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Posts posted by RobG

  1. I went to Sears yesterday to get my new lawn mower and I got a free gift, Kenmore Alfie Voice-Controlled Intelligent Shopper.
    The regular price of Alfie is $49, but they are now on sale for $25. However, if you are SYW member and you spend more than $25, you get one for free (expires 7/1/17!) 
    BTW, I also found Alfie for $7.95 on Amazon (with free Prime shipping, even cheaper from other vendors.)

    What's the big deal about Alfie? Crack one open and you will find the following:
    CC3200R1 Single-Chip Wireless MCU (with W25Q32JV (32M-bit) serial Flash memory from Winbond and a chip antenna)
    TLV320AIC3100 Low-Power Audio Codec With Audio Processing and Mono Class-D Amplifier
    3.7V 500mAh LiPo battery
    12 WS2812B LEDs
    Other useful things are microphone, large speaker, 2 LEDs, 2 switches, and USB port

    In other words, IoT experimenter's treasure chest!

    Can't wait to hack that thing (there's what appears to be programming header on the board.)






    alfie inside.jpg


  2. I was going to go with MKE04Z8VTG4 (48MHz, 5V, TSSOP16, $0.60,) but a) had some issues with their tools, B) latency is 15/?, c) don't really want to deal with complexities of ARM (my code is super simple.)


    RL78/G12 sounds like a winner, I will look into it.

  3. I am looking for MCU that fulfills those requirments:


    cheap, <$1

    low pin count, SOIC or TSSOP, 8 to 20 pins

    5V (3.3V would work too)

    25-48MHz (internal)

    16 bit

    low interrupt latency (similar to MSP430's 6/5 or 6/3 clock cycles)

    free IDE



  4. Regarding slot machine effect, I can't decide if I should scroll 4 or 3 digits when clock is in 12 hr mode and hour is < 10.

    For example, when time is 3:00, leftmost digit is off, so slot machine is shown only on 3 tubes.

  5. Here's short video.


    I am looking for suggestions re separator and AM/PM indication. 

    I have 4 modes for the separator, off, on only when PM, blinking every second, and one blink AM/two blinks PM

    My wife says double blinking is annoying, so what do you think?



  6. I had one request for alarm, but I don't think many would use this clock as an alarm clock.

    There's room for a small, 12mm piezo, but I figured if someone wants to add alarm, they can either use available J1 header or use (flash) digits, separator, or LEDs to signal alarm. 


    Also, couple of days ago, I was thinking about adding IR receiver (utilize J1 for this.)

    Several people mounted this clock in enclosures or high above, making switches hard to reach. IR receiver in combination with cheap IR xmtr or TV remote, would allow setting time/functions remotely. Maybe next revision.

  7. Any day now @@cubeberg :)


    I am now adding software features requested by users. 

    There were few requests for effects that will prevent cathode poisoning, so I will add two effects, slot machine and blanking.

    Slot machine will basically scroll all numbers for a few seconds every so often.

    Blanking will keep display off and show time for few seconds every few seconds.




  8. Time to upgrade my Nixie clock.

    Here's what's new:

    1. the number one complaint about my current version is battery, or lack of it, done. The new version will come with backup battery.

    2. hour and minute divider (colon,) done. Added two INS-1 Nixie tubes. 

    3. improved HV power supply, it is now more efficient and quieter.

    Few other tiny improvements.


    Should be ready for holiday season.




  9. Yes, I am actually in the process of doing it.


    But going back to the problem, looks like compiler doesn't like when declaration is in the middle of statement block and there's no white space before the type. Moving declaration to the top of block or adding white space fixes the problem.

    void clearBank(unsigned char bank) {
    setAddr(0, bank);
    int c = 0; //<-- causes error
    while(c < PCD8544_HPIXELS) {
    void clearBank(unsigned char bank) {
    int c = 0; //<-- OK, declaration at the top
    setAddr(0, bank);
    while(c < PCD8544_HPIXELS) {
    void clearBank(unsigned char bank) {
    setAddr(0, bank);
     int c = 0; //<-- OK with white space (that's why formatted code works)
    while(c < PCD8544_HPIXELS) {

    You can reproduce it in new project like this:

    #include <msp430.h>
     * main.c
    int main(void) {
        WDTCTL = WDTPW | WDTHOLD;	// Stop watchdog timer
    int c = 0;
    	return 0;

  10. This seems to be an older thread but I'm stoked to find it! Is there any way to still buy the booster pack or do I need to make my own? The tindie store says there's a waiting list but this project is due at the end of the semester. 


    Sorry I missed your post (I was on vacation.) I will have new version available soon, but I should have one kit left if you need it right away.

  11. Hey, sorry for the delay, lots of things going on in my life now.


    F5172 because I needed a lot of RAM to store pixel data. 


    G2553 was used just to prove it can be done! I would definitely switch to something larger (besides limited RAM, 2553 became too expensive.)


    I am not doing anything with WIZnet anymore, I switched to TM4C129 and CC3xxx

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