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GIVEAWAY: 2 Little Wire USB controlled multi-tool

Posted on Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012 in contest by DP

Little Wire is multi-featured USB controlled open source hardware tool packed in a minimal form factor designed by ihsan Kehribar. Even though it has minimal form factor, and packed with full of features, there aren’t any SMT components involved, therefore it is very suitable for beginners to assemble.

This tool has to take instructions at run-time over USB. It can’t work in a computer-less environment.

When i saw simpleavr’s implementation of usbtiny on attiny45 , i thought it would be cool if i make a kit version of this with a minimal form factor. Then i designed a PCB and sent for first prototype. Later on i thought, if i want to sell this, it would be much cooler ,and more suitable with “Open Source Hardware” concept, if i bring this project one step ahead. So i tried to fit anything extra to the device and this project came out.

We are giving away 2 Little Wire! Leave a comment on this post with an idea for a Little Wire project, and one of these could be yours on Thursday.

The Little Wire is available for $19.00 from Seeed Studio.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012 at 7:00 pm and is filed under contest. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

87 Responses to “GIVEAWAY: 2 Little Wire USB controlled multi-tool”

  1. TiBounise says:

    I’m thinking of an computer controlled mixing table, using the Little Wire to drive the digital potentiometers thru USB.

  2. sachin taneja says:

    hello dangerous prootype
    thi usb kit is very innovative and helpful in simple elctronics projects.please consider this post as my entry to this giveaway

  3. Knuckx says:

    A single board computer with USB on a RC Car base. Use the Little Wire to drive a normal 90deg servo for steering and a servo-style digital speed controller attached to a big DC motor for drive. Nice little robot platform. :)

  4. iyahdub says:

    For developing my IR control in the PC, when i need to change the channel and have to get up and look for the remote…That way i’d have more time to spend on http://dangerousprototypes.com to keep up to the hacking news, and projects innit ?!?

  5. Matt B says:

    Cool little tool, I SOOO want one

  6. Stan says:

    Hi Guys,

    As the available IO pin count are limited, I came up with following ideas:
    – DS18B20 1-wire temperature sensor reading
    – SHT11 Temperature and Humidity sensor
    – GPS or DCF77 receiver unit
    – Simple 4-bit logic analyser
    – Driving SPI or I2C display driver (ie. LCD Smartie)
    – etc

    • Shadyman says:

      You got peanut butter in my chocolate! That knocks a couple off my list.

      How about JTAG programmer? SPI Snooper?
      I certainly like the logic analyser idea ;)

      You could even use a 70xx 3-to-8 decoder or I2C/SPI I/O expander to have more pins :)

  7. I’m about to start work on a simple and small USB key, and would like to evaluate whether it’d be suitable for the job.

  8. tech2077 says:

    I would use this for a usb based body monitoring system with multiple sensors for body heat, heart rate, blood oxygen, blood pressure, ect. The device would fit on my forearm and be accessible over usb, then a graphing program on my computer would log the data every time it was attached. Would be interesting to see how different activities and times of day affect my vitals specifically.

  9. George Hahn says:

    Ambilight clone w/ party mode!

  10. Gary says:

    I would use it to make a mood lamp dependieng on ambient teperature for my newborn kid!

  11. FourthDr says:

    I built one of these on a bread board. Even talked to ihsan Kehribar via email when I was having trouble with it. Finally got it working after figuring out he crossed d+ d- lines in his design. Using it to program some attiny85’s for some blinkm clones I’m building. (BLINK-RGB-BLINK) Would be nice to get it off the bread board and onto a PCB. ;-) :-)

  12. Squonk says:

    I’d like to use the Little Wire as an USB to GPIO extension for my TP-Link TL-WR703N Wifi Router to make one of the World’s smallest and cheapest Wifi-controlled GPIO setup!

  13. V4a_ says:

    I would use it to connect various sensors (motion detector, temperature, light, humidity, …) to my Raspberry Pi (which don’t have an ADC or timers). I would also use it as a physical facebook like counter

  14. SaakNeMah says:

    I would like to add some sort of DMX support to littlewire. With the DMX support I can use the littlewire to interface my fixtures to my PC.

  15. Daniel Arsene says:

    USB Multi-tool for SPI, I2C, UART bridging. In this way i can test and run a bunch of sensors that i have. Also could be developed a learning platform in my class.

  16. Tomasz Ostrowski says:

    Low speed signal recorder: interfacing with miniscope v3/v4.

  17. pokey9000 says:

    This would be nice as a USB->I2C bridge for pogo programming of our boards at work.

  18. udif says:

    I have an ongoing project, where I attach a small PCB to my monitor that contains two perpendicular tilt switches, connected to an MSP430 and a Nordic 24L01+ module.
    The module can detect the exact position (portrait/landscape) of my monitor, which has a pivot axis using the tile switches.

    I would use the littlewire with a 2nd Nordic 24L01+ module to wirelessly get the orientation of the monitor and rotate the desktop accordingly.

    The end result would be that I could rotate the monitor as much as I would like, and the machine would automatically switch between portrait and landscape modes.

  19. John Tarbox says:

    This would be good for interfacing my Raspberry PI to my ham radio.

  20. willy says:

    would be my first experience with Atmel

  21. kpimmel says:

    Prototyping tool for temperature control network for home audio system.

  22. Huy says:

    I have a Swan network camera and it lacks the pan-tilt control. This would be a neat project to control 2 servos for pan-tilt.

  23. M_M says:

    I have a lisp machine in the works. Based on an ancient lisp interpreter that I saved from the garbage heap of history. It is FPGA based for now, with VGA output to the screen and some keyboard input. Yay hardware-supported garbage collection!

    I think I just found myself some means of doing debug output once the CPU is fully live… :)

  24. Chris says:

    I could use this.

  25. Cris says:

    To monitor temperature at my house and log it for future home automation projects

  26. Dolabra says:

    another USB device to play with would be cool!

  27. Baystray says:

    New to embedded projects and never used attiny before so I would honestly only know when I got to play around for a little bit. :-)

  28. exapod says:

    Time to try the avr

  29. pdrift says:

    I would use it to learn more about electronics and one idea I have is some kind of temperature logging setup for the temperatures at my job.

  30. bovine says:

    This could be a great input for a data logger!

  31. Walt says:

    I would love to check out V-USB with this.

  32. ZotDitzMyo says:

    I would connect it to a WR703N (still waiting for my raspberry pi) and have a WiFi mini bus pirate Arrrr! When the rpi finally shows up (xbmc) it will have WiFi connectivity with any I/O

  33. Stephen Heil says:

    Add an old-fashioned parallel port to a modern laptop.

  34. Jacob Botden says:

    I could use this for intelligent fan speed control of my server. With a USB connection, the controller could report back for condition monitoring and have an interface to speed them up or slow them down

  35. Christo says:

    If I could have one, I would plug it to a digital accelerometer and it would make me crazy to shake my computer to see some number in a terminal.

  36. Robert P. says:

    My first project would be an intervalometer for remote controlling my camera.

  37. Drone says:

    Send me a Little Wire and I’ll use it to try and understand how the heck it can cost $19.00 USD to buy in kit form!

  38. Avishay says:

    This one is a perfect match for my USB fan speed controller.

  39. Stephen says:

    I’ll connect the I/O pins to a remote controlled toy car and use the computer to control the car!

  40. Skappy says:

    Hi,

    We are working on a hacked robot toy called Nono …

    Meet him at

    http://www.pobot.org/Nono-le-Parlobot-2012.html

    Thanks to the dangerousprototypes today’s new , we have discovered the Parallax Emic 2 text-to-speech module for adding voice to the robot far better than the previously scheduled pre-registered MP3 files and we are thinking of using the Little wire kit as a Pan and tilt servo control of a webcam (= Nono eyes) for face tracking .
    It will add load of fun when during Nono interaction with children !!!
    Have a nice day

    Skappy

  41. Rudi says:

    I would like to use it as an device to educate students and have them introduced to programming micro controllers, both having the experiment on the little board and then also directly have the programmer to move to other target hardware.

  42. Douglas Bouttell says:

    I want one. Might learn how to make USB drivers and make a load for different applications (I2C bridge/sniffer, bit banging, password store, etc)

  43. RTGR says:

    I would use it for my Butler Robo,t

  44. Peter J Francis says:

    I’d use it to interface with my 3 Axis CNC milling machine

  45. Benny Boy says:

    I’d sim’d an analog GoL node board for the 7400 contest ages ago. It had button to set the node on and off, and edge connectors so an array of them could be connected to form a display. I also left an open lead for an outside source–the idea was that an external chip could set nodes to drive a GoL display at the children’s museum where my wife works. I think I could use a Little wire for that:)

  46. Little Wire is a great fit as a controller interface for my $5 hot-only temperature chamber. Digital output would interface to driver/relay turning on/off a 40W lightbulb inside the double layer styrofoam cooler enclosure. A/D input would monitor thermistor (or LM75) inside chamber providing temperature feedback and closing the loop with PC SW providing simple controller function. Fun!

  47. Goran Gustafsson says:

    I would use it as a base for an eprom-programmer.

  48. Xykon says:

    I’m wondering if this could be used as a cheap PSOC1 programmer. I had to buy a kit to get mines programmes but have already started reverse-engineering the protocol. I think a lof of people could appreciate these little things as the IDE is free and the only thing beside buying the chip is the propriotary progger. Now if one could illiminate the progger I think it could be an awesome, versitile chip.
    I’m still hoping for a PSoC3 board to check these out but I’m already amazed what the v1 can do.
    I found a whole bunch of v1s on some hardwere I took apart so I know what a popular choice they are!

  49. paul jacobs says:

    This seems to be a good small way to provide some simple automated commands for a CCD camera that i’m planning to send up in a weather balloon (i.e., fire the “shutter” every x seconds and/or change exposure length). Nice form factor and lightweight!

  50. Gaurav says:

    using the littlewire i could implement an autonomous machine which would bootload the arduino firmware in the atmega chips to help me build a large batch of arduino’s rather than the tedious task of doing them individually.

  51. Raja Balu says:

    I never heard about Little Wire until now. I see that some examples are in C#. I am intrigued but that possibility. I heard that netduino uses C# for development. I think that C# is used for the PC side of the business.

  52. Brent Bolen says:

    If I were to win the Little Wire, I would use it to stop Sky Net from sending a terminator back to kill John Connor. Or I would see if there are any uses for it when connect to a Raspberry Pi.

  53. logan says:

    I’m thinking anything that could use real time data from an array of sensors (photoelectric, temperature, any type of other transducers, etc…). Maybe hooked up to a server and use some sensors for authentication?

  54. rfr says:

    My usbasp stopped working, this would be a nice replacement

  55. I am working on BU Rocket teams DAQ and Avionics systems. The 2 Little Wire would be perfect for debugging and getting an understanding of our various devices which use I2C and SPI.

    Also, personally I would like to use it as a possible bridge for a Raspberry Pi for motor control and sensor readouts. Not quite sure how it will perform for this, but could be interesting.

  56. erdabyz says:

    Well, I need an AVR programmer to program the bootloader of 25 arduino-based robots to turn them into real arduinos. I’m currently doing that with another arduino with arduino ISP sketch, but it’s not very handy. I also have plans to do more robot batches so a tool to program them quickly and simply will eventually become a must.

  57. Popol318 says:

    With limited ressources, I would use it with a 18B20 to control a selenoid-valve for my pool solar panel heater. With an autotune PID if software ressources allows it.

  58. Ian Caister says:

    I have a phone that includes a built-in USB host (Nokia N8) so I would create a software interface to use the Little Wire from the phone as basically an expansion/IO port, taking advantage of the phone’s power.
    Some applications:
    1) use as a basic portable logic analyzer
    2) change timing on ATtiny based flasher units (bike lights, hazard triangles etc) in the field/during trials
    3) turn the phone into a GPS and accelerometer equipped data logger (think lap times with speed, acceleration, throttle position, brakes, temperature, etc)
    4) mobile targeting control for mechanized tennis ball cannon :D

  59. neat! I’d have it put my unread email count on an external 7-seg display.

  60. mike marshall says:

    * ham radio QRP project
    * use to extend the features of my bus pirate
    * use with my msp430 launchpad custom boosterpack

  61. Trickett says:

    It could be great for getting to know ICs before developing with them. Accelerometers, gyros, shift registers. It would also make a good bridge between micros and USB.

  62. Jon says:

    Another tool for the breadboarding setup on my workbench. Please sign me up!

  63. John says:

    This would be a great way of getting back into MicroControllers and programming!
    Thanks

  64. I would use it to help implement automated testing of our appropriate technology, low-resource environment medical devices that have been shown to reduce infant mortality rates by 20% (http://www.eastmeetswest.org/page.aspx?pid=379).

  65. voidptr says:

    i have 2 relays to turn on – off … a tiny could be fun to try :-)

  66. John P says:

    Ian,
    I would absolutely love to use this to make a modern hellschreiber transmitter that can use for simple telemetry received with my rtl-sdr dongle.

    • Ian Caister says:

      I’d never heard of Hellschreiber before, it sounds great! The only issue is the Little Wire can’t function independently of a computing platform… in which case it would be easier to log the data onto said platform. However if one needed live telemetry (and making use of some onboard computer) Hellschreiber sounds like a great idea! Hackaday has been posting FM transmitters based solely on 555/Attiny so I doubt it would take much to implement. You’d lose a little bit of resolution because you’d have to add a transmit cycle in with all the read cycles, but I doubt telemetry is high-speed eough for that to matter.

  67. Andrew says:

    I would love to have one of these to replace the Sparkfun FTDI breakout that I damaged with my too-hot soldering iron. It would replace a serial cable that sets my ham radio to transmit (it works in concert with a pair of audio cables and allows me to use computer modes like radioteletype).

  68. justin says:

    very cool . I want one of those.

  69. Walt Baker says:

    Use this to control sets of RGB LED strings used in my Christmas Display.

  70. Everett says:

    This would be cool to have just to play with and figure out a project for it…never got anything from dangerous prototypes before!

  71. Najmul says:

    Would like to use it to fire shutter of a CCD & capture frames which can be later used to build a time lapse video.

  72. Andrew says:

    My wife and I are buying a new home the end of this mongh, and it has one of those old liquid mercury thermostats (you know, the round ones that you turn to set the temperature). Instead of buying a new thermostat like the nest for our house, it would be pretty awesome to build one! I should be able to add pretty much any functionality I want, and this might be a good starting point.

  73. Chris Gregors says:

    This looks ideal for controlling the Dioders on the back of my monitor.

  74. Markus says:

    The littlewire makes great demo-tool: In my server-room sits a large tape library with thousands of tapes. High managers like to visit the server room to see the expensive stuff they approved the budget for. Unfortunately the tape library just sits there idle as it works mostly at night (backups).
    A discrete button, attached via little wire to the backup server, will start a demon-script who shuffles a couple of tapes around. So there is activity and the manages are happily watching the robotics. Happy managers helps to get the next budget approved :-).

  75. Trebu says:

    home automation moduals.

  76. blodgar says:

    Small footprint telescope auto-guider for taking my lightweight refractor to new heights – literally! I have the sturdy lightweight tripod ready for assembly, and am looking to keep the entire setup under 15 kilograms – 33 lbs for the metrically challenged. That would allow it to be carried up into the areas in the Adirondacks/Catskills/Green mts that are really dark while leaving capacity for other needed supplies.

  77. Felix says:

    I want one!
    Seems to be much simpler for programming avrs (I’m using the simple ponyprog-parallel-port-programmer) especially with newer pc’s and notebooks without a parallel port

  78. Jason S says:

    Smaller is always better, so I would love to have one!

  79. Caio says:

    Lets make a panobot!

  80. Well .. I figure something so small yet so mighty should be perfectly fit for controlling a .5 hp electric motor I was gifted (origionally designed for opening industrial elevator doors) in a tablet controlled go-kart project?

    As to how exactialy, well I would have to figure out as I am just entering my electronics addiction and have yet to have access to such a device ^^

    (made by Otis elevator company)

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