Easy ZigBee

I did run over to the Microchip booth. I've always been a PIC guy myself for my own little projects. Wireless has always been a lot tougher than any other form of communication (insert "duh" here) but this thing from Microchip may help quite a bit.

They've packaged up a ZigBee radio antenna (MRF24J40MA) and everything onto a little transceiver module. It easily talks to most of their PIC processors via a four wire SPI interface. I think even I could use that. And, I could buy it from DigiKey for $9.95. Very nice.

ESC 1008 Microchip (Small)

The demo shown here is a little tic-tac-toe game run wirelessly between two micro controllers.

Duane Benson
Blogging at the show is good because I get to sit down and rest my feet

Giant Blue People at the ESC Show

I haven't had a lot of time to walk the show floor yet so I don't know what's really new and exciting, or if there is, in fact, anything new and exciting. But, I did see a giant dancing blue person at one of the booths. The picture came out a little blurry from the dancing, or maybe I was just blurry from red-eye flights and lack of sleep.

ESC 1008 (Small) 

I'm going to have to run over to the other guy's booth and see if they have a giant dancing person of their own or something and give them equal time.

Duane Benson
Dance atmelina, dance

Trade Show secrets

I've been to a lot of trade shows. Mostly as an exhibitor, but do remember the days when I went as an attendee only. That was almost a lifetime ago. I was at the West Coast Computer Faire when the original Mac was introduced in 1984. I used to go to that show a lot. I saw Robin Williams there once too. Was anybody else there back then? Fun times.

Somewhere in the late 80's though, I started going as an exhibitor almost exclusively. It's pretty amazing to see the mess of the day prior and watch it change from piles and aisles of junk into a clean and professional looking event.

ESC1008-2 asle ways (small)

This is what it looks like today. This is the secret world of tradeshows that most people don't get to see. Tomorrow, it won't even be the same place. It will be full of people and devoid of trash and boxes.

Duane Benson
Fly and be free!

ESC - Waiting as usual

It's setup day for ESC Boston and that means waiting. Some of our boxes are here, but the booth it's self isn't. It always seems to end up this way. If a box or crate is missing, it's the booth. If they'd do it the other way around and have the booth show up on time and the boxes of junk show up late, we could set up and not worry about anything else.

ESC1008-1 empty.jpb

As it is, here we are, after a red-eye from Portland, waiting again. That's Matt sitting in the booth trying to stay awake. I sort of got about two hours of sleep myself. They played the movie "Get Smart" on the flight from Portland to Newark. I didn't watch it. I love the movie, but I wanted to sleep. It kept me up a bit anyway though because every so often, someone near me would break out laughing and wake me up.

Duane Benson
Bulletins as events warrant

Pilgrimage to the Embedded Systems Conference

Esc_boston_08 We're going to the Embedded Systems Conference in Boston and we'll be in Booth #517Esc0407_2 on October 28th-29th. Come see us. It'll be fun. You can enter our fun contest and maybe win a cool LED Screaming Circuits flashlight and be entered to win a $2,000 coupon towards your next order!

If you stop by, we'll give you a show discount code for use on your next order too.

And here is a free ESC exhibits guest pass!

ESC - LeCroy

LeCroy, booth 642, had an eye catching display. They have a Nintendo Wii with Guitar Hero playing on it. That's cool on its own, but wouldn't be relevant except that they are probing the I2C with one of their GHz scopes.

Esc_0408_show_floor_day_2_003_mediu It parallels a conference session they did: "How to Debug I2C Devices Using an Oscilloscope". We spoke with Dave, one of the guys who gave the talk. We watched him pay for a bit as he explained that his scope was showing the I2C communications coming from the key presses on the controller. Very nice.

Then he let me and my compatriot, Rocky play. First I tried it and got booed off the stage with only 21% of the notes hit. Then Rocky and I played against each other and he beat me 10,095 to 8,402.

That's me playing/humiliating myself on the guitar in the photo.

ESC - No, We're Not Done Yet

Day two is going okay and keeping us pretty busy. We've talked to a lot of folks and picked out our booth space for next year. We'll be in booth 3912 in the South hall. We'll be just inside the door, one row back.

Esc_0408_show_floor_day_2_001_mediuI'm not sure the show is going well for everyone though. I ran across this booth that has been abandoned already. Myself, my feet are pretty sore and I'd like a nap, but it's still fun to be here.

Duane Benson
Two more hours...

ESC - My Mom Would Say...

She'd say "you're going to electrocute yourself."

Esc_0408_show_floor_fire

Duane Benson
We need more cables!

ESC - Luminary micro

I'm big on the robotic type applications. It fits too because robots are just embedded systems that move. Right?

Luminary Micro designs and manufactures Arm Cortex-M3 processors. I'm not familiar with the specific details for the Cortex-M3 implementation, but I do know that part of Luminary's reputation is good processor at a good price.

At the ESC here, they're showing off the power of their processors with some intelligent manipulator arms using their Arm processors. They're in booth 3010.

Duane Benson

ESC - RadiSys Robot demostration

I found another cool thing over at the RadiSys booth. They use an Intel Dual core processor and run half of it powered by embedded Windows and the other half of powered by with Linux. Dual core and dual OS. Neat.

Thier demo is a little robot that find a sign. You move the sign and it finds it. Find them in booth 1526.

Duane Benson