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Free PCB coupon via Facebook to 2 random commenters

Posted on Friday, April 20th, 2018 in Free PCBs by DP | 1 Comment

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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A web configurable ThingSpeak logger, build on AVR ATmega328

Posted on Thursday, April 19th, 2018 in AVR, DIY by DP | No Comments

p-avr_atmega_thingkspeak_logger-600

Davide Gironi posted an update on Xively logger project we covered previously:

This embedded platform is a modular and configurable ThingSpeak data logger, built on an ATmega328 micro, usefull to send datapoints to your ThingSpeak feed.
This project is an update to the Xively logger presented here

See the full post on his blog here.

AtPack: Atmel Pack parser, visualizer and fuse calculator

Posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018 in AVR, hacks by DP | No Comments

AtPack

 

AtPack – Atmel Pack parser, visualizer and fuse calculator from Vagrearg:

Looking for an up-to-date fuse-calculator for the Atmel(*) AVR chips has been something of a long search. There are several online versions, but they have not been updated to the new chips (like the ATmega328PB).
When you have got an itch, you simply scratch it… Don’t you?
Well, I did, and it resulted in an analysis of the Atmel Pack format, which can be freely downloaded under an Apache 2.0 license. The AtPacks contain a master XML file with device lists and links to each device’s XML file, which in turn describes the entire chip. The format is not that hard to understand and can be easily mangled into something useful. Then, some crude jQuery hacking and many hours later… you know how that works.

Code is at GitHub and there is an online version.

Via Vagrearg.

#FreePCB via Twitter to 2 random RTs

Posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018 in Free PCBs by DP | No Comments

IRToy-600x369

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.

Breakout boards from Taobao are a mess

Posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018 in Shenzhen by Ian | 3 Comments

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For the last few days I’ve been playing with breakout boards purchased from Taobao. So far it’s been a nightmare.

GY-271 is advertised as a Honeywell HMC5883L 3 axis digital compass. A Bus Pirate address search turned up 0x1A and 0x1B, instead of the HMC5883L’s 0x3C and 0x3D. The chip is actually a “Q”MC5883L, a Chinese-made digital compass with similar features that is not register compatible.

The datasheet for the QMC5883L shows the chip markings as “DA5833”. These markings are visible in nearly every Taobao listing claiming to be a HMC5883L breakout boards. Honeywell’s datasheet doesn’t include chip markings, shame on them.

GY-273 is another HMC5883L breakout board all over Taobao. About half of these are clearly the “Q” type chip. The other half show the Honeywell chip, at least in the photo. After talking with a quasi-trusted vendor I ordered what are supposed to be actual HMC5883L breakouts.

GY-213 is a breakout board sold with a variety of temperature and humidity sensors, including SI701, SHT21, etc. The same color/size/pinout/layout PCB is available from tons of Taobao shops. I ordered a SHT21 version from Youxin, a trusted supplier. The chip appears to be genuine, not the Chinese-made HTU21D, but it seems to be defective in at least two ways.

SHT21

Reading out the configuration register shows 0x3A=00111010, but the power up default should be 000xxx01. At power up the on-chip heater is enabled, which is used for testing and diagnosis. “OTP Reload” is enabled, which is specifically “not recommended for use” by the datasheet.

After setting the correct configuration it was time for further disappointment. Humidity measurement is always around 0xF66A. 114.3% humidity seems unrealistic, even for Shenzhen in the spring.

Lipo charge/boost/protect board in 18650 cell holder format

Posted on Monday, April 16th, 2018 in DIY by DP | No Comments

img_20180404_111351_hdr-02-600

Peter6960 published a new build:

So couple months ago, GreatScott made a video where he designed a circuit. Nothing too innovative, just the same TP4056 charger the MT3608 Boost combined on one PCB. He did add a Lipo protection circuit though, initially using the same DW01. But then, the Aha moment from this video, he found a footprint compatible IC the FS312F-G – which is set at 2.9v! Way healthier for your cell’s longevity!
First of all I had to redraw all his work in Eagle (As I wont be using a cloud based service like EasyEDA for obvious reasons) and then order the PCBs. I added two boost circuits since I had the board space, as I can imagine needing dual voltages at some point (for example if that reverse LCD needed 12v and the Pi needed 5v – i could run both off one board.

Project info at OpenHardware.co.za.

Free PCB Sunday: Pick your PCB

Posted on Sunday, April 15th, 2018 in Free PCBs by DP | 15 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: Preventing LED failures caused by corrosive material

Posted on Sunday, April 15th, 2018 in app notes by DP | No Comments

an_osram_LED_chem_compatibility

Chemical compatibility of LEDs application note from OSRAM. Link here (PDF)

The performance and stability of light emitting diodes (LEDs) may be influenced by various chemical incompatibilities arising from chemicals and materials used, amongst other things, in luminaire construction, or by gases in the proximate environment of LEDs during field operation. Nevertheless, LEDs have to fulfill a wide range of customer needs and requirements in indoor and outdoor applications.

This application note provides information about the chemical compatibility of certain substances with LEDs, particularly with regard to some of their basic components. In this context, the main mechanisms of chemical incompatibility are illustrated using examples of blue and white LEDs.

App note: LEDs for wearable applications

Posted on Sunday, April 15th, 2018 in app notes by DP | No Comments

an_osram_AN088

Brief app note from OSRAM, LEDs for heart rate monitoring through skin reflection of emitted light. Link here (PDF)

This application note provides a short introduction into the general use of LEDs for wearable applications, with a focus on heart rate monitoring.

Free PCB coupon via Facebook to 2 random commenters

Posted on Friday, April 13th, 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…)

DIY Boostbox hand crank generator project

Posted on Thursday, April 12th, 2018 in DIY by DP | 1 Comment

DIYBoostBoxV2-600

A DIY hand crank Boostbox by lasersaber at LaserHacker:

This easy to make box uses no batteries but can still power a lot of stuff.  It really is a very versatile little BoostPack based device.  It would be the perfect thing to have on hand in times of emergency.

Project info at LaserHacker project page.

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

Building a giant USB three key mechanical keyboard

Posted on Thursday, April 12th, 2018 in PIC, USB by DP | 1 Comment

DSC00638-600

Glen Akins shares his latest build the giant three key USB keyboard:

After seeing this giant mechanical keyboard at Adafruit, I decided I had to build my own. Adafruit made theirs out of wood and used one of their Python-compatible microcontroller boards. I wanted a sloped top on my keyboard. I also wanted to check out what was new with Microchip’s USB device stack. I decided to build my keyboard out of aluminum and use a PIC18 microcontroller.

See the full post on his blog here, Photons, Electrons, and Dirt.

Nui (IR volume controller)

Posted on Tuesday, April 10th, 2018 in Arduino, infrared by DP | 1 Comment

 

nui_v1p0-600

Alvaro Prieto made an IR volume controller and wrote a post on his blog detailing its assembly:

Nui is an IR controlled volume controller for analog audio. It sits between your audio source and speakers and can amplify or reduce the volume using IR commands (and eventually BLE).
Why do I need this?
It all started because I have my trusty Logitech Z-2300 speakers and subwoofer I purchased back around 2004/5. They still work great, but instead of being on my computer, they are used for my TV. Unfortunately, the TV’s line out doesn’t honor the TV’s volume and is always outputting at max volume. Sure, I can get up and change the volume on the speakers themselves, but wouldn’t it be more convenient to do it with the TV remote?!
That’s how the Nui project started. It sits between my TV and my speakers and now I don’t have to get up to change the volume :D

See the full post on his blog and on GitHub:

#FreePCB via Twitter to 2 random RTs

Posted on Tuesday, April 10th, 2018 in Free PCBs by DP | No Comments

IRToy-600x369

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.

A 7400 frequency counter, on perfboard

Posted on Monday, April 9th, 2018 in DIY by DP | 4 Comments

p-IMG_0405-600

jaeblog published a new build:

I like perfboard, especially the ones with plated trough holes. But I also like SMD components, and more and more fun IC’s are not available in DIP. So a while ago I designed some perfboard with 1.27mm pitch, making some SMD parts like SOIC stuff easy to prototype on it, and also mix THT and SMD stuff.
Looking for a nice little project to build on it, I came across a frequency counter made with 7400 logic, perhaps not the most efficient approach, but a fun one at that. I made a few changed to the design, partly because of some components I already had like the 74HC160 and 4543 (yes, not 7400 but still logic :P) and partly to improve on the design, for example by adding a 10Mhz oscillator instead of a NE555 as the clock source. The current end result looks like this, a case is ordered and a follow up post will be made when the project is nicely tucked away in a case.

More details on Just another electronics blog.

Free PCB Sunday: Pick your PCB

Posted on Sunday, April 8th, 2018 in Free PCBs by DP | 19 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: Fundamentals of operation and recent developments of class D amplifiers

Posted on Sunday, April 8th, 2018 in app notes by DP | No Comments

an_maxim_AN3977

Good read about class D amplfiers from MAXIM Integrated. Link here (PDF)

A Class D amplifier’s high efficiency makes it ideal for portable and compact high-power applications. Traditional Class D amplifiers require an external lowpass filter to extract the audio signal from the pulse-width-modulated (PWM) output waveform. Many modern Class D amplifiers, however, utilize advanced modulation techniques that, in various applications, both eliminate the need for external filtering and reduce electromagnetic interference (EMI). Eliminating external filters not only reduces board-space requirements, but can also significantly reduce the cost of many portable/compact systems.

App note: Avoid overvoltage stresses by minimizing power supply pumping on single-ended output, class D audio amplifiers

Posted on Sunday, April 8th, 2018 in app notes by DP | No Comments

an_maxim_AN4260

Here’s class D audio amplifier pumping remedy from MAXIM Integrated, power-supply pumping is a problem that occurs when playing low-frequency audio signals through a single-ended output. Link here (PDF)

This application note explains what power-supply pumping is and how it occurs in designs that employ a Class D audio amplifier with single-ended output loads. The article presents three design solutions that will reduce the problem. Mathematical equations show that use of power-supply capacitors greater than 1000µF greatly reduce the phenomenon.

Converting a Seeburg 3WA wallbox into a remote for a modern music player

Posted on Friday, April 6th, 2018 in hacks, vintage by DP | No Comments

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Dr. Scott M. Baker wrote an article detailing how he converted a Seeburg 3WA wallbox into a media player for his homebuilt audio player:

A bit of background. These Wallboxes were used as remotes in diners and other locations back in the 1950s. You put your nickel, dime, or quarter into the Wallbox, which racks up some credits. Then you select the song you want and the Wallbox sends a signal to the Jukebox, which adds your selection to the queue. Soon thereafter your music is playing through the diner. I’m too young to have experienced these in person when they were state of the art, but I do have an appreciation for antique and retro projects.
A new fad is to convert these wallboxes into remotes for your home audio system, be it Sonos or something else. I have my own homebuilt audio system, basically an augmented Pandora player, so my goal was to use the wallbox to control that.

See the full post on his blog here.

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

Free PCB coupon via Facebook to 2 random commenters

Posted on Friday, April 6th, 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…)

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Recent Comments

  • Daniel: Do I comment here or on FB?
  • Craig B: Shouldn't the default be 00xxx010? Note that bit 0 appears out of order in the documentation. In that case I think the initial value is...
  • JJM: From the datasheet extract you are showing, the power up status should be 00xxx010, not 000xxx01. Bit numbering is misleading since 'measurement resolution' is apparently...
  • Jan Ciger (@janoc200): Hmm, that could actually explain why the three sensor IMU breakout I have bought a few years ago had all sorts of issues - I...
  • Travis: Is it preset to the windows 3 fingered salute?