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Balanduino – Balancing Robot Kit (Kickstarter)

March 18th, 2013 4 comments

Hello all fellow blog readers.
Most of you might be aware of the Balancing robot project we have been working on for quite a while, if not please have a look here: The Balancing Robot.

We have now been working on this project in over a year, fine tuning the balance and stability of the robot and adding even other features and control options.

And NOW we are ready to announce this Balancing robot to be sold as a kit, named Balanduino.

The Balanduino

The Balanduino


The Balanduino kit consists of an Arduino compatible main board with the necessary sensors to keep the robot balanced automatically.

Furthermore the main board contains a USB Host controller, the MAX3421E, which library for the Arduino we have been expanding a lot recently, adding support for many of the most popular game controllers.
This USB Host controller together with a USB Bluetooth dongle enabled you to remotely control the Balanduino with your Android phone, PS3, Wii or Xbox controller and even your Windows, Linux or Mac PC.
Read more…

Categories: Arduino, Balanduino, Bluetooth Tags:

LPC4350 board – which parts would you like to see reviewed

March 3rd, 2013 7 comments

We have just recently bought a one of the latest evaluation kits from Hitex, featuring the new dual-core LPC4350 from NXP – the LPC4350 Evaluation Board.

LPC4350 Getting Started Kit

LPC4350 Getting Started Kit


The processor consists of two cores, an ARM Cortex-M0, as the low-level processor and the high-end ARM Cortex-M4. Even though the two cores are of a different kind and with independently different features, they both run at a frequency of up to a stunning 204MHz.
Read more…

Categories: ARM, Development boards Tags:

Drive LCD TFT displays with an FPGA

February 22nd, 2013 17 comments

FPGA’s can be very advanced to get started using, especially if you are used to microcontrollers.
But when you first get the right feeling and the proper mindset you will soon see the endless possibilities with the programmable logic.

One of the great aspects of the logic is the speed and the full control of what happens at every single clock cycle.
With this full control it doesn’t takes many lines of code to generate a very time-critical signal such as a video signal.

In this short post I will walk thru our current test setup with an FPGA, the Spartan 3E, controlling a 18-bit 7″ 800×480 TFT display.

Spartan 3E controlling a 800×480 TFT LCD

Read more…

Categories: Development boards, FPGA, Guides Tags:

Bluetooth controlled RGB light strip

January 20th, 2013 11 comments

In December last year we developed a small Bluetooth controlled RGB light strip for the christmas tree, to be controlled with your Android smartphone

The demonstration of the project and the smartphone control can be seen in the video below.

The main aspect of the project is to use an Arduino to parse incoming Serial commands to enable and set different effects for the attached RGB strip.
The code for the project, including the Arduino code and the Android application project, can be found on GitHub: AndroidControllableLights

Another interesting aspect of the project was to enable wireless update of the Arduino sketch, using the Bluetooth serial connection. Scroll down in this post if you are only interested in figuring out how this can be done. Read more…

Categories: TKJ Electronics Tags:

Inexpensive 2×16 LCD display (HD44780)

December 6th, 2012 No comments

Small and inexpensive LCD module


We at TKJ Electronics have just received a big bunch of inexpensive 2×16 Alphanumeric character display with a built in HD44780 controller, making it easy compatible with the Arduino or any other microcontroller.

2 by 16 characters though without backlight


Read more…

Categories: TKJ Electronics Tags:

4×4 Arduino controlled LED Cube

December 2nd, 2012 12 comments

4×4 Cube-board in action


We all know that it has been quite a while since we have written any posts on the blog and we apologize to all our readers.
Before telling more about the project and the blog post finally to come I would like to explain the reason for the big delay.

As TKJ Electronics has been evolving quite a bit over the past year we have been provided with a still increasing amount of consultancy work.
This includes everything from PCB Layout, Arduino software development, Robot platform development, ARM processor units and FPGA solutions. Read more…

Categories: TKJ Electronics Tags:

LVDS Display controller for microprocessors

October 3rd, 2012 50 comments

We have had a couple of embedded projects for our customers where the requirement were large-screen LVDS displays. By large screen I mean sizes over 7″ and a resolution of 800×480 where the common SSD1963 LCD controller can’t be used as the frame buffer RAM is too small.

LVDS Display Controller V1.0


So now we have decided to make our own similar display controller board but for LVDS displays as they are much more inexpensive and common (used in TVs and PCs).
Read more…

Categories: Arduino, ARM, FPGA, Other Microprocessors Tags:

Cortex-M4 and 9DOF for $10

September 14th, 2012 12 comments

Soon to be released is the new STM32 F3 Discovery Kit from ST Microelectronics.

This board features their new STM32F3 microprocessor with a Cortex-M4 core running up to 144MHz together with an FPU and a DSP that was announced back in June.

STM32 F3 Discovery Kit


The exciting news about this upcoming board is the on board features as the board will contain a 3-axis gyroscope (L3GD20) and a 6-axis e-compass consisting of a 3-axis accelerometer and a 3-axis magnetometer (LSM303DLHC).

As the board is supposed to be priced around $10 this will make an extremely low cost AHRS system with plenty of processing power to do the DCM math algorithm together with PID loops and other tasks.

Via ST Microelectronics

Categories: TKJ Electronics Tags:

Raspberry Pi GPIO control

September 8th, 2012 13 comments

We have been working with the new Raspberry Pi board for a while but didn’t show it to you guys before now.
Many of you might already have seen and read plenty of videos and articles about it so I thought it would be more appropriate to make a tutorial on how to use the GPIO’s, and especially on how to speed up the GPIO’s.

In this video I walk you thru all the steps from installing the Raspbian image which is based upon Debian. This is by far the most complete and well working image I’ve discovered.
Together with a complete X-window system it also comes with many different developer tools preinstalled such as Python and GCC.

So go watch the video while to set up your own Raspberry Pi for GPIO control.

Read more…

Ethernet on STM32F4DISCOVERY using external PHY

August 24th, 2012 191 comments

For you who have read about the STM32F4 Cortex-M4 processor you might know that this processor family includes a 10/100 Ethernet MAC with dedicated DMA that supports supports IEEE 1588v2 hardware, MII/RMII.
This means that the only electronics needed to enable the ethernet capability is an external PHY and the Magjack connector.

On the STM3240G-EVAL evaluation board the DP83848 PHY is used and luckily for us we were able to find a simple breakout board for this chip on eBay.

DP83848 Phy breakout board


To hook up this Phy to the STM32F4DISCOVERY board a slight change in the pins, compared to the connections on the evaluation board, had to be made. Because the STM32F4DISCOVERY board only contains the 100-pin version some of the full MII pins are missing so we have to use the PHY in RMII mode.
Read more…

Categories: ARM, Development boards Tags: