Monthly Archives: August 2019

Winner, Name that Ware July 2019

via Hacking – bunnie's blog

The ware for July 2019 was an Adtek aISA-P21, 16 input, 16 output isolated parallel I/O board. I really do admire how clean, crisp and orderly the board layout is on this one. It definitely bears several hallmarks of a Japanese design aesthetic, from the style of the SOICs to the font choice to the general organization and tidiness of the board assembly.

Congrats to Adam for nailing it, email me for your prize! I’d love to know more about how you knew what it was — had you encountered the board before? Or just a lot of sleuthing through the Internet. Either way, I didn’t expect anyone to get this one down to the exact make and model.

Friday Product Post: Shoot for the Moon with Artemis!

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

Hello and welcome, everyone! It's Friday, once again, and we have a few new products to talk about that were released this last Wednesday as well as the announcement of TWO WEEKS OF FREE! So in case you missed it, we released our official, FCC Certified Artemis Module and accompanying RedBoards on the 28th to a fair amount of fanfare but we recognize that a lot of you don't expect product releases from us that early in the week, so we wanted to talk about each of them individually!


Before we get to Artemis, though, we need to talk about our Two Weeks of Free Event that starts today! Are you ready to get your hands on some free gear? Better get ready, because we sense some good deals that might move Qwiic-ly. (See what we did there?) This year, we’re going to have two weeks of free gear. Both weeks will feature different items and you get to choose from among them. Think of it like a Choose Your Own Adventure, but with boards and sensors.

Week One: Purchase either the Artemis RedBoard (yes, the new one) or the Qwiic RedBoard and pick one of three sensors (listed below) to get for free! This week of free will end next Thursday, September 5 at 11:59pm MT. You can also find out more at our Two Weeks of Free Info Page!

Some reminders to keep it fun for everyone before we get to the good stuff:

  • It’s Labor Day weekend and we’ll be closed on Monday. Orders will ship when we return.
  • If you don’t have some, be sure to throw some Qwiic cables in your cart to get your new project up and running.
  • Only one promo code can be used per customer, per week.
  • Must have your RedBoard and Qwiic board in your cart before adding promo code.
  • Orders utilizing promo codes cannot be combined with other orders for shipping.
  • Offer is good while supplies last. No rainchecks. No backorders.
  • If items are returned in an order using a promo code resulting in the order total being below the threshold for use of the promo code, the full price of items in the order will be applied.
  • Offer for customer roles only
SparkFun Ambient Light Sensor - VEML6030 (Qwiic)

SparkFun Ambient Light Sensor - VEML6030 (Qwiic)

SEN-15436
$4.95
SparkFun Human Presence Sensor Breakout - AK9753 (Qwiic)

SparkFun Human Presence Sensor Breakout - AK9753 (Qwiic)

SEN-14349
$25.95
2
SparkFun Environmental Combo Breakout - CCS811/BME280 (Qwiic)

SparkFun Environmental Combo Breakout - CCS811/BME280 (Qwiic)

SEN-14348
$35.95
12

Use Code FD19P1 for the VEML6030 Ambient Light Sensor, FD19P2 for the AK9753 Human Presence Sensor, and FD19P3 for the CCS811/BME280 Environmental Combo Breaakout

Alright! Let's look at Artemis!


Fully certified and ready for any product!

SparkFun Artemis Module - Low Power Machine Learning BLE Cortex-M4F

SparkFun Artemis Module - Low Power Machine Learning BLE Cortex-M4F

WRL-15484
$8.95

The fully FCC/IC/CE certified Artemis Module from SparkFun is a Cortex-M4F with BLE 5.0 running up to 96MHz and with as low power as 6uA per MHz (less than 5mW). This is the world's first module to bridge the market between hobbyists and consumer products. We've packaged all the power of a modern microcontroller into a module that is both extremely easy to use but is mass-market ready.


Three new Artemis RedBoards!

SparkFun RedBoard Artemis

SparkFun RedBoard Artemis

DEV-15444
$19.95

Think of the RedBoard Artemis as just another Arduino... That has BLE. And one megabyte of flash. And runs at less than 1mA. Oh, and it can run TensorFlow models. Ya, that too. The RedBoard Artemis takes the incredibly powerful Artemis module from SparkFun and wraps it up in an easy to use and familiar Uno footprint. We've written an Arduino core from scratch to make programming the Artemis as familiar as Serial.begin(9600). Time-to-first-blink is less than five minutes.


SparkFun RedBoard Artemis Nano

SparkFun RedBoard Artemis Nano

DEV-15443
$14.95

We like to joke the Artemis Nano is a party on the front and business on the back. And that's by design! All the important LEDs, connectors, labels, and buttons are presented on the front for the best user experience with all the supporting circuitry on the rear of the board. The RedBoard Artemis Nano is a minimal but extremely handy implementation of the Artemis module. A light weight, 0.8mm thick PCB, with on board LiPo-battery charging and a Qwiic connector, this board is easy to implement into very small projects. A dual row of ground connections make it easy to add lots of buttons, LEDs, and anything that requires its own GND connection. At the same time, the board is breadboard compatible if you solder the inner rows of pins.


SparkFun RedBoard Artemis ATP

SparkFun RedBoard Artemis ATP

DEV-15442
$24.95

The RedBoard Artemis ATP is affectionately called 'All the Pins!' at SparkFun. The Artemis module has 48 GPIO and this board breaks out absolutely every one of them in a familiar Mega like form factor. What's with the silkscreen labels? They're all over the place. We decided to label the pins as they are assigned on the Apollo3 IC itself. This makes finding the pin with the function you desire a lot easier. Have a look at the full pin map from the Apollo3 datasheet. If you really need to test out the 4-bit SPI functionality of the Artemis you're going to need to access pins 4, 22, 23, and 26. Need to try out the differential ADC port 1? Pins 14 and 15. The RedBoard Artemis ATP will allow you to flex the impressive capabilities of the Artemis module.


That's it for this week but we are planning even more Artemis boards to release in the next few weeks, so make sure to check back! As always, we can't wait to see what you make! Shoot us a tweet @sparkfun, or let us know on Instagram or Facebook. We’d love to see what projects you’ve made!

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Recreate Super Sprint’s top-down racing | Wireframe issue 21

via Raspberry Pi

Making player and computer-controlled cars race round a track isn’t as hard as it sounds. Mark Vanstone explains all.

The original Super Sprint arcade machine had three steering wheels and three accelerator pedals.

From Gran Trak 10 to Super Sprint

Decades before the advent of more realistic racing games such as Sega Rally or Gran Turismo, Atari produced a string of popular arcade racers, beginning with Gran Trak 10 in 1974 and gradually updated via the Sprint series, which appeared regularly through the seventies and eighties. By 1986, Atari’s Super Sprint allowed three players to compete at once, avoiding obstacles and collecting bonuses as they careened around the tracks.

The original arcade machine was controlled with steering wheels and accelerator pedals, and computer-controlled cars added to the racing challenge. Tracks were of varying complexity, with some featuring flyover sections and shortcuts, while oil slicks and tornadoes posed obstacles to avoid. If a competitor crashed really badly, a new car would be airlifted in by helicopter.

Code your own Super Sprint

So how can we make our own Super Sprint-style racing game with Pygame Zero? To keep this example code short and simple, I’ve created a simple track with a few bends. In the original game, the movement of the computer-controlled cars would have followed a set of coordinates round the track, but as computers have much more memory now, I have used a bitmap guide for the cars to follow. This method produces a much less predictable movement for the cars as they turn right and left based on the shade of the track on the guide.

Four Formula One cars race around the track. Collisions between other cars and the sides of the track are detected.

With Pygame Zero, we can write quite a short piece of code to deal with both the player car and the automated ones, but to read pixels from a position on a bitmap, we need to borrow a couple of objects directly from Pygame: we import the Pygame image and Color objects and then load our guide bitmaps. One is for the player to restrict movement to the track, and the other is for guiding the computer-controlled cars around the track.

Three bitmaps are used for the track. One’s visible, and the other two are guides for the cars.

The cars are Pygame Zero Actors, and are drawn after the main track image in the draw() function. Then all the good stuff happens in the update() function. The player’s car is controlled with the up and down arrows for speed, and the left and right arrows to change the direction of movement. We then check to see if any cars have collided with each other. If a crash has happened, we change the direction of the car and make it reverse a bit. We then test the colour of the pixel where the car is trying to move to. If the colour is black or red (the boundaries), the car turns away from the boundary.

The car steering is based on the shade of a pixel’s colour read from the guide bitmap. If it’s light, the car will turn right, if it’s dark, the car will turn left, and if it’s mid-grey, the car continues straight ahead. We could make the cars stick more closely to the centre by making them react quickly, or make them more random by adjusting the steering angle more slowly. A happy medium would be to get the cars mostly sticking to the track but being random enough to make them tricky to overtake.

Our code will need a lot of extra elements to mimic Atari’s original game, but this short snippet shows how easily you can get a top-down racing game working in Pygame Zero:

Here’s Mark’s code, which gets a Super Sprint-style racer running in Python. To get it working on your system, you’ll first need to install Pygame Zero. And to download the full code, go here.

Get your copy of Wireframe issue 21

You can read more features like this one in Wireframe issue 21, available now at Tesco, WHSmith, and all good independent UK newsagents.

Or you can buy Wireframe directly from Raspberry Pi Press — delivery is available worldwide. And if you’d like a handy digital version of the magazine, you can also download issue 21 for free in PDF format.

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The post Recreate Super Sprint’s top-down racing | Wireframe issue 21 appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Build your own Arduino-based delta robot with Delta X

via Arduino Blog

If you’ve ever seen a delta 3D printer work, you’ve certainly been amazed at the careful coordination of three motors to accurate position a carriage. While impressive in this role, delta robots can be used for much more, from laser engraving, to pick-and-place operations, to automated phone testing, or even playing the piano.

To make these systems a bit more accessible, Doan Hong Trung has developed an open source delta robot — dubbed Delta X — based on an Arduino Mega and a RAMPS 1.4 board that can do all of these jobs and more. 

Details on the modular kit are available here, along with many more clips of it in action. It’s slated to debut on Kickstarter soon, and you can sign up on deltaxrobot.com to be notified when it launches. Design files for the build will be released when successfully funded.

Steampunk radio and clock display with dual Arduino Mega control

via Arduino Blog

If you want to create your own steampunk/mad scientist entertainment center, it would be hard to top this radio/clock setup by Christine Thompson. 

Her device displays the time and date on eight VFD tubes, arranged on top of another eight that show the radio frequency and volume, along with the ambient temperature and pressure read by a BMP280 sensor.

A wide variety of lighting effects, motor-driven clockwork, coils, and even an automated Morse key cement its steampunk theme, and it’s nicely housed in a restored radio cabinet. 

The project is controlled by a pair of Arduino Mega boards linked together via I2C, and Thompson’s write-up has all sorts of tidbits for potential retro-display builders.

This project is without doubt the most complex I have undertaken, with sixteen IV-11 VFD tubes, two Arduino Mega cards, ten LED Neon light circuits, a servo, an electromagnet, two MAX6921AWI IC Chips, five DC power supplies, a HV power supply, two DC Volt meters, a DC Amp meter, FM stereo radio, 3W power amplifier, LCD screen, and keyboard. Apart from the above parts list, two software programs had to developed from scratch and finally the construction of the entire radio required about 200 hours of work.

I decided to include this project onto the Instructables site not expecting members to reproduce this project in its entirety but rather to cherry pick the elements that where of interest to them. Two areas of particular interest to the site members may be the control of the 16 IV-11 VDF tubes using two MAX6921AWI chips and its associated wiring, and the communications between two Mega 2650 cards.

The various components included into this project have been sourced locally, except the IV-11 tubes, and the MAX6921AWI chips both obtained on EBay. I wanted to bring back to life various items that would otherwise languish in boxes for years. All of the HF valves where sourced with the understanding that all where failed units.