Showing posts with label Electronics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Electronics. Show all posts

Monday, March 2, 2015

Spark Electron

The Spark Electron:
"The Electron is a tiny development kit for creating cellular-connected electronics projects and products. It comes with a SIM card and an affordable data plan for low-bandwidth things. 
Imagine a cellular-connected Arduino, but with a more powerful processor and a SIM card. It also comes with Spark's development tools and cloud platform for managing and interacting with your new connected hardware."

- STM32F205 ARM Cortex M3 microcontroller
- 1MB Flash, 128K RAM
- Cellular modem: U-Blox SARA U-series (3G) or G-series (2G)
- 36 pins total: 28 GPIOs (D0-D13, A0-A13), plus TX/RX, 2 GNDs, VIN, VBAT, WKP, 3V3, RST
- Board dimensions: 2.0" x 0.8" x 0.3" (0.5" including headers)
Data plan:
"You don't need 4GB of data for a connected product, and you also don't need to spend $40/mo. We've negotiated global low-cost data plans for low-bandwidth products. Here's the story:
- $2.99/month for 1MB (approx. 20,000 messages per month)
- $0.99/each additional MB
- No contracts"

Thursday, February 26, 2015

K7AGE builds KB3VZL's Field Strength Meter

A neat little project...

"I follow Richard's, KB3VZL, February 2015 QST (page 71) article about building a field strength meter into a DVM. He built the circuit to fit inside a Harbor Freight digital volt meter. You can get these free at Harbor Freight if you have the right coupons.

I also use my new ISO-TIP battery powered soldering iron. 
Three capacitors, two diodes and a pot is all that is needed. Build this on a small perf board and it fits easily inside the meter. 
0.05 uF Cap
470 pF Cap
0.01 Cap
1N34 Diodes, you need 2
50K trim pot
hunk of perf board
connector for antenna"

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Adafruit and Heathkit

Adafruit looks at Heathkit:
"There are not as many people who know about Heathkit now, so when we saw a year ago that something new might be happening with the brand (again) we and many others got very excited. It’s puzzling as to what’s really going on though. 
Maybe our post about this will shed some light on this electronic history mystery which is Heathkit 2014. We hope we find out what the plans are for Heathkit, who owns it now, and if this legendary and loved brand is going to return to the educational electronic market."
Heathkit responds:
"Our friends at Adafruit Industries have been doing some sleuthing, and we agree- it's time for an update. Happily, there's plenty to report. 
Exciting things are happening in the Heathkit labs. We're pleased at the great feedback from our beta-testers on a range of quality products we've been actively developing. As you know, we had hoped to get several of these new products out for the Christmas market, but our team is creating so many new ideas that we've been slowed by the sheer work of creating patents (by law we must file them before we may sell our new products, or even advertise them). We remain hard at work, and as excited as ever to ship finished new products meeting Heathkit's high standards. 
Meanwhile, our team has been expanding. More top-notch technical advisors and advisors have joined the effort, and hand-picked interns have been learning the ropes while earning money for their college degrees. We've been carefully building supply chain relationships to keep quality high and prices low, and exploring exciting partnerships that we look forward to announcing. Our soldering irons remain hot, and are being put to good use. 
We know you're as eager as we are to see the newest Heathkit designs released. (Of course thousands of Heathkit® products are bought and sold each week-- we participate in this market ourselves, and monitor it closely). For any enthusiasts not yet on our Heathkit Insider email list, that list will be the first place that new product availability is announced. Head over to the FAQ section on our official website to learn how to join the mailing list and also to read the answers to Adafruit's questions about Heathkit intellectual property. We look forward to building out this FAQ section as more information becomes public. 
It's been an enormous amount of hard work, but our team has risen to the task. You can be confident that as true Heathkit devotees ourselves, we want nothing more than to honor the legendary name that's graced workbenches and homes for generations. We look forward to providing more news soon. 
Until next time,
The Heathkit Team"

Via reddit and reddit.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

409Shop "Interesting Electronics"

Everything you need for your bench/lab and then some - but not in time for Christmas because of shipping.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

EMF Protection

I ordered two.

Not really.

But that's because I wear one of these.

Again, not really.

Via /r/amateurradio

Friday, October 3, 2014


I can't come up with a single application for this that would make me buy a Tethercell. I still think it is a cool idea.

Remove the AA battery.
Put a AAA battery in the Tethercell.
Place the Tethercell in the device.
Install the app.

Via Uncrate

Monday, August 11, 2014

Universal Converter Box

I ordered one of these from Amazon today. If it had Lightning and RS232, it would be perfect.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Sorry about the lack of posts... I've been busy:

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Gadgets and Gimics

For the most part, I'm not spending money on anything but the essentials, so I won't pony up for these, but I thought they were cool.

First, the Rocketfish™ - 3' Lighted Lightning Charge/Sync Cable. The cable is illuminated along its length. The lights show the flow of the charge - fast as it does the rapid charge, slowing as the charge nears 100%, and turning off when the charge is complete.

I also keep thinking about getting a Raspberry Pi, but since I'm not a Linux guy, I might need this Linux Cheat Sheet Shirt.

Via LifeHacker

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Real Yellow Multimeters

As a follow-up to my yellow multimeter post, Fluke is donating $30K worth of their multimeters to Sparkfun to replace the ones stopped in customs. Talk about turning bad PR into something good. Well played.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Yellow Multimeters

Customs says yellow multimeters infringe on Fluke's trademark, so they won't be allowed in the US. So does this mean we can only have a handful of companies that make multimeters? Fluke's are yellow. Sears sells some red ones. Who gets blue? Green?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

MicroSD Card Microcontroller

Bunnie talks about hacking MicroSD cards:
"An Arduino, with its 8-bit 16 MHz microcontroller, will set you back around $20. A microSD card with several gigabytes of memory and a microcontroller with several times the performance could be purchased for a fraction of the price."

Friday, December 27, 2013

FINsix: Shrinking the Power Brick

FINsix wants to change power adapters by increasing the frequency at which they work:

"4x smaller and 6x lighter than today's adapters
Built-in USB port replaces phone/tablet chargers
Charges laptop and 10W devices simultaneously
Wall plug form factor eliminates bulky AC cable
Only occupies a single socket when plugged in
Compatible with all major laptop brands
Ideal for mobile professionals and students 
Product Description
The FINsix laptop charger is a full-powered AC adapter that is four times smaller and six times lighter than what is typically found on the market today. The reduced size allows for a form factor which plugs directly in to the wall and only consumes the space of one socket. This eliminates the bulky "inline brick" implementation as well as the thick AC-side cord that is commonly found on laptop chargers. Also, with its auxiliary USB port for powering other devices, this adapter replaces your phone and tablet chargers as well."

Via Technology Review via Ace of Spades HQ