Arduino MEGA


Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories spotted one of the first images of the Arduino MEGA. The board is based on the ATmega1280 microcontroller, which has 128KB of flash,4KB of RAM, and 4KB of EEPROM. We haven’t seen any official specs yet, but the silkscreen shows 12 PWM connections, 36 Digital I/O, and 16 analog inputs. The post mentions 4 hardware UARTs and an I2C bus as well. No release date yet, but we can assume it’s soon since the hardware was already demoed at ETech.

Related: We added an Arduino category.

CupCake CNC Kit


The CupCake CNC Kit is the flagship product of MakerBot industries, a joint venture between [Bre Pettis] and [Zach Hoeken]. At $750, it comes with all the motors, belts, body pieces, bearings, belts, and other pieces to assemble it. You could be printing your own 3d objects in a matter of hours with this. 3D printers with only slightly larger capacities can run thousands of dollars. The only advantage to some of the commercial products might be resolution. They don’t give much as far as technical data as the unit isn’t available yet. They should start Shipping before April 15th, so they can’t be far off. This could possibly be a competitor for the RepRap. Since RepRap doesn’t offer a complete kit, we’ll have to speculate. We’ve seen estimates from $500 to $1000 to build one.

[via adafruit industries blog]

Ultra Mouse Modification


When traveling with a laptop, we often find that the list of peripherals that we have to attach can get pretty long. Especially if it is an older laptop without wireless built in. [Dawning] has taken steps to consolidate some of his peripherals(registration required)by cramming a USB hub and a wireless card into his mouse.

He started by dismantling a USB hub. After placing the board in the mouse to see how it fit, he realized that he was going to have to reduce the size. To do this, he removed the USB slots themselves. This forces him to wire things directly to the board, but saves a ton of space. Next, he took the guts from a USB wireless adapter and wired them up. The decorative LED in the mouse was then moved to the wireless card. This way he could see light flicker with his network traffic. At this point, that’s all he’s added, though there’s still plenty of space for other items. He notes that he’ll probably add some storage or a CF reader. The only problem he has encountered is that his mouse tends to get warm during use. What peripherals would you put in there?

Update: [Dawning] let us know that he didn’t actually remove the LED from its original location. He connected a wire from the wireless adapter that causes the LED to short when traffic is going through. Also, there’s a video which you can now see after the break.

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Parts: DS1801 SPI Audio Volume Potentiometer


Dallas/Maxim’s DS1801 is an audio volume potentiometer with a simple SPI interface. This chip has two channels of volume control that might be useful in a DIY audio project. We previously looked at the DS1807, a similar part with an I2C interface. This week we’ll show you how to use the SPI version.

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