Monthly Archives: October 2021

App note: Utilizing the power shutdown capabilities of the Kionix tri-axis accelerometers

via Dangerous Prototypes

Conserve power on using accelerometers with the help of this app note from Kionix by shutting it down on specific operating duty cycle. Link here (PDF)

Kionix tri-axis accelerometers feature a power shutdown capability. Even with their typically low current draw, there are still applications that may require even less power consumption. For these applications, it is possible to implement a duty-cycle powerreduction methodology that uses a microprocessor to toggle the Enable/Disable pin or register at a specified duty-cycle. This approach can reduce greatly the accelerometer’s current draw during the majority of its time in operation. This application note provides the theory and equations needed to take full advantage of this power saving capability.

App note: Multiplexing Tri-Axis accelerometer outputs

via Dangerous Prototypes

App note from Kionix on reading multiple accelerometer by a single ADC using off the shelf chip or accelerometer built-in multiplexer. Link here (PDF)

A Kionix tri-axis accelerometer with analog outputs provides three output voltages (Xout,Yout, Zout) which are proportional to the respective accelerations in those directions. However, with three analog outputs to digitize, it is possible that the system microprocessor does not have the necessary A-D converters. One solution is to use the internal multiplexing capability of several Kionix accelerometer products to multiplex the three outputs to one analog signal. Another solution is to use an off the shelf multiplexer to multiplex the three outputs of the tri-axis accelerometer to one analog signal.

PocketView is an LED display that shows info through clothes and other fabrics

via Arduino Blog

When receiving a notification on your phone, it can be a tedious process to take the device out of a pocket, unlock the screen, and then read the message. In order to make viewing simple information much faster, a team from the School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo developed a small pocketable display that can shine images and text through fabric. This means seeing the current time or directions can be done far more quickly since all the user has to do is look down. 

The technology driving this system consists of an Arduino Pro Mini board, an HC-05 Bluetooth module for receiving data from a host phone, an 8×8 RGBW NeoPixel matrix, and a single 420mAh LiPo battery cell for power. All of these components were assembled into a single unit and placed within a 3D-printed enclosure that can easily fit into the user’s pocket. 

After studying how LEDs interact with various types of fabrics by using an Arduino Mega, the researchers gathered 12 participants to see how effective their smart display, called the PocketView, was at showing important information. Once several tasks had been performed by the group, they consistently rated the LEDs to be a better viewing experience compared to looking at a phone.

To read more information about the PocketView and the plans the team has for it, you can view their paper here.

Images: Antony Albert Raj Irudayaraj, et al.

The post PocketView is an LED display that shows info through clothes and other fabrics appeared first on Arduino Blog.

This wizard-themed book nook diorama features a face detection system, LEDs, and an ePaper display

via Arduino Blog

The fantastical world of wizards and magic is one that can be explored by reading a book, and what better way to represent this than building your very own interactive diorama within a reading corner? Well, that is exactly what Andy of element14 Presents created when he combined a small display, computer vision, and LED lights into a fun bookshelf adornment, which would accompany readers on their journeys. 

To begin, Andy had to figure out how to get a computer vision system into a space that is no larger than a shoebox, and for this task, he settled on using the Portenta H7 board plus its Vision Shield to gather images and classify them. His attempts to integrate a string of NeoPixels and an ePaper display module with MicroPython were unsuccessful, so this required a switch to only using C with TensorFlow Lite and some custom functions to take the framebuffers from the camera and determine if a face is present. 

The diorama models themselves were fashioned from cardboard model railway kits that included houses and a few streetlights. Finally, the LEDs were added both behind the houses and inside of each lamppost that allows them to flicker and light up when a person is watching the display. The ePaper module switches between various stills such as a wanted poster and the element14 logo. 

To see more about how this diorama was constructed, check out Andy’s video below!

The post This wizard-themed book nook diorama features a face detection system, LEDs, and an ePaper display appeared first on Arduino Blog.

Get a Pulse on the Sensor-ation

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

Hello everyone! How are you this fine Friday? This week we are happy to announce that the kid tested, mother approved SparkFun Pulsed Radar Breakout is once again available! We fixed a couple issues we had with the board and secured a great supplier for the A111 chip. Following that, we have a new Big Easy Driver kit that should help you get started with stepper motors, an RTK Surveying Kit, and two U.FL cables (one to SMA, the other to RP-SMA). Don't forget, we still have a few SkeleBoards available for order. We won't be restocking those after they're gone, so get them before while you can! On to the new products!

It's baaaack!

SparkFun Pulsed Radar Breakout - A111

SparkFun Pulsed Radar Breakout - A111

SEN-16826
$59.95

Does your project require high precision, cutting-edge distance measurement? Or maybe speed, motion, or gesture sensing? We're not talking about simple ultrasonic or even infrared here, but 60GHz radar! Well say hello to the SparkFun A111 Pulsed Radar Breakout! The A111 is a single-chip solution for pulsed coherent radar (PCR) and comes complete with an integrated antenna and an SPI interface capable of clock speeds of up to 50 MHz. Though the A111's primary use case is distance sensing, it also supports applications in gesture, motion, material, and speed detection at distances of up to two meters.


SparkFun Big Easy Driver Kit

SparkFun Big Easy Driver Kit

KIT-18339
$54.95

Do you have ideas for a project that moves, like a robot, automatic dog door or moving platform? Whatever the project, the SparkFun Big Easy Driver Kit is designed to help make it a reality. Included in this kit is our popular Big Easy stepper motor driver, a RedBoard, power supply, USB cable, and all other needed hook-ups. The only thing users will need to supply is their own motor.


SparkFun RTK Surveying Kit

SparkFun RTK Surveying Kit

GPS-17370
$574.95

The SparkFun RTK Surveying Kit has everything you need to get centimeter level global positioning measurements using GNSS RTK. We've created a handy carrying case to protect the most expensive parts, allowing you to quickly attach the L1/L2 antenna and RTK Surveyor housing to the pole or tripod of your choice. The kit includes all the antenna bits, cables and chargers you need to jump right into the field.


SparkFun Thing Plus SkeleBoard - ESP32 WROOM (U.FL)

SparkFun Thing Plus SkeleBoard - ESP32 WROOM (U.FL)

WRL-18581
$25.00

As a reminder, we still have some SkeleBoards still available, but stock is running short. We've already sent out about half of what we had available since last week. The SparkFun Thing Plus SkeleBoard features a matte black PCB with a super scary skeleton design in white silk and one of our favorite references out of the last few years: (DOOT). We've also made sure to include a 2.4GHz U.FL PCB Antenna so you won't need to worry about picking up any additional parts to get your board up and running! Other than that, this board is identical to our existing SparkFun Thing Plus - ESP32 WROOM (U.FL).

Rules & Information:

  • Add the SparkFun Thing Plus SkeleBoard - ESP32 WROOM (U.FL) to your cart!
  • Use code "SKELEBOARD21" during checkout when your cart reaches $100 or more (not including this board or shipping/tax/discounts)
  • There is an order limit of five max per customer.
  • No rainchecks or backorders will be allowed. We will not be allowing the combining of orders during this sale. Distributor and Reseller accounts will not be eligible.

Don't worry, you can also purchase this product on its own, even without the promo code!


SMA to U.FL Cable - 150mm

SMA to U.FL Cable - 150mm

WRL-18568
$1.95
RP-SMA to U.FL Cable - 150mm

RP-SMA to U.FL Cable - 150mm

WRL-18569
$1.95

This SMA (or RP-SMA) to U.FL Cable is commonly used to attach WiFi, Bluetooth, or nRFxxx based devices to a 2.4 GHz antenna. What makes this unassuming cable special is the slightly longer length of 150 mm (compared to 100 mm). We found that the extra 50 mm makes all the difference when working with an enclosure.


That's it for this week! 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! Please be safe out there, be kind to one another, and we'll see you next week with even more new products!

Never miss a new product!

comments | comment feed

2021-2023 OSHWA Board Nominees

via Open Source Hardware Association

Become an OSHWA member today to vote on nominees!

This year, we have 4 open seats on the OSHWA board. Board members will hold a 2-year position. Once board members have been chosen by the community, the board will appoint a President, VP, and Secretary. As every nominee answered “Yes” to having 5-10 hours a month to give to the board, we did not include that question in each nominee’s data. Board responsibilities include fundraising, advising on goals and direction, and carrying out compliance of the organization’s purposes and bylaws.

The vote will be open on Oct. 19th-25th. Members will be emailed a link to vote. Here are the nominees in no particular order:

Wendy Ju

Why do you want to be on the board?

I am interested in the role that OSHW can play in creative entrepreneurship. I would love to serve the OSHW community by developing more curriculum and tutorials to help people produce, populate and test inexpensive quick-turn PCBs so that people with cool HW ideas might be able to make a living making and selling interactive devices to others.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

I am an Associate Professor of Information Science at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech in New York City. I teach a graduate course in Developing and Designing Interactive Devices. My research focuses on designing interaction with automated systems; I frequently use interactive technologies to prototype the future. I have developed and shared curriculum to teach Arduino and Raspberry Pi in the context of making interactive musical instruments, far-out Mp3 players, and robots of many flavors.

What is your personal DEI+J (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) statement?

I recognize that there are numerous aspects of engineering, computer science, and STEM fields in general which need to be made over to give more people from different racial, geographical, and socio-economic backgrounds access to the tools of production. I deeply believe that greater inclusion will greatly benefit the field and our practices, and am committed to break down barriers and address inequity.


Naomi Wu

Why do you want to be on the board?

Diversity and inclusion

What qualifies you to be a board member?

Biggest maker in China

What is your personal DEI+J (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) statement?

Do the right thing


Pamela L. Jennings

Why do you want to be on the board?

I have been involved in several research activities and community forums for open source hardware including the early OSH Workshop at the Banff Centre (2008/2009); the Sketching-in-Hardware consortium; and my own research in IoT hardware design for EdTech. I’ve always been interested in and have taught physical computing/sketching-in-hardware/hardware hacking/ Making as platforms for learning. I am also interested in the commercialization of hardware dependent products.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

Throughout most of my career I have been an academic straddling the worlds of the arts, design, and technology. I served as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation CISE IIS CreativeIT and HCC programs. I’ve been involved in several projects at the National Academies of Sciences about creativity, STEM, and integrative learning in higher education. And I recently received an NSF SBIR Phase 1 grant for my company, CONSTRUKTS, Inc. (https://www.CONSTRUKTS.com)

What is your personal DEI+J (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) statement?

Please view Pamela’s statement here: https://www.pamelajennings.org/speaking.html


Thea Flowers

Why do you want to be on the board?

To expand the open source hardware movement into new focus areas, especially music technology and small scale manufacturing. To empower open source developers with resources to create, use, and build from open source software and hardware.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

I have long been an open source software advocate and I started an open source hardware music technology company last year. During my career, I have contributed significantly to multiple high-profile open source projects and to the Python community (for which I’ve been honored as a Python Software Foundation fellow). I bring a decade of experience in open source software, community organization, and developer experience.

What is your personal DEI+J (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) statement?

I believe that open source – software and hardware – is for everyone. Knowledge and technology are capable of being incredibly empowering when used with careful intent. Each of us has a moral and ethical obligation to humanity to build a community and industry that is beneficial to us all – especially those that have historically been discriminated against.


Nadya Peek

Why do you want to be on the board?

I believe technology to be a democratic tool. To enable this, I believe in creating reusable, modular, extensible, interoperable, and accessible technologies. Specifically, I believe in creating infrastructural technologies that can serve any (unintended) application. I believe Open Source Hardware can (and already does) fulfill infrastructural needs—e.g., boards like Arduinos or Duet3Ds. However, unlike open source software, replicating hardware always has a cost—the cost of parts and manufacture. I’m interested in how to support *distributed* making. I’m especially interested in distributing production of of complex electromechanical devices such as digital fabrication machines or bioreactors. On the board I’d provide digital fabrication expertise and work on topics like quality control and documentation. The supply chain failures in the COVID-19 pandemic have especially highlighted what open source hardware design together with distributed production might enable. I would like to serve on the board of the Open Hardware Association as I believe it to be an organization uniquely focused on developing, discussing, and disseminating open standards for technology design and production.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

I have been actively developing open source hardware for almost two decades! I develop open-source hardware machines and controllers in my group Machine Agency at the University of Washington. Some of our projects include the Cardboard Machine Kit, Jubilee3D, and p5.fab. I’m an engineering prof and teach digital fabrication and physical computing. My group shares their research widely—besides academic publications and conferences we also can generally be found at things like Hackaday Supercon, Crowdsupply Teardown, RRFs, and CCC. I got my PhD at MIT in the Center for Bits and Atoms, where I helped set up many fab labs and makerspaces. I have been on the board of OSHWA many times before and have a lot of experience helping organize the summit, including pivoting the summit to remote when a virus becomes a global threat. I think I am qualified to be on the board because of my technical expertise and my experience with community organizing, fundraising, and promoting OSHW.

What is your personal DEI+J (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) statement?

A major goal of mine is broadening the participation of women, racially underrepresented people, and people from disadvantaged socioeconomic statuses in engineering and particularly Open Source Hardware. As a woman engineer of mixed race and ethnicity, this matter is of both professional and personal importance to me. To achieve this, I dedicate time to organizing events to address structural racism at my workplace, to mentoring groups who have historically been excluded from engineering, and by participating in policy making efforts that can further goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion. I use my position of privilege and power as a professor at a public US university to stand up for those in more precarious positions. I value and support the past inclusion efforts of OSHWA, e.g., the Ada Lovelace fellowship, and would work to further them were I to be elected to the board.


Mirela Alistar

Why do you want to be on the board?

Being able to contribute to OSHWA has been a dream of mine since years. Back then, I was a PhD student in Embedded Systems at DTU (Denmark) and a very strong advocate of releasing our research open-source (to the extent that at conferences I was pointed at and referenced as the “open-source girl”). The minute I learnt about the DIY local community, I got involved as a chair for Biologigaragen (DIYBio in Denmark) and later even co-founded a community wetlab in Berlin (>top). In this context, I worked with other DIYBio researchers and we together developed open-source hardware for biotech experiments. Year later, I am now an Assistant Professor in soft materials at CU Boulder, and have the confidence and maturity to feel that I can really contribute to OSHWA.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

This part is extremely hard to write, so I will present a few facts and hope the qualifications will stem out of them. As mentioned, I have been pro-actively involved in the DIYBio community in Europe. Specifically, I was providing content (designing and making hardware to biotech experiments), education (I organized >30 workshops around the world in public spaces such as museums or techno festivals), and leadership (I was the chairwoman for DIYBio in Denmark and co-founder of a DIYBio space in Berlin, as well as present to most European DIYBio summits). In the DIYBio context, there has been a lot of open-source hardware development stemming for a diverse collaboration: our communities were welcoming artists, designers, engineers, cooks, filmmakers, etc. I understand very well the synergies when interweaving diversity, the passion to make, and the struggle to release open-source in a capitalistic world. One of the devices that I contributed to, OpenDrop, has been published in an academic venue, released open-source on github, and has now over hundreds of replicas around the world. Prestigious labs, such as from MIT and UW, forked the device to create a new biochip for DNA computing and liquid display. Needless to say, I understand the importance of releasing hardware open-source, and the significance of showing people on how to make it, and educating them on how to use it.

What is your personal DEI+J (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) statement?

As an international woman, and of color, I have experienced a lot of discrimination, and injustice. It made me stronger but also gave me a strong voice and determination to make sure that diversity and inclusion are norms. In my position right now, I encourage female students and underrepresented minorities to engage in research. My lab has 4 female PhD students, and the only 2 male PhD students are LatinX and Black. I have kept an eye open to encourage young female students, and so far I have mentored 7 female undergraduates that went on to pursue an academic career. I am pro-actively involved in hackathons, public workshops (at the library, museums), reaching out to marginalized communities (e.g., the blind), and even worked hard to get some funding from Google to support some of this work. I am not only making these efforts myself, I am making it compulsory for any of the students working with me to engage in outreach. The hope is to propagate these actions, such that they become inherent and a habit in the future.


Shaun Savage

Why do you want to be on the board?

I have been working with Open Source since 1992, Linux v0.97. I want to support Open Source. The next challenge is OS hardware. I even had my own TV cable access show TVLinux that I produced for 5 years.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

I have graduate degree in EE and a patent in silicon design.

What is your personal DEI+J (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) statement?

I am a disabled veteran.


Taylor Hokanson

Why do you want to be on the board?

While I think open hardware makes great business sense, I am also interested in the way that the open source philosophy increases access and equity for individuals and organizations that do not have a for-profit model. By supporting cross-pollination and creativity for its own sake, we significantly increase the chances that the Next Big Thing gets made, and made in a way where we can all benefit. I would like to serve on the board to represent this perspective.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

I am an Associate Professor with fifteen years of experience teaching art and technology at the college level, and have deep experience organizing large groups of passionate people around creative/progressive initiatives. I participated in the first Open Hardware Summit, where I spoke about the open source DIY CNC machine plans that my design collaborative released in 2008. My creative practice includes a sledgehammer-operated typing keyboard and a monumental, cast-iron sculpture that you can set on fire via Twitch chat commands. I am heavily invested in the open source community, and want to do my part to help push the movement forward.

What is your personal DEI+J (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) statement?

While representation is crucial as a first step towards DEI+J, fundamental transformation of underlying power structures is needed to advance any cause in an equitable fashion. This semester, for example, I am teaching a studio class about speculative sex/gender in collaboration with Kay Dartt, a Trans artist and academic from West Virginia. Together we are building curriculum that examines Queer Theory and Xenofeminism through the process of art making. We plan to organize the products of this class into a traveling show, and will also labor to ensconce our course in the permanent curricular rotation at our respective schools. Both of these goals are intended to embed progressive material and ideas within two sometimes conservative power structures: the art gallery and academia. Similarly, were I to join OSHWA in a leadership role, I would investigate fundamental organizational impediments to the participation of disenfranchised groups, then labor to remove those obstacles at the board level.


Daniel Wessolek

Why do you want to be on the board?

Would like to further open hardware in Europe and think it would be great to act as a bridge of sorts. I enjoy promoting open hardware and FLOSS tools, as having low-barrier reproduction and remixing possibilities through open tools, also in connection with maker space technologies, seems a good way to encourage people to create their own solutions. Also, working towards EU requirements in favor of open hardware and right to repair legislation could make open hardware more mainstream. There are some great people on the board and I would like to join efforts.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

Currently we are preparing a Prototype Fund Hardware at the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany. I am also active in the EU project OPENNEXT, where we are working with SMEs to develop more OSHW. I have spent time in academia and enjoy going to open hardware related gatherings, also I do not mind getting on a stage to share. I have created a first open hardware toy sequencer in 2007, and continue developing open hardware with others. Also, I have a PhD in Design and spent quite some years abroad. I like the intersection of art and tech.

What is your personal DEI+J (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) statement?

FLOSS and OSHW should be part of any university education. Education and tools should be freely available to anyone curious to engage in this area. Co-design processes with people from various backgrounds and interests are the most fruitful and fun. Learned a lot from working with Deaf people, particularly from a colleague who is an interface designer engaged in promoting Deaf culture and building bridges to hearing people and vice versa. I helped create different Careables in a format called Open Health HACKademy. Nonetheless, as a middle-aged white dude with an academic middle-class family background, I am also happy letting others go first – or to collaborate.


Charles Steinkuehler

Why do you want to be on the board?

I am excited by the opportunity to advance the adoption of open source principles for hardware projects and platforms. I have benefited from using and contributing to many open source projects over the years and feel this would be a great way for me to give back and to help grow the community.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

I have been designing electronics hardware for 35 years and working with open source projects as both a user and contributor for 20+ years. I am familiar with virtually all aspects of electronics design including analog, digital, and mixed signal designs, microcontrollers, FPGAs, firmware, and “gateware” or RTL coding. I have excellent communications and problem solving skills and experience in both traditional management and coordinating volunteer teams.

What is your personal DEI+J (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) statement?

I affirm the inherent dignity of every human being and the need to create a society where all can prosper and become one’s best self. I commit to holding myself accountable and taking concrete steps to create an environment that is inclusive, respectful, and equitable.


Katherine Scott

Why do you want to be on the board?

I have been on the board twice and a member of the OSHWA community since its inception. I am generally one of the more active board members and I would like to continue my work on the board.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

I have been on the board previously and have worked with the OSHWA community since at least 2010. I am also presently employed at Open Robotics; an organization that builds open-source software and hardware for robotics. Prior to working at Open Robotics I co-founded an electronics manufacturing company, worked on multiple open-source projects, and have degrees in electrical and computer engineering.

What is your personal DEI+J (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) statement?

I have been working as a straight white woman in engineering for over fifteen years; it wasn’t always easy, and it still isn’t. Now that I have achieved a modicum of success, I feel that my role is to offer assistance to, and elevate the voices of, traditionally marginalized individuals who wish to enter the field. Personally, that takes the form of regular volunteer and outreach work I do outside of OSHWA, along with various activities I have performed in the workplace.

With respect to OSHWA, open-source hardware and software offer a unique opportunity for marginalized identities to engage with technology without the gate-keeping that is often found in academia and industry. As a board, I see our role as having four parts with respect to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.

First, OSHWA should fully commit to creating spaces where traditionally marginalized individuals feel welcomed, respected, and able to fully express themselves without fear of reprisal.

Second, with respect to technology and policy, OSHWA should actively work to remove or replace historical technology and policies that harmed marginalized communities.

Third, OSHWA should work with marginalized communities to evaluate new open-source technology and policies to avoid continued or future marginalization or oppression.

Forth, OSHWA should actively recruit and support, financially where possible, the inclusion of traditionally marginalized individuals in the open-source hardware community.


Please find details of our election process here.

The post 2021-2023 OSHWA Board Nominees appeared first on Open Source Hardware Association.