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Entries for the 'Custom Hardware and Software' Category

Low Cost Function Generator Amplifier DIY
Tim Jager

Low Cost Function Generator Amplifier DIY

Introduction A majority of function generators are only capable of driving a couple hundred milliamps, which is fine for most applications. If you want more output current, you can shell out $400 dollars for a professional signal generator amplifier, or you can do what I did and hack one together for under $40. A signal generator is an indispensable tool for developing and testing electronic designs. You may find yourself wishing yours could output more current. You could test your po...

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Boston FedEx Day Produces Smart Bike Lights
Frank May

Boston FedEx Day Produces Smart Bike Lights

It's not fair.  Your car shows brake lights when it brakes. Some cool cars turn their lights on when you approach your car at night. Some really cool cars change the intensity of brake lights when they brake hard.  My bike has a red light that turns on when you press a button.  NOT FAIR.  For my FedEx Day project (a day where our company lets us make anything for 'next day delivery'), I brought my bike into the future with the help of a coworker and a ...

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CMSIS-Pack Integration
Ji-hoon Kim

CMSIS-Pack Integration

In this blog, we'll take a look at how CMSIS-Pack is being integrated with TrueSTUDIO and Atmel Studio 7, two IDEs (integrated development environments) that are commonly used among embedded folks here at DMC. But first... What Is CMSIS-Pack In the past, device selection was dominated by the hardware’s capabilities and specs. As 32-bit microcontrollers became cheaper, the number of viable hardware choices increased and other considerations, such as the software eco...

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DMC to Host Microsoft Partners to Discuss IoT 
Jessica Mlinaric

DMC to Host Microsoft Partners to Discuss IoT 

DMC is proud to host Microsoft Partners at the Chicagoland International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) and Women in Technology (WIT) March meeting.   The IAMCP and WIT community members will gather at DMC on Tuesday, March 28 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. to learn about Microsoft’s Azure Platform Services and the Internet of Things (IoT).  Microsoft Azure Platform Services is comprised of some lesser-known services that can be cost-saving alternatives to th...

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Nucleo UART Tutorial
Ji-hoon Kim

Nucleo UART Tutorial

Introduction This tutorial covers the creation of a simple embedded project from the ground up that allows an ST Nucleo development board to talk to your PC using UART serial communication. It is used at DMC to introduce new engineers or engineers who primarily work in other service areas to embedded project work and covers a range of topics, skills, and tools commonly used in DMC Embedded projects including: An Eclipse-based IDE (TrueSTUDIO) Wiring hardware Configuring MCU peripher...

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Using IoT to Feed a Fish
Eric Baggen

Using IoT to Feed a Fish

"Stevie is a fish. Stevie has no motors. Stevie prefers that you don’t tap on the tank. Stevie doesn’t know what Wi-Fi is. This is a picture of a computer. It’s not a fish. Stevie is a fish! I bet Stevie wishes he had hands so he could play with tablets." This description is printed on a sign that sits next to Stevie’s tank. Who is Stevie, you might ask? Stevie is DMC Boston’s office fish, and he is a valued member of the team. Like us, he ...

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BlueGecko BGScript Development with VScode
Tyler Brink

BlueGecko BGScript Development with VScode

This tutorial will outline the process to configure Visual Studio Code for developing Blue Gecko script code. It assumes you have some familiarity with the BlueGecko scripting language. If not, check out the developer guide. Blue Gecko scripting is a high level programming language designed for the Silicon Labs line of Blue Gecko Bluetooth modules. Installation Download and install the BLE SDK and the BLE Update Tool using the default location and agree to licenses.&...

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A Properly Pleasing Prism Primer - Part 3:  Modules
Grant Anderson

A Properly Pleasing Prism Primer - Part 3: Modules

In Part 2 of this series, I introduced the Shell and the Bootstrapper components of a Prism application. The stage is set. The crew's in place. It's time for Lights! Camera! Action! But first, we need to hire some actors. Modules To quote the Prism documentation itself: A module is a logical collection of functionality and resources that is packaged in a way that can be separately developed, tested, deployed, and integrated into an application. All modules contain a central c...

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Automatically Change Windows System Sounds
Frank May

Automatically Change Windows System Sounds

For those of you who are impatient, click here to download the completed executable, and see the results below. Have you ever said: “UGH, these Windows system sounds are so bland” And then wished you could change them to something better, and do it to all your company computers, but didn’t want to go through the hassle of clicking through Windows system settings while explaining to your coworkers what you’re doing to their computer? ME TOO! That’s...

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Using Segger Real Time Transfer with an EFM32
Alex Krejcie

Using Segger Real Time Transfer with an EFM32

Today I want to detail a couple of cool tricks to use Segger Real Time Transfer with an EFM32 to create an easy-to-view trace log. Segger Real Time Transfer, or RTT for short, is a debugging interface designed specifically around the J-Links capabilities to provide an extremely efficient debug message input and output interface.  This is accomplished by writing messages to a RAM buffer on the microcontroller that the J-Link is capable of reading through the standard ARM de...

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A Properly Pleasing Prism Primer - Part 2:  The Shell and Bootstrapper
Grant Anderson

A Properly Pleasing Prism Primer - Part 2: The Shell and Bootstrapper

In Part 1 of this series, I gave a quick summary of what Prism is, and when and why you would want to use it. The remaining parts of this series will address the "how" of using it. Since this series is largely an overview, I won't cover everything you can possibly do under Prism. And since Prism is designed so that the programmer can pick and choose what functionality they need, not everything I cover here will be relevant to all applications. However, the goal is that th...

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A Properly Pleasing Prism Primer - Part 1:  An Introduction
Grant Anderson

A Properly Pleasing Prism Primer - Part 1: An Introduction

The usage of design patterns is situational. Their purpose is to reduce the overall complexity of an application or to replace unfamiliar complexity with manageable equivalents. For a sufficiently simple application, however, using patterns is often overkill. Even more so if the design pattern itself isn’t familiar to the developers that will be maintaining the code. The paradoxical upshot is usage of the pattern can actually increase the complexity if the application is simple. For exa...

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CAD Models in C#: Developing with Eyeshot
Matt Puskala

CAD Models in C#: Developing with Eyeshot

DMC recently developed some desktop applications for clients in C# that require 3D modeling. We’ve been using a third-party CAD tool developed by devDept called Eyeshot. If you are working in the world of graphic design, 3D animation rendering, or physics simulations, there could be better options for your needs, like gaming engines such as Unity and nVidia PhysX. However, if you are working in the engineering world of CAD files, Eyeshot is by far the best tool available for C#. Th...

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The Revit API: Creating Your First Add-In
Christopher Olsen

The Revit API: Creating Your First Add-In

Lately, I've gotten reacquainted with an old friend of mine: the Revit API. Revit is an incredible piece of architectural software from Autodesk, and one of its features is the ability to expand its functionality through the use of add-ins. Revit add-in development is now one of the many services that we're able to offer here at DMC, and I'd like to celebrate that fact by sharing an article about how to get started with Revit add-in development. First of all, this article assumes ...

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6 Easy Steps to Get Started with MVC Module Development in DNN 8
August Karlstedt

6 Easy Steps to Get Started with MVC Module Development in DNN 8

In the beginning of the year, DNN (formerly DotNetNuke) was updated to support MVC modules. MVC is the latest version of ASP.NET in which the Model-View-Controller paradigm is at the core. This article won't be a look into what MVC is or a comparison with WebForms, but instead will give a quick guide into starting DNN MVC module development. While there are some guides available that give you similar information, I found it a bit difficult to get started developing MVC modules i...

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Sorting in JavaScript: Handling Google Chrome's Unstable Sort
Christopher Olsen

Sorting in JavaScript: Handling Google Chrome's Unstable Sort

(NOTE: There is sample code to go along with this article.) In web applications, a task that often needs to be performed is the sorting of arrays. If you're anything like me, you often use the Array.prototype.sort method to accomplish this task. And who could blame you? It's short, it's easy, its implementation is performant, and it works exactly the way you want it to most of the time. As you can see in the code pictured below, all we have to do is call the "sort" ...

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Recovering Missing Library Components in Altium Designer
Ryan Taylor

Recovering Missing Library Components in Altium Designer

Have you ever opened an Altium project only to discover that a Footprint or Schematic Library file is missing? Maybe your coworker forgot to commit the files to version control, or forgot to include them in the .zip file before leaving for vacation. If so, have no fear: you can recover the footprints easily and automatically. Schematic Library From the Schematic Editor, select Design -> Make Schematic Library. Altium will convert each component on your schematic into a library compon...

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Creating an Augmented Reality (AR) Demo with the Vuforia Studio Pilot Program
Cecilia Brookshier

Creating an Augmented Reality (AR) Demo with the Vuforia Studio Pilot Program

Augmented Reality (AR) has been booming the past couple of months, especially with the deployment of Pokémon Go. If you're not familiar with it, Pokémon Go is a mobile app that encourages its users to walk around the real world in order to capture virtual Pokémon characters. Aside from making a very addicting mobile phone application, AR is now being considered in industrial settings. It can be used to diagnose and troubleshoot machinery, or provide visual instructions for assem...

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Dynamic Printf in Atollic TrueSTUDIO v.6.0.0
Ji-hoon Kim

Dynamic Printf in Atollic TrueSTUDIO v.6.0.0

Atollic has recently released TrueStudio v6.0.0, their most recent major update to the TrueSTUDIO IDE. The update comes with new features such as support for CMSIS-pack, updates to the build analyzer, and an interesting debugging tool that Atollic calls “dynamic printf” which we’ll look at today. A dynamic printf is a hybrid between a traditional breakpoint and a printf() function. Essentially, it’s a printf() that you can insert into the code like a breakpoint, even d...

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6 Tips for LabVIEW UI and UX Design
Steven Dusing

6 Tips for LabVIEW UI and UX Design

At NIWeek this year, there were a few sessions that I really enjoyed focusing on user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design in LabVIEW. I take a personal interest in designing intuitive and aesthetic interfaces for my applications. Here are a few tips I learned from NIWeek. #1: Classic, Flat Controls Modern user interfaces tend to use flat or semi-flat UI graphics. Flat design became popular around 2012.  By this time, users were more comfortable with digital mediums than sim...

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