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20 Jan 2008


PIC PAL TV is a PIC18 based Software Video Processor allowing you to display and overlay graphics and text onto a video source. Looks like it would be really handy for overlaying GPS information or even creating a homebrew games console…

It uses a PIC clocked at 32 Mhz with a 8 Mhz crystal to achieve the horizontal synchronization timing of the PAL system. It is able to generate a 625 line interlaced PAL video signal, with 248 vertical lines. The software is coded in Assembly and C with full sources avaliable from Bruno’s website. [via]

Pic Pal TV – DIY B&W Video Processor – [Link]

20 Jan 2008



The idea of this project was to build an automatic control for mains heating for the house. The switch turns on the heating in the morning at predefined time and switches off at night. Every weekday can be set at different time points. There can be up to 256 programmable time points and up to 8 output lines that can be connected to relays. Times are programmed via RS232 interface using a command line.

Probably one of most interesting things that differs this project from other is that device synchronizes its time by using DFC77 radio transmissions. So always time is accurate and all daylight settings are applied automatically. DCF77 receiver sends pulse signals directly to PIC microcontroller in desired intervals that must be decoded and applied to current settings. Source code is developed in C and is available for download. [via]

Time switch controller with DCF update – [Link]

19 Jan 2008


KICAD is free and open source engineering design software, including schematic capture and PCB layout tools. There is even a plug-in that does 3D modeling of your PCB. Versions for Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX are available From what I can tell after playing with it a short time, it is complete and well done. I can not see why KICAD would not become the standard tool for open source hardware design efforts.

KICAD Free and Open Source EDA Tool – [Link]

19 Jan 2008


Electronics-Lab blog recently mentioned a Surface Mount Soldering Guide available at Curious Inventor. This guide is very good and includes video demonstrations of soldering many common surface mount parts. Several methods are demonstrated to deal with various package types. If you have been shying away from SMT parts take a look at this guide.

Surface Mount Soldering Aids – [Link]

19 Jan 2008


Schematic is made of few components where Video output is combined of two resistors that form simple DAC compliant for TV video 75Ω input. Control part consist of two potentiometers for positioning on screen and trigger button. Schematic is assembled on a prototype board – so you can really amaze your friends by connecting this video game system and start playing. Source code works for PAL625 system and can be compiled with gpasm compiler. Or simply download precompiled hex file.

This is very simple and fun project with very few external components. All PONG game is controlled and run by 8 pin PIC12F675 microcontroller that is clocked with 4MHz internal clock generator. [via]

Tiny PIC12F675 pong video game – [Link]

19 Jan 2008


Dave sent in his binary clock he turned in to an old hard drive, he writes –

In about April of 2004 I started this binary clock project which was inspired by the Think Geek binary clock. I put the project on hold a number of times and finally finished it around October of 2003. When I started the project the TG clock was only available with red LEDs, and while it was definitely pretty cool, there were a number of things about it that bothered me. Obviously it needed blue LEDs, which are all the rage for the modern appliances. It also displays the time in 6 binary registers, one each for the 6 decimal digits of a digital clock. While this arrangement generates some pretty gnarly patterns, and is probably why it was chosen, it seemed very un-geekish to me. Lastly, and most importantly, since one of the guys I work with already had a red TG binary clock on his desk, if I was to have one, it couldn’t be the same design, and it would have to somehow out-geek that other clock.

Clearly I would have to create my own binary clock from scratch to meet my requirements. As the only ‘crossover geek’ in the office (programming and hobby-level digital electronics), I could meet the primary goal of out-geeking the existing clock with my own AVR microcontroller based design. [via]

DIY Binary clock project & binary clock roundup! – [Link]

18 Jan 2008


frickelkram writes:

This instructable describes how to mount a VU meter into a case of an old cd-rom drive and then put it into your pc.
On eBay I bought a bunch of VU meters based on VFD displays build in Russia. The displays where rather cheap and looked nice. I thought I’d give it a try.

When the vu meters arrived I realized that on all devices there was one transistor missing. To make them work again you need to “repair” the vu meter … don’t panic you can easily solder a substitute transistor onto the pcb.

Building a VU meter for you multimedia PC – [Link]

18 Jan 2008


Wow, superhuman vision, maybe –

Movie characters from the Terminator to the Bionic Woman use bionic eyes to zoom in on far-off scenes, have useful facts pop into their field of view, or create virtual crosshairs. Off the screen, virtual displays have been proposed for more practical purposes — visual aids to help vision-impaired people, holographic driving control panels and even as a way to surf the Web on the go.

The device to make this happen may be familiar. Engineers at the University of Washington have for the first time used manufacturing techniques at microscopic scales to combine a flexible, biologically safe contact lens with an imprinted electronic circuit and lights. [via]

Contact lenses with circuits – [Link]

18 Jan 2008


tymm writes:

Arduino boards are great for prototyping. However they get rather expensive when you have multiple concurrent projects or need lots of controller boards for a larger project. There are some great, cheaper alternatives (Boarduino, Freeduino) but the costs still add up when you need many of them.

This is a way, after about $25-$30 initial investment, to build sub-$10 Arduino-compatible boards with very little extra time investment on each.

uDuino: Very Low Cost Arduino Compatible Development Board – [Link]

18 Jan 2008


The Faucet Buddy concept is a tiny chrome gadget which can be latched onto your existing sink fixtures, letting you know just exactly how hot (or cold) water flowing from your tap is. In addition, it helps nibble at your conscience by letting you know if you’re using more water than you actually should. Designed by Baek Uyeol, these should be made mandatory in homes everywhere. [via]

Keep track of your water usage and temperature – [Link]





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