Whilst there are increasing options for wireless controllers aimed at CNC machines, this WiFi stepper driver caught our eye. In addition to use in CNC machine roles, it could be applied more broadly for any robotics or home automation project, anywhere a motor is needed.
The board is fully assembled and features an Espressif ESP32 coupled with an A5984 stepper motor driver. The stepper motor driver is capable of passing 2 amps maximum to each coil of the stepper motor and the board can be driven with up to 27 V DC if using the onboard power regulator to power the Espressif ESP32. If you need a higher voltage you can drive the board up to 40 V by removing a jumper and powering the Espressif ESP32 separately.
The onboard Espressif ESP32 is pre-loaded with the OpenMYR firmware, code that works across OpenMYR’s range of WiFi motor controllers. The firmware can be updated Over-the-Air (OTA) and whilst the board is primarily designed to be interacted with via WiFi, there is also an option to simply use the Espressif ESP32 as a standalone MCU, loading perhaps an Arduino sketch for fully autonomous operation.
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all around the world, not a soldering iron was burning, not even a PortaStation used for learning. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that Tindie the Robot dog would soon be there.
The makers were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of new projects danced in their heads. When all of a sudden there arose such a chatter, but fear not, the Tindie writers sprang to see what was the matter. Away to the Tindie Blog, they flew like a flash, hoping to spread the good news in a dash.
The Blog readers were quite impressed with the amazing new writer Jo, with coverage of new Tindie products that everyone should know. When what to the writers’ eyes should appear, but Christmas day products and Tindarians filled with cheer.
With an ElectroMage Pro 5-12V 8x WS2812/APA102 LED Driver, so versatile folks purchased it quick. Shoppers knew in a moment that it must be a good pick. Looking for more deals, the shoppers searched Tindie.com which no one could blame. They whistled and shouted, and order all the things as joy overcame.
2020 has been a year to remember, right? As it comes to a close, let’s erase it from our collective memories with a look at what the talented Tindie creators came up with in the realms of sound and music. This year, we’ll be awarding the ingenuity, skill and professionalism of our sellers with a prestigious ceremony covering the spectrum of music making devices, from pocket toys to production powerhouses. So, look sharp, shine your shoes, and don the finest attire your wardrobe has to offer for the Tindie Gear of the year awards 2020!
Tiny Pocket Critter Award: The Scuttlebut by Madlab
The Scuttlebut is a miniature noise machine capable of wondrous melodies and expansive drones controlled in innovative ways, such is the penchant of its talented creator. Coming in kit form, even a beginner will enjoy its construction – then revel in its on-board sequencer and marvel at it’s record function! On the panel you’ll find buttons and knobs to control your sound, but the showcase feature has to be the light sensor used in conjunction with the metallic touch plate. It’s very expressive and full of audio critters waiting to escape!
The Scuttlebut has a cheeky character and devious soul of its own, hear its murmurings in the video below:
Gunstar Hero Award: Opera Rotas by Spherical Sound Society
The Opera Rotas is one for the retro gaming fraternity, utilizing an OPL2 FM audio chip from the SEGA Genesis (or Megadrive) housed inside a drum machine! It comes in kit form, as a fully made unit or the PCB alone – with the maker suggesting there will be firmware updates to turn it into a polyphonic synth! For now, it’s a mutant FM drum machine which will inspire journeys to create ‘Sonic Chaos’ in an ‘Alien Storm’ – is anyone getting these game references?!
It certainly sounds like no other drum machine we’ve encountered, hear it in action here:
Lofi Aesthetic Award: 8BitM8 by midierror
The 8BitM8 was released in July and is ideal for those looking for a lofi sound inspired by classic samplers and MPCs. It comes in a hand-crafted aluminium enclosure, with a custom paint job in two forms – one with an arcade button and another with a guitar stomp switch. It’s an effects processor that reduces the bit rate of any incoming signal from 4-8 Bit, with controls for mix, sample rate, and low pass filter. It also looks pretty snazzy!
The 8BitM8 was featured on DIVKID’s youtube channel, showing an array of musical applications, with synths, drum machines and guitars.
Micro MIDI Modification Award: MIDI Input for Volca by Yethiel
The MIDI Input for Volca is a small modification with a big impact; allowing for MIDI control from an external source via conventional 5-Pin connections! It’s been known for some time that if you open up a Volca you’ll see the connections for MIDI input, but the device doesn’t offer it out of the box. Therefore, this mini mod will require some soldering skills, even if you buy the completed unit, but full instructions are provided. The small change will expand the capabilities significantly, for seasoned musicians and tabletop noodlers alike.
See the exciting little MIDI mod up close here with some glorious arpeggiation:
Back To The Future Award: Phonic Taxidermist by Circuitbenders
The Phonic Taxidermist is a PCB ready to house a grungy effects unit from the past, based around a rare and hard to find classic: the Maplin (UK Radio Shack) Voice Vandal. Using an on-board delay and audio chopper, you’ll be exhuming sounds from another dimension, both figuratively and literally as this was originally released in the 1980s! For fans of sci-fi or early 90s Warp records electronica, the Phonic Taxidermist is a unique, essential, and ethereal unit to re-animate any incoming sound.
See the voice vandal clone in action with some TB-303 acid replication courtesy of the x0xBox!
Serious Serendipity Award: NoodleBox Sequencer by SixtyFourPixels
The NoodleBox Serendipity Sequencer came out in September, bridging the gap between modular, tabletop and studio sequencing with a chunky pixel display, superb build quality, and intuitive controls. From one box you can utilize CV and MIDI, trigger note sequences from multiple layers, and automate numerous parameter changes! It’ll support a host of musical keys, with variable sequence lengths for polymeters and a myriad of cross modulation features. In a big year for external sequencers, this proved to be hugely successful for good reason.
The TSynth is a Teensy-powered synth which comes in kit form to solder and source parts for yourself. It’s absolutely loaded with features including 12 note polyphony, 24 oscillators, pulse width modulation, LFOs, unison and some epic cross-modulation! It has connections for MIDI through conventional means as well as USB – and will even allow you to save and recall presets. It’s a big red beauty and you’ll find options for US orders and bulk orders too.
See the self professed ‘Worlds Best Value Desktop Synthesizer’ in action:
Chiptune Sound Blast Award: Blasterboard by LABS
The Blasterboard is a modern sound card aimed at vintage gaming enthusiasts and ideal for chiptune music makers (and listeners) looking for authentic sound playback! It’s a superbly designed unit which caters for DSP sound, Line Out, CD Audio, PC Speaker and OPL2 volumes from the panel. It’s been lovingly crafted to be a low noise solution for the modern era, coming in fully assembled form and now as a kit. Play the sound of the late 80s and early 90s as it was originally intended with the reliability and build quality of today.
Superstylin’ Award: The Hanan Cumbia by Oficina de Sonido
Finally, the delightful Hanan Cumbia hales from Mexico and celebrates the artistic skill of three talented makers for the ultimate Tindie product collaboration of 2020. Not only is it a drum machine (based on the Bleep Labs Bleep Drum) but it’s been gloriously adorned by Yeffry Ruta Mareand and screen printed by Los Laberintos to make an utterly eye-catching and stunningly vibrant enclosure. As a drum machine, it’ll play four sounds, each with their own 32 step sequencers, capable of being synced to external clock signals – we love it for the sheer visual joy it brings as well as the sounds!
So, there we have it, a glittering ceremony to showcase the talents of the Tindie community in the last 12 months. We hope you thoroughly enjoy the festive season safely and look forward to a brighter future for all of us in 2021. There are plenty of things to look forward to!
The venerable ATtiny85 or 13A are fantastic little chips. They are especially useful for migrating Arduino projects that only require a few pins to a cheaper and smaller form factor. If you are making multiples of such a project then this ATtiny programmer could be very useful.
Using the Arduino IDE and an Arduino Nano, this programmer from ArnovSharmaMakes can be loaded with up to six ATtiny MCU’s which can then be flashed. The six DIP 8 sockets are set up in parallel with the SPI bus on the Nano and, once filled, you can burn a bootloader and flash code to them using the Arduino as ISP. Of course, you don’t have to have all 6 slots filled, you can use this for any number up to six!
Check out the video after the break in which the creator not only walks through the programmer but also covers how to set up an Arduino as ISP programmer and how to upload a boatloader and a sketch to an ATtiny.
The RC2014 mini is a Z80 based retro computer kit that traditionally runs Microsoft Basic or the SCM Z80 monitor ROM. The RC2014 Mini CP/M Upgrade Kit converts the RC2014 Mini into a machine using the CP/M operating system and opens up a new (old) world of possibility!
There is a lot of software out there for CP/M, most notably some classic games! Beyond the entire Zork series we spotted some classics like Lunar Lander and for the discerning retro gamer you might even be able to track down Computer Stocks and Bonds! Aside from gaming, CP/M is rich in programming languages like Pascal and BBC Basic and there are also productivity suites available should you wish to relive early word processing!
The kit is a 4 layer PCB and all the components are through hole mount, apart from the compact flash socket which is SMD but comes presoldered to the board. Adding the kit to the mini essentially creates a CP/M machine with 64k of RAM, pageable ROM, and, rather brilliantly, compact flash storage. A 128 MB compact flash card is included and CP/M is preinstalled on the card.
The 555 chip is iconic and timeless and we have featured many products using the 555 over the years. What caught our eye with this kit was that it enables the builder to explore the three most common application modes of the 555, astable, monostable and bistable.
This kit is all through-hole components which makes it very friendly for those who are new to soldering. It uses jumpers on header pins which can be swapped into different positions to enable the three basic modes of operation. With variable resistors to adjust the timers and LED outputs, there’s a lot you can learn from learn this little kit. Combining those features with it’s reasonable price makes it this a great option for those delivering electronics education or more practical soldering workshops.
Mobile music making is on the rise with programs to make a complete track available for phones and tablets – as well as specialist samplers, synths and standalone grooveboxes. The Cardboard Expression Pedal is a superb way to interact with your device, bringing real-world established controls to making music beyond the touch screen. It’s the first pedal of its kind, with compatibility for the Apple iPhone and made from 100% renewable sources!
The Cardboard Expression Pedal is an ingenious device, made completely from cardboard and comes flat packed to assemble yourself. The iPhone slips snugly into a dedicated enclosure (pictured below) and uses the tilt sensors to pick up your footwork. There’s a free iPhone app called MIDI Expression Pedal which allows you to play expressively with any model of iPhone from the first generation SE model upwards. We’re sure the Nintendo Labo and Google Cardboard have influenced this durable musical joy!
The pedal sends MIDI via Bluetooth or WiFi giving you control over thousands of music making applications for iOS. At a time when the environment and earths ecosystem are under threat, it’s refreshing to see these kinds of designs on the market.
The Cardboard Expression Pedal is sold by Beat Bars who are based in Poland and have many interactive musical devices. Check out the video below to see the assembly happen!
With the advent of 3D printing, thermal inserts have become a go to device when a strong threaded connection is needed. If you are regularly using this technique, this thermal insert rig from NH Design Works is going to increase accuracy, speed, and safety.
For the occasional user, many deploy a soldering iron to heat and press the small brass inserts into a sized hole. It can, however, be a challenge to keep the insertion vertical relative to the part and there’s an increased risk of dropping a hot brass insert into your lap! An experience not to be repeated!
Curing these issues, this rig comes with a variable temperature heat source meaning adjustments can be made for insertions into different plastics. The pressed element has a spring return and can be rotated around the vertical axis to position accurately. The base of the station has tee slots meaning you can attach jigs and guides to aid operations and speeding up repeat jobs for batch processing. It comes with a range of insert tooling for #4-40 and for M3 inserts and tooling for other sized inserts are available.
Well, the festive season is pretty much upon us and to celebrate we want to raise the Christmas cheer by showing a range of products anyone would be happy to find under the tree (or perhaps in the tree) come Christmas morning!
First up, although not strictly a Christmas item, we couldn’t resist this picture of a Pwnagotchi resplendent in it’s Santa hat! The Pwnagotchi is a serious pen-testing tool wrapped up in a super cute AI interface. The Pwnagotchi’s wellbeing is maintained by feeding it WiFi networks and whilst we think this would make an excellent stocking filler we urge you to consider a Pwnagotchi is for life, not just for Xmas!
Moving into more familiar fair there are lots of small Christmas themed electronics kits that can either be assembled and used as decorations or could be a great gift for the electronics people in your household. First up is the Christmas -3- PCB by Brian Lough. This lovely looking kit creates a multicoloured animated flashing tree using a pre-flashed ATtiny13a and a stack of 0603 LED’s. The LED are mounted on the reverse of the PCB and create a great battery powered diffused lighting effect. As an extra bonus Brian is donating $1 from every sale to help Team Trees plant 20 million trees.
Sticking with flashing festive kits, Ryanteck have produced this cheerful snowman kit. Using 12 RGB LED’s the SnowPi is suitable to pair up with any microcontroller using 6 IO pins, but for a nice simple Christmas project it has a screw mount to slot it onto a BBC Microbit. A perfect companion gift for someone exploring microcontrollers!
If you prefer you Christmas blinkables a little more wearable how about these fabulous cubist Christmas tree earrings? Fully assembled these cute conifers sparkle and blink their LED’s for 3 minutes on the press of a small button.
Of course if you want earrings as a Christmas gift, they don’t have to be Christmas themed and we have plenty of geek chic jewellery available. A popular Tindie choice is the range of solar harvesting jewellery such as these gorgeous pendant earrings from Bobricius.
Whilst we are talking about non-Christmas themed items, there are lots of great kits and tools that can make nice gifts for the geek in your life! A simple but useful tool we spotted is this Logic Probe Pen Kit which we think would be an excellent stocking filler, although we definitely wish you a bug free Christmas!
We could list more and more ideas from our amazing community of makers but a good way to seek out those perfect gifts is to search Tindie for everything tagged Stocking-Stuffer or Christmas. We hope you find the perfect gift for under your tree and would like to wish everyone a very happy Christmas from all of us at Tindie.
While I’m sure we all are missing in-person get-togethers, the Remo platform is pretty neat way to interact virtually. Some of you may remember that Hackaday used Remo for the community Bring-A-Hack at Remoticon last month. It features tables and seating areas for up to eight people, which offer participants the chance to enjoy smaller conversations.
The Holidays with Hackaday and Tindie meetup will be December 15th at Noon Pacific. You can register ahead of time on Remo, and be sure to check out the event page on Hackaday.io.
Come hang out and share your latest projects, check out what other people in the community are working on, and catch up with friends! We hope to see you all there!
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.