Turn-key PCB assembly services in prototype quantities or low-volume to mid-volume production runs

Driving SSD1306 based OLED display with DMA library

People love using OLED displays in their projects because they offer better contrast, color depth and different feel from LCD. So there are plenty of OLED display modules ready to be used with microcontroller boards like Arduino. Adafruit also offers great 128×64 SSD1306 based OLED display which has great library for Arduino. But problem is that there are so many Arduino variations with different processor families that using one generic library doesn’t ensure its efficiency. So the guys from grav-corp decided to tweak the library so it would work with Arduino Due much faster because of DMA. Arduino Due is equipped with ARM microcontroller which most of the features aren’t used by standard Arduino library that are initially built for AVR micros. And so the LCD is driven with SPI interface which works well with DMA. With standard library calls to display() function took about 2ms, with new implementation speed quadrupled and speed could be increased even more by rising SPI clock speed. But another main advantage is that using DAM practically frees CPU from writing data to LCD. Once… Continue reading

Ultrasonic virtual screen prototype

People are always looking for new ways of interaction to computer. So far keyboard and mouse are still the most reliable and common way to do so. Of course touch screen is another wide spread method of user input. All of those require physical touch to device in order to enter info. But there are many areas where we would like to manipulate things from distance. Possible applications could be hazardous areas, wet or other places where it would be better to control things, enter information from distance without touching anything. Magiciant have been experimenting with ultrasonic radar based user input. All you need is to draw with pen in the air in front of ultrasonic sensor and information is captured in to computer screen. Hardware setup is accessible to anyone because it is based on popular Arduino DUE, four HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensors and four channel MCP6024 buffer amplifier. Other magic is inside software where Fast Fourier transform does quite a job. Out of four ultrasonic sensors only one sends pulses while all four capture reflection. By combining collected information… Continue reading

DigiX – Powerful Arduino with WiFi

arduino digix

It is hard to recognize the Arduino with the first ones. The times when AVR based Arduinos ruled the world simply gone. Only one thing that is left is its form factor capable of carrying big pile of shields and IDE. Arduino Due some time ago opened the gates to ARM based Arduino. ARM delivers more power, 32-bit architecture and other benefits like more I/Os, USB, DAC and even more. Erik introduces new ultimate Arduino called DigiX. It is fully compatible to Arduino Due but carries some stuff on board. Probably one of excitements is that it includes WiFi. With included libraries it can easily be configured as WEB client or server. Next to it stands RF nRF24L01+ module which allows Mesh networking or simply RF based communications. It can handle multiple wireless sensors and then push all data to the cloud if needed. Among other features there Audio output jack, USB OTG and 99 user programmable I/Os. They also took step further by creating a level shifting shield which makes possible to use 5V based shields on 3.3V arduino… Continue reading

Arduino DUE – an official Arduino with ARM

Arduino obviously helps achieving lots of tasks with minimal knowledge, and hardware needs. Its all there – IDE, compiler, programmer and board. Tons of libraries and shields makes this thing hold strong positions among other platforms. Anyway there are lots of claims that AVR based Arduino many times reaches its limits when speaking of performance, memory and features. When Arduino DUE appeared things is gonna change – at least in some areas. Still same useless IDE and most of libraries but it’s gonna beat this with much higher performance and RAM. Arduino DUE is based on Atmel SAM3X8E ARM Cortex-M3 microcontroller which brings few new features. It carries 54 digital I/O pins where 16 of hem are PWM outputs. 12 analog inputs with 12-bit resolution and DAC outputs that were missing on AVR based Arduino boards. Also there are 4 USARTs, two USB where one is USB 2.0 host. CAN interface, JTAG. Clock speed of 84MHz along with 96KB of SRAM brings a significant increase of performance. And hey – its 32-bit MCU. It is priced at $49 and is… Continue reading