Monthly Archives: March 2022

New product: Motoron M3S256 Triple Motor Controller Shield

via Pololu Blog

We’re excited to announce the launch of our new Motoron M3S256 Triple Motor Controller Shield! This I²C motor controller is designed to plug into an Arduino or Arduino-compatible board and control up to three bidirectional brushed DC motors at voltages from 4.5 V to 48 V with continuous currents of up to 2 A per channel. However, what really sets the Motoron apart from our other motor shields is that you can easily stack multiple boards to control even more motors at once!

Unlike basic motor driver shields that are best for driving just a few channels using the Arduino’s hardware PWM outputs, the Motoron M3S256 has its own on-board microcontroller with an I²C interface, letting you communicate with a stack of many controllers using only two I/O lines. Each Motoron can be configured to have a unique I²C target address, ensuring that every shield can be addressed individually and every motor can be controlled independently. For synchronized motion, you can even signal all the motors on several controllers to change speed at the same time with a single I²C command.

We provide an Arduino library for the Motoron that makes it easy to send it commands and configure its many settings, including motion parameters and error handling options. Working with multiple Motoron controllers is as simple as calling a few functions once you have set up their I²C addresses:

// Set up acceleration and deceleration limits for Motoron #1
mc1.setMaxAcceleration(1, 80);
mc1.setMaxDeceleration(1, 300);
mc1.setMaxAcceleration(3, 50);

// Set up acceleration and deceleration limits for Motoron #2
mc2.setMaxAcceleration(2, 50);
mc2.setMaxDeceleration(2, 200);
 
// Drive the motors
 
mc1.setSpeed(1, -800);
mc1.setSpeed(2, 100);
mc1.setSpeed(3, -100);
 
mc2.setSpeed(1, -400);
mc2.setSpeed(2, 50);
mc2.setSpeed(3, 300);

Alternatively, if you are not using a microcontroller board with the standard Arduino form factor, it is almost as easy to use the Motoron on a breadboard.

A Raspberry Pi Pico on a breadboard using a Motoron M3S256 shield to control three motors.

The Motoron M3S256 is available in three versions with different connector options:

Motoron M3S256 Triple Motor Controller Shield for Arduino (Connectors Soldered).

Motoron M3S256 Triple Motor Controller Shield Kit for Arduino.

Motoron M3S256 Triple Motor Controller Shield for Arduino (No Connectors).

You might wonder why the assembled version comes with 3.5mm-pitch terminal blocks soldered in when the through-holes are spaced 5 mm apart. The answer is that the smaller 3.5 mm terminal blocks allow for more clearance when the shields are stacked, reducing the risk of shorting them to each other, but we still designed the board with bigger holes and wider spacing for maximum flexibility.

For more information about the Motoron M3S256, see the product pages and the comprehensive user’s guide. We have plans to expand the Motoron family with more versions including Raspberry Pi-compatible form factors and higher-power models, so expect more announcements soon!

Renesas Webinar Features SparkFun

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

Need long-lasting Wi-Fi to support your next IoT project? Recently, Renesas Global delivered a demo during the webinar showing how to add WiFI to Arduino sketches on the SparkFun Shield. Feeling left out? Don't fret! This webinar is now available to stream on Renesas' website.


What's Covered in this Webinar?

During this webinar, you can expect Renesas to:

  • Highlight the key functionality of the DA16200 Ultra-Low Power Wi-Fi
  • Highlight and explain the extended AT Command functionality
  • Show Wi-Fi implementation details on the RA6M4 MCU host
  • Demonstrate Wi-Fi ready to go Renesas RA6 MCU examples using the SparkFun Wi-Fi Shield
    SparkFun Qwiic WiFi Shield - DA16200

    SparkFun Qwiic WiFi Shield - DA16200

    WRL-18567
    $19.95

About the Qwiic WiFi Shield

Ultra. Low. Power. Arguably the best three words in the IoT world. SparkFun has teamed up with ARM and Dialog to provide you with this Qwiic WiFi Shield based around the DA16200 module. The DA16200 is a fully integrated WiFi module with a 40MHz crystal oscillator, 32.768KHz RTC clock, RF Lumped RF filter, 4MB flash memory, and an on-board chip antenna. With the addition of a Qwiic connector, multiple GPIO options, JTAG connectors for deep dive programming, and you've got everything you need to get your R3 layout device ready to set up your next IoT project.

Need ultra-low powered Wi-Fi?

Shop what you need for this project and every wifi project by checking out SparkFun's extensive catalogue of Wi-Fi products!

Get everything you need for your next IoT project

Don't miss out on the next Webinar! Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn to stay in the loop on industry news products and more!.

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Let’s Put A Pin-Out In It

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another Friday Product Post here at SparkFun Electronics! This week we are preparing for some upcoming projects, but we still have plenty for you to check out. Let's start with a tried-and-true Atmospheric Sensor with an added feature. The BME280 Atmospheric Sensor breakout is a crowd favorite here at SparkFun so, based on user feedback, we've added pre-soldered headers to the board! Following that, we have four more products from our friends at BreadBoard Mates. You all seemed to really like us bringing these products into our catalog so we are happy to make more available for you! Now, let's jump in and take a closer look at all of our products for the week.

SparkFun Atmospheric Sensor Breakout - BME280 (with Headers)

SparkFun Atmospheric Sensor Breakout - BME280 (with Headers)

SEN-13905
$21.95

The SparkFun BME280 Atmospheric Sensor Breakout with Headers is the easy way to measure barometric pressure, humidity, and temperature readings all without taking up too much space. Basically, anything you need to know about atmospheric conditions you can find out from this tiny breakout. The BME280 Breakout has been designed to be used in indoor/outdoor navigation, weather forecasting, home automation, and even personal health and wellness monitoring. This version features pre-soldered headers for your convenience!


TIMI-130

TIMI-130

LCD-19255
$39.95
TIMI-130 Starter Kit

TIMI-130 Starter Kit

DEV-19256
$49.95

The TIMI-130, the larger brother to the original TIMI-96 (aka TIMI), is a unique breadboard compatible display development module aimed to speed up and reinvent the way electronic testing, development and projects are carried out in either stand alone, host interfaced, PC tethered, or educational settings. We also feature the TIMI-130 as a Starter Kit which features a TIMI-130 and a Mates Programmer to get you started as easily as possible!


TIMI-MB

TIMI-MB

LCD-19253
$29.95
TIMI-MB Starter Kit

TIMI-MB Starter Kit

DEV-19254
$39.95

Meanwhile, the TIMI-Click is a unique breadboard compatible display development module designed to provide development boards/modules which have a mikroBUS™ Click socket a simple to interface display solution. The TIMI Click will speed up the way electronic testing, development and projects are carried out. The Starter Kit version also features a TIMI-Click and a Mates Programmer to get you going!


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, Facebook or LinkedIn. 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!

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Remote Industrial VOC Sensor Using Ethernet

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

For a while now, I've been curious just how poor the air quality around me gets when I'm soldering. It never really feels like it's that good, and I always try to limit the my time and exposure to the fumes, but it would be interesting to actually gather the numbers.

When the new MicroMod Ethernet Function board came across my desk, I knew it would be ideal for testing out this curiosity (and not just because of the lack of soldering needed to set the project up!). I wanted to use the Ethernet function board with the Environmental Function board and the MicroMod Teensy Processor as it's probably the quickest way to put together this project. The Ethernet adds value to the project because it makes it applicable in an end-use industrial environment. It would be great to monitor the air quality of the soldering station here at SparkFun all day, from my desk, as people come and go to solder. I chose the Teensy Processor board as they've got a really easy Ethernet library to use for this W5500 chip.

SparkFun MicroMod Ethernet Function Board - W5500

SparkFun MicroMod Ethernet Function Board - W5500

COM-18708
$29.95
SparkFun MicroMod Environmental Function Board

SparkFun MicroMod Environmental Function Board

SEN-18632
$149.95
SparkFun MicroMod Teensy Processor

SparkFun MicroMod Teensy Processor

DEV-16402
$21.50
3

The Hookup

The Hookup is about as simple as it gets! All you need is a screwdriver. However, I will say that when using two function boards like we're doing, it's important to make sure they are fully set in the M.2 connector, and also to tighten all of the screws equally (not move from one to the other).

alt text


The Code The code is also fairly simple, it's just a mixture of creating a web server and sending the VOC levels from the SGP40 to that server.

/*
  Industrial air quality remote sensor

 A simple web server that shows the VOC levels using a Teensy Processor board,
 the MicroMod Ethernet Function board and the MicroMod Environmental Function board. 

 Taken by Paul Clark's SGP40 code and the built in Arduino example for an Ethernet
 web server, thanks to David A. Mellis, Tom Igoe and Arturo Guadalupi

 */

#include <SPI.h>
#include <Ethernet.h>
#include "SparkFun_SGP40_Arduino_Library.h" // Click here to get the library: http://librarymanager/All#SparkFun_SGP40
#include <Wire.h>

// Enter a MAC address and IP address for your controller below.
// The IP address will be dependent on your local network:
byte mac[] = {
  0xDE, 0xAD, 0xBE, 0xEF, 0xFE, 0xED};
IPAddress ip(192, 168, 1, 177);

SGP40 mySensor; //create an object of the SGP40 class

// Initialize the Ethernet server library
// with the IP address and port you want to use
// (port 80 is default for HTTP):
EthernetServer server(80);

void setup() {
  Ethernet.init(10);  // For the Teensy

  // Open serial communications and wait for port to open:
  Serial.begin(9600);
  while (!Serial) {
    ; // wait for serial port to connect. Needed for native USB port only
  }
  Serial.println("Ethernet WebServer Example");

  // start the Ethernet connection and the server:
  Ethernet.begin(mac, ip);

  // Check for Ethernet hardware present
  if (Ethernet.hardwareStatus() == EthernetNoHardware) {
    Serial.println("Ethernet shield was not found.  Sorry, can't run without hardware. :(");
    while (true) {
      delay(1); // do nothing, no point running without Ethernet hardware
    }
  }
  if (Ethernet.linkStatus() == LinkOFF) {
    Serial.println("Ethernet cable is not connected.");
  }

  // start the server
  server.begin();
  Serial.print("server is at ");
  Serial.println(Ethernet.localIP());

  Wire.begin();

  if (mySensor.begin() == false)
  {
    Serial.println(F("SGP40 not detected. Check connections. Freezing..."));
    while (1)
      ; // Do nothing more
  }

}


void loop() {
  // listen for incoming clients
  EthernetClient client = server.available();
  if (client) {
    Serial.println("new client");
    // an http request ends with a blank line
    boolean currentLineIsBlank = true;
    while (client.connected()) {
      if (client.available()) {
        char c = client.read();
        Serial.write(c);
        // if you've gotten to the end of the line (received a newline
        // character) and the line is blank, the http request has ended,
        // so you can send a reply
        if (c == '\n' && currentLineIsBlank) {
          // send a standard http response header
          client.println("HTTP/1.1 200 OK");
          client.println("Content-Type: text/html");
          client.println("Connection: close");  // the connection will be closed after completion of the response
          client.println("Refresh: 5");  // refresh the page automatically every 5 sec
          client.println();
          client.println("<!DOCTYPE HTML>");
          client.println("<html>");
          clinet.println("VOC Index is");
          client.println("<br />");
          client.println(mySensor.getVOCindex());
          client.println("</html>");
          break;
        }
        if (c == '\n') {
          // you're starting a new line
          currentLineIsBlank = true;
        } else if (c != '\r') {
          // you've gotten a character on the current line
          currentLineIsBlank = false;
        }
      }
    }
    // give the web browser time to receive the data
    delay(1);
    // close the connection:
    client.stop();
    Serial.println("client disconnected");
  }
}

Testing

Okay, time to test it out and see how the air quality changes when we solder! I found that it took a bit of time for the SGP40 to just calibrate to the room's natural VOC level. And there's probably some specific distance that the sensor should sit from the soldering station, but I thought since I sit so close to the fumes, the sensor should be equally close. Turns out, even with the lead free solder, the VOC levels still skyrocketed above the normal VOC numbers.

Project Test

I suppose I'm not surprised; soldering is still introducing new compounds into the air that add to the VOC level. But it was still a good way to build an air quality sensor that can be monitored from anywhere in the building - not just at the soldering station on the serial monitor. And in this case, ethernet was one of the fastest ways to bring this project into the internet space. There are, of course, other ways to build a similar unit, depending on what you have...this could have also been done with a single Ethernet function board and a Qwiic environmental sensor. And of course, there are always ways to make an HTML web server page more spiffy, so that's something to explore too.

My question for you is what other applications might you chose Ethernet over other IoT protocols? When does it serve you best? Comment below, thanks for following along, and happy hacking!

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Arm Opens Innovation Lab in South Africa

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

Arm is opening a new pilot innovation and demonstration (E3)NGAGE lab in partnership with the Cortex Hub, a regional technology incubator located in East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa. The lab will focus on engaging, educating and catalyzing local technology ecosystems while making Arm the computing foundation across the region.

alt text

alt text

Arm will support the current activities of the Cortex Hub Electronics Hardware lab by providing workshops, demos and ecosystem training events that leverage Arm-based tools and resources. The heart of the project, the Electronics Hardware Lab, will also provide opportunities for ecosystem partners like Arduino, Edge Impulse and SparkFun to interact with the developer and startup ecosystems.

The lab will serve as a collaborative space for research and development stakeholders in the region while offering a myriad of Arm-based tools and resources for all categories of learners to explore and gain digital skills. As a platform for demonstrating Arm IP, the lab will allow individuals and groups to directly interact with Arm-based technologies, while facilitating access to products and solutions from Arm’s ecosystem partners.

alt text

In addition to people being able to visit the lab, the Arm team will be providing both in-person and virtual workshops. One such workshop will be working on the image classification of fruits, which uses the SparkFun MicroMod RP2040 Processor Board, the SparkFun Machine Learning Carrier Board, and the Himax CMOS Imaging Camera. The workshop will teach Computer Vision using TinyML and Edge Impulse.

alt text

Through the (E3)NGAGE Learning Challenge, the lab will expand ecosystem awareness of Arm based MCUs and encourage the development of local solutions. It will also help incubate startups and prepare training platforms to familiarize developers with Arm tools, resources, and libraries.

We look forward to hearing more exciting developments from Arm about their new (E3)NGAGE lab and how it fosters creativity and innovation in the local community. Stay informed on all the exciting news and much more by shooting us a tweet @sparkfun, or let us know on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn. If you aren’t already doing so, be sure to follow Arm on their Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter – they also have interesting and inspiring information on their blog!

Read ARM's update on the lab opening here!

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Analog MEMS Mic Check

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

Hello everyone and welcome back to another Friday Product Post here at SparkFun Electronics! We have quite a few products to go over, and to start we are happy to announce a new version of our Analog MEMS Microphone Breakout. This new version replaces the EOL ICS-40180 with a new SPH8878LR5H-1 from Knowles. This new IC makes for a great drop-in replacement and you should see very little change in any project you use it in. Following that, we have our first set of products from our friends at BreadBoard Mates! These products were created as a flexible design aid, primarily to simulate components readouts and meters which would otherwise be cumbersome or demanding on hardware resources for breadboard or electronic development. Now, let's jump in and take a closer look at all of this week's new products!

SparkFun Analog MEMS Microphone Breakout - SPH8878LR5H-1

SparkFun Analog MEMS Microphone Breakout - SPH8878LR5H-1

BOB-19389
$6.95

The SparkFun Analog MEMS Microphone Breakout makes it easy to work with the SPH8878LR5H-1 analog microphone from Knowles. This board features an OpAmp to bring the output of the microphone to a usable level, allowing you to plug directly into an ADC on a microcontroller or something like the SparkFun Spectrum Shield.


TIMI-96

TIMI-96

LCD-19251
$29.95
1

The TIMI-96 is a unique breadboard compatible display development module aimed to speed up and reinvent the way electronic testing, development, and projects are carried out in either stand alone, host interfaced, PC tethered, or educational settings.


TIMI to MikroBUS Adapter

TIMI to MikroBUS Adapter

DEV-19257
$9.95

The TIMI to Click Adapter is designed to provide development boards/modules which have a mikroBUS™ Click socket with a MatesBUS interface to directly connect to products such as the TIMI-96. This adapter allows any board that supports the mikroBUS™ Click socket with a MatesBUS interface to connect any TIMI model right to the Raspberry Pi bus.


TIMI to Pi Adapter

TIMI to Pi Adapter

DEV-19258
$14.95

The TIMI to Pi Adapter connects to the Raspberry Pi’s 40 pin interface, breaking out selected pins for use with the MatesBUS. It also features a selector switch, which interrupts the Raspberry Pi’s TX signal to direct the MatesBUS RX signal to the programming header instead. This allows the Pi Adapter to be left connected to the Raspberry Pi when the connected device (such as the TIMI-96) is required to be programmed.


Mates Stand

Mates Stand

PRT-19259
$21.95

The Mates Stand offers a simple connection for a MatesBUS compatible device, such as the TIMI-96. It eases development by propping the MatesBus compatible device up on an angle (35 degrees off vertical), aiding development when standing on a desk or bench.


TED-96

TED-96

LCD-19260
$29.95

The TED-96 is the OEM version of the unique TIMI-96 module and is aimed for product integration where TIMI-96 form-factor may not be suited. TED-96 was created to be used in products or projects after development has been done on the TIMI-96 module, where a permanent installation is required. TIMI-96 was designed as a flexible design aid, primarily to simulate components readouts and meters, which would otherwise be cumbersome or demanding on hardware resources for breadboard or electronic development. Simulating component readouts allows accelerated development and retains the often-limited GPIO hardware associated with many developments. TED-96 then steps in after this development has been done for integration into a product.


TED-96 Starter Kit

DEV-19261

This TED-96 is the OEM Kit version of the TIMI-96 module and is aimed for product integration where TIMI-96 form-factor may not be suited. As opposed to the stand-alone version (seen above), this kit also includes a Mates Programmer to get you set up easily!


Mates Programmer

Mates Programmer

PGM-19262
$9.95

The Mates Programmer is a simple USB programmer for all Breadboard Mates products, providing a simple 5-way programming interface and selection option for programming other devices such as “barebones” Arduino (Atmel) processors.


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, Facebook or LinkedIn. 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!

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