BOMtools: Python scripts build Kicad part database

Steve Rodgers has been busy coding. He’s developed a set of Python scripts (BOMtools) which allow you to extract part numbers from a Kicad schematic and match them to a part number database. There are two scripts. One which does the part merge operation and is called from Kicad and the other which manages the […]

Will the SMD resistors marking become a history?

Will the SMD resistors marking become a history? Company YAGEO announced its intention to remove marking of RC/AC 0603,0805,1206 SMD chip resistors from July, 1-st, 2013. Everything implies, that the situation with marking of chip resistors (0603/0805/1206) will soon be similar to chip capacitors – i.e. no marking on the top of the component. The […]

How to build a surface mount resistor and capacitor collection

This tutorial shows how to easily, and relatively cheaply, build a nicely organized SMD resistor, and capacitor collection. George likes using connectable tiny storage boxes, and filling them with resistor/capacitor kits from eBay. This is complemented by printing out labels for your storage boxes using the label design files for download. Via Twitter.

Microchip’s PIC18F2/4550 replacements are available for sampling

In July we mentioned that Microchip was getting ready to release replacements for the famous PIC18F2550 and PIC18F4550  microcontrollers, and now they are available for sampling. The PIC18F2/45K50 family is pin to pin comparable with the older series, and are also capable of running at 5V. The price has gone down considerably, as the new […]

7 segment display controlled by simple SPI interface

Touch let us know about these 4 digit SPI controlled 7 segment displays that cost a little less then $1 a piece. They include decimal separators and a colon separator so it’s easy to display time. I picked up some cheap 4 digit 7 segment displays over on eBay for $10 + shipping. They Include […]

Octopart provides historical component pricing

Greg Shikhman from Octopart writes, “Hey DP, we just launched a new feature on Octopart that we think is really cool: historical prices on chips. We’re trying to bring transparency to the chip market and we’ve already discovered some cool stuff in our data. Check it out! The way it works is you search for […]

Our big box of traveling parts is in the wild

We are constantly developing prototypes, so we end up with a large pile of unused components. When we moved to a new location we realized some components sat untouched since the previous move. A while ago we read about the The Great Internet Migratory Box Of Electronics Junk and decided this was a perfect way […]

8051-compatible MCU samples from Microchip

For those of you who like the 8051 chip, we notice that Microchip has 8051 compatible MCUs available in 40-pin PDIP, part number SST89E516RD-40-C-PIE, available as samples. According to the datasheet: The SST89E516RDx and SST89V516RDx are members of the FlashFlex family of 8-bit microcontroller products designed and manufactured with SST’s patented and proprietary SuperFlash CMOS […]

Octopart on standardizing partlist data

An engineer from Octopart asks about standardizing the format for partlists for easier automated processing and quotes. They are designing a new part information API and would like help with suggestions and ideas: If we can all come up with a good general purpose structured data format, it could be used for interchange between EDA […]

Small 10 mW thermogenerators available retail

This device is a tiny SMD thermogenerator that harvests heat energy to generate up to 10 milliwatts of power. Dev boards are available at Mouser for a mere $700 retail. In case of Micropelt devices, one side is placed near the heat source and the other side has a fixed heat-sink on top of it. […]

Ceramic, tantalum, and electrolytic capacitor comparison

Arhi made use of his precision LCR meter to measure capacitance and ESR values of ceramic, tantalum, and electrolytic capacitors. He made his measurements at various frequencies to help him graph the changes to the values over a wide frequency range. From the graph it can be extrapolated that the ceramic capacitors have the lowest […]

Bus Pirate PIC programmer through-hole version

MickM decided to rework our PIC programing adapter to a through-hole version. He made two versions of the board. One for both Bus Pirate V2go and V3, and one that supports only V3. I got very confused reading the schematic, and had to redraw it. One thing led to another and I laid it out […]