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by RobertC. | April 25, 2014 | 9 comments Share Use this URL to share: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google+ Has it been another week already?! It’s Friday, so we have a few new products to talk about, as well as the last and final (for now) Robotics 101 video. Check ‘em both out! This week we also have the final video for the Robotics 101 video series. We decided to revisit the tools section, and expanded it into a second, supplementary video.

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Open Source Visual C++ Class for USB Generic HID Communication Introduction If you've tried to build your own PIC USB devices (perhaps following my earlier tutorial Building a PIC18F USB device) you will have noticed that the Windows host code (based on the Microchip USB stack examples) is far from clear on how to communicate with the device. To make matters easier for people who are not familiar with the intricacy of Windows programming and USB I've created a generic Visual C++ Class which handles all of the device communication issues including the plug and play aspects of device attachment and detachment detection. The generic class is suitable for all types of Generic HID USB devices (including devices using the generic HID protocol based on common microcontrollers supporting USB communication other than the PIC18F). In this article I will cover how to use this class, how the class functions and also give some practical examples of how it can be used to make your own Windows software.

TVout Light Pen Demo Arduino TVout Light Pen Demo focalist: So, here to prove that we can take decades-old technology and re-use it, poorly... The Arduino Light Pen! Another fun little TVout project, I'm now coming up with a few improvements and seeing what kind of interesting and fun uses this little HID blast from the past can give us... I'll be documenting it up shortly, but you really don't get much simpler! Getting Started with PlatformIO and ESP8266 NodeMcu The Arduino editor, while functional, has never been a pinnacle of productivity and usability. PlatformIO has recently been released to bring some much needed improvements to the ecosystem. The IDE is built on top of GitHub's Atom text editor, which provides an excellent extensibility model that the Arduino IDE was sorely missing. The NodeMcu ESP8266 dev board has become an extremely popular choice for an inexpensive wifi enabled microcontroller for IoT projects. Since the hardware is an open standard, they can be bought from a variety of vendors.

Programmable DC Backup Power Supply The uninterruptible power supply was once a standard fixture in the small office/home office as a hedge against losing work when the electrons stop flowing from your AC outlet. Somewhat in decline as computing hardware shifts away from dedicated PCs toward tablets, phones and laptops, the UPS still has a lot of SOHO utility, and off-the-shelf AC units are easy to find. But if your needs run more to keeping the electrons flowing in one direction, then you might want to look at [Kedar Nimbalkar]’s programmable DC backup power system. Built inside a recycled ATX power supply case, [Kedar]’s project is heavy on off-the-shelf components, like a laptop power supply for juice, a buck converter to charge the 12 volt sealed lead acid battery, and a boost converter to raise the output to 19.6 volts.

Is Design Thinking the same as “making”? People often ask me two questions about Design Thinking. First, is the same as making, and second, do I like it. It’s obvious there are similarities and overlaps, and similar ways that they can be implemented well (or not so well). I think design is the key to modern STEM education, but it’s a mistake to think that using Design Thinking methodology is the same as teaching design. Design Thinking gets the “big D, big T” treatment because it’s a methodology invented at the Institute of Design at Stanford University (also known as the with assistance from ideo, a product design and consulting company. Design Thinking, both in its origin and existing implementation in K-12 schools is grounded in product design and end user empathy.

PIC USB Development Board From WFFwiki Since I wanted to do some USB development work with the PIC18F4550 and PIC18F2550 board (for projects like my C64 VICE front-end and Atari joystick adaptor) I needed a USB reference board to develop the software. Initially I ported the Microchip USB stack over to Hi-Tech C18 pro with the help of Richard Stagg. In this article I will show how to make your own USB development board which is pin compatible with the Microchip PICDEM USB FS board. Of course you can just buy the original board direct from Microchip, but building it yourself is a far cheaper option.

LPC2148 ADC Example: Nintendo DS Touch Screen > Using ADC to measure the current X/Y position on a Nintendo DS touch screen Resistive touch screens can be a great way to enable complex user input in your projects inexpensively and with a minimum number of pins. With just four wires you can capture gestures, buttons clicks, constantly track the position of a finger or stylus, and other interesting things. Best of all ... thanks to the success of current touch-enabled devices like the Nintendo DS, there is also a steady supply of inexpensive touch screens available (which is precisely why we've chosen to use the Nintendo DS touch screen as an example). Resistive touch screens operate on the same principle as a simple potentiometer ... you apply 3.3v and GND on opposite ends, and measure the resulting current in between the two on a third pin (using an analog to digital converter). The only difference is that rather than adjusting the resistance by turning a dial, you adjust it by touching a certain part of the screen.

Arduino UNO Tutorial 6 - Rotary Encoder Arduino UNO Tutorial 6 - Rotary Encoder We have written a tutorial for Rotary Encoders using a Microchip microcontroller but now would be a good time to make an Arduino UNO version. With a rotary encoder we have two square wave outputs (A and B) which are 90 degrees out of phase with each other. The number of pulses or steps generated per complete turn varies. The Sparkfun Rotary Encoder has 12 steps but others may have more or less. IMAX B6 50W 5A Charger/Discharger 1-6 Cells (GENUINE) The IMAX B6 is a very advanced charger, able to charge, balance and discharge LiIon, LiPoly, LiFe (A123), NiCd and NiMH batteries. It is microprocessor controlled just like all the best chargers and will balance the indervidual cells in you Li-XX batteries. It will charge from 0.1 to 5.0A and is capable of charging packs up to 6S packs. It features input voltage protection so as not to flatten your car battery at the field and will also storage charge you packs for when you are not using them. You can power it with any power supply delivering from 11~18V so it is very flexible.

A different kind of literacy Aaron and Colleen Graves, the new librarians at Denton High School and Ryan High School, respectively, have been updating their schools’ definitions of “library” one tiny engineering project at a time. Both librarians spent their summer moving shelves, getting rid of periodicals and reference texts and opening up the libraries’ layouts. Then, they began adding maker spaces to their libraries where students can work with robots, build their own and learn programming and coding.

Great site for finding new technology and electronics components for designing projects. by caedicus Dec 12

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