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Hackster.io

FOMU – FPGA That Fits in Your USB Port

Finally got our hands on a Fomu! The Tomu family launched by Tim Ansell are tiny little boards that fit inside your USB port, with only a couple LEDs and capacitive touch buttons sticking out. The originals are fun enough to play with, but the Fomu kicks it up a few notches – a Python-programmable FPGA in the same ultra-small form factor! With RISC-V compatibility and more, what a great learning tool.
Now available on Crowd Supply!

// https://tomu.im/
// https://www.crowdsupply.com/sutajio-kosagi/fomu
// https://www.crowdsupply.com/sutajio-kosagi/tomu
// https://www.hackster.io/news/gui-less-development-with-the-tomu-5f3b77314c74
// https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/tomu-discuss
// https://www.hackster.io/news/the-fomu-an-fpga-that-fits-in-your-usb-port-1b09560b5541
// https://workshop.fomu.im/en/latest/
// https://renode.readthedocs.io/en/latest/tutorials/fomu-example.html

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Hackster.io

SparkFun RED-V Boards // MCU Monday

New hardware from SparkFun! These RED-V boards pack all the power of the open source SiFive FE310 chip, along with Qwiic connectors and more, in a low-cost package. They’re also compatible with Arduino and Adafruit Feather platforms. Sweet!

// https://www.sparkfun.com/products/15594
// https://www.sparkfun.com/products/15799
// https://www.sparkfun.com/qwiic
// https://www.sifive.com/boards/#software
// https://www.zephyrproject.org/
// https://www.sifive.com/boards/hifive1
// https://forums.sifive.com/

Categories
ScienceDaily

Family members’ emotional attachment limits family firm growth

While non-active family members as major shareholders and non-family members on boards and in top management teams will push for profit and encourage growth through their entrepreneurial drive, there is less risk-taking from active family members. This is especially true when there are multiple generations of the same family involved in senior roles.

New research led by Lancaster University Management School’s Centre for Family Business shows family-related considerations often trump a desire to grow and expand among firms with a greater presence of family members in management.

The study, involving the University of Bergamo and the CYFE, in Italy, is published in European Management Review. It takes in 587 multi-generational family companies from 35 countries around the world who took part in the STEP (Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices) survey.

Growth strategies can threaten the family need for liquidity and control over the business, meaning some firms deliberately limit their growth, while others see it as a way of dealing with multiple challenges and helping them pursue a wealthy company.

Family members tend to be more conservative when it comes to business decisions, seeking stability and security for the family and being more loss averse, sticking with past strategies and established routines. This generally encourages inertia and hampers the potential for growth, but the new research looks at the different roles family members can play in senior positions as owners or managers, rather than treating them in a uniform fashion.

“Family involvement in the top management team is particularly important in determining a firm’s growth, due to the critical role of top managers in strategic planning and execution,” said co-author Dr Giovanna Campopiano, of Lancaster University.

“A higher family involvement of family members as owners sees a reduction in that desire to grow the company, as they placed other factors as higher priorities and were more risk-averse when it came to change and expansion.”

“Contrarily, we found that the presence of non-family members as shareholders and passive family members — who do not have an active role in operations — as majority shareholders both increase entrepreneurial orientation of companies, and thus encourage growth. Non-family members and passive family members are less concerned with emotional ties to the company and instead favour financial reward. They provide a level of objectivity not seen among family members and appointing such people to boards would guarantee financial motives drive strategic decisions.”

She added: “When there are multiple generations of the same family involved in management, the older generation pushes the younger generation to defend their values, with financial decisions secondary. There is a confining legacy which limits the pursuit of growth in favour of other factors tied to the connections between family and business.”

Story Source:

Materials provided by Lancaster University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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Author:

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Hackster.io

Azure Sphere Getting Started Projects!

We’ve given out thousands of free boards over the past couple months! If you have one, be sure to check out these wonderful projects to get started with the Microsoft + Avnet Azure Sphere system, which is optimized for secure #IoT. Then, build your own project for a chance at something great – we can’t say what exactly (it rhymes with schmive schmundred schmizes), but stay tuned! 😉

// https://www.element14.com/community/community/designcenter/azure-sphere-starter-kits/
// https://www.element14.com/community/groups/internet-of-things/blog/2019/04/24/avnets-azure-sphere-starter-kit-out-of-box-demo-part-1-of-3
// https://www.hackster.io/workshops/azure-sphere
// https://www.hackster.io/gatoninja236/azure-sphere-weather-station-d5a2bc
// https://www.hackster.io/waltercoan/azure-sphere-and-mikroe-air-quality-sending-to-iot-central-99b156
// https://www.hackster.io/eivholt/distributed-health-record-using-iot-and-iota-d4bd45
// https://www.hackster.io/videos/401
// https://www.hackster.io/avnet/products/azure-sphere-mt3620-starter-kit

Categories
Hackster.io

Add Some Smarts to Your Existing Wired Doorbell with Particle

Ben Brooks has been experimenting with Particle boards, specifically the Photon, leading him to examine what devices around the house might benefit from WiFi functionality. Naturally the doorbell, or doorbells in his case, make great targets. While there are certainly commercial alternatives on the market, he didn’t want to change his existing doorbell setup, in part for a challenge, and in part because he likes the way it looks.

What he did instead was take the signals from the doorbells and pipe it to a Particle via optocoupler. This can then trigger a camera to record visitors/intruders, notify his phone, and blink the smart lights around his house. Each doorbell has its own input on the board, meaning there could be different responses depending on where the signal is coming from.

The notifier was first implemented on a breadboard with a Photon, then transferred to a PCB and a Xenon about a year later. The big challenge of this build, and thus the reason for the optocouplers, is that U.S. doorbells are normally powered by 12VAC, yet his is 20 for some reason. The optocoupler isolates everything nicely, though issues with the AC power input and power fluctuations had to be accommodated for with software. The speed difference between the Photon and the Xenon also had to be taken into account, but the end result is a very nice setup that should serve nicely for home automation purposes! Code and print files are available on GitHub.

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Author: Jeremy S. Cook

Categories
Hackster.io

Webtronics’ Toasty USB Development Board Is Designed Around an STM32

There are plenty of USB development boards available that can be utilized for any number of projects, with the most popular being the ATtiny85 and the Teensy line from PJRC. Now, UK-based Webtronics have thrown their USB development board into the competition with Toasty — an STM32-based USB board in a small 76.2mm x 25.4mm form factor with plenty of external I/Os. According to Webtronics, “Toasty features a core clock speed of 480MHz and combining 2MB of flash memory with 1MB of SRAM, for its size, Toasty is one of the most powerful Cortex-M development boards on the planet!”

Toasty packs a STM32H743VIT6 MCU with Arm Cortex-M7 processor, along with OTG USB for host/device development. (📷: Webtronics)

As for its specs, Toasty USB development board packs a STM32H743VIT6 MCU with three 16-bit ADCs (up to 36 channels), two 12-bit ADCs, two comparators, 12 16-bit timers, two PWM timers, and a single RNG (Random Number Generator). The board also offers a pair of user-programmable LEDs, USB OTG for host/device development, micro SD card slot for expansion, bootloader and reset buttons, wake-up button (for low-power sleep modes),, and a JTAG-accessible header.

Toasty comes packed with 60 general-purpose I/Os that are easily accessible on either side of the board. (📷: Webtronics)

The Toasty board includes 60 general-purpose I/O pins, which can be multiplexed if needed, and is equipped with four USART, four UART, LPUART ports, six SPI and three I2S ports, four I2C ports, USB OTG FS interface, Ethernet/Mac interface, and LCD-TFT interface. There is even a CANbus port, and cryptographic accelerator.

Webtronics states that sketches can be uploaded via USB from the Arduino IDE using a custom uploader utility, which can be found on the company’s GitHub page. Toasty uses the default STM32 bootloader as well. The board sells for $40.00 on Tindie; however, it appears that they are currently out of stock, but you can sign up with your email address to be notified when they become available.

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Author: Cabe Atwell

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Hackster.io

(Yet Another) Raspberry Pi in Space!

It’s perhaps a bit surprising how many Raspberry Pi boards have made it to space. Totally ignoring all the Raspberry Pi boards that make it into space the cheap and cheerful way on a high-altitude balloon, there are at least two aboard the International Space Station in use by the astronauts, and another two running cryptography experiments for ESA.

There are others, but they were joined in July by yet another Raspberry Pi that was carried to orbit by a Russian Soyuz-2–1b Fregat-M rocket into a solar synchronous orbit.

Image of the Mediterranean acquired by SSTL’s DoT-1 satellite on August 19, 2019. (📷: SSTL)

Launched aboard SSTL’s DoT-1 satellite, the Raspberry Pi Zero was a secondary payload on board the satellite. Equipped with a Raspberry Pi Camera Module and a DesignSpark M12 Mount Lens, the board was sent into orbit in a more-or-less off-the-shelf configuration with minimal modifications.

“…the 17.5kg self-funded DoT-1 satellite is to demonstrate SSTL’s new Core Data Handling System (Core-DHS), accommodation was made available for some additional experimental payloads including the Raspberry Pi camera experiment which was designed and implemented in conjunction with the Surrey Space Centre. After image capture using the Raspberry Pi camera, the data was stored on the Raspberry Pi computer and then downlinked to SSTL’s ground station in Guildford via the new Core-DHS.”

DoT-1 satellite, launched July 2019. (📷:SSTL/Kathryn Graham)

“I am delighted with the success of our new Core-DHS based avionics… the success of the Raspberry Pi camera experiment is an added bonus which we can now evaluate for future missions where it could be utilised for spacecraft ‘selfies’ to check the operation of key equipments, and also for outreach activities.”—Sarah Parker, Managing Director of SSTL

Video of the Earth captured from Low Earth Orbit. (📹: SSTLTV)

In other words, it sounds like a Raspberry Pi Zero and camera might now be standard equipment for future SSTL small satellites.

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Author: Alasdair Allan

Categories
Hackster.io

Certified Artemis + Sonic Pi // MCU Monday

New Artemis boards from SparkFun – now with full FCC/CE certification! Plus, a little Musical Monday for you: playing Erik Satie’s Gimnopédie No.1 with Sonic Pi. What are you building with this live-coding jewel?

Artemis:
// https://www.hackster.io/videos/359
// https://blog.hackster.io/a-change-of-direction-for-sparkfun-dc4cec137f47
// https://www.sparkfun.com/products/15484
// https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/artemis-development-with-arduino
// https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/designing-with-the-sparkfun-artemis
// https://codelabs.developers.google.com/codelabs/sparkfun-tensorflow/#0

Sonic Pi:
// https://sonic-pi.net/tutorial
// https://gist.github.com/alexglow/36097586011815ea380502f4e3495293
// https://musopen.org/music/8010-3-gymnopedies/

Categories
IEEE Spectrum

RoMeLa’s Newest Robot Is a Curiously Symmetrical Dynamic Quadruped

With four legs but no back or front, ALPHRED 2 can run, jump, and punch through boards in any direction
Categories
Hackster.io

DIY 3D-Printed Drill Press Can Use a Dremel or Similar Rotary Tool for Drilling Tiny Holes

Chances are if you are in the business of making your own printed circuit boards by the truckload, or even several a month, you probably have a drill press for drilling mounting holes and other applications. If not, you are probably drilling the holes by hand, which can lead to broken drill bits, cracked PCBs, or even a hole through the hand (it happens more often than you think). To help get around those issues, DIY columnist Daumemo designed a novel 3D-printed drill press that uses a Dremel or other rotary tool for drilling small diameter holes (0.2mm to 3mm).

The 3D-printed desktop drill press features a base with a removable table for securing the workpiece, and a lever for actuating the rotary tool. (📷: Daumemo)

“The need for such device arose when I had to drill some holes in a home-made PCB and almost always doing it with a regular drill the drill bit just would break. So, I needed a tool to hold down the drill, and as PCB drilling is better done with high RPMs — an idea of a Dremel holding mechanism came to mind.”

The 3D-printed desktop drill press offers a straightforward design, and features a base with a removable table to switch-out drill bits and to secure the workpiece. It also has a 3D-printed frame for holding and locking in the rotary tool, as well as a lever for raising and lowering the drill head, much in the same fashion as larger machines.

Duamemo has provided a complete walkthrough of the 3D-printed desktop drill press with everything needed to replicate the build — including the part list and .STL files for your 3D printer. Duamemo also warns that ABS filament was used for this build, which flexes a bit while in use and will require some maintenance. As such, a stiffer filament such as PLA should help to provide a more stable platform.

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Author: Cabe Atwell