Category Archives: Engineering

Octolively derivative at ARMTechCon

Mouser display based on Octolively

We dropped by ARMTechCon last week to check out a tip sent in by email (thanks, Barry!) that Mouser Electronics was displaying something that looked like our Octolively modules.

Kids interacting with LEDs
Photo courtesy of Mouser

Mouser staff had been inspired by an installation of our Interactive LED Panels to create something interactive that they could show off at Engineers Week at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. They used the Octolively as the basis for their project, and the kids loved it of course.

Blue "M" in LEDs

For trade shows, they built up a display with a mix of blue and white LEDs to show off the Mouser “M”. Based on the foot traffic it got while I was at the booth, it is quite popular.

ATmega164P

They made some minor changes from our original Octolively design and used different connector types to highlight Mouser’s product lines. The heart of the project is still the 40-pin DIP ATmega164P (perhaps anomalous at an ARM conference) running our Octolively code, which gave the Mouser folks a chance to play with some microcontroller programming.

Interactive display based on Octolively

It’s always exciting to see a derivative of one of our projects in the wild. Thanks to the Mouser folks for sharing their project story and sending the museum picture for us to share.

Inside the 741


Ken Shirriff has written an excellent exploration of the 741 op-amp, including decapping a metal can package AD741. There’s a very cool interactive viewer so that you can click on the components in the schematic or on the picture of the die to see what each one is and does.

…The 25pF capacitor in the 741 has a very small value but takes up a large fraction of the chip’s area. You can see the capacitor in the middle of the die photo; it is the largest structure on the chip. …

Our very own XL741 is referenced in the footnotes, too.

Psychedelic Flame Soldering Kit


Last year, we released our Flickery Flame Soldering Kits with six candle-flicker LEDs in red and yellow or white and warm white, to give a fun and semi-realistic flame effect. Now we’re releasing a new Psychedelic Flame Soldering Kit with six blinky-fading-flashy RGB LEDs.

Together the auto-changing LEDs make this a bright, colorful, and kinetic light show. Perfect for holiday decorations (psychedelic Jack O’Lanterns, anyone?), luminarias, scale models, stage props, and parties.

Kit contents

These kits are fun, low-cost, self-contained, and easy soldering kits, which will be right at home both as stocking stuffers and as bite-size first projects for soldering workshops.

Clocks at Maker Faire NY

Clocks at Maker Faire

The first day of Maker Faire New York was great fun. We’ve found a several great clock projects so far, including this one, featuring image processing running on a Raspberry Pi.

Untitled

Our friends at NYC Resistor brought a wonderful papercraft seven segment display clock.

Tom, Massimo and Ahmed

At the end of the day, while talking with Tom and Massimo from Arduino, we ran into another maker with a clock project. Welcome to the maker community, Ahmed!