Sunday, 15 March 2009

Introducing 5.9 new Open Source Hardware Arduino shields

The past week has been pretty crazy for Mike, Matt, Chris, Omar, Mark, Tim, and me (Justin). Matt got something like 6 hours of sleep all week, Chris ate like 4 times, and Mike didn't use the bathroom - just kidding. And in the meantime, everyone's still got day jobs, so yeah... hmmmmm... please don't tell my "boss"… I’m pretty sure (I hope) he doesn’t read this blog…

Anyway, here are the new shields, ready for build, and almost halfway funded for up on the Open Source Hardware Bank – thanks:


100% done and ready to fund and build

This idea was all Mark's fault... He said the only thing preventing the Arduino+ExtenderShield+TouchShield from giving the big hardware companies a run for their money was a keyboard or button shield, so it could be a real device. Then, the Arduino would not only be a great physical computing and DIY platform, it'd make a fairly good rapid-prototyping platform too. So here it is... it's a shield built for the Arduino profile that has 26 buttons on it. It has a mode A or B selector, so you can wire up two of these directly to an Arduino, a lot like the InputShield, and still have pins for the TouchShield.


100% done, ready to fund and build

Chuck Norris would be proud. Actually, he wouldn't, because he already built this on his own, and he does benchpresses off of it, and he doesn't need the Open Source Hardware Bank's help. For me, on the other hand (and Chris and Dave), I've built a digital/analog Equalizer on a Shield.

The EqualizerShield has two modes: Justice... and Equality. In the Justice mode, the shield acts as a 10x10 blue LED matrix, addressable over serial from pins 0 and 1 on the Arduino. In the Equality mode, the shield acts as an analog pin visualizer. On the backside of the board, there is an 8-wide female header port where you can wire in any analog signal, and the board will display the status on the LEDs on the front, like an equalizer.

DoubleWide ExtenderShield X Edition

100% done, ready to fund and build

The other DoubleWide ExtenderShield let anyone connect two shields to an Arduino. That was fine when dealing with just one row of digital I/O. But now that there are more and more people using the Illuminato, why not pin out all the extra rows of I/O in a replicating shield as well?

Enter the ExtenderShield X Edition. The "X" stands for "eXtended", and it means there's now twice the pins pinned out. The left side is a pass-through replication of the right side, so there's plenty of wire-up space on either side.

TripleWide ExtenderShield X Edition

100% done, ready to fund and build

For more advanced projects, sometimes connecting 2 shields together isn't enough. Quite a few people have written in over the past few months asking for a TripleWide, so here it is. The catch is that it's also a "X" edition, which means it works with the Arduino or the Illuminato. It pins out and replicates each of the Illuminato pins 3 times over, so three shields can be wired up side by side.


75% done, just needs some whacky layout ideas

This shield is for Al Gore. When he was building the Internet by hand, I'm sure he had a lot of help from the folks at DARPA. Actually, I'm sure he had a lot of help from everyone but Al Gore. Anyway, now he's fighting global warming, and so this is a shield for him. This shield will have 11 environmental senses built in, and each individually accessible. All joking aside, when I was just starting to learn the Arduino, the first thing I did was run out and buy 1 of each sensor from Radio Shack, and that added up pretty quickly (especially buying 1 at a time). On the other hand, throwing all of them together on one shield will be far cheaper, and more convenient...


75% done, just needs integration into the Arduino IDE

This one comes from Keith (thanks!). He sent in a schematic for an Arm-based Arduino. Actually, it's sort of like a basic Arm chip circuit, but he tested it, and knows it worked. The only catch is, no one's ported the compilers to the Arduino IDE, so what's the point? Over the next few months, I'm going to try with Chris to port the Arm compilers into the Arduino IDE branch that Omar has been maintaining - and hopefully this will open a lot of benefits to the OSHW community.


Not really a shield, but about 60% done and cool as heck

This one is from Tim... it's definitely still a work in progress, but here's an idea of what it might look like when it's done. This definitely will need some more work and help, but I think it'd be quite interesting to have a full DIY Open Source 2 or 5 megapixel camera, in the form factor smaller than a deck of cards.


40% done, working on driver code

From Matt: "A board only a group of vikings would love. Actually, I've always wanted to build something like this. I would have loved to connect this to my old TI-82 calculator when I was in high school, and even TI-89 nowadays."

The Pillage() function cleans up the microSD cards by syncing them to each other. What's the worst thing that pillaging SD cards? RAIDandPillage() which completely resets and clears out the microSD cards.

Anyway, feel free to check out the OSHW page and let me know what you think! You can reach me at jhuynh at gmail. Have a great Monday!


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