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NEW PRODUCTS THIS WEEK
What’s the size of a credit card and can run CircuitPython, MakeCode Arcade or Arduino? That’s right, it’s the Adafruit PyBadge! We wanted to see how much we could cram into a 3 3⁄8 × 2 1⁄8 inch rounded rectangle, to make an all-in-one dev board with a lot of possibilities, and this is what we came up with.
The PyBadge is a compact board, like we said, it’s credit card sized. It’s powered by our favorite chip, the ATSAMD51, with 512KB of flash and 192KB of RAM. We add 2 MB of QSPI flash for file storage, handy for images, fonts, sounds, or game assets.
Here’s a starter kit of parts for all the parts you need to get started. Now you’ve got no excuse for not digging in! Makes for a great workshop pack, hackerspace kit, or gift.
This is the Low Cost version of our more fully featured Adafruit PyBadge. We pared down the hardware to make it even more affordable, and you can still use it with MakeCode Arcade, CircuitPython or Arduino! The LC version has the same processor chip, QSPI Flash, on/off switch, buttons, buzzer, light sensor and battery circuit. It does not have Feather headers, JST STEMMA connectors, LIS3DH accelerometer, or optional speaker connection. Instead of 5 NeoPixels there is only one in the center front.
A strain gauge is a type of electronic sensor used to measure force or strain (big surprise there). They are made of an insulating flexible backing with a metallic foil pattern. The resistance of a strain gauge changes when force is applied and the object is deformed along with the foil and this change will give a different electrical output. However, these thin foils are very delicate and are easy to over-bend.
In this product, the gauge is attached with epoxy to a chunk of strong aluminum. The metal keeps the strain gauge from being damaged, and constrains the amount of movement. Attach one side to a fixed enclosure or ground, using the mounting holes, to keep them from moving. Then apply weight to the other side in the direction indicated on the side, either by gravity (so arrow pointing down) or by pulling (arrow facing up). The output resistance will change with the amount of deflection, and is measured with a precision ADC or Wheatstone bridge.
24-pin 0.5mm FFC / FPC Extender
This 24-pin FFC / FPC Extender is very simple. It lets you connect two 24-pin 0.5mm pitch FFC (Flexible Flat Cable) / FPC (Flexible Printed Circuit) cables end-to-end and extend the length.
Note that pin 1 of one cable is connected to pin 24 of the other so you need to use a cable that has contacts on the same side (type A cable)
Carefully pry the two ears of the connectors, plug the cables with contacts pointing up, and then push the ears back in for a solid connection.
When you need more distance between you and your eInk display, use this 24-pin 0.5mm pitch FPC cable with an extender adapter to streeeeeeeeeetch it out. The cable is generic, but we recommend it for use with eInk because often folks want to mount the displays elsewhere. Just carefully pry open the connector on the eInk Friend, eInk Feather Friend, etc, and use this cable instead. Then connect the (not included) extender adapter between the end of the cable and the 24-pin display.
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