Archive for January 2012


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वन्दे मातरम |

Bus-Pirate broke down

Monday, January 23, 2012
Tag :
We were disabled recently as our trusty tool the Bus-Pirate just broke down.

Possibly it was wrong voltage levels that took it out. Now we cant get the Supply command 'W' working.
Most of development uses this nice little device. Now we have to order a new Bus-pirate to continue our projects. Mostly repair work for this one would take more time which we are always short of. Well we would post an update once we are back with a new one.
Atomic-scale electronics follow classical, not quantum, rules.
B. WEBBER

Atomic electrical components conduct just like conventional wires, giving a new lease of life to Moore's law. - Nature

Microchips could keep on getting smaller and more powerful for years to come. Research shows that wires just a few nanometres wide conduct electricity in the same way as the much larger components of existing devices, rather than being adversely affected by quantum mechanics.

As manufacturing technology improves and costs fall, the number of transistors that can be squeezed onto an integrated circuit roughly doubles every two years. This trend, known as Moore's law, was first observed in the 1960s by Gordon Moore, the co-founder of chip manufacturer Intel, based in Santa Clara, California. But transistors have now become so small that scientists have predicted that it may not be long before their performance is compromised by unpredictable quantum effects.

Resistivity, a measure of how much a material opposes the flow of electrical current, has previously been shown to increase exponentially as the width of a wire decreases below 10 nanometres, which would impede the performance of devices with atomic-scale components.

News via Adafruit blog.
Some More Updates at New post(22/11/2012)

We have all used breadboards, or those who plan to jump into the fascinating world of electronics need to know about them. This article focuses on introducing breadboards inside out, to help people use them and prototype their innovations faster. We would walk through Bread board concepts, connecting various chips & devices, efficient prototyping and documenting the designs.

[1] What is a Bread Board ?
Bread Board or more precisely Solder-less Bread Board is one of the essential tools for any one stating with electronics or microcontrollers. It is useful for both Pro's and beginners alike. Here are pictures of the different breadboards that one can find.
Older Variety widely available in Bharat(India)
Newer Variety slightly Costly in Bharat(India)
Smaller ones (Half Size) available from Adafruit
Oldest form of Bread boards (Not available now)
More recent Transparent Fancy bread board from Sparkfun
Apart from the above breadboards are also available in kit form. Which include optional Power supply Connections and other connectivity options.
With Power supply from Sparkfun


[2] General know how on Length Units used in Electronics.Going forward in this tutorial it is important to note that we would be using a particular unit a lot of times "mil" or also popularly known as "TH". It is 1000th of an Inch. Here is a conversion table that might come in Handy.
1 Inch =>  1000 mil  =>    2.54 cm =>    25.4 mm
1 mil  => 0.001 Inch => 0.00254 cm =>   0.025 mm
Also: 
1 mm => 0.1 cm => 39.37 mil=> 0.03937 Inch

It is important to know this conversion as most of the Printed Circuit Board unit are in "mil" and the data-sheet units are in "mm". There has always been a classical fight between the more accurate one. However most of the things in PCB arena are still in "mil" and using mm means using 4-6 decimal precision in the current boards.
Thus we prefer to use the "mil" unit more than mm. However we would try to provide a proper conversion available for the parts that have been measured. There is a handy converter available in the blog which can convert in any direction either "mil" to mm or vise-versa.

[3]Cool Bread Board tricksWe have collected a set of great bread board tricks that are a real time saver.

  

In this case, one end of each resistor is pushed into the solder less breadboard, while the other end of each resistor has a wire soldered to it. The other end of the wire connects to the appropriate LED segment.


Easy way to connect the common CR2032 Battery needed for RTC or even MSP430.

Simple 5V power supply for Bread board this above is an Instructable that you can build your self.
Commercial ones are also available from: Adafruit, Seeedstudio, Sparkfun

This is an easy way by soldering the terminals of the commonly used SMD resistors, capacitors or even transistors to the bregs they can be inserted easily into the breadboard.


An easy way to make a makeshift but reliable SD card holder for the bread board.For some additional tricks refer to 43oh Blog.

Use of Masking tape to mention helpful references. Also this would be helpful in removing the circuits when you don't need them on the bread board any longer.

You can make your own bread board using IC DIP sockets by joining them together in the same fashion as in bread boards.

This is quite handy specially when you are out and still want to do some prototyping. All you have to do is connect the USB of your Laptop or Card USB mp3 player charger and they you go.

These modules are some of the common things that you might use. So its a good idea to make some of them. They you dont need to rig up the same old circuit again and again.

The are the tricks that we use commonly. Thanks to this Instructable we have great ease in our prototyping efforts.

Bread Board Jumpers
The secret of all hackers success with breadboards. These are indispensable and high recommended to buy one set. Its a one time investment though not so costly, but its just eases rigging up circuits a lot. These are available commercially from: Seeedstudio
These jumpers are made using berg pins and some heat shrink sleeves on normal wires.

Update: 23,January,2012
Here are some more Tricks from Vitya

Using hot-glue some basic vero board and careful soldering we can have SMD IC right on the Bread Board

A nice LED strip that can save a lot of space and rig up time designed by Vitya. Visit his blog for more info.


Easy to use 8 button for bread board use. Can help to offload the de-bounding circuit from bread board to save space.

Definitely a useful and bold type of display while bread board. This offloads the circuit needed for decoding BCD to 7-Segment Display from the bread board.

Thanks to Vitya for the links.


"Well this is far from Complete So we would keep adding more and Help Us Fill in more details"

We are developing a new version of LATHI which would be optimized for power and functionality. The first prototype has now been complete and being tested.
This time it will have the Li-Ion rechargeable batteries. And a better speaker. We have already tested the GSM and GPS related functionality. We have changed our main microcontroller from PIC32MX360F512L to an MSP430 to gain power advantage while losing on processing power. The Accelerometer here is the same MMA8453Q we discussed some time ago. Even the same breakout module is being presently used. We have estimated that the battery life can be expected to be easily 3 Months !!. We would keep posting updates as we progress. The aim now is to make this into a complete manufacturer-able product.
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