Arhi contacted us about this useful guide for selecting the right size and shape tip for your soldering iron. First part of the article compares various diameter tips used over the same soldering point. Graphs show that for the fastest work-flow is when using larger or same size tips as the solder point. The second […]
Simon built a solar powered Arduino FM receiver. Using a solar panel to charge the batteries, this Arduino controlled device can work without the need to recharge. A SI4073 FM tuner ICs output is connected to a TDA7051 integrated amplifier, while the Arudino controls the channel selection of the FM tuner. There is a multi-position switch used […]
Intrigued about a discussion on the forum about whether soldermask is needed between fine pitch pads, Brian decided to test it. In the video of the test he placed solder paste on both the FR4 board material, and the soldermask, as well as some on a tined pad. Once done reflowing his results were in. Both the FR4 and the soldermask acted the […]
EEVblog made a SMD hand soldering tutorial. In the video Dave explains how to solder small SMD capacitors and resistors, all the standard size pitches for ICs up to a 0.5mm pitch, as well as some tips how to use large thermal pads, like adding thermal paste or preheating the board and the IC.
While working on his CoolRunner-II 50Mhz counter project jbaele found a bug. The reset line was showing a serious glitch when the stop signal was sent to the counter. The glitch was found to be the result of having the stop and reset signals next to each other on a ribbon cable. The capacitance of […]
All-Spec Industries anounced the oldest working Weller soldering tool contest. All that is needed to enter is to send a picture of your tool to them, along with your name and shipping adress. First prize is a Weller WD1002T soldering station, and all entries recive a All-Spec Mug Boss. Via the contact form.
Vincent is coding a Bus Pirate GUI with Qt. Being cross platform it should run fine under Windows, Linux, and Mac. So far it is a modified console with firmware update support. A code repository is available. Via the forum. Get your own handy Bus Pirate for $30, including world-wide shipping. Also available from our friendly distributors.
Chuckt asked what goals important to master microcontrollers. There’s been some good suggestions so far, which are consolidated on the wiki: Basic Pins/port/direction (LED flashing) PWM (LED intensity) Advanced UART communication (when and how to use max232 chip) SPI communication I2C communication CAN communication Interrupts (pin – detect button press, UART – communication) Hardware timers Interfacing an […]
Brian stumbled on this side by side comparison of SSL/TLS libraries and gave his review of it: So in summary of what code bases I find usable from a licensing prospective: TropicSSL and axTLS are clear winners in terms of the license CyaSSL and PolarSSL are GPL V2 + FLOSS which is less desirable Next I looked […]
Joseph built an analog comparator for the Open 7400 Logic competition. Using two NAND 3-input gates and a D-type flip-flop, he build a clocked analog comparator. After reviewing the internal composition of a CMOS NAND 3 gate he noticed that two of them connected in the right way make up a comparator. To make his own version he used a D-type flip-flop to […]
Pppd shared a tip for using surface mount parts with a breadboard, mount them on 0.1″ pin header: Also, I’m probably not the first one to do it this way… but if you don’t like through-hole parts just as much as I hate them you may want to use surface mount resistors, capacitors or even […]
Raj designed a car battery volt-meter. The core of the project is a PIC16F1827 which uses its internal fixed voltage reference FVR and ADC to precisely measure the battery voltage. Measured voltage is displayed on a 4 digit 7 segment display. His circuit is connected to the car’s battery through a standard car lighter jack. Via the […]
Megabug posted his I2C relay driver board for controlling 8 outputs. It controls 8 relay switches in which one pin of each switch is common, while the other pins are available through 8 screw type headers. It uses the PCA9554 8bit I2C port expander to drive a ULN2803A buffer which in return drives the relay coils. All buffer input […]
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 […]
Raj entered his Animated LED Christmas sign into the Open 7400 Logic Competition. Having already build a PIC controlled version, he wanted to try and control the sign using discrete logic only. The individual letters are build from red LEDs and run of a 32V power supply. Check out the video of this project below. Via […]
Arhi compares his soldering iron driver with commercially available products. After designing and building a open source soldering station for Solomon or Hakko soldering pencils, he posted a full analysis of his project. While his driver has some overshoot, once it stabilises the temperature has less swing then the original drivers. With some PID tuning even better […]
Theatrus build a controllable aquarium moonlight strip. Royal-blue Osram high power surface mount LEDs provide the lighting, and an ATmega88 the control. RS485 port is used for control. All of the design files should be available shortly. Its quite potent (visible with the main 6x80W T5s running). Its easy to mount (a handful of command strips […]
Amieres built a IR controlled Helicopter with Wiimote using USB IR Toy V1. A camera connected to the laptop tracks the helicopter. Using the USB IR Toy the laptop sends automatic altitude control signals. Setting attitude points is done with Wiimote’s up/down buttons, while nunchuk joystick is used for motion control. Via the comments. You can get […]
Chris entered his Masochist’s video card into the Open 7400 Logic Competition. Using only discrete logic his circuit cycles through 8 presettable colors at a variable frequency. Using a simple resistor network he outputs it over the VGA output. It is well documented and all the design files are available. Check out the video below. Via […]
Pppd got tired of forgetting to lock his door so he made a door lock reminder. Once you open and close the door the device starts buzzing and doesn’t stop until you lock it. It is battery powered and uses ATtiny13, two reed buttons, and a buzzer. Source of the firmware is available. When the door […]