ESP8266 + DS18B20 Temperature sensor sends data to Thingspeak.com

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Mohamed Afzal has written an article detailing how to send data to Thingspeak.com with ESP8266 + DS18B20 temperature sensor:

The stock Firmware in the ESP8266 supports AT commands and for communicating with this need an micro-controller like Arduino. But i want to make a simple solution for that without using external micro-controller. NodeMCU firmware was the best thing i found. To upload the NodeMCU firmware please do a google search, there are tons of video’s and supporting documents out there. I am not going to explain the flashing in this post.
NodeMCU is Lua based firmware and i hope most of the people will know it. Most router GUI also built by Lua.
If you are done with the flashing the ESP8266 module, lets connect the DS18B20 to GPIO 0. If you are not aware of pin mapping please check it before connecting anything to the module.

ESP8266 + DS18B20 Temperature sensor sends data to Thingspeak.com – [Link]

6 Volt 5 Watt solar charge controller

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Steve made this 6 volt 5 watt solar charge controller project, that is available at Github:

Here is a 6 volt 5 watt solar charge controller project using a dedicated printed circuit board from dirtypcbs.com and an Arduino pro-mini.
The board uses sot-23 low RDSon P channel mosfets (Si2369). It has voltage and current sensing, and 3 configurable switched or unswitched outputs.

Additionally, using a Bus Pirate you can grab charge controller voltages, currents, and other variables at 5 times a second using a Python3/tkinter program I wrote to go with this project. This program uses uses I2C to connect to the Arduino.

6 Volt 5 Watt solar charge controller – [Link]

Desolder professionally with NO-CLEAN flux wicks

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Desoldering braid makes an invaluable service at development or rework.

Everyone who´s ever tried to suck off a solder from a solder pad by means of a solder absorbing braid (wick) will probably confirm, that this tool belongs to a “must have” equipment of every professional or amateur workplace. What´s the charm of a desoldering braid? Above all in the fact, that it´s able to absorb almost all the solder from a given place, thus the most of components can be loosened very easily. Hand (pneumatic) pump surely has its place, mainly when working with bigger components, but at comparison with a desoldering braid it´s similar like if we compared a broom with a vacuum cleaner.

A quality desoldering braid is usually able to absorb a solder so thoroughly, that only a microscopic layer of a solder will remain on a PCB – as if a board was new, unused. It is very advantageous even at a hand rework of SMT components, because it´s desirable the component to lay directly on a board – not askew in a thick solder layer causing a mechanical tension and able to cause even a malfunction of a component (often at SMT capacitors).

To reach a good functionality of a desoldering wick it should be made of a fine gauge copper wires (without oil residues end similar) and it must be treated with a high quality flux. The cheapest braids usually contain only a rosin-based flux, the better ones have a synthetic flux based, which produce less fumes.

A novelty in our portfolio is the novelty from company CRC Industries – braid SOLDABSORB. We keep Soldabsorb in a width of 1.5 and 2.5mm, packed in a blister in 2 pcs (the price is for 2 pcs). Soldabsorb represents a top-level in this segment and is made of a highly pure copper, fine gauge wires and contains a synthetic NO-CLEAN flux. It means, that the flux residues are non-conductive and non-corrosive and they can be left on a PCB. Very fine wires contribute to a high wicking (absorbing) ability.

The usage of the wick is very simple and is based in 4 steps:

  • Place the Soldabsorb wick on the solder joint
  • place the tip of the solder iron on the wick and hold shortly
  • absorbed solder will change a color of a braid, showing that the process was successful
  • when a joint contains a big amount of solder, it may be necessary to cut off a used end of a braid (2-5mm) and repeat the process

In praxis it approves well to adjust temperature of a soldering iron to a slightly higher, than we´d normally need for a given pad and eventually also to use a thicker soldering tip. In especially difficult cases (vias at ground planes of a PCB) it helps to put a small amount of a new solder on a soldering tip, which will decrease an absorbing ability of a braid, it will significantly improve a heat transfer from a tip through a braid to a PCB, thus improving and speeding up an absorption. Before another use of a braid, it´s sufficient to cut off only a very end of a braid (a few mm) fully sucked by a solder.
At the end it´s worth to mention, that after desoldering, it´s good to apply a small amount of solder on a soldering tip to protect it from oxidizing.

Detailed information will provide you the Soldabsorb datasheet.


Desolder professionally with NO-CLEAN flux wicks – [Link]

SoC Remote Control Platform for IEEE 802.15.4 Standard

The IEEE 802.15.4 standard is the fourth task group of the IEEE 802.15 working group, which defines Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN) standards. The IEEE 802.15.4 market has the following advantages; low power consumption, low cost, low offered message throughput, supports large network orders up to 65k nodes, low to no QoS guarantees, and flexible protocol design suitable for many applications. The purpose for this standard is to empower simple devices with a reliable, robust wireless technology that could last for years on standard primary batteries. It is designed to allow developers to effectively use and benefit from radios based upon the standard.

This reference design is a low cost System-on-Chip (SoC) solution for the IEEE 802.15.4 standard that incorporates a complete, low power, 2.4GHz radio frequency transceiver with TX/RX switch, an 8-bit HCS08 CPU, and a functional set of MCU peripherals into a 48-pin LGA package. This product targets wireless RF remote control and other cost-sensitive applications ranging from home TV and entertainment systems to medical and supports all ZigBee node types. The Freescale’s MC13237 is a highly integrated solution, with very low power consumption. The MC13237 contains an RF transceiver that is an 802.15.4 standard 2006 compliant radio that operates in the 2.4GHz ISM frequency band. The transceiver includes a low noise amplifier, 1mW nominal output Power Amplifier (PA), internal Voltage Controlled Oscillator (VCO), integrated transmit/receive switch, on-board power supply regulation, 12-bit ADC and full spread-spectrum encoding and decoding.

This design is not only limited for remote controls. It can also be used as the basis for wireless devices and other sensor-controlled application that used IEEE 802.15.4 standard. The IEEE 802.15.4 radios have the potential to be the cost-effective communications backbone for simple sensory mesh networks that can effectively carry data with relatively low latency, high accuracy, and the ability to survive for a very long time on small primary batteries.

SoC Remote Control Platform for IEEE 802.15.4 Standard – [Link]

RFduino Compass

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by RFduino @ instructables.com

The RFduino compass is a fully functional stand-alone compass which also transmits the current heading via Bluetooth low energy technology to phones, tablets, personal computers or any other equipped device. The RFduino compass is known as a Bluetooth Smart device.

RFduino Compass – [Link]

Double RC servo tester with OLED display

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Dan blogged about his Servo tester with OLED display project:

The problem is simple: I need to have a reliable and easy to use servo tester, that I can use to test/play with a standard RC servo or ESC or anything else that uses the same control protocol. This necessity has arisen again quite recently, while working on the 2nd iteration of my ball balancing device.

Double RC servo tester with OLED display – [Link]

Build an inexpensive handheld Arduino color console

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by João Vilaça @ vilaca.eu:

If you love classic games like Tetris (source code) and Breakout you can now build an Arduino console to play games on the go and in color. Youtube gameplay demo.

As most inexpensive LCDs work at 3.3v the Arduino for this project works at 3.3v too.

At only 8MHz the Arduino Pro Mini 3.3v is slow by today’s standards but fast enough for most classic games.

Other Arduinos or compatibles can be used in its place. If an 5v Arduino like the Uno is used you must use a Level shifter from 5v to 3.3v or you’ll risk frying the TFT.

Build an inexpensive handheld Arduino color console – [Link]

RELATED POSTS

Acceleration sensor for infotainment systems

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Bosch’s new SMA130 triaxial acceleration sensor provides information for infotainment and telematics applications in vehicles. “Until now, automakers have mainly used data from acceleration sensors for safety systems,” says Dr. Frank Schäfer, head of product management for automotive MEMS sensors. “The SMA130, on the other hand, delivers the data needed for eCall emergency notification and navigation systems.” The sensor measures acceleration along three axes arranged at right angles, as well as inclination, movement, vibration, and shock. The new Bosch acceleration sensor, based on MEMS technology, will go into series production in late 2015.

Acceleration sensor for infotainment systems – [Link]

600 mA Constant On-Time Buck Regulator

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The LM5017 is a 600 mA constant on-time synchronous buck regulator with built-in high side and low side MOSFETs. This device has a wide input voltage range from 7. 5 V to 100 V. The constant on-time control scheme used in this device doesn’t need loop compensation, delivers excellent transient response, and enables very high step-down ratios. The on-time varies inversely with the input voltage resulting in nearly constant frequency over the input voltage range. A high voltage startup regulator provides bias power for internal operation of the IC and for integrated gate drivers.

600 mA Constant On-Time Buck Regulator – [Link]

Simple Ham Radio Bluetooth Interface

Ham radio is a popular hobby and service in which a licensed amateur radio operator explores communications equipment. Typical ham radios do not have bluetooth support, which may be hassle for some. None of the transceiver manufacturers are providing a wireless interface. However, with this ham radio bluetooth interface, communicating and listening to other entity would be easier. The device uses Bluetooth module and a circular connector. The TE’s CeeLok FAS-T connector is one of the most rugged, small, 10 GB Ethernet, field terminable I/O connector. It has been designed to perform in some of the most extreme environments in the industry, while providing substantial size and weight savings via its small shell size 8-form factor.

The design is simple that anyone can construct it without having a hard time. The device uses a Bluetooth module, a regulator, connector and few passive components. It automatically connects to the PC or any bluetooth supported device when the application is started. Wireless headset would be very useful for ham radio operators so they can freely do whatever they need to do without being stagnant. In addition, a single blue LED indicates power and pairing.

Licensed amateur radio operators communicate with each other in nearby places, across the country, around the world or even with astronauts in outer space. Hams use a variety of frequencies for communications and may operate from just above the AM broadcast band to the microwave region, in the gigahertz range. This device may be useful for other applications such as aerospace, in flight entertainment and connectivity, defense and marine environments.

Simple Ham Radio Bluetooth Interface – [Link]