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18 Oct 2008

I started with a PicKit1. After using it for a while I moved on to this PicKit 2 PIC Microcontroller programmer. I have always loved this programmer, having a USB, a button, a couple LEDs, a potentiometer and a seperate ICSP programmer unit. It is also very fast. But, like I’m sure many of you, I quickly out-grew my PicKit2 programmer. There just isn’t enough real-world stuff on it. So I decided to add some.

Modding the PicKit2 – [Link]

18 Oct 2008

Demo video of a R/C car running around Boston, controlled by an iPhone. Technical details and easy build-it-yourself instructions included

iPhone-Controlled R/C Car – [Link]

15 Oct 2008

The device presented here can be used to count events as well as to measure frequencies and times. Most of it is built from discrete HC (high speed CMOS) logic and to be honest, if I needed to build such a device again, I would not build it as presented here but integrate things into a CPLD or a microcontroller instead. However, it was instructive not to do so and maybe it is interesting for other people as well (for what reason ever).


  • Frequency measurement from 0.1Hz to ≥10MHz; gate times of 0.1, 1 and 10 seconds
  • Time measurement 0.001ms to 10000s (time clock 1MHz and 1kHz): measuring L/H time or 1, 10 or 100 complete pulses or time between input A and B transition
  • 5-digit LED display with display hold
  • Microcontroller-steered
  • CMOS-compatible Schmitt-trigger inputs with over- and under-voltage protection

Frequency Counter – [Link]

15 Oct 2008

This is a USB (universal serial bus) interface board which can be used to connect 8 (parallel) data lines to the USB. The interface comes with a small internal FIFO (384 byte Tx, 128 bytes Rx) and 4 handshake lines which make it suitable for interfacing microcontroller designs to the USB.

It can, also be used as simple 8bit IO when the so-called “bitbang mode” is enabled. Note. however, that in this mode, the bits will not come out in a constant bitrate but in chunks of 64 bytes with specified baud rate followed by a delay.

USB 8bit Interface Board – [Link]

15 Oct 2008

This project will turn your multimeter into a sensitive frequency counter with a wide counting range. You can also use this project to upgrade your old frequency counter and extend the range up to 2.5GHz. This project will describe a prescaler which will work up to 2.5GHz and with very high input sensitivity. The prescaler will divide the input frequency with either 1000 or 10.000.

Poor man’s counter – [Link]

15 Oct 2008

This photovore is based on SunEater_IV and uses a single 74HC14 to do all his “thinking.” Two “tiny pager motors” (found here) provide the muscle. Together with the SMT components, they allow SunEater_V to fit in a 3.5cm x 2.7cm x 2.5cm block, with just his wheels and feelers sticking out. He weighs less than 14 grams.

SunEater V – [Link]

15 Oct 2008

Learn how to build your own energy efficient LED light bulb. They typically last for 100,000 hours and emit no excess heat. You can save some serious cash every year on your electricity bill by switching all of your lights to LED bulbs. [via]

DIY Energy Efficient LED Light Bulbs – [Link]

14 Oct 2008

This simple design uses the 20 pin ATTiny2313 microcontroller to measure frequencies from 1Hz to over 2MHz. The frequency is displayed on a standard HD44780 16×2 LCD. A bright white text, blue backlit LCD is included with the kit. The device requires a regulated 5V power supply. [via]

FunCount Frequency Counter – [Link]

14 Oct 2008

Oscilloscope Tutorial Part 1 – video powered by Metacafe

Oscilloscopes are widely used for electrical testing because they display signal voltages as graphs. Today we’ve got three outstanding video tutorials that’ll tell you everything you ever need to know about oscilloscopes.

How to Use an Oscilloscope Tutorial – [Link]

14 Oct 2008

There are two major types of backlights for LCDs: LEDs, which stands for light emitting diode, or EL, which stands for electroluminescent. EL backlights tend to be more efficient and have more uniform lighting than LED ones, but they require some tricky circuitry to drive. If you’ve heard of Organic LED displays, or OLEDs, that’s basically an array of electroluminescent strips shunk down to the size of individual pixels.

Build a LCD Backlight – Electroluminescent Inverter – [Link]





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