August 2011 Competition

Hello Readers

Time for another competition! To enter is very easy. There will be six questions hidden within articles published at tronixstuff.com the month of August (but not this one!). Once you have answers to all six, email them to competition at tronixstuff dot com with “August 2011″ in the subject line before 2359h GMT September 4th. On the 5th of September, I will compile a list of people with the correct answers, and randomly select two winners. Please note competition rules at the end of this article.

The first winner drawn will receive a brand new Freetronics EtherTen!

This is the mother of all Arduino-compatible boards. Designed in Australia and manufactured to the highest quality standards the EtherTen replaces three boards – consider having an Arduino Uno SMD, Ethernet shield with PoE, and a microSD shield – all on the one board. From the Freetronics website:

The EtherTen is a 100% Arduino compatible board that can talk to the world. Do Twitter updates automatically, serve web pages, connect to web services, display sensor data online, and control devices using a web browser. The Freetronics EtherTen uses the same ATmega328P as the Duemilanove and the same Wiznet W5100 chip used by the official Arduino Ethernet Shield, so it’s 100% compatible with the Ethernet library and sketches. Any project you would previously have built with an Arduino and an Ethernet shield stacked together, you can now do all in a single, integrated board.

We’ve even added a micro SD card slot so you can store web content on the card, or log data to it.

All the good things about the Eleven and the Ethernet Shield have been combined into this one device so please see those pages for all the specific details, but the highlights include:

  • Gold-plated PCB.
  • Top and bottom parts overlays.
  • Top-spec ATmega328P MCU.
  • Mini-USB connector: no more shorts against shields!
  • D13 pin isolated with a MOSFET so you can use it as an input.
  • Power-over-Ethernet support, both cheapie DIY or full 802.3af standards-compliant.
  • Ethernet activity indicators on the PCB and the jack.
  • 10/100base-T auto-selection.
  • Fully compatible with standard Ethernet library.
  • Reset management chip.
  • Fixed SPI behavior on Ethernet chipset.
  • Robust power filtering.
  • Sexy rounded corners.

Note that just like our Ethernet Shield with PoE support, the EtherTen provides a number of options for different Power over Ethernet. You can use the supplied jumpers and feed 7-12Vdc down the wire for cheap DIY version, or you can fit our PoE Regulator 24V and feed a bit more voltage down the wire, or you can use our PoE Regulator 802.3AF along with a proper commercial PoE injector or switch. It’s up to you.

And of course there is a second prize – the Freetronics LCD & Keypad shield

This LCD and Keypad Shield gives you a handy 16-character by 2-line display, 5 buttons and a controllable backlight, plug it straight in on top of your Arduino board or other project shields.
The display is set behind the shield for a low profile fitment and nice look and we’ve included panel mounting screw holes in the corners.

It’s great when you want to build a stand-alone project with its own user interface that doesn’t require a computer attached to send commands to your Arduino.

Works perfectly in 4-bit mode with the “LiquidCrystal” library included with the Arduino IDE, allowing you to control the LCD with a total of just 6 digital I/O lines. We’ve deliberately picked D4-D9 so that it doesn’t interfere with pins required by other popular products such as the Ethernet Shield and EtherTen, so you can stack this on top of other shields to give you a local display.

The buttons provide “left”, “right”, “up”, “down”, and “select” while using just one analog input. That leaves the other analog inputs free for you to use in your projects.

The LCD backlight is connected to D3 and can be controlled for on/off, brightness and flashing effects.

Features:

  • 16×2 LCD using HD44780-compatible display module (white characters on blue background).
  • 5 buttons on one analog input (A0).
  • LCD backlight with current limiting, brightness and on/off controllable by D3, can be moved to D2, D10, A1, A2, A3, A4 or A5 for easy project pin compatibility.
  • Recessed LCD, panel mount screw holes and button layout suitable for panel or cabinet mounting if desired.
  • Reset button.
  • Power supply smoothing capacitor.
  • Gold-plated PCB for maximum durability.
  • Overlay printed on both the top and the bottom.
  • Pins used by shield clearly marked, LiquidCrystal library setup reference is on the bottom of the pcb for convenience.

As with any other competition, there needs to be some rules:

  • Prizes will be delivered via Australia Post domestic or regular international air mail. Winners may elect for other methods upon payment of real cost;
  • Winners outside of Australia will be responsible for any taxes, fees or levies imposed by your local Governments (such as import levies, excise, VAT, etc.) upon importation of purchased goods;
  • Prizes may take up to 45 days to be received;
  • If you have met me John Boxall in person, or you have won a previous competition you cannot enter;
  • The Judge’s decision is final with regards to any dispute;
  • Entries will be accepted until 2359h GMT on 4th September 2011.

And of course thanks to our generous competition sponsor Freetronics!

Visit the Freetronics website or resellers to see their full range of quality Arduino-related products.

So have fun and keep checking into tronixstuff.com. Why not follow things on twitter, subscribe  for email updates or RSS using the links on the right-hand column, or join our Google Group – dedicated to the projects and related items on this website. Sign up – it’s free, helpful to each other –  and we can all learn something.

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By John Boxall

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