Category Archives: Aggregated

Experience the “Farmer’s Market” of Vintage Electronics

via Hackaday » » hardware


Normally when you think of a Farmer’s Market, fresh produce grown nearby comes to mind. This experience was similar in that much of the produce was conceived locally, but the goal is to be anything but fresh. I had the opportunity last weekend to attend the final Electronics Flea Market of 2014. I can’t speak for everyone, but there is an obvious affinity for vintage electronics equipment in just about any condition. The people you run into are as interesting as the equipment being swapped, and the social outing tends to continue even after the swap meet closes.

Analog meters Amp and Volt meters Sony rack-mount video cassette equipment If you like to dig $5 scope Vintage radios

Electronics plus

Strolling around there’s a lot of stuff to take in. I was mainly interested in the electronic offerings (specifically bench equipment) but there was everything from a booth selling honey to a gentleman making custom tags for your pet’s collar. The swap meet is located in one of the parking lots of De Anza College of Cupertino, California. You can get in for free, parking cost me $3.

A great old Kodak projector Some type of rack-mount patch boards? another great radio This wasn't the only reel-to-reel I saw DSC_0181 I don't know what a ratiometer is IM-ME, a hacking classic No table necessary HP5216 counter has Nixies for the display, nice! A variety of dials Calculator collector Beowulf cluster waiting to happen?

I wandered about for 40 minutes or so before bumping into [Charles Alexanian]. I had pinged him before my visit as he sometimes has a booth of his own at the swap meet. He’s the one who told me that all the cool stuff is gone by 7am… I was roughly three hours late for that benchmark.

It was great to see that [Charles] wasn’t just swapping equipment. He brought along some show and tell. Here are some vacuum tubes he design and built himself. Most of the raw materials came from leftovers for mass producing other tubes. I’m hoping he’ll write a post for us detailing his fabrication techniques.

[Charles Alexanian] posing with his custom tube Tubes on exhibit along with a few uCs for sale

There’s an after-party

[Charles] and I had a plan to go to St. John’s with some other regulars after the market closed for what are billed as Silicon Valley’s best burgers. I wandered around a bit more to see the rest of the aisles. The sun is vicious so make sure to slather on the sunscreen if you plan to spend some real time digging for deals.

Audio Equipment Enigma machine (kidding of course!) Loose parts Sockets and ICs Resistors and connectors CRT Close view of the CRT Atari 810 Floppy Drives Atari 800 collection More hardcore equipment DSC_0209 DSC_0210 DSC_0211

You never know who you’ll run into

After making the rounds I was sitting on the tailgate of [Charles'] truck when [Windell] of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories spotted me. We had initially met at Maker Faire Bay Area back in May. I didn’t get to mingle with him at the Bring a Hack dinner on that one (looks like [Brian] and [Adam] are making up for that in New York this weekend).

He and [Lenore] asked if I was going to the breakfast afterward and I assumed they meant St. John’s trip previously mentioned. Not so. It seems social outings after the flea market abound as there’s an Engineer’s Breakfast hosted by [Paul Ranko] at Bobbi’s Cafe in Cupertino. [Charles] said he didn’t see a lot of the regular St. John’s attendees anyway so we decided to change plans, but not before one last sweep of the vendor area.

Cellphone bin Calculator Bin Camera bin SLR table Rations? Dated 1962 Art Meters and dials Meter panel

The Engineers’ Breakfast

The patio at Bobbi’s cafe is the gathering spot for a dozen or so engineers after each swap meet. I met [Paul Rako] who took three of the images below but he and I pose in the fourth. Also found in the pictures are [Windell Oskay] and [Lenore Edman], cofounders of EMSL. They later gave me a tour of their lair, which I’ll save for another post.

What a wonderful morning and fantastic adventure. If you do find yourself at the Engineer’s Breakfast next year I recommend the corn beef hash.

Mike Szczys [left] and Paul Rako [right] DSC_0217 DSC_0216 DSC_0215
Filed under: Featured, hardware

Arduino and Bruce Sterling Launching an Open-Source Apartment

via Arduino Blog


Arduino co-founder Massimo Banzi, announced at MakerCon the collaboration between the open-source microcontroller and futurist Bruce Sterling. The Open-Source Apartment will be located in Torino, near Arduino Italian headquarters and it will serve as a test ground for the latest developments from the open source community, being outfitted with furniture from OpenDesk and a variety of hardware creations.
Watch the video below and more details will be available during Maker Faire Rome:

New Product Friday: Leap of Faith

via SparkFun Electronics Blog Posts

We’re back! We not only have a few new products to talk about, but also a video that shows off the new digs a bit more. Trust me, you’ll get tired of the new building really quick. But until then, we’re gonna keep showing it off! Check it.

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The LTC4150 Coulomb Counter Breakout is here to be your odometer for current. If you are wondering: a coulomb is defind as, to put it simply, one amp for one second. This breakout is capable of constantly monitoring the current your sensor is using, is able to add it up, and will give you a pulse each time a given amount of amp-hours have been used. Check the video above for a demonstration.

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For those of you that backed the MicroView Kickstarter, you might have heard about our little (big?) mistake. Currently, we’re shipping out replacements, but for anyone that wants to load a bootloader on their MicroView, we have a simple kit. The MicroView Bootloading Kit contains an Tiny AVR Programmer, hobby knife, resistors, and jumper wires, which is everything needed to get the oh-so-important bootloader on a MicroView. In addition to the kit, we also have a tutorial that explains how to load a bootloader, which is actually a pretty good thing to learn.

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Lastly, we have a new header for the Raspberry Pi B+. The previous header for the GPIO pins was a 2x13, the new one uses a 2x20. It’s your standard shrouded header with notch so you get the orientation right. Use it with the 40-pin ribbon cable.

That’s all folks. Be sure to check back next week, as always of course. We have a few new cool things for all the robotics fans out there. Stay tuned.

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World Maker Faire and PyConUK

via Raspberry Pi

It’s been quiet around Pi Towers lately. Quiet and disquieting, rather like standing in your nan’s best front room when you were a kid and really needing a wee but were too afraid to break the silence. But we have good and exciting reasons for our quietude: we’ve all been busy preparing for two of our biggest events of the year. This weekend the education team is spreading it’s feelers of learning goodness around the world, from the Midlands to East Coast America.


Carrie Anne, Dave and Ben are at PyConUK while Rachel and I, along with James (our Director of Hardware), were beaten with a sock full of oranges until we sobbingly agreed to go to World Maker Faire New York.

The Maker Faire contingent will be joining our friends on the Pimoroni stand, demoing all sorts of goodies both new and old; selling shiny swag; giving out freebies; and talking and talking until we cough our larynxes into our fifteenth cup of Joe (as my American-English dictionary tells me I should call coffee if I want to be street).

2014-09-19 10.31.31

New swag bags! Grab ‘em while they’re hot

Our director of hardware engineering James Adams will be there – he’s giving a talk on What’s next at Raspberry Pi? on [Saturday at 2.30pm according to this / Sunday 2pm according to this] in the NYSCI Auditorium – and Rachel and I will be speaking about digital creativity (details TBA). If you are at Maker Faire do come and visit us. At Maker Faire Bay Area earlier this year it was great to see so many educators and I hope to speak to at least as many in New York. But whatever your interests in Raspberry Pi – from digital creativity to hardware to making stuff (of course!) – we would love to see you.

If you can’t make it to New York, here’s a Q&A Make’s Matt Richardson conducted with James:

Meanwhile in Coventry Carrie Anne, Ben, Dave and Alex are running Python workshops, giving talks about Raspberry Pi in education and chatting to teachers, educators and developers in the Python community.



Raspberry Pi team hard at work

Creative Coders & Designers unite at push.conference Munich

via Arduino Blog


For the third time, next October 10th & 11th, Munich will host push.conference a unique 2-day event for the interactive professional field, uniting the potential and skillset of a new generation of creative coders, interaction designers and creative technologists with the established UX/UI scene. (discount code at the end of this post!)

With a comprehensive and diverse program, the conference lives up to this with 10 headliner talks and 8 inspiring lightning talks from design consultancies, companies and creatives such as Ben Fry (Founder Processing), Lauren McCarthy (Interaction Artist), Mike Tucker (Universal Everything), Josh Carpenter (Virtual Reality Researcher Mozilla), Daniel Burka & Braden Kowitz (Google Ventures), Markus Eckert (Motion Code Magician) and many more.

If you want to get inspired by the great minds on stage, get in touch with enthusiasts of connected fields, meet agencies looking for talents or maybe find your next team members yourself, register to the conference with the Discount Code (early bird fare) for Arduino fans and lasting 2 weeks from now:  pf214ard3x9.




Pololu 5V, 2.5A Step-Down Voltage Regulator D24V25F5

via Pololu - New Products

This small synchronous switching step-down (or buck) regulator takes an input voltage of up to 38 V and efficiently reduces it to 5 V. The board measures only 0.7″ × 0.7″, but it allows a typical continuous output current of up to 2.5 A. Typical efficiencies of 85% to 95% make this regulator well suited for powering moderate loads like sensors or small motors. High efficiencies are maintained at light loads by dynamically changing the switching frequency, and an optional shutdown pin enables a low-power state with a current draw of a few hundred microamps.

Enginursday: These Are Not the Drones You’re Looking For

via SparkFun Electronics Blog Posts

If you’re one of the thousands of hobbyists who flies drones*, develops drones, or uses them (or wants to use them) to solve difficult problems in new and innovative ways, things are about to get much more complicated. The US government is about to enact a legal definition that will eliminate much of the potential of these small, intelligent machines; that is unless you are willing to certify, license, and operate them under many of the same regulations (possibly even more) that full-scale aircraft must follow.

Sound absurd? Read on. And be sure to see the end of the article; there’s still time to make your voice heard.

* Although it’s not entirely accurate, we’re going to follow the popular convention that “drone” describes any pilotless aerial vehicle, large or small, autonomous or remotely-piloted, fixed-wing or rotorcraft, etc.

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UAVs, unmanned or uncrewed aerial vehicles, have been around as long as there have been aircraft, even (by definition) before the Wright Brothers. They’ve performed various minor roles for decades, but as with robotics in general, recent advances in technology have made them an increasingly effective and economical solution for jobs that are “dirty, dull, or dangerous.” In addition to a successful military career, various civilian groups are actively working on UAV systems for science, agriculture, surveying, broadcast, networking, search and rescue, disaster relief, national and private security, and many more roles. (Small consumer drones have also brought unprecedented new capabilities to hobbyists, but we’ll get to that in a bit.)

The US government has known for years that UAVs would have an increasing presence in our skies, and in 2012 Congress passed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act, which among other things, tasked the FAA with integrating UAVs into the National Airspace System (NAS); the complex network of bureaucracy and technology that allows thousands of aircraft to safely traverse the US on a daily basis. This task involves coming up with the brand-new licensing, certification, and operating procedures that will allow UAVs to safely fly alongside other aircraft in the NAS. (Yes, this is a difficult problem.) Even though the Act was made law in 2012, the FAA has been working on this exact problem for years, with input from NASA, the Pentagon, industry groups, and research labs throughout the US. The Act specifies that the FAA must have their rules and procedures in place by September of 2015.

Until then, and for years now, civilian UAVs have existed in a kind of limbo. They were (and are) technically illegal to fly, but due to great interest from the above groups, the FAA put scaffolding in place for a special exception process. Applications were handled on a case-by-case basis, with long waits and uncertain outcomes. The FAA didn’t grant many permits (commercial applicants were flat-out denied unless associated with a government sponsor such as a university), and those that were approved often included expensive stipulations such as chase planes. (I personally worked on a UAV project that ended up leasing a military base just to use the controlled airspace.) But despite the problems, these groups have been waiting a long time for the government to get its act together, and will be happy to finally have official hoops to jump through.

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Adam Meek

But a wild card that nobody saw coming was the recent explosion of consumer and prosumer “smart” model aircraft. These started in the open source world, largely through the efforts of Chris Anderson and his DIY Drones community, and have now found their way (like all good things) to overseas mass production. One can readily find hardware ranging from $50 toys, to $500 platforms capable of lifting (and gyrostabilizing) GoPro cameras, to $1000 systems equipped with First-Person Video (FPV) transmitters that, when paired with video goggles, literally puts you in the driver’s seat. Inexpensive motion sensors and GPS receivers straight out of the smartphone market give these aircraft astonishing “autopilot” capabilities. Anyone can fly one (which for better or worse is a critical point). Gone are the days when flying a radio-controlled helicopter required hours of careful training (after which there would still be a good chance of augering in). These new platforms can maintain a rock-solid hover, follow a preprogrammed path beyond line of sight, and automatically return to the operator if there’s a problem. Think about it: here’s something that has never been seen before, possible only with the latest technology, giving us astonishing capabilities to extend our reach, operable by anyone, and almost unbelievably, affordable. This is the stuff of which revolutions are made.

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Juhan Sonin

And people love them. Martha Stewart wrote a charming essay about her drone. Skilled hobbyists have made more spectacular videos than you can count. And it’s not just fun and games, people soon made more practical use of these inexpensive remote-sensing platforms. Marine biologists flew through and sampled whale spouts. A volunteered drone found a lost elderly hiker. Hobbyist drones have documented government protests in Thailand, a sinkhole that swallowed classic cars, and environmental abuses. And commercial possibilities abound. Realtors use drones to take inexpensive aerial pictures of properties. Drones were used to film skiers in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Disney is considering using drones to create floating outdoor puppets. And a Minnesota brewery humorously used a drone to deliver cases of beer to ice fishers on a frozen lake…

Which is where things started to break down.

The FAA had never forgotten their “no commercial use” mandate, and when stories like this hit CNN, they started sending cease and desist letters to anyone their research turned up. Most (like the above brewery) were let off with a warning. But the FAA did fine a filmmaker (who shot a promotional film for a university) $10,000 for “reckless endangerment”. A judge later overturned that decision, opening the question of whether the FAA ever had the authority to regulate commercial drones in the first place. The FAA has appealed that decision, and the question remains murky (although it will be permanently settled in September of 2015).

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Sam Beebe

There are people besides the FAA who don’t like drones. Privacy advocates, including Supreme Court Justices, have listed drones as a major privacy concern. Reports of quadcopters looking into second-story windows have made the news, and a Colorado town famously considered an ill-advised plan to shoot down any drones wandering into their airspace. (It’s actually a felony to shoot at any aircraft; model or not). Part of this backlash is likely due to police and government interest in UAVs (hobbyists and realtors aren’t the only ones taking advantage of this technology). Several municipalities, such as the state of Hawaii, have been so worried about potential law enforcement abuses that they have effectively banned unmanned aircraft entirely. It’s a shame that in a climate where actual surveilance and privacy threats exist, hobbyist drones, one of the least stealthy platforms around, are being thrown out with the bathwater.

But by far the biggest concern is safety. While the vast majority of UAV hobbyists operate their machines safely, there have been a number of high-profile accidents and near-accidents that don’t help their case. Because “drones” are so newsworthy, even minor incidents become local stories, and serious incidents become national news.

In Australia, an athlete was injured when a drone filming the event crashed into her. (Even if someone flies a drone over a crowd of people without incident, if complaints are filed, operators can be and often are charged with reckless endangerment.) It’s not only people that are being hurt: even after rampant use led them to be banned in National Parks (with jail sentences up to six months), a tourist in Yellowstone National Park recently crashed his quadcopter into a fragile thermal pool, where it remains while officials decide how and if to remove it. And most alarming (and of particular interest to the FAA), there have been multiple incidents where airliners have had close encounters with hobbyist drones while on final approach to airports. Luckily no drones have been ingested by jet engines, with potentially tragic results. But this is exactly the kind of accident that the government is trying to avoid at all costs.

Which brings us back to integrating UAVs into the national airspace.

As part of the larger process, the FAA is currently deciding what constitutes a “model aircraft”, which will not be regulated. Among their recently-released criteria is that a model aircraft is always flown (A) within line-of-sight of the operator, and (B) not for business purposes.

While this definition is perfectly reasonable for a RC hobbyist from several decades ago, it precludes much of the new technology and fascinating possibilities that personal drones have opened up. For example:

  • “Within line-of-sight” negates the First-Person Video (FPV) capabilities that many hobbyist drone platforms offer. It is entirely possible to fly a drone beyond line-of-sight while still having excellent situational awareness. (Onboard camera displays typically incorporate heads-up data on altitude, location, battery state, distance and bearing home, etc.)

  • “Within line-of-sight” also precludes the main advantage of autonomous operation, which is operation without supervision. Obviously one would need to be careful when planning such operations, but even things like (non line-of-sight or unsupervised) agriculture surveys over your own property would not be allowed under the proposed definition.

  • Speaking of agriculture, the “not for business purposes” would preclude this use as well. Per the FAA’s own documentation, you can do this if your crops are grown “for personal enjoyment”, but not if they’re part of a commercial operation. Even if you’re flying over your own property. They’re that serious.

  • The “not for business purposes” clause also leads to ridiculous situations, such as it being illegal to demonstrate RC aerobatics for compensation (per the FAA’s own documentation.) Presumably it’s also illegal to get paid to teach someone to fly. How about people who post flying videos on YouTube that receive monetization? Can SparkFun shoot a video that has a drone in it? What about AVC prizes?

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Jeff Warren / Steve Joyce

It’s important to note that anything which doesn’t fall into the FAA’s unregulated “model aircraft” definition would be regulated. This includes all commercial use, even the most trivial. We will have to wait until 9/2015 to know exactly what this entails, but chances are the requirements will be similar to full-size aircraft, with additional performance certification of command-and-control (C2) and detect-and-avoid (DAA) systems. If that sounds expensive, or inappropriate for a Parrot AR, you’re right. Hopefully they will have provisions for small drones, but will the process be worth it for such simple tasks as taking pictures of real estate?

So what’s the answer?

As you’ve read above, there are a few idiots flying these things around. We can’t have that. But we don’t want to throw out the baby with the bathwater either.

Even though “model aircraft” would be unregulated by the FAA, the FAA still has the authority to press charges in cases of negligence or endangerment. An educational program on responsible piloting, in addition to consequences for violations, could go a long way. This would be similar to the FAA’s past efforts to educate the public that shining laser pointers towards aircraft is (A) not a good idea, and (B) will land you in jail if they catch you.

It’s also clear that the FAA’s current definition of “model aircraft” is too restrictive. In particular, the “no commercial use” clause is misguided. A realtor flying a foam-bodied drone 50' in the air to take a picture of a house is not a threat to the NAS, and the benefit to the larger economy from freely allowing people to do this will likely be higher than the fees collected from those few who choose to take small drones down the commercial regulation path.

Most of all, the FAA’s proposal cuts a brand-new economy off at the knees before it even had a chance to get started. There are thousands of small jobs that small drones can do extremely well, and extremely safely, without having to fly in a risky manner or endanger the NAS. Let’s do them!


By law, the FAA must accept comments on pending rulings. The comment period on the FAA’s definition of “model aircraft” ends on September 23rd. Until then, you can enter your comments at the FAA’s website. The national Academy of Model Aeronautics is another good resource with interpretations of and responses to the above ruling. The AMA has also been instrumental in calling attention to these events.

You can also help by being a responsible drone operator. Learn and follow community RC flying guidelines. Keep your aircraft in good working condition. Don’t fly your aircraft in a risky or alarming manner. Encourage others to do the same. And act as an ambassador to the public; a friendly explanation of what you’re doing (and maybe a peek through the FPV system) goes a long way towards dispelling the “big bad drone” myth too often shown on TV.

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See you up there!

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The Edison is Not a Raspberry Pi

via SparkFun Electronics Blog Posts

A lot of people have been (usually unfavorably) comparing the Edison to single board computers like the Raspberry Pi.

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Let’s do a little A:B comparison, shall we?

Raspberry Pi vs. Edison Feature Comparison
Raspberry Pi B+ Intel Edison
Price $35.95 $74.95*
Video HDMI, Direct LCD, Composite None
Audio Stereo output I2S Out
Flash microSD socket SDIO interface; 4GB onboard flash
Processor 700MHz ARM1176JZF-S 500MHz Dual-core Atom processor;
100MHz Quark MCU
GPIO 27 pins on 0.1" headers 40 pins on 0.4mm mezzanine header
Ethernet 10/100 onboard None
WiFi None Dual-band 802.11 (a/b/g/n)
Bluetooth None Bluetooth 2.1/4.0
USB 4 ports 1 USB-OTG
Other interfaces SPI, UART, I2C SPI, UART, I2C, PWM
Power Consumption 5V * 600mA (~3W) 3.3V - 4.5V @ <1W
Dimensions 85mm x 56mm x 19.5mm 60mm x 29mm x 8mm*

*The above dimensions and prices reflect the Edison with the mini breakout board.

I’ve been watching lots of comment channels regarding the Edison, and I see a lot of people slamming the Edison as compared to the Raspberry Pi over a few of the lines above:

  • lack of USB (“Where am I going to plug in my keyboard and mouse?”)
  • lack of video
  • processor speed
  • cost
  • the I/O connector is impossible to use without an extra board

All five of those points would be valid criticisms if the Edison were a single board computer like the Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi is, and always has been, aimed at providing a low-cost computing terminal that can be deployed to as a teaching tool. Any hardware hackability on the platform has been purely incidental, a bonus feature.

The Edison, on the other hand, is meant to be a deeply embedded IoT computing module. There’s no video because your WiFi enabled robot doesn’t need video. There’s only one USB port because wearables don’t need a keyboard and mouse. The processor speed is lower because for portable applications power consumption is important (and you can see above just how much better the Edison is than the Raspberry Pi on that front).

As for cost, yes, the Edison loses big time, until you add the cost of an SD card, a WiFi dongle, and a Bluetooth dongle. That brings the prices much closer to parity, although still definitely not equal.

Finally, the last point: that connector makes a lot more sense when you stop thinking of this as a competitor to the Raspberry Pi and start thinking of it as a competitor to, say, a bare ARM A9 or A11 SoC. The production requirements for any high-end SoC are pretty brutal: micro BGA packages are pretty unforgiving. Integrating the Edison into a product is much easier, and has the benefit of giving you WiFi and Bluetooth (with and FCC ID!) to boot!

Three other things I want to highlight: the presence of the Quark microcontroller in the Edison, the operating voltage of the Edison, and the size of the Edison. The Raspberry Pi, without adding wireless communications devices, requires ~93 cubic centimeters of volume. The Edison and the mini breakout together require ~14. Footprint wise, the Pi needs ~48 square centimeters to the Edison’s ~17. That’s a pretty serious difference.

The operating voltage of the Edison is perfect for single-cell LiPo operation; it even has a built-in battery charge controller. The Raspberry Pi, on the other hand, requires 5V, so you’ll need some kind of boost circuit or bulky battery pack to power it.

Last but not least, consider the presence of the Quark onboard the Edison. While not supported currently, future software releases from Intel will enable this core, allowing real-time processes to run independently from the Linux core, which can be very important in embedded systems with a high cost of failure. It also ensures that stringent real-time applications can be handled without requiring a real-time Linux kernel.

A much more reasonable comparison might be to stack up the Edison against the Raspberry Pi Compute Module; I’ll leave that as an exercise to the reader.

The final point I’m going to make: the Edison can be used with the Arduino IDE, but you’ll get the most mileage out of it by using other programming methods. However, those other methods (it supports GCC and Python, and Node.js, RTOS and Visual Programming will follow soon) are not for beginners. We will, of course, be adding tutorials, projects and examples soon- especially once our Blocks start to hit the storefront!

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A Proof of Concept Project for the ESP8266

via Hackaday » » hardware


It’s hardly been a month since we first heard of the impossibly cheap WiFi adapter for micros, the ESP8266. Since then orders have slowly been flowing out of ports in China and onto the workbenches of tinkerers around the world. Finally, we have a working project using this module. It might only be a display to show the current weather conditions, but it’s a start, and only a hint of what this module can do.

Since the ESP8266 found its way into the storefronts of the usual distributors, a lot of effort has gone into translating the datasheets both on and the nurdspace wiki. The module does respond to simple AT commands, and with the right bit of code it’s possible to pull a few bits of data off of the Internet.

The code requests data from and displays the current temperature, pressure, and humidity on a small TFT display. The entire thing is powered by just an Arduino, so for anyone wanting a cheap way to put an Arduino project on the Internet, there ‘ya go.

Filed under: Arduino Hacks, hardware

Pololu Carrier with Sharp GP2Y0A60SZLF Analog Distance Sensor 10-150cm, 5V

via Pololu - New Products

The GP2Y0A60SZ distance sensor from Sharp offers a wide detection range of 4″ to 60″ (10 cm to 150 cm) and over twice the sampling rate of our other analog optical distance sensors. The distance is indicated by an analog voltage, so only a single analog input is required to interface with the module. The sensor ships installed on our compact carrier board, which makes it easy to integrate this great sensor into your project, and is configured for 5V mode.

Pololu Carrier with Sharp GP2Y0A60SZLF Analog Distance Sensor 10-150cm, 3V

via Pololu - New Products

The GP2Y0A60SZ distance sensor from Sharp offers a wide detection range of 4″ to 60″ (10 cm to 150 cm) and over twice the sampling rate of our other analog optical distance sensors. The distance is indicated by an analog voltage, so only a single analog input is required to interface with the module. The sensor ships installed on our compact carrier board, which makes it easy to integrate this great sensor into your project, and is configured for 3V mode.

Recap Video from SparkFun’s Trip to IDF

via SparkFun Electronics Blog Posts

A little over a week ago, some representatives from SparkFun hopped on a plane to San Francisco for the Intel Developer Forum. While we were out there, Intel announced their newest creation - the Intel Edison computing platform.

Today we wanted to share some of our highlights from the trip:

If you missed the announcement about the Edison (and the first-round of SparkFun Block add-ons), you can check it out here!

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Gravity Touch bluetooth Glove powered by Arduino Micro

via Arduino Blog


Arduino user Jubeso submitted to our blog an instructable explaining the 10 steps to build an input device for gaming.

The  Gravity Touch bluetooth glove  is specifically designed to interact with augmented reality glasses like the Google Glass, Meta, Moverio BT or with the VR headsets like Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, vrAse, Durovis Dive:

Those new products are amazing and they need new types of input devices. This instructable will describe how to build your own “Gravity Touch bluetooth glove” and I will also give you some tips to build your own Durovis Dive VR headset so that you will be able to enjoy full mobile VR. Because this glove will be of most use for VR game, I have created a Unity3D plugin for Android that handle the communication between your app and the glove. It means that you will be able to use your Gravity Touch glove to interact with your Unity3D VR game.

The Arduino code and the Java class I wrote to handle the communication between the glove and the Android device will also be available so that you will be able to adapt them for your need.


The bill of materials, among other things, contains an Arduino Micro , FreeIMU – an Open Hardware Framework for Orientation and Motion Sensing and 3m of flexible soft electric wire.