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New Product: BUB III

BUBIII

Future Technology Devices International makes many different TTL Serial to USB chips.
One model, the FT232R, is used in boards like the
The AdaFruit FTDI friend,
SparkFun FTDI Basic,
Modern Device BUB I and
Modern Device BUB II.
It’s not the cheapest, smallest, or most functional FTDI chip– just the most popular.

Presenting the BUB III, designed around the FT231X QFN-20, a 4x4x.075 (mm) chip.

You’ll notice it has a micro-USB jack, instead of a mini-USB one. Micro-USB jacks have a bad reputation for coming off boards, because they have less surface soldered on the board. We spent a fair amount of time finding a micro-USB jack with extra prongs and adding vias to reinforce the smd pads. Our destructive testing of a few of these boards shows that our efforts to toughen up the boards were successful. The jacks take quite a bit of muscle to break, and we think they will stand up to abuse as well as mini-USB jacks.

Moving the header to the bottom makes the board even smaller, and saves us time in production.
Both LEDs are reconfigurable (should you want to reconfigure them) with FTX-prog

It’s the BUB you love, smaller, slicker and reborn with an all-new brain.

Be one of the first 6 customers to use coupon code freebubiii and get a free BUB III with your order! (order total must be over $10)

Go check it out in the shop!

New Product: Rigid RGB LED Strips

rigid_rgbled_threeWe picked up these nice Rigid RGBLED Strips from one of our suppliers for a good price. They contain 30 5050 RGB LEDs which seem to be standard super-bright LEDs, they are 12mm wide and 500mm long with headers every 50mm where they can be cut and soldered. The have nice polarized connectors and six inches of cable on the ends which makes mating them in series simple and quick and easy. Priced low enough that you could afford to take off the LEDs and use them on other projects (.20 ea). The resistors are sized to lend nice balanced white light that is not too cold in color, when powered from 12 volts. The 12V trace which looks to be about 60mils wide is mirrored front and  back for extra current-carrying capability.

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New Product: SMD LCD 117

SMDLCD117

The original serial LCD117 was one of two boards that utilized a PIC chip running firmware developed by the late electrical engineer Peter Anderson (KZ3K), who taught in Baltimore, Maryland.

pha1
Peter made the firmware freely available before he passed away.
Both Brian Riley‘s K107 serial board and our LCD117 kit were based on these LCD117 chips.

We’ve sold several thousand of our through-hole serial LCD117 kits since we designed it in 2008, and received many orders for pre-assembled boards. Looking around the shop, most pre-assembled things are surface mount– it’s easier for everyone that way, as surface mount assembly is much cheaper. With that in mind, we created the SMD LCD117.

It receives TTL serial (optionally RS232) on one side and and drives an HD44780-compatible LCD, just as the older through-hole LCD117 kit did.

Solder on the included 3-pin and 16-pin headers and you’re ready to talk to any of our character displays, 3.3v or 5v.
We’ve also added an inverted logic mode, available via SMD solder jumper, for RS232 support.

Here’s how easy it is to use with Arduino– plug the RX line into your Arduino TX pin, and:


void setup() {
Serial.begin(9600); // 9600 baud is chip comm speed
Serial.print("?G216"); // set display geometry, 2x16 in this case
delay(500); // pause to allow LCD EEPROM to program
}

void loop() {
//Serial.print(“?y0?x00”); // cursor to beginning of line 0
//delay(10);
Serial.print(“?f”); //clear the screen
Serial.print(“hello world”);
delay(1000); // refresh every second
//
}

In this configuration, Arduino Serial.<thing> debug statements print straight to the display!

Go check it out in the shop

Oh, one more thing. In honour of the debut of the SMD version, we’re putting the old through-hole LCD117 kits on sale. $8, matching the new SMD boards, while supplies last.