This amazing looking set up is for photographing insects in flight. While this is similar to a past project we covered, this one seems to have several improvements. There are no longer any arms that you have to position on either side of the insect. This system uses an additional lens, picture at the top, to detect the reflected laser light off of an insect. Requiring only 40 microseconds to determine if the insect is in focus, capturing a flying wasp shouldn’t be too hard. You can see four lasers in the pictures, two are IR and used for focus, the other two are simply to help the operator target their bugs.
The 25th Chaos Communication Congress is underway in Berlin. One of the first talks we dropped in on was [script]’s Solar-powering your Geek Gear. While there are quite a few portable solar products on the market, we haven’t seen much in the way of real world experience until now.
Continue reading “25C3: Solar-powering your gear”
Nothing says Christmas like Nintendo 64 and benheck forum member [SifuF] has a treat for you. His Nintendo Sixtyfree Lite-R stuffs all the guts of at Nintendo 64 into a compact handheld package. It features dual joysticks and triggers. The display is a PSone screen with all of the extra board trimmed away. The part that really makes this project shine is the case. It’s vacuum-formed 2mm sheets of polystyrene. Another nice touch was the volume and screen brightness. They’re adjusted by holding down start and then using the other buttons. It doesn’t have internal batteries, but can run off of a 7.2V Infolithium.
Sometimes a project has more sensors, buttons, or LEDs than your microcontroller has pins. The PCF8574 is an easy way to add 8 low-speed input or output pins to a microcontroller. A configurable address lets multiple PCF8574s exist on the same bus, so two microcontroller pins can control dozens of IO pins. We’ll show you how to use this chip below.
Continue reading “Parts: 8bit IO Expander (PCF8574)”