Contactless Infrared Thermometer (Pyrometer) using MLX90614 and MSP430

photo3 has build a contactless thermometer based on MLX90614 sensor and MSP430 mcu.

The device is designed for contactless measuring and monitoring temperature of objects. It is built on Melexis MLX90614 sensor and can measure temperatures in the range from -70°C to +380°C with 0.5°C accuracy and 0.01°C resolution. The period of measurements can be set in the menu from 1 sec to 1 min in 10 sec increments. It is also possible to record the temp measurements and upload them to a computer via the serial interface through X1 and an external level converter.

Contactless Infrared Thermometer (Pyrometer) using MLX90614 and MSP430 – [Link]

4 Digit Thermometer using DS18B20 and PIC16F628A

led_thermo has a PIC16F628A based thermometer using DS18B20 digital sensor.

Counter based on PIC16F628A . Included C code and circuit diagram. Displays -55 to 125 centigrade. The temperature is read every 15 seconds, can be changed in the code. The math is using integers to calculate the degrees and the tenths of degrees are calculated separately.
The 7 segment LED is common cathode, 4 separate digits can be used with segments a to g linked.

4 Digit Thermometer using DS18B20 and PIC16F628A – [Link]

Macbook charger teardown


Ken Shirriff @ has a detailed teardown of a macbook charger explaining the various components used in it:

Have you ever wondered what’s inside your Macbook’s charger? There’s a lot more circuitry crammed into the compact power adapter than you’d expect, including a microprocessor. This charger teardown looks at the numerous components in the charger and explains how they work together to power your laptop.

Macbook charger teardown – [Link]

Headlight Modulator for Motorcycle


William Dudley @ has designed a motorcycle headlight modulator based on 555 timer IC and photoresistor. A headlight modulator will make the headlight to pulse during the day and be steady at night. He writes:

Unhappy with a headlight modulator I purchased, I decided to make my own. Even though it would be a trivial programming project to use an Arduino Teensy or similar to do this, I decided to do it the “old fashioned” way, using a 555 timer. The 555 is a clever chip; not only will it supply the oscillator for the flashing effect, it has a reset pin that can be used to force the output to a known state (low) when (other circuitry tells it that) it’s dark outside.

Headlight Modulator for Motorcycle – [Link]


Raspberry Pi Zero Footprint And Dimensions



Bertus Kruger @ has tipped us with an image showing the Raspberry Pi Zero footprint and dimensions. Specs are:

  • Dimensions : 65 mm by 30 mm
  • 4 mounting holes for M2.5 screws
  • Mini-HDMI
  • Two Micro USB ports – One OTG USB and One Power USB
  • One Micro SD card reader

Raspberry Pi Zero Footprint And Dimensions – [Link]

LCD clock with 4″ display

p1 has build a big LCD clock based on MSP430 mcu and DS3231 RTC clock chip. They write:

The clock is built on a 4″ (101 mm) LCD displays OD-103 manufactured by Orient Display. The LCD provides high contrast of digits and easy reading from a large distance. The unit runs on batteries and can also be powered from mains. Here is how it looks under direct sun.

The time keeping is provided by DS3231 RTC chip with an integrated high accuracy (± 5ppm) MEMS crystal. This makes PCB design very simple, as one does not need to take care on special traces design around the crystal.

LCD clock with 4″ display – [Link]

Raspberry Pi Zero: the $5 computer



Raspberry Pi has announced a really cheap micro computer priced at only 5$. You can even get it for free with the December issue of MagPi magazine. Raspberry Pi  Zero runs Raspbian and main features are:

  • A Broadcom BCM2835 application processor
  • 1GHz ARM11 core (40% faster than Raspberry Pi 1)
  • 512MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM
  • A micro-SD card slot
  • A mini-HDMI socket for 1080p60 video output
  • Micro-USB sockets for data and power
  • An unpopulated 40-pin GPIO header
  • Identical pinout to Model A+/B+/2B
  • An unpopulated composite video header
  • Our smallest ever form factor, at 65mm x 30mm x 5mm

Raspberry Pi Zero: the $5 computer – [Link]

100MHZ Frequency Counter with PIC16F628A


This project shows how to build a very simple yet very useful tool that every DIY enthusiast should have in his lab: a 100MHz+ frequency counter.

The schematic is fairly simple and straightforward and uses a PIC16F628A microcontroller for measuring frequency and a high speed comparator for signal amplification and conditioning.

The microcontroller uses its internal 4MHz oscillator for the CPU clock. Timer1 uses an external crystal resonator (watch crystal) with 32768Hz frequency for setting the 1 second time base.

Timer0 is used to count the input signal at pin RA4.

100MHZ Frequency Counter with PIC16F628A – [Link] – Electronic parts inventory management software for makers

We stumbled upon which offers a free service for parts inventory management for both hobbyists and professionals.

It’s an application that allows you to keep track of your electronic components. Ever wondered where that chip was? Ever ordered components only to discover later that you already have them? PartsBox allows you to easily manage parts inventory. – Electronic parts inventory management software for makers – [Link]

Wafer pooling: low-cost prototyping service for ICs

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AMS is providing a fast and cost effective IC prototyping service. by Clemens Valens @

The Full Service Foundry division of ams AG announced its fast and cost-efficient IC prototyping service, known as Multi-Project Wafer (MPW) or shuttle run. The prototyping service combines several designs from different customers onto a single wafer to offer significant cost advantages as the costs for wafers and masks are shared among a number of different participants.

Wafer pooling: low-cost prototyping service for ICs – [Link]