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Archive for the ‘techniques’ Category

Bit-bang FTDI USB-to-serial converters to drive SPI devices

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

Scott W Harden writes , "The FT232 USB-to-serial converter is one of the most commonly-used methods of adding USB functionality to small projects, but recently I found that these chips are capable of sending more than just serial signals. With some creative programming, individual output pins can be big-banged to...

Posted in how-to, techniques | 3 Comments »

An easy way to mount DS18B20 temperature sensors

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

Matt wrote an article describing a technique he used to mount DS18B20 temperature sensors: One of the biggest advantage of these sensors over I2C sensors, is that you can mount them almost anywhere. That having been said, I’ve never quite managed to come up with an elegant solution, particularly when...

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Posted in how-to, techniques | 2 Comments »

Using DC motors to power computers

Friday, May 11th, 2018

Electric generator experiment from HomoFaciens: The generators I am using are in fact geared DC motors, left over from a project with my sponsor RS Components. The modern abacuses being powered during my experiments are a Raspberry Pi Model, a SIMATIC IOT2020 and an Arduino Uno. A 2x16 characters LCD...

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Posted in DIY, techniques | 1 Comment »

StyloCard

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

Stylophone business card project from mitxela.com Printed Circuit Boards as a business card are a great gimmick. I'd seen ones with USB ports etched into them, which enumerate as a keyboard and then type a person's name or load up their website. It's just about possible to build them cheap enough...

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Posted in PCBs, techniques | 5 Comments »

Troubleshooting tips: Failed debugging with GDB

Monday, January 29th, 2018

Erich Styger writes: Three years ago I published “Debugging Failure: Check List and Hints” and unfortunately this article is one of the most popular ones: obviously debugging problems are very common. Debugging with GDB works usually fine, but if things are failing, then it can be hard to find the...

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Posted in techniques | 1 Comment »

Yield function, printable class and mapping arrays: Useful but unknown features from Arduino core

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Yahya Tawil over at Atadiat wrote a new tip for Arduino developers about three hidden and useful features in Arduino core: Arduino core, the source code of Arduino API functions and classes, has three useful features that can be used effectively. As the Arduino core documentation doesn’t mention them (at least...

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Posted in Arduino, techniques | 9 Comments »

Common emitter amplifier design tips & shortcuts

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWY2WQcKJgk Tips & tricks for the common emitter amplifier design by Alan Wolke (aka W2AEW) This video provides some basic design tips and shortcuts for the Common Emitter, Class A, Amplifier. The considerations for selection of the DC Bias point are presented, as well as some tips on how to set/compute...

Posted in techniques | No Comments »

Rework and probe wires for circuit boards

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iNHC9djG2Q Tips & tricks to add probe wires for low-voltage, low-current signals on small fine pitch circuit boards. Via Electronupdate.

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Posted in how-to, techniques | No Comments »

Pimp your PCB businesscard full color

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Here is a nice PCB businesscard @ smdprutser.nl As a good electronic hobbiest tradition I started to design a businesscard from PCB material. Downside of all the businesscards (and PCBs in general) is the limited number of colors you can use: FR4, soldermask (with or without copper behind it), silkscreen...

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Posted in PCBs, techniques | No Comments »

Using Python to store data from many BLE devices

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

Erich Styger has written an article describing a technique he used to collect and store data from several BLE devices with Raspberry Pi and Python scripting: BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) sensor devices like the Hexiwear are great, but they cannot store a large amount of data. For a research project...

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Posted in ARM, techniques | No Comments »

Cross section and analysis of a SMT inductor

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

https://youtu.be/OX0-zDwOe14 A look at the cross section of a surface mount inductor from Electronupdate.

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Posted in components, techniques | No Comments »

Modifying the Teensy 3.5 and 3.6 for ARM SWD debugging

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Erich Styger @ mcuoneclipse.com writes: Looking for a small, inexpensive ($25-30) ARM development board (say 120-180 MHz ARM Cortex-M4 with FPU, 512kB-1MB of FLASH and 256 KByte of RAM? Then have a look at the Teensy 3.5 and Teensy 3.6 by PJRC/Paul Stoffregen The only problem? it is not possible...

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Posted in ARM, techniques | No Comments »

Enhancing Arduino ADC resolution with dithering & oversampling

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

From the comments on our previous post Improving ADC resolution by oversampling and averaging application note, Edward Mallon writes: I managed to get oversampling working well on cheap Arduino promini clones. Turns out all you have to do is toggle a digital pin connected to ground with the right size...

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Posted in Arduino, techniques | No Comments »

EAGLE: Panelizing made easy

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Sjaak shared a tip for panelizing PCB boards in Eagle: Panelizing is done by machining a slot between two or more boards, but keep them attached by a small amount of PCB material (mousebites). I used to do it by hand: generated all the schematics into multiple sheets and then...

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Posted in techniques | No Comments »

SMD edge connectors

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Facelesstech has written an article describing a technique he used for connecting two boards together. More details at Facelesstech's blog. Check out the video after the break. (more…)

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Posted in techniques | No Comments »

Soldering TQFN with a distance

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

Mare writes: Here is my solution to this problem. First clamp the Ic to vise or ask your wife to hold the tweezers with the chip Next, use your sharpest soldering tip and apply some solder to the pads. Please keep in mind the chip has 0,5mm raster between pads....

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Posted in techniques | 3 Comments »

Inverter crystal oscillator

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

Vasily Ivanenko writes: In numerous RF synthesizer chips lies an inverter with input and output pins for making a reference crystal oscillator clock. I built some discrete chip inverter xtal oscillators with 74HC series logic gates to better examine them. You'll quickly recognize the oft-used Pierce oscillator topology with 1...

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Posted in techniques | 1 Comment »

RC snubber calculator spreadsheet

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Paulo has developed a free RC snubber calculator, an Excel-based calculator eases the design of RC snubbers in power switching applications: In power switching applications, a designer often has to contend with spurious oscillations. These are the result of parasitic capacitances and inductance on the board and behave like the...

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Posted in techniques | No Comments »

Using Altium for a DirtyPCBs order

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

Jarrett  has written an article describing a technique of using Altium for a DirtyPCBs order: This is a pretty rare combo: using a premium PCB package with the budget board house. Kinda funny. Generally these small run PCB houses provide DRU and CAM files for EAGLE design rule checking and...

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Posted in DirtyPCBs.com, techniques | No Comments »

Things to avoid when sending PCBs to the fab house

Friday, February 26th, 2016

Sjaak shared some tips when sending PCBs to the fab house: I usually collect a few PCB designs before sending them off to the PCB fabhouse. I prefer to use dirtypcbs.com as I know Ian from dangerousprototypes.com for a long time and think he provides good quality, and fast turn...

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Posted in PCBs, techniques | 10 Comments »

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