Maker Faire San Mateo 2012
Modern Device is at Maker Faire San Mateo at the San Mateo Event Center from May 19th to the 20th!
Come by and check out our self-designed booth and advanced blinky lights!
Use the discount code MAKERFAIRE for 22% off until the end of the show.
Written by Paul Badger on May 19, 2012 [permalink]
New Fluxamasynth Library
A new version of the Fluxamasynth library is available that uses the Arduino NewSoftwareSerial library to communicate on pin 4, or any other pin you might want to use. This allows easy debugging of a sketch using the TX pin for serial debugging to the computer monitor.
Many thanks to R. (Scott) McGinnis for his hard work on this.
Download it here: http://wiki.moderndevice.com/pmwiki.php?n=MD.ListMethods
Written by Paul Badger on October 01, 2011 [permalink]
PIR sensors and LEDs galore
We just received a new batch of PIR sensors so they're back in stock in the store.
At the same time we picked up a load of super-bright LED's which you
can see on the LEDs page. To celebrate we're giving away 20 packages,
just use code "LED" when you check out, for a free 10 pack of
super-bright LEDs. You can also pick up a bag of 100 LEDs for $10 with
the code "100LEDS", first 20 orders.
$2.50 off for a bag of 10 superbright LEDs (free) use code "LEDS"
$10 off for a bag of 100 LEDs (50% discount) use code "100LEDS"
Written by Paul Badger on August 23, 2011 [permalink]
HMC5883 3-Axis Compass launched.
We haven't had a compass sensor since the chip on our last one went extinct (or at least was unavailable). We spun a board with a late model and very affordable Honeywell 3-Axis HMC5883 chip. It's a three axis chip but only the x & y axis are normally used for a normal compassing function - with the sensor held fairly level. For a tilt-free compass you need to add an accelerometer and then use the information from the Z channel (and some trig) to find the direction vector. The code is pretty simple.
We used our analog accelerometer and were able to configure the compass within about +-7 degrees while tilting it up to 45 degrees up or down. This was without a lot of calibration of the accelerometer so with some trickier math it should be easy to make a compass that is tilt resistant within about 3 or 4 degrees I'm guessing.
We've got two great app notes up on the site and will have some more soon. In the meantime, I'm putting 15 sensors up on the site for free. Just use the code "compass" (all lower case) and the first ten people who check out with one in their cart will get one free. One to a customer please.
Enter code: compass (lower case)
Written by Paul Badger on June 08, 2011 [permalink]
2 Second Arduino Bootloader
The Arduino "write bootloader" option is slow. Why?
When writing the fuses to the AVR for the first time, the bitclock needs to be at ~200KHz.
After that, you can crank the speed all the way up to 4MHz.
The option for this is -B, and it's not particularly well documented; lfmorrison on the AVRdude forums says:
"note that the feature of setting SCK duration is only available in avrdude if you're using an AVRISP with 2.xx firmware. In that case, the SCK duration, in microseconds, is specified after the parameter -B. (eg. -B 1000 would be a request for a bit clock of 1000 microseconds, or 1 millisecond, or a SCK frequency of 1 kHz. The parameter closest to the desired frequency, without exceeding it, will be chosen.)
If you're using version 1.xx firmware, avrdude doesn't know about setting the bitrate. You'd have to either:
1) Use different programming software that does support setting the ISP SCK Duration parameter in version 1.xx of the firmware, or
2) Upgrade the AVRISP firmware to version 2.xx inside AVR Studio first, or
3) Modify the avrdude source code to attempt to adjust the STK500 ISP SCK Duration parameter using the -B command-line option, using the implementation from STK500v2 as a guide. (keeping in mind that the translation from SCK parameter to physical SCK frequency is probably different in the two firmware versions...)"
So we run:
Written by Noah Bedford on October 07, 2010 [permalink]