You know I love Open Source Hardware and I really love the Arduino. So I was happy when Trinamic asked what can be done to get more people to know Trinamic (Trinamic is a producer of marvelous stepper motor driver chips, motion controllers and brushless motor driver chips). So off to develop an Arduino Shield for the TMC260 stepper motor driver!

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Cream Colored Ponies and Interactive Matter were working on a very special christmas card for our customers this year (and here google-translated to something like English).

Instead of a normal, boring card our customers got a little PCB to make some music with their otherwise pretty non-interactive Euphorbia pulcherrima.

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For a recent project I was asked if I can build a device to measure the pulse rate of a person. Sure.
There is this great Pulse Sensor Project which already developed a pulse sensor for Arduino. Hooking this up to Arduino and you are done.

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After month of waiting I finally got my hand on some video footage for the LED & Motion installation I did the electronics for.

As you can see the animations where changed a bit. In the end I like it.


KiCAD logo

Recently I got more and more fed up by EAGLE CAD. It is a good EDA tool. But the restrictions are really starting to bother me. I need to do more 4 layer boards. Perhaps bigger boards. And I do not want to invest some thousand Euros just to be able to design bigger boards or more layers on the PCB. And since I am unhappy with my libraries anyway it was a good point to try out a new tool.

As you may remember the Mac OS X support in KiCAD is experimental. And from my first impression: Yes it is.Getting it up and running is a major task by itself. So I am writing down my experiences. Perhaps this helps anybody.

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You may know that the whole spring and summer has been a bit quiet over here at Interactive Matter. And again for a reason. I was asked by a friend to build the electronics for a massive LED installation for the  ‘Hsinchu Biomedical Science Park Exhibition Center’.

The result was very impressive: An 10 meter long installation, consisting of 30 moving triangles with controllable RGB LEDs in them, acting as a moving display.

A XMOS controller driving 60 stepper motors,  with about 100 meters of HL1606 digitally controlled LED strips composing a moving LED matrix of  30×102 pixels. The concept and design was done by Taiwanese partners. Interactive Matter only provided the electronics and programming.

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Blinken Button for Beginners Version 2

17 June 2011 Projects
Thumbnail image for Blinken Button for Beginners Version 2

You may know the Blinken Button for Beginners Kit. And you may know that I am quite out of stock at the moment.  But things are changing: The new Blinken Button Kits have arrived! The best: The now come in red or green (Jimmy liked it – so I added this option) and I got […]

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Twitballoon 2

20 May 2011 Internet of Things
Twtiballoon 2

It was time again to talk at the Good School ‘Camp Digital’ about the Internet of Things. Instead of choosing a real world example I choose to revive the good old ‘Twitballon‘ and create a new and improved version. Twitballoon is a simple Arduino installation, which raises a balloon according to the activity of a […]

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Blinken Button as a SPI Display

25 January 2011 Tinkering
Blinken Button with SPI breakout

There is nothing better than happy and even creative customers! At 27C3 Johannes and Gabe were one of the first customers for the Blinken Button Kit. After some minor issues they managed to assemble their kit. But that was positively not enough for them.  They wanted to use the Blinken Button as SPI slave, so […]

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Blinken Button revisited

17 January 2011 Projects
The official Blinken Button Marketing Material

It was a bit quiet in the last months here at Interactive Matter. For a reason! One happy day in fall 2010 Mitch and Jeff convinced me to prepare some Blinken Buttons for Beginners Kits for a SMT soldering workshops at the 27c3 in Berlin. I was happy that they did! And I suffered massively […]

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Twitballoon – a Twitter Trend Visualizer

13 September 2010 Internet of Things
Thumbnail image for Twitballoon – a Twitter Trend Visualizer

Interactive Matter proudly presents the first joint project with Tinkerlog (the Space Invaders Button does not count, it was me doing a knock-off): The Twitballon. The nice people of Good School approached us, asking for a simple showcase what tinkering is all about. Nothing less. So Alex of Tinkerlog and Interactive Matter came up with […]

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aJson – Handle JSON with Arduino

14 August 2010 Internet of Things
Thumbnail image for aJson – Handle JSON with Arduino

Update: There has bee a major API change in Version 1.0 refer to the dedicated aJson page. Exchanging data with other computers can be a daunting task with Arduino. No matter if you just want to pass some information to Processing, to a Web Service or something else – You always have to encode the […]

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Palo Altonale – Learn Tinkering at the Good School

27 July 2010 Tinkering
Thumbnail image for Palo Altonale – Learn Tinkering at the Good School

A short German sumary, English version after the click: Auf zur Palo Altonale! Zusammen mit Tinkerlog, Palo Altona und Interactive Matter bietet die Good School einen Kurs zu Physical Computing & Tinkering in Hamburg an. Ziel des Workshop ist es Kreativen in 2 Tagen die Umsetzung von interaktiven Physical-Computing-Projekten auf Basis von Arduino zu vermitteln.Wer […]

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Developing Software for the Atmel AVR with AVR-Eclipse

22 July 2010 Tinkering
Thumbnail image for Developing Software for the Atmel AVR with AVR-Eclipse

Developing software – or better firmware – for the Atmel AVR can be quite easy or quite complicated. A lot of people like to just use vi, some source files and a make file. Here at Interactive Matter we are a tad lazy and want a fully fledged IDE, with code completion, one click building, […]

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Blinken Buttons for Beginners – a SMT Beginners Kit

8 May 2010 Projects
Thumbnail image for Blinken Buttons for Beginners – a SMT Beginners Kit

You all know the Blinken Button Kit (aka Space Invaders Button). One of the biggest flaws of this kit is that it is not really a beginners kit. But with the help of Jeff (really big thanks for that) I was able to convert it to a perfect SMT beginners kit. The design was drastically […]

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Palo Altona will build Hamburg’s first Makerbot

9 April 2010 Tinkering
MaerBot Cupcake CNC by Bre Petis

Palo Altona is happy to announce that we will build the first MakerBot Cupcake CNC in Hamburg (at least according to Google). Good School approached Alex of Tinkerlog, me and Palo Altona in general, if we want to help to build their MakerBot. And yes we are happy to help. The weekend project will be […]

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