• Samedi, Avril 19, 2014 - 01:30
    Community Corner: This Week in Adafruit’s Community – April 18, 2014

    Featured Adafruit Community Project

    Glen Akins shared this impressive RGB LED matrix project:

    I expanded the RGB LED matrix project from a single 32×32 panel to six panels to form a 24″ by 16″ matrix of 96 by 64 LEDs. That’s 6,144 RGB LEDs or 18,432 individual LED chips. The entire matrix has 12-bit color and a 200Hz refresh rate.

    The video demonstrates seamlessly looping 3D Perlin noise, an audio spectrum analyzer, a generic falling blocks video game, still images, animated GIFs, and a short video clip all running on the BeagleBone Black and being displayed on the 96×64 RGB LED matrix.

    After the demonstration, I turn the panel around and walk through some of the significant parts of the mechanical construction and electronics.

    Complete details on the project including links to the source code and mechanical design can be found on this page of my blog…. (read more)

    There are people making amazing things around the world, are you one of them? Join the 79,278 strong! And check out scores of projects they shared this week after the jump!

    This Week’s Edition of Adafruit’s Electronics Show and Tell!

    From the Google+ Community

    (Note: Google+ login required.)

    cynthia shared: “My experiment of LED studded bracelet without soldering” (read more)

    Matthew W shared his latest light show — give this guy a massive Disney fountain show or something, he’s really creating fun projects! “I just completed the first show on the 5th version of my Arduino Light Show project! Enjoy! To see previous shows, check out the project webpage.” (read more)

    Chris Mellor Google Quick and dirty macro lens mount The lens is held in the

    Chris Mellor shared: “Quick and dirty macro lens mount. The lens is held in the rubber bush. The tape holds the plate to the back of the tablet. Using your fingers you can star the lens a little. Try it and you will see what I mean. Also this way has introduced vignetting but I’m not to concerned about that. Free in Instagram effect. One thing to point out, there were some sharp sticky out bits on the plate. Get your Dremel out and use it.” (read more)

    Jose becerra Google Escaneado de un detalle de una moneda de Euro Usando una

    jose becerra shared: “Scanning a detail of a Euro coin using a BF20 and LinuxCNC.” (read more)

    william foster shared: “make magazine did a article a while back about how to make a knock detecting draw . so all i did was change the code a little. and wire it up. yay!” (read more)

    Alex McNair Google Scissor Repair with Epoxy Had a pair of scissors fail

    Alex McNair shared: “Had a pair of scissors fail – handle ripped through for some reason. I could just buy new scissors BUT NO! Break out the epoxy, build a mold, set the bare tip of the scissor handle, pour dyed epoxy, allow to dry, break away mold, sand and grind to near perfection. Now I’m out several hours and a fair bit of epoxy, but The Man at the scissors store ain’t getting over on me. The Epoxy Man is, but that’s different. ” (read more)

    Community Projects from the Adafruit Blog


    Adam Haile wrote in to share about his Dial-A-Song project: “Much of the inspiration came from They Might Be Giants, who used to leave recordings of their songs on their answering machine, which could be listened to by calling (718) 387-6962. So, I wanted to combine a little of that with a phone tree menu to give the feel of calling in to a phone service to listen to music of your choice. Yes, it’s a little ridiculous, but why else would I be building it. As a way of documenting the project and an extra push to keep working on it, I’m going to be writing up a build log in several parts as the build progresses….” (read more)


    Giles Booth shared a Scratch-a-Sketch Scratch project he created for use with the MaKey-MaKey: “First, draw some arrows and buttons for ‘pen up/down’, ‘colour change’, ‘bigger’ and ‘smaller’ in a very soft pencil on some paper. Draw tracks and wire up the arrows to the cursor keys on the Makey Makey. Pen up/down goes to the spacebar, colour change is S, bigger is W and smaller goes to key A. If you don’t have a Makey Makey, you can still use keys on your computer’s keyboard. The code for Scratch-a-Sketch is here – you can play online in the Flash version if you like, you don’t even need Scratch installed. Unlike a traditional Etch-a-Sketch, you can lift the pen up to move around without drawing, change colour and pen size, and combine keys such as 2 arrow keys to draw decent diagonal lines.” (read more)

    slurry bowl shared a gorgeous multi-NeoPixel-Ring projection project on the Adafruit Forums. (read more)


    Last week, Kevin Osborn showed off the NovaBooth – Open Source Photobooth, and used it to snap a photobooth selfie and email it automatically (along with his contact details!) to Adafruit Support to request an “As seen on Show and Tell” sticker! “…we (the Wyolum Gang) created a photobooth for the Open Hardware Summit, for the purpose of customizing the e-paper badges we made for the conference attendees. This processed the pictures into a small black and white image for the e-paper badge, and saved it onto the badge’s micro-sd card. I was headed to help out at the Northern Virginia Maker Faire, and thought it would be fun to update the photobooth to take full color pictures, upload them to the Internet and offer to email them to friends and relatives. The email message and logo files are easy to add and customize. For basic construction, visit the original post, but download the new software here on github….” (read more)

    Drew Fustini shared: “I thought it would be interesting to plot the readings from a sensor over time on the matrix with different colors representing the magnitude of the reading….” (read more)


    NeoPixel rings on a little quacopter! Thanks Bitcraze! (read more)

    richa1 in the Adafruit forums writes: “This is a variant of the Adafruit Chameleon Scarf that I recently made. I made the color fade and randomly twinkle rather than stay on all the time. I also added a button to restart the color sample sequence as well. To include some motion feedback, I used a Fast Vibration Sensor Switch to increase the number of pixels that go bright when it is triggered. This is using 20 NeoPixles and the wires between them are rather long so that they can be spread out over a larger aria. The color sensor and button are also at the end of a long wire so that they could be placed inside of a fabric sheathe for easy color sampling. This is the same with the last NeoPixle in the chain so you can see the other puffball blink before the color is sampled.” (read more)

    @alissadesigns tweeted this vine of her sparkly tank top made with neopixels! Love it! (read more)

    Adafruit Google+ Community Footer

    Community Corner! Sharing and celebrating the creative community: Show and tell, Ask an Engineer, mailbag, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, “Makers, hackers, artists & engineers. Sharing, learning and celebrating making!

  • Samedi, Avril 19, 2014 - 01:00
    PenguinBot Follows Light, Goes Screech in the Night

    The Arduino Based Penguin Robot
    Ever have one of those weekend that projects take on a life of their own? [Michael] did, and the result is this PenguinBot. While [Michael's] wife was away for the weekend he happened upon a broken toy penguin. The batteries had leaked inside, destroying the contacts. Rather than bin the toy, [Michael] made it awesome by turning it into an autonomous robot. [Michael's] goal was to create a robot that could roam around the house avoiding obstacles, or follow a light source like a flashlight.

    He started by pulling out most of the original electronics. Two dollar store toy trains gave their lives and their motors to replace the penguin’s original drive system. An Arduino Pro Mini became PenguinBot’s brain. Sensors consisted of two light sensing CdS cells, an AdaFruit sound sensor, and a MaxBotix ultrasonic sensor. With the ultrasonic sensor mounted on a servo, it can detect obstacles in any direction. The CdS cells and some software will allow PenguinBot to follow lights, like any good photovore robot should.

    Click past the break to see PenguinBot in action

    The PenguinBot's internals laid out for all to see

    [Michael] did preserve one part of the original toy. PenguinBot still has its sound module. This thing is so obnoxiously noisy it’s awesome. Between the screeching and the random songs, [Michael's] kids don’t have to worry about their new robot penguin sneaking up on them at night.

    PenguinBot’s code is still under development, but the latest version can be downloaded at Github.


    Filed under: robots hacks

  • Samedi, Avril 19, 2014 - 00:41
    NEW PRODUCT – USB Micro-B Breakout Board


    NEW PRODUCT – SB Micro-B Breakout Board: Simple but effective – this breakout board has a USB Micro-B connector, with all 5 pins broken out. Great for pairing with a microcontroller with USB support, or adding USB 5V power to a project.


    We use a micro-AB connector with through-hole shielding pads for an excellent strong connection – it won’t rip off by accident!


    Comes with one fully assembled and tested micro B breakout PCB and a small stick of 0.1″ header so you can solder it on and plug into a breadboard.


    In stock and shipping now!


  • Samedi, Avril 19, 2014 - 00:28
    Magnetically Actuated Micro-Robots for Advanced Manipulation Applications

    SRI is developing new technology to reliably control thousands of micro-robots for smart manufacturing of macro-scale products in compact, integrated systems.

  • Vendredi, Avril 18, 2014 - 23:00
    Female Nightingale Armor from Skyrim

    skyrim female nightingale

    The Nightingales have some of the neatest looking armor in Skyrim, and RPF user Montayva13 has built some from scratch using craft foam. She used some guidance from the forums to print, scale, and assemble the foam templates, and she was surprised at how quickly the work went. She had the torso of the armor done in just about a week.

    …assembling the template was no worries. Especially with some expert advice. I decided to use the thin (2.mm) sheets of craft foam. I started out with the chest, and I feel like this was a good place to start. Within two days of starting this project, it was already coming together quite quickly, and seeing progress like that has kept me quite motivated. I used the regular old hot glue to attach the foam pieces.”

    skyrim armor in progress

    Read more and see more pics at The RPF.

  • Vendredi, Avril 18, 2014 - 22:00
    Low-Power Orientation Tracker and an Optimized Math Library for the MSP430

    MSP430 Orientation Tracker

    Orientation trackers can be used for a ton of different applications: tracking mishandled packages, theft notification of valuables, and navigation are just a few examples! A recent blog post from Texas Instruments discusses how to build a low-cost and low-power orientation tracker with the MSP430.

    Based on the MSP430 LaunchPad and CircuitCo’s Educational BoosterPack, the orientation tracker is very simple to put together. It can also be made wireless using any of the wireless BoosterPacks with a Fuel Tank BoosterPack, or by using the BLE Booster Pack with a built in Lithium Battery circuitry. TI provide all the necessary code and design files in their reference application for getting your orientation tracker up and running. Be sure to see the device in action after the break! This project not only involves building a low-power orientation tracker, but also showcases IQmathLib, a library of optimized fixed point math functions on the MSP430. One of the more challenging aspects of using small MCUs such as the MSP430 or Arduino is how inefficient built in math libraries are. Check out the IQmathLib, it greatly improves upon the built in math functions for the MSP430.

    It would be interesting to see this project modified to be a DIY pedometer or be used on a self-balancing robot. It would also be interesting to see the IQmathLib ported to other micros, such as the Arduino. Take a look and see how you can use this reference design in your own projects!

    Filed under: Microcontrollers

  • Vendredi, Avril 18, 2014 - 21:58
    New Project: Build an Omnidirectional Holonomic Robot from Lego

    Omniwheel from RotacasterHolonomic robots are cool. They move in any direction, they rotate on the spot, they even move while rotating. These unique capabilities of holonomic robots make them very well suited for operating in tight spaces. But holonomic robots are also fun to play with and look at as they move gracefully over […]

    Read more on MAKE

  • Vendredi, Avril 18, 2014 - 21:12
    LeJOS, the Java Operating System for Legos, Releases EV3 Beta

    Aswin Bouwmeester's holonomic Mindstorms robot, programmed with LeJOS.Today, the team behind LeJOS — the Java operating system for Legos — released a beta edition of their software for Mindstorms EV3. LeJOS has been around since 2000, when Jose Solozano first built the open-source Java-based software for Mindstorms RCX; it’s one of several software replacement systems for Mindstorms, […]

    Read more on MAKE

  • Vendredi, Avril 18, 2014 - 21:00
    VNC instructions for your Pi remote desktop @Raspberry_pi #piday #raspberrypi


    Check out these useful instructions for your Pi remote desktop from Dave at RaspberryPi.org:

    Hi folks;

    Allen was just asking me about the VNC demo I gave at Picademy and I thought I would just do a follow up post here for everyone.

    • Step 1: Setup and install

      So the aim will be to install the VNC server software on Pi and the VNC viewer software on the host computer (which will show the Pi desktop).

      Read and follow the guide here: https://github.com/raspberrypi/document … access/vnc

      The guide includes instructions to make the VNC server start automatically when the Pi boots up (recommended).
    • Step 2: If necessary, configure the Pi to give out an IP address

      This is the method you’ll want to use if you have untrusting network administrators who refuse to allow a Raspberry Pi to be connected to the main school network.

    I know this looks like loads to do but I’ve just put a lot of detail so you can’t go wrong :)

    This way each Raspberry Pi will be directly connecting to a host computer using a single Ethernet cable, thus making a completely isolated point to point network between the two and therefore your network administrators shouldn’t have any cause to complain. Note: you don’t need a cross over cable for this, a standard cable will work because the Pi Ethernet port auto-switches the transmit and receive pins.

    Firstly we’ll need to install some software on the Pi, so for this first part you’ll need to connect it to a LAN for Internet access. We’re going to make the Pi Ethernet port behave in a similar way to a home router. This means assigning a static IP address to it and installing a DHCP service (dnsmasq) that will respond to address requests from the host computer.

    Read more.

  • Vendredi, Avril 18, 2014 - 20:26
    F9R First Flight Test (video) from a drone

    Video of Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) taking its first test flight at our rocket development facility. F9R lifts off from a launch mount to a height of approximately 250m, hovers and then returns for landing just next to the launch stand. Early flights of F9R will take off with legs fixed in the down position. However, we will soon be transitioning to liftoff with legs stowed against the side of the rocket and then extending them just before landing.

    The F9R testing program is the next step towards reusability following completion of the Grasshopper program last year (Grasshopper can be seen in the background of this video). Future testing, including that in New Mexico, will be conducted using the first stage of a F9R as shown here, which is essentially a Falcon 9 v1.1 first stage with legs. F9R test flights in New Mexico will allow us to test at higher altitudes than we are permitted for at our test site in Texas, to do more with unpowered guidance and to prove out landing cases that are more-flight like.

  • Vendredi, Avril 18, 2014 - 20:00
    Imperial Pig: A “Star Wars” quiz toy made with Raspberry Pi! #piday #raspberrypi @Raspberry_Pi

    Carriots riot blog had a development challenge recently and the winner was a team called Ad Ackbar for their adorable quiz toy project. Below are some excerpts from the interview they did. Click here to read the full thing.

    Carriots: Please, introduce your team

    Ad Ackbar: We are two chilean based developers. Jorge does the electronics and I, José Luis, deal with the programming part and Carriots integration.

    Carriots: Tell us more about the project. From the idea to the implementation.

    Ad Ackbar: At the office someone always starts some quiz competition around geek themes. Discussions often goes far enough to take wikipedia and/or youtube to decide who holds the truth or the final answer.

    When Carriots published the Domokun stuffed toy tutorial we take the code, a Raspberry Pi and two speakers just to make our “Imperial pig” play the voice with the final word. The challenge was just the natural way to improve it. We have to put all the electronic stuff in it, solve communication and power issues and that’s all!

    Jorge did the buttons, speaker and power implementations. And I did the integration with Carriots and the quiz logic. The Domokun stuffed toy tutorial was a very good start point since most of the logic was already coded and tested. We also used the button tricks from the forum discussion.

    Components are: Raspberry Pi, SD card, portable speaker, battery pack, wi-fi dongle and some electronic stuff (resistors, buttons, wires, etc.)

    Read more.

    Featured Adafruit Products!


    USB Battery Pack for Raspberry Pi – 3300mAh – 5V @ 1A and 500mA: A massive rechargeable battery pack for your Raspberry Pi (or Arduino, or Propeller, or anything else that uses 5V!). This pack is intended for providing a lot of power to an iPhone, cell phone, tablet, etc but we found it does a really good job of powering other miniature computers and micro-controllers. Read more.


    Adafruit Assembled Pi Cobbler Breakout + Cable for Raspberry Pi: 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 Cobbler from Adafruit, which can break out all those tasty power, GPIO, I2C and SPI pins from the 26 pin header onto a solderless breadboard. This set will make “cobbling together” prototypes with the Pi super easy. Designed for use with Raspberry Pi Model B AND Model A, both revisions. Read more.


    Adafruit Pi Box – Enclosure for Raspberry Pi Model A or B: Keep your Raspberry Pi® computer safe and sound in this lovely clear acrylic enclosure. We designed this case to be beautiful, easy to assemble and perfect for any use (but especially for those who want to tinker!) Read more.

    998Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!

  • Vendredi, Avril 18, 2014 - 19:52
    Maker Pro Newsletter – 04/17/14

    try 3“Venture math is a harsh mistress.” From the editors of MAKE magazine, the Maker Pro Newsletter is about the impact of makers on business and technology. Our coverage includes hardware startups, new products, incubators, and innovators, along with technology and market trends. Please send items to us at makerpro@makermedia.com. Are you […]

    Read more on MAKE

  • Vendredi, Avril 18, 2014 - 19:45
    10 Tools and Techniques for Light Painting

    firewallModern light painters have developed a rich variety of original tools and methods to create their art.

    Read more on MAKE

  • Vendredi, Avril 18, 2014 - 19:00
    DIY Gas Can Speakers Blast Your Tunes

    Gas Can Speaker

    Have you ever wanted to build your own speakers, but were a bit overwhelmed with all the information out there on cases and packaging? A recent Instructable by [Txje] goes over how to build a set of simple gas can speakers.

    While using gas cans as speaker housings will not result in the best audiophile quality sound or be the cheapest option out there, it sure looks awesome, and is a great way to get started with building your own speakers. After testing out the speakers and electronics, holes in the gas cans are cut and the terminals and speakers are installed. “As an added bonus, the pour spout serves to release pressure in the speaker can. You can get everything you need for ~$69 from Amazon and/or Home Depot.” Not a bad price point for two very cool looking speakers.  Once you have built the speakers, now you can experiment with different fill material to see what results in better sound quality.

    This is a simple, yet fun looking build. Something like this can make a nice gift for someone who spends a lot of time in their garage. What other crazy objects have you used for speaker enclosures?

    Filed under: digital audio hacks

  • Vendredi, Avril 18, 2014 - 19:00
    DIY How To Mount A USB Thumb Drive For @Raspberry_Pi #piday #raspberrypi


    Make your Raspberry Pi a media sharing friendly device with a mounted USB Thumb Drive. by scottkildall

    This is another one of my “meat-and-potatoes” Raspberry Pi Instructables.

    What this Instructable will show you how to do is to configure your Raspberry Pi to recognize and automatically mount a USB thumb drive. This is especially useful for exchanging files, running backups and using your Pi as a media device.

    Before doing this Instructable, please make sure you have your Raspberry Pi up and running, which you can do with The Ultimate Raspberry Pi Configuration Guide Instructable.

    I’m using the Mac OS for this guide, but you can extend the principles to other operating systems.

    See Full Tutorial

  • Vendredi, Avril 18, 2014 - 18:30
    Recreate Amazing Images With StipleGen’s Stipple Diagrams #Eggbot


    StippleGen’s easy to use software generates high quality stipples for Eggbot via Windel at Evil Mad Scientist

    One of the perennial problems that we have come across in a variety of contexts, including CNC artwork and producing artwork for the Egg-Bot, is the difficulty of creating good-quality toolpaths– i.e., vector artwork representing halftones –when starting from image files. One of the finest solutions that we’ve ever come across is Adrian Secord’s algorithm, which uses an iterative relaxation process to optimize a weighted Voronoi diagram, mathematically producing a set of points (stipples) that can closely approach the appearance of a traditional stipple drawing.

    Another important technique is TSP art, where the image is represented by a single continuous path. You can generate a path like this by connecting all of the dots in a stipple diagram. Designing a route that visits each dot exactly once (and minimizing the distance travelled) is an example of the famous Travelling Salesman Problem (or just “TSP”), and an optimal TSP path can give a surprisingly good grayscale representation of an image. From the standpoint of toolpaths (for the Egg-bot and most other CNC machines), a TSP path is even nicer than stipples, because little or no time is spent raising and lowering the tool.

    StippleGen is easy-to-use software that can generate TSP and stipple drawings from input images. It saves its files as editable, Eggbot-ready Inkscape SVG files, which can in turn be opened by other vector graphics programs, or re-saved as PDF files for use in other contexts. It can also generate a TSP path from the stippled image, and either save that path as an SVG file or simply use that path as the order of plotting for the stipple diagram.

    You can read an extended introduction to StippleGen at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories. An introduction to StippleGen version 2 is also available here.

    It is worth pointing out, right up front, that our software does not fill a vacuum. StippleGen is not the first, fastest, or most accurate software yet developed to produce stipples or TSP paths. Rather, it is designed to be easy to install, easy to use, and easy to modify. It is capable of producing excellent quality output with up to 10,000 points, when speed is not a primary concern.

    While Adrian Secord’s own stippling software is no longer available for download, there are a few other codebases worth of note. In particular, the weighted voronoi stippler at

    saliences.com has a Windows executable, and runs as a command-line utility. And there are also a number of fast TSP solvers, including Concorde, which is available with a GUI for Windows.

    Read More

  • Vendredi, Avril 18, 2014 - 18:00
    Cook and Hold with Raspberry Pi #piday #raspberrypi @Raspberry_Pi

    Sébastien Rinsoz wrote up this great tutorial on how to set up a thermocouple and Raspberry Pi to monitor the temperature of meat cooking in the oven and then emailing you when the meat has reached its ideal temperature.

    When we geek try to cook a nice chunk of meat, the tricky part is the cooking itself. Instead of sitting idle while the meat cooks, we go read something on the iPad, code some stuff or even to talk with the guests rather than watching a meat in the oven. And at the end, the meat is often overcooked. But this is gonna change. Our new recipe, using a Yocto-Thermocouple and Raspberry Pi, solves the issue. The Raspberry Pi will monitor the meat temperature for us, and send an e-mail as soon as the ideal temperature is reached. And long life to the smartphones!

    Read more.

    998Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!

  • Vendredi, Avril 18, 2014 - 17:44
    New Products 4/16/2014 (video)
  • Vendredi, Avril 18, 2014 - 17:09
    New Review: Review: Mindsensors Accelerometer-Compass Sensor

    IMG_8908This gyro-accelerometer-compass sensor is just what your Mindstorms robot needs to keep itself pointed in the right direction.

    Read more on MAKE

  • Vendredi, Avril 18, 2014 - 17:00
    How And Why To Build A Virtual Private Network #piday #raspberrypi @Raspberry_Pi

    Building A Raspberry Pi VPN Part One How And Why To Build A Server ReadWrite

    Use a Raspberry Pi to build a server that encrypts your Web data from prying eyes. via Lauren Orsini

    Free, unencrypted wireless is everywhere, but you shouldn’t be checking your bank account on it unless you don’t mind somebody else snooping. The solution? A virtual private network, or VPN.

    A VPN extends your own private network into public places, so even if you’re using Starbucks’ Wi-Fi connection, your Internet browsing stays encrypted and secure.

    There are plenty of ways to set up a VPN, both with free and paid services, but each solution has its own pros and cons, determined by the way the VPN provider operates and charges and the kinds of VPN options it provides.

    The easiest and cheapest solution to keep your data safe is to just abstain from public Wi-Fi completely. But that sounds a little extreme to me when it’s relatively simple and inexpensive to build your own VPN server at home, and run it off of a tiny, inexpensive ($35) Raspberry Pi.

    My Raspberry Pi is about the size of a smartphone, but it runs a fully functional VPN server. That means no matter where I am, I can connect my computer to my home network and access shared files and media over a secure connection. It came in handy on a recent trip to Boston, where I was still able to watch videos stored on my network back home in DC.

    This is the part where I’d link you to a handy tutorial on how to set this up. The problem is one doesn’t exist—or at least one that could satisfy this average computer user. And while there are plenty of tutorials about how to set up a VPN server on Raspberry Pi, there are very few that explain why.

    I read several different tutorials and cobbled together the results into this semi-coherent tutorial for setting up a VPN on Raspberry Pi, which even I can understand, complete with the why behind the how.

    So follow me down the cryptography rabbit hole and learn that no matter how paranoid you are, whoever came up with the methods to generate VPNs was even more so.

    See Full Tutorial