Find all your DIY electronics in the MakerShed. 3D Printing, Kits, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Books & more!

Open-Source-Upgrade

Tyler is a fairly new maker on the scene with one of my favorite new open-source hardware kits (an ambient-style GPS). Within just a few weeks a customer of his “upgraded” his kit all because it’s open-source. Tyler then made these cool badges to put on his product pages to show and share that it’s been improved by going open. This is a great example of some of the things I talked about in my recent article “The {Unspoken} rules of open-source hardware”.

The greatest part of selling open source hardware is what happens after the sale.  I am constantly surprised by the things people do with the Coobro Geo.  People have emailed me pictures of hardware hacks, and sent me code that takes the device in a direction I had never dreamed of or thought possible.  I know I am not alone in this, and have a strong feeling that anyone who has released open source hardware has spent time digging through Google searches and forums looking for projects that have used their hardware in unique ways.  Here at Adafruit, and at my company, Coobro Labs, we want to celebrate these open source hardware hacks and upgrades.  We want to do a better job of showcasing the hard work and ingenuity of our customers and their projects.

In order to bring attention to these projects, I have created a couple Open Source Upgrade badges.  Anytime someone modifies a piece of open source hardware and adds to either the code, or the hardware, we will attach one of these badges of honor to the project.  If you have a project that took a piece of open source hardware and gave it an upgrade, feel free to add the badge to your pictures or blog posts.  Our goal here is to increase awareness of projects that would not have been possible (or would have been much harder) without open source hardware.  To show people who are nervous about open sourcing their hardware that this is what open source hardware is all about.

I currently have two large badges in .png and .jpg formats ready to download.  I will have multiple sizes available soon.  Download the badges here.

Here are the product improvements.


Coobro-Geo-Kit

Coobro Geo owner and active user Gerard (call sign DL8SEL) has been pumping out updates to the Coobro Geo code and he is finally ready to show it off.  We are blown away with what Gerard has done here.  Here is the long list of new features he has developed:

  1. 32 breadcrumb coordinate storage in eeprom
  2. 32 geo coordinate storage in eeprom
  3. Active geo and breadcrumb coordinates shown on the distance LEDs in binary
  4. Activity logging: every time you turn on the device it logs the date/time/location of your start (10 revolving data logs)
  5. Read and write coordinates and breadcrumbs via serial communication (a write command allows you to store breadcrumbs lat/lon in a specific location in the table, a read command shows all non-zero breadcrums lat/lon)
  6. When you turn on the device, it will flash the software version in binary
  7. When you turn off, then turn on the device, it will return to the last coordinate you were navigating to
  8. The close-up distance display can be changed easily with a #define macro (from 5 to 10 or xx meter if you want to use it in a car)
  9. When you turn on the device, it will transfer all wp of the program code into the corresponding eeprom wp storage area if the corresponding storage field is empty

A special thanks to Gerard for all of his hard work on the code!  This is what makes open source great.

Make sure to view the header in Gerard’s sketch for instructions on how to read/write to the Coobro Geo over serial.  Download Gerard’s updated code on GitHub.

Tyler is posting up bigger/different versions of the art too, I’ll post an update once they’re up.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


Related
blog comments powered by Disqus

Featured Products from the MakerShed