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PyBoard Available in Australia!

PyBoardPyBoard bridges the gap for Python experienced developers who are curious about IoT / electronics. The board connects to your PC over USB, giving you a USB flash drive to save your Python scripts and instant programming. Multi OS friendly with support for Windows, Mac and Linux.

MicroPython runs bare-metal on the PyBoard - it's a complete re-write of Python (version 3.4) so that it fits on a microcontroller. The built-in pyb module contains useful functions and classes to control the peripherals such as UART, I2C, SPI, ADC and DAC.

Main features of the hardware:

  • STM32F405RG microcontroller
  • 168 MHz Cortex M4 CPU with hardware floating point
  • 1024KiB flash ROM and 192KiB RAM
  • Micro USB connector for power and serial communication
  • Micro SD card slot, supporting standard and high capacity SD cards
  • 3-axis accelerometer (MMA7660)
  • Real time clock with optional battery backup
  • 24 GPIO on left and right edges and 5 GPIO on bottom row, plus LED and switch GPIO available on bottom row
  • 3x 12-bit analog to digital converters, available on 16 pins, 4 with analog ground shielding
  • 2x 12-bit digital to analog (DAC) converters, available on pins X5 and X6
  • 4 LEDs (red, green, yellow and blue)
  • 1 reset and 1 user switch
  • On-board 3.3V LDO voltage regulator, capable of supplying up to 300mA, input voltage range 3.6V to 10V
  • DFU bootloader in ROM for easy upgrading of firmware

Here is a video which overviews PyBoard:

Grab your PyBoard today!

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- By Graham

PyBoard Pinout

The team at MicroPython have put together a great cheat sheet for the PyBoard pinout. Bookmark this page and/or print out the following image as it will become a good reference for your PyBoard projects!

PyBoard Pinout

Main features of the hardware:

  • STM32F405RG microcontroller
  • 168 MHz Cortex M4 CPU with hardware floating point
  • 1024KiB flash ROM and 192KiB RAM
  • Micro USB connector for power and serial communication
  • Micro SD card slot, supporting standard and high capacity SD cards
  • 3-axis accelerometer (MMA7660)
  • Real time clock with optional battery backup
  • 24 GPIO on left and right edges and 5 GPIO on bottom row, plus LED and switch GPIO available on bottom row
  • 3x 12-bit analog to digital converters, available on 16 pins, 4 with analog ground shielding
  • 2x 12-bit digital to analog (DAC) converters, available on pins X5 and X6
  • 4 LEDs (red, green, yellow and blue)
  • 1 reset and 1 user switch
  • On-board 3.3V LDO voltage regulator, capable of supplying up to 300mA, input voltage range 3.6V to 10V
  • DFU bootloader in ROM for easy upgrading of firmware

Grab your PyBoard today!

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- By Graham

Micropython in Australia

Micropython AustraliaIn a nutshell, Micropython was a successful Kickstarter campaign launched by Damien George in 2013. Micropython is the Python language made lean and fast to run on microcontrollers - designed for beginners and experts alike to control their electronics projects with ease.

Core Electronics have almost the entire range of products from Micropython in Australia. If you are interested with Python then take a look at the new Pyboard which connects to your PC by USB and allows for instant programming of your Python scipts.

 

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- By Graham

Best Pyboard Price in Australia

micropython australia productWe've got the best Micropython Pyboard price in Australia, at only $63.94 (including GST). Just in case you were wondering what the hype is about - Pyboard runs Micropython on bare metal and is feature packed.

Main features of the hardware:

  • STM32F405RG microcontroller
  • 168 MHz Cortex M4 CPU with hardware floating point
  • 1024KiB flash ROM and 192KiB RAM
  • Micro USB connector for power and serial communication
  • Micro SD card slot, supporting standard and high capacity SD cards
  • 3-axis accelerometer (MMA7660)
  • Real time clock with optional battery backup
  • 24 GPIO on left and right edges and 5 GPIO on bottom row, plus LED and switch GPIO available on bottom row
  • 3x 12-bit analog to digital converters, available on 16 pins, 4 with analog ground shielding
  • 2x 12-bit digital to analog (DAC) converters, available on pins X5 and X6
  • 4 LEDs (red, green, yellow and blue)
  • 1 reset and 1 user switch
  • On-board 3.3V LDO voltage regulator, capable of supplying up to 300mA, input voltage range 3.6V to 10V
  • DFU bootloader in ROM for easy upgrading of firmware

Our Pyboards ship today, and we stock all the popular Micropython branded accessories.

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- By Graham

Pyboard Projects

a picture of micro python pyboard projectWhat projects have you created with your Micro Python Pyboard? We'd like to hear!

Send us a quick overview of your Pyboard project and you'll go in the draw for a $50 gift card that can be used on any of the Core Electronics websites!

What we're looking for:

  • A quick overview of the project (50-500 words)
  • A couple of pictures (YouTube video would be sensational, not essential)
  • Micro Python code
  • Your confirmation to share the project on our blog

That's it! Submissions close July 26th. We'll choose a winner shortly after! Please send your project details or questions to support [a.t] core-electronics.com.au

 

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- By Graham

Micropython Pyboard Schematic

Are you curious what is under Micrpython's Pyboard hood? Here is a schematic of Pyboard v1.1.

(click the image to view)

Micropython Pyboard Schematic

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- By Graham

Comparison of PyBoards

MicroPython's Pyboard just got three times better with these new boards! Here is a quick breakdown of the different boards and their features.

A direct link to the products:

  • Pyboard v1.1
  • Pyboard Lite v1.0 with Accelerometer
  • Pyboard Lite v1.0

 

Comparison of Micropython PyBoards

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- By Graham

Some great tips for setting up your own electronics lab at home

This week I have been traversing youtube and the makersphere for some great information on the wide-world of testing and measurement. Dave Jones from the EEVBlog has a fantastic Youtube channel that makes videos on almost anything and everything to do with electronics including some great teardowns of different tools. I recently found a fantastic video where Dave gives us a very quick summary of what you should be looking out for when grabbing tools for your electronics lab.

Dave covers off on multimeters, oscilloscopes, waveform generators, soldering stations, static protection devices and so much more. A truly wonderful summary of what you will want/what you need to look out for when buying for your electronics lab. You can't move past Rigol when it comes to great tools for your workbench

See the EEVBlog here, you'll be subscribing in no time!

Interested in grabbing some of this stuff for your own bench? check out our Tools and/or Testing Equipment categories out for some great products!

 

 

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- By Aidan

USB Port Electrical Protection

Nowadays most people are pretty cautious and aware when it comes to computers and malicious software; avoid dodgy sites, only download applications from verified sources etc… But perhaps one of the biggest threats to your computer can come from that harmless looking USB port. USB drives offer the greatest window of control over your computer, so much so that offices, corporations, even airlines go to extreme lengths to protect against hacker threats via USB ports. But whilst protecting against cyber-attacks is all well and good, most people often overlook the electrical ramifications of foreign USB devices.

USB killer productWhich brings to light to story dubbed the ‘USB Killer’. Designed to test commercial products against electrical attacks, the USB Killer is definitely not a toy. Long story short, it draws power from the USB port to charge a capacitor bank up to 240V, and then discharges it back through the USB bus, unleashing a lethal voltage and current that not only fries the USB bus, but runs rampant through the motherboard, potentially destroying the computer.

It’s the D-Day equivalent of USB technology, however it does draw to attention the importance of protecting USB ports against both software, and electrical attacks. To check out more info and tech specs on the USB Killer, check out the website here.

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- By Sam

This guy built a working computer, one transistor at a time

Modern Processors are built using millions upon millions of transistors on tiny silicon chips. But there's no way you could see them with the naked eye, let alone how they are working in unison. 

British man, James Newman decided that he wanted to know how they worked, up close and personal. Realising he would never be able to shrink down and walk around a silicon chip, he decided to scale up the computer instead.

The resulting project is called the Megaprocessor, a 40,000 discrete transistor, 10,000 LED, hand soldered computer. It fills a room, took him 1 year and around $70,000 AUD to build. This thing is impressive to say the least. 

See a guided tour of the monolith below

If that wasn't impressive enough, James' new mission is to create a series of videos on YouTube that go into explaining the finer points of CPU functionality. See those videos here 

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- By Aidan

Return of the Floppy Disk

A long time ago, in a computer far, far away, floppy disk drives were useful. Fast forward to 2016 and floppy disk drives belong in a museum. In fact, the only remnants of the floppy disk era left in my house is my much loved copy of Sim City 2000.

However, much like undercuts and denim jackets, people around the world are using vintage technology to create incredibly cool projects with it. One of the best examples of this I’ve seen recently is this epic recreation of the iconic Star Wars theme by YouTuber Paweł Zadrożniak. Named the ‘Floppytron’, along with putting together the 64x floppy disk drive array, 8x hard drive array, and whatever else he is using, there is the custom circuitry to drive it all from a PC and code designed to run the floppy disk drives at the desired frequencies.

The truly awesome part is that not only has he recreated the melody, but Zadrożniak has used various devices to play the many different instrumental parts which makes Star Wars well… Star Wars. We can only imagine the wonder of seeing R2-D2 dance to the robotic orchestra, but for now, take a look at a fantastic tutorial on the internet showing how you can use an Arduino to create your very own floppy disk symphony.

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- By Sam

Circuit Playground - Available in Australia!

Circuit Playground is the newest board from Adafruit in the US. It's an all-in-one board aimed toward education and beginners. It features 10 NeoPixel LEDS, a motion sensor, a temperature sensor, a speaker, a sound sensor, a light sensor, 2 push buttons and a switch! Theres absolutely no breadboarding, soldering or sewing required!

It's loaded up with all these sensors and controlled using an Arduino-compatible ATmega32u4, so it can be programmed using the IDE we all know and love. Additionally the onboard JST connector can be used to power the board and take your circuits on the go!

Adafruit have really gone above and beyond in providing the maker/educator community with a magnificent board. These great sensors and features come with a fantastic price tag, the Circuit Playground board is only $30.00!

 

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- By Aidan

Future of Eagle PCB Design

If you’ve been in the electronic DIY area for a while, you might have heard of Eagle. Eagle is a PCB design software tool that has become incredibly popular in the maker space because of its powerful, if somewhat counter intuitive interface, and inclusive free licenses. It was owned by Element 14, however Element 14 has now been sold, and the new owners have decided that it doesn’t really fit into the business model. So that sold it to Autodesk.

Autodesk own several hugely popular CAD design tools including AutoCad, Fusion, and Maya (just to name a few). What it was missing, was a powerful PCB design tool. Now this acquisition is dividing the maker community somewhat, but I personally am excited for the change and feel that it’s going to bring a much needed refresh and makeover to what is a promising platform. They’ve also committed to retaining the fantastic student, educator, and hobbiest licenses, as well as overhaul the entire product.

Dave from EEV blog provides his thoughts in the video above, and when I first heard the news I immideiatly thought that I might have to jump ship from Eagle (rendering my hours of painstaking library creation null and void), but then I did a bit more reading and I’m quite excited to see what comes of this. One of the best things will be if Autodesk provide tight integration with their other products. I’m imagining being able to create lifelike 3D renderings of board designs, easily create 3D printable circuit boards to fit testing, and intuitive circuit simulation.

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- By Sam

Enjoy Inventing

Ever heard of the KISS principle? Keep It Simple Stupid? Well that’s all well and good sometimes, but every now and then, I prefer to go by the MTACAPJB principle. Make Things As Complicated As Possible Just Because. What’s more fun than creating something immensely intricate and complicated to fulfil a mundane and boring part of everyday life? Perhaps you disagree, but one of my favourite internet channels at the moment is Joseph’s Machines. This guy is the king of everyday Rube Goldberg inventions, and if you’ve ever wanted to streamline your academic pursuits, we’ve found the perfect way with this elaborate, study power snack machine.

The beauty of these machines isn’t at all about the actual outcome, but how you reach it, and this gravity powered, leverage drive contraption satisfies my inner nerd in a way I just can’t quite explain. Highly impractical, and ridiculously elaborate, Joseph’s Machines is an amazing demonstration of creativity gone wild. Now as a bonus, if you’re struggling a bit on the commute home this afternoon, may I also suggest his latest contraption that will have you wondering how you didn’t think of it first; the Power Nap Machine.

Nap well, and enjoy inventing!

This blog post was brought to you by Core Electronics - your home for SparkfunAdafruitArduino and Raspberry Pi gear in Australia!

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- By Sam

Blynk, IoT to Your Smartphone

How amazing is the Internet of Things?! It just keeps growing and growing and growing! It promises the ability connect your creations to devices like your computer and smart and allow interfacing between them to do incredible things. For many people though, there is a huge hurdle with using your smartphone to communicate to platforms like Arduino, Raspbery Pi, Particle, ESP8266 etc… and that is that most people are unable to write the smartphone app they imagine in their head. Well that’s all about to change.

Blynk is born out of the goal to bridge the divide of software and hardware to allow you to create apps using a simple graphic interface which lets you monitor sensor data, control outputs, create data graphs, and heaps more. You can then turn it into a standalone app on the App Store or Google Play, with your own branding and images. Pretty cool huh?

The best thing is that it isn’t tied to a specific hardware platform, it can connect to any maker board that has an internet connection. Brands like Sparkfun have created boards specifically designed to integrate tightly with Blynk, so it’s an incredible exciting time to be alive.

 

This blog post was brought to you by Core Electronics - your home for SparkfunAdafruitArduino and Raspberry Pi gear in Australia!

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- By Sam

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