Electronut Labs recently released their open source Nordic nRF52832 development board that can be used for your next BLE project. This tiny board can be plugged on a breadboard or soldered on a PCB and provides additional value from just using the BLE module directly as it includes the necessary passive components, buck converter, RGB Led and push button. The board is available for sale on Tindie for 20 USD.
Over the years FPGAs have become readily available to the maker community. They are now more accessible than ever as many development boards has seen the light. It’s now possible to embed a soft-core MCU into an FPGA rather than using a hard-core ASIC MCU and here is where PulseRain comes into play with an open source design down to the silicon level.
The PulseRain M10 board embeds an open source soft MCU core (96 MHz) in an Intel/Altera MAX10 FPGA, while is Arduino compatible. In addition, the soft-core MCU features onboard resources like voice CODEC, microSD socket, SRAM, on-chip ADC, and dual IO voltages. The board will soon be available for funding on crowdsupply.com.
Features & Specifications
- FPGA: Intel/Altera 10M08SAE144C8G
- Logic Elements: 8 K
- Block Memory: 378 Kb
- User Flash Memory: 32 KB
- 18 x 18 Multipliers: 24
- Internal Configuration: 2 (This FPGA does not need external memory for configuration)
- PLLs: 1
- On-chip A/D Converter: 12 bit
- Temperature Sensor: On-chip TSD (Temperature Sensor Diode)
- Package: 144-pin EQFP
- Microcontroller: Soft-core FP51-1T, with support package for Arduino IDE
- Clock Rate: 96 MHz
- Processor Core: Enhanced 1T 8051, with RISC implementation
- Throughput: Single clock cycle execution for most instructions
- Instruction Memory: 32 KB
- Data Memory: 8 KB
- On-chip Debugger: Yes (supports code download throughput of 921600 bps)
- Open Source Compiler: SDCC (Small Device C Compiler)
- Onboard Peripherals and Components:
- Voice CODEC: Silicon Lab Si3000, with onboard microphone and speaker jack
- DTMF Decoder: Available through software library
- UART/PWM/I2C: The default configuration has 2 UARTs, 6 PWMs and 1 I2C
- SRAM: 1 Mbit serial SRAM (Microchip 23LC1024)
- microSD Socket: Molex 472192001
- OpAmp and Potentiometer for Analog Input: 6 analog input channel, 1 potentiometer on A0
- USB: USB/UART bridge (FT232R), with 921600 bps throughput
- JTAG Header: Yes
- Push Button: 2
- Oscillator: 12 MHz crystal oscillator, with DIP package
- LEDs: 6 (2 for USB/UART indication, 1 for IO power, 3 for general purpose)
- Form Factor and Input/Outputs:
- Arduino UNO Rev 3 Compatible Dimension: 2.1 inch x 3.2 inch
- Maximum Height: 0.5 inch
- IO Pin Map: Compatible with Arduino UNO Rev 3
- IO Voltage: Dual voltage support (3.3 V / 5 V)
- Power: 5 V USB or 7-12 VDC jack
- Host Interface: microUSB
4D Systems, the manufacturer of intelligent graphics solutions, has announced a new 0.9” smart display module as part of the ‘IoD-09’ series. This series is a set of small full-color TFT display modules that feature the Espressif ESP8266 SoC. It also comes with microSD card slot and is compatible with Arduino IDE.
The IoD-09 modules have 6-pin connector at each end, which can connect easily to other applications and boards. It is also suitable for connecting to accessory boards for a range of functionality advancements. The design of these display modules provides a suitable platform for easy integration of displays into a product.
IoD-09 Display Module Specifications:
- 80 x 160 Resolution, RGB 65K true to life colors, TFT Screen.
- Built-in WiFi suitable for ‘Internet of things’ applications.
- 802.11 b/g/n/e/i support
- Integrated TCP/IP protocol stack
- WiFi 2.4 GHz, supporting WPA/WPA2 and WEP/TKIP/AES, along with STA/AP/STA+AP/P2P operation modes
- 4Mbit (512kb) of Flash memory for User Application Code and Data.
- 128Kb of SRAM of which 80kb is available for the User.
- 12 pin/pad interface, for all signals, power, communications, and programming.
- Onboard microSD memory card connector for multimedia storage and data logging purposes.
- DOS compatible file access (FAT16 or FAT32 format).
- Display full-color images, animations, and icons.
- 4.0V to 5.5V range operation (single supply).
- Module dimensions:
- (TH version) 31.8 x 16.4 x 11.7mm.
- (SM version) 37.0 x 16.4 x 5.9mm.
- Weighing: (TH / SM) ~5 g.
- RoHS, REACH, and CE compliant.
IoD-09 is also available on two different models, IoD-09TH TFT LCD module with Through Hole interface, and IoD-09SM TFT LCD module with Surface Mount interface. In addition, they can act as master or slave devices, connect to the internet, display a raft information and graphics, along with the capability to communicate to SPI, I2C, and/or 1-wire devices, as well as having general GPIO for digital control/input.
The IoD-09 is compatible with Arduino IDE and the 4D Systems Workshop4 integrated development environment (IDE). Workshop4 provides powerful graphics using the GFXdloIoD09 graphics library specifically for the IoD-09 series through a drag and drop style graphical user interface (GUI).
Finally, you can buy the IoD-09 display module for about $20. There is also a starter kit for $40 which includes the module, the 4D-UPA programmer, and a 4GB micro-SD card. For more information, you can visit the official page and download the datasheet.
An ECG patch with HRV monitoring that’s open source, affordable, and Wi-Fi/Bluetooth connected.
HeartyPatch is a completely open source, single-lead, ECG-HR wearable patch with HRV (Heart Rate Variability) analysis. It is based on the popular ESP32 system-on-a-chip. By using low-cost, highly-integrated components, we are able to keep the BOM’s cost low, while the simplicity of the circuit design means future expansion will be easier. HeartyPatch can be used both as a lifestyle device for managing fitness and stress as well as for diagnostics and medical research, with the potential for even more interesting applications.
HeartyPatch – Open source ECG patch with Wifi – [Link]
REFLO is a stylish, portable reflow oven for creators and makers to easily, quickly, and professionally prototype their IoT device, wearable, small robot, etc.
- Portable at only 6” x 6” x 2” – it’s the worlds smallest reflow oven
- Efficient as it requires only 300 W
- Operable from a mobile device
- Open source hardware & software
- Compatible with the Arduino IDE
- Low cost
REFLO – Compact, open, and smart PCB reflow oven – [Link]
A team of medical and bioengineering undergraduates from McMaster University, Canada have designed a cancer detection device able to detect melanoma. Their design solution, the sKan, is a low cost and non-invasive detection device.
Annually, skin cancer accounts for 1 in every 3 cancer diagnoses1. The estimated 5-year survival rate for patients whose melanoma is detected early is approximately 98 percent2. Current melanoma detection methods either rely on a visual inspection, or need a specialist’s opinion which is time consuming and costly. With high numbers of patients needing a rapid diagnosis to begin treatment, the health services are at maximum capacity. The sKan poses a viable solution.
This project is simple solution to power Arduino Nano from two 1.5V batteries. Circuit converts 2 X AA alkaline battery power into 6V 100mA using boost topology. Circuit uses SOT223-6 pin TLV61046A boost converter IC. The TLV61046A is a highly integrated boost converter designed for applications such as PMOLED panel, LCD bias supply and sensor module. The TLV61046A integrates a 30-V power switch, an input to output isolation switch, and a rectifier diode. It can output up to 28 V from input of a Li+ battery or two alkaline batteries in series. The TLV61046A operates with a switching frequency at 1.0 MHz. This allows the use of small external components. The TLV61046A has typical 980-mA switch current limit. It has 7-ms built-in soft start time to reduce the inrush current. The TLV61046A also implements output short circuit protection, output over-voltage protection and thermal shutdown. R1 and R2 connected to FB pin to set the output voltage 6V. R1 and R2 can be altered to set higher output voltage, refer data sheet for calculation. The board can be used as Arduino Nano shield or as stand-alone boost converter. It directly fits on top of the Arduino Nano and output is connected to VIN and GND pins of Nano.
2 X AA Battery To 6V Boost Converter For Arduino Nano – [Link]
David Johnson-Davies @ technoblogy.com has a nice guide on how to program ATtiny10 6-pin mcu using the arduino IDE. Programming is done using the widely available USBasp programmer from Thomas Fischl. Examples are also included on the guide.
Unlike the SPI protocol used to program the larger AVR chips, such as the ATmega328 in the Arduino Uno, the ATtiny10 uses a programming protocol called TPI (Tiny Programming Interface) which needs only five wires. Fortunately Thomas Fischl’s excellent USBasp programmer supports this protocol ; you can build your own, order one from his site, or they are widely available on eBay , Banggood , etc.
Elizabeth Bustamante @ snapeda.com compiled a list the top 10 humidity sensors available today. Most of the sensors on the lists are from Honeywell, but surprisingly the top sensor comes from Sensirion. She writes:
Air humidity is an important factor to consider when designing an electronic device. Having too much humidity in the environment can cause condensation and corrosion, which can lead to anomalies in performance or even failures.
To prevent this, engineers use humidity sensors. These devices are used in systems deployed in humid environments, such as industrial control, instrumentation, climatology, and agriculture applications.
Developers can implement simple sensing functions with TI’s lowest-cost microcontroller family
Texas Instruments (TI) on November 10, unveiled its lowest-cost ultra-low-power MSP430 microcontrollers (MCUs) for sensing applications. Developers can now implement simple sensing solutions through a variety of integrated mixed-signal features in this family of MSP430 value line sensing MCUs, available for as low as US$0.25 in high volumes. Additions to the family include two new entry-level devices and a new TI LaunchPad development kit for quick and easy evaluation.
Features and benefits of TI’s MSP430 value line sensing MCUs
- Developers now have the flexibility to customize 25 common system-level functions including timers, input/output expanders, system reset controllers, electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM) and more, using a library of code examples.
- A common core architecture, a tools and software ecosystem, and extensive documentation including migration guides make it easy for developers to choose the best MSP430 value line sensing MCU for each of their designs.
- Designers can scale from the 0.5-KB MSP430FR2000 MCU to the rest of the MSP430 sensing and measurement MCU portfolio for applications that require up to 256 KB of memory, higher performance or more analog peripherals.
The new MSP430FR2000 and MSP430FR2100 MCUs (with 0.5 KB and 1 KB of memory, respectively) and the new development kit join the MSP430 value line sensing family which includes the MSP430FR2111, MSP430FR2311, MSP430FR2033, MSP430FR2433 and MSP430FR4133 microcontroller families and their related development tools and software.
Pricing and availability
Developers can purchase the value line sensing portfolio through the TI store, priced as low as US$0.29 in 1,000-unit quantities and US$0.25 in higher volumes. Additionally, the new MSP430FR2433 LaunchPad development kit (MSP-EXP430FR2433) is available from the TI store and authorized distributors for US$9.99. Today through Dec. 31, 2017, the TI store is offering the LaunchPad kit for a promotional price of US$4.30.
For more information visit: www.ti.com/ValueLine-pr