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.
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.
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!
One of the great things about the Raspberry Pi is how everyone starts with same piece of gear. Since the sound cards are identical on every unit it is trivial to load the drivers and play mp3 files. This guide describes how to connect input buttons and play audio files using a Raspberry Pi with Python. We make use of the Adafruit's Pi Cobbler Breakout Kit and the python module RPi.GPIO. If you have not already used the raspberry pi as a input device this guide will show you how to wire the pull-down resistors to the GPIO pins and buttons.
If you want to take your project portable you'll need a battery pack! For beginners, we suggest alkaline batteries, such as the venerable AA or 9V cell, great for making into larger multi-battery packs, easy to find and carry plenty of charge. If you want to go rechargeable to save money and avoid waste, NiMH batteries can often replace alkalines. Eventually, however, you may want to upgrade to the shiniest new technology - rechargeable lithium ion/polymer batteries. In this guide, you will learn all about these batteries, and how to properly use them in your projects.
The most important debugging tool in any E.E.'s toolbox is a trusty multimeter. A multimeter can measure continuity, resistance, voltage and sometimes even current, capacitance, temperature, etc. It's a swiss army knife for geeks! This guide will teach you how measure continuity, resistance, and voltage with a multimeter.
A power supply is a device that supplies power to another device, at a specific voltage level, voltage type and current level. While it sounds simple, power supplies have a lot of little hang-ups that can be very tricky for the uninitiated. This tutorial will try to help explain all about power supplies.
Teaching the raspberry pi how to read analog inputs is easier than you think. The Pi does not include a hardware analog to digital converter, but a external chip can be used along with some bit banged SPI code in python to control read external analog devies such as (but not limited to): - potentiometer - photocell - force sensitive resistor ( fsr ) - temperature sensor