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29 Nov 2014


Limpkin has build a development board for the ESP8266-03:

The ESP8266 modules come with a pre-loaded firmware that will accept some commands through their UART interface (connect to wifi, open udp socket, send data to this IP…). Moreover, since Espressif recently released their SDK you can now load your own custom programs using the existing bootloader. To launch this bootloader you just have to connect some IOs to GND in a specific order.
However, anyone wanting to develop a project involving dozens of Wifi nodes has to start from somewhere, eg make a prototype of their future platform. That is why I developed this development board, so the prototyping stage is as simple as possible.
As you can see in the picture below the dev board breaks out all the ESP8266-03 IOs, includes a 3.3V LDO, a USB to UART converter, some logic and a button to automatically start the bootloader.

A development board for the ESP8266-03 – [Link]

28 Nov 2014


Here is another piece of laboratory equipment – LC meter. This type of meter, especially L meter is hard to find in cheap commercial multimeters.

Schematic of this one came from this web page: https://sites.google.com/site/vk3bhr/home/index2-html

It uses PIC microcontroller 16F628A, and because I recently acquired a PIC programmer, I decided to test it with this project. Following the above link you will find the original schematic, PCB, source and HEX files for programing the microcontroller and detailed description.

Simple PIC LC meter – [Link]

28 Nov 2014


Raj @ embedded-lab.com shared his recent project. It’s a mcu controlled dice based on PIC mcu:

Tons of LED dice projects with different output forms have been published online. The most common output configuration in those projects is a 3-1-3 setup (two rows of three LEDs and one LED at in the middle) of seven LEDs, which simulates the actual patterns of dots found on the six faces of a traditional dice. When it is rolled, one or more LEDs are selectively turned on to display a random number between 1 to 6. This project is about a similar LED dice but with a slightly different output form. It uses 6 LEDs which are arranged in a circular pattern and are labeled 1 through 6. They create a chasing effect when the dice is rolled. The chasing effect slows down gradually, and eventually stops at one of the six LEDs. The rolling is done by a gentle shaking of the dice horizontally. The LED dice is powered with a 3V coin cell battery and uses PIC12LF1822 microcontroller to generate a random number and drive the output LEDs.

MCU running LED dice – [Link]

27 Nov 2014



RGB LED disco light is a simple project designed around PIC16F72 microcontroller.

This firmware is a RGB driver, as name suggests it is used to derive or light red, green and blue LEDs in particular fashion. Its main feature is the pattern shown on LEDs. It is quite difficult to describe pattern in words but we want to specify that first it will derive red then green then blue three times and then a particular pattern is shown on LEDs and again the three LEDs light.

RGB LED Disco Lights – [Link]


25 Nov 2014


This project provides some lighting effect by the blinking pattern of the bulbs connected at its output. Up to 8 Bulbs can be connected in between connector CN2 to CN9 and AC power to control them should be connected at Connector CN10. DC Power should be applied at Connector CN11 in accordance with the polarity marked on this connector. Care should be taken while using this it as it contains Main Power on the board.

Microcontroller based running light controller – [Link]

22 Nov 2014

Interfacing a cheap phone camera module to a PIC32 microcontroller – [Link]

22 Nov 2014


Here’s an automatic watering system using AVR from Gadgetronicx:

Primitive irrigation systems possess many drawbacks as it fails to conserve water and human energy. So introducing Automation in it can help us to overcome these drawbacks and pave way to conserve water. This can be done with a simple Soil moisture sensor and a Microcontroller, AVR in our case. You can try out this system to automate watering the plants in your home at affordable cost.


Automatic plant watering system using AVR(Atmega16) Microcontroller – [Link]

17 Nov 2014


An app note (PDF!) from Renesas on how to minimize power consumption when sensing switch inputs

A switch input is one of the simplest interfaces to an MCU. However, when very low power designs are needed the pullup or pulldown resistor for the switch can draw a significant current. If the switch input is a momentary switch the current flow is very short so it is rarely significant. However, if the switch input is a door switch or level sensing switch
or any other switch which may remain in the active state for a relatively long time the energy used must be considered
Most of the discussion that follows gives examples for pull-up devices with the switches, the same principles apply for pull-down components. Also all the discussions assume that the EVdd = Vdd (all ports powered from the same supply voltage).


Minimizing power consumption when sensing switch inputs – [Link]

15 Nov 2014


by Matt Richardson @ makezine.com:

Spark has improved and expanded their product line with the Photon wi-fi development board and a pair of new wireless modules for custom circuit boards. The Photon improves on the popular Spark Core microcontroller by adding 802.11n wi-fi connectivity, SoftAP for provisioning, more memory, and a faster ARM Cortex M3 processor. Like the Core, it sits right into a standard breadboard for easy prototyping. And best of all, it can be had for $19.

Photon – A Wi-fi Microcontroller for $19 – [Link]

10 Nov 2014


New „hardwired“ TCP/IP chip from company Wiznet resists attacks, it´s fast and consumes only a minimum energy and host MCU resources.

TCP/IP solutions from company Wiznet are known by its resistance resulting already from their principle . all the solution is hardware-based, thus it´s not possible to change a basic functionality of a device (flooding, spoofing, …). W5500 outstands by its “modesty” – it only requires a few GPIO pins of a host MCU – thanks to a high speed SPI interface (up to 80 MHz) and it also has a very low power consumption. A result of a small consumption is, that the chip heats up to approx. 40´C at a common operation, in contrast to other similar chips, which usually have 60-70´C at operation. This naturally means a higher reliability, possibility of a more dense placing of components and elimination of problems with overheating of a device built-in into a small enclosure.

Energy saving is also enhanced by Power Down and Wake-on-LAN (over UDP) modes. Single 3,3V are enough for power supply, while inputs are 5V tolerant. Status is indicated on LED outputs (full/half duplex, link speed, active) and the chip contains a built-in OS Linux (kernel 2.4.xx, 2.6.xx, 3.1,xx) & RTOS driver.

In our offer can be found the W5500 chip itself W5500-EVB evaluation board, as well as a ready-made module WIZ550S2E-TTL or WIZ550io. Examples of a real usage of Wiznet chips can be found in the document Wiznet application reference.

W5500 will resist hackers attack and save energy – [Link]





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