Using a Color Sensor (TCS230) with Arduino Uno and ST7735 color TFT display

In this video tutorial educ8s.tv show us how use the TCS230 color sensor with Arduino:

Hey guys, I am Nick and welcome to educ8s.tv a channel that is all about DIY electronics projects with Arduino, Raspberry Pi, ESP8266 and other popular boards. In this video we are going to learn how to use the TCS230 color sensor, a very interesting sensor. I have built a simple project to demonstrate that this sensor is really capable. I use an Arduino Uno and a 1.8” Color TFT display and of course the color sensor. As you can see, the sensor detects the colors and it displays them on the screen. The color we get on the screen is pretty close to the real color of the object. Cool isn’t it? Now, let’s see the parts that we need in order to build this project.

Using a Color Sensor (TCS230) with Arduino Uno and ST7735 color TFT display [Link]

Keeping up with Moore’s Law

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by Clemens Valens @ elektormagazine.com:

There was a time that every extra storage byte crammed into a chip was greeted with cheers and applause but today only few people will get the champagne out when an extra gigabyte or so is announced. We have become so used to the ever growing capacity of memory chips that new product launches in this area do not create much excitement anymore. Yet sometimes an event manages to stir things up a bit, like a few weeks ago when a major semiconductor manufacturer announced that it started sampling its new 32 gigabyte flash memory chip.

Keeping up with Moore’s Law – [Link]

Load switch with self-resetting circuit breaker

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has designed a simple load switch using two transistors and some resistors.

The simple current-limiting load switch shown in Figure 1 will be familiar to most readers. In this circuit, a high level signal applied to the input switches on MOSFET Q2, which energizes the load. The load current is limited by negative feedback applied via Q1.

Load switch with self-resetting circuit breaker – [Link]

LT8630 – 100V, 600 mA synchronous buck DC/DC betters 93% efficiency

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LT8630 is a 600 mA, 100V input capable synchronous step-down switching regulator using synchronous rectification to deliver efficiency as high as 93% while Burst Mode operation keeps quiescent current under 7 µA in no-load standby conditions. by By Graham Prophet @ edn-europe.com:

The device’s 3V to 100V input voltage range suits it for 48V automotive systems, dual battery transportation, industrial and 36V to 72V telecom applications. Its internal high efficiency switches can deliver up to 600 mA of continuous output current to voltages as low as 0.8V.

LT8630 – 100V, 600 mA synchronous buck DC/DC betters 93% efficiency – [Link]

Circuit implements photovoltaic-module simulator

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José M Blanes and Ausiàs Garrigós writes:

Electronics engineers often use photovoltaic-module simulators to test dc/dc-power converters, inverters, or MPPT (maximum-power-point-tracking)-control techniques. The use of these simulators lets you work in the laboratory with predefined photovoltaic conditions, thus avoiding the drawbacks of real photovoltaic modules. Various commercial simulators are available, but they are often expensive.

Circuit implements photovoltaic-module simulator – [Link]

2.5A Bipolar Stepper Motor Driver using A3979

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The tiny board designed using A3979 IC from ALLEGRO which is complete micro stepping driver with built in translator. The translator is the key to the easy implementation of the A3979. It allows the simple input of one pulse on the STEP pin to drive the motor one micro step, which can be either a full step, half, quarter, or sixteenth, depending on the setting of the MS1 and MS2 logic inputs. There are no phase-sequence tables, high-frequency control lines, or complex interfaces to program. The A3979 interface is an ideal fit for applications where a complex microprocessor is unavailable or is overburdened.

Features

  • CN1 Motor Supply Input Up to 30V DC (35V Maximum)
  • Load 2.5A
  • Logic Supply 3.3V to 5V DC
  • CN3 Bipolar Stepper Motor Connections
  • CN2 Logic Supply 5V & Signal Inputs
  • J1-MS2 & J2-MS1 Micro-Stepping FULL, HALF, Quarter, Sixteenth
  • J3, J4 Option Replacement for PR1 Jumper Type Current Setting
  • D1 Logic Power LED
  • REF (PR1) Current Adjust 0-2V

2.5A Bipolar Stepper Motor Driver using A3979 – [Link]

4 Channel Large Current Relay Board

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4-Channel Relay Board is a simple and convenient way to interface 4 relays for switching application in your project. The project has large Relay which can switch current up to 20Amps.

Specifications

  • Input supply 12 VDC @ 360 mA
  • Output four SPDT Relay
  • Relay specification 20 A @ 230 VAC NC/30A NO
  • Trigger level 2 ~ 5 VDC
  • Box Header connector for connection of trigger signal
  • LED on each channel indicates relay status
  • Power-On LED indicator
  • Screw terminal connector for easy relay output and power in connection
  • Four mounting holes of 3.2 mm each
  • PCB dimensions 65 mm x 116 mm

4 Channel Large Current Relay Board – [Link]

RELATED POSTS

DIY Home Energy Meter

A new tutorial by The DIY Life is for building a home energy meter that provides information about power consumption and cost estimates for the month.

Using Arduino and some other components you can build your own energy meter that measure the supply current to your home through a CT (current transformer), current, power, maximum power and kilowatt hours consumed. The cost of electricity used to date can be added and displayed easily.

arduino-energy-meter-high-consumption

Electronics you need to build this project:

  • Arduino Uno
  • LCD Shield / LCD Screen
  • CT – Talema AC1030
  • 56Ω Burden Resistor
  • 10µF Capacitor
  • 2 x 100K Divider Resistors

If you are not familiar with Arduino or LCDs you can check these articles by The DIY Life to learn more: getting started with Arduino, connect an LCD screen

First you have to build the current sensor by connecting the CT to the Arduino and setting a right voltage reference due to the Arduino 0-5V input range. As shown below, this is the way you should connect the CT to the Arduino.

energy-meter-wiring-diagram

This code should be uploaded to your Arduino to run the project. It already has a scaling factor that can be adjusted due to the components you choose in your circuit.If you don’t want to use or don’t have an LCD screen, you can also modify the sketch to output to the Arduino IDE’s serial window as described in this code.

For more information on how to choose different components, how to calibrate them, and to learn more details about wiring and coding, you should check this tutorial out.

The first number displayed is the instantaneous current followed by the instantaneous power. On the bottom line, the kilowatt hours used since reset and then the maximum recorded power since reset. Check the meter in action:

Arduino Installing and Using Libraries

installing-libraries

runtimeprojects.com has a tutorial on how to install and use Arduino libraries.

Libraries are an essential part in the Arduino world. They are what makes Arduino so easy to use. Libraries are written to encapsulate complex functions and expose them as simple function calls to the user. For example to switch a pixel on and off in an LED monitor. This is relatively very complex but, fortunately some folks at Adafruit created a library that enables us to handle an LEd monitor with simple functions like, draw lines, text, circles, rectangles, etc… Normally these libraries include a readme file with some explanations about the various functions, and examples of how to use the library.

Arduino Installing and Using Libraries – [Link]

ESP8266 sending data to Google spreadsheets

Although there are so many cloud IoT platforms (ThingSpeak, thinger.io, TESPA.io, Xively, … ) available in the market, each offering APIs and tools to allow the Arduino and ESP8266 users to directly upload their sensor readings online for real-time visualization and global access, Google Drive is still my favorite choice for posting sensor data online as it is more approachable. If you are a regular user of Google Drive, you would find this tutorial from Anir very useful too. It describes a method of connecting the ESP8266 device directly to a Google sheet for storing the sensor data without using any third party service, like pushingbox that most other Arduino users have used for fulfilling Google’s http requirements and handling the URL redirection. This tutorial explains how you can make the task much simpler by using a recently published HTTPSRedirect Arduino library by Sujay Phadke that allows the ESP8266 to self-handle the redirect and https GET requests. The tutorial uses a NodeMCU board and a soil moisture sensor as input for demonstration. The sensor data are directly posted to a spreadsheet on Google Drive.

ESP8266 connecting to Google spreadsheets for data logging
ESP8266 connecting to Google spreadsheets for data logging

The way it works is you need to setup a Google Apps Script to access a spreadsheet in your Google Drive. The script have access to the spreadsheet via its document sharing key, which is unique and can be found on the URL of the sheet. In order to remotely run the Google Script without exposing your Google credentials, you need to publish it as a Web App URL. The ESP8266 can then send data to the spreadsheet using the same Web App URL with actual sensor data appended to it. Because Google requires you to send any GET request over an Web App URL using https (more secured than http), and then redirect your request to another URL location, the HTTPSRedirect Arduino library by Sujay Phadke is the key to handle this smoothly. Otherwise, you would need to use a third party online service to accomplish the same. The tutorial also describes how to configure the Google spreadsheet for receiving the soil moisture data in correct cells and uses some built-in chart features to display the time series in real time.

For more info, visit the article page.