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Messages - tinybuilder

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New Product Ideas / Re: Watch Platform
« on: May 29, 2014, 09:14:38 AM »
Here is a very cool Arduino based DIY Digital Wristwatch. He includes all the Source code, EAGLE schematic and board layout files.

BTW, His blog is great! It is chock full of electronics goodness!

New Product Ideas / Re: Custom Servo Controller
« on: May 29, 2014, 09:10:41 AM »
Perhaps a TLC5940. Here is a Breakout board from Sparkfun and a tutorial from Here is some additional information and Arduino Libraries.

Or perhaps the PCA9685. Here is the Adafruit 16-Channel 12-bit PWM/Servo Driver - I2C interface which uses it. You can even chain up 62 breakouts to control up to 992 PWM outputs! Here is a tutorial and Arduino Library.

TinyDuino / Re: Compass Shield Quandary
« on: May 29, 2014, 08:38:27 AM »

Could you post your code?

New Product Ideas / Re: Watch Platform
« on: May 04, 2014, 06:27:39 PM »

TinyDuino / Re: Motor Shield Examples?
« on: April 06, 2014, 09:39:02 PM »
I just finished soldering motors 1 and 2 pins in, and the power and ground pins. The lead-free solder that I have is total garbage, so I am unsatisfied with the solder job, but at least it was good enough to fire up the motor board. (I will definitely order some leaded solder...) The test for motor 1 and 2 seemed to go well with a 4.5v power source (three 393 batteries) and a tiny hobby motor.

I will say that the pins on the motor board's bottom will need to be trimmed really short after testing etc. The pins collide with... EVERYTHING! Because of that, I had to put a proto board beneath the motor board, to act as a spacer, because the USB, the Processor board, and the compass, could not be placed beneath the motor board... gah! For my final buttoned up project, I may just solder the motor wires directly to the board.

Sorry no pictures yet...

Here are two possibilities from fastenersclearinghouse
FMP   MA   Machine Screw   Brass   Plain   #00-90 x 1   slotted fillister   400
FMP   MA   Machine Screw   Brass   Plain   #00-90 x 1   slotted round   140

And some inexpensive threaded brass rods from scalehardware

Hex Nuts

New Product Ideas / Gas Sensor Adapter Board for the MQ-series sensors
« on: March 10, 2014, 12:36:57 AM »
A top mounted carrier board for the MQ-series sensors, much like the Pololu board, would be great for little data collection packages.

Source for sensors: (Inexpensive!)

Of course, other sensors such as those found at Figaro, would be cool to have as well.

General Discussion / Communicating over I2C between 2 TinyDuino Stacks
« on: March 04, 2014, 12:22:09 AM »
I figured I'd start a thread to discuss Communicating over I2C between 3 TinyDuino Stacks. I don't suggest trying this until further discussion and input is given by other members of the community.

To start with, 3 TinyDuino stacks, each with a TinyDuino processor module and a TinyDuino proto3 shield (a prototype shield 2 should also work too.)

From what I understand, the stacks should be wired as shown in this picture. For the power source, I choose VBATT, but VCC or VIN may be more appropriate. Anyone have pros/cons for using something other than VBATT? I choose 1.5K pull up resistors but from what I understand, up to 47K can be used.

The I2C signals are the SCL (I2C Clock) and SDA (I2C Data) connections.

The code shown below, is based on the Instructables article I2C between Arduino's

Master Code (runs on 1 of the stacks)
Code: [Select]
#include <Wire.h>

#define LED_PIN 13
byte x = 0;

void setup()
  Wire.begin(); // Start I2C Bus as Master
  pinMode(LED_PIN, OUTPUT);
  digitalWrite(LED_PIN, LOW);

void loop()
  Wire.beginTransmission(9); // transmit to device #9
  Wire.send(x);              // sends x
  Wire.endTransmission();    // stop transmitting
  if (x > 5) x=0;

Slave Code (runs on 2 of the stacks)
Code: [Select]
#include <Wire.h>

#define LED_PIN 13

int x;

void setup() {
  Wire.begin(9);                // Start I2C Bus as a Slave (Device Number 9)
  Wire.onReceive(receiveEvent); // register event
  pinMode(LED_PIN, OUTPUT);
  digitalWrite(LED_PIN, LOW);
  x = 0;

void loop() {
  //If value received is 0 blink LED 1
  if (x == 0) {
    digitalWrite(LED_1, HIGH);
    digitalWrite(LED_1, LOW);
  //If value received is 1 blink LED 2
  if (x == 1) {
    digitalWrite(LED_1, HIGH);
    digitalWrite(LED_1, LOW);

void receiveEvent(int howMany) {
  x = Wire.receive();    // receive byte as an integer

General Discussion / Re: The cheapest RTC board out there?
« on: March 03, 2014, 06:46:53 PM »
The DS1307 is a nice choice. It is small ~3mm x 3mm(?). It is inexpensive, Digi-Key has it at $3.05 for 1 and $2.01710 for 100. It needs a 32.768 kHz external crystal which Mouser has for $0.25 for 1 and $0.14 for 100. SparkFun's RTC Module is a breakout board that is 20x20mm, so that could easily be made into a TinyDuino Shield but adding the connector in place of the SPI connections. The schematic is extremely simple.

The DS3234 a low-cost an all-in-one package extremely accurate SPI bus real-time clock with an integrated temperature-compensated crystal oscillator and crystal. It is ~12mm x 10mm, and Digi-Key has them for $9.07 for 1 and $4.39 for 100. SparkFun's DeadOn RTC is a breakout board which looks to be about 20x20mm. The schematic is extremely simple.

Note: RTC's use separate batteries, so an RTC shield would look like the TinyDuino Processor shield with battery holder. The 2 above SparkFun examples use a small CR1225 battery (12mm) so height would be the only concern for making it stackable. A battery clip from Farnell has specs of  19 x 13 x 3.6 mm. Mounting could take up to 19.6 mm, which should really work nicely.

General Discussion / Re: Tiny servos?
« on: March 03, 2014, 04:42:02 PM »
The Cirrus CS-3 Micro Joule Servo is pretty small... slender and long, which could be great to stack back to back under a TinyDuino Stack. It is 20.1L x 6.1W x 6.1H mm but $50/ea according to

For simple steering or actuation, Plantraco has some wonderfully small components. The starter set has a very small receiver and 2 MiniAct magnetic actuators, among other things. Microflight sells a The Deluxe Starter Set for $99. Microflight separately sells the MicroAct Magnetic Actuator for $7/ea and the MiniAct Magnetic Actuator for $7/ea. Here is a cool video about the MiniAct Actuator. They also have a nice tiny motor and gearbox selection. For a really tiny actuator, there is the NanoAct-Actuator.

The Ping Zheng 1.3G Servo without PCB PZ-15319A is 12.6L x 6.2W x 10.3H mm.

Nanomotion's EDGE miniature Piezo Motors are small. Providing unlimited linear or rotary motion, the EDGE motor uses compact ASIC-based driver, and can be operated with any servo controller. It is 13.5L x 7.6W x 3.15H mm.

New Product Ideas / Re: HopeRF wireless shield
« on: March 03, 2014, 04:40:26 AM »
I was looking at an RFM69W transceiver I purchased from LowPowerLab and it just fits within the TinyDuino mounting holes (19.6 x 16 mm). I'm pretty confident that creating a TinyDuino shield would be straightforward especially if the longer TinyDuino PCB form factor is used (ala TinyDuino Bluetooth Shield).

Using this RFM69 Breakout Board as a reference from the article Creating a Schematic for a RFM69 Breakout Board, 3 chips (and a bunch of resistors and capacitors) are needed:

1) LDO Regulator MicroChip MCP1703 is 2 x 3 x 0.9mm at $0.68 for 1, $0.47 for 100 (Mouser)

2) NXP Semiconductors 74LVC245 is 2.5 x 4.5 x 0.5 mm at $0.37 for 1; $0.28 for 100 (Mouser)

3) RFM69W ISM Transciever Module is 19.6 x 16 mm at $6.95 (LowPowerLab)

Here is another great resource:
RFM69W Break Out Board

New Product Ideas / Re: RGB LED Shield
« on: March 03, 2014, 12:18:12 AM »
An RGB LED shield would be fantastic especially in a grid type layout. Horizontal or Vertical strip configurations are also quite popular with hobbyist's. Adafruit has many products in strip (flexible, etc.), grids (5x5, 8x8, 16x32, even 32x32), ring configurations (12 and 16 LEDs), the list goes on. I think there is no question people would love a set of TinyDuino shields to make message buttons, jewelry, marquees, signs, even LED pixel monitors (see end of post for many projects).

The smallest RGB LEDs I could find were these- the QuasarBrite 0404 RGB LED. They are in a 1 mm x 1 mm x 0.25 mm package size. The package provides a 120 viewing angle low current requirements, i.e., Red:30 mcd, Green:40 mcd, and Blue:20 mcd @ 2mA according to the product brochure. Mouser lists them for 1.20 a piece, 0.665 for 100, 0.399 for 1000 and Digi-Key quotes 0.35378 for 2000.

Just rough measurement calculations and concepts follow:
Using the TI TLC59116 16-Channel Fm+ I2C-Bus Constant-Current LED Sink Driver 16 LEDs can be driven. The TLC59116 is about 5.8mm x 5.8mm, so on a 20mm x 20mm board (I know the mounting holes and connectors take away from that) maybe 9 TLC59116's could be put on one side of a board. That's 9 controllers x 16 lines = 144 controlled LEDs. That would be a 12x12 single color LED matrix that could be put on the other side of the board. With 144 lines with 3 per LED, that would be 48 LEDs a 8 x 6 matrix. That is a CRAZY HUGE amount of lines, resisters, etc. but it would be amazing to see.

Perhaps more realistically, 4 TLC59116 controllers for 64 controllable lines which would be an 8x8 single color matrix. For an RGB setup, 64 lines could support 21 LEDs. A 16 LED Neo Pixel Ring type setup requires 3 TLC59116 controllers for the 48 lines.

Real layout work would be tough enough, power draw needs to be addressed (probably close to 1.21 GigaWatts! oh wait that's for a flux capacitor) 2mA per LED for the QuasarBrite, and soldering would be... well a pain I suppose.

More Controller Options:
The TI TLC5951 is a 24-Ch 12-Bit PWM LED Driver (6.8 mm x 6.8 mm). Even more LED madness could ensue using this beast!
TLC5951 Datasheet:

The MAX7219/MAX7221 are compact, serial input/output common-cathode display drivers for driving 7-segment numeric LED displays of up to 8 digits, bar-graph displays, or 64 individual LEDs. They are pretty sizable, but could be fit on one side of a TinyDuino Shield.
MAX7219/MAX7221 Datasheet:
Arduino Interface Info:

MAX6950/MAX6951 drivers are the only choice for systems where 3V or 3.3V is the highest supply voltage available. Their lower logic input thresholds also allow them to be interfaced directly to a microprocessor running from as low as 2.5V.
MAX6950/MAX6951 Datasheet:

LED matrix projects: (All of which I think can become wonderful TinyDuino projects)
Building huge displays with LED strips:
64pixel LED Display:
AdaFruit's Neo Matrix Library:
LED Matrix Link Project:
Meggy Jr RGB:
Peggy version 2.0:
16x8 LED dot matrix with MAX7219 module:
Jameco LED Matrix Kit Schematics:

I posted in the other thread as well. Count my vote too!!

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