Introducing the MENTA, a portable minty Arduino-compatible project that fits into a common mint tin. We took our super popular Boarduino series, and wrapped it with a prototyping area into a rounded PCB that slots directly into an Altoids-sized metal tin. We included everything you expect to jump-start your project: a DC power adapter with polarity protection, beefy 1 Amp 5V regulator and 250mA 3.3V regulator for 3.3V devices, green power LED, red blinky LED, ISP-6 standard reprogramming header, FTDI interface plug to connect an FTDI Friend or cable and female header so you can plug standard Arduino-compatible shields in. There are four mounting holes if you want to attach it permanently to a box or plate, and a massive prototyping area so you can have the finished project all fit together in a protective box.
The proto-screwshield is the ultimate breakout board for an Arduino. It combines a prototyping shield with a full set of 3.5mm screw terminal blocks. The protoshield part lets you build custom circuitry and then you can easily & securely connect wires and sensors to the terminal blocks. Great for panel mounts, buttons, sensors, enclosures etc.
These LED panels take care of all the work of making a big matrix display. Each panel has six 8x8 red matrix modules, for a 16x24 matrix. The panel has a HT1632C chip on the back with does all the multiplexing work for you and has a 3-pin SPI-like serial interface to talk to it and set LEDs on or off. There are a few extras as well, such as being able to change the brightness of the entire display, or blink the entire display at 1 Hz.
What's better than a single LED? Lots of LEDs! The matrices use a driver chip that does all the heavy lifting for you: They have a built in clock so they multiplex the display. They use constant-current drivers for ultra-bright, consistent color, 1/16 step display dimming, all via a simple I2C interface. Here is a detailed guide showing you how to solder, wire and control the display.
If you have a project with any audio, video, graphics, data logging, etc in it, you'll find that having a removable storage option is essential. Most microcontrollers have extremely limited built-in storage. For example, even the Arduino Mega chip (the Atmega2560) has a mere 4Kbytes of EEPROM storage. There's more flash (256K) but you cant write to it as easily and you have to be careful if you want to store information in flash that you don't overwrite the program itself!
This breakout board is the ultimate companion for the VLSI VS1053B DSP codec chip. The VS1053 can decode a wide variety of audio formats such as MP3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, WMA, MIDI, FLAC, WAV (PCM and ADPCM). It can also be used to record audio in both PCM (WAV) and compressed Ogg Vorbis. You can do all sorts of stuff with the audio as well such as adjusting bass, treble, and volume digitally. There are also 8 GPIO pins that can be used for lighting up small LEDs or reading buttons.
Instead of having a computer that talks thru the Arduino to a chip for programming, instead the Arduino itself programs the chip. This means you can program chips without having a computer involved. The good news about this technique is that it is incredibly fast, you can program chips 10x faster than with a computer and without having to type anything in.
This project is the third revision of the MiniPOV. This version is nearly identical to the last version, MiniPOV2 but uses the serial port (possibly with a USB/Serial converter) instead of a parallel port, for programming. Because the programmer is built into the kit, one does not need a special "microcontroller programmer". This version can be used with PCs (Linux/Unix or Windows) and Macs (running MacOS X and with a USB/serial converter).