that displayed numerals and decimal points. The new version has a better quality seven segment LED display (LTC-4727JS) with three extra LED segments, as shown below. The additional colon segments are useful in projects where you need to display time (HH:MM or MM:SS).
New version of MAX7219 based 4-digit serial seven segment LED display - [Link]