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USB Interface Board For Home Projects

Helion Microsystems has a quick and simple USB interface board designed for any home project or development project.  The PCB features the HU-320 USB interface IC chipset, and exposes all functions to the 30pin connector of the board.  The PCB also features a software switchable adjustable linier power supply for powering attached circuitry.

Feature List includes:

All USB interface requirements

  • 20 Digitial IO pins
  • USB-SPI Master / Slave Interface
  • USB-I2C Master Interface
  • PWM Source
  • HD44780 LCD interface
  • 8MHz buffered clock source
  • 5V USB Power supply
  • 3.3V Power supply
  • Software switchable adjustable power supply
  • Indicator LED
  • PCB measuring 58x45mm
  • Robust USB-B Connector

The HU-320 is $39.  Visit the factory website for more details.  USB Interface board, HU-320.

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Computer On A USB Stick With Processor

For several years we’ve seen many Linux guys post about bootable USB flash drives into portable operating systems like Ubuntu or simplified versions of the OS for children, like Strawberry from SugarLabs
via donated USB flash drives.

In the spirit of ultra portable operating systems – over the weekend – we learned of Raspberry Pi.  The Raspberry is not only an operating system from a flash drive, but it includes the processor too!  This means the Linux OS is not high jacking the hardware of the host computer, but rather using it’s own processing power to boot into Linux.

The developer, David Braben, are shooting for a target price of the Raspberry USB computer to be around $25.  The above prototype isn’t pretty, but hey – what prototype is?  David and his team started this project in the effort to bring ultra low cost computers to less fortunate kids who need and want computer access.

A long long time ago, the One Laptop per Child was a program to get $100 computers into the hands of kids who’d otherwise never get a computer.

To give you an idea of what this mini USB computer can do, here are the specifications of the prototype:

  • 700MHz ARM11
  • 128MB of SDRAM
  • OpenGL ES 2.0
  • 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode
  • Composite and HDMI video output
  • USB 2.0
  • SD/MMC/SDIO memory card slot
  • General-purpose I/O
  • Open software (Ubuntu, Iceweasel, KOffice, Python)

If you are looking for video to spoon feed you this information, check out the video after the jump:

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USB Recharging

There is news running popping up about a new concept design for rechargeable batteries via USB.  Well, the concept looks cool from a design standpoint, but nothing new in the market place.

First, lets review the design.  Taking a double A battery case, the concept is to attach a USB cable so the internal battery can be recharged.  Nice concept if it came out 5 years ago, but why add the additional USB cable.  Why not make the tip a USB connector?  Oh wait, it’s been done.

So this brings us to what is already in the market place, the USBCell. This is a rechargeable battery which sits inside the double A battery design case. You can recharge the battery

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Steampunk USB Cufflinks Will Break the Bank

We’ve reported on USB cuff-links before, but we’ve never seen them with a steampunk twist…and you know we love USB steampunk gear.

This is a fine set of steampunk design work, with the small gears so well placed inside the walnut case. Very nice. The addition of 8GBs of storage make it usable as well. Granted, the cost of $200+ is steep, but I’m sure it’s a one-of-a-kind art piece.

The idea of using them for an event is unique, but I sure wouldn’t want a job which requires them.

We’ve read these USB cuff-links are something James Bond would wear…but I’m sorry, James Bond has never been a steampunk guy, he’s much too classy for this cult following design work.

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Konect USB Watch Is Best Looking We’ve Seen

Tokyoflash put together this odd USB watch which looks and acts very much like it’s from the future. In addition, it will challenge your cognitive abilities when someone asks you what time it is [see image 3]. The Konect is not only a watch using an unorthodox approach, it also doubles as a flash drive.

The USB flash drive, slips out from the right and the blue radial area is the watch itself.

From the description of what is what, the Konect also has voice record ability and a lavish setting of alarms. Ability to stream audio live or communicate via Skype when loaded to the USB flash.

From the source post at

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Tilting Solar Panel for Your USB Gadgets

In a concept design only, Eric Strebel and Jim Nogarian prototyped a solar panel which can rotate with the sun.  The case has three angles on the bottom, a flat surface for sunlight directly above around noon time, and two 45 degree angle for morning and afternoon sun.  It’s a good idea…I think.

USB solar power

After a little bit of research it appears the direct sunlight approach to solar is a thing of the past.  New technology allows diffused light to generate electricity through the solar panels and thus maximizes any solar panel even slightly exposed to sunlight.

Putting this information aside, The Solcar Vox does look like a fresh idea on charging your USB gadgets or other devices which charge via USB like the iPhone.

If you like the idea you can pre-order the prototype which is

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3D Printing

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