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A fascinating project is currently looking for support over on kickstarter. Phree™ is the world’s first unrestricted, high resolution, write-virtually-anywhere mobile input device. In a nutshell, Phree lets you write, draw, annotate, and express yourself in countless other ways on virtually any surface. Phree in action! So how does it work? According to the developers OTM Technologies:  The patented OTM sensor is a compact 3D laser interferometer. It tracks the relative motion of a nearby surface by measuring the interference signal between a laser ..
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This kickstarter project is well on its way to obtaining the required funding on kickstarter. As the title suggests, the OpenPi is essentially a wireless computer. The aim of the OpenPi is to enable people to more easily create projects like smartphone-controlled appliances, an Internet of Things hub, perhaps even heating controls similar to Google’s Nest. ​ Inside the injection moulded enclosure is a 32 bit ARM-based computer running Linux and supplemented with 512MB RAM, 4GB eMMCstorage and plenty of wireless connectivity. St..
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​What are APIs?  An Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. In short, one API command/code-line can replace a higher number of regular code lines and enable you to program Red Pitaya in a much simpler quicker way. With APIs, the ease of programming a Red Pitaya will be the same as an Arduino. Red Pitaya features such as generate, acquire, digital inputs and digital outputs are implemented with simple API commands. Writing your application on Red Pitaya will be divided in four steps: Writing code,..
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Knowing how to determine the value of a resistor is an important skill for any electronic enthusiast or DIYer. Resistors use the concept of colour codes to signify numbers. These colours are arranged in bands on a resistor, with the position of each band signifying digits, multipliers, tolerance or temperature coefficient depending on the resistor type. Typical resistors have at least two value bands and a multiplier with additional bands being optional.  Tighter tolerance resistors may have three bands for significant figures rather than two, or an..
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There is still time to support the ArduRF wireless electronics development platform on kickstarter.  The board is battery operated and provides long range encrypted radio link capability. According to the designer the objectives are simple: Take the Pain out of Wireless Links True Arduino Compatibility Long Range AES-128 Encrypted Radio Link Battery Powered Operate from a Solar panel The ArduRF-family consists of three designs, each optimized for a different application environment.  These are illustrated below:   via ArduRF – Wirele..
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Check out this cool Youtube video of a Micro Word Clock provided by Daniel Roja. In his own words it is: "A tiny replica of the famous Word Clock, using only an ATmega microcontroller, a DS1307 Real Time Clock and a few passive components to display the time on an 8×8 LED matrix. The letters have been printed onto a transparent sheet and glued over the LEDs to produce a readable time." If you want to recreate this project, the design and firmware files can be found here. Via Micro Word Clock v2. ..
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The purpose of an IP address is to allow a device, be it a Raspberry Pi or an Arduino, to be uniquely identified on a network and to facilitate communication between it and other devices on the network.  IP addresses are used to identify  the source and destination of packets of data that are sent through a network. The Internet Protocol (IP) is a protocol defined by the Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) and is a number assigned to each device participating in a network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication.  IP version 4 (IPv4) and IP version 6 (IPv6) a..
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Several months in the making, this is a fascinating project from johngineer: "The ChronodeVFD is a personal project I’ve been working on for a couple of months. It’s a wristwatch built around the IVL2-7/5 VFD display tube. I originally purchased a few of these tubes to build a standard desk clock, but after playing around with them, I realized I could probably build a wristwatch too. The tube has a number of features which make it more suited than most Soviet-surplus VFDs for this purpose." ChronodeVFD Watch Check out the johngineer blog for more details. ..
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The Touch Board from Bare Conductive is like a supercharged Arduino Leonardo. It can be programmed just like an Arduino, making use of existing code and shields, but also comes with additional libraries and support. However, much more than that, it can also play MP3s and work as a MIDI synthesiser! Using the Touch Board as a Piano   Overview The Touch Board comes pre-programmed with an audio-guide to simplify your Arduino-based projects. The beauty of the board is that it turns any conductive material into a button or distance sensor. By using ..
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Decimal numbers are written with ten different digits ranging from 0 up to 9. After 9, a new column is created to hold the 10 values we've counted and we start again in the first column at 0. This is called the decimal system (or base 10).  However, what would happen if instead of using ten digits we used eight, two, or even sixteen? In electronic engineering, we deal with high and low voltages represented by 0's and 1's.  In this situation instead of using a decimal system, a more useful number system to use would be binary or base 2.   To help simpl..
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Although its campaign has finished on indiegogo, the the Axiom Beta Digital Cinema Camera is still accepting donations. The camera is open source and in the words of the makers it is "a professional digital image capturing platform for filmmakers, by filmmakers". The plan behind the development of Axiom is to democratize camera technology by creating high end tools that are fully independent of any of the big established camera corporations.     It comes with the following specifications: 4K Resolution with large image sensor diameter for cine..
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Electronics can be divided into two broad categories: Analog and Digital. Analog Electronics In analog or analogue electronics, an electronic signal is used in its original form. The signal being referred to is a time-varying “quantity” which conveys some sort of information. In electrical engineering the quantity that’s time-varying is usually voltage (if not current).  So when we talk about signals, its typically a voltage that’s changing over time. The sound of someone's voice speaking into a microphone is an analog signal (wave) which is conver..
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This project has already been funded on indiegogo, but it is still worth supporting. The creators are developing an open-source digital temperature and humidity sensor for Raspberry Pi that works using the serial port. The goal is to make an easy-to-use professional-grade alternative to the common DHT-22, which, according to the creators falls short on repeatability and user-friendliness. As they say: "Air temperature and relative humidity are very common parameters that need to be measured. We've been using the well-known DHT22 but we find it very innacurate as well as unstable". The E..
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Electric Imp makes it easy to add Internet connectivity to your hardware. The name takes its inspiration from the Interface Message Processor (IMP) which in effect was an early version of the routers we have today.  Although Electric Imp at first glance appears nothing more than an SD card*, it is actually a WiFi-enabled development platform powered by a Cortex-M3 processor core which gives great performance combined with low power consumption.  The board also sports 6 I/O - UARTs, I2C, SPI, analog in and out, PWMs, GPIOs, all of which are selectable und..
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So what is all the fuss about the Red Pitaya? and what is a Pitaya anyway? To answer the second question first, the Pitaya is the fruit of a cactus, also known as Dragon Fruit.  The Red Pitaya board is an open-source measurement and acquisition tool which has the ability to replace many typically expensive laboratory instruments and works in conjunction with your smartphone, tablet or PC. Check out their video:     The project was developed around a reconfigurable measurement instrument the size of a credit card which employs ..
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