Happy 2012. We each have roughly 5,000 waking hours ahead of us in 2012. Let’s use ‘em – slowly and wisely.
As my contribution to slowing down, I’d like to encourage everyone interested in Computing Stuff tied to the Physical World to deepen your understanding and broaden your experience. So allow me to introduce a little tinkering kit, for those of you who are into ATmega’s and wireless stuff – the JeeNode Block:
This is a recent experiment to fool around with the JeeNode form factor, as a way to create a little self-contained unit which needs no wires to operate. I’m using these blocks to try things out on my desktop (you know, the real physical one), without turning it into a huge spaghetti bowl of power supply wires, USB cables, and test hookups.
It’s basically just a JeeNode, but with a different layout (and RFM12B’s “INT” pin reallocated from PD2 to PB0):
It’s exactly the right size to support simple low-cost 5×7 cm prototyping boards (lets not call ‘em “shields”, ok?):
The three headers at the bottom are: 8 digital I/O pins, 4 power pins, and 6 analog I/O pins. The two headers at the top are JeeNode ports 1 and 2. There’s a reset button, an LED, and an FTDI header for uploading new code. The 3x AA battery pack will power the whole thing at 3.6 .. 4.5 V, depending on the type of batteries used. There’s a regulator on board to run at 3.3V, as with all the other JeeNode variants.
Note that this is not a product in the shop. It’s just an exploration by yours truly. And it’s also a one-time offer:
As special encouragement to “start 2012 by tinkering”, I’ll add a JeeNode Block PCB and a prototype board for free to the first three dozen or so people who order a JeeNode from the shop and ask for it. You can then simply re-use all the JeeNode parts for this board (except for the JeeNode’s PCB), since everything is more or less the same. A few missing components will also be included: extra headers, an LED, and the reset button. To take advantage of this offer, select “JeeNode w/ extra Block” from the pop-up list on the order page. Note: this offer is limited to at most one Block per person.
If you come up with a neat project for the JeeNode Block, I encourage you to share your invention on the forum.
Happy 2012. With 5000 hours to discover your passion, extend your knowledge, and unleash your creativity.