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Free PCB Sunday: Pick your PCB

Posted on Sunday, May 20th, 2018 in Free PCBs by DP | 6 Comments

BP-600x373

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:

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App note: Pulsed Over-Current Driving of LEDs

Posted on Sunday, May 20th, 2018 in app notes by DP | No Comments

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App note from CREE on driving LEDs over its specified current capability. Link here (PDF)

The Applications Engineering team at Cree is often asked whether it is safe to operate Cree XLamp® LEDs with pulsed currents above the maximum data-sheet rating. This question is usually asked in the context of legitimate product requirements such as those posed by emergency-vehicle applications, specialized stroboscopic illumination and even pulsed modulation for general-illumination dimming applications.

The short answer is “it depends.” Multiple variables affect both initial and long-term performance and reliability of an LED. These include thermal resistance, pulse duration, as well as current amplitude, frequency and duty cycle.

App note: Optimizing PCB Thermal Performance for LEDs

Posted on Sunday, May 20th, 2018 in app notes by DP | No Comments

an_cree_xlamp_pcb_thermal

Application note from CREE on efficiently designing a conventional FR4 PCB to manage thermal heat and as a cheap alternative to metal core pcbs. Link here (PDF)

One of the most critical design parameters for an LED illumination system is the system’s ability to draw heat away from the LED junction. High operating temperatures at the LED junction adversely affect the performance of LEDs, resulting in decreased light output and lifetime. To properly manage this heat, specific practices should be followed in the design, assembly and operation of LEDs in lighting applications.

Rombus pinball – a LattePanda mini pinball machine

Posted on Friday, May 18th, 2018 in Arduino, DIY, gadget by DP | No Comments

rombus-pinball

Matt Brailsford (aka Circuitbeard) has a nice write-up about building his mini pinball machine with a lattepanda core running dual monitors:

I generally start my projects by thinking about the hardware that I’m going to want to use as I’ll need to know sizes when it comes to the design phase. My first thought was to go with a Rasberry Pi as it’s what I’m familiar with and it’s what I’ve used for my other arcades, but after looking online, there really didn’t seem to be any good options for pinball emulation on Linux at all. It all seemed to be windows based. Thankfully I remembered reading about a single board Windows computer called a LattePanda so I thought why not give that a go and so this was the approach I ended up taking.

Build log at Circuitbeard blog and the GitHub repository here.

Check out the video after the break. (more…)

Free PCB coupon via Facebook to 2 random commenters

Posted on Friday, May 18th, 2018 in Free PCBs by DP | No Comments

BP

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:

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Mostly PIC16C57

Posted on Friday, May 18th, 2018 in PIC by DP | No Comments

IMG_20180415_111736-600

CAPS0ff team posted an article taking a closer look at 8 “PIC16C57s”:

We were recently sent 8 “PIC16C57s” from:

*High Seas Havoc (403/C013)
*Wargods (U69, C020)
*MACE (U96, C021)
*Carnevil (U96, C022)
*BioFreaks (C023)
*Gauntlet Dark Legacy (C024)
*Gauntlet (U37, C025)
*Blitz 99 (U96, C026)

More details at CAPS0ff blog.

Nickelbot – wooden nickel laser engraver

Posted on Thursday, May 17th, 2018 in DIY by DP | No Comments

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bdring posted an update on NickelBot project we covered previously:

The NickelBot is complete and it works great. The goal of the project was to create an easily portable machine that creates low cost items that could be given away at events like Maker Faires. I think it has completely achieved that goal. The nickels are purchased from Amazon and cost about $0.08 each.

Project info at Buildlog.Net blog.

Check out the video after the break. (more…)

Makervilla 2.0

Posted on Wednesday, May 16th, 2018 in Maker Faire by DP | No Comments

Makervilla

Makervilla is back!  It will be held on August 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th at Batam, Indonesia.

MAKERVILLA 2.0 is a 4-day creative learning retreat designed for local and international maker educators to gather under one roof for a time of learning, dreaming, hacking and sharing of ideas.

MAKERVILLA 2.0 is specially organized to address the needs of educators who are involved with maker education. Whether it is the need for peer support or understanding how to develop curriculum ideas, MAKERVILLA 2.0 will be able to facilitate the formation of learning network, professional learning community and special interest groups.

MAKERVILLA 2.0 is organized by Onemaker Group Singapore in collaboration with Ruang Kreasi Indonesia.

Find out more on their website at makervilla.com.

Mark your calendar!

PiggyFuse HVSP AVR fuse programmer

Posted on Wednesday, May 16th, 2018 in AVR by DP | No Comments

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Nerd Ralph published a new build:

Although I’ve been working with AVR MCUs for a number of years now, I had never made a high voltage programmer.  I’ve seen some HVSP fuse resetter projects I liked, but I don’t have a tiny2313.  I think I was also hesitant to hook up 12V to an AVR, since I had fried my first ATMega328 Pro Mini by accidentally connecting a 12V source to VCC.  However, if you want to be an expert AVR hacker, you’ll have to tackle high-voltage programming.  Harking back to my Piggy-Prog project, I realized I could do something similar for a fuse resetter, which would simplify the wiring and reduce the parts count.

See the full post on his blog here. Code is available at Github.

How not to build a semiconductor lapping machine

Posted on Tuesday, May 15th, 2018 in how-to by DP | No Comments

electronupdate writes:

One area of silicon reverse engineering which has interested me is the delayering of a chip to see each layer which allows superior visibility into the circuitry. I know of two ways: chemical etch and mechanical means.
In this video I try to make a mechanical grinder which can take micron levels of material away: a partial success. Parts are ground but I was not able to keep the silicon absolutely flat. More study of the commercial units is warranted!

See the full post on electronupdate blog.

#FreePCB via Twitter to 2 random RTs

Posted on Tuesday, May 15th, 2018 in Free PCBs by DP | No Comments

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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.

Attiny85 pogo backpack programmer

Posted on Monday, May 14th, 2018 in Arduino, AVR by DP | No Comments

ATTINY85 POGO BACKPACK PROGRAMMER

Facelesstech published a new build:

So you are using a bare attiny85 in your next project but don’t have room for the programming header, What do you do? I came up with the idea of using pogo pins layed out on A PCB so that they will sit on top of the Attiny85 legs. I used standard male jumps at each end of the chip to help line it up.

More details on Facelesstech homepage. Project files are available at Github.

Check out the video after the break. (more…)

HP 8566B Spectrum Analyzer “YTO unlock” repair

Posted on Monday, May 14th, 2018 in repair by DP | No Comments

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Kerry Wong did a repair of an HP 8566B Spectrum Analyzer “YTO unlock” and documented the repair process on his blog:

While I was making a video on how to use HP 8671A as the frequency reference for an improved version of my simple DIY tracking generator for my HP 8566B spectrum analyzer, my spectrum analyzer suddenly decided to call it quits and displayed the dreaded “YTO Unlock” message. Although it wasn’t the first time it had done so — other times the “YTO Unlock” message only appeared once in a blue moon and rarely affected any measurements — this time however the problem seemed to be permanent and the error message wouldn’t go away.

Check out the video after the break. (more…)

Free PCB Sunday: Pick your PCB

Posted on Sunday, May 13th, 2018 in Free PCBs by DP | 14 Comments

BP-600x373

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:

(more…)

App note: Avoidance of ceramic-substrate-based LED chip cracking induced by PCB bending or flexing

Posted on Sunday, May 13th, 2018 in app notes by DP | No Comments

an_cree_LED_chip_cracking

Application note from CREE on the causes of ceramic-substrate-based failures due to PCB board stresses and how to minimize their occurrence. Link here (PDF)

Printed circuit board (PCB) bending and/or flexing is an unavoidable phenomenon that is known to exist and is easily encountered during electronic board assembly processes. PCB bending and/or flexing is the fundamental source of tensile stress induced on the electronic components on the board assembly. For more brittle components, like ceramic-based electronic components, micro-cracks can be induced, which can eventually lead to a fatal failure of the components. For this reason, many standards organizations throughout the world specify the methods under which electronic board assemblies must be tested to ensure their robustness, sometimes as a precondition to more rigorous environmental tests such as thermal cycling or thermal shock.

App note: Power management solution – Constant Voltage (CV) pulse charging of hybrid capacitors

Posted on Sunday, May 13th, 2018 in app notes by DP | No Comments

an_vishay_pmansolcvpulcharhybcaps

App note from Vishay about constant voltage (CV) pulse charging as the most cost-efficient solution to use on Hyrid capacitors. Link here (PDF)

Rechargeable energy storage solutions are of high interest because of their flexibility, low maintenance requirements, and reduced cost over their life-cycle.

For compact applications, classic electrolytic capacitors are environmentally friendly alternatives and available for a wide range of rated voltages. However, they soon reach their energy storage limit with output requirements exceeding a few 100 mWs.

Electric double-layer capacitors (EDLC) offer high power and energy density, as well as long working life, but are limited to low working voltages in the same range as batteries. Electronic systems require a compromise between these technologies, namely solutions that combine the advantages of classic batteries and double-layer capacitors without the limitations.

 

Free PCB coupon via Facebook to 2 random commenters

Posted on Friday, May 11th, 2018 in Free PCBs by DP | No Comments

BP

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:

(more…)

Using DC motors to power computers

Posted on Friday, May 11th, 2018 in DIY, techniques by DP | 1 Comment

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Electric generator experiment from HomoFaciens:

The generators I am using are in fact geared DC motors, left over from a project with my sponsor RS Components. The modern abacuses being powered during my experiments are a Raspberry Pi Model, a SIMATIC IOT2020 and an Arduino Uno. A 2×16 characters LCD is used to display results. Two geared DC motors are on my board with the test setup

More info at HomoFaciens.de.

Check out the video after the break. (more…)

Portable bench power supply v2 project

Posted on Thursday, May 10th, 2018 in DIY, power supply by DP | No Comments

Battery_bench_PSU-600

Luke writes, “A few years back I made a compact bench PSU based on a DPS-3002 module and a 24v PSU. I have since made a improved version that also includes the ability to run on my power tool batteries making it ultra-portable.”

See the full post on his blog here.

StyloCard

Posted on Tuesday, May 8th, 2018 in PCBs, techniques by DP | 5 Comments

stylo6-600

Stylophone business card project from mitxela.com

Printed Circuit Boards as a business card are a great gimmick. I’d seen ones with USB ports etched into them, which enumerate as a keyboard and then type a person’s name or load up their website. It’s just about possible to build them cheap enough to hand out as a business card, at least if you’re picky about who you give them to.
A couple of years ago I took a stab at making one for myself, but I didn’t want it to be pointless. I wanted it to do something useful! Or at least entertain someone for longer than a few seconds. I can’t remember quite how I got the idea of making a MIDI-stylophone, but the idea was perfect.

More info at mitxela.com.

Check out the video after the break. (more…)

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