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 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 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).
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 :)
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.
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 :)
We have been very busy for about a year and a half on a customer project, and thus unable to spend much time on our own project, but here we are, back and as motivated as ever, as there have been a lot of feedback and interest from all of you about home automation and the Internet of Things (IoT), but with respect to privacy, DiY, and free software
At first, we will spend time on writting the documentations for yet undocumented products (RF module and DTPlug), both as PDF and on the Wiki, and then on adding examples and software support for all of our products.
At the same time, we will go on with the development of the KNX, 1Wire modules, and start a few other modules : CPL (Power Line), BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), and 2.4GHz RF for support of the 6LowPAN protocol. Each module should come as USB, UEXT and standalone as for the RF-Sub1GHz module.
For the most curious of you, the other project we worked on last year was a car system and animation system for Mini World Lyon.
We will create a one-pager to showcase what we did, and try to sell the result either as a whole, or by ourselves, which would need some more time to create end-user oriented versions of the system, as the customer decided to keep a simple licence rather than buy the whole intellectual property.
We spent two days on the “FabLab” stall during the SiDO event. These have been full of meetings with very interresting people, and I thank you all for your interest in our projects, both DomoTab and Mini World Lyon. This gives us the energy to keep on going :)
For those who asked, here is a small video of the model I use for the development of the vehicule control system for Mini World Lyon. Others may have shot better quality video, feel free to share the links :)
As we promised to you, we managed to close the next paper soon enougth to get it in Open Silicium #14 !
It should be available in your favorite book store in a few days (in France). If not, consider fiding a new favorite book store !
Much more than a guide to GPIO Demo module programming, you’ll find a step-by-step how-to which will guide you to the depth of these small black chips you can find in an ever-growing number of everyday-life items.
Don’t wait for them to crush you, get ready for the trip and understand their deepest internals to master them and get the most efficient code for your projects.
First, we lowered most of the prices on our products. Have a look to our store. This is mainly an adaptation to the market prices, hopping it will help us sell more.
We also put our new RF-Sub1GHz modules (868/915MHz) in the store. These are available in three declinations: UEXT for the DomoTab project, USB for development or use from any device which has USB host ports, which opens many other use cases and makes debugging easier, and last but not least, the standalone version, which can be powered from a simple AAA rechargeable battery (or anything above 0.9V, so some simple small photovoltaïc cells may do, to be tested).
For those interrested in the LPC1224 micro-controller but do not care about the UEXT connector or DomoTab modules format, the new LPC1224-BO development board is now on sale. It’s a simplified version of the GPIO Demo module.
Another piece of news which should make many of you happy: some of our products are now under CC-by-sa licence.
This change affects the GPIO Demo module, the brand new RF-Sub1GHz modules, and the LPC1224-BO development board.
We launched (at least !) our wiki, though there’s not much there yet (appart from the previously published papers for Open Silicium, and mainly in french, but we will add content in the upcoming weeks and translate what is already there.
And last, for those interested in the micro-controller software, sources for our modules have been re-organised so that support of new modules and exemples for existing ones is easier (using git branches for each module, easily sharring common code).
Ths sources (software) have been improved to make examples or applications creation and use much more practical, and use branches from our git repository to support new modules, including the brand new RF Sub1GHz module (868MHz/915MHz) (prototypes have been tested and validated !).
We’ll try to go on with this pace and get the documentations for all the other products done: DTPlug, USB-UART adapter, but also RF Sub1GHz module and LPC1224-Break-Out board.
It has been quite a long time since the last piece of news, but we’ve been busy with other projects for our custommers.
Anyway, we keep going on, one step at a time, and the LPC1224 micro-controller support is getting better (it’s the micro-controller we use on the GPIO Demo modules and which will be used on all of our module if possible). Another module is ready, but not it’s documentation, so it will not be on sale till this is fixed, but here is the one piece of news we wanted to share with you today:
In order to get things done we finally asked Freexian services.
Next step : resume the redaction of the papers on the Makin-Of of the GPIO Demo module for Open Silicium. The fourth paper is written (under rereading) and I’m working on the number 5, but it’s growing too fast and will certainly be split in two parts.
Thank you to all the participants for their listening and their questions (we spoke till 22h30), and thank you to the MPT for hosting !
For those living in lyon (or nearby), we will make a grouped order of BeagleBone Black boards. If you are interrested, get in touch as soon as possible :)
Delivery only in Lyon (FabLab, MPT), Villeurbanne (Campus de la Doua) and Meyzieu.
This WeekEnd we will conduct soldering workshops and contests: Saterday in Lyon during the “Expériences Numériques” and Sunday in Tain l’Hermitage (26) during the “Alchimie X” event.
In both cases the quickest participant to complete the assembly of a working Starter Kit (simple version) will get a reward by the end of the day. Participation the the contest will require the purchase of the Starter Kit.
Supervised soldering workshops will require an extra two euros.
We will also run CMS soldering workshops (using the GPIO Demo module Kit (to be purshased) during these two days, without extra cost, and we will provide the solder paste.
We spent the last two weeks on the design of a soldering introduction kit that would be more attractive than a simple led blinking assembly, and mainly trying to solve all the problems arising when one tries to create a new product with a very close deadline (3 weeks !), a very short budget (nothing for the design, and very limited “per kit” budget): components availability problems, last minute changes, production delays, …
Anyway, we created a soldering introduction kit that will then become an ARM Cortex-M0 micro-controller development kit fot the DIP8 package version of the LPC810 (the big one, easy to solder, which you can use on breadboards). But NWP changed the chip status from preview to production … with a production hole of one and a half month. Of course the remaining stocks were bougth before we learnt about this problem, and we had to find an alternative. In order to keep the main idea behind this, we chose to use the bigger brother of the LPC810 : the LPC812. Same silicium in a smaller package with more pins … in a surface mount package … which had us creating an adapter board.
in short, PCB are in production, we ordered the components, and all should be delivered in time for the forum.
And for those who won’t be there, no worry, we had to order much more than planned for the forum to be able to get within the budget, so this kit is available on our store at a very low price for such a product: 6€ TTC (without shipping).
Of course, this is for the Open World Forum, so it’s Open Hardware !
The next part of the paper published in Open Silicium number 7 is available in number 8. One could say that’s pure logic, but this time it’s not one, but two papers waiting for your eyes !
The first one (which is the second one in the series) introduces some addons to the schematics, while the second (or third …) moves to the next step and guides you through the steps of the PCB routing process, and of course, using KiCad.
You should not wait to get your hands on it then, or you can keep it at hand as a reference for pcbnew usage, the tool from KiCad suite for the routing process.
This reference manual includes all technical information about the hardware (mechanical data and electronic schematics), some help about the software, and a step by step guide for DIY module assembly (which you can buy either as a kit or monted in our online store).
We sent our application for the 2013 edition of the “trophées PME Bougeons proposed by RMC in order to spread the word around the DomoTab project.
We should participate in the preselection in lyon on September 6th 2013. We’ll keep you posted in the incomming weeks about the results of these.
Anyway, we can only congratulate both the initiative renewed for the fourth time this year and the simplicity of the registration process, which does not require a month of full-time work but only a few minutes on the Internet !
EDIT: OK, application form was simple … but we got nothing more than the confirmation email.
Despite all our email sent to get in touch with them we got no answer. Preselections are running, for Lyon it was last Friday (September 6th 2013) ….
Many many thanks to all the people who already supported our project !
Of course, the crowdfunding does not end here, and we can go beyond the initial target. If the 5000 euros level is reached, we will send an additional gift to all those who selected a reward above 35 euros (the gift will be in relation to the selected reward).
But we can go much further, and if the 10K target is reached, then everyone will get an extra gift as we will then liberate the GPIO-Demo module, removing the commercial use restriction from the CC licence.
If you did not support us, time is running short, the crowdfunding ends on 30th July 2013. After this date, the “bellaminettes” which “Bruno Bellamy” made for this crowdfunding will become forever unavailable.
After some brainstorming we can tell you about a new project which should be out soon : a new kind of smart control switch.
What is a smart switch ? We’ll try to explain.
Look and feel
This control denotes from classic ones from the start due to its simple look and lack of mechanical parts. It’s a single square or rectangular plane, somewhere between 3 and 5 inches (might be bigger, be more expensive then, or smaller, but harder to use).
If there’s no mechanical parts, then there’s a touchscreen ?
Our new control will use Nemopsys technology, and thus be touchless ! It will detect your fingers or your hand in 3D and you won’t fear scratching the surface with your keys when you turn the light on. It also makes it independent from brightness, temperature or gloves !
Then if it’s a single plane, how do I know where to “push” and makes it smart ?
We will use e-paper technology to allow a very low power display (No power used when display is static !) and get an interactive surface, making the control “multi-function”, allowing immediate feedback or help display.
As an example, the surface can display a picture of the whole room with each light identified with a status indication, making it easy to turn on or off a particular light without going through all the switches on the wall.
And what about controlling the shutters with this smart control. Let’s say you want to lower two of them. Select them, slide your hand to the position you want, and the stores will obey to your needs :)
Got it ?
When then ?
We are barely out of the brainstorming step, but the design is not too much complicated. We will keep you up to date :) (Follow us on tweeter or google+ !)
You will find the papers we wrote on the “Making Of” of the GPIO Demo module in the Open Silicium magazine (the first part is in the number 7, page 38).
These papers will help you with your own module creation, from concept to embedded software programming.
Our 53 minutes long video covers the whole module assembly, showing every step, possible pitfalls and how to avoid them, and how to right eventual mistakes with very few specific knowledges or sofisticated material.
In short, the modern, miniature electronics to everyone!
The “RefCard” is available on our wiki. The version covers all written papers, so there’s more than what is in this first paper.
This paper is the first part of the “Making Of” of our GPIO Demo module, and covers the first part of the electronics schematics, but is also a tutorial for KiCad, a very good electronics CAD free software.
We also wrote the next two papers, one on the remaining parts of the schematics, and one on the PCB layout.
More papers will follow : DIY assembly of the module and embedded programming “from scratch” for the micro-controller.
This first set of papers will be followed by papers explaining how to extend the functionnalities of the module, for example to create a weather station, or control a pluged device’s power.
Ulule is a micro-financing website allowing people to support a range of projects and get goodies depending on the project and their contribution.
We have chosen to sell the GPIO-Démo module (in kit) and to offer discount vouchers for our shop with no minimum contribution (other than the value of the voucher), and no time limit. And for the quickest, we offer online training to get started on DomoTab modules or learn to create new ones, either for DomoTab or your own project!
This afternoon I tested the laser cutting CMS stencil technique at Lyon’s FABLab (Fabrique d’Objets Libres), that will be used to build the development modules. These stencils will be part of the development module kit I’m working on: an autonomous module allowing you to test your boards before building them.
The plastic stencils (rhodoïd – 150 micrometers thick) work great, at least as good as steel ones and are perfect for laser cutting. Tin sticks well to the PCB once the stencil if removed and transparency makes positioning easier.
You need to watch your pad size though, due to the cutting width: as much as 40% smaller for CMS components in CMS 0402 boxes, SOT-363 boxes or even LQFP boxes like the LPC1224′s otherwise you’ll get shot circuits.
Just to tell you that we received the first, fresh from the mold, DTPlug boxes. The rest is still in production. These are for mechanical validation of the mold. Except for a few minor aesthetic details, they meet our expectations :)
Here’s a few pics:
With Friday’s delivery of boards (test in progress) we’ll soon be able to deliver our first products, so order yours now!
Thank you to all the volunteers of the organization team, and to “Maison Pour Tous” for their hospitality.
You were many to come ask us at our booth, and our project has obviously aroused great interest among all. This allowed us to validate our technical and commercial choices, and shows us that freedom is the right way.
We hope that you will confirm this by actively participating in the Ulule crowdfunding campaign we are setting up for pre-sales of DomoTab, to reach a production volume that would significantly lower the sales price.
We also sold the first DTPlug at these JDLL, which is a good sign and we hope that some more will do so.
Now that our site is online, we will continue to keep you posted here, and through our Twitter account.
Hello Everyone, and thanks to all those who participated.
Well done to the winners of our JDLL 2012 contest who found which bug “tibug” stands for: an ant, a small yet tireless and inquisitive bug which lives in community and work in groups, and for which sharing is natural.
For the curious ones : global presentation of the whole DomoTab project, display of the first prototypes of the DomoTab control unit and it’s variants, and pre-sales of the DTPlug (Modular home-automation bridge).
Of course, if it happens at JDLL, it’s because the ahrdware is open (licence Créative Commons – CC-by-sa-nc) and the software “libre” !