Exciting Thursday news: we have four new PIR breakout boards! Passive Infrared (PIR) sensors are great for detecting motion in a specific area around the sensor. The sensors measure IR light coming from objects in their detection area, making them perfect for applications like automatically controlling power to lights, cameras, screens, etc., when motion is detected. It is often a key element in home security and automation systems, but engineers and hobbyists are finding many creative ways to use PIR to increase efficiency, such as sensing when someone is standing in front of a vending machine so the display only lights up when it needs to, saving energy and costs.
Get more active with your Passive Infrared!
These boards use two versions of the EKM-series PIR sensors from Panasonic® to offer low profile motion-sensing options over I2C for both battery-powered and continuously-powered applications. The Qwiic versions of these PIR breakouts feature an ATTiny84, with firmware that handles monitoring the sensor's output signal, debouncing that signal along with a configurable interrupt, and translating it all to the I2C interface (which means it's easy to add a PIR to an existing Qwiic/I2C project).
Tomorrow’s the day! Join us, Elektor and Raspberry Pi for a live webinar conversation exploring the development of the Raspberry Pi Pico, RP2040 and SparkFun’s RP2040-based boards, with a Q&A at the end. See you there!
Learn more about the Raspberry Pi Pico and RP2040, plus SparkFun’s RP2040-based boards in a live webinar discussion. The webinar will be led by Elektor’s engineers, who will be joined by Eben Upton and Nathan Seidle (founders of Raspberry Pi and SparkFun, respectively). Be sure to have your questions ready for the Q&A at the end!
Don't forget the giveaways! Winners will be randomly selected from the list of webinar attendees! Giveaway items include the Pico, SparkFun boards, and Elektor’s Raspberry Pi Pico book.
Who says an alarm clock just has to beep, or annoy you in the mornings? Certainly not MakeUnited, who’s put together an Arduino Nano verbal reminder project over on Instructables. His device lets you program a whole bunch of alarms that each play a specific MP3 file.
The REMIND-INO is styled to look like a vintage radio, as the maker’s target audience is his grandparents. That being said I’m not a grandparent, and this would be an ideal way to substitute my inability to keep track of what time it is… ever.
There’s no limit to the reminders or alarms you might program into the REMIND-INO, but MakeUnited has a couple of suggestions:
Reminding people to perform tasks at specific times.
Tell stories, read books, teach cooking recipes and even play songs.
Keep track of appointments.
Anything else you might need a timely verbal prompt for.
And because it’s designed for an older demographic, he’s kept the controls super simple.
When an alarm goes off, it continues to repeat the message until you hit the big, illuminated button on top. Or after five minutes, just so it doesn’t become a major annoyance.
It’s an amusing project, as you can see from the build-along video. But it’s also easy to see how useful and practical it is. We see his grandparents being reminded to take pills, and to set off for an appointment. Alarms that anyone would find useful, regardless of age, and the verbal alert just makes it all the more effective.
The simplicity of the project would really keep the costs down too, and there’s loads of room for expansion and innovation if you wanted to build on this ingenious project.
We had such an amazing time working with Elektor on the latest edition of their magazine that we actually had too many articles! Over the next few weeks, Elektor will be releasing more articles digitally to create a free, Declassified Bonus Edition in honor of their 60th anniversary celebration! New articles for the bonus edition release on Fridays - the first was this past Friday.
The first article from the bonus edition is "Must-Haves for Your Electronics Workspace." If you’re looking for workspace inspiration, helpful lists of tools and components to keep on hand, and other tips, be sure to check out the article over on Elektor’s page!
Cover for the Declassified Bonus Edition
Looking to subscribe to Elektor Magazine?
If you’ve been enjoying Elektor Magazine (and the bonus edition!), check out their site to sign up for a subscription. New subscribers can get a free first issue for either their Gold (print) or Green (digital) memberships when you sign up for a one year subscription! Learn more and start your subscription over on Elektor. Use the promo codes below until April 29th!
Looking for the full SparkFun guest-edited edition? Check out our blog post from last week. We’re giving away free copies of the English language edition of the magazine with orders using promo code: MAGAZINE21 (rules and info on the promo code can be found in the blog post).
Everything’s in place and ready for the global celebration of Arduino’s sweet sixteenth birthday, including some amazing interviews, demos and talks. See you on March 27th at 4 p.m. CET on Arduino’s online channels.
It’s Arduino’s sweet sixteenth on March 27th, and after such a tough 2020 we wanted to make it an extra special event.
As you’ve probably already seen, we’ve themed this year’s Arduino Day around “Undistancing: open makes us close”, which is all about using everyone’s favorite tech to bring people together and find new ways to connect while we’re physically apart.
There are so many topics the Arduino team wanted to cover this year that we’ve got lots of great presentations in the works for you.
Not least of them being a new inclusivity program called #include, that’s being integrated into Arduino as we speak, but there are big plans to bring it out into the community too. Isabela Freire from the Arduino Design Team will be with us to tell you all about that, and how it can benefit your projects, causes and communities.
We also want to show you around some of the top new Arduino devices, with some big reveals that are guaranteed to get people excited across the maker, education and professional sectors. The Nano RP2040 Connect is definitely going to be a highlight you won’t want to miss.
Arduino Day is just as exciting to those of us inside the company, as well as you guys out there in the community. It’s at events like this where we get to talk to brilliant people who are making a genuine difference to the world through open-source tech.
Among them is the ever-inspiring Judi Girò Benet and Billy Chen, co-founders of the amazing breast cancer testing device The Blue Box. This incredible project recently won the international James Dyson Award, and it’s a remarkable tale of a first-time maker who brought her vision to life through Arduino and prototyping her own electronics.
We’ll also be revealing the 10 winners of this year’s Arduino Day Community Challenge. So if you’ve submitted a project to the competition make sure you’re online to find out if a treasure trove of Arduino gear is on its way to you.
Our very own Massimo Banzi is ready to give you a personal tour of the Tiny Machine Learning (TinyML) Kit. Together with Prof. Vijay Janapa Reddi of Harvard University – who specializes in mobile, cloud and edge-centric computing systems – they’ll discuss the impact that devices like TinyML can have in the education sector.
Ubi de Feo from Arduino Tooling Team will then follow with a first-hand demo of the exciting new Arduino IDE 2 beta, in which he’ll show us how this awesome platform represents the next evolution in accessible firmware development. Everything you ever wanted to know about the new IDE, plus a few new features in the pipeline.
Arduino Day Live Stream
So set the day aside on March 27th to join in with the Official Arduino Day live stream, which launches at 4:00 p.m. CET on the Arduino channels.
Get your seat on the front row at day.arduino.cc, and if you’ve any comments or questions in the meantime, just let us know.
Oh, and if you want to see your face on the live stream, why not record a short video clip of yourself saying a big happy birthday to Arduino, and we’ll add you to the celebrations!
Just post it on social media with the hashtag #ArduinoD21 and we’ll stick a virtual candle in the sweet 16th birthday cake just for you!
Last Friday, we released the Elektor DIY Supercharger Kit (by Great Scott!). This kit provides all the materials needed to build a DIY supercharger/booster. Once assembled, it can charge a single-cell LiPo battery; protect it against the effects of overvoltage, overload, and short-circuits; and and can boost battery voltage to 5 V or 12 V. SparkFun engineer Alex Wende spent some time with the kit before we released it and wrote a comprehensive review (as published in ElektorMag - please take a moment to download it and read it.
Alex's review of the DIY LiPo SuperCharger Kit first appeared in the March/April edition of Elektor, which was guest edited by SparkFun. Please check it out: we’re giving away free copies of the English language edition with orders using promo code: MAGAZINE21(rules and info). In the magazine you’ll see a mix of projects, tutorials, interviews, explainers on some of our product lines, and more!