Author Topic: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?  (Read 21769 times)

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Offline ralphd

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2015, 10:03:41 pm »
Didn't take long to find some cheap LED matrices.  3mm 8x8 were even cheaper than 5x8 or 5x7 - $3 for 5.
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/5x-16pin-LED-Dot-Matrix-Display-8x8-3mm-Red-Common-Anode-For-Arduiino-AVR-11693/32472177718.html
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Offline Deathwish

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2015, 10:23:37 pm »
Didn't take long to find some cheap LED matrices.  3mm 8x8 were even cheaper than 5x8 or 5x7 - $3 for 5.
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/5x-16pin-LED-Dot-Matrix-Display-8x8-3mm-Red-Common-Anode-For-Arduiino-AVR-11693/32472177718.html

How long is delivery to Canada from that place typically? There are some things that look interesting and cheap there but I'm a little skittish.

takes about 10 days or so to the uk but dont be skittish, i  was till Tautech etc got me going and i use it more than ebay now, not had a problem so far.
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Offline ralphd

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #27 on: September 25, 2015, 12:06:42 am »
Didn't take long to find some cheap LED matrices.  3mm 8x8 were even cheaper than 5x8 or 5x7 - $3 for 5.
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/5x-16pin-LED-Dot-Matrix-Display-8x8-3mm-Red-Common-Anode-For-Arduiino-AVR-11693/32472177718.html

How long is delivery to Canada from that place typically? There are some things that look interesting and cheap there but I'm a little skittish.
Fastest I've received anything in Eastern Canada was 17 days from the China Post postmark.  Average is about 3-4 weeks.  About 1 in 10 will take around 6 weeks.
I don't mind the delay at all now that I have a steady pipeline of items on order.  Yesterday in addition to the esp-12e I received a new 145c pro mini.  They'll keep me busy for a few evenings, and in the mean time more goodies will arrive.
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Offline ralphd

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #28 on: September 25, 2015, 12:14:26 am »
Didn't take long to find some cheap LED matrices.  3mm 8x8 were even cheaper than 5x8 or 5x7 - $3 for 5.
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/5x-16pin-LED-Dot-Matrix-Display-8x8-3mm-Red-Common-Anode-For-Arduiino-AVR-11693/32472177718.html

How long is delivery to Canada from that place typically? There are some things that look interesting and cheap there but I'm a little skittish.
The other thing I like with Aliexpress is that all orders are escrow.  Until you confirm receipt, the funds aren't released to the vendor.  Most vendors are looking for good reviews, so most of the time I've requested a full or partial refund I've received it after providing evidence of the problem (photos, screen shots, etc)
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Offline westfw

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2015, 06:13:49 am »
I've now got a full set of Atmel Xplained Mini Eval boards: atmega168pb, atmega328p (practically an Arduino clone), atmega328pb, and SAMD10.
They sell for less than $10 each (and are sometimes swag at trade shows or seminars), and include an mEDBG chip, with provides debugging (with Atmel Studio) as well as USB/Serial functionality.
The 328pb is the most interesting of the lot - in a blaze of poor naming, Atmel has added a bunch of features to the 328p (more timers, 2nd uart, 2nd TWI, touch controller, (documented) unique chip ID,  AND MORE!)

And yes, you can stick a bootloader on the AVR boards and use them with Arduino.  The boards all "feature" the Arduino "shield" pinout.

The mEDBG chip is a little young (doesn't work quite right at 115200bps, for example.)  It implements CMSIS/DAP; an ARM-standardized debug access protocol, which they use to "wrap" AVR debug commands as well.  It's not clear whether this will ever allow non-Atmel debugging; I don't think they're documenting the AVR debug commands, so the fact that they've documented "use this CMSIS/DAP command to wrap an AVR debug command" isn't very useful (why, Atmel, why?)
 

Offline obiwanjacobi

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #30 on: September 25, 2015, 06:48:05 am »
Haha 500 74HC595's!! Everything will look like a nail with your brand new hammer.
I have got 595 code for the HD44780 in my library (see signature).

Hooked up a pro-mini I got in to an USBasp but avrdude did not see it. I hate when that happens (used USBasp successful with breadboard atmega1284)...
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Offline ralphd

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #31 on: September 25, 2015, 10:34:15 am »
They sell for less than $10 each (and are sometimes swag at trade shows or seminars), and include an mEDBG chip, with provides debugging (with Atmel Studio) as well as USB/Serial functionality.
The 328pb is the most interesting of the lot - in a blaze of poor naming, Atmel has added a bunch of features to the 328p (more timers, 2nd uart, 2nd TWI, touch controller, (documented) unique chip ID,  AND MORE!)

Did I read one of your earlier posts right saying that the 168pb also has the 2nd UART and TWI?

Just checked avr-libc and it still has no headers for the pb  (even though pitchumani is busy making commits to the SVN).  And there's NO WAY I'm going to start using that elephant of a software package called Atmel Studio...
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Offline FreddyVictor

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #32 on: September 25, 2015, 10:53:15 am »
The 328pb is the most interesting of the lot - in a blaze of poor naming, Atmel has added a bunch of features to the 328p (more timers, 2nd uart, 2nd TWI, touch controller, (documented) unique chip ID,  AND MORE!)
have to agree with you on the naming, would have been better to make it more obvious its a souped-up version

alternatively, maybe just move on to ATXmegaA4U's
they have 5xUSART + 2xTWI + lots of other bits and are supported in AVR Studio 4
 

Offline ralphd

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #33 on: September 25, 2015, 10:53:47 am »
Haha 500 74HC595's!! Everything will look like a nail with your brand new hammer.
I have got 595 code for the HD44780 in my library (see signature).

My days of heavy C++ coding were waning just as templates and STL were becoming popular.  I avoid Arduino programming as it typifies a plethora of bad coding practices.
While C++ templates are a clever way to get compile-time determination of device configuration, it doesn't separate code and configuration data.
With a good ol' makefile I can do compile-time configuration like:
Code: [Select]
LCD_EN ?= 2

I've already written a 4-bit HD44780 library (partly based on Peter Fleury's code), so I won't be starting from scratch.  I'd also like to support both '595 and '164 shift registers, something few (if any) existing libraries seem to do.
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Offline neslekkim

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #34 on: September 25, 2015, 01:55:35 pm »
Didn't take long to find some cheap LED matrices.  3mm 8x8 were even cheaper than 5x8 or 5x7 - $3 for 5.
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/5x-16pin-LED-Dot-Matrix-Display-8x8-3mm-Red-Common-Anode-For-Arduiino-AVR-11693/32472177718.html

How long is delivery to Canada from that place typically? There are some things that look interesting and cheap there but I'm a little skittish.

takes about 10 days or so to the uk but dont be skittish, i  was till Tautech etc got me going and i use it more than ebay now, not had a problem so far.

I have done some orders, about 10 or so, almost all of the orders, the seller have waited like 2-3 week before shipping the item.. so I don't use it unless i must, but maybe I have choosed the wrong sellers..
 

Offline obiwanjacobi

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #35 on: September 25, 2015, 03:12:15 pm »
Odd. Almost all orders I place go to shipped status the same or next day..?
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Offline ralphd

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #36 on: September 25, 2015, 04:25:35 pm »

I have done some orders, about 10 or so, almost all of the orders, the seller have waited like 2-3 week before shipping the item.. so I don't use it unless i must, but maybe I have choosed the wrong sellers..

The listings on aliexpress have a "ships within" date.  If two sellers have the same price and similar satisfaction ratings, I pick the one with the shortest shipping time.   Most things I buy are "ships within" 5 business days, and some as low as 3.
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Offline neslekkim

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #37 on: September 25, 2015, 05:20:05 pm »

I have done some orders, about 10 or so, almost all of the orders, the seller have waited like 2-3 week before shipping the item.. so I don't use it unless i must, but maybe I have choosed the wrong sellers..

The listings on aliexpress have a "ships within" date.  If two sellers have the same price and similar satisfaction ratings, I pick the one with the shortest shipping time.   Most things I buy are "ships within" 5 business days, and some as low as 3.

Ah, I saw something about that, I thought it was aliexpress that had such dates, not that the seller sets it themself, need to check out that better, thanks!
 

Offline motocoder

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #38 on: September 25, 2015, 05:21:34 pm »
Unfortunately the state of Washington is in some sort of tiff with aliexpress, so no orders shipped here are allowed. Been waiting years for them to resolve it.
 

Offline westfw

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #39 on: September 25, 2015, 06:52:30 pm »
Quote
Did I read one of your earlier posts right saying that the 168pb also has the 2nd UART and TWI?
I don't think so.   There's a doc on differences between the 168pb and 168 (AT06609), and they are more subtle (contributing to the "blaze of poor naming")

Quote
Just checked avr-libc and it still has no headers for the pb
There's a "328pb support package" on the AS download page that contains mostly a snapshot of a newer gcc (including libc)
The datasheet that correctly (?) documents the new peripherals is mere days old...

Quote
maybe just move on to ATXmegaA4U's
The xx8pb's are 32pin packages...
 

Online bson

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #40 on: September 26, 2015, 04:15:46 am »
Received a CY8CKIT-059; it has some interesting looking configurable analog components and ADCs that seem fun to experiment with, along with a Cortex-M3 based SoC.  For <$10 from Mouser, why not...  http://www.cypress.com/documentation/development-kitsboards/cy8ckit-059-psoc-5lp-prototyping-kit
 

Offline eas

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #41 on: September 27, 2015, 02:22:55 am »
Ah, good point.

In order to minimize veering too far off-topic, I recently got one of these ESP-201 modules:

http://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?SearchText=esp-201

It's like an ESP-12, but breadboard-friendly, or a NodeMCU module for those who already have a USB-to-TTL interface.

I found an instructable on this device (ESP8266). This looks pretty useful. I was trying to remotely view some data coming out of a GPS chip, using one of the HC-06 modules, but it seems Microsoft broke the Bluetooth serial port implementation in Windows 10. I am looking for an alternative until they come up with a patch. I might be able to rig up something with this.
This might come in handy then:  https://github.com/jeelabs/esp-link
 

Offline motocoder

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #42 on: September 28, 2015, 08:08:00 am »
Ah, good point.

In order to minimize veering too far off-topic, I recently got one of these ESP-201 modules:

http://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?SearchText=esp-201

It's like an ESP-12, but breadboard-friendly, or a NodeMCU module for those who already have a USB-to-TTL interface.

I found an instructable on this device (ESP8266). This looks pretty useful. I was trying to remotely view some data coming out of a GPS chip, using one of the HC-06 modules, but it seems Microsoft broke the Bluetooth serial port implementation in Windows 10. I am looking for an alternative until they come up with a patch. I might be able to rig up something with this.
This might come in handy then:  https://github.com/jeelabs/esp-link

Thanks, eas. That looks interesting. I will check that out.
 

Offline obiwanjacobi

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #43 on: September 28, 2015, 08:15:18 am »
I'd also like to support both '595 and '164 shift registers, something few (if any) existing libraries seem to do.

What is so special about the '164?
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Offline tautech

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #44 on: September 28, 2015, 08:28:11 am »
Unfortunately the state of Washington is in some sort of tiff with aliexpress, so no orders shipped here are allowed. Been waiting years for them to resolve it.
:o  :wtf:
Really? What's behind that?
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Offline motocoder

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #45 on: September 28, 2015, 10:37:33 am »
Unfortunately the state of Washington is in some sort of tiff with aliexpress, so no orders shipped here are allowed. Been waiting years for them to resolve it.
:o  :wtf:
Really? What's behind that?

It has something to do with their payment escrow service being unregistered/unregulated/illegal according to Washington state law. I don't know all the details, but after being this way for years now, it seems unlikely to be resolved.
 

Offline neslekkim

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #46 on: September 28, 2015, 10:40:08 am »
I'd also like to support both '595 and '164 shift registers, something few (if any) existing libraries seem to do.

What is so special about the '164?

No latch.

One would think that 165 would be more interresting, shift-in register.
 

Offline cncjerry

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #47 on: October 01, 2015, 05:46:26 pm »
I think the Chinese government is subsidizing quite a bit - it's a calculated strategy to wipe out competition, and then dominate the market. Seems to be working.

I think their gov't is imbedding all kinds of code in the firmware.  What was that book where a guy named Mouse had done that with mouse drivers and took over everyone's computer?

don't laugh.  look at what they did to Boeing with all the hacking.
 

Offline eas

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #48 on: October 03, 2015, 04:28:00 am »
I think the Chinese government is subsidizing quite a bit - it's a calculated strategy to wipe out competition, and then dominate the market. Seems to be working.

I think their gov't is imbedding all kinds of code in the firmware.  What was that book where a guy named Mouse had done that with mouse drivers and took over everyone's computer?

don't laugh.  look at what they did to Boeing with all the hacking.
What goes around comes around, eh? It was only a few centuries ago that western traders and missionaries were opening China to "Free Trade." Might not have worked, if someone didn't save the day with the clever idea of getting them hooked on opium...
« Last Edit: October 03, 2015, 04:32:09 am by eas »
 

Offline eas

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Re: what have you bought lately that's cheap & cool?
« Reply #49 on: October 03, 2015, 05:38:02 am »
Unfortunately the state of Washington is in some sort of tiff with aliexpress, so no orders shipped here are allowed. Been waiting years for them to resolve it.
:o  :wtf:
Really? What's behind that?

It has something to do with their payment escrow service being unregistered/unregulated/illegal according to Washington state law. I don't know all the details, but after being this way for years now, it seems unlikely to be resolved.
Apparently the cost of filing the required paperwork shouldn't be particularly high, $1200 filing fee + a tax depending on sales to WA residents that is capped. Google, PayPal, Amazon, and others don't find it too onerous, but I guess Alibaba does. Meanwhile, they actually have employees in the state, and are considering adding a lot more, but, presumably, they can't actually make purchases through the company's services.

Apparently the check on their site is, or has been, purely client-side, so some people have just deleted some javascript using debugging tools and successfully made orders with WA delivery addresses.
 


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