New Products and Mechan-O-Pong!


By the time you read this post, I will be well on my way to another country. As of Friday morning, I'll be on a plane to San Francisco which will take my wife and me to Tokyo and eventually on to Bangkok where I will spend the next month seeing temples, taking pictures, eating Thai food and exploring the country. This will be my long overdue honeymoon, since I never gave my wife a proper honeymoon back when we got married last year.

Nick will be filling in for me when I'm gone so there will still be weekly product posts and videos. I'll see everyone back on the 16th of September. Since I'll be gone we decided to make a cool demo for the video this week.

I've always wanted to make a mechanical Pong, and the motorized pots were just the thing we needed! It turned out pretty cool, although it was a bit difficult to play at times.

We go through a lot of stencils here. We have at least one for each of our assemblies and in many cases, we have several. They either wear out over time or we retire or revise a product so we are left with a lot of stencils. Instead of throwing them out, we are offering these stencils up for sale. They are stainless steel and you could probably use them as a prototyping material or for something artistic. We only have a limited supply of these so get them while we have them.

A lot of different boards have headers for XBee modules. But if you don't want to use an XBee network, what do you do with the header? Well, you can use the new Roving Networks RN-XV module to communicate over Wi-Fi. The RN-XV supports 802.11b/g and has a wire antenna built in (with the option to add a U.FL connector).

These motorized pots, which we used in the video above, have a lot of great uses. You can of course use them as a motorized pot, but you can also use them as linear motors, although they can't support much weight. By using the 10K potentiometer as feedback, you can precisely control the position of the slider. You can recall its position or use different profiles to set it at different levels depending on variables. They are fun to use and can really add some class to your next project.

If you're going to use the motorized pot, you will probably want a knob for it. Thankfully, this knob is a perfect fit. It simply snaps onto the slider and gives you a clean look for installing the pot underneath a panel.

Last week we talked about the new LilyPad LED Micros. We now have them in white, as well as yellow, green, blue, and red.

If you're looking to drive a stepper motor, but the EasyDriver isn't powerful enough, you might want to take a look at the Big Easy Driver. The Big Easy can drive up to 2A per phase, so you can use it with your bigger stepper motors. Keep in mind you will need some heatsinks to get to the full 2A rating though.

If you use an NI myDAQ, this board might interest you. The myDAQ Protoboard Kit plugs directly into your myDAQ and allows you access to all the pins and even gives you a breadboard to work on your project.

I lied. Back when we released the ADJD-S311-CR999 color light sensor, I said we were never going to make a board for it. Well, we got ambitious and decided to try it out and we came up with a board. The new Color Light Sensor Evaluation Board is just like the old one, but uses the new version of the light sensor.

We also have a new version of the Atomic IMU 6 DoF. It gets rid of some old sensors and gets some new ones. If you haven't considered the 6DoF, you might want to check it out as it has a lot of nice features including an XBee header and on-board ATMega328.

So that's all we have for this week. Nick will be posting new products for the next few weeks and I'll see you again in about a month! Thanks for reading.


Comments 34 comments

  • Keep in mind you will some heatsinks to get to the full 2A rating though.
    Hmmmmm, I’ve never really thought about having to some heatsinks. Not even sure how I’d go about doing that…

  • Does the Atomic IMU 6 Dof accept waffle or pancake batter on the batter input? I like to make waffles where working with embedded electronics.

  • Atropine, the breakfast of champions(or at least of survivors)
    !

  • Very cool the mechanical pong, I imagine a print made of this things

  • make a side trip to Cambodia, You can get a lobster dinner for a dollar! ;-)
    (although you may not remember it later)

  • Thailand is your wife’s choice right?
    And I’ll assume Silicon Valley is your 1st choice, with Japan’s Top Secret giant robot testing site being a close 2nd…

    • Lest you think Thailand is just pretty landscapes, there’s plenty of geek fun to be had there. Panthip Plaza is Bangkok’s version of Akihabara. It’s an incredible electronics mecca, consisting of 6 indoor floors full of every kind of device imaginable sold from hundreds of storefronts. Rob and Kim are peas in a pod; they’ll have a great time there.

    • Actually mine. She wants to go to Russia. Next year.

      • Russia- the land of vodka and really bad toilet paper. Make sure when you go to bring extra blue jeans- nothing like the black market to find what you want. Make sure you vist that Tesla plant…

      • Aren’t you supposed to be on vacation? ;)

  • Hey! a little bitty CNC!
    Pen plotter, laser aimer, keypad typer?
    Very cool

  • somebody quick find a typo

  • What a brilliant idea for those motorised pots! Inspired!
    Web controlled, electronic Etch-a-sketch, anyone? :P
    PERFECT for a project I have planned, too! (computer audio mixing desk)
    As for those silkscreen stencils, is the metal solderable? I’m thinking cut them up, make small boxes, use them to RF shield components.

  • China? You want to take your wife on a honeymoon to a communist and repressive country like China? Should of gone to like Italy or something like that….

  • Enjoy Thailand! Always wanted to go… …someday!
    Also, I know we all like chemical weapons and have the two letters “VX” running through our brains 24/7 causing nerve damage, but your board is actually a “RN-XV”. ;)


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