SMT Manufacturing – Framed stencils tips & tricks… The1 key benefit of framed stencils is that they are ‘pre-stretched’. Especially with large PCB panels, having the stencil-board-alignment off by even a mm can cause bridges or opens. With DIY stencils, alignment is a pain and takes care by the operator for each pass.
Microtouch – 2.4, make your own “iTouch-like” device! Sure, the latest “iTouchy” gadgets are pretty cool. But who wants a locked down device? Why not build your own touch-screen device, with your own apps, all on open source hardware and using open source tools? OK, it can’t play MP3s, but it does have a 320×240 TFT color display with resistive touch screen, an Atmega32u4 8-bit microcontroller, lithium polymer battery charger, backlight control, micro-SD slot, and a triple-axis accelerometer. Yeah, this is the next big thing and for those of us who like to DIY, you can do a lot of cool stuff with this dev board.
This product is just the Microtouch dev board (preloaded with some demo Apps), and does not include a lithium polymer battery or a microSD card. You will need a lipoly battery with 2-pin JST connector for best performance. It can run straight from USB but due to the charger design, the backlight will be dimmed so it will not appear as bright as with a battery installed. We strongly suggest our medium lipoly but you can substitute another 3.7V cell. A microSD card will be handy if you want to display images, slideshows or animations.
- Atmega32u4 – 32KB of flash, 2.5K of RAM with usb bootloader
- 2.8″ 320×240 16-bit color, TFT display with resistive touch screen
- Lithium polymer battery charging via USB
- 3-axis accelerometer, MMA7544 +-2g to +-8g resolution
- Micro SD card slot
- Battery monitoring, backlight control and on/off switch
Of course, we wouldn’t just leave you with a schematic or datasheet and say ‘good luck’! The designer of the Microtouch (known to us by the code name “Rossum” ) has written a full hardware core operating system and multiple demo apps such as…
- Image viewer built into the hardware core, you can plug in a microSD card with images, slide shows or animations that show up as ‘mini Apps’
- Calibrate Touch-screen
- Doomed a 3D rendering maze
- Accelerate keep the ball in the center of the screen by tilting
- Paint fingerpainting but without the cleanup
- Flip a Reversi game
- Mines like Minesweeper but without the hassle of installing Windows
- 3D Icosohedron controllable by tilting the board
- Pacman a sprite animation demo
- Lattice 3D lattice demo
The Microtouch is powerful and fun but is not meant for microcontroller beginners! If you’re just starting out, we suggest checking out the Arduino to get your feet wet. Once you feel comfy with programming C and programming microcontrollers directly, come back and pick up one of these.
The project is a collaboration between Rossum & Ladyada! For detailed documentation and files, please visit the product page
Here’s a video of version 1.0 (this one is v2.4 and uses a different chip but is pretty much the same functionally) You can see the apps in action!
We are also carrying a lot of accessories for the board, you can see them here.
Here is a short video of a CNC hot wire foam cutter that is being controlled with an AtMega32u4 breakout board. It was programmed using the Arduino IDE by pressing the reset button and clicking on “upload” a second later. I have to make a few more videos providing details. I was surprised at how much the little thing could do; thanks for making such a fun little board.
This looks like a great project…2600 NEWS: HELP US COMPILE THE HACKER CALENDAR…
We’ve got another fun project we hope you’ll like. For the year 2012 – possibly the last year of the world – we’re putting together a special hacker wall calendar, filled with all sorts of awesome pictures of technology compiled by our team of photographers. Old and new tech will be represented, large and small, you name it. We’ve been gathering the best shots for quite some time.
But the pictures are only one part of the hacker calendar. What we’re also doing is compiling historical dates that will be marked throughout its pages. While most calendars are content to let you know only when certain major holidays occur, we intend to provide as complete a guide to milestones in the hacker world as humanly possible.
March 3, 1885 – American Telephone & Telegraph founded?June 3, 1983 – “War Games” released?September 27, 1983 – The GNU Project announced by Richard Stallman?November 17, 1985 – The first issue of “Phrack” released?July 10, 1990 – Electronic Frontier Foundation started?January 21, 2000 – Kevin Mitnick released after five years in captivity?June 2, 2011 – Hacker group LulzSec reveals massive Sony security breach
You get the idea. Anything and everything of interest to the hacker world is fair game as long as it has a specific date. And this is where you can participate.
123D is a free solid modeling software program based on the same Autodesk technology used by millions of designers and engineers worldwide. Not an engineer? No problem, with Autodesk 123D you can design precise and makeable objects using smart tools that let you start with simple shapes and then edit and then tweak them into more complex shapes.
O’Reilly Media just put up its latest book on program embedded devices using the .NET Micro Framework and the Netduino Plus board. If your thinking about trying your hand at .NET it might be a good read for you.
The Internet of Things consists of billions of embedded computers, sensors, and actuators all connected online. If you have basic programming skills, you can use these powerful little devices to create a variety of useful systems. This hands-on guide shows you how to start building your own fun and fascinating projects. All you need is a Netduino Plus, a USB cable, a couple of sensors, an Ethernet connection to the Internet—and your imagination.
The Mosquino is a new Arduino variant, designed to work with much lower-capacity power supplies than the standard USB/7805 5 volts, such as those delivered by solar cells or small batteries. While it isn’t physically shield compatible with the Arduino, it does boast some unique and useful features, such as:
- compatibility with the Arduino toolchain and portable IDE
- power supply shields — effectively giving you multiple, easy-to-swap PSUs while keeping your program and digital circuit hardware intact.
- uses an ATMega644, which provides twice as much program memory as the ’328.
- 3 (three!) Mosquino-compatible shields can be connected at once without stacking, due to redundant pinouts.
- prioritization of power supply (USB > battery).
- FTDI operates from isolated power line, so no draw on circuit when the computer isn’t connected.
- hardware real-time clock and 3 interrupt lines, to encourage event-driven operation and programming.
- 0.1″-grid pinout for shields so you can develop on perfboard.
- still fits in an Altoids tin.
Mosquino is based on the Sanguino design using the Atmel Atmega644PA and family microcontrollers. It turns out the name Sanguino literally translates as “bleeding”! In keeping with the theme, this parasitically-powered board is a “little bloodsucker”. Don’t worry, it doesn’t drink much. (Also, the name Draculino is already used.)
It’s pretty clear a great deal of thought and hard work went into this board, and the result is mighty impressive. You can check out the design and pcb files here or check out the code page here. The Arduino IDE drop-in files and general discussion are on the main page.
Nicely done, Tim!
Software (& Software as a Service) for business and manufacturing – our tips and tricks – Quickbooks… In general, we try to use open source tools as much as possible but one software that we think is worth the investment is a copy of Quickbooks Pro. QB is kind of this terrible, awful, essential software that everyone uses. There’s things its really good at and things that are horrible. Just be aware of the horrible and you should be OK. At first we used Quicken and that was really terrible so we wouldn’t suggest going with that (its not really meant for businesses anyways)…
What is “Ask an engineer”? From the electronics enthusiast to the professional community – “Ask an Engineer” has a little bit of everything for everyone. If you’re a beginner, or a seasoned engineer – stop in and see what we’re up to! We have demos of projects and products we’re working on, we answer your engineering and electronics questions and we have a trivia question + give away each week. Mosfet the cat stops by too. Previous chats can be viewed at http://www.adafruit.com/ask
Did you know we’ve been doing the show since AUGUST of 2009? That’s right, ASK AN ENGINEER has been around for almost two years!
- Visit our new “Ask an Engineer”section on Adafruit at 10pm ET, Saturday nights
- Or visit our Ustream page
- For old schoolers, you can use IRC, you’ll need a Ustream log/pass, check out the Ustream IRC how-tos here and here
- We are #adafruit-industries6796 on IRC server chat1.ustream.tv
- Watch the show with an iPad, iPhone or Android phone!
PART FINDER FRIDAY – Power jacks! These ubiquitous power jacks are excellent for connecting a standard power supply plug to your project. In general the center contact is positive and the outer is negative. Its common for these jacks to have a switch on the ground, so you can disconnect an internal battery or similar when power is plugged in. We use these in nearly every kit!
Whenever I bring my TV-B-Gone out to restaurants, I look suspicious pointing it around. So I embedded the device into a jacket and turned it into a wearable TV silencer. For the switch, I sewed paths of conductive thread that become bridged by the metal zipper pull when it passes by. At the restaurant or bar, all I have to do is unzip my jacket to turn off the TV(s).
The TV-B-Gone kit is what you need! This ultra-high-power, open source kit version of the popular TV-B-Gone is fun to make and even more fun to use. This version can be used in both “North American/Asia” as well as “Europe/UK” areas (basically, the whole world)! This kit comes unassembled with all parts necessary. Tools and batteries are not included. This is a very simple kit and great for people who have never soldered anything before. Tired of all those LCD TVs everywhere? Want a break from advertisements while you’re trying to eat? Want to zap screens from across the street? This turns off (or on) most TVs in the world!
Power: 2 AA batteries (not included)
Output: 2 narrow-beam and 2 wide-beam IR LEDs
Number of TV power codes: 230 total, 115 each for American/Asian and European! You can select which zone you want during kit assembly.
Max distance: v1.2 has double the power, goes 150 ft or more!
This covers pretty much every TV of the following brands, including the latest flat-screens and plasma TVs…
Acer, Admiral, Aiko, Alleron, Anam National, AOC, Apex, Baur, Bell&Howell, Brillian, Bush, Candle, Citizen, Contec, Cony, Crown, Curtis Mathes, Daiwoo, Dimensia, Electrograph, Electrohome, Emerson, Fisher, Fujitsu, Funai, Gateway, GE, Goldstar, Grundig, Grunpy, Hisense, Hitachi, Infinity, JBL, JC Penney, JVC, LG, Logik, Loewe, LXI, Majestic, Magnavox, Marantz, Maxent, Memorex, Mitsubishi, MGA, Montgomery Ward, Motorola, MTC, NEC, Neckermann, NetTV, Nikko, NTC, Otto Versand, Palladium, Panasonic, Philco, Philips, Pioneer, Portland, Proscan, Proton, Pulsar, Pye, Quasar, Quelle, Radio Shack, Realistic, RCA, Samsung, Sampo, Sansui, Sanyo, Scott, Sears, SEI, Sharp, Signature, Simpson, Sinudyne, Sonolor, Sony, Soundesign, Sylviana, Tatung, Teknika, Thompson, Toshiba, Universum, Viewsonic, Wards, White Westinghouse, Zenith
Lastly, be sure to check out our design notes – shows how the devices works!
tinker.it has some fun libraries and minitutorials. Some you may have seen before but either way, its fun to check it out!
Alibaba is facinating, every week there’s something completely new and bizarre. Most people do not even know it’s owned by Yahoo (43% of it). A lot of folks who buy things from China use the site, it connects importers and exporters from more than 240 countries and regions.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba announced its 2010 earnings yesterday. Its revenue rose 43.4 percent to 5.5 billion yuan (US$855 million) and net profit rose 45.1 percent to 1.5 billion yuan (US$226 million).
Analysts said the sales were largely driven by a growing customer base, which increased 30 percent to 61.8 million. In February, Alibaba’s former CEO and chief of operations David Wei resigned to take responsibilities for fraudulent activities of its customers.
Yahoo Inc. CEO Carol Bartz assured analysts the Internet company is making progress in its effort to be “appropriately compensated” for a recent change in its 43 percent stake in Alibaba Group, a leader in China’s rapidly growing online market. Alibaba recently spun off its online payment service without giving Yahoo anything.
Yahoo owns 43 percent of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, which it acquired for $1 billion in 2005. The relationship between the two companies has grown strained since Carol Bartz took the CEO reins at Yahoo two years ago.
Ma’s attempts to repurchase some of Yahoo’s stake in his company have been rebuffed by Bartz.
The companies are currently in negotiations, along with Japan’s Softbank, over how to compensate Yahoo for Alipay, an Alibaba subsidiary that was transferred to a separate entity controlled by Ma in order to meet Chinese regulations relating to foreign ownership.
Since it is figured that Yahoo’s stake in Alibaba accounts for about half of the Silicon Valley company’s market cap, news that such a prize asset was moved without the CEO’s knowledge has raised questions by some about her future.
Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang and CFO Tim Morse were in discussions with key people over fair compensation, the Yahoo executives told investors. There are a lot of “moving parts,” Bartz said, “but we’re making progress.”
“Simply put, very simply put, we believe our disclosure was timely and appropriate,” Bartz said. “We have approached this thoughtfully and methodically.” She added that the company has agreed with Alibaba shareholder Softbank and Alibaba “that none of us are going to discuss the past.”
EBay’s PayPal will no longer be a payment option on a site run by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, a sign that cooperation between the two companies may be cooling.
Alibaba also has its own online payment service Alipay, which dominates the Chinese market. But the service has been involved in a dispute that has threatened to further damage relations between another U.S. Internet company — Yahoo.
Yahoo owns a 43 percent stake in Alibaba. But the value of that investment is at risk of being devalued after Alibaba transferred ownership of Alipay to a company under Alibaba CEO Jack Ma.
Yahoo and Alibaba are currently in talks over how compensation will be provided for the loss of the Alipay business.
Alipay was originally under the ownership of Alibaba Group. New regulatory measures, however, require all online payment services from nonfinanical institutions to be Chinese owned. To meet this requirement, control of Alipay was transferred to a separate Chinese company owned by Alibaba Group CEO Jack Ma.
Ok – so, it sounds like Alibaba (Jack Ma) doesn’t like being owned by Yahoo, he’s tried to buy back the shares of the company but Bartz (Yahoo) said no (it’s 50% of their market cap, they can’t). Alipay was spun off from Alibaba in 2004 and has become the largest payment processor in China. Alipay can’t be owned by a US company (new Chinese regulation) and eBay cannot do the payments for Alibaba, this means all the payments go through a company that Yahoo doesn’t own any more, who owns it? Jack Ma, Alibaba CEO. Incredible. Yahoo’s shares tanked as this was happening, we wonder if that was the plan all along to get Yahoo to sell off Alibaba or eventually be forced to? Will eBay/Paypal spin off a payment company just for China and make sure it’s Chinese owned to compete? This “new” regulation is very handy for Jack, politics!
Any way, we sometimes gets samples and products through AliExpress and Alibaba, so we’re interested in this.
From IEEE Spectrum:
Well, it’s inevitable now. RoboGames obviously needs to add a new event: robot pool. Willow Garage got their PR2 sinking balls as part of a week-long hackathon, and at ICRA, the Germans answered back with a similarly-sized dual arm robot able to pocket five balls in a row.
Thomas Nierhoff, a masters student at Technische Universität München (TUM), used a human-sized mobile robot with dual 7-DOF arms that’s able to manipulate a pool cue similarly to how a human does. A camera above the table tracked the positions of the balls and helped the robot plan its shots, separating each into various difficulty thresholds to help the bot decide which it should take. It managed to nail most of the easier shots about 80% of the time, which isn’t too shabby, and seems like it would probably make it competitive with the PR2.
It’s a shame, then, that Germany is such a long way from California. But wait! It just so happens that there are several PR2s in Germany. And it also just so happens that one of them is right there at TUM, albeit in a different lab. Personally, I don’t see how it would be possible not to set up a friendly little game, and if Rosie wants to get involved too, I’m all for that.
Engineers are transforming innovation from a complex and expensive process into something that can be done at the kitchen table. A new wave of makers and DIY engineers has succeeded in transforming innovation from a complicated and expensive process into a task simple enough to be done on the kitchen table. The tools: ingenious small robots, low-cost 3-D printers, and simple electronic bits that snap together like Legos. With the rise of technology that is creating at-home engineers, the world of prototyping is morphing dramatically. Now, small-scale inventors and industrialists are able to sample, modify, reconfigure, tinker—in short, to innovate—in minutes rather than in months. Here’s how.
@WIREDInsider MAKER CHALLENGE: MAY 30-JUNE 5 !
Do it Yourself! Make something on your own and tweet @WIREDInsider a picture or video of your creation, or post it on facebook.com/wiredinsider. @Adafruit’s Limor Fried and @Etsy will be our guest judges. No purchase necessary and to see full rules, click here.
Have your first 3D project ready for printing in minutes. Tinkercad is a new and faster way of creating designs for your 3D printer. With the help of the latest web technology you can now use a solid modeling CAD directly in your browser. The user interface is designed to get things done fast and to be quick to learn. With only three basic tools you can create a wide range of useful things. Once your project is ready simply download the STL file and start your 3D print.
This looks cool.
Classic. From the website:
Powers of Ten takes us on an adventure in magnitudes. Starting at a picnic by the lakeside in Chicago, this famous film transports us to the outer edges of the universe. Every ten seconds we view the starting point from ten times farther out until our own galaxy is visible only as a speck of light among many others. Returning to Earth with breathtaking speed, we move inward- into the hand of the sleeping picnicker – with ten times more magnification every ten seconds. Our journey ends inside a proton of a carbon atom within a DNA molecule in a white blood cell.
Powers of Ten is a 1968 American documentary short film written and directed by Ray Eames and her husband, Charles Eames, rereleased in 1977. The film depicts the relative scale of the Universe in factors of ten (see also logarithmic scale and order of magnitude). The film is an adaptation of the 1957 book Cosmic View by Kees Boeke, and more recently is the basis of a new book version. Both adaptations, film and book, follow the form of the Boeke original, adding color and photography to the black and white drawings employed by Boeke in his seminal work.
In 1998, “Powers of Ten” was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
Alan writes in…
My wife and kids made this Arduino Cake for me for my birthday, and I
thought you would appreciate it.
(Perhaps this means I have been spending too much time with the Arduino