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

Raspberry Pi based ASTROGUN

This project is a mixture of gaming and electronics. The game is really basic – the player stands and needs to shoot Asteroids that are advancing towards him from any course, before they hit him. There is a mini radar on the screen which displays the location of Asteroids around the player. However, above all the most interesting thing about the project is a HUD which is a display that shows an image overlay on the background.  The gun works on a Raspberry PI along with an IMU card which provides an orientation. Using this info, the PI is able to project out the various elements. The graphics of the game is handled out by a dedicated GPU. The graphics are written using the Pi3D library while the game logic is in python. The display comprises of a beam splitter (along with LCD) which is a special glass having both Trans missive and a reflective surface which is the reason you are able to see the image behind the glass. The project might require some mechanical skills to fit the… Continue reading

Home made 9 DOF IMU

Inertial measurement units (IMU) are commonly used where position, motion information must be processed. It is commonly 9 degrees of freedom (DOF) modules used that include LSM303 3 axis accelerometer and 3 axis magnetometer, ITG-3200 3 axis gyro. These are considered enough for precisely calculating position of board carrying all sensors. Amandaghassaei was working on project where orientation information was needed. So instead of purchasing available board, he built one which saved a bit of money, but mos importantly had all he needed. He included Atmega328p microcontroller which reads all sensor data and then can send it through I serial interface. He made 6 pin header to accept standard FTDI interface module. PCB was fabricated by using milling machine. Milling and soldering was a bit challenging since footprints of both sensor chips are really tiny. Continue reading

Building bicycle pow effects with Arduino and WS2811 strips

POV displays are one great way of getting large images with only few LEDs. Spinning object with LEDs in them you can display messages, graphics and various effects. People like these things on bicycles, because it is fairly easy to build, but most important it makes you look different. Balrog-k1n have shared his bicycle POV implementation. In his project he uses Arduino to send images through six WS2811 LED strips. To give his creation interactive control and sense, he used 6+DoF sensor board which comes with Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetic field sensor and barometer. Not all sensors are used here. In order to change light patterns he used neat method – since there are IMU unit, he can send control signals by taping breaks at different patterns. This doesn’t work 100% reliably, but seems it is enough to do the trick. Continue reading

Learning about accelerometers and gyroscopes

Accelerometers and gyroscopes are commonly used sensors where some sort of balance is needed. Combination of both in one board is called IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit). You will find one on flight controllers, balance modules and in many other areas. If you are going to build something from scratch then you should know some background information on how to interpret readings and how to use them in control. Gadget Gangster have shared pretty good instructable where he explains how to interface IMU device to microcontroller and how to use this data to get desired results. As example he uses Acc_Gyro board with LIS331AL triple axis accelerometer and LPR550AL dual axis gyroscope. He goes through some math while explaining how to determine orientation of IMU using either only accelerometer data or combination with gyroscope readings. Plus gyroscope gives some clue about rotation around one or another axis. SO if you are thinking of building inertial system, you should do your homework and understand hos things work. Continue reading

An Exhilarating Self-Balancing Robot

Amongst the electronic projects, there is nothing to be more exciting than develop a robot, isn’t it? Well, if you have passion on the homebrew robot, then you might be interested on today’s project! Guys, let’s meet this outstanding Self-Balancing Robot! Ok, it seems a little dull to you here, but don’t judge its ability based on the appearance first. For your information, this project will cost you about $350 to build and this cost is covering most of the main and sub components here (Well, if you think that it is too expensive to you, then you should leave it alone, as it’s already the minimal total price!) Arduino Diecimila will be the main board that going to be used in this project, as it has two regulated output and many other features. Beside that, you will need to use the IMU Combo Board from Sparkfun as the IMU sensor, as it’s to be known the best in fine balancing and stability controlling! For the engine part, make sure to put two EMG30 12V 170rpm motors with encoders and… Continue reading