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Free PCB coupon via Facebook to 2 random commenters

เสาร์, 11/16/2019 - 06:19

Every Friday we give away some extra PCBs via Facebook. This post was announced on Facebook, and on Monday we’ll send coupon codes to two random commenters. The coupon code usually go to Facebook ‘Other’ Messages Folder . More PCBs via Twitter on Tuesday and the blog every Sunday. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • We’ll contact you via Facebook with a coupon code for the PCB drawer.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month, please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.

We try to stagger free PCB posts so every time zone has a chance to participate, but the best way to see it first is to subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.



DIY Analog resource monitor for your PC

เสาร์, 11/16/2019 - 06:14

Sasa Karanovic posted detailed instructions of how to build a physical dashboard for your PC, that is available on GitHub:

The overall architecture is very simple; There is a python script that is running on a PC and collects CPU, memory, network and GPU usage. Then, it sends that information over serial COM port to the hardware monitor board for processing. New voltage values are calculated and passed to the digital-to-analog converter (DAC) which drives analog dials (galvanometers) by applying a voltage that will move the needle to a desired location. Super simple but it get’s the job done.

See the full post at sasakaranovic.com.

Check out the video after the break.

The Annoying CAPS LOCK warning buzzer

ศุกร์, 11/15/2019 - 06:23

Glen Akins made a USB notification device that make annoying warning noise when CAPS LOCK is enabled:

The only way to make CAPS LOCK even more annoying was to make it audible! Now never type a password in all upper case, join 500 lines together in vi, or turn a harmless forum post into an ANGRY SCREED without warning again! This project uses a PIC16F1459 to monitor the USB output report containing the CAPS LOCK status from the connected PC. When CAPS LOCK is enabled, the PIC turns on an annoying warning buzzer.

Project details at bikerglen.com, see Part 1 here. All design files are available on github.

ATTiny85 Pulse oximeter with photoplethysmogram (PPG) display

พฤ, 11/14/2019 - 06:52

tinyPulsePPG, an ATTiny85 Pulse Oximeter with Photoplethysmogram (PPG) display by Jeff Magee:

This project implemented on an ATTiny85 displays a moving Photoplethysmogram together with pulse rate and estimates of SpO2 – blood oxygen percentage. It uses an SSD1306 128×32 OLED display and a Max30102 sensor. It is emphasised that this should not be used for medical purposes. The computation of SpO2 is very approximate and not calibrated in any way. The project is an exercise in software and hardware parsimony.

Project info on GitHub.

Current meter based on ESP-12E and LTC4150

พฤ, 11/14/2019 - 04:13

Victor Chew made a simple current meter based on ESP-12E, LTC-4150 and SSD1306 OLED module that measure the average current draw of a variable load accurately:

The meter is powered by the micro-USB port on the ESP-12E. I soldered header pins onto the IN and OUT terminals of the LTC-4150. The whole idea is that one could plug the source battery into the IN terminals, and plug the circuit to be tested into the OUT terminals, press the “Reset” (RST) button on the ESP-12E, and it will start measuring the average current draw of the circuit.

Project info at www.randseq.org. Source code can be found on GitHub.

Open source FTDI FT2232 JTAG and UART Adapter board

พุธ, 11/13/2019 - 05:58

Erich Styger writes:

In JTAG Debugging the ESP32 with FT2232 and OpenOCD I have used a FTDI FT2232 breakout board to JTAG debug with OpenOCD. With an adapter board on top of the FTDI FT2232 the wiring is much easier and simpler to use.

More details at mcuoneclipse.com

UPDI Programmer Stick

พุธ, 11/13/2019 - 05:25

Johnson Davies designed and built this UPDI Programmer Stick based on an ATmega328P, that is available on GitHub:

This is a USB-stick sized UPDI programmer, for programming Microchip’s new 0-series and 1-series ATtiny chips from the Arduino IDE
It’s based on an ATmega328P, and is essentially an Arduino Uno on a USB stick, so you also could use it as a mini-sized Arduino Uno.

Project details at technoblogy.com.

Free PCB coupon via Facebook to 2 random commenters

เสาร์, 11/09/2019 - 06:15

Every Friday we give away some extra PCBs via Facebook. This post was announced on Facebook, and on Monday we’ll send coupon codes to two random commenters. The coupon code usually go to Facebook ‘Other’ Messages Folder . More PCBs via Twitter on Tuesday and the blog every Sunday. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • We’ll contact you via Facebook with a coupon code for the PCB drawer.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month, please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.

We try to stagger free PCB posts so every time zone has a chance to participate, but the best way to see it first is to subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

Open source Bluetooth stack for PIC32/24

เสาร์, 11/09/2019 - 06:09

Nigan tipped us to a simple open source Bluetooth stack for embedded devices, the SmallTooth:

A newly developed open source Bluetooth stack for PIC32/24
* The code is really easy to understand, very well documented and really small.
* Designed to be extended and ported.
* Works straight out of the box with the PIC32 USB Starter Kit II and should be fairly simple to port to other PIC32 or PIC24 boards.

More details on Guillem’s code.google Project Page, Documentation about the stack. Author’s website www.guillem.co.uk

Via the forum. Thanks Nigan!

Single diode temperature sensor with Arduino ICU (& reverse-bias leakage)

พฤ, 11/07/2019 - 06:22

Use a single diode as a temperature sensor with Arduino ICU

Our LED light-sensing experiments lead to an interesting observation: When these loggers are left running overnight they still produce readings because reverse-bias ‘leakage-current’ eventually triggers the Interrupt Capture Unit (ICU) – in the absence of any light. The speed of this self-discharge depends on the ambient temperature. If you deliberately cover an rgb LED with heat shrink, the different color channels have different rates of thermal decay

More details on Underwater Arduino Data Loggers blog.

Bus Pirate cables arrive from DirtyPCBs.com custom cable service

พุธ, 11/06/2019 - 19:34

We received 100 Bus Pirate cables using our pinout color scheme from DirtyPCBs.com custom cable service. The cables were just over $1 each for 100 pieces.

The primary reason we ordered these now is to get a feel for how the pinout color scheme works in practice before we commit to it permanently.

The leads are 30cm long, which seems a bit unwieldy in real life. The next version will be a few centimeters shorter.

One end is terminated with 1 pin female “DuPont” connectors. These are easy to use with breakout boards and bread boards that have 2.54mm header pins. We’ll need to choose a nice probe hook and mating crimp eventually.

While the wire quality is fine (top), it’s a bit stiff and we’d prefer something really nice for the final cable. The Saleae Logic cable (bottom) has really amazing tangle free wire with great flexibility. We took the Saleae cable to a bunch of wire manufacturers in Shenzhen, but none of them had anything close in terms of quality and flexibility. Our search will continue.

#FreePCB via Twitter to 2 random RTs

พุธ, 11/06/2019 - 05:58

Every Tuesday we give away two coupons for the free PCB drawer via Twitter. This post was announced on Twitter, and in 24 hours we’ll send coupon codes to two random retweeters. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times a every week:

  • Hate Twitter and Facebook? Free PCB Sunday is the classic PCB giveaway. Catch it every Sunday, right here on the blog
  • Tweet-a-PCB Tuesday. Follow us and get boards in 144 characters or less
  • Facebook PCB Friday. Free PCBs will be your friend for the weekend

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • Check out how we mail PCBs worldwide video.
  • We’ll contact you via Twitter with a coupon code for the PCB drawer.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.

We try to stagger free PCB posts so every time zone has a chance to participate, but the best way to see it first is to subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

Bus Pirate Ultra v1d 2.8 inch display board

จันทร์, 11/04/2019 - 22:03

In addition to the 2 inch IPS LCD we’re been using with the Bus Pirate prototype “Ultra”, we’re also sending off a PCB for a larger 2.8 inch display. Both panels are 240*320 pixels, so the larger version probably won’t look quite as stunning as the smaller display with high pixel density. If it does pass muster, a capacitive touch screen controller option is available that might be an interesting addition.

JesFs – Jo’s Embedded Serial File system

จันทร์, 11/04/2019 - 21:38

suchende tipped us to the small File system for NOR flash:

The main problem for “very small devices” – until now – was the “File System”: everybody knows “FAT”, “NTFS”, … but have you ever thought of a file system on a small chip? Or even inside of a CPU? No problem, with the right Software. This is why I wrote
“JesFs – Jo’s Embedded Serial File System“

Thanks suchende! Via the forum.

Free PCB Sunday: Pick your PCB

จันทร์, 11/04/2019 - 04:30

We go through a lot of prototype PCBs, and end up with lots of extras that we’ll never use. Every Sunday we give away a few PCBs from one of our past or future projects, or a related prototype. Our PCBs are made through Seeed Studio’s Fusion board service. This week two random commenters will get a coupon code for the free PCB drawer tomorrow morning. Pick your own PCB. You get unlimited free PCBs now – finish one and we’ll send you another! Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • Be sure to use a real e-mail in the address field so we can contact you with the coupon.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.
  • PCBs are scrap and have no value, due to limited supply it is not possible to replace a board lost in the post

Be the first to comment, subscribe to the RSS feed.

APP NOTE: make an analog to digital converter using FPGA pins

อาทิตย์, 11/03/2019 - 20:20

A differential pin pair can be used as a comparator to create a basic ADC. This app note shows how to design a low speed (1 KHz) and “high” speed (50 Khz) ADC technique using only FPGA pins, a resistor and a capacitor. Regardless of whether we ever use this technique, it is illuminating to understand how SAR and Delta Sigma ADCs are constructed:

A simple Analog to Digital Converter can be constructed by adding a small RC circuit to an LVDS input on an FPGA or CPLD…. The LVDS input will act as a simple analog comparator and will output a digital ‘1’ if the Analog Input voltage is higher than the voltage from the RC network. By changing the voltage on the input to the RC circuit, the LVDS comparator can be used to analyze the Analog Input voltage to create an accurate digital representation… A low frequency signal can be processed using a simple Successive Approximation Register… A higher frequency implementation…can be implemented using a Delta Sigma Modulator function, which consists of a sampling register and a Cascade Integrated Comb (CIC) Filter.

Lattice Semiconductor

Via ferdinandk in the forum.

APP NOTE: Give your voltage regulator the margin it deserves

เสาร์, 11/02/2019 - 15:49

Texas instruments has an app note and video explaining how to make a programmable output power supply using a typical LDO voltage regulator and a DAC. This is the technique we used for the Bus Pirate Ultra power supply to get 0.8 to 5volts output, and it works a treat!

Consider the currents going in and out of the VFB node shown in Figure 3, which is connected to the ADJ pin of the LDO. Almost no current flows in or out the device through the ADJ pin (on the order of 0.01µA). As I previously mentioned, the output voltage of the LDO is always produced such that the voltage at the ADJ pin – and therefore the VFB node – is equal to the LDO’s internal reference voltage. Thus, the current through R2 is constant. It follows that any sourcing or sinking of current by the DAC through R3 is reflected as a proportional voltage increase or decrease at VOUT to compensate for the changing current that must flow through R1.

Linear Nixie tube HAT for the Raspberry Pi

เสาร์, 11/02/2019 - 06:27

Mark Smith has been working on a HAT for the Raspberry Pi that can drive two IN-9 or IN-13 linear Nixie tubes:

This project as described in www.surfncircuits.com came about because I needed a retro looking linear meter for my espresso maker water tank. I’m always running out of water in my espresso maker, and a cool display letting me know how much water is left and to let me know when to fill it up is definitely needed. In this project, I’ll create a HAT for the Raspberry Pi that can drive two IN-9 or IN-13 linear Nixie tubes. While I’m using this HAT as a single water meter display, this same linear display would be great for showing temperature, bar graphs, audio VU meters, even surf heights by days of the week. The Nixie Tube Power Supply, designed in an earlier blog will work perfectly to drive up to four of the IN-13 Nixie tubes or one IN-9 Nixie tube.

More details on surfncircuits blog and the GitHub repository here.

Bus Pirate Ultra display board v1d

ศุกร์, 11/01/2019 - 22:39
Sorry for the poor image export. What have they done to Eagle?

The LCD carrier board for Bus Pirate prototype “Ultra” v1d went out today. This update matches the form factor of Ultra v1d (in progress) and has several minor changes:

  • Uses 10 pin 0.5mm flexible PCB connector, wired to the main board with a 1:N connection. This connector is much smaller and thinner than the 1.25mm connector on v1b, it reduces the space needed between the display board and the main board.
  • Flipped LCD orientation 180 degrees so font data can be written into bounding boxes in a more natural “left-to-right” orientation, eliminating the need to precalculate the text end point and write characters in reverse sequence
  • Nudged the display towards the IO header. We’ll experiment with some buttons in the remaining available space
  • Decoupling capacitors on LCD power pins

The 2 inch 240*320 IPS LCD display we’re been testing has a very pleasing pixel density, but we’re also itching to try the bigger 2.8 inch version. Next week we’ll send out a prototype carrier board for the bigger display, as well as some Bus Plug breakout boards.

Cheaper yet powerful camera solutions

พฤ, 10/31/2019 - 06:52

The Landingfield writes:

It’s been a while since my last blog post. During this past year, I’ve built a few other cameras yet released on this blog. In the meantime, I have been looking into options to make this work available to fellow amateur astronomers as a viable product. One major blocker here is the cost. FPGAs are expensive devices due to two factors: 1. They are less produced compared to ASIC and still uses state of art silicon process. 2. Massive area dedicated to routing and configuration logic. Let’s look at a simple comparison. The MicroZed board I’m using cost $200 with dual Cortex-A9 core clocking at 666MHz. This contrasts with quad core Ras Pi 3B clocking at doubling frequency. And it only cost $30.

See the full post on The Landingfield blog.