Contributed Article: Seven Characteristics of Stepper Motors

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Nick Jakubowski over at Circuit Specialists has submitted an article outlining the main characteristics of stepper motors and how they work. Read on for the full article below.


From hackedgadgets: Drink Mixing System

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How’s this for a class project!  Based around a PIC32 Microcontroller and sporting a touchscreen interface, it allows the user to custom mix their own drinks or select one of the preset options programmed into it.

There’s also some clever use of RFID technology here as well. RFID tags embedded in the cups are used to match up users with their selections. Faster than you can say “Same again please, Bar Tender.”  It’ll whip up your usual based on your previous choice.

From techradar: History of Modems

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There’s an interesting article over at techradar.com showing the development of modem technology, from the 1950’s onwards. Re-live those dialup days!

Merry Christmas!

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Hope everyone has had a good Christmas. What gadgets were you all lucky enough to receive this year?

Simple LAN Controlled Stereo Audio Switch

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Audio Switch (Main Board)

I needed an idea that I could use to teach myself about using a relay with Microcontrollers and solve that age old problem: Switching between speakers and headphones on my PC without having to actually get up and mess around in the rats nest of wire’s behind it.

The solution: Use a 5v DPDT relay, a few 3.5mm stereo sockets and an Ethernet-capable Arduino to create a simple audio switch which would allow me to switch one audio source (my PC’s Soundcard in this case) to one of two outputs (headphones or speakers) via a web interface running on the Arduino from the comfort of my web browser.


Handy Link: AVR Timer Calculator

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Ok, here’s another little gem I came across on the web that I think you’ll find useful: A web-based Timer calculator, courtesy of Frank at circleofcurrent.com

Just put in your clock frequency and the time (in seconds) you need to count to and let the calculator do the rest.

8 bit and 16 bit timer resolution values are catered for and he even includes a prescaler function so you can experiement with different prescaler values.

Note, You’ll need to make sure that you have Javascript enabled in your browser to use it.

Apache on an LG Cookie

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After recently buying an LG  KP500 ( The “Cookie”) and spending a day playing round with it (as you do),  I discovered that the phone had an installation of the Apache Webserver, of all things, on it!


From HackedGadgets: Vacuum Tube Thumb Drive

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Ever thourght off-the-shelf USB thumb drives looked about as interesting as a white wall? This little gem , featured on HackedGadgets, should give it that retro charm its lacked for so long :-)

From Hackaday: Arduino Snow Clock

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This Alarm Clock Arduino hack , featured on hackaday,  has to be one of the most innovative uses of an Arduino and Python I have seen! The maker, insingertech, has published full instructions on his hack here.

He goes into great detail on his build process and the diagrams (for the Relay Driver part of his circuit, especially) really help to explain things.

The only critisism I can think of here is that perhaps he should have used an Ethernet Shield for the network connectivity element of his project instead of a PC/Laptop.

Enough Sockets for Ya?

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Ok, so it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here (I just hate it when real life gets in the way!!)

Normal service will be resumed in a week or so, but in the mean time here’s a little something featured on the Makezine Blog that every geek should have :-)

Link:  Wall Outlet Wall (http://blog.makezine.com.)

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