May 11th, 2009

9 Bits Visual Memory

9 Bits Visual Memory

When i first saw this project i thought this could be turned into one of those dance steps learning game. The device consists of a 33 matrix of buttons. The system memorates the sequence in which you press the buttons and then plays it for you by lighting a LED under those buttons. You can also program multiple sequences. If you don’t press any button for a longer period of time, 4 seconds i believe, the device goes from recording to playback.

It is quite an interesting memory game, and can be transformed into a larger project. Like in one of those smart houses… in case you get lost this device will show you what path you took. On the other hand the algorithm behind this project can be used in beat generators, sequencers, power distribution sequencers and many others.

The Nove Bit as it was called is using Arduino and a TLC 5940 microcontroller. Source code is available for download as well as some instructions on how to build it.

9 Bits Visual Memory: [Link]

August 22nd, 2008

Sony DSC H9 review

Sony DSC H9 review

You’ve probably noticed the pictures from my last projects… they look pretty cool. That’s because i got a new camera, a Sony DSC H9. The macros are great, i can see the particles of dust on my circuit boards, the landscapes are great, i took some stuning pictures in my vacation in the mountains.

I’m not gonna go trough all of the aspects in this review, I’m just gonna tell you what impresses me about this camera. I payed for it at a local retail store about $520 complete with a 2 GB memory stick pro duo. The camera was nicely packed and accesorized. For example i got a cool remote control, that i can use to take pictures remotely. I also got a shoulder strap which you don’t get on most cameras.

The battery, is sony, as expected and it last actually more than they say it will. They guarantee that it will last you 300 photos, but i take aprox 600 photos with one charge.

If you plan on getting one, i suggest you take no less than 2 GB memory card. Because on 2 Gb it rarely gets full, and you’ll alaways have room for more pictures when you’re away from your computer and you can’t download them.

Another good thing about the camera, it’s the 15x zoom complete with image stabilization, which helps you get more acurrate details into your pictures when shooting at a distance.

The camera also has other nice functions like many shooting resolutions, the i prefere beeing the widescreen mode. In my opinion this is the best choice in digital camera before moving into the SLR category.

I hear that digital photo frames are they way to show your pictures arround the house these days, maybe one from Sony will work ok together with my H9.

July 28th, 2008

The Truth Behind SD Cards

The Truth Behind SD Cards

I don’t know that this title make you think off, but i couldn’t express better the subject. We’re talking about SD cards that are not what you’d expect them to be. Sparfun electronics accidentally discovered while looking inside an SD card that it actually contains a micro SD card soldered to the SD pins. The job looks like it is hand soldered so the guys from sparkfun think there must have been a huge batch of microSD cards and a perceived shortage of full size SD cards.

The Truth Behind SD Cards: [Link]

MetaRAM Doubles or Quadruples Memory Capacity

Fabless semiconductor company MetaRAM launched a new memory technology, called DDR2 MetaSDRAM that promises to double or quadruple memory capacity while maintaining compatibility with existing DIMMs.

MetaRAM achieves this feat by using 3D chip stacking methods to fit more capacity into a single memory chip. Such a method alone would have caused issues with compatibility, but MetaRAM developed a custom chipset that sits between the chips that makes the multiple DRAMs look like a larger capacity DRAM to the memory controller.

Also designed to maintain compatibility with existing systems is MetaRAM’s WakeOnUse power management technology. WakeOnUse, as the name implies, enables MetaSDRAM to remain in a sleep state until needed, allowing the memory to fit within current constraints. The company claims that its advancement has accelerated memory technology development by two to four years.

Without any system modifications, MetaRAM says that its memory technology will work with current AMD and Intel server and workstations.

MetaRAM Doubles or Quadruples Memory Capacity: [Via]

Potentiometer with memory aka MemPot

MemPot was developed by Dan Blackburn and Tuomo Tammenpää as a control interface for circuit bent instruments and sound generators. MemPot is a built around PIC 16F819 microcontroller that reads analog resistances, records them to memory and plays them back via digital potentiometer DS1267 chip. The memory buffer size and the playback speed can be adjusted.

MemPot is a controller, so you need something to control. Simple sound maker like the NandSynth or APC with resistance controlled pitch will do. If you have some circuit bent instruments with pot or LDR controlling something, hook MemPot to that. This first version of MemPot has two outputs of 100K resistances of which we are using one. You can put larger physical pot in series with the digipot output to change the range, to 500K-600K instead of 0K-100K for instance.

Power up the board and the preset buffer should play, linear ramp of 0-100K resistance in loop. Adjust the playback speed from the speed pot. Hold down the rec button and tweak the rec pot, LED starts blinking. When you release the rec button, the recorded tweaking should loop. MemPot overdubs, so when the buffer gets full, it overwrites the memory from the beginning. You can change the buffer size by entering to setup mode from the toggle switch. LED lits when in setup mode. Now you can use the speed pot to change the buffer size. Try very short by turning the pot almost all the way counter clockwise. Exit setup mode from the toggle switch, the very beginning of the previously recorded buffer should play.

Potentiometer with memory aka MemPot:


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