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

Celebrating 60th aniversary of magnetic core memory with Arduino shield

Magnetic core memory was used from 1950 to 1970 when IC memories appeared. Simply speaking magnetic core memory consists of ferrite rings and several crossed wires going through them. Depending on current polarity rings can be magnetized one way or another. Depending on magnetized state core can store digital “1” or “0”. Magnetic core memory can retain its state without need of power – in other words it acts as non-volatile storage. Buts its life ended very fast due to obvious reasons – low density, slow and complicated. Faster memories like RAM, HDD, floppy discs took place. Anyway magnetic core memory can still be fun to experiment. So Ben North and Oliver Nash have designed a magnetic core Arduino shield which gives 32 bits to play with. With given shield old meets modern – an USB device with magnetic core memory which actually is very reliable and can perform almost unlimited number of read/write operations. Continue reading

Arduino I/O shield

Arduino board comes with lots of input and output pins that can be used straightaway. Problem is that letting signals go in without any protection may lead to damaged MCU. Another case would be driving higher loads – AVR pin normally can provide ~20mA of current that is too little for driving motors. Obviously there is an additional circuitry needed. Boris have sent us his Arduino I/O shield which expands the limits of bare Arduino I/Os. Shield is equipped with 6 digitally controlled relays, 6 digital inputs and 6 analog inputs. Digital inputs and outputs are equipped with LED status indicators. Its great solution where heavier loads are required. Continue reading

Gameduino – Arduino shield for games

There are many ways of using Arduino. The only limit is your creativity. Developing games is one of great ways of using Aruino. This Gameduino shield has more horsepower than Arduino itself. It is based on FPGA where software CPU (modified J1 CPU) is running at 50MIPS. It is able to perform various graphics (backgrounds, sprites) and 32 channel sound effects that allows programming impressive games. Shield is controlled by Arduino via SPI interface. No need to take care of graphics generation or sprite handling – all is done by shield. VGA output parameters are also impressive – 400×300 screen in 512 colors. It is able to keep track of 256 characters with 4 independent color palettes. Gameduino is open source hardware project, but if you want to get it check out Kickstarter site. Continue reading