Monday, January 10, 2011

January's Arduino Freebie - Arduino Mini

This months freebie will be the Arduino Mini, and a Mini USB Adaptor. The Mini has 14 digital input/output pins (of which 6 can be used as PWM outputs), 8 analog inputs, and a 16 MHz crystal oscillator. It can be programmed with the Mini USB Adaptor or other USB or RS232 to TTL serial adapter.

Mini USB Adaptor is a breadboard friendly USB to Serial board with a regular sized USB connector and male pins spaced at 0.1"

This adapter can be used with the Arduino Mini for both programming and host computer communications. It may also me used any time you would need to have an easy to use USB to serial adapter.

Uses the same USB to serial software driver that are included with the Arduino software since it is based on the same FTDI USB to Serial chip as the one built onto most Arduinos, the FT232.

Connection specs:

USB B connector
+5 Volts
Ground
TX (5 volt)
RX (5 volt)

Thanks again to Hacktronics for donating the monthly freebie.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Making Thing Move: DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists

There comes a time when you'd like your Arduino to do more than just sense the environment around it, and light lights or display data on a LCD display. There comes a time when you like to move items, with motors, hydraulics, pneumatics, etc. Unless you are a mechanical engineer, you may not know how to determine the right size motor to develop the torque and hp for a particular task. I bought "Making Things Move", and was blown away by the way the author makes concepts of force, resistance, and work simple to understand, calculate, and implement. This reference is a must have for your bookshelf or Kindle.