Stickduino now uses Atmega328 
Wednesday, July 15, 2009, 12:10 AM - Electronics
The new Stickduino Arduino clone as been upgraded with the new Atmega328, so as to match the latest version of the "official" Arduino. The price is still below $20.

Strangely enough, the stickduino website makes no mention of the change!

How do I learned about it then?

Well, I just received a new batch of Stickduinos and tried to program one, but the program wouldn't upload (I kept getting "stk500_recv() programmer is not responding" from avrdude). I started looking on the web for answers, but couldn't find anything. After fiddling for a while, I looked closely at the board, and realized it had an Atmega328. I configured the Arduino IDE for the new Duemilanove Arduino, and everything worked perfectly.

Still, I'm surprised the stickduino people don't mention this anywhere.

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XBee carrier boards 
Thursday, March 26, 2009, 02:50 AM - Electronics
The Makershed has a new XBee adapter for $10 with 10 pins, some which directly fit in an FTDI serial USB adapter cable. It includes level shifters and a 3.3v regulator and can be plugged into a proto board.

Newmicros also has an XBee USB dongle, for $40.

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Cheap dual wireless cameras 
Saturday, March 14, 2009, 09:09 PM - Electronics
Intelspy sells a surveillance system with two wireless cameras and a 2-channel receiver for $130. The interesting thing is that the claimed range is over 500m.
5 comments ( 105 views )   |  0 trackbacks   |  permalink   |  related link   |   ( 3 / 5837 )

Arduino-based magnetic levitation 
Saturday, March 14, 2009, 09:00 PM - Electronics
A cool little hack in which an Arduino is used to levitate a magnetic object and regulate its distance from the levitating electromagnet.
2 comments ( 114 views )   |  0 trackbacks   |  permalink   |  related link   |   ( 3.1 / 1887 )

Arduino JEP shields 
Monday, March 9, 2009, 10:04 PM - Electronics
This page has a bunch of interesting prototyping shields for the Arduino, including relays, power FETs, motor drivers and such (via Makezine blog).


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MIDI library for the Arduino 
Tuesday, January 27, 2009, 11:15 PM - Electronics
Title says it all. Get it here.

1 comment ( 117 views )   |  0 trackbacks   |  permalink   |  related link   |   ( 2.9 / 5251 )

Arduino-based MIDI -> control voltage converter 
Monday, January 12, 2009, 07:22 PM - Electronics
This page (with an interesting domain name) describes a simple MIDI->control voltage converter that can be used to control analog synths from MIDI controllers. The contraption contains an arduino and an Analog Device AD5668 16-bit digital to analog converter chip. this chip has 8 independent analog outputs with 16 bit resolution, and uses an SPI (serial) interface. The chip can be had for $25 from DigiKey.

The most complicated part is to figure out how to talk to DAC chip, but the Arduino sketch source code says it all.
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Make Magazine's definitive guide to open source hardware 
Sunday, November 30, 2008, 01:11 PM - Electronics
Make Magazine's blog has a great list of opne source hardware projects for 2008. The list includes most flavors of Arduinos (although not the stickduino, that we mentioned before), as well as various UAV autopilots, synths, and other projects.

Perhaps it is worth reminding our esteemed readers of the existence of the Beagleboard, a $150 board available from Digikey with a super-powerful OMAP3530 chip from Texas Instruments. The OMAP contains a super-scalar 600MHz ARM Cortex-A8 core and a 430MHz TMS320C64x+ DSP. The Beagleboard can run Linux.

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Lady Ada's Xbee carrier board and tutorial 
Sunday, November 9, 2008, 09:15 AM - Electronics
Lady Ada from Adafruit Industries has a nicely detailed tutorial on configuring a pair of Xbee wireless modules to talk wirelessly to an Arduino. It is an expanded version of another tutorial by Rob Faludi, a researcher in the Interactive Telecommunication Program at NYU

Adafruit conveniently sells (for $10) an Xbee carrier board which contains the level shifters, voltage regulator, and pin headers required to easily talk to an Xbee.

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Using an Xbee for R/C 
Saturday, November 8, 2008, 11:33 PM - Electronics
Effet de Bord is a French blog (written in English) that talks about using an Xbee module as the basis of an R/C system. Xbee Pro modules establish a bidirectional serial communication link with a range of roughly 1.5 km.

The blog is connected to the O24RCP project whose purpose is to build an open design for a 2.4GHz R/C system out of off-the-shelf components (such as the Xbee).
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Stickduino: A nice addition to the Arduino family 
Saturday, September 27, 2008, 03:54 PM - Electronics
Over the summer I have been playing with a new member of the Arduino family, the Stickduino, and have become quite fond of it.

The Stickdiono's main advantages are: it is very small, it plugs directly into the USB port of a computer, it costs less than $20 assembled, and $4 for the bare circuit board.
Even better, it gives you 8 analog inputs instead of just 6 like the original Arduino. It uses a 16MHz Atmega168 like the Arduino Decimilia.

The only downside is that the pc board USB plug is a little too thin to fit snuggly into a typical USB socket. It doesn't seem to cause any problem with electrical contacts, but it still makes me nervous. I simply glued a piece of thin plastic (cut from an ABS or styrene sheet) underneath the pc board.


1 comment ( 59 views )   |  0 trackbacks   |  permalink   |  related link   |   ( 2.9 / 5309 )

Arduino Pro: 3.3v 8MHz 
Monday, August 25, 2008, 05:19 PM - Electronics
Sparkfun is offering a new version of the Arduino: the Arduino Pro, which
is lighter, cheaper, and slightly more compact than the Decimilia.
The supply voltage is 3.3v, which makes it compatible with things like gyros and accelerometer sensors. Too bad news is that the clock is only 8MHz, instead of the 16MHz od most other Arduinos.

2 comments ( 242 views )   |  0 trackbacks   |  permalink   |  related link   |   ( 3.1 / 1966 )

Using Piezo Sensors for a Drum Pad 
Monday, June 16, 2008, 12:18 AM - Electronics
The Drum Master is a DIY "brain" for an electronic drum pad.
The web site has some data on how to process the output of piezo-electric sensors used in drum pads.

1 comment ( 115 views )   |  0 trackbacks   |  permalink   |  related link   |   ( 3.1 / 5091 )

Wireless ARMmite 
Sunday, June 15, 2008, 06:42 PM - Electronics
at $40, the Wireless ARMmite micro-controller board from Coridium has a pretty high coolness/price ratio: a 60MHz ARM7 (LPC-2103), and a space for optional ZigBee (XBee), USB, or Bluetooth serial modules.

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Boarduino: breadboard-compatible mini Arduino 
Monday, October 8, 2007, 01:46 AM - Electronics
Over the last few months, I have become rather fond of the Arduino microcontroller board concept. I like its simplicity, its open design, and (last but not least), the fact that the development environment runs seamlessly on Linux.

One shortcoming of most Arduino boards is that they are rather bulky (not good for putting them onbard a small airplane). While the Arduino Mini has been available for a while, it is not as convenient as the new $17.50 Boarduino kit from Ada Fruit.

The Boarduino has everything a regular Arduino has, but it is much smaller and can plug into a breadboard.


3 comments ( 121 views )   |  0 trackbacks   |  permalink   |  related link   |   ( 3 / 5283 )

Single-chip 6 DoF IMU from Analog Devices 
Monday, October 8, 2007, 01:07 AM - Electronics
Speaking of Jeff Han: Jeff pointed me to this new device, recently announced by Analog Device. Many people were anxiously waiting for something like this to appear: single chip that contains 3 accelerometers and 3 gyroscopes that can be used to build a full, 6 degree of freedom inertial measerument unit (IMU).

The part is called the ADIS16355.
It uses an SPI interface, and even includes an auxillary 10-bit A/D converter, an auxillary D/A converter, and two digitial I/O
(see data sheet).

Now for the bad news: the price is $360 in 1000 quantity (ouch!).

It's still a lot cheaper to buy a 5 DoF break-out board for $110 from sparkfun (3 accelerometers, 2 gyros), plus another gyro, and a cheap micro-controller.


3 comments ( 80 views )   |  0 trackbacks   |  permalink   |  related link   |   ( 3 / 1934 )


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