Expanding Your Horizons … And Your Ports

One frustrating aspect of designing a project around a microcontroller is the realization that you don’t have enough GPIO pins to drive all the all components you want to include. If you are lucky there are larger chips with the same architecture you have chosen (think going from and Arduino Uno to an Arduino Mega)….

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More Phidget Phun

I have been playing with Phidgets more and more lately. Mainly because it is forcing me to go relearn good OOP programming skills, it’s also serving to push me to learn Python. As a hardware guy, it’s always a challenge to get motivated to learn yet another new programming language. But so far, so good….

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Android and Arduino Made Easy

I did a post a while back for Mouser Electronics about controlling an Arduino-based LED strip via a Bluetooth-enabled Android app.  The app had three sliders, each controlling one of the three colors used in an RGB LED strip.  The code necessary to drive the LED light strip on the Arduino side was especially complicated,…

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Fidgeting With Phidgets

I have been playing with, what is for me, a new electronics ecosystem call Phidgets.  After doing some research I found out they have actually been around for over a decade.  In my short time playing with them, they appear to offer a very interesting twist on the open source hardware model.  A twist that…

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Mintduino Schematic v2.0

I was tinkering around with my FTDI Friend today and decided to try it out on my Mintduino from a few years back.  In hooking it up, I noticed a few issues with a previous schematic.  So here is a revised Mintduino schematic.  I am a wannabe fan of Fritzing so I drew it up…

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For The Love Of The Build:  Why I Enjoy Making

In life it’s not the destination that matters, it’s the journey that counts.  Same thing with making.  I enjoy the process, the design more than realizing a final product.  Partially because I enjoy simply learning new skills.  If there was one thing I could change about undergraduate engineering curriculums is I would make them way…

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Microcontrollers, Single Board Computers, and now FPGAs

So you’ve built with microcontrollers like Arduino and the Propeller? Check. Got your feet wet with Single Board Computers like Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone? Done. The next step is Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs)… learn Hardware Description Languages(VHDL and Verilog) … write code to “create” hardware … allow for true parallel sensing and output. Papilo…

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Rise of The Hybrid Board

Microcontrollers.  Single Board Computers (SBC).  Close but not exactly the same.  Microcontrollers tend to be easier to learn and interface with sensors and actuators but at the cost of slower or less processing horsepower.  SBCs offer raw computing power but have a steeper learning curve as they tend to be just credit card in size,…

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Mintduino Schematic

I am a visual guy.  I like schematics.  When I picked up a Mintduino I was disappointed to only find written instructions vice a schematic to help assemble the Mintduino.  And the few schematics I found weren’t clear, didn’t apply to current revision, or where just wrong.  So here is my attempt at a schematic…

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Homebrewed Arduino to Web Datalogger

I’ve been a hardware hacker mostly, and when I write software it is usually low-level code used to control microcontrollers.  But lately I’ve been dabbling in the much more sexy world of web app design.  I’ve been learning (slowly) all the various tools out there including Google’s new Dart language along with the tried and…

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