This guide is for our new TTL serial camera module with NTSC video output. These modules are a nice addition to a microcontroller project when you want to take a photo or control a video stream. The modules have a few features built in, such as the ability to change the brightness/saturation/hue of images, auto-contrast and auto-brightness adjustment, and motion detection.
New from the fine people who have brought us the Beagle Board, we now have a smaller, lighter, but powerful single board linux computer, Beagle Bone! We like this move to a more compact and integrated SBC. For example, there is onboard Ethernet and USB host, as well as a USB client interface (a FTDI chip for shell access). It even comes preloaded with Angstrom Linux on the 4 GB microSD card! Here are some tips and tricks to get your BeagleBone up and running.
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.
Thermocouples are best used for measuring temperatures that can go above 100 degC. This is a bare wires bead-probe which can measure air or surface temperatures. Most inexpensive thermocouples have a vinyl covering which can melt at around 200 degC, this one uses a fiberglass braid so it can be used in high temperature measurements such as heaters and ovens. This is a handy guide which covers thermocouple use including an Arduino library and example code.
This project tutorial will show you how you can convert a console game pad into a USB keyboard mouse for playing games on your PC. The USB game pad can be used with nearly any software, such as a MAME emulator, game, simulation software, or for custom user interfaces. We will also show you how to add an accelerometer to the gamepad for tilt based gaming.
Tilt sensors allow you to detect orientation or inclination. They are small, inexpensive, low-power and easy-to-use. If used properly, they will not wear out. Their simplicitiy makes them popular for toys, gadgets and appliances. This guide will show you how they work, show you how to wire them up, and give you some project ideas.
IR detectors are little microchips with a photocell that are tuned to listen to infrared light. They are almost always used for remote control detection - every TV and DVD player has one of these in the front to listen for the IR signal from the clicker. In this guide we will explain how IR sensors work, how to pull IR codes out of a remote control, and show you how to wire them up to a microcontroller.
A thermistor is a thermal resistor - a resistor that changes its resistance with temperature. Technically, all resistors are thermistors - their resistance changes slightly with temperature - but the change is usually very very small and difficult to measure. Thermistors are made so that the resistance changes drastically with temperature so that it can be 100 ohms or more of change per degree! This guide will teach you how thermistors work, and how to wire them up and use them with your favorite microcontroller.
The TSL2561 luminosity sensor is an advanced digital light sensor, ideal for use in a wide range of light situations. Compared to low-cost CdS cells, this sensor is more precise, allowing for exact lux calculations and can be configured for different gain/timing ranges to detect light ranges from up to 0.1 - 40,000+ Lux on the fly. This guide will show you how this sensor works, and how to use it with your favorite microcontroller.
Once soldered together, the cable plugs between the Pi computer and the Cobbler breakout. The Cobbler can plug into any solderless breadboard (or even a prototyping board like the PermaProto). The Cobbler PCB has all the pins labeled nicely so you can go forth and build circuits without keeping a pin-out printout at your desk. We think this will make it more fun to expand the Pi and build custom circuitry with it.
Now that you've finally got your hands on a Raspberry Pi® , you're probably itching to make some fun embedded computer projects with it. What you need is an add on prototyping Pi Plate from Adafruit, which can snap onto the Pi PCB (and is removable later if you wish) and gives you all sorts of prototyping goodness to make building on top of the Pi super easy.
This is a quick tutorial for our 128x64 and 128x32 pixel monochrome OLED displays. These displays are small, only about 1" diameter, but very readable due to the high contrast of an OLED display. Each OLED display is made of 128x64 or 128x32 individual white OLEDs, each one is turned on or off by the controller chip. Because the display makes its own light, no backlight is required. This reduces the power required to run the OLED and is why the display has such high contrast; we really like this miniature display for its crispness!
Raspberry Pi’s popularity makes things so easy that it is almost scary. I set forth on a simple starter project of having the Pi show me when new GMail messages arrive. After some searching it seems that lots of people are already talking about how to do this and there are some great examples. Michael over at MitchTech had the most ready to go code which I pilfered from. Adafruit's Cobbler Breakout Kit makes the bread board experience even easier with the clearly labeled pins for each of raspi’s GPIOs.