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Audio Triggers: the very basics

August 04, 2017

Our customers build a lot of projects using embedded audio using Adafruit Audio FX boards. They're pretty much the easiest way to add sampled audio to your electronics project. I'm working on a personal project where I need to generate sound in a fairly small enclosure, and this project was the first time I'd ever used an audio trigger or sound board. While they're pretty straightforward, and Adafruit's tutorial is really helpful, there are some little gotchas that you've got to learn and work around. Audio triggers, if you haven't heard of them before, are a really simple idea: press a button, it plays a sound. Fancy ones have multiple buttons, and fancier still ones can have loops, stop/start controls...

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Maker Festival Projects: Giant NeoPixel VU Meter

July 20, 2017

We had a fair number of blinky projects at Toronto Maker Festival. While the Flying Toasters and the Clap-o-meter were popular,  they didn't have the sheer sale of this, our four metre double VU meter: This is a volume-activated full strip of 240 NeoPixels bopping along to some fine Montreal power-pop from Simon I. Just as well no-one else was about at Elmwood Towers that time of night … Although this is a big, power hungry and not exactly cheap project, the wiring couldn't be simpler: The project is based on Adafruit's LED Ampli-Tie, except with waaay more LEDs. The main components are: NeoPixel Digital RGB LED Strip - Black 60 LED, complete 4m spool Arduino UNO 2-pin JST SM Plug...

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Gift Cards!

July 20, 2017

We are pleased to now offer Gift Cards! You've been asking for them and now we have them in $25, $50, and $100 increments.  Our gift cards make the perfect present for your favourite Maker!  

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BBC micro:bit

July 17, 2017

Once upon a time in a faraway land there was a computer called the BBC Micro. And all the children in that faraway land (including your humble scribe) nominally learned to program on those fabled BBC Micros. And, as they say, all lived happily ever after. Or at least learned how to print rude words on a computer screen while the teacher wasn't looking. The BBC Micro may be consigned to history, but the BBC micro:bit is no fairy tale. It's a tiny microcontroller board developed for UK schools. At its heart is an ARM Cortex-M0 processor with Bluetooth LE, coupled to a motion sensor and electronic compass. It's got a 5*5 array of red LEDs as a display and two buttons...

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