28 Jul

Maker Faire Detroit

Detroit Maker Faire

Thanks to everyone who came to check out our booth at Maker Faire Detroit this year! We will have some new posts on the blog about our new Luma lighting nodes, the Therm PID controller, and our thermal-printing photobooth in the next couple of days. Check back soon!

Announcements | No Comments
4 Feb

SSD1306 and Python with the BeagleBone Black

SSD1306 with BeagleBone Black

The SSD1306 is an OLED display made with SPI and I2C interfaces. With a simple Python library I adapted (a modified version of py-gaugette), it is easy to render text, images (from bitmaps of pretty much any format), progress bars, etc. This guide is a bit on the long side, but should walk you through the whole process.

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BeagleBone Black, Linux, Projects, Python | No Comments
2 Feb

Next-Generation Luma Nodes – Build Timelapse

The next iteration of the Luma node has been fabricated and assembled! The new node incorporates 3 10W RGBW LEDs, controlled with constant-current buck drivers and an ATTINY2313 microcontroller. Like all Luma nodes, up to 32 nodes can be daisy-chaned and controlled over RS485 with our open-source music synchronization software. Support for DMX is nearly complete, and will be ready for use after some additional testing!

Announcements, MNL | No Comments | Tags: , , ,
10 Dec

Protofusion Arch Linux ARM Mirror

Arch Linux ARM

Protofusion now hosts an official mirror of Arch Linux ARM! The mirror is hosted on Protofusion’s main server, which is colocated in Dearborn, MI. Mirror selection is geoip-based, so if you use Arch Linux ARM in the Michigan/Ohio/Midwest, you’re probably getting data from the Protofusion server. See the official mirrors page below for more information and a map of mirrors.

Announcements | No Comments | Tags: , , ,
6 Nov

Installing WebVirtMgr on Arch Linux

WebVirtMgr Overview Page

WebVirtMgr is an awesome simple web interface for managing virtual machines on Linux. Unfortunately the installation process is not simple at all, and the documentation is a bit lacking. There are also a few issues which are documented only in the bugtracker and not the documentation, as well as some Arch-specific issues. I’ve compiled all of the fixes I’ve discovered below, so hopefully your install process won’t be as painful as mine.

Updated 2/19/14 to reflect bugfixes and updates
Updated 3/11/14 for code and package updates

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Linux | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , ,
29 Aug

RJ-45 Breakout

RJ-45 Breakout Board

Commonly confused with RJ-45, the 8P8C connector is generally used for ethernet, telephone, and serial communication-type applications. The RJ-45 Breakout board breaks out an 8P8C connector into screw terminals for easy access while prototyping projects. The small form factor and mounting holes make it flexible enough to be placed almost anywhere, and the design can be fabricated for less than $5. Additionally, populating the optional LED/resistor combination provides a power indicator when voltage is applied across pins 1 and 0.

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Projects | 1 Comment | Tags: , ,
24 Jul

Protofusion at Maker Faire Detroit

Luma 4.1
If you’re in the Detroit area this weekend, check out the Protofusion booth at Maker Faire Detroit! This year we will be indoors so all of our lighting will be much more visible. We’ll have our new Luma nodes up and running, which integrate an onboard 10W RGBW LED and heatsink. We will also be showing off our PicoBuck LED driver (soon available from SparkFun Electronics!) and our new MNL music synchronization node. Come check it out!

Announcements | No Comments | Tags: , , , , ,
7 Jul

Open Hardware USB to RS485 Adapter

RS485 Adapter - Perspective

While developing the Luma RS485-networked LED driver we discovered a need for a small and inexpensive USB to RS485 adapter. We designed an adapter with a FTDI basic UART chip (FT230XS) and an inexpensive TI differential receiver (SN75176). Our small selection of parts brings the cost down to just over $5 for one adapter.

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MNL, Projects | No Comments | Tags: , , , ,
14 Jun

BeagleBone Black and DTC

BeagleBone Black (Adafruit)

Arch Linux ARM currently includes an unpatched version of dtc (device tree compiler) which lacks the “@” option. If you want to enable additional UARTs, SPI, I2C, or just use GPIO without recompiling the bootloader, you need a patched version of dtc. You can download the source code and manually patch/compile, but to make this process easier I created a PKGBUILD which builds a patched version of dtc from git. Grab the raw PKGBUILD after the break, or just run packer to install from the AUR:

packer -S dtc-git-patched

Make sure you don’t have the vanilla version of dtc installed, pacman will throw “file exists on filesystem” errors if it’s already installed from the standard repository.

After installing dtc you can easily mux pins with the flattened device tree. For more information on muxing pins and enabling UARTs, check out the hipstercircuits guide.

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Linux | No Comments | Tags: , , ,
9 May

Open Hardware Pogo-Pin Programmer

ProtoProg adapter and test PCB

The ProtoProg is a small open source hardware pogo pin programming solution. The ProtoProg does not need a physical connector on the board, it uses surface-mount pads for signals and thru-holes for alignment. Two standard footprints are available, the smallest of which takes up very little space–only 7.6mm x 1.2mm!

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Projects, ProtoProg | 7 Comments | Tags: , , , , ,