Tuesday, February 20, 2018

NEW PRODUCT – Blinka the CircuitPython Limited Edition Enamel Pin

from NEW PRODUCT – Blinka the CircuitPython Limited Edition Enamel Pin
by Angelica

Blinka Pin Demo cropped ORIG 2018 02

NEW PRODUCT – Blinka the CircuitPython Limited Edition Enamel Pin


You’re a CircuitPython fan, right? Now you can show your colors proudly. If you’re into skin art, we have Blinka as a temporary tattoo, but for the dedicated fans, now you can pin her on your jacket or backpack!

This Blinka the CircuitPython Enamel Pin is beautifully designed and constructed with vivid colors and a cast metal body with butterfly cast. We love the contrast of her bright blue eye against the deep purple and pink body.

Blinka is a very kind, friendly python who only wants to help you learn CircuitPython – she will be by your ssssssside, from the very first ‘import’ you type.

3680 iso 02 ORIG 2018 02

3680 top card ORIG 2018 02

3680 quarter ORIG 2018 02

In stock and shipping now!

NEW PRODUCT – Adafruit RGB Matrix Bonnet for Raspberry Pi

from NEW PRODUCT – Adafruit RGB Matrix Bonnet for Raspberry Pi
by Angelica

3211 demo ORIG 02 2018 revised

NEW PRODUCT – Adafruit RGB Matrix Bonnet for Raspberry Pi


You can now create a dazzling display with your Raspberry Pi with the Adafruit RGB Matrix Bonnet. These boards plug into your Pi and makes it super easy to control RGB matrices such as those we stock in the shop and create a colorful scrolling display or mini LED wall with ease.

“Bonnet” boards work on any Raspberry Pi with a 40-pin GPIO header — Zero, Zero W/WH, Model A+, B+, Pi 2 and Pi 3. They do not work with older 26-pin boards like the original Model A or B. Note with the Pi Zero you may need to solder a header on the Pi board; it’s normally unpopulated on that model.

3211 iso ORIG 2018 02

We also have an older, HAT version of our RGB Matrix design. The HAT version does not come fully assembled, does not support 1/32-scan matrices, but does come with a real time clock (RTC)

This bonnet will make your matrix projects super easy and avoids wiring complexity. Let me break it down for you:

  • Simple design – plug in power, plug in IDC cable, run our Python code!
  • Power protection circuitry – you can plug a 5V 4A wall adapter into the bonnet and it will automatically protect against negative, over or under-voltages! Yay for no accidental destruction of your setup.
  • Onboard level shifters to convert the RasPi’s 3.3V to 5.0V logic for clean and glitch free matrix driving
  • Fully assembled compact design no soldering required! Plugs onto any Raspberry Pi with a 2×20 connector, and you’re ready to glow.

Works with any of our 16×32, 32×32 or 32×64 RGB LED Matrices with HUB75 connections. You can also use 64×64 matrices by soldering a small jumper on the PCB. Want more lights? No problem, chain multiple matrices together for a longer display – we’ve only tested up to 32×128 but it works just fine. The bigger the display the harder it is on the Pi, so keep that in mind if you’re using a lower-powered Pi Zero.

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Please note: this Bonnet is only for use with HUB75 type RGB matrices. Not for use with NeoPixel, DotStar, or other ‘addressable’ LEDs.

Each order comes with a fully assembled and ready to go bonnet with all parts assembled. RGB Matrix is not included, please check out our fine selection

A 5V power supply is also required, not included, for power the matrix itself, the Pi cannot do it, to calculate the power, multiply the width of all the chained matrices * 0.12 Amps : A 32 pixel wide matrix can end up drawing 32*0.12 = 3.85A so pick up a 5V 4A power supply. We also stock 5V 10A power supplies. Actual power usage will vary with how many LEDs you light up at once.

Raspberry Pi not included (but we have ’em in the shop so pick one up, Zero, Model A+, B+, Pi 2 or Pi 3)

We have a full guide tutorial with installation, software, datasheets, EagleCAD PCB files, Fritzing objects and more!

3211 iso demo 02 ORIG 2018 02

3211 iso demo 01 ORIG 2018 02

In stock and shipping now!

3D-Printed Rubber Band PCB Vise | #3Dprinting

from 3D-Printed Rubber Band PCB Vise | #3Dprinting
by nicknormal

This totally makes sense. I think I went…actually I can’t even count how many years I went before finally investing in a vice (PanaVise Junior 201 & 350 work center fyi) but even they feel like overkill sometimes, especially for smaller PCBs (and they’re only getting smaller all the time). I just want/need/wish-i-had-3d-printed a smaller solution. Alas, this may be it!

To be honest though I hate rubber bands. Or rather, I loathe (not hate) cheap rubber bands. I save the rubber bands used on produce because I consider them high-quality (usually) so I’ll have to modify this design to accommodate those slightly thicker bands, but this is definitely a solution to consider for my – and your! – makerbench.

If you’ve ever worked on a small PCB, you know how much of a hassle it can be to hold on to the thing. It’s almost as if they weren’t designed to be held in the grubby mitts of a human. As designs have become miniaturized over time, PCBs are often so fragile and festooned with components that tossing them into the alligator clips of the classic soldering “third hand” can damage them. The proper tool for this job is a dedicated PCB vise, which is like a normal bench vise except it doesn’t crank down very hard and usually has plastic pads on the jaws to protect the board.

Only problem with a PCB vise is, like many cool tools and gadgets out there, not everybody owns one. Unless you’re doing regular PCB fabrication, you might not take the plunge and buy one either. So what’s a hacker on a budget to do when they’ve got fiddly little PCBs that need attention?

Functionally the vise works, and the rubber band actuation is great when you find the proper sized one, but I was a bit disappointed by the jaws. The face of the jaw is printed flat on the bed, which means it has a fairly smooth finish (more or less so, depending on your build surface). With such a smooth finish it’s just a bit too easy for the PCB to slip down in the vise, which defeats the purpose somewhat.

Via hackaday; 3D-printer files here on Thingiverse.

Monday, February 19, 2018

The leading show for healthcare innovation returns to London

from The leading show for healthcare innovation returns to London
by John Weir

Medical innovation will take centre stage for 2018, at the largest wearables and disruptive health technology event in the world, with never before-seen devices and applications and a raft of industry-leading speakers.

The Digital Health Technology Show returns to London on the 13th & 14th March 2018 at London’s Excel, gathering together more than 6,000 attendees and over 100 exhibitors.

The 2018 Conference programme boasts four tracks, with over 100 hours of content programmed.

Attendees can choose to attend talks on the Digital Health Disrupt Stage – covering global innovation in healthcare, the Leadership Theatre – where senior healthcare figures in the UK will discuss and debate the challenges ahead, or the Patient Engagement Stage – delivering insights into how technology is being used in the real world. There will also be demonstrations of the latest medical innovations on the Innovation Stage, which will also host a start up competition – The Health Innovation Award.

Over 200 speakers will be involved. Already confirmed are some of the leading innovators and thought leaders in healthcare, and a host of innovators and thought leaders you won’t be able to listen to anywhere else in the UK.

On the expo floor, visitors will be able to visit over 100 companies showcasing the next generation of wearables and digital healthcare devices. Leading technology companies Bittium, Firstbeat, Modius, Ultramed and others are already confirmed to take part, as well as the NHS.

Entry to the expo is free and NHS professionals get free entry to all conference tracks using the code DHTSNHS18

For more information and to register please visit: www.digitalhealthtechshow.com 

Pololu’s New Machines

from Pololu’s New Machines
by Tom White

How I picked our new machines (and what they mean for you!)

At the end of 2012, we got two very different pick and place machines, an SM421F from Samsung (which has since sold their electronics assembly equipment business to Hanwha) and an iineo from Europlacer. Both machines are very versatile, designed to place everything from the smallest components to large and tall parts, and we have run all of our products on both machines. I got both machines back then because each manufacturer made a compelling case, and I wanted to try both. The new machine we installed this month is another Europlacer machine. So… does that mean it’s better?

Having more of this extremely flexible manufacturing capacity means we can keep churning out new prototypes quickly and then be able to manufacture the products at a globally competitive price. Over the coming months, we will be assessing our manufacturing costs and lowering prices on many of our popular products, and new products will have lower prices as soon as we introduce them.


Interested in equipment investment decisions and the impact they can have on pricing?

This insightful post from Pololu walks through a variety of considerations that went in to their recent manufacturing capacity increase, and highlights some of the key strategic tradeoffs that must be made.

This appeared in our weekly maker business newsletter on adafruitdaily.com – sign up!

Friday, February 16, 2018

NEW PRODUCT – 64×64 RGB LED Matrix – 2.5mm Pitch – 1/32 Scan

from NEW PRODUCT – 64×64 RGB LED Matrix – 2.5mm Pitch – 1/32 Scan
by Angelica

3649 demo 200 speed

NEW PRODUCT – 64×64 RGB LED Matrix – 2.5mm Pitch – 1/32 Scan


Winter time can be rough in the city. The sky is gray. The weather is unpredictable. So slough off those seasonal blues with some Times Square razzle dazzle from this sweet, ultra-high-density 64×64 RGB LED Matrix. These panels are typically used to make video walls. Here in New York we see them on the sides of buses and on top of taxi cabs displaying animations or video advertisements. We thought they looked really cool, so we picked up a few boxes of them from a factory. They have 4,096 bright RGB LEDs arranged in a 64×64 grid at a 2.5mm pitch.

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WARNING! These 64-pixel tall matrices use a non-standard 5-address multiplexing system! WARNING!

Many add-ons or drivers use only a 4-address (ABCD) setup. Right now the only board we have that can use these big matrices is our RGB Matrix Bonnet for Raspberry Pi, and you’ll need to connect a solder jumper. Other libraries such as our Arduino library, or our HDMI driver boards don’t support 5-address multiplexing!

Full Kit Contents:

  • 64×64 RGB panel
  • IDC ribbon cable (~200mm)
  • power cable (~480mm)
  • 4 mounting screws and mini-magnets

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3649 quarter ORIG 2018 02

In stock and shipping now!

Subscribe to the Adafruit Youtube channel! #Youtube

from Subscribe to the Adafruit Youtube channel! #Youtube
by Jessie Mae

Are you subscribed to the Adafruit Youtube channel? If you’re not already subscribed, click here! http://adafru.it/subscribe . It’s a free and easy way to keep up with our newest episodes. Here’s some of what we’re up to.

Electronics show and tell with G+ On-Air hangouts every Wednesday at 7:30pm ET. Want to show a project on an upcoming show and tell? Leave a comment on the show and tell announcement on Adafruit’s G+ page: http://ift.tt/15IF4UZ

Every Wednesday night at 8pm ET join us for our weekly live video & chatroom! Visit http://adafruit.com/ask for more info. You can ask anything about electronics, kits at Adafruit or just stop in to meet other makers who are building cool things! At the end of the chat we give away a kit from Adafruit to the winner of our trivia question!

Hang out with Noe & Pedro Ruiz every week and discover 3D printing! Get your 3D news, projects, design tutorials, shop talk and more each week..

New Products – Updated Fridays

Each week Ladyada shows the newest great electronics at Adafruit!

Join Ladyada streaming live for circuit board layout design, code writing, surface mount soldering and more fresh engineering and even some gaming! If Ladyada’s working on it, you’ll find it here first.

where Collin Cunningham covers a seemingly random variety of topics from the world of electronics, science, music, etc, etc …

Project builds, hacks, and mods from John Park’s Workshop!