I just received from Sparkfun a few RFM12B wireless modules to experiment with. They’re great…
If you’re designing a data acquisition system with Wheatstone bridge-based sensors to be measured, the easiest (if not cheapest) solution comes from National Instruments in the form of the NI 9237 CompactDAQ module. Boston University’s Rocket Team (http://www.bu.edu/rocket) will be using this guy in upcoming tests this academic year to make sure our static motor data is as precise and repeatable as possible.
I just recently got a good deal on a second-hand Hantek DSO1060 – not the greatest scope in the world at 60MHz bandwidth/2ch/150MS/s (note: sub-nyquist for two channel). However, for what I paid, it was a darn good deal, especially since I don’t have a true DSO with your standard math functions (my main scope is the Tek 2221a, which has both analog and digital modes, where digital has none of the niceties like FFT/multiply/divide).
Coincidentally, I also just found myself building from spare parts, then trying to troubleshoot, a computer that happened to sporadically restart itself with no obvious cause. After loading the bios, then noticing odd case fan behavior where it would spool up and down over and over, then noticing the BIOS reporting highly unstable voltages, I started suspecting the power supply. And out came the DSO1060!
This is going to seem silly to some of you, but I just beat my head over it for 20 unnecessary minutes, so damnit, I’m making a public note. Here’s how to fix errors trying to use ArduinoISP.
I got the USB IR Toy v3 as a free PCB from Dangerous Prototypes a few weeks back, but until recently I haven’t had much time to track down all the parts for it. Given that this is a v3 and not a v2, there isn’t a simple shopping cart of parts at Mouser kicking around. So, I decided to make one!
I’ve been getting great use out of my modded Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories Bulbdial clock (you might remember, I modded it with a touch sensitive strip to turn the display on and off), but it’s been having some problems lately. Because I couldn’t solder to the aluminum tape I previously used, the contacts taped in place were getting loose, causing the clock to flicker on and off. The loose contacts also made functionality very sporadic. The solution was to swap the aluminum strips out with the copper foil I bought a while back from Sparkfun for a whopping $3.
ST Micro in the last few weeks was the first to market with the brand new ARM Cortex-M4 32-bit microcontroller core. The really interesting new feature is the ‘F’ in the name – this is the first low-cost, low-ish-power light duty microcontroller to include a built in, single cycle per instruction 32-bit floating point unit. In typical ST fashion, the development board is awesome – it’s got a built in ST-LINK/V2 programmer and in-circuit debugger on the top half. The bottom half contains the M4 and a host of fun peripherals to play with, including a 3-axis MEMS accelerometer, an audio DAC with class D output driver, a bunch of LEDs, and all GPIOs broken out to .1″ headers.
This may seem tirade-ish, and if so I’m sorry. This was spurred by the story posted here at TUAW. Basically, there’s a little USB pass through dongle that you can buy to eliminate your iPad “not charging” woes. TUAW kind of misses the boat on bothering to explain or understand it, so here’s how it works, in comment-on-the-article form (so read the article first):
A few people asked about this. I’ve seen breadboards with binding posts before, but usually they’re nothing special, just some banana plugs near the board that you can screw a jumper wire into. I wanted something a little more full featured, so I whipped this up.