November 2014 Updates

Here are some updates and announcements for this month.

  • I released important patches to the RFM69 and WirelessProgramming libraries. Please get latest, these should be addressing some network hanging issues in high traffic/congested networks, and also fix channel shifting for wireless programming. The discussion around this patch is documented in this forum thread. As always, I welcome and encourage constructive dialog and collaboration to fix bugs and improve libraries and examples.
  • I am discontinuing the offering of RFM12B transceivers which are getting old and almost nobody is interested in buying them anymore. I encourage the use of RFM69 transceivers for all new projects and upgrades. Moteinos will continue to have the footprint for soldering of RFM12B transceivers until further notice, so those who want to source their RFM12Bs from another source are welcome to use them on Moteino.
  • There were a bunch of recent posts in the forum complaining about issues with FTDI drivers and or inability to upload code to MoteinoUSBs. Some users have returned their Moteinos but in all cases so far I found the boards completely functional which leads me to believe there is a driver issue on some/all operating systems. I was not able to reproduce any of the issues in several Arduino IDE versions. The driver I have today on Win7x64 is FTDI driver v2.12.0.0 updated via Windows Update.
  • There is a new Moteino core that is very light compared to the previous version. This core contains the definition variants for MoteinoMEGA and the regular Moteino. Once you install this core in your Arduino {Sketches}\hardware folder you will now see two new entries in the Tools>Boards menu (restart required): MoteinoMEGA and Moteino. The new officially suported Arduino version is v1.0.6 (stable). Here are the new options:
    Boards_MoteinoUpload_moteinoUpload_moteinoMEGA
  • Moteino and LowPowerLab libraries will soon be integrated at codebender.cc which is a great website based alternative to the Arduino IDE for developing and storing your sketches while enjoying updated libraries and a multitude of other vendor sketches and repositories. It’s very easy to upload your sketch to your board directly from the browser. More on that soon.
  • I am continuing to migrate my PCB designs to ENIG finish which is more costly to manufacture but is lead-free and makes for better and more professional looks of my designs. I hope my customers enjoy and appreciate the better quality at the same low prices.
  • modelrailroadYou can see a cool model railroad project involving Moteino starting at page #92 in this November-2014 edition of Model Railroad Hobbyist Magazine (courtesy of Geoff Bunza). He also posted a well documented tutorial of how to get started with Arduino Mini or Moteino at page #99 in the same edition. Youtube video of the model in action is here.
  • The Moteino-Framework did not make it into the finals of the 2014 Hackaday Prize contest, but it did make it into the top-50 semifinalists out of ~800, and is on place #13 of the semifinalists listing according to community vote ranking at the time of this writing. I felt there was no chance it would make it in top 5 since automation is boring these days (despite the innovations in my entry), and in the end none of the other similar entries made it either. Honestly I was a bit disappointed with the grand prize winner project, I think it’s a cool project but as far as usefulness for the masses of DIYers/hackers I don’t find it very interesting, or maybe I’m the only ignoramus not really interested in launching satellites and depending on people I don’t know to supply me data about my satellite when it flies over their location. But I guess usefulness was not among the judging criteria.
  • As a result of making the top-50 for the Hackaday Prize (semifinalist) I won a $1000 which will be awarded as a mouser.com credit. I think that’s way better than $1000 worth of uninteresting swag picked by the Hackaday sponsor/staff on the winners behalf. How should I spend this prize? I want to get something memorable like a tool, so I remember I won this prize when I use it. Any suggestions?

7 thoughts on “November 2014 Updates

    • I have been following that very closely. I am relying on the fact that my own products use genuine chips sourced through Digikey. It’s very possible users are using fake cables/serial adapters and some of the confusion might be coming from there, but it’s hard to tell from their reports, unfortunately some people don’t know how to submit a very concise issue report and are more like ‘FTDI doesn’t work, why?’ and I’m left guessing. When a lot of that happens at once it makes me more aware. I have not 1 evidence that a shipped item that contained an FTDI chip was DOA or it got bricked or it failed. So far so good 🙂 That’s why my FTDI costs >$14 and not $5 for those who are wondering why it’s 3 times more expensive than ebay “equivalents”.

  1. All good updates, thanks for the news.

    Regarding your Mouser credit, how about some 4D Systems intelligent display modules – http://www.4dsystems.com.au/products
    The module combines a display and controller which can be programmed with your GUI design (via free software tool) that can respond to pin to simple, compact data sent to/from the microcontroller. How about a touch screen wall panel for SwitchMotes and other Moteino based gizmos you have around your house?

    • Well I thought about something like that long and hard and I didn’t want to be constrained to a particular walled solution although it might be nice. I already put some work into my socket web stack which can be loaded on any device and it’s due for an upgrade/rework. I also thought about getting a tool like a high end soldering station which would last for life and would remember the occasion.

      • Hard to go wrong with buying good tools.

        Even if you don’t put a display on the wall, those 4D displays sure look fun to play with. They even have a round one that makes a cool gauge.

  2. I suspect you already have one, but what about a 3d printer?

    Although a good soldering iron is worth it’s weight in gold, as are DMM and Logic analysers.

    Regards
    Cabe.

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