The MHVBoard is an Arduino clone kit, which does away with a second chip for USB comms, and instead uses V-USB to talk directly to the main microcontroller.
The kit has been designed to run soldering workshops, and is completely hand-solderable, even by complete newbies (all through hole components except for 1 large pin soltage regulator).
Programming is done via the USBAspLoader bootloader, which presents itself to the computer as a USB ASP programmer, which AVRDude knows how to talk to. Patches for the Arduino environment to teach it about this board are also included.
Since the chip directly has USB support, projects can easily emulate low-speed USB devices using the V-USB library. I have integrated USB Keyboard support into our MHVLib runtime library, and others have written similar libraries for the Arduino environment.
The MHVBoard also has a prototying area available, and our members have successfully used this for various interfaces (displays, nunchucks, etc). I have also built a software controllered 3V->5V boost regulator (using the MHVlib driver) in the proto-area so I can run off LiPos, but that is another project 😉
Other unique features include a 20MHz clock (instead of 16MHz on other Arduino boards), as well as breadboard compatibility. A right angle connector can be mounted along the edge, allowing the whole board to be installed (standing vertically) into a breadboard, with all pins broken out.
MHVBoard – an Arduino Clone – [Link]
Focus stacking assistant for EOS cameras @ Circuits@Home. [via]
One of my favorite shooting techniques is focus stacking. Many pictures on Circuits@Home site are made using this technique. I use Helicon Focus for post processing and even though this program has camera control built-in, it obviously requires a computer close to the object of shooting. In order to be able to control my camera in the field, I wanted to replace a laptop with simple lightweight controller able to move focus of camera lens and take pictures between steps. In this article, I will show how to build one from Arduino, USB Host Shield and several small parts.
Focus stacking assistant for EOS cameras – [Link]
Laptop power chargers and USB cables always break at the same point and once they do, it’s not long before they stop working altogether.
Here are instructions to show you how to repair this problem quickly and very easily using sugru.
Why use sugru ?
- sugru will bond to the cable and the power block.
- sugru cures to a flexible silicone rubber which means that it is unlikely to break again.
- sugru is an electrical insulator.
How To Repair Damaged Cables – [Link]
The package comes with a single DE0 Nano development board, mini USB cable (you can program and power the module over USB) and two CDs with the software necessary to ‘compile’ and ‘upload’ code to the board. The software is available for Windows and Linux computers (no Mac) [via]
The module itself contains a nice collection of accessories:
- Altera Cyclone IV FPGA (EP4CE22F17C6N)
- 22,320 Logic elements (LEs)
- 594 Embedded memory (Kbits)
- 66 Embedded 18 x 18 multipliers
- 4 General-purpose PLLs
- 153 Maximum FPGA I/O pins
- 50 MHz clock oscillator
- 8-channel 12-bit Analog/Digital converter (NS ADC128S022)
- 32 MB SDRAM
- On-board USB blaster programming interface
- USB mini-AB port
- 2Kb I2C EEPROM
- 4 DIP switches
- 8 Green LEDs
- ADXL345 3-axis Accelerometer
- Two 40-pin IDC-compatible headers provides 72 general purpose I/O pins
- One 26-pin header provides 16 digital I/O pins and 8 analog input pins to connect to analog sensors
DE0-Nano – Altera Cyclone IV FPGA starter board – [Link]
Processing is an open source programming language for creating animations and graphical applications. It is very popular among Arduino fans to create interactive PC applications for their embedded projects. In this tutorial, Raj from Embedded Lab describes how to use Processing for communicating with an external device through serial communication. As a demo, he wrote a simple Processing application that displays the system time on a graphics window and send the hour, minute and second info to a PIC16F887 MCU through USB-UART port. The PIC then displays the same time on a 8-digit seven segment LED display module.
“Processing” interface with PIC microcontrollers – [Link]
Manufacturing Monday – Microscope inspection… [via]
When your parts get small, it can get really tough to see whats going on with them. Especially if your vision is only so-so, having some assistance with inspection is an easily solved problem. When we were at school, the lab had a really sweet confocal microscope. You could really see quite nicely and solder while looking thru the microscope. It was wonderful but unfortunately a bit too expensive for the common user.
Now we have our own lab, and instead of a massive scope, we decided to go with a more portable USB microscope. These are neat in that you can easily take photos/screenshots – but you do need a computer to view the images which makes it a little less flexible than a full microscope.
Microscope inspection – [Link]
This is really neat, so many DIY AMBIlight clones for people who already have a TV. Would be neat to take the PC out of the picture. Are there any NTSC/PAL decoding solutions out there (that dont require an FPGA)? You could do some super-basic color analysis that way… [via]
The software analyses the image on your monitor and transfers its data by USB to the Ligthpack board. This board lights the surface behind a monitor, TV or laptop by means of RGB LEDs of the corresponded colors. The effect reminds the illumination of Phillips Ambilight TVs most of all.
light-pack – USB content-driving ambient lighting system – [Link]
The folks at opengadgets have created a little project called the “Talking Breathalyzer”: [via]
A customizable Breathalyzer that talks and tells you how much you’ve had to drink. It’s also open source and can easily be modified with your own text on the LCD screen and audio MP3 files.
When tethered to a PC with a USB cable, it has additional features including character animations, Breathalyzer Tweets, text to speech, weather and stock read-outs, and a Photobooth feature.
This website contains instructions on how to build the Talking Breathalyzer yourself. A pre-assembled Talking Breathalyzer will also be available by mid Septemeber 2011 from Seeedstudio. The Talking Breathalyzer is not a professional Breathalyzer and should be used for Amusement Purposes Only.
The Talking Breathalyzer – [Link]
Saelig Company, Inc. announces the MV200UM a new 2.megapixel USB digital microscope for capturing high quality magnified images and video for display on a PC using a simple USB 2.0 PC connection. The USB-powered MV200UM contains a built-in white LED illumination ring for viewing circuit boards, tiny components and markings, examining traces and solder joints on printed circuit boards, or for detailed product examination and record-taking, inspection, and quality control purposes.
Simple plug and play operation with the included software allows objects to be magnified using MV200UMʼs full-color 2 megapixel sensor on any Windows PC. Two interchangeable clear ring-stands of different heights allow precise separation from objects, providing up to 200x magnification on a 17” monitor with the MV200Mʼs 1,280 x 1,024 pixels. The microscope can also be handheld at distances of 8mm to 200mm for inspecting parts at lower magnification. Fields of view can be as small as 1.9mm x 1.5mm, or as large as 82mm x 65mm. Moving images can be displayed at 30fps in VGA resolution via the USB 2.0 interface too. The free software included allows snapshots, video recording, taking time-lapsed pictures, and making calibrated measurements. Read the rest of this entry »