Firecricket – Bring your toys and costume props to life!

A tiny 32-bit Arduino compatible light, sound, & motion controller you can program yourself!

The Firecricket is an Arduino compatible light, sound, and motion controller featuring a 48MHz 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ microcontroller w/ 16K of RAM, a MicroSD slot so you can store sound effects, bitmaps, and configuration files, a 2.5W audio amplifier, and an N-MOSFET w/ flyback diode for driving high current inductive loads, like vibration motors or 3W LEDs.

ZeroPhone, A Raspberry Pi-Based Open Source Smartphone

Raspberry Pi is one of the most helpful innovations in the hardware industry. It has helped beginners and children learn programming and allowed the makers to develop powerful and cheap DIY projects. “ZeroPhone” is a new DIY smartphone that is built based on Raspberry Pi and cost about only $50.

ZeroPhone is an open source, Linux-powered smartphone, that has no carrier locks, bloated apps, or data mining. It is user-friendly and will have the typical features of a phone, but with more advanced features. It also can be modified and repaired easily.

The phone is built using widely available components, and its open source hardware and software  will give you as much control over your phone as possible.

ZeroPhone can be used for calling and SMS, SSH, pen testing, and experimenting in addition to all basic functions like calendar, phonebook, music player, and web browser. As it is a linux-based phone, you can run ARM compatible programs. SDK will be provided so you can then develop your own apps.

Features & Specifications

  • Based on Raspberry Pi Zero, ESP8266 and Arduino
  • Has Wi-Fi, HDMI, full-size USB and a 3.5 mm jack (Bluetooth as an option)
  • 2G GSM connectivity (3G coming soon)
  • 128 x 64 1.3” OLED screen
  • GSM/Wi-Fi/microphone hardware switch option
  • RGB LED and vibromotor
  • Uses of Extension Ports:
    • IR receiver/transmitter
    • Additional displays and buttons
    • 5 MP / 8 MP Pi Camera
    • Extended batteries
    • Various sensors, both analog and digital
    • Wireless radios for IoT
    • GPS, Ethernet and MicroSD expansion
    • …and much more.

The OS of ZerPhone is Raspbian Linux, which is currently based on Debian Jessie. This is because it is suitable for all functions, and will still be upgradable in the future. The user interface (controlling screen and buttons) is written in Python.

Compared with other open-source phones, ZeroPhone, as the maker said, is the only one uses affordable parts which are available on eBay, and its software will be always updated if the phone’s development will stop.

To make your ZeroPhone you will need:

  • Pi Zero
  • SIM800 modules
  • ESP8266-12E
  • Two-layer PCBs (two 4x10cm boards, one 4x6cm board)
  • ATMega328P
  • LCD screen
  • Battery
  • TP4056 battery charger
  • Buttons for keypad
  • 2.54 headers

More details about this project is available on its hackaday page, in addition to the project description and frequently asked questions.

400V – 5A Power Supply For Brushless Motor Drivers

Although the power supply design is specific to the Brushless Servo Drivers mainly for IPM Modules, the concepts and circuit design may be used for any power supply requires high voltage output up to 400V DC and 5 Amps. The power supply is an unregulated design with an option to allow connection to either 120V or 230V mains and also it can work with lower voltage for audio amplifiers by increasing capacitor value. The design uses fully integrated bridge rectifier, and multiple bus capacitors for low ripple, noise suppression, and provides high current reservoirs. Additionally the dc supply line have bleeder resistor R2 and R3 to drain the large reservoir capacitors PCB, mounted fuse holder provided  for short circuit and over current protections, low ohm NTC used for inrush current at power start up,  C1, C12, TX protects  against turn on/off spikes and EMI noise reduction. This power supply can be used to drive Tesla Coils, Induction heaters, DC Motor drivers, Brushless DC motor driver.

400V – 5A Power Supply For Brushless Motor Drivers – [Link]

A 32-BIT FISHINO board with WiFi, SD card, RTC, audio codec, LiPo and more

Boris Landoni @ open-electronics.org presents his 32bit Arduino Compatible board which has some nice features on board. He wrties:

Our prototyping board acquires a 32-bit processor and sets the bar high, towards demanding applications that may take full advantage of the WiFi support, of the RTC and of the SD-Card, that make Fishino stand out from the common Arduino UNO. Second installment.

A 32-BIT FISHINO board with WiFi, SD card, RTC, audio codec, LiPo and more – [Link]

Solar Power Module v2

Chip McClelland @ hackster.io published his solar li-po battery charger based on MCP73871 to manage the solar and DC charging of the LiPo battery, TPS63020 Buck-Boost Converter and Maxim 74043 LiPo Fuel Gauge. He writes:

I build connected sensor which are often deployed in local parks where there is no access to utility power. Over the past couple years, I have been refining and testing my solar power modules and have arrived at this compact integrated design. I have a number of these deployed and they have been in continuous service for up to two years. I wanted to share this design in case it might be helpful for your projects. I would also greatly appreciate any input or suggestions on this design so v3 will be even better.

Solar Power Module v2 – [Link]

A new type of flexible micro-supercapacitors

Researchers from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore build a new type of flexible supercapacitor that aims to be used in wearables and other portable electronics such as T-shirts charging mobile phones. The new type of capacitor is made with out-of-plane wavy structures of graphene micro-ribbons specially placed so that they don’t break when stretched while keeping the electrodes at a relative constant distance.

Graphene normally breaks when stretched but the team of researchers managed to place it in such a way that it can bend without any issue and without affecting it’s electrochemical performance. It’s too early to see this capacitor in commercial devices as it’s capacity is such that can only power an LCD for a minute, but improvement is possible.

source: Elektor

Paperino, The ePaper Display Shield

ePaper displays  (EPDs) are becoming a trend in application, just like the display used in Amazon Kindle,  for their low power consumption due to the  to the underlying ‘bistable’ display technology. These displays can continue to show information without any power at all. It is only required while updating the display with new information, otherwise there won’t be any power consumption.

Providing such revolutionary displays to your applications will be a professional approach. For this, a new crowdfunding campaign is providing Paperino, an easy-to-use, micro ePaper shield for the Particle & Arduino community. Paperino simplifies driving ePaper displays with clean, simple, and short script examples.

Thanks to the plug-and-play shield for particle family, Paperino can be used with the following boards: Photon, Electron, or Bluz without manual wiring. It can also be wired easily to be connected with Arduino and other compatible boards.

Paperino Features

Glass-free Display

Paperino is lightweight and thinner than other ePaper products because it uses a glass-free ePaper display from Plastic Logic. It weighs 1.2 grams and is only 0.5 mm thick.

Supports Four Gray Levels

Unlike many other ePaper products out there, Paperino can support four gray levels instead of two (black and white).

Fast, Partial Updates

You don’t have to wait for slow, full screen updates to load. With Paperino, you can quickly update only parts of the screen.

Accelerometer

The integrated accelerometer lets you interact with your Paperino in all sorts of ways, including tap sensing. Tap sensing capability can trigger screen updates or wake up your microcontroller.

Paperino Specifications

The Paperino breakout board can be used for manually wiring your favourite, Arduino-compatible microcontroller with 3.3 V and >4kb of free RAM.

  • Resolution: 148 x 70 px
  • Pixel density: 150 ppi
  • Grey levels: 4
  • Weight: 1.2 g
  • Thickness: 500 µm
  • Power consumption: 4.5 mA (mean current for typical image update)
  • Operating conditions: 0°C .. 40°C
  • Storage conditions: -25°C .. 50°C

You can pre-order your own Paperino for $20 and with a driver board for $30. The crowdfunding campaign still has 16 days to go, and you can learn more details by checking it out.

FPV drone teardown

Michael Dunn @ edn.com did a quick tear-down of his drone.

The main processor is an ST STM32F031K6, an ARM Cortex-M0 with the usual cadre of peripherals, as well as a motor-control block (the leftmost large chip in Figure 2). Although at the lower end of the ARM continuum, it’s doubtless more than powerful enough for this application. Amazing what $1 will buy you in a microcontroller these days.

FPV drone teardown – [Link]

20×4 I2C Character LCD display with Arduino Uno

Our friends on educ8s.tv published a new video! Check it out.

Hello guys, I am Nick and welcome to educ8s.tv a channel that is all about DIY electronics projects with Arduino, Raspberry Pi, ESP8266 and other popular boards. Subscribe to the channel now if you don’t want to miss any future videos. In this video we are going learn how to use this inexpensive character LCD display with Arduino. After we learn how to use the display we are going to build something useful. A simple real time clock. Let’s start.

20×4 I2C Character LCD display with Arduino Uno [Link]

4 Wheel Robot Motor Driver ( 4X 3Amps LMD18201 H-Bridge)

This compact board will help you to drive 4 Wheel Drive Robots, each axis can handle a load current up to 3 Amps and supply 12V – 48 V DC. Board requires two PWM and Dir. signals for full 4WD operations, mainly differential steering for taking turns left or right or complete 360 degree rotation. The module has been designed around LMD18201 from Texas Instruments. The LMD18201 is a 3A H-Bridge designed for motion control applications. The device is built using a multi-technology process which combines bipolar and CMOS control circuitry with DMOS power devices on the same monolithic structure. Ideal for driving DC and stepper motors; the LMD18200 accommodates peak output currents up to 6A. An innovative circuit which facilitates low-loss sensing of the output current has been implemented.

4 Wheel Robot Motor Driver ( 4X 3Amps LMD18201 H-Bridge) – [Link]

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