Yearly Archives: 2014

Using the on-board Real-Time Clock
Using the on-board Real-Time Clock

So you’re programming for a platform with a built-in RTC… cool.  Now what? Most (all?) XMEGA‘s have an on-board real-time clock, some can even be backed-up by a distinct battery (like the xmega256a3bu, shown below) which can be a real time saver (oh, the pun-anity!). The question then becomes how to best use it. I’ve…

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Reliable 3G connections with Huawei E182E/E173s on Raspberry Pi

I just finished a project for which I we needed to connect a raspberry pi to a distant server, over a 3G connection.  The module was to be autonomous–it would be powered on demand and needed to reboot into a consistently usable state to perform its duties. Creating a shield (or “HAT” in Pi terminology)…

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Sweet new features for Druid4Arduino and SerialUI
Sweet new features for Druid4Arduino and SerialUI

New versions of SerialUI and Druid4Arduino have just been released and include some neat new functionality. The two major improvements are: automatic variable/state tracking continuous streaming output Variable state tracking Using SerialUI, you may now specify and label a list of (global) variables.  Each of these will automatically be displayed and refreshed in the druid…

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Why (and how) you should start using XMEGAs
Why (and how) you should start using XMEGAs

I love the Arduino platform, especially for prototyping, and have been playing with the Atmel ATmega chips for a long while.  Once you’ve designed your project, some of the smaller derivatives (like the Ardweeny I’ve mentioned before) are cheap enough to leave embedded everywhere and, in any case, you can always move from an Arduino…

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SerialUI and Druid4Arduino updated

SerialUI, the Arduino serial/terminal user interface, and Druid4Arduino, the automatic GUI for SerialUI-enabled devices, have both been updated and are available for download. SerialUI SerialUI has been expanded to include new functionality, the most important of which are: A “user-presence” callback.  You can now specify a function which will be periodically executed while a user…

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EvoLink: EVO-All datalink library released

Interacting with vehicles can be pretty tough.  Cars are electrically noisy environments and, being powerful and heavy metal machines, a little tricky (read, dangerous) to play with.  Worse, they’re all different!  Even with the advent of the CAN system and standard, manufacturers can be infuriating in their insistance on doing everything in their own particular…

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Bluetooth Low Energy tutorial series (part 1) published.

I’m pleased to announce that the first set of pages for the Bluetooth Smart/Low Energy Tutorial series have been published.  Within, you’ll find a BLE crash course, a DIY BLE module breakout board (including an Eagle library so you can use it in your circuits) and a complete universal bluetooth low energy client program– with…

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What’s the easiest way send files to an Arduino?

There are many instances when it would be nice to be able to send large amounts of data to an Arduino-based device.  A very obvious example is any kind of media player, where you’d like to upload files from your computer, but there’s also sending configuration, whitelists, sets of instructions… there are many cases where…

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Servo-controlled turntable
Servo-controlled turntable

I have an ongoing project that requires a controllable rotating platter and, in order to get sufficient torque and control, I’ve been playing with servo motors to get this working (which is how I fried my faithful little power supply, and wound up needing to construct a new bench supply). To let the small servo…

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Quick Hack: old-school bench power supply

I went out to do a beta demonstration at a client’s office, last Thursday, and brought along the prototype circuit boards as well as a small variable power supply.  As I was setting up and pulled out the power supply–a functional but somewhat shoddy little black box with red and black alligator clips–I remarked that…

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