Programming in C can be a daunting task for a beginner, especially when new programming languages like Python make it so easy to accomplish basic tasks. Taking input from the user, and displaying data back to the user in a human readable format is one of those things in C that can be tricky if you haven’t done it before. This idea of displaying and reading data in human readable formats becomes especially important in embedded electronics since there often many different ways in which data is represented to the user (over LCDs, or through serial ports). Many times we even use these common input output ideas to transfer data from microcontrollers to PC computer programs, or between different embedded systems. Luckily, the standard C programming library provides the printf and scanf family of functions that can be used to easliy turn data into human readable strings, or strings into common data structures. In this tutorial, we go over the basics of the printf and scanf functions, and how they are commonly used. We include an easy to follow tutorial that applies to both microcontroller programming, as well as regular computer programming, as well as source code and plenty of examples.
C Programming: The printf and scanf Family of Functions - [Link]
Here is a cool java applet written to help find valid values for 5% and 10% tolerance resistors. Quick clicks to common values and a clickable table of standard values in included. The tool even shows you the resistor code to make ordering parts easier.
Online Resistor Color Code Tool - [Link]
CommSniffer is a valuable tool for technicians, engineers and software developers designing/debugging serial port related projects, it is an advanced COM/RS232 Serial port data viewer / analyzer. View and send (all 256) ASCII/Binary data. Main features include:
- Supports COM1 to COM16.
- Baud rates from 110 to 115200.
- Export transactions session to an ASCII file.
- Designed for ease of use.
- Ultra fast display rate.
- Runs in Windows 9X/2000/XP.
- Capture/send data to/from serial port.
- Built in data converter ASCII/Binary/Hex.
- Built in search.
CommSniffer: COM/RS232 port data viewer – [Link]
Virtual Serial Port Driver allows users to create additional serial ports in a system. Virtual serial ports are connected into pairs via virtual null-modem cable, creating reliable serial port connection. Virtual serial ports work and behave exactly like real ones and application communicating with virtual ports will never get the difference.
Virtual Serial Port Driver – [Link]
This java applet is an electronic circuit simulator. When the applet starts up you will see a simple LRC circuit. The green color indicates positive voltage. The gray color indicates ground. A red color indicates negative voltage. The moving yellow dots indicate current.
To turn a switch on or off, just click on it. If you move the mouse over any component of the circuit, you will see a short description of that component and its current state in the lower right corner of the window. To modify a component, move the mouse over it, click the right mouse button (or control-click if you have a Mac) and select “Edit”.
Java electronic circuit simulator – [Link]
WinCircuit is a software of realization of drawing of printed circuit in single or double layers. Principal qualities are the facility of use and the sight in pseudo 3D which gets a vision of the circuit close to reality. At the time of the installation, you have the choice between three languages, English, Spanish or French. WinCircuit is available in version of free evaluation. [via]
WinCircuit (version 2008) - [Link]
Front Panel Designer is a design and ordering program which can be downloaded free from the Internet or provided on CD by Front Panel Express. Customer files are converted into a milling and engraving program at Front Panel Express and the front panels are manufactured using CNC technology. [via]
Front Panel Designer – [Link]
Eagle users, in case you haven’t heard: Cadsoft released version 5 of their popular PCB layout software – and with it a lot of very welcome changes. To name just a few – [via]
- When clicking with the right mouse button on an object in an editor window, a context specific popup menu is now displayed from which commands that apply to this object can be selected.
- The Mac OS X version of EAGLE no longer requires an X11 server, and comes as a “Universal Binary” that runs on PPC and Intel Macs.
- In a library, devices can now have “attributes”, which are arbitrary user definable “name/value” pairs. Attributes are related to the individual “technology” variants of a device.
- Various buttons in the editor window now have a popup menu that contains a list of recently used items or user defined aliases (depending on the button type). These buttons are marked with a small black arrow at the bottom right corner of their icon.
Eagle PCB software gets an overhaul - [Link]
Program to calculate the resistance at a LM317 / LM117.
LM317 Calculator – [Link]
PCB Wizard 3 is a powerful package for designing single-sided and double-sided printed circuit boards (PCBs). It provides a comprehensive range of tools covering all the traditional steps in PCB production, including schematic drawing, schematic capture, component placement, automatic routing, Bill of Materials reporting and file generation for manufacturing. In addition, PCB Wizard 3 offers a wealth of clever new features that do away with the steep learning curve normally associated with PCB packages. [via]
PCB Wizard 3 - [Link]