Electrifying ideas, grounded in the field

I’m still working on the flying cars, but you will find lots of stuff about electronics, firmware and the interesting finds I make as a consultant.

Projects and tutorial series in the sidebar to the right, latest posts below. Enjoy!

 

Eclipse saves my ass and the day
Eclipse saves my ass and the day

It started with the best of intentions, as these things are wont to do. What had begun as a test script, nothing more than the stub of an eventual server side implementation to catch data coming in from an embedded device, was quickly morphing into an actual project. Hm… getting serious and valuable: time to…

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Extending the life of a cell connected IoT device
Extending the life of a cell connected IoT device

How do we maximize the useful lifetime of our battery powered, cell connected, IoT device? The obvious answer is to sleep and conserve power as much as possible but there are a few ways of doing this when dealing with M2M networks, like NB-IoT and LTE Cat M1, each with its own advantages and trade-offs….

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Device Druid v3 Beta Now Available
Device Druid v3 Beta Now Available

Operating your Arduino project has never been sweeter.  Version 3 of device druid is out in beta and you can try it out to give a little feedback on what’s awesome and what needs a bit of work.  The new Druid Builder requires no installation, as its now available online, and the client is smoother…

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Simplifying Assembly: Open Source Manual Pick & Place Assistance

Building prototypes is fun but can be a huge time sink.  Hunting around on the board–how many 10k resistors are there? where is R15? ugh. Thankfully, Colin O’Flynn created an program to help you while you’re acting as a meatbag pick and place machine.  MeatbagPnP is a python application that takes generated placement files and…

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Powering your breadboard: Options, Reviews and Caveats
Powering your breadboard: Options, Reviews and Caveats

Though most of my projects wind up with their own regulators on-board, the breadboard is the go-to of choice when it’s time to just try something out.  Since pretty much everything I play with needs juice, this will be a little review of some of the options I’ve used, and what I’ve learned in doing…

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Quick & Easy Attitude and Heading Reference System
Quick & Easy Attitude and Heading Reference System

Though I’d used the Razor 9DoF and a few other IMUs, it’d been a few years since I got to play with an AHRS.  Recently, I got a request to tweak a system using the MPU-9250, a nine-axis (gyro, accelerometer and compass) MEMS device, to see how nicely we could get it to play. I…

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Druid Builder available for Linux
Druid Builder available for Linux

A beta version of Druid Builder, the drag & drop Arduino UI creation app, is now available for Linux. Check out the video for instructions. The linux edition of builder uses Coraline to run the ionic framework app under Linux, while providing access the SQLite and device info using coraline’s plugin system, so in short…

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Coraline: cordova/ionic apps on Linux
Coraline: cordova/ionic apps on Linux

Cordova-ubuntu is dead! Long live Coraline! Though my focus is circuitry and embedded systems, I wind up developing a lot of apps for Android or Windows but also a few for Linux, like device druid.  On this Linux side, I’ve been counting on the Ubuntu support from cordova, but now that I’ve upgraded to 17.x…

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Make: building AVR and Arduino firmware on the command line
Make: building AVR and Arduino firmware on the command line

I’ve had a few requests from visitors to my old (and now defunct) electrons site for the AVR Makefile.  Originally created in 2003, and finally included in the resources for an AVR-related Linux Journal article back in 2005, it turns out it’s still pretty useful so I’m replicating the original Makefile and instructions here, with…

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A dive into the guts of firmware: Getting the FT90x toolchain working with mikroprog for FT90x
A dive into the guts of firmware: Getting the FT90x toolchain working with mikroprog for FT90x

So you’ve got an FT90x–a cool IC that lets you behave as both a USB device and USB host–and you’ve coded for it using the sweet GCC/Eclipse toolchain. Thing is, now you want to burn your shiny new firmware but you planned to use a mikroe mikroprog for FT90x to do the job only to…

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