Archive by Author

Make Your Own RBBB in MAKE

RBBB-Make

Issue 36 of Make Magazine just hit the mailboxen of subscribers; it’ll hit the newsstand on October 23rd or so. The Really Bare Bones Board is featured in the Make Your Own Damn Board article, which is a tutorial on basic board design in EAGLE. We made a special EAGLE library with just the parts on the RBBB, which you can download below. Right click to save (an EAGLE library is an XML file), and place it in the lbr directory of your EAGLE installation.

By Shawn Wallace on October 11, 2013.

New Proximity Sensor Boards Have Arrived

prox1

Gavin Atkinson has been working in the studio on a few different projects this Summer, and our new proximity sensor is the latest fruit of his work. These panelized boards look very cool so I thought I’d share them. I described them previously as looking like Klingon shuriken and I stand by that analogy.

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By Shawn Wallace on August 22, 2013.

New Web Shop Backend: WooCommerce

We’ve just moved our web shop to the WooCommerce backend. WooCommerce is a fork of the open source Jigoshop cart and lives entirely in WordPress, which means it will be easier for us to integrate all aspects of the blog, documentation and shop. We think the new setup will improve the user experience, but if you have any troubles with the new interface, please email support@moderndevice.com and let us know! We’re also (finally!) hooked up with an Authorize.net merchant account, so you can pay by credit card directly without using Paypal. Paypal is still an option of course.

By Shawn Wallace on August 15, 2013.

Build a Hackable Bytebeat Player at the RI Mini Maker Faire

byteseeker

The Rhode Island Mini Maker Faire is this Saturday, featuring dozens of makers alongside the usual music and shenanigans of AS220’s annual Foo Fest. Each year we run a soldering workshop as part of the Faire; this year we’ll be making a hackable bytebeat player from Modern Device, the Byteseeker Junior.

Download the assembly instructions here.

The Byteseeker is an Arduino-variation with a headphone jack, two pots and two buttons based on the Real Bare Bones Board. The code we’ll be using at the Faire is kind of like an iPod Shuffle for Bytebeat “songs.”

What’s Bytebeat you ask? It’s a genre of 8-bit beatmaking that tweezes complex repeating patterns of sound out of one line math expressions. A more in-depth description may be found in this blog post, but here’s a quick video to give you an idea of what the thing sounds like:

Byteseeker Jr. from Shawn Wallace on Vimeo.

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By Shawn Wallace on August 9, 2013.

Using the Lots of Pots Board for Raspberry Pi

lop3

Here’s how to use the Lots of Pots Board for the Raspberry Pi. The daughterboard (or shield; what are we calling Raspberry Pi add ons these days?) sits on top of the Raspberry Pi and breaks out the various GPIO pins in a useful and labeled manner. It also has an 8 channel MCP3008 analog to digital converter on board, which is hooked up to the hardware SPI pins on the GPIO header. This tutorial will describe the features of the board and cover how to read analog inputs from the ADC.

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By Shawn Wallace on July 26, 2013.

Algorithmic Ballyhoo: Using Processing to Make Hundreds of Unique Posters

MFBlogPost

This post describes a process I like to call algorithmic ballyhoo; using a Processing program to generate many different unique poster designs. We needed a poster for the Rhode Island Mini Maker Faire this year, so I decided to use a Processing sketch to do the work for me. Modern Device will be at the Mini Maker Faire, and will have a new Bytebeat-based kit for the soldering workshop.

poster-final-600p

Algorithmic ballyhoo is nothing but sheer randomness without some sort of seed or design constraint. The Mini Maker Faire is embedded in AS220’s Foo Fest, and Xander Marro is this year’s Foo Fest artist-in-residence. Xander designed the Foo Fest posters (pictured to the right) and I decided to use the same elements in the Mini Maker Faire poster.

Read on for the Processing code. It’s pretty straightforward; the key is to use the processing.pdf library to record a printable version of everything you’re drawing on the screen. Then, just bring it to your local copy shop (or fine art large format printer). Remember that your drawing grid is at 72dpi. In the final PDF all graphics will be drawn as scalable vector art, but any included bitmap images will be drawn at screen resolution, so make sure any included PNGs are at least 4 or 5 times the final size, then shrunk down.


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By Shawn Wallace on July 23, 2013.

Free Domestic US Shipping on Weekends

freeshipping

Starting this weekend, any order placed on a Saturday or Sunday (Eastern Time) will be shipped for free. Anything up to 13 oz. will be shipped USPS First Class; more than that will go USPS Priority. Please note that we’re only offering this to Domestic US addresses at this time. We’re trying this out for the Summer and will keep going if it’s popular.

By Shawn Wallace on June 29, 2013.

New Product: Lots Of Pots (LOP) Board For Raspberry Pi

DSC_0118 2

LOP

The Lots Of Pots Board is a shield that solves some problems in working with the Raspberry Pi’s physical computing capabilities. It comes with an 8 channel analog to digital converter for reading potentiometers or sensors, and breaks out the GPIO pins and communication pins in a useful configuration. I wanted this board as an interface for making virtual synthesizers on the Raspberry Pi, but it will work well for other analog input sensors as well if you populate the board with headers instead of pots. If you’ve got a project that requires several analog and digital inputs, this board will save you a lot of time stripping wires and fussing with protoboard.

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By Shawn Wallace on June 27, 2013.

New Special Offer: Deal of the Day

We’re starting a new promotion (effective now, June 26th): the Deal of the Day. Each weekday we’ll be offering 25% off a different product in the shop with the promotional code DOTD on checkout. The first deal (for today, the 25th of June) will be the classic Real Bare Bones Board Kit, our popular minimalist Arduino-compatible. Join our Facebook or Twitter feeds to be notified of the daily deal.

By Shawn Wallace on June 25, 2013.