Tag Archives: Electronics

The CamJam EduKit – basic electronics for £5!

via Raspberry Pi

Liz: I wasn’t at the Cambridge Raspberry Jam this weekend: I was working in Manchester on Friday, and then became an aunt that evening (congrats Katie and Ben!). It meant I missed a special announcement: so I’ve asked Mike Horne, king of the CamJam organisers, to fill everyone in with this guest post. Over to you, Mike!

From little acorns…

We realised after the May Cambridge Raspberry Jam that we now had a good stock of workshop material, and began to think of ways to use the material away from the Jam. After all, educational material isn’t much good if it isn’t in the hands of people who might use it.

Liz Upton

Liz sells Pis at a previous CamJam. If you want to meet people from the Foundation, the CamJams are the place to be.

At the May Jam, we ran a basic electronics workshop – you know the sort of thing: LEDs, switches and buzzers…and we wondered if we could create a kit with the necessary bits and bobs. People could buy the kits, then download the worksheets and teach themselves.

Around that time, Jamie Mann from The Pi Hut came
to us with the exact same idea – use the CamJam material as the basis for kits. And so, a partnership was formed to bring the idea to fruition. Jamie was in charge of procurement and assembling the kits, Tim would write the worksheets and Mike would test them
out.

Eventually, we came up with a name and the “CamJam EduKit” was born.

CamJam EduKit

The CamJam EduKit is priced at £5 and comes with everything you need to have fun with basic electronics projects, including a project tin to keep it all in! We hope that this low price point will allow the kit to appeal to both families and education.

If it is successful, there will be more kits, the first of which is likely to use sensors to detect temperature, light levels and movement.

We hope that the CamJam EduKits will be used to further the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s educational aims and to get kids started not only with electronics but with Python programming as well.

Profits from the kits are going to be donated to the Cambridge Raspberry Jam, so we can continue to develop our educational programme.

You can buy the EduKit from The Pi Hut via the CamJam site, and you’ll find the accompanying educational material on the same page. All the material is free to download, so if you want to take a look at it beforehand, go right ahead!

Michael Horne (@recantha), Tim Richardson (@geeky_tim)
& Jamie Mann (@ThePiHut)

Custom Nixie Tube PSU is a Lesson in Good PCB Design

via Hackaday» hardware

Nixie HVPSU

[Jan Rychter] was sick and tired of not being able to find the right power supply for his Nixie tube projects, so he decided to design his own. [Jan] started out designing around the MAX1771 (PDF) DC-DC controller, but quickly discovered he was having stability problems. Even after seven board revisions, he was still experiencing uncontrolled behavior. He ended up abandoning the MAX1171 and switching to the Texas Instruments TPS40210. After three more board designs, he finally has something that works for him. [Jan] admits that his design is likely not perfect (could have fooled us!), but he wanted to release it to the world as Open-Source Hardware to give back to the community.

The end result of [Jan's] hard work is a 5cm x 5cm board that generates four separate output voltages from a single 12V source. These include both a 3.3V and 5V output for digital logic as well as a 220V out put for Nixie tubes and a 440V maximum output for dekatrons. The circuit also features several safety features including over-current protection, thermal shutdown, and slow-start. Be sure to check out [Jan's] webpage to view out the schematics and technical information for this awesome circuit.

Need some Nixie tubes to go with that circuit? We know some resources for you to check out. Or you could always just build your own. How can you use this board in your next project?


Filed under: hardware

Custom Nixie Tube PSU is a Lesson in Good PCB Design

via Hackaday» hardware

Nixie HVPSU

[Jan Rychter] was sick and tired of not being able to find the right power supply for his Nixie tube projects, so he decided to design his own. [Jan] started out designing around the MAX1771 (PDF) DC-DC controller, but quickly discovered he was having stability problems. Even after seven board revisions, he was still experiencing uncontrolled behavior. He ended up abandoning the MAX1171 and switching to the Texas Instruments TPS40210. After three more board designs, he finally has something that works for him. [Jan] admits that his design is likely not perfect (could have fooled us!), but he wanted to release it to the world as Open-Source Hardware to give back to the community.

The end result of [Jan's] hard work is a 5cm x 5cm board that generates four separate output voltages from a single 12V source. These include both a 3.3V and 5V output for digital logic as well as a 220V out put for Nixie tubes and a 440V maximum output for dekatrons. The circuit also features several safety features including over-current protection, thermal shutdown, and slow-start. Be sure to check out [Jan's] webpage to view out the schematics and technical information for this awesome circuit.

Need some Nixie tubes to go with that circuit? We know some resources for you to check out. Or you could always just build your own. How can you use this board in your next project?


Filed under: hardware

Getting ready for CES in Las Vegas

via Arduino Blog

Arduino At CES 2014

 

CES  (Consumer Electronics Show) is the exhibition showcasing the latest in consumer technology since 1967 and  hosting previews of products and new product announcements by the most important companies in the industry.

If you want to find Arduino at CES, come and visit us at the Atmel booth (see map ) from 7th to 10th of January 2014.

CES 2014

 

 

MinnowBoard Raises the Bar on Embedded Computing

via MAKE » Tag: open source hardware

minnowboardMinnowboard is a new Open Source microcontroller board that is going after the Raspberry Pi market not by emulating the popular RasPi, but by blowing it out of the water with a four-inch $200 mini PC running Ångström Linux on an Intel Atom CPU.

Read more on MAKE

Testing Batteries for Sulfation

via MAKE » Tag: open source hardware

dapimp-0Uber-maker Mikey Sklar demonstrates how to charge, test, and recover a sealed 12V lead-acid battery from the dumpster, using his Power In My Pocket open source kit. Filed under: Electronics

Read more on MAKE

Announcing the Arno Kit, an Arduino-compatible “Beginner Kit on a Board”

via MAKE » Category: Open source hardware

Arno V1Kevin and Peter Gould from Olympia Circuits started selling their own Arduino-compatible LeOlympia development boards at the various Maker Faires. In the course of demoing and talking to people they recognized the need for something even simpler to get people into the world of programming microcontrollers. The result is the [...]

Read the full article on MAKE

Phoebe is hinting that she wants some LEDs

via Raspberry Pi

Meltwater, who you may know from our forums or from the MagPi, where he’s a regular contributor, has been introducing Phoebe, who celebrates her sixth birthday in February, to electronics engineering. He says:

I’ve been working on producing a RGB LED module to use with the Raspberry Pi, since the bright colours and being able to control something so instant is ideal for playing with. I’m using GPIO, LEDs and Scratch being on the to do list (motors to follow).

 

Anyway, I was writing some notes out for it and Phoebe wanted to help, so she copied the entire page, asking about what each part was (this is before I’ve even shown her the LEDs switched on).  She also drew me a diagram of the circuit they did the other week at school, a “battery”, “tough long wires” and “light bulb” (I think I might have to offer an afternoon there at some point, but is only 1st year).

 

Meltwater attached some photos to the email, and I thought they deserved sharing. Our suspicion is that Phoebe really, really wants some LEDs, and this is a subtle way of getting the message across.

Meltwater’s original notebook scribblings (click to embiggen)…

…and Phoebe’s remarkably faithful copy. A father/daughter trip to the electronics shop for LEDs is coming up this week. Phoebe has said she wants pink ones. (Click to enlarge)

Careers day at Phoebe’s school is going to be a hoot.

I will leave you with Phoebe’s robot; she’s been doing some paper prototyping with Dad. What have you been doing with your kids over the holiday? Mail me if you’ve got something you’d like to share; we love looking at your kids’ projects!

Phoebe’s robot. She says that next she wants to go to the metal shop (B&Q) for parts.

 

Limor Fried Named Entrepreneur of the Year

via MAKE » Category: Open source hardware

limor-fried-adafruit-entrepreneur-of-the-yearEntrepreneur magazine has named Adafruit‘s founder and lead engineer, Limor “Ladyada” Fried, as the Entrepreneur of 2012. A tireless proponent of the open source movement, Limor started Adafruit in her dorm room at MIT in 2005. Today, Adafruit is housed in a 12,000-square-foot industrial space in the SoHo neighborhood of New [...]

Read the full article on MAKE

iPacemaker with Arduino

via Arduino Blog

When we say “there are no limit for  Arduino”, here we have a project,  sent by [ladvine] in wich Arduino meets biomedic tech. The WiFi shield is the real application when they speak about Arduino. There is a long paper about it on this [website] that I suggest to visit to understand more this important project.

iPacemaker is an reprogrammable implant pacemaker with wireless connectivity.
A user friendly embedded web interface helps in changing every parameters of the implantable pacemaker. The important feature is the WiFi alliance complaint hardware which supports every wireless device to establish connection with the IMD. GSM connectivity can be used in absence of WiFi in remote areas helping in Telemetry.
Wireless protection in case of WiFi is enabled through WPA2 security with AES Encryption and Java Web interface which has inherent security capabilities. Shielding the GSM and WiFi antennas helps reduce unwanted patient radiations.

Updated Pulse Sensors in the Maker Shed

via MAKE » Category: Open source hardware

MKPLS1-2The Pulse Sensor is a great way to incorporate biofeedback into your projects. This upgraded version adds amplification and noise reduction allowing for faster, more reliable heartbeat readings.

Read the full article on MAKE

Radio (HPSDR)

via OSHUG

Radio spectrum is a finite resource and it should therefore come as no surprise that radio systems are a particularly hot area of research. Whilst ever more advanced schemes for modulation, digital encoding and spectrum access promise increased efficiency, step upgrades more often than not require new hardware. As has been evidenced in the evolution of mobile telephony from analogue to GSM and 2.5G (GPRS) to 3G, and similarly in the evolution of wireless computer networks. A disruptive development in radio technology promises to change this and to bring an unprecedented flexibility to radio systems, and one similar to that which programming brought to the task of machine computation. Despite, or perhaps due to being at the cutting edge there are a number of open source hardware projects concerned with developing software-defined radio (SDR) technology. As with the earliest developments in radio systems radio amateurs are once again at the forefront, and at this month's meeting we will have a presentation on the comprehensive HPSDR platform.

HPSDR - High Performance Software Defined Radio

HPSDR is an open source (GNU type) hardware and software project intended as the "next generation" software-defined radio for radio amateurs and shortwave listeners. It is being developed by a group of software-defined radio enthusiasts around the world, and in a modular hardware fashion to help promote experimentation by both hardware and software developers.

John Melton has held an amateur radio license since 1984 when he was first licensed as N6LYT while living and working in California, and he was assigned the UK callsign of G0ORX on moving back to the UK. He became interested in developing open source software in 1990 with the launch of AMSAT Oscar 16, an amateur radio satellite with a store and forward messaging payload. He developed an open source software package to communicate with the satellite that ran on Linux (pre 1.0) and subsequently wrote an open source fully automated satellite ground station software package in Java. John has been a software engineer since 1970 when he was employed by Burroughs Corporation, and for the last 14 years he has worked for Sun Microsystems who were acquired by Oracle this year.

slides [PDF]

Open Discussion - Ideas for Future Meetings

Themes, speakers, venues - it's all up for grabs! Have your say and help shape future OSHUG meetings. Offer to present, suggest a speaker or sit quietly until it's time to cross the road to the pub...

Radio (HPSDR)

via OSHUG

Radio spectrum is a finite resource and it should therefore come as no surprise that radio systems are a particularly hot area of research. Whilst ever more advanced schemes for modulation, digital encoding and spectrum access promise increased efficiency, step upgrades more often than not require new hardware. As has been evidenced in the evolution of mobile telephony from analogue to GSM and 2.5G (GPRS) to 3G, and similarly in the evolution of wireless computer networks. A disruptive development in radio technology promises to change this and to bring an unprecedented flexibility to radio systems, and one similar to that which programming brought to the task of machine computation. Despite, or perhaps due to being at the cutting edge there are a number of open source hardware projects concerned with developing software-defined radio (SDR) technology. As with the earliest developments in radio systems radio amateurs are once again at the forefront, and at this month's meeting we will have a presentation on the comprehensive HPSDR platform.

HPSDR - High Performance Software Defined Radio

HPSDR is an open source (GNU type) hardware and software project intended as the "next generation" software-defined radio for radio amateurs and shortwave listeners. It is being developed by a group of software-defined radio enthusiasts around the world, and in a modular hardware fashion to help promote experimentation by both hardware and software developers.

John Melton has held an amateur radio license since 1984 when he was first licensed as N6LYT while living and working in California, and he was assigned the UK callsign of G0ORX on moving back to the UK. He became interested in developing open source software in 1990 with the launch of AMSAT Oscar 16, an amateur radio satellite with a store and forward messaging payload. He developed an open source software package to communicate with the satellite that ran on Linux (pre 1.0) and subsequently wrote an open source fully automated satellite ground station software package in Java. John has been a software engineer since 1970 when he was employed by Burroughs Corporation, and for the last 14 years he has worked for Sun Microsystems who were acquired by Oracle this year.

slides [PDF]

Open Discussion - Ideas for Future Meetings

Themes, speakers, venues - it's all up for grabs! Have your say and help shape future OSHUG meetings. Offer to present, suggest a speaker or sit quietly until it's time to cross the road to the pub...

Arduino: An Open Source Hardware Success Story

via OSHUG

For the third meeting we'll be asking the question "what factors contribute to the success of an open source hardware project?", and using Arduino and derivatives LilyPad Arduino and the concurrency.cc board as the basis for an informal case study

Current Cost Bridge - an Arduino based, hackable consumer device

The Current Cost Bridge was developed using the open-source Arduino platform. The reason for using Arduino, was to speed up the development process of the bridge, allowing for fast prototyping and producing a hackable device

Chris Dalby (twitter) is Lead Software Developer at Current Cost Ltd with over 10 years experience in software development and network infrastructure. Chris joined Current Cost in December 2009 to develop desktop and web based software for the Current Cost monitor range.

Chris Dalby and Paul Downey talking about the Current Cost Bridge from Matt Lucht on Vimeo.

Concurrency.cc - parallel programming for makers and artists

The concurrency.cc project describes itself as "a group of educators and researchers exploring the development of tools that make parallel programming more accessible to more people. Our hope is that concurrency.cc will serve the community of developers surrounding parallel and concurrent languages on the Arduino and other low-cost embedded platforms."

Adam Sampson is a research associate in the field of concurrent programming and complex systems simulation at the University of Kent. He has enjoyed electronics as a hobby ever since being told off for dismantling the family vacuum cleaner as a small child.

Omer Kilic (twitter) is a research student at the University of Kent working on dynamically reconfigurable architectures and embedded systems. He is passionate about the open-source hardware movement and likes tinkering, so much so that he founded TinkerSoc, The University of Kent Tinkering Society

Adam Sampson demonstrates a pair of concurrencyCC devices running an Occam driven LED display from Paul Downey on flickr

Adam Sampson and Omer Kilic talking with Dj Walker-Morgan after #oshug from Matt Lucht on Vimeo.

LilyPad - an Arduino based platform for wearables and e-textiles

The LilyPad Arduino is a microcontroller, plus a set of sewable electronic components designed so they can be put together to create interactive wearables or textiles based artworks. There is quite a range of components such as LEDS, sensors, buzzer, accelerometer and more that can be connected with conductive thread. The board is based on the ATmega168V/328Vand was designed and developed by Leah Buechley and SparkFun Electronics.

Rain Ashford (twitter) is Senior Producer at BBC Learning where she is presently across the BBC's Media Literacy supertopic portal. During her 10 years at the BBC she has developed and produced many of the BBC's high priority sites and online activities. Passionate about technology, she recently started a Women in Technology network for her colleagues to discuss careers, training, raising their profile and encouraging women to look at careers in tech. She previously worked for BBC R&D as a Technologist where she worked on the groundbreaking R&DTV project and the BBC's developer network, BBC Backstage, she's a hardware hacker, coder, artist, gamer and blogger.

Rain Ashford talking about Arduino and open source hardware from Matt Lucht on Vimeo.

Arduino: An Open Source Hardware Success Story

via OSHUG

For the third meeting we'll be asking the question "what factors contribute to the success of an open source hardware project?", and using Arduino and derivatives LilyPad Arduino and the concurrency.cc board as the basis for an informal case study

Current Cost Bridge - an Arduino based, hackable consumer device

The Current Cost Bridge was developed using the open-source Arduino platform. The reason for using Arduino, was to speed up the development process of the bridge, allowing for fast prototyping and producing a hackable device

Chris Dalby (twitter) is Lead Software Developer at Current Cost Ltd with over 10 years experience in software development and network infrastructure. Chris joined Current Cost in December 2009 to develop desktop and web based software for the Current Cost monitor range.

Chris Dalby and Paul Downey talking about the Current Cost Bridge from Matt Lucht on Vimeo.

Concurrency.cc - parallel programming for makers and artists

The concurrency.cc project describes itself as "a group of educators and researchers exploring the development of tools that make parallel programming more accessible to more people. Our hope is that concurrency.cc will serve the community of developers surrounding parallel and concurrent languages on the Arduino and other low-cost embedded platforms."

Adam Sampson is a research associate in the field of concurrent programming and complex systems simulation at the University of Kent. He has enjoyed electronics as a hobby ever since being told off for dismantling the family vacuum cleaner as a small child.

Omer Kilic (twitter) is a research student at the University of Kent working on dynamically reconfigurable architectures and embedded systems. He is passionate about the open-source hardware movement and likes tinkering, so much so that he founded TinkerSoc, The University of Kent Tinkering Society

Adam Sampson demonstrates a pair of concurrencyCC devices running an Occam driven LED display from Paul Downey on flickr

Adam Sampson and Omer Kilic talking with Dj Walker-Morgan after #oshug from Matt Lucht on Vimeo.

LilyPad - an Arduino based platform for wearables and e-textiles

The LilyPad Arduino is a microcontroller, plus a set of sewable electronic components designed so they can be put together to create interactive wearables or textiles based artworks. There is quite a range of components such as LEDS, sensors, buzzer, accelerometer and more that can be connected with conductive thread. The board is based on the ATmega168V/328Vand was designed and developed by Leah Buechley and SparkFun Electronics.

Rain Ashford (twitter) is Senior Producer at BBC Learning where she is presently across the BBC's Media Literacy supertopic portal. During her 10 years at the BBC she has developed and produced many of the BBC's high priority sites and online activities. Passionate about technology, she recently started a Women in Technology network for her colleagues to discuss careers, training, raising their profile and encouraging women to look at careers in tech. She previously worked for BBC R&D as a Technologist where she worked on the groundbreaking R&DTV project and the BBC's developer network, BBC Backstage, she's a hardware hacker, coder, artist, gamer and blogger.

Rain Ashford talking about Arduino and open source hardware from Matt Lucht on Vimeo.