Spin Brushless DC Motors Slowly

April 23rd, 2015

Spining BLDC(Gimbal) motors at super slooooooow speeds with Arduino and L6234

Here is some good reference material on spinning Brushless DC motors that should be applicable to the Papilio. We would just need to add some sensors to spin the motors faster…


I used specialized triple half bridge IC L6234 (~ 8$). You can make the same spending less money (but more time) with MOSFET transistors or other IC.

USB PIDs For All – New USB PID Source.

April 21st, 2015

Making an Open Source Hardware device and need a USB VID/PID but can’t afford $5K? Well now there is a new option for getting your own PID for free!

Now, someone has finally done the sensible thing and put an unused USB VID to work. pid.codes obtained the rights to a single VID – 0×1209 – and now they’re parceling off all the PIDs that remain to open source hardware projects.

CastAR Teardown

April 16th, 2015



If you are like us you have been following Jerri Ellsworth’s castAR project with a sense of awe and anticipation. It’s an amazing project made with an FPGA and we can’t wait to see one of these things in person. Until that happens we found a great teardown video that shows all the pretty insides of the device.

A little more than a year ago, castAR, the augmented reality glasses with projectors and retro-reflective surfaces made it to Kickstarter. Since then we’ve seen it at Maker Faire, seen it used for visualizing 3D prints, and sat down with the latest version of the hardware. Now, one of the two people we trust to do a proper teardown finally got his developer version of the castAR.

Blog that documents work to create Commodore 65 on FPGA.

April 14th, 2015

Very interesting blog that documents Dr. Paul Gardner-Stephen’s work on recreating the Commodore 64 on an FPGA. Not sure if any of this is Open Source, but fun to read.

This is a hastily prepared post with a few screen shots of the C65GS display just to give you an idea of what I am working on.

ESP8266: Full Arduino support now! Use it like it’s an Arduino!

April 8th, 2015

The ESP8266 microcontroller with onboard WiFiEveryone’s favorite WiFi chip now has Arduino IDE support. This means that you can connect an ESP8266 via a serial port and choose it as a board type in the Arduino IDE now. Make a sketch, click upload and you are in business with a less then $5 IoT device. Pretty nifty!

What’s supported by the build? The short answer is quite a lot — basic functions like pinMode, digitalRead and digitalWrite work as you’d expect. As do interrupts, and the millis and micros functions, and sensible things done to delay to take account of the background activity of WiFi and TCP tasks, and there is a Ticker library for calling functions with a certain cadence.

The Papilio DUO and the new shields are finally here!

February 25th, 2015

CC4Here at Gadget Factory we are happy to announce that our next generation of products are now available at our online store. The long awaited Papilio DUO along with the new Papilio Shields are finally here after a successful Kickstarter campaign that helped us raise more than $62.000 in funds to make this dream come true, here is a short description of each product:

  • The Papilio DUO has an FPGA on the top and the same chip that is used in the Arduino Leonardo (ATmega32U4) on the bottom. It’s like having an Arduino with a full circuit laboratory connected to it! For example, you can draw circuits to move pins, connect extra serial ports, or connect a bitcoin miner to the Arduino-Compatible chip. Just plug it into your computer using a USB cable, download our software and start drawing your own circuits.
  • The LogicStart Shield provides everything needed to get started with VHDL and FPGA development on the Papilio DUO with one convenient and easy to connect circuit board.
  • The Computing Shield provides all of the hardware needed to recreate classic computing systems on the Papilio DUO. Here are some existing retro computing projects that can be easily converted.

To have an in depth look at the DUO and the new Shields please visit the hardware guides and the product pages here, feel free to drop a comment and send us your feedback.