Frank Zhao posted his STM32F4 breakout board [via]:
I really like the STM32 family of ARM microcontrollers. This breakout board is a narrow design that fits perfectly on a breadboard. Every pin is accessible. It has USB, a reset button, and a bootload button. The chip itself has a permanent USB bootloader that is activated by the bootload button. This means that no equipment is required to program this microcontroller, no expensive debugger, nothing at all except a USB cable.
Design files are open source and can be downloaded, there is also a short video about the bootloader and more instructions
I am also giving away blank PCBs to those interested (see “giveaway” on my page), Seeed makes more than I need, every single time
STM32F4Stamp, a breakout board for STM32F4 - [Link]
I grew fond of NXPs new LPC800 Cortex M0+ microcontrollers. I designed a small breakout for the LPC812 TSSOP20. This is the second revision. It includes push buttons for reset and activating the serial bootloader. The board has an integrated 500mA 3.3V LDO to supply both the MCU and connected devices from the USB port. The four pins on the top side (5V,RX,TX,GND) can be used to connect a cheap USB to serial adapter and program the device via the internal bootloader using FlashMagic.
LPC812 Breakout board - [Link]
FT230X charger detection investigation. Baoshi writes:
I bought some FT230X (FT230XS) USB-USART bridge chip recently for a new design. FT230X is not only cheaper than the traditional FT232RL, but also offers a new fancy “USB charger detection” function. This interests me because I’m quickly running out of desk space and power socket. I wish the new device to be solely powered by USB and/or battery.
FT230X charger detection investigation - [Link]
“Power bank” or a mobile power supply with a USB output can contribute also to your undisturbed work.
Nowadays already almost every battery-operated device with a USB port has a possibility to be operated or recharged through this port. Whether it is a smartphone, external harddrive, various modems, dataloggers and many other specialized devices, almost all of them can be powered/ recharged also from a USB port from an external mobile power source -”Power bank”.
In respect to the fact, that there are still more devices with this possibility, we incorporated to our stable stock offer two types of these power supplies – B110 and B120 from a renowned company Apacer. They differ mainly by a capacity of an in-built battery (4400/ 6600 mAh). B110 has one USB connector with a max. output current of 5V/1A, while a bigger type – B120 features two USB ports with a max current of 1,5A/1A (max 2.1A both ports simultaneously). Both Power banks can be recharged through a micro USB port by means of a supplied short USB cable enabling recharging for example from PC, USB adapter or from still more used wall USB outlets, which are becoming a common part of modern buildings installations, on airports etc. The same micro USB/USB B cable can be consequently used to connect a device which we want to power/ recharge (through an “OUTPUT” connector). A small complement of both types is a 5mm white LED, thus B110 and B120 can serve as a small torch with a long hold-off.
Apacer B110 and B120 – Power banks not only for your smartphones - [Link]
The Arduino compatible board to take your projects beyond your home and garden. Anywhere your imagination takes you.
Prototyping should be rapid. Putting projects together should be as easy as clicking together lego-like building blocks. SODAQ makes it so. SODAQ is a multi-feature microprocessor board that lets you connect sensors and devices to the internet, quickly and with no fuss. It’s designed for connecting things efficiently, running off-grid with built-in, ready-to-go solar power:
Getting data off a device is only half the story – it needs to go somewhere. We designed the SODAQ system to be able to communicate from anywhere, with a GPRS module and all the control code for it included from the start.
It takes the Arduino prototyping concept, makes it simpler, and extends it. No breadboarding or soldering required, but with plenty of memory, sockets, solar panel and battery control, and extra features, all on one board.
The board has built in sockets for Grove modules; a realtime clock; extended flash memory; USB on-board; and the Bee socket can take any WiFi/RF/XBee or other compatible plugin for communications instead of our GPRS module.
SODAQ: a lego-like, plug-in, rapid prototyping board - [Link]
This video by Ray Wang demonstrates HID-class USB serial communication for AVRs using the V-USB library:
Serial communication is helpful for debugging and checking sensor values, and HID-class means it can work on all operating systems without driver installation. This is useful for many software-only USB projects such as based on ATmega328 or ATtiny45/85. To receive and send messages between the device and host, I wrote an HID serial monitor, similar to a standard serial monitor, using Processing.
HID-class USB Serial communication for AVRs using V-USB - [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]
This project is about building a PC-based temperature and relative humidity logger using the chipKIT Uno32 board and the DHT11 sensor. The project setup requires no additional wires (other than the USB cable) and components; the DHT11 sensor is directly plugged into four I/O pins of the Uno32 board and the project is ready to go. This could be a handy and an easiest way to setup an ambient room monitoring system for a server room. The Uno32 reads the temperature and relative humidity from the DHT11 sensor at preset interval and sends the data to PC through the USB-UART interface. A PC application is developed using the open-source Processing programming platform to log data onto an ASCII file. The PC application also displays the real-time temperature and relative humidity on computer screen.
chipKIT Project 2: Temperature and relative humidity logger - [Link]
Lattice Semi has released their iCEstick eval board. This board has a high-performance, low-power iCE40HX1K FPGA on board and has a USB thumb drive form factor. IO connectors include 16 LVCMOS/LVTTL (3.3 V) digital I/O connections on 0.1” through-hole connections and a 2 x 6 position Digilent Pmod connector for other peripheral connections. The board’s FTDI 2232H USB device allows iCE device programming and UART interface to a PC. On board devices include a Vishay TFDU4101 IrDA transceiver and five user LEDs. The board also includes a Discera 12 Mhz MEMS oscillator, Micron 32 Mbit N25Q32 SPI flash and is powered directly from the USB connector. [via]
Lattice debuts iCEstick FPGA Evaluation Board at $24.99 - [Link]