5V Regulator Cap for 9V battery

David Cook built a 5V regulator to sit atop a 9V battery:

For quick portable projects and temporary hacks, it is often faster to reuse a simple 5V regulator circuit than to integrate a power supply into the device design. My toolbox has an LED tester and magnifier light, so why not add a convenient 5V regulator cap to the collection? There are nicer ones on the market that have surface mount components, but half the fun of an electronics hobby is creating something basic in your own style. This double-decker board with flashing LED power indicator allowed me to experiment with flush battery snaps and board interconnects.

5V Regulator Cap for 9V battery – [Link]

How to Make an Arduino Capacitance Meter

circuitbasics.com has a tutorial on how to measure capacitance using arduino.

With all the different ways capacitors are labeled, figuring out the values of your capacitors can be challenging. Especially if you don’t have a digital multi-meter to test them. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to build three different capacitance meters using an Arduino and a couple resistors. After finishing this project, you’ll be able to measure all of your capacitors and label them for future reference.

How to Make an Arduino Capacitance Meter – [Link]

Start with Arduino in 15 minutes

The ultimate Arduino tutorial for beginners. Learn what Arduino is, how to choose an Arduino, then build a simple data logger, LED dimmer and motor speed controller.

Start with Arduino in 15 minutes – [Link]

PiSound – Audio Card For Raspberry Pi

by blokas.io:

pisound is an ultra-low latency high-quality soundcard and MIDI interface specially designed for Raspberry Pi pocket computers. Equipped with 192kHz 24-bit Stereo Input and Output driven by the legendary Burr-Brown chips, DIN-5 MIDI Input and Output ports, user-customizable button and bundled software tools, this little board will bring your audio projects to a whole new level!

PiSound – Audio Card For Raspberry Pi – [Link]

64-layer flash IC enables 1-Tbyte chips

Susan Nordyk @ edn.com writes:

Toshiba has added a 512-Gbit (64-Gbyte), 64-layer flash memory device that employs 3-bit-per-cell TLC (triple-level cell) technology to its BiCS Flash product line. This technology will allow the development of 1-terabyte memory chips for use in enterprise and consumer solid-state drives.

64-layer flash IC enables 1-Tbyte chips – [Link]

Arduino-Programmable ESP32 Development Board

Ezsbc, an American embedded control solutions retailer, had produced a new development board that simplifies working with ESP32 module and makes it programmable via USB using the Arduino IDE.

The ESP32 is a low cost, ultra low power microcontroller with integrated Wi-Fi & dual-mode Bluetooth, which employs a dual-core Tensilica Xtensa LX6 microprocessor. ESP32 is created and developed by Espressif Systems for mobile devices, wearable electronics and IoT applications. It is a successor to the ESP8266 microcontroller.

Other than the ESP32 module, the board has an FTDI FT231XS USB to Serial converter, a 3.3V LDO, reset and flash switches and a multi color LED. The module can be programmed directly from the Arduino environment with 921600 bps upload speed.

It supports auto-download and will automatically be set in download mode by the downloader. Once the download is complete the board will be reset, just like a normal Arduino board.

Features of the ESP32 board:

  • 240 MHz dual core Tensilica LX6 microcontroller with 600 DMIPS
  • Integrated 520 KB SRAM
  • Integrated 802.11BGN HT40 Wi-Fi transceiver, baseband, stack and LWIP
  • Integrated dual mode Bluetooth (classic and BLE)
  • 16 MByte flash
  • 2.2V to 3.6V operating voltage
  • On-board PCB antenna
  • 3 x UARTs, including hardware flow control
  • 3 x SPI
  • 2 x I2S
  • 12 x ADC input channels
  • 2 x DAC
  • 2 x I2C
  • PWM/timer input/output available on every GPIO pin
  • SDIO master/slave 50 MHz
  • Supports external SPI flash up to 16 MB
  • SD-card interface support

The board is available for $17 on tindie store. Datasheet, documentation, and schematics are also available there.

Micro Maestro 6-Channel USB Servo Controller

The Micro Maestro is the first of Pololu’s second-generation USB servo controllers. The board supports three control methods — USB for direct connection to a PC, TTL serial for use with embedded systems, and internal scripting for self-contained, host controller-free applications — and channels that can be configured as servo outputs for use with radio control (RC) servos or electronic speed controls (ESCs), digital outputs, or analog inputs. The Micro Maestro is a highly versatile six-channel servo controller and general I/O board in a highly compact (0.85 x 1.20″) package.

The extremely accurate, high-resolution servo pulses have a jitter of less than 200 ns, making this servo controller well suited for high-precision animatronics, and built-in speed and acceleration control make it easy to achieve smooth, seamless movements without requiring the control source to constantly compute and stream intermediate position updates to the Micro Maestro.

Check this intro video by Pololu to see Micro Maestro in action:

Key Features

  • Three control methods: USB, TTL (5V) serial, and internal scripting
  • 0.25μs output pulse width resolution (corresponds to approximately 0.025° for a typical servo, which is beyond what the servo could resolve)
  • Pulse rate configurable from 33 to 100 Hz
  • Wide pulse range of 64 to 3280 μs when using all six servos with a pulse rate of 50 Hz
  • Individual speed and acceleration control for each channel
  • Channels can also be used as general-purpose digital outputs or analog inputs
  • A simple scripting language lets you program the controller to perform complex actions even after its USB and serial connections are removed
  • Free configuration and control application for Windows makes it easy to:
    • Configure and test your controller
    • Create, run, and save sequences of servo movements for animatronics and walking robots
    • Write, step through, and run scripts stored in the servo controller
  • Virtual COM port makes it easy to create custom applications to send serial commands via USB to the controller
  • TTL serial features:
    • Supports 300 – 250000 kbps in fixed-baud mode
    • Supports 300 – 115200 kbps in autodetect-baud mode
    • Simultaneously supports the Pololu protocol, which gives access to advanced functionality, and the simpler Scott Edwards MiniSSC II protocol (there is no need to configure the device for a particular protocol mode)
    • Can be daisy-chained with other Pololu servo and motor controllers using a single serial transmit line
  • Board can be powered off of USB or a 5 – 16 V battery, and it makes the regulated 5V available to the user
  • Compact size of 0.85″ × 1.20″ (2.16 × 3.05 cm) and light weight of 0.17 oz (4.8 g)
  • Upgradable firmware

The Micro Maestro is the smallest of Pololu’s second-generation USB servo controllers. The Maestros are available in four sizes and can be purchased fully assembled or as partial kits. you can check other products here.

You can get your Micro Maestro for around $20 from the product’s page, and you can also learn more about this product by checking the User’s Guide.

Source: Sparkfun

GaN FETs step up performance, cut package footprint

by Graham Prophet @ edn-europe.com:

Representing a step forward in performance and cost, the latest eGaN (gallium nitride) power FETs from Efficient Power Conversion (EPC), EPC2045 and EPC2047, are half the size of prior generation eGaN transistors with significantly higher performance.

GaN FETs step up performance, cut package footprint – [Link]

Using HealthyPi with a PC for ECG,Respiration & SpO2

Ashwin K Whitchurch, Venkatesh Bhat, and Manikandan S @ hackster.io build a PC based ECG,Respiration & SpO2 monitor.

We introduced the HealthyPi as a HAT add-on for the Raspberry Pi, turning it into a full-featured, medical-grade open patient monitor. However, we realized later that people also wanted to use the board standalone with a Windows/Linux/Mac PC. We already had an on-board USB port from the SAMD21 on the board.

Using HealthyPi with a PC for ECG,Respiration & SpO2 – [Link]

Meet BeagleBone Blue by Beagleboard

A new development board by BeagleBoard has been just unveiled: BeagleBone® Blue! The new board is dedicated for designers, hobbyists and professional featuring a Linux-enabled robotics controller complete with an extensive set of peripherals for building mobile robots quickly and affordably.

It is easier today to build your robot using BeagleBone Blue since it has onboard 2 cell (2S) LiPo battery management with charger and battery level LEDs, 8 real-time software controlled PWM/PPM outputs for 6V servo motors or electronic-speed-controllers (ESCs), 4 PWM-enabled DC motor drivers, 4 quadrature encoder inputs, on-board sensors including a 9-axis IMU and barometer, a wide array of GPIO and serial protocol connectors including CAN,4 ADC inputs, a PC USB interface, a USB 2.0 host port, a reset button, a power button, two user configurable buttons and eleven user configurable LED indicators.

BeagleBone Blue also has a pre-configured Wi-Fi access point that enables the process of connecting a battery and coding through a web browser. The board is compatible with Debian, ROS, and ArduPilot software, in addition to Cloud9 IDE on Node.js and other graphical programming options.

Key Features

  • Processor: Octavo Systems OSD3358 1GHz ARM® Cortex-A8
    • 512MB DDR3 RAM
    • 2×32-bit 200-MHz programmable real-time units (PRUs)
    • 4GB 8-bit on-board flash storage programmed with Debian Linux distribution
  • Connectivity and Sensors:
    • Battery: 2-cell LiPo support with balancing, 9-18V charger input
    • Wireless: 802.11bgn, Bluetooth 4.1 and BLE
    • Motor control: 8 6V servo out, 4 DC motor out, 4 quadrature encoder in
    • Sensors: 9 axis IMU, barometer
    • Connectivity: HighSpeed USB 2.0 client and host
    • Other easy connect interfaces: GPS, DSM2 radio, UARTs, SPI, I2C, analog, buttons, LEDs
  • Software Compatibility
    • Debian, ROS, Ardupilot, …
    • Graphical programming, Cloud9 IDE on Node.js
    • plus much more

Designed and developed in coordination with the UCSD Coordinated Robotics Lab, BeagleBone Blue will the best board to use  for your next robot!

BeagleBone Blue is available today from Arrow, Element14 and Mouser for around $80. For more details, visit https://beagleboard.org/blue.