How to use a digital potentiometer to calibrate and control an adjustable power supply. A resistive feedback network is often used to set the output voltage of a power supply, since fixed resistors are simple to use and low cost. However, because a fixed network is not adjustable, the output voltage cannot be accurately set. […]
Jeffrey wrote a review of the NGX technologies BlueBoard LPC1768 Cortex-M3 development board. It comes with a unique USB bootloader that appears as a USB flash drive. Just drag a firmware update into the drive. The greatest advantage of this board is that it can be flashed using its USB port. There is no seperate […]
Thefickletinkerer ported the through hole design of MCU Hobby’s PICkit2 into a SMD venison. The PCB is just 5cmx5cm which means it comes within the $10/10pcs PCB service from Seeed Studio. The heart of this programmer is no other than the PIC18F2550. I’ve kept the silkscreen to a minimum, only labelling the header pins and […]
Riktw designed, and got ITead Studio to produce, a Cortex M3 based Arduino compatible board called Simplecortex. The board uses the LPC1769 microcontroller from NXP: The Simplecortex is a microcontroller development board that is shield compatible with the Arduino. The Simplecortex has a fast microcontroller, the LPC1769 from NXP. This is a ARM Cortex M3 […]
MIT physicists developed an LED that emits more light energy than the electrical energy consumed. These LEDs supplement electrical energy with heat from the surrounding environment. Unfortunately this has only been observed at very low power levels. The researchers chose a light-emitting diode with a small band gap, and applied such small voltages that it […]
Atmel launched a new University Program Website to support the academic community Educators and students can share study materials, and members can get a 50% discount any of the development tools through Digi-Key and Mouser. Read more about it below.
Are you looking for a portable breadboard power supply with a selectable voltage? Also thinking about how long the batteries will last? This project utilizes one or two AA/AAA batteries to generate a preselected voltage of 5V or 3.3V, and squeezes the batteries untill they have almost no power at all. AASaver is based on […]
Texas Instruments claims to have concocted an even lower power MSP430. The MSP430 Wolverine series uCs consume 100uA per MHz when active, and 360nA in standby. TI claim this is 50% less power consumption than any other micro. You can download the whitepaper and check out all the specs. Tasty samples available around June 2012. […]
Using constant current to drive LEDs is a good practice, but turning them on instantly can be dangerous for both the LED and the LED driver. Harmful spikes are generated when large currents are instantaneously turned on. This app note from Maxim describes how to soft start LEDs to increase overall lifetime and performance. An […]
Retromaster has honed his PCB making skills to get professional quality boards at home. He’s successfully made double sided PCBs with 8 mil trace width, with 6 mil clearance. In his guide he describes how to etch the PCB with toner transfer, how to use mechanical vias, and hot to apply soldermask paint.
Kartik soldered the first prototype of his PSoC3 development board. He used a no-solder soldering technique to solder the SSOP IC. He had great success with this technique, after destroying a few PCBs with his old method. Things didnt go that well on the first board I tried out,mainly due to me using the wrong […]
Better ADC resolution can be accomplished by oversampling two or more ADC readings and then averaging them. If you’re not satisfied with a microcontroller’s 10 bit ADC and need more resolution, check out this application note from Atmel. Increasing the ADC resolution by one bit requires 4 ADC measurements. Four 10 bit readings are needed […]
Phil made a DIY breakout board for the PIC16F883 microcontroller. The board uses a surface-mount single-layer design, and the parts are nicely spaced. It’s an easy board to make at home using the DIY toner-transfer method of PCB etching. You can download the source files and other design data from his site. Via Jumperone.
Erdabyz built a free Bus Pirate v3 for a friend. He left the IO header out on purpose, as an soldering exercise for its new owner. If you build a free PCB we’ll send you another one! Blog about it, post a picture on Flicker, whatever – we’ll send you a coupon code for the […]
While browsing suppliers for FTDI chips at cheap singles prices, this offer caught our eye. Dontronics is selling FTDI FT232RQ for just AUD$2.45, which is near $2.50 USD. In many projects a USB to TTL converter chip is needed, and FTDI chips are the most common solution around. Both Digikey and Mouser sell the FT232R […]
Adam submitted his Open 7400 Logic competition entry, a 16 button keypad that outputs the hexadecimal value in a 4 bit binary equivalent. Adam wrote This is a handy device for prototyping, etc… It’s a hexadecimal keypad (0..9, A..F) that outputs the hexadecimal value on 4 digital binary lines (one nibble). It has both active […]
Arup built his Bus Pirate V3.5 with a free PCB. If you build a free PCB we’ll send you another one! Blog about it, post a picture on Flicker, whatever – we’ll send you a coupon code for the free PCB drawer. Get your own handy Bus Pirate for $30, including world-wide shipping. Also available […]
SineWave built a free USB LCD Backpack v1 PCB. He posted lots of pics of his build process. If you build a free PCB we’ll send you another one! Blog about it, post a picture on Flicker, whatever – we’ll send you a coupon code for the free PCB drawer. The USB LCD Backpack is […]
TI has a good part sample program, and now they have free bare boards for development with their small analog devices: SOIC8 SOIC8 SOT23 SOIC14