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

Phoenard is a great helper for Arduino beginners and pros

When you are just starting to learn electronics or program microcontrollers it is great to have a friend who knows how to do it properly. But hardly everyone can have such babysitter near by so you go to internet and try to surf for best tutorial that would be easy to follow. But Assen – the creator of Phoenard project thought that learning can be really fun with right tools. So he created a cool Arduino compatible gadget that can be used as hand-held gadget for learning prototyping. The gadget is stuffed with lots of features controlled by Atmega2560 microcontroller (Arduino Mega). There is a large color display with touch screen so user could easily interact with programs. Phoenard is intended to have two major purposes – first of all to serve as prototyping platform, where it can be used to build circuits by following visual and audio instructions and then test it by plugging prototyping board to gadget for testing. Once you’re done with prototyping, then you can use it as everyday portable gadget. It can hold thousands of… Continue reading

Arduino makes new turn with Uno and Mega2560

We have some good news in Arduino side. They came up with two new and different Arduino boards – Arduino Uno and Mega2560. These new Arduino boards are somewhat different from those that we are used to see. And probably biggest changes are different approach in converting USB to serial and different bootloader.  First of all USB chip… They decided to get rid of FTDI chip (FT232RL) and used Atmega8u2 chip instead that gives even more power when dealing with USB. By default chip is configured to work as USB to serial converter, but there is an option to turn Arduino into different USB device like mouse, keyboard or MIDI device. So these are good news. Bad news are that using atmega8u2 forces to have your own unique product ID and vendor ID – these cost money, while FTDi chips came with their IDs. But this is more important if you want to build your own board – many of them. Anyway there is always an option to get back to FTDI as bootloader doesn’t care how data reaches it.… Continue reading