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NEW PRODUCTS THIS WEEK
Easy e-paper finally comes to microcontrollers, with this breakout that’s designed to make it a breeze to add a tri-color eInk display. Chances are you’ve seen one of those new-fangled ‘e-readers’ like the Kindle or Nook. They have gigantic electronic paper ‘static’ displays – that means the image stays on the display even when power is completely disconnected. The image is also high contrast and very daylight readable. It really does look just like printed paper!
We’ve liked these displays for a long time, but breakouts were never designed for makers to use. Finally, we decided to make our own!
This breakout has a 2.13″ tri-color (red, black, and white) display. It has 250×122 black and red ink pixels and a white-ish background. Using our CircuitPython or Arduino libraries, you can create a ‘frame buffer’ with what pixels you want to have activated and then write that out to the display. Most simple breakouts leave it at that. But if you do the math, 250 x 122 pixels x 2 colors = 7.5 KBytes. Which won’t fit into many microcontroller memories. Heck, even if you do have 32KB of RAM, why waste 8KB?
Sending data over long distances is like magic, and now you can be a magician with this easy-to-use radio modules. Sure, sometimes you want to talk to a computer (a good time to use WiFi) or perhaps communicate with a Phone (choose Bluetooth Low Energy!) but what if you want to send data very far? Most WiFi, Bluetooth, Zigbee and other wireless chipsets use 2.4GHz, which is great for high speed transfers. If you aren’t so concerned about streaming a video, you can use a lower license-free frequency such as 433 or 900 MHz. You can’t send data as fast but you can send data a lot farther.
Also, these packet radios are simpler than WiFi or BLE, you dont have to associate, pair, scan, or worry about connections. All you do is send data whenever you like, and any other modules tuned to that same frequency (and, with the same encryption key) will receive. The receiver can then send a reply back. The modules do packetization, error correction and can also auto-retransmit so its not like you have worry about everything but less power is wasted on maintaining a link or pairing.
These modules are great for use with Arduinos or other microcontrollers, say if you want a sensor node nework or transmit data over a campus or town. The trade-off is you need two or more radios, with matching frequencies. WiFi and BT, on the other hand, are commonly included in computers and phones.
This is the 25mm 5MP Telephoto Lens, an essential for the M12 Raspberry Pi High-Quality Camera. It has a narrow field of view and high lens magnification for seeing things far away, like a telescope!
Telephoto lenses are great for distance shots – especially good when you need to take photos or videos of far-away cats. Includes a thumbscrew to quickly and easily assemble onto the HQ Camera Board.
This is the 2.7mm Wide Angle Lens.
This breakout board is a “three in one” product:
- The ATtiny816 is part of the ‘next gen’ of AVR microcontrollers, and now we have a cute development/breakout board for it, with just enough hardware to get the chip up and running.
- It’s also an Adafruit seesaw board. Adafruit seesaw is a near-universal converter framework which allows you to add and extend hardware support to any I2C-capable microcontroller or microcomputer. Instead of getting separate I2C GPIO expanders, ADCs, PWM drivers, etc, seesaw can be configured to give a wide range of capabilities.
- Finally, with STEMMA QT connectors on it, you could use it as either an I2C controller or peripheral with plug-and play support.
We primarily designed this board for our own use: it’s a mini dev board that lets us design with the ATtiny1616 just like we did for the ATSAMD09. With the 2021-2022 silicon shortage, we’re adapting some of our SAMD09 designs to the ATTiny8xx series and wanted a quick minimal board to test code on.
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