SAMD21G-Based Arduino Compatible Development Board

With extended I/O pins, the same powerful controller of the Arduino Zero, Atmel SAMD12G18 and in smaller size, Albert Van Dalen had developed “SAM 15×15“ development board.

SAM 15×15 is an Arduino compatible development board that features the Atmel SAMD12G18 microcontroller. It has 34 digital I/O pins, 24 pins of them support PWM, and 14 are analog inputs.

The SAMD12G18 is a low-power, high-performance Atmel SMART ARM Cortex-M0+ based flash microcontroller. It is ideal for a wide range of home automation, consumer, metering, and industrial applications. It features 256KB of flash and 32KB of SRAM, up to 48MHz operating frequency, 1.62V to 3.63V power supply, full speed USB device and embedded host, and six serial communication modules configurable as UART/USART, SPI or I2C.

The SAM 15×15 board is 28x28mm size and it has three embodiments combined into one PCB:

  • 28 x 28m: This board fits on a standard breadboard; it has 40 pins with 2.54mm pitch.
  • 22 x 22mm: This board is a smaller version of the 28 x 28mm board.
  • 15 x 15mm: This board has 40 pins with 1.27mm pitch.

Only the default non-reduced dimensions (28 x 28mm) is available for ordering by contact with Albert directly, its price is €24.95 and the shipping is free for all countries worldwide. 4-pin USB pin header is included, and male USB 2.0 motherboard cable is optional for €2.00.

The price is expensive a bit because of the high manufacturing costs for the initial series of just 100 pieces. But you can get back your money when publishing your project with the SAM 15×15 on the internet as an article.

SAM 15×15 features

  • Controller: Atmel ATSAMD21G18, 32-bit, 48MHz, ARM Cortex-M0+
  • Digital I/O pins: 34
  • PWM outputs: 24 (PWM DAC)
  • Analog inputs (ADC): 14
  • ADC resolution: 12-bit
  • One 10-bit DAC
  • Flash memory: 256 kbyte
  • SRAM: 32 Kbyte
  • EEPROM: 32 Kbyte (emulated in Flash)
  • Preprogrammed Arduino Zero bootloader
  • Programming and debugging through the integrated USB port
Comparison between SAM 15×15 and other Arduino boards

More details and information about the board is available here with examples and other useful tips and guides.

This video shows the 34 I/O pins and the 24 PWM pins in action

Ultra-thin, high thermal conductivity substrate integrates ESD protection

Clemens Valens @ elektormagazine.com discuss about a new IC substrate. He writes:

A new, ultra-thin ceramic substrate with an ESD strength of up to 25 kV – more than three times higher than the standard 8 kV of state-of-the-art Zener diodes – also features a high thermal conductivity of 22 W/mK. This is three times better than that of conventional carriers, even though the substrate is significantly slimmer. The new technology is especially well-suited for LED applications where the number and density of LEDs per unit continues to grow.

Ultra-thin, high thermal conductivity substrate integrates ESD protection – [Link]

A New Era of 3D Printing With Cel Robox’s Root, Mote and Tree!

C Enterprise Ltd., the company behind the amazing 3D printer Cel Robox, is now back on stage with some new upgrades and plug-ins: Root, Mote and Tree! Imagine that you will be able to control your 3D printer missions remotely where you can also control not only one printer, but multiple of them!

Robox is not another 3D printer, the 20-micron accuracy printer is a micro-manufacturing platform. The precise positioning of the 3 axis system along with the mechanical and electronic design of the HeadLock system provides a robust framework on which to build a range of manipulators and scanning devices to allow this robot in a box to do much more than just create beautiful 3D prints.

Key features of Robox is on this slideshow. You can check the full specifications here.

 

If you already have a Robox so don’t worry, you are not left behind. Robox team thinks that it won’t be a good choice to build above the already functional 3D printer in order to increase its capabilities. What they are doing right now is updating peripherals which are standalone and won’t disrupt the quality of the original printer. For example, an original Robox can be upgraded to become a RoboxDual using DIY upgrade kits or vendor provided services.

Increasing the size of printing by making a bigger size Robox was a suggestion for them, but what they were thinking about was different. Making a bigger Robox may risk some features already guaranteed in the original one, so why not make a way that you can function multiple Robox editions at the same time in an amazing architecture that saves space and time? Here comes Tree: a bespoke furniture system that utilises the compact nature of the Robox micro-manufacturing platform to increase productivity. It is  a precision CNC machined from high quality birch plywood with a choice of two different finishes, and is supplied as an easy-to-assemble ‘flat-pack’ solution. Using familiar fasteners, Tree can be assembled by anyone in under 30 minutes with just an allen key and screwdriver. It is a nice addition to your fablab, coworking space or even your office!

To control this Tree, a new plugin from Robox is also introduced: Root! Robox Root is a connectivity
extension platform for all Robox printers. Its core function is to add network capabilities to multiple Robox from a single Root, with secondary functions to include a web interface and printer sharing across a network. It is perfectly suited for use in offices, schools or other professions where multiple users need easy access to a single or multiple printers. The onboard HDMI port also allows you to connect Root to any external display or touchscreen, including its companion, Robox Mote.

Robox Mote is custom designed controller for Root. Using a 5” touch screen connected directly to Root, you can see the status of any connected machines and also control them directly. This allows you to control and execute prints without a connected PC from pre-sliced GCode on SDcard or USB flash drive. Using Mote is an option, you can use any smartphone, tablet, or a computer using AutoMaker – Robox outstanding software.

In order to launch this new phase of Robox with customers involved, the team had launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. Although it still has 21 days to go but the campaign exceeded its 10,000 goal.

Check the campaign video to learn more from Robox team:

If you don’t have a Robox, it’s a good opportunity now to get one with a great deal. You can order Robox now for £999, as mentioned in the website, but how about a DualRobox with Root included for £1399? If you already have a Robox it’s time to add a Root to your collection for £149 including Mote and support. And finally, if you are a business or a fablab and want to add a great 3D printing corner to your space then it’s the suitable time to order one of the Tree packages provided in the campaign.

Lots more rewards, packages, specifications and detailed information are provided in the campaign page, so check it out!

Tiny Professional Microphone Preamplifier

The board has been design around INA217 low distortion, low noise instrumentation amplifier. The INA217 is ideal for low-level audio signals such as balanced low-impedance microphones. Many industrial, instrumentation, and medical applications also benefit from its low noise and wide bandwidth. Unique distortion cancellation circuitry reduces distortion to extremely low levels, even in high gain. The INA217 provides near-theoretical noise performance for 200Ω source impedance. The INA217 features differential input, low noise, and low distortion that provides superior performance in professional microphone amplifier applications. An OPA2137 op-amp used as a feedback to eliminate the offset voltage. Phantom power is not part of the circuit its just for reference.

Features

  • Supply Dual +/-15V DC
  • Output Unbalance Single Ended
  • PR1 Gain Adjust G=1+10000/Rg PR1

Tiny Professional Microphone Preamplifier – [Link]

RELATED POSTS

Ultra thin supercapacitor for peak power assist

Peggy Lee @ newelectronics.co.uk discuss about MURATA’s ultra thin supercapacitor.

The DMH series from Murata is said to be the lowest profile supercapacitor. The product is designed for peak power assist duties in wearable applications and various other devices.

Measuring 20 x 20mm, the 0.4mm thick DMHA14R5V353M4ATA0 supercapacitor is claimed to be suitable for use in the thinnest devices. A 4.5V rated voltage, 35mF capacity and low ESR of 300mΩ enable peak power assist in tens of milliseconds, with lithium-ion batteries.

Ultra thin supercapacitor for peak power assist [Link]

PWM POWER REGULATOR

In order to synthesize chlorates and perchlorates in the home lab it is always good to have a way to regulate the current flowing through the electrolyte. Because the load is purely resistive the simplest solution is a small PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) regulator. So I decided to make my own.

PWM Power Regulator – [Link]

A Mass Programming Bench for ATMega32u4 MCUs

“limpkin” @ limpkin.fr wanted to program some thousand of MCUs so he decided to build his own programming bench. He writes:

As you may know I started the Mooltipass offline password keeper project more than 2 years ago. Together with a team of volunteers from all over the globe I created two Mooltipass devices which were successfully crowdfunded through Indiegogo and Kickstarter, raising a total of around $290k.
Through a secure mechanism it is possible to upgrade the firmware running on the Mooltipass units. On our latest device, the Mooltipass Mini, we implemented signed firmware updates, which involved storing inside the microcontrollers’ memory some cryptographic keys.

A Mass Programming Bench for ATMega32u4 MCUs – [Link]

Tibbo – New Tutorial List

Tibbo has a new list of tutorials on their website. Check them out:

  1. Quick jump to start NodeJS development on LTPS boards http://tibbo.com/linux/nodejs/before-you-begin.html
  2. LED Control From the Web Browser http://tibbo.com/linux/nodejs/led-control-from-browser.html
  3. Two-way Control with Web and Button http://tibbo.com/linux/nodejs/two-way-control-web-button.html
  4. Simple Card-based Access Control http://tibbo.com/linux/nodejs/simple-card-based-access-control.html
  5. GPIO: Displaying currency exchange rate on 7-segment indicators http://tibbo.com/linux/nodejs/gpio-seven-segment-indicators.html
  6. Tracking Environmental Data with TPS and Keen.IO http://tibbo.com/linux/nodejs/tracking-environmental-data.html
  7. Complex Build: Redis for LTPS http://tibbo.com/linux/native-c/building-redis.html

GPS RECEIVER TO FM RADIO (88-107 MHz) AUDIO + RDS TRACKING V2

Today I made some modifications to this is a new project for a GPS to FM radio tracking device for rockets i.e. the V2. The initial design lacked the antenna impedance matching circuit which caused problems with the end amplifier. Also I increased the possible choices of frequencies, see the table further down. Now instead of soldering and de-soldering tiny resistors, the frequency and the transmitting modes are selected via a DIP switch.

GPS RECEIVER TO FM RADIO (88-107 MHz) AUDIO + RDS TRACKING V2 – [Link]

MyPart, An Open Source Portable Air Particle Counter

One of the most harmful airborne pollutants with respect to human health is particulate matter. Air particle counters are used to determine the air quality by counting and sizing the number of particles in the air. This information is useful in determining the amount of particles inside a building or in the ambient air. It is also useful in understanding the cleanliness level in a controlled environment.

Airborne particles with a diameter of less than 10 microns pose a large risk, they can travel deeply into the respiratory system, causing a variety of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Combustion (e.g. burning wood; automobiles) can generate particles less than 2.5 microns in diameter. Between 2.5 and 10 microns are particles such as dust, pollen, and mold. (More information about particulate matter can be found here.)

Four members of the Hybrid Ecologies Lab at UC Berkeley, Rundong Tian, Sarah Sterman, Chris Myers, and Eric Paulos, developed “MyPart”, a device that attempts to measure air particulate matter.

MyPart’s design focuses on four goals; accuracy, size and portability, cost, and open source.

Accuracy

In the test chamber, smoke concentration was allowed to decay naturally over about 2 hours. Three prototypes of MyPart gave similar accuracy results to an expensive instrument results ($5000 MetOne HHPC-6).

Additional experiments conducted with calibration particles of known sizes and in outdoor ambient environments, and more information about the tests can be found here.

Size & Portability

The overall size of the inner sensing chamber is 18mmx38mmx45mm. These dimensions include an onboard 400mAh battery. The components related to the sensing are completely separated from the outer casing, which allows various form factors to easily be explored, developed, and shared.

MyPart sensor consumes about 2 mA while sleeping, and about 70mA during sampling.

Cost

The total cost for the bill of materials is around $75 without the cost of the digital fabrication tools required to make the components (3D printer and CNC mill). This BOM prices are for electrical components in quantities of 1 or 2, which will drop dramatically when purchased in bulk.

Open Source

MyPart’s original design files and source codes are all open source in order to give people the base form which to make and modify their own sensors, to set up sensing in their own communities, and to generate reliable air quality data.

The full BOM can be found here. The fabrication files, as well as the original design files can be found here.

MyPart’s Parts

  • Top air channel, Contains the main flow channel, a light trap for the laser light, and the air inlet.
  • Bottom air channel, Contains features to hold the fan, and the air outlet
  • Analog cap, shields the sensitive analog circuitry from ambient light
  • Fan, pulls air through the channel
  • Laser, focused light source to illuminate particles in the airstream
  • Laser holder, aligns the laser to the photodiode

Limitations

Optical scattering: The quantity and direction of light scattered by a particle is dependent on the size, composition, and shape of the particle, as well as where it strikes the laser beam. Because of these factors, accurate sizing of particles tends to be difficult with optical scattering sensors. However, rough size cutoff bins can still be produced by using the amplitude of signal peaks.

Full documentation, technical details, and how to build guide are reachable at this seeedstudio article and this instructable.