Graphene and toxicity

A good question about what’s new…

2013: Study Says Conductive ‘Miracle’ Material Toxic to Humans
2012/2013:  Graphene microsheets enter cells through spontaneous membrane penetration at edge asperities and corner sites
2011: Differential nano-bio interactions and toxicity effects of pristine versus functionalized graphene.

BeagleBone SUBARCTIC issue

BeagleBone SUBARCTIC issue

BeagleBone SUBARCTIC issue

Sometimes the Mighty BeagleBone may ask for a new, unknown driver named SUBARCTIC. His VID is 0451 and PID is 6141, at least in the case of a A6a board.

A simple search about this can lead to a bunch of different opinions but the truth seems to be that is appears only in Sitara’s bootloader mode, when he waits for some other debugging options, maybe something on the non-soldered P7 JTAG Connector.

The BeagleBone Subarctic QuickFix

So, BeagleBone is built to boot something from the SD Card… Inserting the Linux SD Card all works fine, the board get into linux boot sequence, the right devices (USB Serial Port, RNDIS Gadget… ) are showing up and the drivers are loading.

The quick fix: don’t search for a driver instead put the SD Card with software in the connector and cycle power.

Here is a USBView capture of the SUBARCTIC issue:

SUBARCTIC in USBView

BeagleBone SUBARCTIC in USBView

Some TI Sitara debuggers:

XDS100 – http://www.ti.com/tool/xds100
XDS560 –  http://www.ti.com/tool/XDS560
Blackhawk XDS560v2 System Trace USB Emulator, Spectrum Digital XDS560v2 PRO TRACE Receiver, Spectrum Digital XDS560v2 System Trace USB & Ethernet.

Some TI Sitara JTAG advices:

http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/XDS_Target_Connection_Guide#Target_Connection_Design

http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/XDS_Connector_Design_Checklist

 

 

Bus Pirate v.3

A great product: The Bus Pirate v.3

Bus Pirate v3b

Bus Pirate v3b

The Bus Pirate v.3  is a great piece of open source hardware and software bundle, built by Ian Lesnet & Co. @dangerousprototypes that can easy substitute some quick-build interfacing adapter for I2C, UART, 1-Wire, SPI, MIDI and many other serial protocols.

One important thing is that is 5.5v tolerant and supports some scriptable binary bitbang. In other words you can test at bit level various things that supports syncronous and asyncronous serial protocols.

Is built around a FT232RL converter, a PIC24 and a smart power supply (5v and 3v3 supplied to the target as software option).

Some features here: http://dangerousprototypes.com/docs/Features_overview

Unfortunately… somehow I managed to burn his first 3v3 Micrel LDO (VR2 on the schematic/pcb). A short circuit on the cable connector and the LDO is gone.

To use the BusPirate again I had to switch the 3v3 LDO’s, the first one powers the board and the second one is for the “power to target” mode. Now the board is without the 3v3 supply option.

A v3 vs. v4 comparison: http://dangerousprototypes.com/docs/Bus_Pirate_v4_vs_v3_comparison

The 3b hardware overview: http://dangerousprototypes.com/docs/Bus_Pirate_v3b

Some places to buy:

Seeed: http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/bus-pirate-v3-assembled-p-609.html?cPath=61_68

Watterott: http://www.watterott.com/de/Dangerous-Prototypes?x76825=eb8db1605207013dc33987d199f09e3d

Adafruit: http://www.adafruit.com/products/237

Other Bus Pirate resources:

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bus_Pirate

A very good Italian article about 1-wire communications and Bus Pirate: http://www.settorezero.com/wordpress/il-bus-pirate-cosa-e-come-funziona-esempio-di-comunicazione-con-bus-1-wire/

A very good I2C article: http://www.maartendamen.com/2011/04/bus-pirate-talking-to-chips-bmp085-used-as-sample/

3-wire protocol article: http://bobdasquirrel.blogspot.it/2013/01/bus-pirate-meets-93lc46b.html

 

 

The amazing small board – NXP LPC800 by NGX

The amazing small board - NXP LPC800

The amazing small board – NXP LPC800

LPC800 series develeopment tool

I just get my hands on this board courtesy of Element14.

It’s amazing.  Simple and efficient.

The small pin number is compensated in a great way: The Switch Matrix – it connects 6 pins to any available internal module.

Of course, programming can be done in bootloader mode, where every pin is reassigned according to the original layout.

LPC810 features:

  • ARM Cortex-M0+
  • Switch matrix for flexible configuration of each I/O pin function
  • 2 USART interfaces, 1 SPI controller and 1  I²C-bus, with pin functions assigned through the switch matrix
  • Self Wake-up Timer (WKT) clocked from either the IRC or a low-power, low-frequency internal oscillator
  • CRC engine
  • Boot ROM API support: boot loader, USART and I²C drivers in ROM, power profiles, Flash In-Application Programming (IAP) and In-System Programming (ISP)

The debugging options supported are SWD (10 pin connector), JTAG boundary scan and Micro Trace Buffer (MTB).

The quickest/cheapest programming method is via spi*ISP (6 pin connector) with a USB/Serial cable.

Links:

NXP LPC800 mini: http://lpcware.com/lpc800-mini-kit

Schematic: http://lpcware.com/system/files/LPC800%20mini%20board%20Rev%20AR2_0.pdf

NGX Tech: http://ngxtech.com/

Some NGX JTAG Probes: http://shop.ngxtechnologies.com/index.php?currency=EUR&cPath=26&sort=2a

Element14 Community: http://www.element14.com

Recorded Elektor Academy Webinar: http://www.element14.com/community/videos/8356/l/elektor-academy–lpc800-arm-simplicity–twist-your-arm

LPCXpresso Community: http://knowledgebase.nxp.com/forumdisplay.php?f=4

Code Red (actually owned by NXP): http://www.code-red-tech.com/

IAR EW for ARM: http://www.iar.com/en/Products/IAR-Embedded-Workbench/ARM/

KEIL MDK ARM: http://www.keil.com/arm/mdk.asp

Some MBED resources: http://ioclk.com/mbed-arm-rapid-prototyping-tool/

Switch Matrix Tool (Java): http://www.lpcnow.com/articles/84558/lpc800-switch-matrix-making-life-easier-one-pin-at/

a note by user mio @ MBED.org: http://mbed.org/users/mio/notebook/lpc800-mini-boards-p1-to-p44/ 

arm.com blog page: http://blogs.arm.com/embedded/868-the-un%E2%80%99nxp%E2%80%99ected-lpc800/

article about the LPC800 with some Switch Matrix work: http://www.microcontrollercentral.com/author.asp?section_id=1758&doc_id=255764

*error corrected! thanks to nathael

Microchip Development Tools Deals – June 2013

June Development Tools Deals http://www.microchip.com/pagehandler/en_us/promo/devtooldeals/

Amazing MP3 Player! $80 Off – Coupon Code: TP1328

Development Tools Deals  - PIC32MX1/MX2 Starter Kit

Development Tools Deals – PIC32MX1/MX2 Starter Kit

Product page: http://www.microchip.com/stellent/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&nodeId=1406&dDocName=en555947

Features include:

  • 24Bit Audio playback
  • Integrated Programmer Debugger
  • 2” Color TFT Display – 220 x 176 pixel
  • mTouchTM slider and buttons
  • PIC32MX250F128 with 128KB of Flash, 32KB RAM
  • Micro SD Flash Card

Other Development Tools Deals for June:

Kickstarter – Great… but limited to US and UK

 

A great concept – Kickstarter

Sadly, from the http://www.kickstarter.com/start page:

“Am I eligible to start a Kickstarter project?
Creating projects is currently open to US and UK creators over the age of 18 (see full details). Businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations can also use Kickstarter to fund their creative projects. We’re working hard to open up to more countries. If you’ve been waiting, we really appreciate your patience. Please note that anyone, anywhere (with a major credit or debit card) can pledge to Kickstarter projects.”

Lattice Semiconductor Image SensorExtender Board Kit

Lattice Semiconductor launches the new Image SensorExtender Card (SEC) Set

With this design, Lattice makes a big leap in the Image Processing Industry:  it allows to extend the path between the Image Sensor and the Image Signal Processor via some SerDes/LVDS protocol over Twisted Pair CAT5e/6 Cable .

The distance is presented as up to 8 meters for 720p60 or 1080p30 resolution.

 

Some links:

SensorExtender: www.latticesemi.com/sensorextender

Quick Start PDF: QS018 MachXO2 SensorExtender Card Set QuickStart Guide

The RD1148 Sensor Extender PDF

E-Ink Display for Any Microprocessor. A Kickstarter Project

Easy to use, quick connecting,  E-Ink display module various applications.

“The product contains an E-Ink display, display driver components and microController in one easy to use package.

They are available in three display sizes.

Bitmap graphics and text are placed on the display in the size, font and position desired.

Control is with SPI, Serial or I2C ports.

The ePs works standalone or controlled by a uController and operates on 3 to 16 VDC.

The medium and large ePS circuit board is suitable for securing in a project box or even plugging into the top of an Arduino shield stack.”

Project page:   

http://kck.st/YisV2h

or in a unshortened form:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/408216430/e-ink-display-for-any-microprocessor

 

4/30 for MSP430

TI announces some limited quantity MSP430 development kits in the TI eStore, the deal lasts 430 minutes and starts at 10AM UTC (4/30 2013).

eZ430-Chronos – $50     $58.00

MSP-FET430U128 – $150     $175.00

MSP-FET430U100B – $130     $175.00

MSP-FET430U100C – $130     $175.00

International shipping included.

TI’s marketing hits again!

The new Tiva Launchpad EK-TM4C123GXL

The new Tiva Launchpad

The new Tiva Launchpad

TI announces a new Launchpad: The Tiva C Series TM4C123G LaunchPad Evaluation Kit.

Now is on pre-order status with a 10-12 weeks delivery time.

This is a evaluation platform for ARM® Cortex™-M4F-based microcontrollers featuring the newest  TM4C123GH6PM with a USB 2.0 device interface and hibernation module.

Some TM4C123GH6PM Specifications:

  • 32-bit ARM® Cortex™-M4 80-MHz processor core with System Timer (SysTick)
  • integrated Nested Vectored Interrupt Controller (NVIC)
  • Wake-Up Interrupt Controller (WIC) with clock gating
  • Thumb-2 instruction set
  • On-chip memory, featuring 256 KB single-cycle Flash up to 40 MHz, 32 KB single-cycle SRAM;
  • internal ROM loaded with TivaWare™ for C Series software; 2KB EEPROM
  • 2 CAN modules
  • USB controller with USB 2.0 full-speed (12 Mbps) and low-speed (1.5 Mbps) operation, 32 endpoints
  • USB OTG/Host/Device mode
  • 8 UARTs with IrDA, 9-bit, and ISO 7816 support
  • four Synchronous Serial Interface (SSI) modules, supporting operation for Freescale SPI, MICROWIRE, or Texas Instruments synchronous serial interfaces;
  • 4 I2C modules
  • 2 12-bit ADCs
  • Advanced motion control, featuring: 8 PWM generator blocks, each with one 16-bit counter, 2 PWM comparators, a PWM signal generator, a dead-band generator, and an interrupt/ADC-trigger selector; 2 PWM fault inputs to promote low-latency shutdown; 2 Quadrature Encoder Interface (QEI) modules
  • Timers: 2 ARM FiRM-compliant watchdog timers; six 32-bit general-purpose timers (up to twelve 16-bit); six wide 64-bit general-purpose timers (up to twelve 32-bit); 12 16/32-bit and 12 32/64-bit Capture Compare PWM (CCP) pins
  • Up to 43 GPIOs (depending on configuration), with programmable control for GPIO interrupts and pad configuration, and highly flexible pin muxing
  • Lower-power battery-backed Hibernation module with Real-Time Clock

Some links:

https://estore.ti.com/Tiva-C-LaunchPad.aspx

http://www.ti.com/tool/ek-tm4c123gxl

http://www.ti.com/product/tm4c123gh6pm

http://www.ti.com/lsds/ti/microcontroller/tiva_arm_cortex/c_series/tm4c_arm_cortex-m4/overview.page?DCMP=tivac-series&HQS=tiva-cseries-pr-lp Tiva™ C Series MCUs Overview

 http://newscenter.ti.com/2013-04-15-TI-introduces-new-Tiva-C-Series-ARM-Cortex-M4-microcontrollers-MCUs-for-connected-applications TI’s Press Release about Tiva C Series

2.7 inch E-Paper Display Module by EmbeddedArtists

Embedded Artists brings a compact E-Paper Display module based on the 2.7″ and 264 x 176 (117 dpi) resolution  Pervasive Dispalys Inc. panel

Intended as a development tool, the module can easily be used in many projects due to his low price (29€).

Some Specs:

  • a-Si, active matrix TFT, Electronic Paper Display (EPD) panel
  • 264×176 pixels @ 117dpi resolution
  • Ultra low power consumption – due to its bi-stable nature, the EPD panel requires very little power to update the display and needs no power to maintain an image
  • near 180°  viewing angle
  • No backlight – display useful in daylight applications
  • SPI interface + control signals, incl a PWM signal
  • Module supply voltage: 3.3V, the display is supplied with 3.0V via on-board LDO
  • View area: 57.3 × 38.2 mm
  • Operating temperature: 0 to +50 degrees Celsius
  • No of colors: 2 – B&W
  • Standard 14 pos serial expansion connector interface (2×7 shrouded pin header, 50/100 mil spacing)
  • 60 x 74 mm module size
  • 3.2 mm mounting holes in 52 x 66.3 mm pattern

And some E-Paper Links:

http://www.pervasivedisplays.com/products/panels

http://www.embeddedartists.com/products/displays/lcd_27_epaper.php  the  29€ board

http://repaper.org/tools.html   Arduino, Launchpad, aLaMode compatible

http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/eink-display-shield-p-1374.html?cPath=132_134 a $49.90 Arduino Shield

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10150   E-Paper 10×2 Character Display

http://wyolum.com/re-paper-experiments/ aLaMode producer experiments with E-Paper modules

http://www.eink.com/modules.html some e-ink/e-paper info

http://www.renesasinteractive.com/file.php/1/CoursePDFs/DevCon_On-the-Road/DevCon_OnSite/HMI/Driving%20E%20Ink%20Displays.pdf    Renesas – Driving E Ink Dispalys PDF – download link

Google rises the number of closures. Google Reader switchoff on July 1.

Google Reader, Google Building Maker, Google Voice App for Blackberry, Google Cloud Connect and many other features or services will be closed soon.

http://googleblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/a-second-spring-of-cleaning.html

But… http://support.google.com/reader/answer/3028851 writes:

How can I download my Reader data?

Google Reader will be retired on July 1, 2013. If you’d like to download a copy of all your Reader data before then, you can do so through Google Takeout. You’ll receive your subscription data in an XML file, …. more

 

Microchip Development Tools Deals – March 2013

Microchip Develepment Tools Deals Link:   http://www.microchip.com/pagehandler/en_us/promo/devtooldeals/

 

MRF24J40MC PICtail/PICtail Plus Daughter Board – Save $17 – Use Coupon Code: TP1310

Zena™ Wireless Adapter – 868 MHz MRF89XA – $25 in Savings – Use Coupon Code: TP1311

Utility-Band BPSK 6.0 kbps PLM PICtail Plus Daughter Board – Get Over $100 Off – Use Coupon Code: TP1312

BOOK:  Beginner`s Guide to Embedded C Programming – Volume 3 by Chuck Hellebuyck – 20% in Savings – Use Coupon Code: TP1313

Energia, something between TI Launchpad series and Arduino/Wiring

Energia, something between TI Launchpad series and Arduino/Wiring

http://energia.nu/ is awebsite that bring Energia, a Wiring/Arduino IDE fork designed to ease the Ti Launchpad series integration into the maker/hobbyist world.

In conjuction with the low price of the Launchpads and the growing number of the Boosterpacks I think that TI hits it big!

Energia, between TI Launchpad and Arduino

Energia, between TI Launchpad and Arduino

Right now it supports the following LaunchPads: LaunchPad MSP430G (MSP430G2231, MSP430G2452 and MSP430G2553), FRAM Launchpad aka. FraunchPad (MSP-EXP430FR5739), Stellaris LaunchPad (EK-LM4F120XL ).

No C2000 for now.

The Energia Support Forum is hosted on 43oh.comhttp://forum.43oh.com/forum/28-energia/

Hardware support page: https://github.com/energia/Energia/wiki/Hardware

elinks on BeagleBone

installing and running elinks – the text mode browser – on a BeagleBone

BeagleBone is great!

BeagleBone running great

BeagleBone running great

install elinks:

wget http://www.elinks.cz/download/elinks-current-stable.tar.gz
tar - xzvf elinks-current-stable.tar.gz
cd elinks-0.11-20130125 (better press tab after elinks, the last part is the date)
./configure
make && make install

and finally get to google:

browsing the net: BeagleBone running elinks

browsing the net: BeagleBone running elinks

 

More BeagleBone linux

More Angstrom tools:

systemd, is a system and service manager, a initd replacement

systemd uses journal instead of syslog

journalctl – a “/var/log/messages” replacement

configuration file: /etc/systemd/journald.conf

journalctl can be used in conjuction with grep

opkg – the package manager, a ipkg fork

page: http://code.google.com/p/opkg/
download: http://code.google.com/p/opkg/downloads/list

updating the system :  opkg update (?)
package information: opkg info <package name>
install packages:  opkg install <package name>    (ex. samba, a good way to build windows networks)

top  – shows running tasks

top with no arguments  – shows all tasks

top -p <pid> –shows only that specific pid

nmap on BeagleBone

Installing nmap on BeagleBone

Maybe the best network scan tool available, the powerful nmap is also free.

http://nmap.org/

Install sequence:

wget http://nmap.org/dist/nmap-6.25.tgz
cd nmap-6.25
./configure
make
make install

The install procedure takes some time (>20 minutes)
To get the basic help run nmap without arguments.

nmap on BeagleBone

nmap on BeagleBone

the make step is displaying 2 errors but is ok, make install shows 1 error but it works.

BeagleBone running Matt’s traceroute – mtr

Installing mtr on a Beaglebone/Angstrom

mtr(former Matt’s traceroute) is a mix of traceroute and ping, I use it often in network diagnose. Running it on BeagleBone simplifies many things.

As a usual source install:

wget ftp://ftp.bitwizard.nl/mtr/mtr-0.82.tar.gz
tar -xzvf mtr-0.82.tar.gz
cd mtr-0.82
./configure
make
make install

well… cursesX is not available… but is ok, I don’t want to run X.

mtr running on BeagleBone

mtr running on BeagleBone

Some links:

mtr: http://www.bitwizard.nl/mtr
some wikipedia thoughts about mtr: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MTR_(software)
Angstrom Distribution: http://www.angstrom-distribution.org/
Beagle Bone: http://beagleboard.org/bone
Element14 Beagle Bone Doc: http://www.element14.com/community/docs/DOC-45028/l/beaglebone-720mhz-arm-cortex-a8-neon-gpu-256-mib-ddr2-ethernet

mc on beaglebone

Midnight Commander 4.6.1 running on BeagleBone with Angstrom Distribution.

BeagleBone is a linux box. So get all the classic linux tools!

Midnight Commander on BeagleBone

Midnight Commander on BeagleBone

mc aka Midnight Commander is a visual file manager (orthodox file manager) used in console work. It is released under under GNU GPL.

For those who are not familiar with mc it is a product in the line of nc – Norton Commander, Path Minder, dn – Dos Navigator, far, Windows Commander / Total Commander.

mc v4.6.1 runs smooth on BeagleBone/Angstrom, mc v4.8.1.7 needs the S-Lang Library (http://s-lang.org) so I skipped it.

Installing mc from source is simple but it takes some time for every step, is not like installing it on a server but you have enough time to read the full output without redirecting it to a file 🙂

wget http://www.midnight-commander.org/downloads/mc-4.6.1.tar.gz
tar -xzvf mc-4.6.1.tar.gz
cd mc-4.6.1
./configure
make
make install

Useful Links:

Angstrom Distribution: http://www.angstrom-distribution.org/
BeagleBone: http://beagleboard.org/bone
Element14 BeagleBone Doc: http://www.element14.com/community/docs/DOC-45028/l/beaglebone-720mhz-arm-cortex-a8-neon-gpu-256-mib-ddr2-ethernet

Later edit:

http://feeds.angstrom-distribution.org/feeds/v2012.12/ipk/eglibc/armv7a-vfp-neon/base/mc_4.8.4-r0.2_armv7a-vfp-neon.ipk

opkg install mc

Microchip Development Tools Deals

Microchip shows a “up to 50% off” label for development tools:

http://www.microchip.com/pagehandler/en_us/promo/devtooldeals/

January list is:

 

  1. M2M PICtail Daughter Boards >>> Get $60 Off – Use Coupon Code: TPAC320011 >>> Normal price: 199.00 USD
  2. Utility-Band BPSK 6.0 kbps PLM PICtail Plus Daughter Board >>> Save $75 – Use Coupon Code: TPAC164145 >>> Normal price: 225.00 USD
  3. Graphics Display Truly 5.7 640×480 Board >>> $90 Off – Use Coupon Code: TPAC164127 >>> Normal price: 269.99 USD
  4. Motor Control Starter Kit with mTouch Sensing >>> Save $30 – Use Coupon Code: TPDM330015 >>> Normal price: 89.99 USD
  5. Multimedia Expansion Board >>> Save $100 Now – Use Coupon Code: TPDM320005 >>> Normal price: 249.99 USD

Great! But I’m still waiting for the new tideals site…

 

 

Fluke 233 Remote Display Multimeter Battery Issue

One of the coolest DMM on the market:

Fluke 233 – the Remote Display Multimeter

[youtube]DIUr-I5dO54[/youtube]

This is a great DMM, but mine has a problem: the battery life!

Leaving the meter in OFF state, after some weeks, all the batteries are dead.  Happened 4 times with different batteries.

It seems that the power-off state consumption is high and approximately the same value for both units.

Some guys from Element 14 are stating that is a flaw with the meters with s/n under 138xxx:

http://www.element14.com/community/message/58459#58459/l/re-fluke-233-meter-review–important-follow-up

 

 

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