Partlist Wednesday: Lithium-polymer battery charger chips

Lithium-polymer batteries are an excellent choice for portable projects. They are relatively cheap, hold a significant charge, and last for a long time. The drawback with these batteries is that they require rather complicated charging protocols. You have to watch out for overcharging, undercharging, overheating, etc… We are looking for a standard part to use in […]

IOIO andriod development board gets bluetooth support

Ytai demoed an IOIO android development board over Bluetooth. Connect the board to your Android enabled device and control various IO pins on the board: IOIO is a board providing I/O connectivity for Android. Until recently it would use a USB connection for communicate with Android. Yesterday, I announced Bluetooth support, which is achieved by plugging any […]

XC9572XL breakout board: Frequency counter

Jason implemented a frequency counter on an XC9572XL CPLD. It uses a 1Mhz clock to count the duration of the input signal pulse, and shows the output on a 6 digit display. Initially he had to use additional 7400 logic ICs to convert BCD output from the CPLD to the 7-segment displays. With some tweaking […]

In development: Soldering iron driver

Earlier this year Arhi developed a soldering iron driver (machine translation) that works with both PTC and K-type TC temperature sensors. In this design a microcontroller implements PID temperature control of the soldering iron, and shows the relevant information on a display. His posts in the forum inspired us to build one too. The soldering […]

Bus Blaster hack: Flashing a PC BIOS chip

Zougloub modified the Bus Blaster V2 somewhat and successfully flashed a PC BIOS chip. By using the onboard FTDI FT2232H chip in SPI mode, and slightly modifying the CPLD logic, he successfully established a link to the BIOS chip. He was now able to update his BIOS and use a processor with his motherboard that […]

Network controlled relays & 3 channel PWM

A new internet controlled lighting project called SplashLight is being developed. It has 4 relays to turn lights on and off, and 3 PWM outputs to drive RGB LEDs. The core of the project is a Cortex M3 uC with an Ethernet PHY/MAC from Texas Instruments. The project includes iPhone, Android, and web applications to […]

Energy micro EFM32 “Tiny gecko” starter kit

Pedantine attended a seminar organized by Energy Micro about their new EFM32 Gecko processor that uses a Cortex M3. All attendees received a EFM32 starter kit. The cool thing about this starter kit is that power consumption is constantly monitored. The debugging software shows how much power each line of code consumes. Via the comments.

App note: Layout and physical design guidelines for capacitive sensing

We think DIY capacitive touch sensing buttons, and sliders are cool. Designing and shaping your capacitive panels can be a pain. Here is an app note by Microchip that covers all the basics required to get your capacitive touch sensing project started. This app note starts with which pad shape and size is best suited […]