Cheap Arduino compatible boards are same as original

Probably you have noticed that Arduino is spread worldwide. It would be ridiculous to see one manufacturer producing them. The Arduino group produces original board that are named Arduino. This is their trademark. But being open source product, Arduino become popular popular in almost all workshops and so demand is huge. Since building plans are open other electronics manufacturers started building Arduino compatible boards. These are same Arduino boards, but with Arduino name and logo removed. Other than that is 100% compatible to standard Arduino that works with software tools, extensions and modules.


Arduino compatible Uno R3 Rev3 development board is one of most known boards. Because this form factor is the first Arduino step in to community. Continue reading

How to Take Good ID Card Photographs

It’s no surprise that the majority of people are reluctant to get their ID photos taken, the lack of creativity you can portray in your photos and the strict guidelines that you are required to adhere to can definitely make this a not-so-pleasant experience. However, getting our ID photos taken is something that we have to do and so we might as well look good and get the best quality photo possible.

There are numerous tips, tricks and steps which you can implement in order to increase the quality of your photos and still ensure that you adhere to the strict guidelines. We’ll take a look at some of these below. Continue reading

Building Your Own Computer

While buying a factory-built computer is quick and easy, there are a lot of advantages to building your own machine. For one thing, you are sure to get exactly the components, software, and functionality you need, versus what the manufacturer wants to give you. Another issue is that pre-made computers often have proprietary parts and cases, making them difficult to alter and upgrade; home-made machines are a lot more flexible in that area. Finally, home-made computers can be significantly less expensive.

Be sure to work in an area that’s free of dust and on a non-conductive surface, like a wooden table. You should also avoid working on carpeting, which can generate static electricity, and ground yourself by touching the metal part of the computer case before touching the components. You can also wear an antistatic wrist strap to prevent static electricity.

Step 1: Set up the Motherboard

·  Remove the motherboard from its packaging and set it on a steady surface. Do not sit it on top of the antistatic bag that it came in.

·  Fit the processor into the designated slot or socket on the motherboard. If it has a heat sink, it should come with a thermal adhesive for you to attach it to the processor. If has a fan, it will fit over the processor and have a small cable that plugs into one of the slots on the mother board.

·  Fit the RAM it into the corresponding slots on the motherboard. It should have a notch on the side with the metal contacts that corresponds with the slot, and will tell you which way to insert the RAM. Start with Slot 1, and fill each slot in order, depending on how many sticks of ram you have. Continue reading

Giveaway contest! Post to forum and win sensor board

I have another great development board which could be yours. This time it’s Freescale semiconductors Xtrinsic-Sensors-EVK evaluation board which packs a bunch of interesting sensors. It consists of two interconnected boards – FRDM-KL25Z base board which is multipurpose development board with ARM Cortex-M0+ micro on top. It features 128KB of flash, 16KB SRAM, USB OTG. On board itself you will find capacitive touch slider, MMA8451Q accelerometer and tricolor LED. It comes with OpenSDA debug interface. Software can be developed using mbed.


The board on top brings even greater value to all platform. It comes with a bunch of MEMS sensors including:

  • MPL3115 – pressure and altitude sensor;
  • MAG3110 – 3-axis digital magnetometer;
  • MMA8491Q – 3-axis low-g accelerometer.

Development board comes with built in demo software where it can be plugged to PC via USB where all sensor data can be seen on terminal screen. It’s a great unit to build many exciting projects.

Write at least couple meaningful forum posts in order to enter contest. You are free to start new discussion or reply to existing posts. Contest will end on 10 July. Winner will be picked randomly. In case of bigger activity, I will add another prize to pool.

Good luck!

Pushing prototyping with STM32F4Discovery to new level

STM32F4Discovery board is already quite powerful and stacked with many handy features. On a single board you can find 3 axis accelerometer, MEMS microphone, DAC with D class amplifier that can output sound through built in audio jack. Also there are couple LEDs and button for fast access. And of course, the core of this board is STM32F407VGT6 ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller that packs series of great features including DSP instructions and floating point unit.


But eventually with such power you will miss several other handy features that could be used in your project. Think of LCD, Ethernet, RS232 interface and even camera. You could start making your own extension boards that include additional features, but why bother, since there already are several extension boards available for it. Lets go through them and see the features you could get without heating soldering iron. Continue reading