Archive for the ‘IC’ Category

Gameduino Brings Vintage Gaming Back

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

If Kickstarter is nowadays best place to find new (or upcoming) toys to dream about, Gameduino is probably one of the most amazing pieces of hardware I’ve seen hosted there. The shield mounts its own FPGA able of 80ies style graphics and sounds for creating old-school, 8-bit video-games, pre-loaded with numerous sprites and set up for easy connection to a VGA display.

Gameduino is a game adapter for Arduino – or anything else with an SPI interface – built as a single shield that stacks up on top of the Arduino and has plugs for a VGA monitor and stereo speakers.

The sound and graphics are definitely old-school, but thanks to the latest FPGA technology, the sprite capabilities are a step above those in machines from the past.

  • video output is 400×300 pixels in 512 colors
  • all color processed internally at 15-bit precision
  • compatible with any standard VGA monitor (800×600 @ 72Hz)
  • background graphics
    • 512×512 pixel character background
    • 256 characters, each with independent 4 color palette
    • pixel-smooth X-Y wraparound scroll
  • foreground graphics
    • each sprite is 16×16 pixels with per-pixel transparency
    • each sprite can use 256, 16 or 4 colors
    • four-way rotate and flip
    • 96 sprites per scan-line, 1536 texels per line
    • pixel-perfect sprite collision detection
  • audio output is a stereo 12-bit frequency synthesizer
  • 16 independent voices 10-4000 Hz
  • per-voice sine wave or white noise

Have a look at the nice reference poster, its detailed hardware reference or its set of sample programs and library.

support this project on [Kickstarter], via [CrunchGear] [BoingBoing] source [ExCamera]

Heart Spark Logging & Blinking Your Beat

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Sensebridge is a little board that logs up to 61831 heart beats, about 14 hours of data. It is based on a atmega 168, a Real Time Clock, and 512 Kbit EEPROM. And it’s released open source.

The Heart Spark is a heart-shaped pendant which flashes little lights (light emitting diodes, LEDs) in time with your heart beat. A polar chest strap with transmitter (sold separately) is used to measure your heart beat, which is transmitted wirelessly to the pendant. An arduino-compatible circuit captures each beat as it happens and flashes LEDs (later versions will log data to an onboard EEPROM – see below). The pendant is carefully designed to maximize its visual appeal, including symmetry and optionally a high-gloss epoxy coating (as pictured to the right). A CR2032 coin-cell battery provides 8+ hours of battery life. Two small switches on the back allow selection of operating mode:

via [SenseBridge]

 

Accordion Playing Midi Under 100$

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Amazing Accordion sending MIDI under 100$ (instead of 6,699.00$), as [Dmitry Yegorenkov] shares on Arduino Forum and published on GitHub.

I like to play accordion & have a dog. People say dogs are singing with squeezeboxes and some people find it funny. Not for me. I know that my pet hears note harmonics much better then me & suffers from high pitches very much. I could not really practice at home just because of humanennes. That sucks. I like to play accordion. Programmers see cycle here. Let’s get out.

THIS IS IT.
It plays to headphones, produces MIDI output, etc. etc. It costs $6,699.00 on e-bay (buy now offer) on November 17, 2010. In the US I can buy Peugeot Partner for the same price. In Ukraine where i live both are 1/2 times more expensive. For that money i’ll get beautiful device to practice at home and no service centers available within 400Km radius. Weird.

Code and Schematics-ready on [Accordion Mega's Github]

CAN Shield And A MCP2515 Library

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

[DaveAK] shares his latest (uncompleted, never really complete, are they) CAN Shield.

Now I understand that there are a few CAN implementations out there, but the more the merrier, right?

This one uses the MCP2515/MCP2551 chips like most of them do. It has a switchable CS pin so that you can use other SPI shields with it that might have hardwired D10 as CS.  It has a switch to draw power from the CAN Bus if desired, if you wanted to add a WiFi or Bluetooth shield for example.  And for newbies like me it’s an entirely through hole design making it an easy DIY project.

I’ve also written a library that’s a complete implementation of the MCP2515 SPI command set.  It doesn’t yet have any wrappers for filters or masks, but these are all accessible through the read and write commands.  I have a simple Init function that takes a bus speed and clock frequency and calculates out all the necessary bit timing parameters, which makes it pretty straightforward to setup and use.

via [Arduino Forum]

Tutorial: Arduino And The AREF Pin

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Great Tutorial from TronixStuff about the less known Arduino AREF Pin. First: what is resolution?

We measure resolution in the terms of the number of bits of resolution. For example, a 1-bit resolution would only allow two (two to the power of one) values – zero and one. A 2-bit resolution would allow four (two to the power of two) values – zero, one, two and three. If we tried to measure  a five volt range with a two-bit resolution, and the measured voltage was four volts, our ADC would return a value of 3 – as four volts falls between 3.75 and 5V.

What is AREF?

AREF means Analogue REFerence. It allows us to feed the Arduino a reference voltage from an external power supply. For example, if we want to measure voltages with a maximum range of 3.3V, we would feed a nice smooth 3.3V into the AREF pin – perhaps from a voltage regulator IC. Then the each step of the ADC would represent 3.22 millivolts.

Read on this well detailed tutorial via [TronixStuff]

Make Your Own Solenoids And Play XylophoneMake Your Own Solenoids And Play XylophoneMake Your Own Solenoids And Play Xylophone

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

 

[Humberto Evans] and the team at Nerd Kits posted a nice Christmas project about making a xylophone and solenoids triggered by a microcontroller (they share the project).

We’re unlikely to replicate this machining process but the solenoids are another story all together. Starting at about 3:30 you can learn about designing, building, and using these little marvels. They’re basically an electromagnetic cuff with a metal slug in the middle. The solenoid seen above uses a body milled from HDPE and wrapped with magnet wire. The slug in the center is steel, with a few rare-earth magnets at the top. When you run current through the coil it repulses the magnets on the slug, witch then strikes the xylophone key. Using a MOSFET and a protection diode, actuating them is as simple as sending a digital high from your microcontroller of choice.

Via [HackADay] source [NerdKits]

 

 

[Humberto Evans] and the team at Nerd Kits posted a nice Christmas project about making a xylophone and solenoids triggered by a microcontroller (they share the project).

We’re unlikely to replicate this machining process but the solenoids are another story all together. Starting at about 3:30 you can learn about designing, building, and using these little marvels. They’re basically an electromagnetic cuff with a metal slug in the middle. The solenoid seen above uses a body milled from HDPE and wrapped with magnet wire. The slug in the center is steel, with a few rare-earth magnets at the top. When you run current through the coil it repulses the magnets on the slug, witch then strikes the xylophone key. Using a MOSFET and a protection diode, actuating them is as simple as sending a digital high from your microcontroller of choice.

Via [HackADay] source [NerdKits]

 

[Humberto Evans] and the team at Nerd Kits posted a nice Christmas project about making a xylophone and solenoids triggered by a microcontroller (they share the project).

We’re unlikely to replicate this machining process but the solenoids are another story all together. Starting at about 3:30 you can learn about designing, building, and using these little marvels. They’re basically an electromagnetic cuff with a metal slug in the middle. The solenoid seen above uses a body milled from HDPE and wrapped with magnet wire. The slug in the center is steel, with a few rare-earth magnets at the top. When you run current through the coil it repulses the magnets on the slug, witch then strikes the xylophone key. Using a MOSFET and a protection diode, actuating them is as simple as sending a digital high from your microcontroller of choice.

Via [HackADay] source [NerdKits]

 

Tired Of A 10 Bit Res? Hook Up A Better Analog-To-Digital ConverterTired Of A 10 Bit Res? Hook Up A Better Analog-To-Digital ConverterTired Of A 10 Bit Res? Hook Up A Better Analog-To-Digital Converter

Monday, November 29th, 2010

 

[Martin Nawrath] from Lab3, Cologne, made a nice  ADC tutorial based on the 18bit LTC2400:

If the resolution of the Arduino is not enough for your application you have to try it with a better ADC. The LTC2400 gives you a resolution of up to 24 bit at a datarate of 5 samples per seconds  and is quite  simple to connect. With this device you can connect sensors which have only a low output level like thermo couples or force strain gauges. The high sensitivity can make the use of  of an preamp needless.

[Martin Nawrath] from Lab3, Cologne, made a nice ADC tutorial based on the 18bit LTC2400:

If the resolution of the Arduino is not enough for your application you have to try it with a better ADC. The LTC2400 gives you a resolution of up to 24 bit at a datarate of 5 samples per seconds and is quite simple to connect. With this device you can connect sensors which have only a low output level like thermo couples or force strain gauges. The high sensitivity can make the use of of an preamp needless.

 

[Martin Nawrath] from Lab3, Cologne, made a nice  ADC tutorial based on the 18bit LTC2400:

If the resolution of the Arduino is not enough for your application you have to try it with a better ADC. The LTC2400 gives you a resolution of up to 24 bit at a datarate of 5 samples per seconds  and is quite  simple to connect. With this device you can connect sensors which have only a low output level like thermo couples or force strain gauges. The high sensitivity can make the use of  of an preamp needless.

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Optocoupler demystified

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

[tronixstuff], who has wrote a ton of arduino tutorials, has posted a detailed guide to one of the most useful electronic components, used to trigger many low-voltage circuits: the Optocoupler.

It is a small device that allows the transmission of a signal between parts of a circuit while keeping those two parts electrically isolated. How is this so? Inside our typical optocoupler are two things – an LED and a phototransistor. When a current runs through the LED, it switches on  - at which point the phototransitor detects the light and allows another current to flow through it. And then when the LED is off, current cannot flow through the phototransistor. All the while the two currents are completely electrically isolated (when operated within their stated parameters!)

via [TronixStuff]

 

 

 

 

LEGO host for all your prototyping projectsUn modellino LEGO per ospitare tutti i tuoi progetti smanettoni

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

LEGO is probably one of the best protyping tool ever made. The step to make it becoming a nice host for our electronic projects is quite straightforward. Nevertheless I haven’t seen so many projects working as deeper as [hexecute] did. His blog is a wonderful worklog of the experience. He took the effort to translate his posts in english. In his lates post he drives his Super-LEGO-Car with a Nunchuk. Amazing.

more after the break

Un magnifico progetto postato da [Hexecute] sull’utilizzo di prodotti LEGO per ospitare un progetto basato su Arduino, inventando così il gioco più flessibile, divertente e educativo di sempre. I post sul suo Blog sono in Francese ed Inglese, e spaziano dal momento in cui lui ha reperito i materiali fino all’utilizzo di un Nunchuck come controller senza fili.

via [HackADay] source [hexecute]

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PianoDuino (Arduino + Processing + SoundCipher)

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

PianoDuino é um experimento simples que integra Arduino, Processing e uma biblioteca para manipular sons, a SoundCipher. A idéia serviu para experimentar o Multiplexador / Demultiplexador 4051.

[Bruno Soares] created PianoDuino, a very good way to understand how to deal with a multiplexer, Processing anda cool library dealing with sound, SoundCipher.

video and code after the break.

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