ESP8266 is an 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi module which became very popular recently because of its capabilities and ease of use and integration. Many electronics hobbyists are building projects on ESP8266 and they generally need to connect the module to their PC or a microcontroller. Some interfacing problems arise at this point.
In this project, we are building an ESP8266 Development Board which lets the user make connection to ESP8266 from a PIC microcontroller and their PC. The board also provides all the needs to be used as microcontroller peripherals such as LCD display, pusbuttons, indicator LEDs and GPIO extension. The PC connection is done by the help of FT232RL USB-UART converter over a Mini-USB connector. Since the PIC microcontroller used is a 5V chip, 5V-3.3V bi-directional level converter circuits are also included on the board.
DIY ESP8266 Development Board - [Link]
by Jesus Echavarria :
Hi all! With a bit of delay, here’s my last work, a PICnano breadboard based on the PIC18F2550 microcontroller. I have in mind a new project and I want to use an small board, like the Arduino Nano board. This new project is battery powered (3,7V Li-Ion battery). After checking the schematics of the Arduino Nano, I see that the microcontroler is powered at 5V. Of course, I can unmount the linear regulator (U3) that is on the board, and bypass the VIN to the microcontroller power supply. But I think it’s funny try to develop a new module when you’ve access to the microcontroller power supply! Also, I want to work with PIC microcontrollers after many years, so here’s what I design!
PICnano breadboard based on PIC18F2550 - [Link]
Joe @ hobbyelectronics.net:
Here you will find complete construction details including circuit diagrams, PCB layouts and PIC firmware (and the source code). The code was written in Proton PIC BASIC but the good news is that there is now a free version of this compiler available for download; AMICUS18.
PIC Digital Thermometer & Clock - [Link]
by Beke András @ bekeband.hu:
An black and white monitor needs to improve and repair from about 1990-th. The repair of device was not difficult but it caused troubles for the testing and setting of the monitor. We have a pattern TV generator, but this instrument are produce on the composite video signal for monitor. Unfortunately this monitor is demand not compozite signal instead of horizontal sync, vertical sync, and lightning signal. (video signal). Whereas the monitor host machine is not available – in fact I don”t know exactly what kind of equipment, perhaps a kind of mass spectrometer or something -, we need necessary a appropriate video signal source.
Video generator with PIC - [Link]
by Benabadji Noureddine @ edn.com:
Embedded systems frequently use HD44780-type LCD displays as it is considered the most popular alphanumeric display controller. The interface comprises at least 14 pins: eight for data, three for control (EN, WR, RS), two for power supply (Vdd, Vss), and one for contrast (Vre). Configured in 8-bit mode, it requires at least 10 I/O lines (D0..D7, EN, RS). Configured in 4-bit mode, it requires at least six I/O lines (D4..D7, EN, RS). This last case seems usable when using an 8-pin PICmicro. However, 8-pin PICmicros have one pin as an input-only pin.
One wire brings power & data to LCD module - [Link]
These days I was thinking about a better PIC programmer that can work with Microchip MPLAB IDE software so that I can write my own programs or edit someone else’s programs. I found that there are numerous versions of the famous Microchip PICkit 2 on the web.
Some of them are using the original schematic published by Microchip and some are lite versions – with different parts or simplified schematics. None of them satisfied my requirements. So I got the original schematic, removed the memory chips and the input ICSP connector (which I didn’t plan to use anyway) and made a new single sided PCB. I used mostly SMD parts.
Original PICKIT-2 microcontroller programmer - [Link]
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]
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]
by Benabadji Noureddine @ edn.com:
Several previously published Design Ideas and appnotes [1-4] show how to use many pushbuttons with a minimum number of inputs. They require an RC circuit where the timing can be measured to identify which pushbutton has been pressed, or an ADC input, with resistors forming a divider for each pushbutton pressed.
The following Design Idea shows another simple way to use up to 15 pushbuttons with only one I/O. The microcontroller chosen must contain an internal comparator with selectable values for the internal voltage reference VREF.
Monitor 15 contacts with one PIC input - [Link]
With the Bolymin BE635 graphic embedded module it´s possible to focus only on software development – hardware is done.
A possibility to interactively adjust various parameters and at the same time to see a “result” of our settings (for example a status of a given device) considerably increases safety and reliability in various industry sectors. That´s probably one of reasons why a graphic output becomes a standard even in devices, where they were recently used very rarely so far.
From the development point of view, one of the key deciding factors is a platform, on which a given system is built (processor, OS).
PIC32 family certainly belongs to popular microcontrollers (32 bit RISC CPU), that´s why the new graphic embedded module Bolymin BE635 addresses all, who know PIC32, or they want to become familiar with it. For everyone, who´ve ever worked with PIC32 family, a development of application will be much easier with BE635, as practically all necessary hardware is on one board and at the same time we get a support in a form of various drivers for communication as well as graphic output. For programming purposes a new Microchip PICkit3 is suitable and SW development can be done in the known environment Microchip MPLAB IDE. BE635 is designed as a universal module, where only a designer decides, how much computing power of a processor will use on which activity (displaying, data processing, external HW control, communication, …), that´s why possibilities of its usage are really very wide.
Compact module (93x67x15mm) with a 3,5“ TFT LCD display (320x240px) is equipped sufficiently, to become attractive. For example:
- built-in 512kB ISP flash/ 64 kB SRAM/ 16 kB EEPROM
- support of microSD
- 1x RS232, 1x SPI, 1x I2C
- selectable 1x RS232/422/485/USB (depending on a version)
- 1x 10bit ADC, 12x GPIO
- libraries for successful programming, drivers for interfaces and a touch panel
BE635 is available in 4 versions, differing by an additional RS232/485/422/USB port. Single supply 5V and easy mechanical assembly by means of a metal frame with mounting holes also belong to pluses of a new BE635. Soon, there will be available also other similar modules with the same functionality but with bigger displays, for example BE657 with a 5,7“ (640x480px) display, thus an application for BE635 will be usable for the BE657 alike.
Bolymin BE635 – for all PIC32 lovers - [Link]