Categories

LiPo batteries hacking and refurbishing

Posted on Friday, January 6th, 2017 in hacks by DP | No Comments

pics-9173336021_e388067134_b-600

Karman wrote an article showing how to refurbish dead batteries to extend its life:

One of the difficult parts when prototyping is to find reliable power sources. Today is still hard to find the battery size we want to use because country exporting frontiers stops these chemical packages. Here I’ll show how to refurbish dead batteries by combining cells and protection circuits to preserve battery life.
An (almost) dead Apple MacBook Pro (17″) battery fell in my hands so I decided to tear it down to see if there was something profitable. Inside I found that the battery pack was composed with 6 individual cells, paired in 3 groups.

More details at Karman’s blog.

DIY Arduino GRBL CNC with a laser

Posted on Wednesday, January 4th, 2017 in Arduino, DIY by DP | No Comments

A DIY Arduino GRBL CNC with a laser from Bob Davis.

Project info at Bob Davis’ blog.

EAGLE: Panelizing made easy

Posted on Wednesday, January 4th, 2017 in techniques by DP | No Comments

mousebite

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 route the board and finally add the slots with mousebites in the PCB editor. I generally use slotwidth of 50 mil and the smallest drill possible (12 mil) 12.5 mil apart as breakingline. I tend to place the mousebites about 2cm from each other to maintain PCB strength.

The handy feature I found is in the PCB editor (schematics has one too!) is to import an other PCB design. First you design the boards individually and then import them all into an empty board file and place them 50 mil from each other, add mousebites to taste and send them off 🙂

More details at smdprutser.nl.

#FreePCB via Twitter to 2 random RTs

Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017 in Free PCBs by DP | No Comments

IRToy-600x369

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 it every Sunday, right here on the blog
  • Tweet-a-PCB Tuesday. Follow us and get boards in 144 characters or less
  • Facebook PCB Friday. Free PCBs will be your friend for the weekend

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • Check out how we mail PCBs worldwide video.
  • We’ll contact you via Twitter with a coupon code for the PCB drawer.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.

We try to stagger free PCB posts so every time zone has a chance to participate, but the best way to see it first is to subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

Minstrel ZX80 clone

Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017 in DIY by DP | No Comments

pics-Minstrel ZX80 Clone-600

Dave Curran has a nice build log on his ZX80 clone, which he call Minstrel:

Here is a new ZX80 clone that I have called the Minstrel. It is a fairly accurate clone electrically to the ZX80, using the same chips and the original schematic with only a few concessions to the modern world. All the parts are the same, the part numbers and pins are the same, other than the ROM and RAM, I’ve only added a few extra decoupling capacitors and a one resistor / one transistor composite video amplifier.

More info at Tynemouth Software blog.

A simple push-pull audio amplifier using russian rod tubes and power transformers

Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017 in hacks by DP | No Comments

pics-rod_tube_1J18B_close_up-600

KA7OEI blogged about a simple push-pull audio amplifier using russian rod tubes and power transformers:

Many years ago I’d read about the type of tube that is now often referred to as a “Gammatron” – a “gridless” amplifier tube of the 1920s, so-designed to get around patents that included what would seem to be fundamental aspects of any tube such as the control grid.  Instead of a grid, the “third” control element was located near the “cathode” and “anode”.  As you might expect, the effective gain of this type of tube was rather low, but it did work, even though it really didn’t catch on.  It was the similarity between the description of the “Gammatron” and these “rod” tubes that intrigued me.

More details at KA7OEI’s blog.

Solar battery charge controller teardown

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2017 in Teardowns by DP | No Comments

A teardown video of a solar battery charge controller from Electronupdate:

A solar battery charger: one side goes to a Solar Panel, the other to a lead-acid battery. A charge controller allows the battery to be safely charged.
Snagged off of Amazon. Seemed really cheap at $17.36.
A look at the assembly quality tells me why. Bad soldering, mechanical errors, wrong wire sizes….
What is baffling, however, is that many of these workmanship issues (beyond the missing “fuse”) are just due to lack of attention… i.e. it would cost no more to do it right.

More info at Electronupdate blog.

App note: Add a “Black Box” fault logger to your “Big (or Small) Box” system

Posted on Sunday, January 1st, 2017 in app notes by DP | 1 Comment

an_maxim_an5041

Application notes from Maxim Integrated on adding log functionalities in your system. Link here (PDF)

This article describes how to add a “black box” functionality – nonvolatile fault logging – to networking, communications, industrial, and medical equipment. It outlines the benefits of recording fault data, including faster, more definitive failure analysis.

Free PCB Sunday: Pick your PCB

Posted on Sunday, January 1st, 2017 in Free PCBs by DP | 38 Comments

BP-600x373

We go through a lot of prototype PCBs, and end up with lots of extras that we’ll never use. Every Sunday we give away a few PCBs from one of our past or future projects, or a related prototype. Our PCBs are made through Seeed Studio’s Fusion board service. This week two random commenters will get a coupon code for the free PCB drawer tomorrow morning. Pick your own PCB. You get unlimited free PCBs now – finish one and we’ll send you another! Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

(more…)

App note: Selecting current sensors and transformers

Posted on Sunday, January 1st, 2017 in app notes by DP | No Comments

an_coilcraft_doc1288

Selection guidelines from Coilcraft. Link here (PDF)

Current sensors detect the flow of AC or DC current in a wire or circuit trace. They can be used to detect an on/off/ pulse current condition or to measure the magnitude of the current in the wire or trace. This discussion is limited to AC current sensors. Ideal current sensors would not use any power to detect the current in the wire or trace, but real current sensors require some of the circuit energy to provide the information.

Current sensors are frequently used to measure and control the load current in power supplies, safety circuits and a variety of control circuits. In applications where controlling the current is required, such as in power supplies, accurately sensing the magnitude of the current is a fundamental requirement.

In pulsed-current applications or where it is only required to detect an on condition such as some safety circuits, the precise magnitude of the current may not be required. In other safety circuits, the sensed current can be used to trigger a shut down when the current exceeds a pre-set limit.

Happy New Year 2017 from Dangerous Prototypes

Posted on Sunday, January 1st, 2017 in Holiday by DP | No Comments

Happy New Year!

Thank you for reading the blog and being part of our community in 2016! We’re looking forward to more open hardware projects, more how-tos, more videos, more free PCBs, and more hacking in 2017.

App note: Bluetooth low energy digital pedometer demo design

Posted on Saturday, December 31st, 2016 in app notes by DP | No Comments

appnote

An application note (PDF!) from Microchip: A Bluetooth low energy digital pedometer demo design

A digital pedometer is a portable electronic device that counts each step a person takes by detecting the motion of the person’s body with an accelerometer.
This application note demonstrates the implementation of a Bluetooth Low Energy Digital Pedometer using the Microchip PIC16LF1718, a cost effective 8-bit microcontroller with extreme low power (XLP), the Microchip RN4020 Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy Module, and the Bosch Sensortec BMA250E digital triaxial accelerometer.
The Microchip Pedometer Demo can be worn on the wrist like a bracelet/watch. The on-board RN4020 BLE module allows the pedometer demo to communicate with a smartphone or tablet on which the user’s exercise progress can be tracked. The pedometer demo is powered by a single 3V coin lithium battery (CR2032).

App note: IR remote control transmitter

Posted on Saturday, December 31st, 2016 in app notes by DP | No Comments

application

IR remote control transmitter application note (PDF!) from Microchip:

This application note illustrates the use of the PIC10F206 to implement a two-button infrared remote controller. The PIC10F2XX family of microcontrollers is currently the smallest in the world, and their compact sizes and low cost make them preferable for small applications such as this one.
Two example protocols are shown. The first is Philips® RC5, and the second is Sony™ SIRC. These two protocols were chosen because they are fairly common and their formats are well documented on professional and hobbyists’ web sites. They also demonstrate two differing schemes for formatting the transmission.

A high-resolution sensor node

Posted on Saturday, December 31st, 2016 in sensors by DP | No Comments

pics-DSC_5660-600

A high-resolution sensor node from JeeLabs:

The JeeNode Zero is intended as sensor node in a Wireless Sensor Network. This requires:

  • a sensor we can read out periodically, such as the BME280
  • being able to sleep with a very low current, as recently described
  • the ability to run the node unattended, i.e. without FTDI cable
  • formatting and sending the collected sensor readings over RF

So far, all development has been performed through FTDI. To run unattended, we’ll need to cut that umbilical cord and make the node start up by itself from a battery.

Details at JeeLabs homepage.

Free PCB coupon via Facebook to 2 random commenters

Posted on Friday, December 30th, 2016 in Free PCBs by DP | No Comments

BP

Every Friday we give away some extra PCBs via Facebook. This post was announced on Facebook, and on Monday we’ll send coupon codes to two random commenters. The coupon code usually go to Facebook ‘Other’ Messages Folder . More PCBs via Twitter on Tuesday and the blog every Sunday. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

(more…)

Die photos and analysis of the revolutionary 8008 microprocessor, 45 years old

Posted on Friday, December 30th, 2016 in reversed, vintage by DP | No Comments

pics-die-block-diagram

Ken Shirriff has written an article detailing die photos of the vintage Intel 8008 that reveal the circuitry it used:

Intel’s groundbreaking 8008 microprocessor was first produced 45 years ago.1 This chip, Intel’s first 8-bit microprocessor, is the ancestor of the x86 processor family that you may be using right now. I couldn’t find good die photos of the 8008, so I opened one up and took some detailed photographs. These new die photos are in this article, along with a discussion of the 8008’s internal design.
The photo above shows the tiny silicon die inside the 8008 package. (Click the image for a higher resolution photo.) You can barely see the wires and transistors that make up the chip. The squares around the outside are the 18 pads that are connected to the external pins by tiny bond wires. You can see the text “8008” on the right edge of the chip and “© Intel 1971” on the lower edge. The initials HF appear on the top right for Hal Feeney, who did the chip’s logic design and physical layout. (Other key designers of the 8008 were Ted Hoff, Stan Mazor, and Federico Faggin.)

More details at Ken Shirriff’s blog.

Radioactivity detection using very simple ionization chamber and a single J-FET transistor

Posted on Thursday, December 29th, 2016 in how-to by DP | No Comments

pics-IMG_2724-600

Robert Gawron writes:

Today I will show a very simple ionization chamber that can detect radioactivity. I was able to detect with it ionizing radiation from a smoke detector (Am241 isotope). It’s also immune to electromagnetic interference (EMI) due to a good shielding.

This device doesn’t explicitly use any power supply. It’s connected to a multimeter set to measure resistance, in this mode, the multimeter provides a small voltage to its probes (R=I/U, so to measure resistance, it has to put voltage across measured element). This is sufficient here, because basically we just need to polarise electrodes of the ionization chamber and nothing more. My multimeter provides 5.6V in this mode.
My setup is presented below, note that the sensor is this metal box, not the PCB visible on the image.

More details at Robert Gawron’s blog.

Comfort Thermometer display built with 517 individual LEDs

Posted on Thursday, December 29th, 2016 in LEDs by DP | No Comments

Richard wrote in to tell us about a ‘Comfort Thermometer display built with 517 LEDs’ that he has just finished building:

Comfort Thermometer Display built with 517 individual LEDs and the following microprocessors:
1) PiC24FV16KA301 – controlling outer 36 RGB LEDs
2) PIC16F886 – bargraph and pink LEDs animations
3) ATmega328 – controlling 7-segment display
4) PIC16F57 – rf transmitter and receiver

The bargraph LEDs are current sinked with LM3914 LED display drivers, and current sourced via the PIC16F886 and transistors

Via the contact form.

DIY IKEA wireless Qi charging for the Hexiwear

Posted on Thursday, December 29th, 2016 in DIY, wireless by DP | No Comments

wireless-qi-charging-the-hexiwear

Erich Styger built a DIY a wireless charging system for the Hexiwear:

The Achilles Heel of the Mikroelektronika Hexiwear is its charging: the charging and USB connector are only designed for a limited number of plug-unplug cycles, and it does not have a wireless charging capability like the Apple iWatch. Until now! I have built a DIY wireless charging system for the Hexiwear🙂

More details at MCU on Eclipse homepage.

DirtyPCB X-mas tree

Posted on Wednesday, December 28th, 2016 in DirtyPCBs.com by DP | No Comments

pics-img_3276

Matthias created a X-Mas tree project using the DirtyPCB boards:

The project features an USB capable PIC16F1549 µC with:

  • USB FS device
  • 48 MHz internal Oscillator
  • 2 PWM modules
  • 10-bit ADC with Voltage Reference
  • Integrated Temperature Indicator Module

The LEDs are connected to the 2 PWM outputs via N-mos drivers. A Potentiometer is connected to one ADC channel for controlling the brightness of the LEDs or possibly the speed or variation of animations. Different modes of the X-mass tree can be switched by pressing a push button.

Project info at DebuggingLab homepage.

Via the contact form.

Next Page »« Previous Page

Recent Comments