All You Need Is 2 Wires And 50 Bucks To Get Video Out Of Your Arduino With Mesa-Video


In this post we want to introduce you a great article that describe the latest projects from Black Mesa Labs. These guys wanted to create a new approach to add video support to your projects with Arduino and other low cost microcontrollers. So the idea of Mesa-Video was born.

Mesa-Video is a fully open-source device that will provide real time video resolution of up to 800 x 600 pixels on a HDMI output to any device with a UART serial port.

Following Mesa-Video is Mesa-Bus, their solution to the shield stacking problems of Arduino. Issues appear if you want to get more than one. Therefore, they have come up with this small device which works as USBs for PCs. It´s also cross-platform and open source so you can easily disconnect your Arduino and connect a RaspberryPi without making any changes to the other devices on your design. Simpler and faster approach that puts together SPI and I2C saving a lot of decoding.

A lot more projects are on the pipe, so we recommend you to keep an eye on Black Mesa Labs Projects.

Read the full article here.


By Black Mesa Labs

How To Control What You See On A Screen in Two Hours and For Less Than $25!

Imagine how cool it would be to control what appears on your screen and at a bargain price, just using your FPGA (yes! Your Papilio!) and some other easy-to-get components.

All you need is read today´s article (and buy the tiny things of course). This how-to post is one of those which are written thinking of the user. It explains everything, even the physics that rule the system.

For this specific example, a DAC resistor is connected to the FPGA on a CPLD board so it can output 512 colors to a VGA screen. Knowledge of VHDL is needed in order to implement your own code, otherwise, simply use the one given although you can follow the links on the article to learn some more about VHDL.

The real advantage is that you will be able to implement your own VHDL modules so you will actually control what appears on the screen!


Now it´s your time. Show the World what you can do…through a VGA monitor!


By Chris

Simple Infrared PWM on Arduino

Example 56kHz generated Infrared signal @ 50% duty cycleNice code walk through of how to generate a PWM in C code. This is a 3 part series showing how to generate IR commands in software.

We are often asked on discussion boards, about conflicts between IRremote or IRLib and other Arduino Libraries. In this post, we present a sketch for ‘Simple Infrared PWM on Arduino’. This is the first part in a 3 part series of posts. Part 1 shows how to generate the simple Infrared carrier frequency on Arduino, using any available IO pin and without conflicting with other libraries. Part 2 will show how to send a RAW infrared signal using this approach and Part 3 will show how to send a common NEC signal from the binary or HEX value.

Spin Brushless DC Motors Slowly

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.

Remote controlled balancing robot !

Hey everyone! Today we have an excellent open source project to show you, Wily made a very cool self-balancing robot controlled by a Wii Nunchuck! Before we continue talking about it please enjoy watching this video where he shows off his build while it’s chasing a cute pet:

As you see in the video above the robot’s feedback loop is well tuned and there is absolutely no visible oscillation used to keep its balance. To realize this project Wily used these parts that could be easily found:

  • Arduino Uno R3
  • Pololu 29:1 Metal Gearmotor 37Dx52L mm with 64 CPR Encoder
  • Pololu Wheel 90x10mm
  • Pololu Dual VNH5019 Motor Driver Shield for Arduino
  • SparkFun IMU Analog Combo Board – 5 Degrees of Freedom IDG500/ADXL335
  • Nyko Wireless Kama

And to give the robot that solid upright stance he used a PID library that was originally written by Brett Beauregard and he also used a complementary filter to estimate the tilt angle and rate from the IMU vertical and longitudinal accelerometers and tilt gyroscope.

Feel free to discuss in the comments thread.

Using Microcontrollers To Drive A VGA Monitor

We found a great article over at LucidScience regarding having a microcontroller drive a VGA monitor.  This is some pretty cool stuff, when done right!  The project explains how to work out the kinks from the typically difficult task of using a microcontroller with a VGA monitor.

“It took some time to learn how the five signals used on an analog VGA connection made an image appear on the screen, but the end results were much better than anticipated, providing a crisp 256 by 240 image on the monitor in 256 colors. Although it does take some intensive cycle accurate assembly programming, the basic coding is not very difficult to understand once you have learned what the monitor expects. In fact, making a microcontroller drive a VGA monitor is much easier than creating a video signal for a television because the VGA monitor does all of the difficult color coding for you as long as you send the video signals and sync pulses at precisely the right time. “Precisely” is the key!

The article is complete with a list of the parts you’ll need, a quick tutorial, and more so that you can start getting video from your microcontroller!

Hats off to these guys!

(Original article can be found here, via LucidScience)