Posts Tagged ‘phidgets’

Wi-Fi Warhog Mayhem!

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Our pals over at Coding4Fun wrote up a pretty extensive, and pretty awesome tutorial on how they made their Wi-Fi Warthog project a reality. Remember Power Wheel toys as a kid? Add in Phidgets, Nerf Guns, computers, and Xbox 360 controllers, and you’ve got yourself a real life videogame!

The video below shows the Wi-Fi Warthogs in action at PDC09!

Phidgets, Arduinos, and Axons, Oh My!

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

We love the smell of fresh circuit boards in the morning! We’re always adding new gizmos and robotic goodies, but here’s a few items we’ve added recently that might be of interest to you tinkerers out there!

From Phidgets we have the return of the 8/8/8 Interface Kit w/ USB Hub. This is a heavy duty 6 port USB Hub, supplying 500ma per port to allow daisychaining of multiple Phidgets devices.

We’d also like to introduce the new Bipolar 1 Motor Stepper controller. Stepper motor controllers can be difficult to find at times, Phidgets makes it easy with this USB board and their reknowned API and software support behind it!

Our buddies over at Sparkfun, the next-gen Radio Shack of our times, continue to amaze us with the amount of neat electronic gadgets they pump out at insane speeds. Joining our Arduino and Atmel line up are the Arduino Pro and Arduino Pro Mini. Both are a minimalist approach to the popular Arduino microcontrollers, allowing you to add headers and wires as you see fit.

And last but certainly not least, the Axon Microcontroller is back in stock! This board initially sold quicker than Society of Robots could make them, but we’re glad to say we’ve finally got them back in stock. These Atmel 640 based power-horse microcontrollers are a roboticist’s dream, boasting 55 I/O ports, a built in USB compiler, and a impressive software library. Pick yours up today!

PhidgetStepper USB Stepper Motor Controller

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

We have some exciting news for all of you fine people who have been calling us up over the years asking why there isn't an inexpensive plug-and-play solution for controlling stepper motors from a computer.  Phidgets has just released the PhidgetStepper Unipolar 4-Motor controller!  This little board, which is retailing for just $72.74, allows you to control up to 4 unipolar stepper motors from your USB port.  Building a CNC rig?  Building a wheeled robot that will need fast, precise speed and position control?  Buy this controller.

From the official press release:


Phidgets adds a $75.00 stepper controller to its line of motor controllers

The 1062 – PhidgetStepper Unipolar 4-motor, can control up to 4 stepper motors.

CALGARY, Alberta, April 29, 2008 ― Phidgets Inc. today announced the addition of a new product to its family of motor controllers. The 1062 Stepper controller controls the position, velocity and acceleration of up to 4 unipolar stepper motors. Applications that require precise
positioning are well suited for this device. The stepper controller can also run the motor in continuous rotation mode by giving it a large position address. Using the upper position limit as an address would, for example, rotate the motor for 45 years.

The 1062 plugs directly into the computer’s USB port and comes with a USB cable. Like all Phidgets, application programs can be written using the Phidgets API. “The 1062 Product Manual’s Technical Section contains valuable information and programming tips on how to
use the API functions to drive stepper motors,” said Bernard Rousseau, Phidgets Director of Marketing. “We continuously update our documentation in an effort to make it as easy as possible for our users to get their projects going”, added Rousseau.

“We already offer Servo controllers, and a variety of DC motor controllers. The arrival of a stepper controller fills a void in our family of motor controllers. ” says Chester Fitchett, CEO of Phidgets. “We have paid close attention to costs in order to give our customers the value/price ratio they are expecting from Phidgets.” added Fitchett.

Product Specifications
Position Resolution: ½ step (40-bit signed)
Upper Position Limit: 239 – 1 ½ steps
Lower Position Limit: -(239 – 1) ½ steps
Velocity Resolution: 0.75 ½ steps/second (9-bit)
Velocity Limit: 383.25 ½ steps/second
Acceleration Resolution: 140.625 ½ steps/second2 (6-bit)
Acceleration Limit: 8859.375 ½ steps/second2
Minimum Power Supply Voltage: 5V
Maximum Power Supply Voltage: 12V
Max Current Per Coil: 1A
USB-Power Current Specification: 100mA max
Device Quiescent Current Consumption: 23mA
Device Active Current Consumption: 23mA max
Software Environment

“Unlike a lot of our competitor’s products that require their users to write some firmware code in order to use their sensor, we are completely “Plug and Play” says Bernard Rousseau, Director of Marketing. “With Phidgets, you plug it in and start using it and when it comes to programming, the user, not us, decides which operating system and which computer language he wants to use”, added Rousseau.

Users can program Phidgets using a simple yet powerful and well documented Application Programming Interfade (API) that is supported under Windows (2000, XP, Vista), Windows CE, Mac OS X, and Linux. Users can write programs in Visual Basic, VB.NET, C#, C/C++, Flash/Flex, Java, Labview, Matlab, ActionScript 3.0, and Cocoa.

Phidgets also provides programming examples for all its products to help programmers write their own programs. The API Libraries as well as the examples and the documentation are available at no charge on

New Phidget: 0/0/8 Relay Controller

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

Phidgets has just introduced the PhidgetInterfaceKit 0/0/8 I/O board, which gives you USB control over 8 Double-Pole Double-Throw (DPDT) relays.  The relays can’t handle quite as much juice as those on the 0/0/4, but you get a whole bunch of them!  The relays are DPDT, so you can control 2 separate circuits with each relay.  And now, just for fun, here’s a DPDT diagram:

You get eight of these.

Just like the rest of the Phidgets line, this device can easily be used with any of the mainstream programming languages, thanks to some very friendly API’s.  Still not excited?  Read this excerpt from the press release:

  “Users can plug the PhidgetInterfaceKit 0/0/8 into their computer, and use the relay outputs to route circuits. One typical application for the 0/0/8 is the performance of automated tests and monitoring – as the large number of contacts and their suitability for switching signals makes it easy to connect test equipment into circuits.â€? says Chester Fitchett, CEO of Phidgets.

Product Specifications

  • Contact Resistance (max at 6VDC 1A): 50mOhms
  • Wetting Current / Voltage:10uA / 10mV
  • Switching Voltage (max AC): 250 VAC
  • Switching Voltage (max DC): 220 VDC
  • Switching Current (max AC/DC): 2 Amps
  • Switching Power (max): 60 W, 125VA
  • Digital Control Update Rate: ~125 updates / second
  • Operate Time (at max load): ~18ms
  • Release Time (at max load): ~18ms
  • Switching Speed (at max load): 20 contacts / minute
  • Recommended Terminal Wire Size: 16 – 26 AWG
  • Terminal Wire Strip Length: 5 – 6mm (0.196â€? – 0.236â€?)
  • USB-Power Current Specification: 500mA max
  • Device Quiescent Current Consumption: 14mA
  • Device Active Current Consumption: 380mA max


  • Switching data communication lines – USB, RS232, etc.
  • Measuring resistances between various points in a circuit
  • Switching a voltmeter to various points in a circuit
  • Controlling a number of much larger relays, or RF relays.
  • Extra pole in relay can be monitored as a switch to verify position.
  • Switching power to external circuits.

Now go buy a Phidget 0/0/8, and start switching!

OR, you can check out the entire Phidgets Phamily.