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

Amicus is to PIC as Arduino is to AVR

The famous arduino is an open source hardware development platform using Atmel’s AVR microcontrollers. So does Atmel’s number one rival Microchip have an Arduino like gun in their arsenal? As a matter of fact they have, or do they? Like the arduino this open source platform is not owned by the semiconductor company – its for free! Its name? Amicus! Amicus more specifically Amicus 18 is an open source embedded system platform on a single board computer with support for embedded IO and a standard programming language. The free language is a version of Proton Basic from Crownhill and it doesn’t stop there any language compatible with the PIC microcontroller can be used with the Amicus18 board. The goal of the Amicus 18 project is to provide low cost tools that are accessible to professionals, hobbyists and greenhorns in the field of electronics and embedded design. Like the arduino, Amicus also has shield like daughter boards that support options like GPS, Bluetooth, Ethernet and many others that would keep the geek in you wanting for more. Continue reading

Dot Matrix Clock – The Open Source Display

Recently, the open source becomes increasingly popular, especially among the home hobbyists. Many people regarding the open source as the genuine approach to the design, development and distribution of software, which is offering practically accessibility to software’s source code. Some people even consider open source as one of various possible design approaches. Beside that, others might seem it as a critical strategic element of their operations. Before open source became widely adopted, many developers and producers used a variety of phrases to describe the concept. Today, you’re going to have the chance to build a Dot Matrix Clock, which is related with the open source. For your information, the whole project is costing under $150. Here are the characteristics of the Dot Matrix Clock, which as: 40×16 display with two LEDs per pixel giving 1280 LEDs Constant Current LED sink chips (It is to prevent varying brightness problems with the display) PIC 18F4550 microcontroller running off the PLL on a 16 MHz oscillator giving 12MIPS throughput 41-pin high density board to board connector 4 buttons 8-bit parallel bus with CS,… Continue reading