Tech Marinade
Uncovering Hidden Innovation in DIY Electronics
The Kyub Is A Literal Music Box For Three-Dimensional Jamming
by Kyle Patrick Cayabyab ▪ 4.3.2014 News

6efc73788c209b7872a2921e903e62b9_largeMusic based projects and products bring an eclectic flavor to the Maker community. Using a marriage of creativity and technology yields some of the most unique devices imaginable. One of these devices is a literal “music box” that looks like a wide-eyed dice and adds a quirky flair to MIDI keyboards. The Kyub is an open source feather touch MIDI keyboard that makes use of capacitive sensing and an accelerometer to make music creation more active and dynamic.

Started by Keith Baxter, who has also developed a popular servoelectric guitar, the Kyub features 11 fully programmable feather touch keypads, a three axis 3G accelerometer, a Teensy AVR microcontroller with native USB MIDI support, and three open source programs for experimentation and playing. The Kyub is also compatible with many software synthesizers including Propellerhead Reason Essentials, and iPad based synthesizers. For the past four months, Keith has been working with Petyr Stretz, a hacker and electronic music expert, and Peggy Brown, an industrial designer, to create an innovative product with a slick design.

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MetaWear: Make Wearables in 30 Minutes or Less!
by Ryan Sailor ▪ 4.1.2014 News

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You can’t send an Arduino to production, but you can send a MetaWear!

A new Kickstarter by the team at mbientlab (mbientlab.com) features a device that promises to cut prototyping times and hardware development costs for hardware projects. Their device, the MetaWear, is a small development board, 17mm by 26 mm in size, that packs a Cortex-M0 microcontroller and Bluetooth 4.0. A simple API for iOS and Android makes it easy to utilize the MetaWear without writing a line of firmware.

The Mbientlab team launched a Kickstarter for their previous product, the Cubit, back in October. They learned the hard way that crowdfunding can fall short of goals if the product does not fit the market in just the right way. This did not discourage Laura Kassovic or Matt Baker, co-founders of Mbientlab, who saw an opportunity in using a generalized version of the Cubit’s electronics to create a device that could drastically speed up development time and reduce costs for many hardware startups. A few iterations later, the MetaWare was born.

Mbientlab wants the MetaWear to remove the hassle of hardware design so they designed it to be fully cost-optimized and production ready. Unlike an Arduino and breadboard prototype, the MetaWear needs no re-design after the prototyping stage and can be used in products that are ready-to-ship. Ideally, anyone can use Bluetooth Low Energy technology in their designs without the need of a professional electrical engineer.

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AgIC Print Modifies Your Home Printer Into A Circuit Board Manufacturer
by Kyle Patrick Cayabyab ▪ 4.1.2014 News

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We’ve been seeing creative methods of printing circuit boards crop up lately, including the AgIC Print. This Ag Inkjet Circuit is essentially conductive ink that is quick to dry and safe to use in many home printers. By making PCBs readily available, more creativity can be employed into your projects, allowing the expansion of art and the accessibility for children to learn about electronics in various fun ways. The freedom with which one can use the ink will allow for designs to be “drawn up” and tested for basic feasibility. With the inclusion of the ink’s use in a marker, PCBs can become a more hands on experience not limited by resources such as printers or the compliance of whatever is available to order. The possible downsides are how the ink is compatible with printers and printing surfaces, and the functionality of the conductive ink.

The accessibility of this conductive ink rides first and foremost on the total costs of implementing it. Printer ink costs are already phenomenal, and unless those sales have ludicrous profit margins, the AgIC ink can hike up to a higher cost. The AgIC full printing system will cost $599 with refills for the conductive ink costing about $100 and can print 50-100 pages. As for compatibility, the AgIC ink can print on standard paper and paper created to be used with the conductive ink is also available for purchase.

AgIC states that the ink will be flexible and that it will last for at least one year. Suitable for temporary projects, but not much that require permanence. The conductive ink also sports a resistance of 0.2-0.3 Ohm/square, meaning a 1mm width line will have a 0.2-0.3 Ohm resistance per 1mm of length. ICs can also be implemented by using conductive glue or tape, included in the printing kit.

From the Kickstarter, backers can receive a conductive supporter card or business card, a brush or marker with the conductive ink, various kits including components, and the full AgIC printing system. Be sure to check them out on their page or on their website.

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Updates To Tech Marinade
by Ryan Sailor ▪ 2.23.2014 Editorial

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If you have been following our website you probably noticed the visual changes. Crisper boarders, easier to read fonts, and prettier colors are a few of the alterations made to the Tech Marinade style. We believe when it comes to websites, good visuals and user experience go hand in hand. To that end, there will be a few additional updates to the style to make sure our layout fits our new content we will add soon.

On the topic of new content, the visual update is one step out of three in our grand plan to make Tech Marinade a staple of the “Maker” community. Step two will bring more informational content to TM which we think is lacking around the internet. Imagine you are planning a project, but you know an Arduino Uno will not give you enough power or connections. Tech Marinade will soon be your resource for helping you make the best decisions on prototyping tools and devices.

Step three will be to make the website more accessible by improving site performance and implementing a responsive layout for the benefit of our mobile users.

Stick with us as we continue to make a bigger, better Tech Marinade. We will continue to keep you up to date on tech news and announcements. Don’t forget to let us know what content you want to see posted; just send us an email!

Stay real,

Ryan and Kyle

 

 

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A Further Look at DSLogic
by Kyle Patrick Cayabyab ▪ 1.29.2014 News

Mentioned previously, small all-in-one tools are gaining ground on the Kickstarter scene. This is a further look at the DSLogic, a multifunctional instrument developed by DreamSource Labs based out of Beijing. This project recently completed its funding, earning more than ten times the goal ($111,497 with a goal of $10,000 to be exact). The project has also reached every one of its stretch goals, meaning an even better product for backers and future consumers.

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Smart All-In-One Tool For Makers Hits Kickstarter
by Ryan Sailor ▪ 1.23.2014 News

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2014 is turning out to be the year of the smart oscilloscopes. Red Pitaya was announced on Kickstarter last year and DSLogic is a new Kickstarter that reached its funding goal and was officially funded today. Just recently, a new contender hit the scene. A new team from Belgium called LabNation is offering a 50 MHz bandwidth digital “smart”-oscilloscope for a very reasonable $179. It’s called the SmartScope. Marketing spent most of their budget on that one.

The SmartScope is pretty reminiscent of the average USB based digital oscilloscope. It’s a small box with two co-ax connectors for two 100 MS/s analog signals, a USB connector, and power. But, wait… there’s more!

LabNation touts the SmartScope as “for makers, by makers”, and it shows. The SmartScope also features digital logic analyzer capability as well as a function generator. It’s basically the Swiss Army Knife for maker tools. The 100 MS/s rate should allow you to capture 50 Mhz digital signals, which covers most Atmel microcontroller clock speeds. On the other hand, 50 MHz will only provide a good analog measurement of waveforms up to 17 Mhz or so, but that will cover the majority of your communication interfaces such as SPI or I2C.

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