If you’re serious about moving things to the next level with electronics, an oscilloscope is one of the best investments you can make to debug and analyze circuits or even your software. You can use it to capture, visualize and analyze the relationship between time and voltage, accurately measuring the delays between pin state changes, visualizing the rise and fall times of signals, etc.
Unfortunately, the learning curve can be a bit steep at first and even on relatively basic models there are still a lot of switches and knobs to figure out. Tektronix has made getting over the initial bump in the road a lot easier, though, with their wonderfully accessible “Introduction to Oscilloscopes: Lab Experiment“. It’s based on their own scopes (duh), but the information is common to any traditional scope out there, and they do a great job of walking you through the fundamentals.
Well worth a read if you’re considering an oscilliscope or if you’re wondering what you can do with one if you did make the investment. For further information you may also want to look at Tek’s XYZs of Oscilloscopes Primer, though you need to register to access this document.
Introduction to Oscilloscopes - [Link]
Will O’Brien developed this project allowing him to remotely start his car via an SMS sent to a jailbroken iPhone. The additional hardware involved is an Arduino, iPhone breakout board such as the PodBreakout Mini, 4x 10k resistors, 1x TIP120 and a 5 volt switching supply cell charger.
All the details, including source code and schematic are available on Will’s Biobug website
DIY iPhone remote automotive ignition - [Link]
The Scoreboard project is now finished and working!
The idea of this project is pretty simple: control a ping-pong electronic scoreboard from an Android bluetooth-enabled device. To do this, I used an ATtiny45 which main function is to display the current scores in a VGA monitor while reading from a bluetooth module UART interface waiting for “commands” that will tell it what to display. The Android device sends the commands via bluetooth, running an application specially designed for this project.
As usual, the whole project is open source, including schematics, AVR firmware and the Android application.
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. [via]
When the door gets opened it activates, powers up the second switch via PB3 and waits for the door to be closed again checking PB1 level. It then checks the lock status and keeps beeping until you lock the door (PB4 level).
DIY door lock reminder - [Link]
Internet of things becomes more and more interesting. But what does Internet of Things really mean? The answer is simple: more connected devices such ad TV, DVD playes, cars and, of course, smartphones and tablets.
With Flyport, Internet of Things is more closer to you! Why?! Well, because, with Flyport, the wifi programmable module, you can now interface to the cloud services – ThingSpeak.
ThiDIY gives access to the ThingSpeak Services. ThingSpeak allows to draw online charts, to store and recall values and to use specific APIs to work with Twitter, or to send HTTP requests directly from the ThingSpeak servers.You can create private or public channels. Every channel can store up to 8 fields (the values) and creates charts with those fields. Every channel has a “Channel ID”, a “Name”, a “Write API Key” and a “Description”. The Write API Key is the most important information of the channel, since it allows to upload or download the field data.We created a public channel to share with you the results of this Application. You can also use the private channels to respect the user privac
This DIY gives access to the ThingSpeak Services. ThingSpeak allows to draw online charts, to store and recall values and to use specific APIs to work with Twitter, or to send HTTP requests directly from the ThingSpeak servers.
You can create private or public channels. Every channel can store up to 8 fields (the values) and creates charts with those fields. Every channel has a “Channel ID”, a “Name”, a “Write API Key” and a “Description”. The Write API Key is the most important information of the channel, since it allows to upload or download the field data.
We created a public channel to share with you the results of this Application. You can also use the private channels to respect the user privacy.
You can download for free the Application Note to interface by yourself Flyport to cloud service
How to interface Flyport to cloud services - [Link]
Driving 595 Shift Registers. Mike writes in –
Thanks for the ATmega32U4 Breakout Board and TPIC6B595 chip. They are super! I am using them to learn basics. I always write a blog entry about what I learn. This way I am forced to learn the details and remember things better. Currently learning about shift registers and SPI.
Driving 595 Shift Registers - [Link]
Monolithic component DVIULC6-4SC6 for an ESD protection of high speed signals is a guarantee of a high reliability and a long lifetime of devices, especially in an industrial environment.
You may have already had a device, which stopped functioning without an apparent cause, or even worse – it started functioning with unaccountable dropouts. The reason may have be very probably a damage by an electrostatic energy. Consequences of such a damage are always unpleasant and often hard to detect. In the most of cases it would be sufficient, if the device contained components of an ESD protection. Price of these components is a fraction of the price in comparison to potential damages, which an ESD (electrostatic discharge) can cause. For an efficient protection against a static energy it is usually necessary to meet two requirements: to use suitable protective components and also to carefully design a PCB with minimalization of parasitic inductancies.
Advantages / Features:
- ESD protection of 4 lines
- complies with IEC61000-4-2 level 4
- able to protect a power line (Vbus)
- ultra-low capacitancy 0.6pF/865 MHz
- high data integrity, usable up to 1.65Gbit/sec
- fast response
- SOT23-6L SMT package
- higher reliability thanks to a monolithic integration
DVIULC6-4SC6 is a modern component from ST Microelectronics intended for an ESD protection of a wide variety of high-speed lines like DVI, HDMI, IEEE1394, USB, ethernet, video lines and SIM cards in communication devices. In a miniature SOT23-6L SMT package it is able to protect 4 independent signals and also to protect power supply (Vbus/GND) thanks to an integrated transil. With an ultra-low 0.6 pF capacitance and an excellent capacitance matching to gnd, as well as between lines, ensures high level of signal integrity and enables troublefree protection of pair signals without asymmetric distortion up to 1.65 Gbit/sec speeds. DVIULC6-4SC6 represents an integrated monolithic solution with a high reliability, ensuring compliancy with existing ESD standards on the device level, hence greater immunity at a system level.
Detailed description will provide you the DVIULC6-4SC6 datasheet.
DVi, HDMi, USB, ethernet … they all need an ESD protection - [Link]
Imagine if the next coat of paint you put on the outside of your home generates electricity from light—electricity that can be used to power the appliances and equipment on the inside.
A team of researchers at the University of Notre Dame has made a major advance toward this vision by creating an inexpensive “solar paint” that uses semiconducting nanoparticles to produce energy.
“We want to do something transformative, to move beyond current silicon-based solar technology,” says Prashant Kamat, John A. Zahm Professor of Science in Chemistry and Biochemistry and an investigator in Notre Dame’s Center for Nano Science and Technology (NDnano), who leads the research.
“By incorporating power-producing nanoparticles, called quantum dots, into a spreadable compound, we’ve made a one-coat solar paint that can be applied to any conductive surface without special equipment.” [via]
Nanoparticle paint generates electricity - [Link]
The Audrey Braille Display – LIVE! @ Utopia Mechanicus. David writes – [via]
It’s taken far longer than I wanted, but I am finally looking at a finished prototype for the Audrey Braille Display. Made of 3mm Acrylic laser-cut pieces (via the Victoria Makerspace laser cutter), it uses two stepper motors, connects to an Arduino (and LadyAda Motor Driver board), and displays 5 characters.
The Audrey Braille Display - [Link]