How to Create Inverted Silkscreen in Cadsoft Eagle

If you’re one of EAGLE CAD fans, and you were wondering how some boards like Arduino boards have what’s called a negative silkscreen, hollow rectangles or shapes by text or logo, then you will learn how to do it with Ishaan’s video tutorial.

Arduino Board

Ishaan used a ULP called “negasilk.ulp” in his tutorial. It is written by Christian Bohrer, and it can be downloaded here.

We’ve tested  this trick in ElectronicsLab using these steps:

  1. Adding some texts on layer 41tRestrict.
  2. Drawing a rectangular polygon in 1Top layer with width 8 mil (according to Ishaan, this ULP accepts only this width), and don’t forget to hit ratsnest.
  3. Run negasilk.ulp.
  4. A script file is generated in the same directory of your .brd file, open it and make the following modification using any text editor (adding layer 21 line).
    Set Wire_Bend 2;
    LAYER 21;
    GRID MM;
  5. Finally, delete the unwanted polygon and text from layer 41 and layer 1.

You can see these steps in the following GIF(click to view):

steps to generate inverted silkscreen
Steps to Generate Inverted Silkscreen In Eagle CAD

 


                                                

How to interface OLED 0.96inch LCD with Arduino

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This tutorial is going to teach you the basics on using OLED 0.96inch LCD128x64 with Arduino.

OLED 0.96 inch is a monochrome graphic display module with a built-in 0.96 inch, 128X64 high-resolution display. OLED 0.96inch is able to work despite the absence of backlight. In a dark environment, contrast of OLED display is higher than LCD display. This device is I^2C or SPI compatible. Due to its capability in displaying, it is often used in various application for instances, smart watch, MP3, function cellphone, portable health device and many others.

How to interface OLED 0.96inch LCD with Arduino – [Link]

Two books for makers that you should read!

educ8s.tv uploaded the last video of this season and it’s a different one!

The first one, is this: Practical Electronics for Inventors. Since I studied computer science and not electronics engineering at University, I needed to find a good book to study electronics myself. After a lot of search I concluded that this book was the ideal book for me. This is a fantastic book at a fantastic price! It costs less than 30$ and I think this book should be on the shelf of every electronics hobbyist or engineer. It is a big book, it is almost 1.000 pages long and covers a wide variety of topics in circuit analysis and design, from basic theory to Arduino. Each chapter includes an overview of the theory and big ideas of the subject, plus practical information for those looking to implement the ideas.

Two books for makers that you should read! [Link]

Entry Level auto-ranging Digital Multimeters reviewed

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If you want to buy a digital multi-meter for under $50 then this article is for you. It compares 8 models fitting the certain criteria.

With the current DIY/Maker movement in full swing, one thing that almost all of us need is a good Multi-meter. When shopping for one, it was decided right away that a good entry-level multimeter for beginners had to be:Digital, Auto-ranging under $50.

Entry Level auto-ranging Digital Multimeters reviewed – [Link]

Bridging ISM radio and wifi for lunch money

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I would say no. Hell no even 🙂 The RFM69 is still very well suited for certain applications and the ESP8266 will not run for 2+ years on a set of AA batteries. The two can however play nicely together as a low cost ISM/wifi bridge. I did a custom PCB for this in the shape of a somewhat large USB stick, dubbed “Espism”.

Bridging ISM radio and wifi for lunch money – [Link]

ARM bought by Japanese Softbank for 32 billion dollars

carousel-Softbank_ARMby Jan Buiting @ elektormagazine.com:

Confirmed last Monday (18 July 2016): 100%-thinkware-firm-and-brilliant-bunch-of-Cambridge-mathematicians/computer-scientists, ARM, is to be bought by Japan’s Softbank for £24 bn ($32 bn). In official words: the board of ARM is expected to recommend shareholders to accept the offer — which is around 43% up on its closing market value of £16bn8 last Friday. Softbank is said to pay in cash also “using” a long term loan from Japan’s Mizuho Bank.

ARM bought by Japanese Softbank for 32 billion dollars – [Link]

“Chipiplexing” efficiently drives multiple LEDs using few microcontroller ports

Chipiplexing

by Guillermo Jaquenod @ edn.com

Actual microcontrollers have powerful bidirectional I/O ports, and you can use different techniques to fully exploit such capabilities. Recent Design Ideas described the “Charlieplexing” method as an effective way to drive M=N×(N–1) LEDs using only N bidirectional I/O ports and N resistors (reference 1 and reference 2). Unfortunately, using Charlieplexing allows you to drive only one LED at a time, so, when using a large number of LEDs, only a tiny slice of time is available to multiplex each LED: TDRIVE=T/M, where T is the PWM excitation period. As a consequence, to obtain a given average current and bright LEDs, you must excite them with a current M times higher, and you can’t usually obtain such peak currents from the microcontroller port.

“Chipiplexing” efficiently drives multiple LEDs using few microcontroller ports – [Link]

TV Tuner IR remote with a PIC16F684

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Tahmid built a TV tuner IR remote with a PIC16F684:

I then proceeded to write an IR transmitter using the PIC16F684 (using the MPLAB X IDE and XC8 compiler), following the timing information from the extended NEC protocol. In order to connect all the keys, I connected them in matrix keypad form.
In order to power the remote off 2xAA batteries, it is necessary to use sleep mode – otherwise the battery will be drained extremely quickly. So, in order to detect when a button is pressed, an interrupt is used. After the IR command is sent, the microcontroller goes to sleep. The interrupt wakes up the microcontroller when a button is pressed. Debouncing is achieved using simple software delays. When a button is held down, the NEC command repeat sequence is not sent. Instead, the remote relies on releasing the button and pressing it again.

TV Tuner IR remote with a PIC16F684 – [Link]

Homebrew Multimode Digital Voice Modem adapter

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Florian Wolters made his own version of MMDVM adapter:

During experiments with digital voice mode in hamradio I discovered a nice project describing an adapter for D-Star, DMR and other digital modes based on an Arduino Due and a little PCB to be put on top. This unit is called the Multimode Digital Voice Modem or MMDVM (see [1]). It seems that this is getting quite popular because hard- and software is Open Source.

Homebrew Multimode Digital Voice Modem adapter – [Link]

Not a battery or a supercap, but a ‘thin laminate energy device’

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Murata’s UMAL is a low-profile high capacity energy device. Designed to meet the demand for a slim high capacity energy source with a maintenance-free extended life cycle in wireless sensor nodes, the UMAL has charge/discharge and life-cycle characteristics superior to conventional secondary batteries. By Graham Prophet

The UMAL has a nominal voltage of 2.3 VDC, can supply 12 mAh with a maximum discharge current of 120 mA and is able to withstand load fluctuations. It has a low internal resistance of 200 mOhm and can operate over the temperature range of – 20C to + 70C.

Not a battery or a supercap, but a ‘thin laminate energy device’ – [Link]