384:LED – Mini RGB LED array


Mini (1.44” x 0.94” or 24mm x 37mm) 8X16 RGB LED Array. 128 RGB LEDs with three LED chip each gives 384.

For this project I designed two PCBs. A control PCB and a LED PCB. My goal was to fit them both in a small panel inside a 5×5 cm square to use cheap Chinese Manufacturing offers. Both PCB to have the same size and will be connected with 50mil / 1.27mm pin headers. The LED PCB will be stacked on top of the control PCB.

384:LED – Mini RGB LED array – [Link]

Oscilloscope Vertical Position and Offset explained

This video describes the function of the vertical position and vertical offset controls of a modern digital oscilloscope. It shows how using the offset control can provide valuable visibility of the DC bias and small signal waveform simultaneously, which can be very valuable in many applications.

Oscilloscope Vertical Position and Offset explained – [Link]

Piggybacking OLED display on WeMos D1 Mini


Daniel Eichhorn build a mini OLED display weather widget using WeMos D1 Mini board.

Inspired by Mike Rankin’s (@mikerankin) beautiful crossovers between an ESP8266 ESP-01 and an 0.96 Inch OLED I2C display I decided to try if there wasn’t an easy hack to marry the two components with as little soldering as possible. After turning, connecting and flashing different combinations of the two modules I finally found one that only requires you to solder 4 connections.

Piggybacking OLED display on WeMos D1 Mini – [Link]

WiFi Weather display using a Wemos D1 board and operweathermap.org website

educ8s.tv published a new project, a ESP8266 Wifi weather display.

In this video we are going to build a WiFi Weather display with the impressive Wemos D1 board. The board uses the ESP8266 chip in order to connect to the internet and we are going to program it using the Arduino IDE. The project gets weather data from the openweathermap.org website and displays some of the data on the display. As you are going to find out, you can build this project in less then 10 minutes. Let’s start!

A few weeks ago I published a video about the impressive WeMOS D1 board which is an ESP8266 based board which resembles the Arduino Uno. Today we are going to build our first project with it. A weather display, using this old LCD display shield I was using with Arduino Uno a long time ago. As you can see, the display works fine with the WeMOS D1 board! The project, connects to my WiFi network, and then it downloads the weather data for my location from the openweathermap website, and prints some of data in the display! It downloads new data for my location every 10 minutes. It is nice project to start with the ESP8266 chip. Let’s see how to build it.

WiFi Weather display using a Wemos D1 board and operweathermap.org website – [Link]

Dual axis solar tracker with online energy monitor


by geo bruce @ instructables.com:

The features of this solar tracker are:

  • Solar tracking: making sure the solar panels are aligned to the sun as long as possible.
  • Energy monitor: This measures the voltage and the current generated by the panels and calculates the generated Power and Energy.
  • Data logging: this sends the data from the energy monitor into the cloud of ThingSpeak.
  • Also there is an LCD to display the values of the energy monitor

Dual axis solar tracker with online energy monitor – [Link]

Seeed Studio miniature soldering iron – Review


by Harry Baggen @ elektormagazine.com

The Chinese company Seeed Studio offers a lot of interesting things for electronics enthusiasts. Along with selling products from various manufacturers, Seeed develops and produces their own products, many of which are very innovative. For instance, a year ago we had a close look at the DSO Nano V3 miniature oscilloscope.

Seeed has also developed their own miniature soldering iron, which is now available in a European version. The unique thing about this soldering iron is that a display and the control circuitry are integrated into the grip. From the photos and Seeed’s description, it looked like a good idea for us to get our hands on one and try it out in the Elektor Labs.

Seeed Studio miniature soldering iron – Review – [Link]

Very low power temperature sensor


Smartec has commenced selling a new temperature sensor as the successor to the SMT160: the SMT172. The SMT172 has a superior performance, such as a very low power consumption (60 μA) , a very high accuracy (0.1 °C) and a very high resolution (0.1 mK). [via elektormagazine.com]

For battery applications, the SMT172 can operate on the basis of a low voltage range from 2.7 V and 5.5 V. The sensor has a PWM Out for easy connection to any type of microcontroller.

The new SMT172 is available in TO18, TO92, TO220, SOIC-8, SOT223 as a small hybrid device (HEC) and comes with a cable of 5 m length.

Very low power temperature sensor – [Link]

Quantum dots shrink on-chip lasers to 1μm


by Julien Happich @ edn-europe.com

Published in Applied Physics Letters under the title “Sub-wavelength InAs quantum dot micro-disk lasers epitaxially grown on exact Si (001) substrates”, the findings from an international team of researchers opens a new route to CMOS-compatible on-chip laser integration.

The researchers designed subwavelength micro-disk lasers (MDLs) as small as 1μm in diameter on exact (001) silicon, using colloidal lithography (dispersing silica colloidal beads as hard masks before etching the prepared QD material layers). The disk region encapsulates five layers of InAs/InGaAs dot-in-a-well (DWELL) structure. The micro-cavity gain medium was grown on a high crystalline quality GaAs-on-V-grooved-Si template with no absorptive intermediate buffers. Under continuous-wave optical pumping (from an external diode laser operating at 532nm), the micro-disk structure lased in the 1.2μm wavelength range, with low thresholds down to 35μW at 10K (cryogenic temperature).

Quantum dots shrink on-chip lasers to 1μm – [Link]

Eagle – Create Nixie tube footprint


lucadentella.it shows us how to create a Nixie tube footprint by placing the pads in a circular way.

I’m working with Eagle to prepare a PCB for a Nixie clock. I wasn’t able to find a library for the Nixie I chose so I had to create it from scratch.

Eagle – Create Nixie tube footprint – [Link]

Chrome Apps and serial port communication


Luca Dentella writes:

During the development of my electronic projects, I sometimes need to develop a graphical user interface (GUI) that talks using serial communication with the devices I create.

In the past, I usually chose to develop those interfaces in C# and using the .Net Framework; framework which allows a rapid development, offers great ways to customize the interface (for example the ability to use custom fonts as in the GUI for RTCSetup) and makes easy to access all the different graphical elements of the operating system, like the systray (cfr the GUI for Type4Me).

Chrome Apps and serial port communication – [Link]