Arduino Powered Portable Function Generator

It’s probably not much of a stretch to say that many of us have taken on a project or two that were little more than thinly veiled excuses to add a new tool or piece of gear to our arsenal. There’s something to be said for a bench full of button-festooned test equipment blinking away, it’s like bling for nerds. But just like getting your name written out in diamonds, it can get expensive quick.

Luckily, the hacker has enough technology at their disposal these days that DIY test equipment can help fill your bench without emptying your wallet. [Faransky] has created a very impressive Arduino function generator that doesn’t skimp on the features. Capable of generating sine, triangle, and square waves up to 10MHz with its all-digital circuitry, it’s a piece of gear that’s well worth the $30 USD or so it should cost to build your own version.

For those worrying that [Faransky] is relying on the PWM functionality of the Arduino Nano to generate waveforms, have no fear. At the heart of the device is a AD9833 waveform generator; with the Arduino, rotary encoder, and 16×2 LCD providing an interface to control it over SPI.

Unfortunately, the AD9833 doesn’t have a way to control amplitude, something which is pretty important in a function generator. So [Faransky] uses a X9C104P 100KOhm 8-bit digital potentiometer as a voltage divider on the chip’s output.

To wrap up the build, he added a 2000mAh 3.7V Li-Ion battery and TP4056 charger, with a DC-DC boost converter to get 5V for the Arduino. Though if you wanted to create a benchtop version of this device, you could delete those components in favor of a 5V AC/DC adapter.

We’ve seen our fair share of DIY function generators, ranging from minimalist builds to hardware that could pass for a commercial offering. We’ve even seen some cheap turn-key function generators, though the usual warnings about getting what you pay for apply.

via Hackaday

Drones to be Utilized in Antarctic Food Web Research #drone #droneday



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From KPBS:

“We study krill so we understand whether its trends and abundance are likely to be influenced by how much fishing effort we do, but also whether that fishing effort will impact the upper trophic levels like penguins and seals,” said Christian Reiss, a senior researcher at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla.

But packing up a research vessel and traveling to the bottom of the world takes time and money. Both are in short supply at a federal agency that is keeping a close eye on shrinking budgets.

That is why the Teledyne G3 Slocum drone is so attractive.

The eight-foot-long submersible can carry sophisticated acoustic devices that are high-tech fish finders. The autonomous machine can identify and measure how many krill there are when it encounters a swarm.

Read more


Welcome to drone day on the Adafruit blog. Every Monday we deliver the latest news, products and more from the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), quadcopter and drone communities. Drones can be used for video & photography (dronies), civil applications, policing, farming, firefighting, military and non-military security work, such as surveillance of pipelines. Previous posts can be found via the #drone tag and our drone / UAV categories.


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Labor Day 2018 @Adafuit #Holiday #LaborDay


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As we soak in the last rays of summer Adafruit would like to send a huge thank you to all the employees that make Adafruit what it is!

Today the team gets a day off in recognition of Labor Day. In the mantra of “Be excellent” Adafruit is always looking for ways to give workers more. We recently added a new paid day off for Election Day, and will keep looking for ways show gratitude and encouragement to the workforce!

Because of the great community and teamwork we are able to do what we do.

Thank you!


via Adafruit

Wearable Baby Monitors May Miss Key Vital Signs


via Wareable

Wearable baby monitors are meant to give parents peace of mind. However, that peace of mind relies on trusting the device to actually deliver accurate information.

These wearable baby monitors may be missing key vital signs, according to a new study by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Read more.


via Adafruit

You Have To Have A Very High IQ To Understand This Rick And Morty Portal Gun Replica

It’s barely September, but that still means you’ve got to start working on your Halloween costume. If last year is any indication, the most popular costume this year will be, by far, Rick from Rick and Morty. There’s a lot to be said about this, but let me simplify it: if you dress up as Rick from Rick and Morty, you are not a Rick. You’re a Morty.

Nevertheless, Halloween is an awesome opportunity for some cosplay and prop-making action, and [Daren] has this year all wrapped up. He’s building the portal gun from Rick and Morty, with a projector. Yes, it will display portals where ever you point it. It’s actually building something instead of buying a blue wig and a lab coat. Rick would be proud.

The key to this portal build replica is the same tech as found in those Christmas projectors that illuminate the sides of houses with tidings of good cheer. These are just tiny little gobos in a rotating frame, illuminated with high-brightness LEDs. That’s easy enough to fit inside a 3D printed portal gun case, and when you add some 18650 LiPOs, a speaker for sound, and a PC fan for cooling, you have the makings of a real, projecting portal gun.

While it’s just a work in progress now, it is a fantastic achievement so far. Halloween is coming up, and this is a great build for all those Mortys out there.

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Scratch-Built 3D-Printer Goes Back to the Roots of the Hobby

It’s so easy and so cheap to order things like CNC routers and 3D-printers off the shelf that we can be forgiven for forgetting what was once involved in owning machines such as these. It used to be that you had no choice but to build your machine from the ground up. While that’s less true today, it’s still the case if you want to push the limits of what’s commercially available, and this huge scratch-built 3D-printer is a good example of that.

It’s not exactly a fresh build – [Thomas Workshop] posted this last year – but it escaped our notice at the time, and we think the three-part video series below that details the build deserves a look over. When we say scratch built, we mean it. This machine started off as a bundle of aluminum and steel stock. No 80/20 extrusions, no off-the-shelf linear rails – just metal and a plan. The build was helped considerably by a small CNC router, which also had that DIY look, but most of the parts were cut and finished with simple hand tools. The resulting gantry allows an enormous work volume 40 cm in each dimension, with a heated bed that uses four heat mats. We were impressed that [Thomas] got the build just far enough to print parts that were used to finish the build – that’s the hacker spirit.

It’s perhaps not the biggest 3D-printer we’ve seen – that distinction might go to this enormous 8-cubic foot machine – and it certainly can’t print a house. But it’s an impressive build that probably cost a whole lot less than a commercial machine of similar capacity, and it’s got that scratch-built cred.

Thanks to [Baldpower] for the tip.

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Branch out your SQLite Database with LiteTree

Whether you want some quick and dirty data storage, or simply don’t have that heavy requirements for your local database system, SQLite is always a good choice. With its portable single-file approach, bindings to all major languages, and availability on systems of all sizes, it is relatively easy to integrate a SQLite database in your undertakings. And if you tend to develop directly in your production environment, you may be interested to hear that the folks at [aergo] made this a lot more flexible (and interesting) by adding Git-style branching to the SQLite engine.

Similar to Git, each database operation is now stored as a commit with a unique id as reference point, and new branches will keep track how they diverge from their parent reference point. This essentially lets you modify your data set or database schema on the fly, while keeping your original data not only untouched, but fully isolated and functional. Unfortunately, merging branches is not yet supported, but it is planned for the near future.

In case you don’t see much use for git-alike functionality in a database, how about the other way around then: using Git as a database, among other tricks?

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