Tag Archives: electronics

Swiss-made modular designer ebike

Remember the article on Leonardo DiCaprio and Blake Lively driving through New York on ebikes? What the article did not mention is, that the two are cruising on Swiss-made Stromer ebikes. Stromer developed their initial concept for ebikes in 2007 and offer since modular ebikes for urban mobility. Already in 2009, around 500 Stromer ebikes were driving all over Switzerland. Stromer offers an entire product line of modular ebikes, that ranges from basic urban bikes to powerful off road mountain bikes. Their user friendly web shop offers many different options and variants, so users can choose a completely individual state-of-the-art ebike. Stromer ebikes come with a powerful integrated accumulator, that is hidden within the Stromer designer frame. Customers can choose between a basic urban version with 250W motor that allows to drive 15.5mph (25 km/h) up to a powerful 500W motor with 28 mph (45 km/h). The basic bike is equipped with Shimano Deore gear and brakes that are able to recharge the accumulator.
Stromer offer state-of-the art designer ebikes that are a real alternative to the Faradey-Porteur pledge at Kickstarter and come much at the same price of around 3000€.

Tindie: Sell your own Hardware Creations

Did you ever thought about selling one of your hardware creations? Maybe some gadgets built on Arduino, Raspberry Pi, 3D printed artefacts as well as specific shields, boards, sensors or complete kits.

Emile Petrone founded a marketplace, tindie.com, where makers and hardware creators can offer their creations. There are already some really interesting creations on tindie, such as an Angry Birds-playing robot, MicroFTX USB-Serial Breakout or a Netduino Go! Relay Module.

Sensor Node for monitoring your Washing Machine

Viktor from Victor’s DIY, built a small circuit which monitors the washing process of his washing maschine, in order to alarm him when the maschine has finished the work. Of course the machine has some fancy LEDs on it which informs the user about the end of a program, but Victor decided that he needs something more acoustical 😉
The idea behind this work is to use a Freescale’s MMA7361 3-axis accelerometer to monitor the movement of his machine in order to detect the end of the washing program.

image source: http://diy.viktak.com

Slouch Detecting Belt

Ellen Sundh’s Bad Posture is built around an Arduino, wave shield, and a flex sensor in order to detect when the user slouches. If your posture needs correcting, the belt literally yells at you. You can calibrate the belt by pushing a pushbutton after attaining good posture. After that, he/she is free to be lambasted by this piece of wearable tech. [via The Creators Project]

Nixie Tube Chess Set

Look at this amazing chess set which was made using vintage Russian Nixie tubes. The tubes are illuminated without visible wires; they glow when at rest on the gameboard surface. Some detail shots showing the internal PCBs are available here, and announcement of plans for a kit version here. Kudos to Tony of Lasermad for producing what, IMHO, is quite clearly a masterpiece. [via Hack a Day]


TED Talk by Massimo Banzi – Inventing things with Arduino

Massimo Banzi one of the inventors of THE electronics prototyping system called Arduino spoke at TEDGlobal 2012 about the cool things people are making with Arduino. At the moment Arduino is one of the most popular prototyping platforms worldwide. Some weeks ago Massimo Banzi presented their new Arduino package design at the Maker Faire and he got a lot of interested people around him. The usability of the Arduino system is that good that even children are developing their first electronics project with it. And with a price around 20€ its definitely cheaper than the traditional PIC microcontroller programming enviroments i used.

New in the Maker Shed: Arduino Leonardo

Make had a small stock of Arduino Leonardos in the Maker Shed for their announcement at Maker Faire but they sold nearly as fast as they could put them out. Make finally got them back in stock so you can buy one right now in the Maker Shed (while they last!)

At first glance, the Arduino Leonardo looks just like an SMD version of the Arduino Uno with a micro USB port. It’s blue, has the same foot print, same pin-out, and the same layout as its brother. The internals are also very similar. It features nearly the same RAM, flash, and clock speed as the ATmega328 processor found in the Uno. So why is the Leonardo different? Because it uses the ATmega32u4. This processor has built in USB communication which eliminates the need for a secondary USB to serial converter. The ATmega32u4 creates a virtual (CDC) COM port on your computer every time it runs its bootloader. Since it’s virtual, it can also behave like an HID (Human Interface Device) meaning the Leonardo can “act” like a keyboard or mouse, opening it up to a whole new range of projects. This processor also has additional I/O capabilities, allowing pins 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, and 12 to be used as analog inputs (12 total vs. the UNO’s 6). In addition, the Leonardo has one additional PWM pin (13) and all 20 I/O pins can be used as digital pins.

Of course, this new functionality doesn’t come without a price (although the price is only $20!) Since the Leonardo uses a virtual COM port, it can make certain tasks a bit more complicated (see the Getting Started Guide.) For this reason, we recommend this board to makers with some Arduino experience. Also, some of the pin assignments are slightly different so while the Leonardo is compatible with most shields, it may not be compatible with all. Advanced shields that use I2C or SPI (such as Ethernet shields) will work so long as they were updated to match the new Arduino Uno layout that was released last year. For full shield compatibility and ease of use, see the tried and true Arduino Uno.


  • Microcontroller ATmega32u4
  • Operating Voltage 5V
  • Input Voltage (recommended) 7-12V
  • Input Voltage (limits) 6-20V
  • Digital I/O Pins 20
  • PWM Channels 7
  • Analog Input Channels 12
  • DC Current per I/O Pin 40 mA
  • DC Current for 3.3V Pin 50 mA
  • Flash Memory 32 KB (ATmega32u4) of which 4 KB used by bootloader
  • SRAM 2.5 KB (ATmega32u4)
  • EEPROM 1 KB (ATmega32u4)
  • Clock Speed 16 MHz

Crayolascope: an Analog Depth Display

Video artist Blair Neal created the Crayolascope, a fantastic 3D depth display out of a dozen hacked Crayola Glow Books. He used an Arduino Mega which controls the display and the user can adjust the speed of the pre-drawn animation or scrub through the frames. The unconventional display was exhibited at The New York Hall of Science (home of World Maker Faire New York) as part of the animation exhibit and Balir says that it’s a big hit with kids. He also has a few plans for the next version:

I’d like to play with more powerful lighting and more full edge lighting, as well as solve the issue of internal reflectivity between panels degrading the quality of the “image”. Once the animation goes in about 14-18 frames, it becomes very difficult to see from one side unless it is in a very dark space. I would love to get it much deeper than that, or at least make a finer Z-space resolution.

[Thanks, Blair!]

The Crayolascope – an Analog Depth Display from blair neal on Vimeo.