Colour grabbing Scribble Pen

The Scribble Pen represents a real breakthrough, simply point the pen’s scanner at a colour, and draw in that colour with the Scribble Pen or Scribble Stylus.

“We’re passionate about making people’s lives more colourful, artistic, energetic and happy and that’s exactly what our breakthrough products offer,” commented a spokesperson from Scribble. “Scribble allows an artist to borrow the colours around them and use the world as their art palette.”

Colour grabbing Scribble Pen – [Link]

Mid-power UV LED operates at 365 nm

Vishay VLMU161

A ceramic-based UV LED, the VLMU1610-365-135 from Vishay provides typical radiant power of 18 mW at 20 mA and 50 mW at 60 mA over a wavelength range of 362.5 nm to 370 nm. The silicone lens of the device enables extremely long lifetimes of up to 25,000 hour, compared to typical mercury lamp lifetimes of 10,000 hours. by Susan Nordyk @

Housed in a compact 1.6×1.6×1.4-mm surface-mount package, the environmentally friendly VLMU1610-365-135 is free of heavy metals and provides increased reliability with its shock resistance and immunity to degradation from frequent on/off switching. Aimed at medical, industrial, and printing applications, the LED allows the use of simple low-voltage circuitry and requires no warmup period. The VLMU1610-365-135 has a forward current of up to 60 mA and achieves an angle of half intensity ±67.5° at 20 mA.

Mid-power UV LED operates at 365 nm – [Link]

Review: Siglent SDS 2304X oscilloscope


Jack Ganssle @ reviews the Siglent SDS 2304X oscilloscope.

I’ve had a Siglent SDS1102CML two channel 100 MHz bench scope here for the last two years. I demand a lot from my test equipment so had low expectations when it arrived. After all, how good can a $359 unit be? Turns out, quite a good for the price. I reviewed it here. But the screen is smaller than most modern pro scopes with lower resolution than many would like. And 100 MHz just doesn’t cut it for a lot of applications. I figured Siglent was positioning itself at the low end of the market.

Review: Siglent SDS 2304X oscilloscope – [Link]

The smallest camera module for mobile devices


Nidec Copal, the world’s biggest manufacturer of camera shutters, has developed the smallest, thinnest and lightest camera module for mobile devices. It measures just 8.5 x 8.5 x 4.2 mm and weighs 0.57 g. The new camera module is about half the size of Nidec Copal’s previous module. by Harry Baggen @

The new camera module has a 16 megapixel, 1/3.1″ CMOS image sensor with a pixel size of 1.0 µm. The focal length of the lens is 3.6 mm, and the maximum aperture is f/1.9 for high light sensitivity. The module has autofocus capability with a focus range of 10 cm to infinity. Series production of the new module is planned to start in the fall of 2016.

The smallest camera module for mobile devices – [Link]

Your laundry is done!


Tinkerman @ tipped us with his latest project. It’s a laundry notification system that will message you when it’s finished.

I often forget my wet clothing in the washer and after a day they really smell… so I thought about monitoring my washer and get a notification in my phone when the laundry is done. An ESP8266 based Sonoff by ITead, current monitoring circuitry, a DHT22 (the washer is in the cellar) and a custom case. MQTT for messaging, Node-RED to manage messages and monitor activity and Pushover service to get a “Your laundry is done” message on my phone 🙂

Your laundry is done! – [Link]

Thunderboard React – A New BT 4.2 IoT Kit From Silicon Labs

Silicon Labs recently introduced a new platform that enables users to develop their own sensor driven IoT application, this platform is called Thunderboard React and it’s for 29$.


Thunderboard contains Silicon Labs’ BGM111 bluetooth smart module connected with punch of sensors which are: Silicon Labs’  Si7021  relative humidity and temperature sensor, Silicon Labs’ Si1133 ambient light and UV sensor, Silicon Labs’ Si7201 omni-polar, hall-effect sensor and Invensense’s MPU-6500 6-axis motion sensor.


Silicon Labs also provides a mobile app for Android implanted in native code, and an iOS app implemented in Swift. The app streams sensors’ data to the cloud.


Firmware can be developed using Simplicity Studio v3 and C-SDK software stack from Silicon Labs.

[Product Page]
[ThunderBoard-React User’s Guide]

RTL8710 Is a New ESP8266 Competitor


In the last two years, ESP8266 was the Wifi Chip/Module which dominated the market of hobbyists, even a lot of commercial products use ESP8266, due to the low price, ease of use and large community around ESP8266.

RTL8710 is a Wifi network solution from the Taiwanese Company Realtek. It can operate independently, or as a slave to another MCU host. The same way of ESP8266.
RTL8710 has a built-in ARM Cortex M3 MCU at 166 MHz, 1MB flash and peripherals like UART, PWM, I2C, GPIO and PCM, a more detailed comparison is shown in the  table bellow:

Table courtesy of cnx-software
Table courtesy of cnx-software

If you like to have a quick hands on RTL8710, then you can order a development board for RTL8710.


Via: cnx-software

IEEE Ranking for Programming Languages – 2016

Are you an embedded system programmer? Checkout the rank of your favorite programming language according to IEEE Spectrum ranking. C language is in the first place for programming devices controllers, followed by C++, Arduino, then Assembly.

IEEE Spectrum has special methods to figure these ranks, for example they “measure the number of hits for each language by using Google’s API to search for the template (X programming)”, the page states, also using some statistical data from GitHub.

You can review The results in a dynamic way either using the overall ranking by IEEE Spectrum, or by making your own.




TFoC: FPGA & Forth = VGA


Here is a fun project, created from start to finish by Matthias Koch:

In itself, this is no big deal. The generated pattern is a 16×16 expanded pixel image, and 640×480 displays are pretty basic by now – although they’re fine for presenting text-mode information and retro games.

TFoC: FPGA & Forth = VGA – [Link]

Opto-isolated laser controller build


Scott Harden built his own opto-isolated laser controller and wrote a post on his blog detailing its assembly:

My goal was to utilize a free hardware output line to signal to a device that I build to modulate the laser in a special way. This way there would be no modification to any existing equipment, and no software to install. Further, since this hardware isn’t mine, I don’t like the idea of permanently modifying it (or even risking breaking it by designing something which could damage it by connecting to it). The specific goal is to allow the existing software to cause the laser to fire 20 ms pulses at 15 Hz for a few dozen cycles of 5s on, 5s off. It’s also important to have some flexibility to reprogram this firing protocol in the future if a change is desired.

Opto-isolated laser controller build – [Link]