About: nathael


Mini Maker Faire Lyon 2016 soldering contest results

26 challengers participated to the soldering contest which took place during the Lyon Mini Maker Faire 2016.
They used 8 to 50 minutes to get a Starter Kit up and running from the PCB and parts !

The winner did it in 8 minutes and 16 seconds (35 seconds quicker than me!!!) ! Spectacular ! He won an USB-to-UART Adapter with which he will be able to easily program the micro-controller on the StarterKit, and communicate with his next Maker projects :)

We didn’t have time to take photos, but you can tweet yours @TechnoInnov (#MFLyon) :)

For the participants, you will find most information about your StarterKit on our dedicated page, including schematics, KiCad sources, and many more useful information (this is open Hardware :)

For those interrested in programming the micro-contrôleur, you can reffer to the paper from Cyprien Laplace published in Open Silicium n°17 : “Utilisation du SDK Mbed sur un tout petit micro-contrôleur LPC810″ (pages 60 to 63, in french). This will get you on tracks and you’ll be able to re-use your Starter Kit in your next Maker project !

Thanks for your participation, and well done to those who gave it a try :)

The results :

Place Participant Time
1st Samuel 8 min. 16 sec.
2nd Maxime 8 min. 30 sec.
3rd Nathaël 8 min. 50 sec.
4 Rafik 9 min. 30 sec.
5 Anthony 9 min. 57 sec.
6 Oscar 11 min. 18 sec.
7 Jean Noël 15 min. 29 sec.
8 Guilhem 15 min. 35 sec.
9 Alexandre 15 min. 54 sec.
10 Mme P. 17 min. 31 sec.
11 Eliott 17 min. 35 sec.
12 Caroline 22 min. 05 sec.
13 Kim 24 min. 14 sec.
14 Augustin 24 min. 34 sec.
15 Martin 25 min. 47 sec.
16 Florian 26 min. 21 sec.
17 Ethan 30 min. 13 sec.
18 Pierre-Gilles 30 min. 38 sec.
18 Yvain 30 min. 38 sec.
20 Mathieu 33 min. 00 sec.
21 Maxime 35 min. 26 sec.
22 Hervé 36 min. 24 sec.
23 Flore 40 min. 36 sec.
24 Olivier 42 min. 49 sec.
25 Mathias 44 min. 08 sec.
26 Elwann 50 min. 00 sec.


Mini Maker Faire Lyon

Techno-Innov will be present for the Mini Maker Faire Lyon on Mai 28 and 29.

We will hold a soldering workshop for those looking forward to learn or improve their skills, or want to discover new soldering tricks and make professional quality PCB at home at very little cost.

You will also discover our latest boards, assembled this week :)

Techno-Innov’s Car-System

The presentation pages for our Car-System are now online.

This Car-System has been developed during the last two years for Mini World Lyon model exhibition project.


There are many improvements yet to develop, but development is frozen until the opening in June 2016.

To get to the presentation page, follow this link !

Technical Data

Vehicle Hardware:


  • Main Board:
    • ARM Micro-controller + power supply + 868MHz RF Communication + static positioning markers detection system.
    • Electronic system can be fit to many vehicles. Miniaturized and mass production ready.
    • Full-duplex 868MHz communication (2.4GHz band already filled by Wifi/Bluetooth), simple and robust dedicated protocol.
    • Communication with controller using USB modules or embedded Linux system over Ethernet.
  • Embedded Lights and Collision avoidance system:
    • Front board for lights and collision avoidance system.
    • Rear board for lights and collision avoidance system.
    • Detection distance between 1 and 15cm, 60° angle.
  • Energy :
    • Electronic charging board (according to selected charging system).
    • LiPo battery, from 30 minutes for small vehicles (moving) up to over 16 hours (bigger vehicles, moving).
    • Sleep mode, with wake on radio or wake on timer.
    • Contact-less charging system under development.
    • Continuous contact-less power supply planned.
  • Mechanical hardware :
    • Motor with worm gear.
    • Resin 3D printed chassis including direction system and simple assembly system for all vehicle parts.
    • Usual magnet direction system, compatible with existing Car-system installations.
    • Adaptable to existing vehicle bodies (Herpa, Norev, …) at HO scale (1/87ème).
    • Possibility to use ball bearings for rear axle, but seems unnecessary when using resin 3D printing.


  • Possibility to add a RFID tag for quick identification of vehicles on key points and for maintenance.
  • Possibility to extend system by adding slave boards (for vehicles with full direction, complex lightning, embedded sounds, or complex mechanical systems.

Model Hardware:

  • Mechanical:
    • Usual vehicle direction system using magnet band and servo-motors with easy mount system for directions selection.
    • Static markers system without batteries, detected by the vehicles for autonomous operation.
    • In-road detectors used to identify and locate the vehicles.
  • Electronic:

  • techdata_maquette-01



    • Embedded system (BeagleBone Black and specific Cape) for full system handling:
      • Ethernet/IP network interface.
      • Can be replaced using any computer with USB to RF and USB to RS485 modules.
      • Software bridges for RF/RS485 to Ethernet/IP network interface.
      • Comprehensive logging system.
    • Electronic board for direction control and road sensor interface.
    • Electronic board for lightning effects and animation control:
      • Simplified 5V/12V lights cabling
      • Traffic lights handling.
      • Model animation control using 5V DC, 12V DC and 16V to 48V AC.
      • Individual control of up to 256 leds, each one being able to play any predefined sequence from the sequences set (A sequence is a series of 1.5ms on/off states, with up to 254 different sequences, from 12ms to 1.5s). Without sequence change orders from supervision the current sequence is played in a loop.
    • Electronic control board for automated charging systems
    • Communication with distant boards using RS485 Full-duplex Bus.


Model and Vehicles Part:


  • Vehicles miniaturization at 1/87th scale (HO) for buses, trucks and sedan cars. (Smaller cars under development).
  • Client-server architecture with parts of the control system integrated in the vehicle.
  • Vehicle lights (front, rear, breaking, blinkers, beacon), with different power levels for front (dipped headlights, position, and highlights) and rear lights (position and breaking).
  • Vehicle speed control for realistic acceleration and braking.
  • Individual address for each vehicle.
  • Autonomous collision avoidance system.
  • Individualized and dynamic configuration of the vehicles over RF.
  • Sleep mode with wake-up on timer or RF communication.
  • Robust control with magnetic guide in the model, branch selection by servo motors, multiple possible branches.
  • Simple vehicle tracking using magnet detectors.
  • Autonomous vehicle positioning by invisible static tags on the model.
  • Realism and fluidity of road traffic.
  • Traffic lights handling.
  • Priorities handling at intersections with or without direction switches.
  • Vehicles with dynamic scenarios.
  • Automated and invisible charging system.
  • Handling of motorized animations.
  • Advanced lighting handling, with limited wires and multiple effects which can be mixed to produce incredible combinations and simulate real life.


Server Part:

  • Traffic handling: crossings and lanes configuration.
  • Crossings handling.
  • Vehicles tracking.
  • Individual vehicle handling, making specific behaviors implementation easy. Each vehicle can have it’s own behavior.
  • Traffic and city lighting handling.
  • Vehicle charge handling.
  • Model animations handling.
  • Allows up to 16000 vehicles.
  • Communication with 100 vehicles per second on each RF channel (868MHz). Over 10 RF channels available.
  • Modular software architecture.
  • Techno-Innov’s Car-System


    Techno-Innov’s Car-System has been designed for the model exhibition project Mini World Lyon which should open on June 30th 2016 next to Lyon.


    Our system is inspired by many existing systems, from which interesting systems have been improved to achieve the objectives of this ambitious animated model exhibition project at the scale of 1/87th (HO).

    Designed with entertainment, reliability, industrialization, modularity, and widespread use constraints, our system is unique and can be used in parallel to some of the existing systems, while providing several additional features in its current version, and maintaining scalability in order to add new features such as contact-less vehicle charging in the future.

    The usual magnetic tape (or metallic wire) steering system has been kept to allow compatibility with existing circuits. Vehicle guidance is thus made from the model using switches.

    In order to create the most realistic system as possible, part of the driving decisions are made within the vehicle, which includes an autonomous collision avoidance system, and is able to execute a set of orders triggered by static tags spread along the vehicle paths.
    Vehicles can then locate themselves and trigger animations at the right time (slow down in a bend, turn on or off blinkers, stop at a crossing, …).
    The remaining decisions are taken by the control system, with a handler specific to each vehicle, making it simple to implement different behaviors, modularity being then an easy job, and reproducing real drivers behaviors to get realistic and fluid traffic.

    The charging system has also been reworked to provide invisible contact and contact-less solutions, even if this improvement has not yet been deployed by Mini World Lyon.

    Finally, the miniaturization and the use of advanced technologies in electronics and 3D resin printing (made by Drim 3D), makes it possible to create reliable, motorized, remote controlled vehicles, having an autonomy and a life time suitable for use in a miniature exhibition.

    [youtube 6WvuIil5O3I 600 490]
    (Watch the video on Youtube)

    Download the Video (mpeg4/130Mo)

    Dev update on October 26, 2015

    We promised a quick update on the current developments, here it is:

    More than the first prototype assembly, here are the (mitigated) results of the first tests :

    The photos are available in this directory or below.

    The strange red coating is an isolating warnish, which I thought I ordered the transparent version … obviously it’s not.
    Anyway, this highlights ths result of the first connexion to mains : a bright flash !
    Of course, you only get the calcinated result …

    The next four pictures show the first CPL communication tests (Power line communication) which let us validate the USB version of this new communication module, and the remaining part of the PSMC (Power Supply Monitor & Control) adapter board (the one which did not burn).

    And the ones are mechanical tests for the CPL module in DTPlug format (UEXT connector).

    PCBs for version 2 (v0.2) or under production …

    by the way, we tested and validated the isolated DMX module and the Thermocouple adapter board.

    The isolated RS485 module will follow, as the DMX protocol uses an RS485 Bus, we only have to change the connector.

    Mind that this is one of the few isolated RS485/DMX modules available, at a price sometimes lower than non isolated modules …
    Needs a box though … it’s on our todo list :)

    Dev news, October 2015 update

    Hello World !

    A small post to give you some information, but also to publish an idea, in order to protect it in the easiest possible way (So please, tweet, share, and forward this !).

    We are working on a new module for the DomoTab system, which is not a communication module, but a control module. This new module is able to control a load (one or more devices) and at the same time measure the current used by this load.

    This control module requires a communication module to operate, and thus uses the connector we defined for our communication modules.

    The solution we selected to drive the load allows for both usual AC loads and also DC loads. It is also possible to modulate the power for the loads which may be controlled in this way (water heater for example).

    When used with specific sensors, (temperature, humidity, …) you will be able to match power usage with local power production (solar, wind, …) or specific time frames (for noise reduction or electricity costs), while observing one or more thresholds for each operating equipment (maximum temperature for a fridge, minimum temperature for a water heater or a room, room humidity, ….).

    This system will also allow you to plan or shift the power usage of some appliances across the day or (even days) depending on planned local power production or electricity costs, either using local data (luminosity or wind sensors, manual or automated programs, …), historical power production data, or external data (weather forecast, planned electricity costs, …), or even all of these data.

    We will provide more information as soon as the first prototypes have been produced, which is expected soon :)

    Some news

    We told you about three months ago that we started working on the DomoTab project once again, and despite the vacation break we made some progress.

    You may have noticed with the technical page for the RF Sub-1GHz module going online, and the related user manual for the USB version of this module, or the epaper support added to the modules.

    There also has been a lot of work on the module code, with new examples, a new directory structure to get all modules in the same GIT repository, but also a first commit of the DTPlug code, and some work on the protocol to comunicate between the DTPlug (or any other host) and the modules, which is already available in the modules GIT repository :)

    And last, the tests of the KNX module are going on, we will post some more informations on these later.

    Stay tuned :)

    Epaper support test video

    Second video for this busy day, shorter, which presents the support of e-paper screens from Pervasive display via Embedded Artists adapter board for our GPIO Demo module or our LPC1224-BreakOut board.

    Both images or in the micro-controller flash memory, and the text is displayed when it is received on the serial line (USB-to-UART). Pressing the user button switches the images and then restores the display of the text.

    Text display is made using partial screen refresh.

    One more step toward our multifunction “smart” control :)