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Friday, May 20, 2011

Quick Response Code: Details

We always wondered what and how the QR code came into play. This remained a shady fact that we used it couple of times on the mobile phone for URI catching but never got to find the real designs behind the screen.
Until Recently we found this:
Source: Wikipedia
In fact the QR Code is covered by a Patent 6,494,375 from Denso Wave.
We found even more detailed picture:
Source: QRME
The data contained in the QR Code is an amazing 4,296 Characters of text or 7,089 Digits or simply 2,953 Bytes. This means a complete HEX file for a small microcontroller can be embedded into one QR Code. Or think even better. A whole Letter that you send on a page can converted into a few QR Code Symbols !!
Many of the Mobiles and App sources such Google App Store Zxing provide API that help to encode data in QR Code format.
We are hoping to utilize this technology and cover the easy to implement QR Code in many of our projects.
Scan for your self....

For more Details Visit:
Wikipedia Article on QR Code:
QRME Website for more Documentation on QR Code:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

MSP430 JTAG & Spy-By-Wire Connections

Some time people mistake the connections for the common MSP430 debug interfaces. Specifically in our new board we ran into some issues. So here are some pictures to help you.
Spy-By-Wire Connection

Jtag Connection
Hope that this would help.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wiring Pen: For next gen in DIY prototyping

We came across ELM chaN's website and wondered at how soldering can be an Art.
Source: ELM chaN Website
In hopes to be able to make this possible, we read through the entire tutorial on Wiring Pen & how UEW (polyUrethane Enameled copper Wire) is used.
Looking at this we wanted to make our own Wiring Pen so we started in search of the raw materials:

[1] UEW: We found an easily available source from Mobile repair Shop. On the website we found indication to using the old Relay Coils or any type of solenoid etc. We found this:
In Bharat its available in any Mobile Repair Shop for others they can take it from an old relay. The best part is that you get a bobbin free if you take it out of the Relay.

[2] Syringe Needle & Pen: This is need for planning the exit of the wire in the Wiring Pen. You can get it from any of the medical shops. Also you would need an transparent Pen for use as the body. So here is a picture of what we have collected so far.
[3] Screw: This is needed to fit the Bobbin to the Pen Body.

Now here is how you Assemble the whole thing:
[1] Fix the Nail to the body of the Pen:
[2] Have a Stopper made out of a Plastic container lid to keep the bobbin in place. We have used a Screw on the Other end also. This was made possible by the use of a Metal Stud in the Center as you can see from the above picture.
[3] We added an additional (pulley using a) paper clip insered into the pen at the end of the pen to help the wire be pulled smoothly without damage.
[4] Next carefully insert the wire through the pen body and out on the other side. Then insert it into the Syringe and the Pen Tip. Here we found that initially that the syringe Needle had a big back projection and it could not fit into the pen. So we cut that out and adjusted it to fit in to the Pen's tip. We also inserted a small filler to tighten the Needle.
After Assembly:
[5] Now put every thing together and you have the Wiring Pen Ready !!
Our Wiring Pen is Ready !!
Hope that you liked our build, let us know your comments.

For more information visit the following Links:

ELM chaN's Website:

Tutorial on How to build a wiring Pen:

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sneak Preview: MSP430 Dev Board

We were into the development of an MSP430 board for our Projects. This was the reason we were a bit late in posting. Here are a few pics to help you get an idea:

This hardware would be a completely OSHW compliant would be hosted on our website. We are also planning to make kits to be sold in order to raise money for our new ventures and projects.
So keep watching and this would be out soon ...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

MSP430 with FRAM: Break Through in Microcontroller World

We received an Astounding news that TI has been successful able to combine FRAM Technology into one of the world Lowest power microcontroller MSP430. We knew about the verifiability of FRAM earlier but combining it with the Microcontrollers adds a whole new dimension to it.
Source: TI Website
Some of the unique Capabilities are:

  • Lowest Power Writes
  • Virtually infinite Wrtie Cycles
  • Adjustable barrier between Flash and the RAM as both can be the same
  • Complete Data retention at much lower power
  • High speeds of Read & Write - the example in the Video was really neat
  • Radiation Hardened & Extra long Data Retention - Terminator Style !!

The initial category of the Devices: MSP430FRXX
Contains ADC, UART, I2C with the normal set of Timers & Clock structure
Presently Samples of MSP430FR5739 are available. However these would be first engineering samples.

There is also a promotional MSP-EXP430FR5739 Experimenter Board which is available at $29 from TI e-Shop with free Shipping.
Source: TI Website
This board contains a 3Axis Accelerometer, NTC Thermistor, 8 LEDs and two push buttons. With on board debugging link like that of Launch Pad this is value for money.
We would wait and watch out for all innovations around this platform, till then for more info Visit:

Open Source Hardware Logo Usage

We got a few picture and templates for using the OSHW logo.However we wanted to make the Logo on PCB and various other things that we keep making. So we found some good Source:

Here we got the following to use for the Logo:
SVG Format OSHW Logo
So the Size of the Logo can be independent can easily be used in Inkscape.

This was nice we can now use it in documentation also.

For all PCB Cad tools also many people have already contributed:

gEDA platform

Eagle platform
This is basically an ULP that can be run or customized to make the logo in Eagle PCB.

KiCAD platform

For more information view the following links:

Long live OSHW!!