Category: less is more

Deconstructing Kitty

“Google called, and josh.com needs more cats.”

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So today we look inside these amazing cats that can somehow keep on wavin’ using less than 15 microwatts (!) of power. If you are into either ultra low-power or extreme design-for-manufacture, the you will want to see what is inside of these guys!

“What I can not create with an Arduino, I do not understand”, so we then proceed to recreate a lucky cat under Arduino digital control.

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Make your BeagleBone Black am355x magically turn itself on with the built-in alarm clock

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The am335x ARM chip in the BeagleBone Black has a Real Time Clock hidden inside that you can use to have the board spontaneously turn itself on anytime in the next 100 years.

Here I present a new utility to manage that built-in clock from the Linux command line, and explain how to use it to keep time, shutdown, software power cycle, and more!

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Blinking Blue- Powering a 3.7 volt LED from a 2.4 volt coin cell with a $0.02 charge pump

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Everyone loves blue LEDs and everyone loves coin cell batteries, but if you want to power a blue LED from a coin cell you will need some help. Here is a super-cheap and easy way add a to boost your LED voltage with only an additional capacitor & diode, and a little software.

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Capacitive Coupling Casestudy: Programming The Public Radio without removing it from its sealed shipping box

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You’ve probably heard about the refreshingly simple Public Radio (TPR). There is no tuning knob needed since your TPR magically knows your favorite station straight out of the box.

Like most magic, this illusion of simplicity involves a lot of work behind the scenes. Each TPR has to be custom programmed by hand, assembled, and then lovingly packed before being shipped to your door. If only there was a way to program an assembled TPR without opening the sealed box…

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Bigger is better: Build an Arduino-powered monster scrolling LED sign for about $15 a foot

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Would you do with a massive full color animated LED display? How about…

  • Read your Tweets in giant 140 char gulps from a block away
  • Add English sub-titles to the Eiffel Tower
  • Display a live-updating, 45 digit long countdown of the number of atoms left in the known universe

What if you could build the display however long you needed it, for only about $15/foot?

What if it was really easy to build and used everyone’s favorite low cost micro-controller so you could easily change the software to do whatever you wanted?

Well you can! Read on for details and perfunctory video!

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Parallel Processing Arduino Style – Make Massive NeoPixel Displays With Nanoscale Concurrent Computing

We’ve already seen that it is possible to drive thousands of WS2812B NeoPixels with a lowly Arduino using careful bit-banging. But what if we could bang out 8 bits at a time rather than sending them single file? Could it be possible to drive 8 times as many strings (or get 8 times the refresh rate) from our Arduino by processing bits in parallel? It would be like having a tiny pipelined GPU render engine inside our Arduino!

Read on to find out the results of a quick proof-of-concept test!….

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