Writing a python module to simulate a LCD

Screenshot (173)

by Prashant Mohta:

So recently I got a Raspberry pi and a 16×2 character LCD screen , I thought , lets make a simple game that can be played on the lcd. my first instinct was to code directly for the lcd on the pi , but as I started coding I realized that the clutter of having the lcd connected wasn’t really necessary while i am programming the game’s logic .

I decided to make a python module that gives me the lcd output on my monitor , this way i no longer need to work with my lcd connected and can even code the game on my laptop and test the results quickly . Moreover once im done with the coding , i can simply replace the module code , for the lcd control code , and my game is ready to deploy.

Writing a python module to simulate a LCD – [Link]

App note: Eliminate noise through proper supply bypass filtering


Power supply filtering, an application note from Maxim Integrated:

If sensitive analog systems are run from one supply without the sufficient bypassing to eliminate noise, undesired degradation in a system’s performance will result. This application note provides insight into suitable techniques to overcome this roadblock.

App note: Eliminate noise through proper supply bypass filtering – [Link]

Research Points the way to Safer Lithium Batteries


by Martin Cooke @ elektormagazine.com:

A paper published in the June 17th edition of Nature Communications describes how the addition of two chemicals to the electrolyte of lithium metal batteries can prevent the formation of dendrites. These are needles of lithium which grow in the battery and eventually puncture the barrier between the two battery halves. Their formation can cause short circuits in the battery which leads to overheating and sometimes combustion.

According to the paper this breakthrough could help remove a major barrier to the future development of lithium-sulfur and lithium-air batteries. These promising new battery technologies could store up to 10 times more energy per weight than batteries in use today in consumer electronics and electric cars.

Research Points the way to Safer Lithium Batteries – [Link]

Current-sense amp integrates precision shunt resistor, in single package


by Graham Prophet @ edn-europe.com:

Texas Instruments says it is making, “high-accuracy measurement more attainable with the first current-sense amplifier to integrate a high-precision, low-drift 2 mΩ shunt resistor,” – the device can cut calibration effort, system cost, and footprint for test and measurement, communications load monitoring, and power supplies.

For highly accurate measurements over a wide temperature range, TI’s INA250 integrates the shunt resistor with a bi-directional, zero-drift current-sense amplifier to support both low-side and high-side implementations. It enables high-accuracy current measurements at common-mode voltages that can vary from 0 to 36V. The family of devices will be available in four output scales; 200, 500 and 800 mV/A, and 2 V/A; the maximum current through the shunt resistor is 10A at the full rated temperature of 125C, or 15A at up to 85C. Its accuracy and low drift reduce or may even eliminate designers’ calibration effort for many systems. This integration also enables lower system cost and a smaller board footprint compared to alternative solutions.

Current-sense amp integrates precision shunt resistor, in single package – [Link]

Fingerprint Scanning garage Door Opener


by albedozero @ instructables.com:

This is an electronic garage door opener designed around a SparkFun GT-511C1R fingerprint scanner. There is already a very good instructable by user nodcah that describes how to build almost this exact device, from which I took 99% of my inspiration. I’m posting this to easily share with my local makerspace, and for anyone who likes to see things done slightly differently.

Fingerprint Scanning garage Door Opener – [Link]

Guidelines for reading an optocoupler datasheet


by Markus Appel @ edn.com:

Optocouplers, also known as opto-isolators, are components that transfer electrical signals between two isolated circuits by using infrared light. As an isolator, an optocoupler can prevent high voltages from affecting the side of the circuit receiving the signal. Transferring signals over a light barrier by using an infrared light-emitting diode and a light-sensitive product, such as a phototransistor, is the main structure of an optocoupler. On the first page, datasheets provide the main product description, its features, suggested areas of applications, ordering information, and agency approvals, as shown in Figure 1 for the VO617A optocoupler with phototransistor output. Following pages provide key technical specifications, operating conditions, and graphs showing the behavior of the product.

Guidelines for reading an optocoupler datasheet – [Link]

Waffle implant supplies drugs


by Rob Matheson @ MIT News Office:

An implantable, microchip-based device may soon replace the injections and pills now needed to treat chronic diseases: Earlier this month, MIT spinout Microchips Biotech partnered with a pharmaceutical giant to commercialize its wirelessly controlled, implantable, microchip-based devices that store and release drugs inside the body over many years.

Invented by Microchips Biotech co-founders Michael Cima, the David H. Koch Professor of Engineering, and Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor, the microchips consist of hundreds of pinhead-sized reservoirs, each capped with a metal membrane, that store tiny doses of therapeutics or chemicals. An electric current delivered by the device removes the membrane, releasing a single dose. The device can be programmed wirelessly to release individual doses for up to 16 years to treat, for example, diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and osteoporosis.

Waffle implant supplies drugs – [Link]

MOVI, a standalone speech recognizer shield for Arduino


MOVI is an offline speech recognizer and voice synthesizer that adds voice control functionality to any Arduino project

MOVI stands for My Own Voice Interface! It is the first standalone speech recognizer and voice synthesizer for Arduino with full English sentence capability:
Up to 200 customizable English sentences.
Speaker independent
Standalone, cloudless and private
Very easy to program

MOVI provides an alternative to buttons, remote controls, or cell phones by letting you use full-sentence voice commands for tasks such as turning devices on and off, entering alarm codes, and carrying on programmed conversations with projects.

MOVI is plug and play! Connect the shield to your Arduino Uno or compatible board, connect an optional speaker, and you’re ready to go.

MOVI, a standalone speech recognizer shield for Arduino – [Link]

The Best NiMh Charger


Paul Allen build a great NiMh charger that connects to PC for controlling full aspects of charging process. He writes:

It’s been a long time since I posted an update on my battery charger project (in fact it has been a long time since I have posted anything!). I have been Very Busy with projects for my work and when I am not working for work, I am working on battery chargers. When I am not working on battery chargers I am trying to be a good husband and father as well as find time to do things like mow the lawn or fix the handle my son broke off the faucet.

“The Best NiMh Charger” Some may say that is quite the claim, but wait until you see all it can do (mostly thanks to the software Mark my programming friend wrote for it).

The Best NiMh Charger – [Link]

Designing a PIC24 development board


Brian Dorey has designed and built a PIC24 development board, that is available at GitHub:

One problem we found was trying to prototype code using this microcontroller as unlike Arduino and any ARM microcontrollers there isn’t a small easy to use prototyping board available for the PIC24 chip. Microchip make an Explorer 16 Development Board which is designed to work with the PIC24 microcontrollers but it is large and fairly expensive and is designed to work best with other Microchip addon cards.

With this problem in mind we decided to design and build a small prototyping board that would work with the PIC24FJ128GC006 as well as one of Microchips DSPIC33EP256MU806 dsPIC series microcontrollers. The prototyping board was designed with removable daughter boards for the microcontroller.

Designing a PIC24 development board – [Link]