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

DIY real world Gmail notifier

Various event notifiers are becoming more and more popular. So why not to have one for Gmail. Isn’t it a great idea to have a light cube standing on your table and attracting your attention when ever you get email. Physical Gmail notifier consists of three major parts: Software on PC side; Controller hardware; Firmware on controller Controller hardware is nothing more than Arduino board. If you have one, then consider half project to be finished. As output device you can use anything like lights, sounds, etc. In this case there is a simple LED cube used which actually looks cool. Arduino board communicates with PC via serial cable. It’s a simple loop that checks if there is new mail or not.  On computer side a Python scripts is running, which communicates with arduino board via serial port and talks to Gmail server to determine if there is a new mail received. That’s it. If you get lots of emails you can prepare to dance with flashing light 🙂 Continue reading

Arduino LED cube

It seems that Arduino board has strong positions among electronic hobbyists. This makes a good base for various projects that can be prototyped very fast. LED cube is made of 3x3x3=27 LEDs that is not much, but it is still FUN to play with. Full source code is available for compiling and modifying it. Continue reading

Generating sound melodies with Arduino

Want to learn how to generate sound effect or simply play melodies on your microcontroller project? You should read nice series of articles in uchobby where is deep analysis made on how sound can be generated by using limited resources. This time he describes Bit-Banging Sound generating technique with source code example. Bit-bang is simple output toggling at desired frequency. To play a musical note, specific frequencies are needed that are played for a specific amount of time. About other sound generating techniques and comparison read here. Further you can find simple experiments that leads to nice sound wave generation with Arduino board. Continue reading

Open source prototyping platform

Maybe You don’t know much about microcontroller programming, and you do not want to learn much about it but want to give a try on designing something interactive, Arduino projects is what you need. Arduino is an open source and open hardware project of simple prototyping platform. Main purpose of this platform is to make prototyping accessible for artists, designers, hobbyists and other who is interested in creating interactive objects. I like this projects because it makes microcontroller interfacing acceptable for everyone. Arduino boards are based on ATMEL Atmega8 and ATmega168 microcontrollers.   What makes this platform so easy? Programming of Arduino board is made by using Arduino programming language (based on Wiring). Language is very easy to use, because you don’t have to care about microcontroller ports and various includes. You just need to select board pin for specific flashing the LED and then control with simple instructions. Hardware and software needed is available for download freely. All you have to build the board or buy assembled one. Boards come in different modifications with specific periphery functions included like… Continue reading