Category Archives: Ideas

Another Project Idea: Solar Power kits

SolarThere is a lot of interest in alternative energy these days. We think there is an interest out there in solar power projects. We are planning projects that range from the very basic hobby kit to experiment with solar power through to larger practical solar energy solutions. We’re not thinking big ‘power the whole house’ solutions. There are lots of those around already. We are aiming more at projects that will light up the patio at night or keep my phone charged for free.

We’ll update you on the progress of this as it happens.

FPGA controller for the μpad

fpgaThe μpad system is based around the idea of a common backplane with replaceable controller boards and module boards. So far our controllers are based on microcontrollers. There is a lot happening in the world of FPGAs and Systems on a chip. Many of the functions that have traditionally been performed by microcontrollers are now being handled by FPGAs and hard wired logic.

We are currently talking to some of our regular customers in the education field to discover which FPGA may be most useful in a learning environment. We would love to hear any suggestions. Feel free to let us know by leaving a comment below.

Another project idea: Connect-4 soldering kit

connect-4This project is intended for our collection of easy soldering kits.

It will be a medium sized board with 42 dual colour LEDs arranged in the usual Connect-4 pattern. There will be seven small buttons arranged below the LEDs, one for each column. There will be an additional LED to indicate whose turn is next. A long press on any button will clear the screen for a new game. A second long press will select one of three modes. Mode 1 will be one human player against the machine, human goes first, mode 2 will be one human player against the machine, machine goes first and mode 3 will be two human players.

We are looking at the algorithm for the machine player on this one. It is not a well known algorithm like the one we will use in the Tic-Tac-Toe project. Any algorithm geniuses out there want to make suggestions?

Another Project Idea: Tic-Tac-Toe soldering kit

tic_tac_toeThis project is intended for our collection of easy ‘make it in an afternoon’ soldering kits.

It will be a small board with 9 dual colour LEDs arranged in the usual Tic-Tac-Toe pattern. There will be nine small buttons arranged in the same way below the LEDs. There will be an additional LED to indicate whose turn is next. A long press on the centre button will clear the screen for a new game. A second long press will select one of three modes. Mode 1 will be one human player against the machine, human goes first, mode 2 will be one human player against the machine, machine goes first and mode 3 will be two human players.

So it should be fun to build and fun to play afterwards.

‘Make it in an afternoon’ kits

Soldering_ironWe are working on series of kit projects that fall into the ‘make it in an afternoon’ category. They’ll range from cheap, super simple kits aimed mainly at young makers through to sophisticated kits that older makers can use to impress their friends. We’re starting with a list of about ten kits. We’ll bring you more news as we have it.

In the meantime, if you have an idea for a kit add it in a comment below.

PIC-based controller for the μpad

picThe μpad system is based around the idea of a common backplane with replaceable controller boards and module boards. This approach works well with the controllers we’ve designed so far. We want to expand the range of controllers available for the system and we are currently looking at a PIC based controller.

This project is still in the planning stage. There is a large range of PIC processors out there. We are considering the PIC16F877A but we haven’t made a final decision. Do you have a preference or suggestion? Tell us with a comment below.