Looking for a small, cheap LCD for a possibly large-scale project, I decided that the 2.5″ QVGA TFT in the Ipod Video may be worth a look, as cheap clones of it are available from Hong Kong via Ebay.. Not finding any info on this unit on the net, I decided to investigate myself, & bought a faulty ipod on Ebay to dissect. The hard disk was dead, but I could get it into service test mode, which was all I needed to fiddle with the display to see how it was driven. This display should be drivable from most microcontrollers ( *I’ve not yet verfied that it can do 3.3v I/O. If not, you’ll need alot of resistors, or a level shifter), however the 16 bit data bus will need rather alot of I/O pins. If you’re running from something like a NXP LPC2xxx ARM processor, this may not be a big deal, and you may want the speed of the 16 bit bus.
iPod LCD Hack - [Link]
If my flashlight business card isn’t advanced enough for you, then how about one with a full graphical display on it that can be customised for a number of scrolling messages? This one could be made in quantity for about a $5 parts cost, and it is only a little bit more expensive if you are making just a few. I won’t kid you that this is an easy design to make – don’t try it unless you have very good soldering skills and some experience in electronics. Some of the components here are smaller than grains of rice, so it would be useful to have good eyesight as well! Like the flashlight card, it is more of a proof of concept than something you can churn out in quantity, but it might at least give you an idea of what can be achieved, and where business cards might be in just a few years time.
Dot Matrix Business Card – [Link]
Next-generation laptops won’t have hard drives. Instead, they’ll use flash memory—the same found in camera memory cards and iPhones. Flash-based drives are thinner, faster and nearly indestructible.
Like a traditional hard drive, a flash-based drive stores information in the computer-readable language of 0s and 1s. But instead of writing data by flipping magnetic poles on a spinning disk, flash memory just shuttles electrons around on a stamp-size microchip.
How It Works: Solid-State Storage - [Link]
If you’ve ever bent the pin on a microcontroller while trying to insert it into a DIP programming socket, you’re not alone. Aligning those crazy pins again and again, while intermittently prying them out of the programming socket and then inserting your freshly burned chip into a target circuit, can lead to a long and sleepless night. Luckily, there is a cure for the bent pin nightmare. And this prescription costs less than $35.
A Rapid AVR Prototype Programmer - [Link]
The EMF from pyranometer is 14uV/Wm-2. For 1000W/m-2, the output EMF will be .0014V. The PIC ADC is +5VFS, thus the gain of the DC amplifier is adjusted to 357. The noninverting DC amplifier is built with TI TLV2451. It was used to amplify an EMF signal from pyranometer to approx. +5V for 1000W/m-2. RD5 and RD6 are two bits PORTD. It used for software generated I2C bus. The RTC chip, DS1307 is connected to the I2C bus with SDA and SCLK signals. The coin Lithium battery powers the RTC chip when main power is turned off. Time setting is done by shorting the ADC channel 1 (thermistor) when power up the board.
Solar Recorder V2.0 - [Link]
This page describes a very low cost logic analyser using an 18F2525 PIC microprocessor and a PC. The PIC is used as a hardware capture device which monitors the datalines and records all changes. The buffering, triggering, interpretation and display is handled by a PC program running under Windows. The hardware cost will vary between €15 (RS232 version) and € 30 (USB version). The analyser can operate in a “Fast Sampling” mode, in which the data is sampled into an internal 1K buffer on the PIC and in “Normal Sampling” or “Continious Sampling ” mode in which all data changes are offloaded to the PC in real time and arbritary sampling buffer size is available.
PicLA: a very low cost Logic Analyser - [Link]
This looks like a nice developmental board for programming an ATmega8. The website has some sample programs and the Eagle files so you can make your own. [via]
I made the board using my photo etching technique, and as you can see the results are great. The dev board has 17 I/O lines that are connected to a 17 pin header. On the board there is a 2 color LED tied to PortC pin 1 and 2. On PortC pin 0 there is a PNP transistor that controls the output for a buzzer.
ATmega8 Development Board – [Link]
The microsat movement is alive and well today, and you can even buy a nifty CubeSat Kit, built around the MSP430 chipset. Seems like buying a kit would take a bunch of the fun out of it, but I guess a lot depends on what sort of “fun” you’re after. It also costs $6,000, but it is, after all, a spacecraft. [via]
Microsatellite kits – [Link]
Nowadays, USB is the most popular connection connection between PC and peripherals such as AVR programmers, printers, scanners etc. For that reason I had to modify my old serial AVR In-System-Programmer (ISP) to work with USB connection. You can say, “use a USB to Serial adaptor to connect your AVR ISP with your PC”. Yes, that could be a solution but it would cost me more money than a singe FT232BM chip because I had to include an USB to RS232 adaptor and a power supply for my programmer.
USB AVR In-System-Programmer - [Link]
BattMan II is a computer controlled battery manager, intended for typical rechargeable batteries used by R/C and electronics hobbyists, as well as various consumer product batteries. The project-write up is extremely detailed with hardware schematics & source code ready for download.
Computer Controlled Battery Manager - [Link]