Monday 28 February 2011

Microsoft .NET Gadgteer

  Microsoft created an interesting hardware development platform. Every connector, button, display, camera... is a single module and with their combination you create application that you want. You use .NET micro framework with C# as you can expect. Let's see how this platform will be used when it becomes available to public.

  What is also interesting is their application that can design a box for your final design with holes for camera, screws etc.

More in the video @ Channel9

Sunday 27 February 2011

Destroyed Xbee & what's inside?

  I hate when that happens. 3 coincidence events that happened together and made small smoke inside the Xbee. Every time make sure that high voltage (~15V) wires on your breadboard are holding tight. If not, they can rip out, they can randomly move and they can itself connect to wrong hole on breadboard with 3.3V power rail.

  Well I cure my angry with even more destroying the Xbee. What's inside? Freescale.. Another hateful coincidence. I hate Freescale chips right now because I'm trying to get them work on Freescale Race Challenge, the slot car competition. They're ... just different.. just not-so-well documented..

  Iside the Xbee is MC13213 HS08 microcontroller with capabilities of ZigBee. 40MHz 8bit MCU with 60kB FLASH and 4kB RAM. The maximum power voltage is 3.4V and since I put 15V in this device, sleep well in the sillicon hea.. no.. HELL!

Friday 25 February 2011

TI's MPS430 LaunchPad

I was forced by curiosity to try these microcontrollers. Since I'm using mainly AVRs in my projects, I was searching for points where this microcontroller can be better. I just read the datasheet and here are the interesting bits:
  • Power consumption - really really small, specialy in deep-sleep modes
  • 16bit core.. that's it.. 16×16bit hardware multiplier as peripheral
  • nice architecture with 16 16bit registers (12 general purporse registers), orthogonal instruction set
  • Vcc and GND pins on the top of PDIP.. easier routing of power wires on the PCBs
  • simple DMA controller!
  • proprietary 2 wire programming
  • bunch of standard peripheral, USARTs, I2C, SPI, PWM, ADC, DAC... depends on chip type
The price is low also. The main issue is, that it's not easily and cheaply obtainable here in Czech Republic.. I hope that this become better in a time.

Sunday 20 February 2011

Ethernet to IR gateway with LM3S6965

Interesting opensource project. This device recieves commands from ethernet and sends them via one of three IR emitters. Sourcecode and hardware design for Eagle is available.

Wednesday 16 February 2011

Eridani developer board with LM3S3651 ARM Cortex-M3 chip

 I like to play with new Cortex M3 developer boards. I use one with LM3S6965 and another with LM3S9B92 which is called Evalbot. This board has also LuminaryMicro/Texas Instruments ARM Cortex M3 chip. The device have preprogrammed bootloader in flash. You don't have to use JTAG. The designer hesitated if he should use the Arduino pin layout - he didn't fortunately :)

Price: $43.00

Sunday 13 February 2011

Valentine blinking heart

My new project is for Valentine day. Heart shaped traces on PCB, SMD parts and ATtiny2313...
I had some inspiration from other projects and put this together with shelf parts. Battery powered.

Wednesday 9 February 2011

Electric circuit simulator java applet - analog, digital

I've found very interesting application. This app allows you to simulate analog signals and also digital logic. But what if you don't have to simulate anything? You can watch and learn from examples in the "Circuits" menu item.

Thursday 3 February 2011

Atmels with touchscreens

Ok, everybody maybe already knows about ladyada's new device called Microtouch.

It's simple device with accelerometer, SD card slot, touchscreen, USB host and li-po charger circuit. It's nice device and I'm looking forward for projects with this device. I like it...

But I want talk about different kit with LCD that I already have and for me is definitely more suitable and maybe could be for you too.

Tuesday 1 February 2011

Reverse engineering digital projective table clock

Today I went shopping and I had to buy this discounted projective clock. Of course not for displaying the time. I never had this type of clock so I followed the first rule of new electronic device: "Don't turn it on, take it apart!" :)