Freescale Hack It Together (H.I.T.) Project Initiative - Get Excited!

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Freescale Hack It Together (H.I.T.) Project Initiative - Get Excited!

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Freescale Hack It Together (H.I.T.) Project Initiative - Get Excited!

Note:    We are currently a 3 completed projects.   At this point we are going to stop and rethink the ideas for future projects.   Feel free to add comments below for project suggestions!   Any ideas for new stuff that currently aren't out in the wild with other platforms would be very helpful!


HIT projects are a new initiative to help improve your embedded systems chops.  The target audience spans STEM student in high school,  DIY enthusiasts, hackers, Makers,  universities and seasoned embedded developers.    Each project makes use open hardware, software and instructional videos to supply the audience all they need to put together a cool project and expose them to a new topic space.

Sheldon_ThumbsUp_Side.pngEach HIT project will be comprised of the following

  • A low cost Freescale Development Board (such as the FRDM series)
  • A FRDM Shield.  Many cases,  there will be a shield that the participant can assemble themselves with parts procured from common distributors.  Raw PCBs will be available at low cost
  • All Hardware will open.  Raw design files (Schematics, BOM. Gerbers, notes) will be supplied so the participant can fabricate PCBs themselves.
  • All software will be opensource and available on the project packages and/or Google Code or GitHub
  • The projects will try to simulate the participant by mapping code to the senses..... Play sounds,  blinking LEDs, starting warp drives.  After all it is nice to see a microcontroller do something.  A DMA unit  may be a really cool piece of hardware but it would be quite boring if we never used it to do something cool !

The goal is to have cool projects that will capture your interest,  develop new skills while not breaking the bank.    While efforts will be made to keeps costs minimum,  other factors such as part availability, ease of use, cool factor also come into play!

Each project will list a set of skills that you will develop.  This will included both microcontroller hardware  and high level concepts (I2S modules, Digital Signal Processing, etc.).    When you complete a project,  you will have some good experience with something new.  Efforts will be made to have the project span a variety of hardware interfaces, design patterns and embedded systems topics.  Most importantly, each project will be cool in its own way!

Project Listing and Roadmap

Here you will find the current project list , status and roadmap.  Note that items on the roadmap are subject to change

Project #1: Monkey Jam! A DIY Guitar / Bass Stomp Box


FRDM-JAM-s.pngSheldonJam.pngProject #1 will use the FRDM-K20D50 board (which has a Cortex M4 core with DSP instruction) with the FRDM-JAM shield so you can  make your very own guitar  bass  stomp box.  The end result will be a functional DSP system that will allow you to do high quality amplifier simulation and effects. The FRDM-JAM does not limit you to DSP on musical instruments!  There are 3.5MM stereo jacks to DSP filtering any type of audio signal.    You could even use the USB interface to create a USB-MIDI Synthesizer!  Lastly,  no need to bring the house down.....  a headphone amplifier circuit is provided so you can jam out without bothering the neighbors

Skills Developed:

  • Real Time DSP Algorithms
  • Fixed Point Mathematics
  • 24-bit I2S Data Converter Interfacing
  • Soldering SOIC8 and 1206 Surface mount devices
  • Cortex CMSIS DSP Library
  • Audio filtering techniques
  • Tube Amplifier modeling

Status:    Released!

Project Page: Freescale H.I.T. Project #1:  MonkeyJam - A DIY Guitar Stomp Box

Project #2: Monkey Listen! Audio Spectrum Analyzer Display



MonkeyListen uses the FRDM-K20D50 board (which has a Cortex M4 core with DSP instructions) with the FRDM-OLED shield so you can make your very own spectrum analyzer display.  The end result will be a functional DSP system that will analyze incoming audio content via an electret microphone on FRDM-OLED board and display the spectral content.   The example code will also show you how to plot time domain data (a simple audio scope!),  Frequency domain data (via an FFT) and a time-frequency plot (spectrogram).  Extra I/O are provided to hack the code and create your own DMM or oscilloscope. The FRDM-OLED shield also has an optional RS-485 interface for doing cool things like driving a DMX lighting system!


Skills Developed:

  • Spectrum Anazlysis via FFT
  • OLED Display Interfacing
  • Electret Microphone Interfacing
  • Soldering SOIC8 and 1206 Surface mount devices
  • Cortex CMSIS DSP Library
  • Audio Data Capturing with an ADC

Status: Released!

Project Page: Freescale H.I.T. Project # 2:  MonkeyListen - A DIY Audio Spectrum Analyzer Display

Project #3: Monkey Do! DIY Home Automation and IoT

monkey plug2.png



Project #3 will explore DIY Home In this project, you will learn how to do basic electrical automation and control via the web.  Think of the NEST.... only more open and hackable!   Using Websockets, Javascipt and HTML,  you will have a simple way of viewing remote data and be able to control some solid state relays.   This framework will will allow you to create more complex IoT applications.    The example will combine a FRDM-K64F and a FRDM-AUTO to read a temperature sensor and control a solid state relay.

  • 1 High current solid State relay output (10Amp Triac About up to 240VAC)
  • 1 Low current solid state relay  output (1Amp Triac output up to 120VAC)
  • 2 Opto-Coupler (Isolated) Inputs - (Read up to 120VAC on/off signals)
  • Option for K-Type thermocouple Input with Omega thermocouple Connector
  • Option for MCP9700A active thermistor Input
  • RN-XV WIFI Module -  Footprint compatible with Xbee modules and RN42-XV bluetooth modules.
  • RS-485 interface for chaining multiple systems over a wired network.... Or talk to a FRDM-OLED

Skills Developed

  • Embedded Systems Networking
  • Electrical Control Systems
  • HTML5/Javascript - Websockets
  • SOIC8 and 1206 Surface mount soldering
  • Internet of "Things"

Status:   Released!

Project Page: Freescale H.I.T Project #3: MonkeyDo


I like it!

Awesome, I'll be waiting ...

Very cool!   I definitely need skill development!  Maker Faire on Saturday was awesome and reminded me so much of how kids are blowing us older folks away!   Got a RPI :smileyalert:which I know isn't our part but I think if we want FRDM boards to be successful in the Make community I need to hack around with all the offerings out there.

How do I get involved with these Monkey projects??  Just watch here?


The Monkey Jam is officially done.  I am just waiting for moderator approval of the content (hopefully today).      MonkeyListen will come in a week or so (I am recording videos now!).  I have hardware for the rest but need to catch up with the software and videos.   #3 may use the new FRDM-K64.... 

I am trying to release them in a finished state (Videos + Example Software + Complete Design Package) so it has been a little slow.   MonkeyJam ended up being a lot of work (4+ hours of video content!).     The other projects are simpler.

Any help building the projects would be greatly appreciated.   I have spent a lot of time trying to get things smooth but there are always things that are missed.


Eager to help out to build my chops.  Very interested in Monkey Listen!  What other FRDM shields are available?  We should advertise those as much as possible for the Maker communities to compete with the Arduino!


MonkeyJam is not published!

I have 4 more videos to record for MonkeyListen.   Should be out by the weekend.



FRDM-OLED   --> 128x64 OLED + Microphone + Analog I/O + RS-485

FRDM-AUTO -->  Opto Couplers + Wifi + Solid State Relays + RS-485

I will be at maker faire in NYC to show them off.   I want to get lots of polish on them :-)

You will be the 1st to know when MonkeyListen is ready!

I assume above you meant "now published!" :smileywink:

Great let me know how I can help!  I have some ideas too as to other projects I want to get started on that I may post in the FSL Makers thing.  Been building my own sort of maker space at home.


MonkeyListen is now officially released!

Deactivated user@

Cool - I was wondering is the FRDM-AUTO:  available - or at least a board that would take the WiFi devices and RS485?


Rev A (alpha, I use greek letters) has been completed but is being tested.  I'll try to get the page up and going soon.   There will be a black box warning that it has not been fully tested.   Project #3 will use it to be a full IoT project and I am a little behind getting that side of things going.


I have a page for the FRDM-AUTO now up.    This has the 1st revision of the PCB:


There are files ready to go for OSH Park (or your favorite board house).   Note: I am still in the process of fully testing the PCB now.   Nothing appears to be a problem but just a black box warning as the project is still under development.

What is the status of releasing the remaining projects?  I have been enjoying what you have put together so far!  Can't wait for more!

Project #3 is just about there.   I have a few more videos to record and I can publish the page and put it in the release state.   I was Hoping to have that one wrapped up by July 1 but ran into some issues with the FRDM board.   Everything is worked out and this is just about wrapped up.

Project #4 may morph into something else as it is essentially Project #2 (and there are some other projects doing this already).

Project #5 will actually come after #3 (I may re order the list).   I have some of the pieces working.  There is less hardware to build so I just need some quiet time to record videos, etc.

No official release dates but I am trying to to squeeze everything out.    It takes a bunch of work to get things polished to a point where everything is use-able,   schematics are clean, etc.     

Thanks for checking in!

Project #3 Monkey do is officially in a released state!

Great ideas, Eli!

Awesome!  More learn and much more to build.


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