Smart Watch


Matthew Filipek from Cornell Univercity has build a nice smart watch with 1.7 inch touch screen, SD card, Bluetooth module and various apps.

One of the main inspirations for this project was Jared Sanson’s implementation of a DIY smartwatch (REF 0). With several design iterations, he was able to produce a watch in a very small package that can communicate with a PC via USB HID, features an OLED display, and has support for an accelerometer. As my project was to be completed in the span of a mere month, several of the components I got were purchased for their ease of use rather than their compactness.

Smart Watch – [Link]


SerialUSB: A cheap USB proxy for input devices


Serialusb is a cheap (~$5) USB proxy intended to be used with input devices. It is the combination of:

  • a PC software operating the host side of the proxy
  • an atmega32u4 firmware operating the device side of the proxy

SerialUSB: A cheap USB proxy for input devices – [Link]

chipKIT Tutorial: Using Nokia 5110 LCD


Raj @ has posted another great tutorial on how to interface a Nokia 5110 LCD to chipKIT board.

Today, we will see how to connect a NOKIA 5110 graphical LCD (used in Nokia 5110 cell phones), which is a 84×48 pixel monochrome display of about 1.5″ diagonal in size. The display can be used for graphics, text, and bitmaps.

chipKIT Tutorial: Using Nokia 5110 LCD – [Link]

Creating G-Code via EAGLE software


Boris Landoni shows us how to create G-Code using Eagle PCB design software:

To create a PCB with 3Drag , by milling , it is necessary to have the G-Code files for the tracks patterning and for the holes relating to the printed circuit board itself. In this section we describe how to obtain these G-Code files using a specific plugin for the popular PCB design software ” EAGLE “.

Creating G-Code via EAGLE software – [Link]

LTC3643 – 2A Bidirectional Power Backup Supply


Linear Technology Corporation introduces the LTC3643, a bidirectional, high voltage boost capacitor charger that automatically converts to a buck regulator for system backup. The proprietary, single-inductor topology with integrated PowerPath™ functionality does the work of two separate switching regulators, reducing size, cost and complexity. The LTC3643 operates in two modes – boost charge mode and buck backup mode. The charging mode efficiently charges an electrolytic capacitor array up to 40V with an internal switch current rating of 2A from an input supply between 3V to 17V. In backup mode, when the input supply falls below the programmable power-fail (PFI) threshold, the step-up charger operates in reverse as a synchronous step-down regulator to power and hold up the system rail from the backup capacitor. During backup, the current limit can be programmed from 2A to 4A, making this device ideal for high energy, relatively short duration backup capacitor systems, power failure backup systems, solid-state drives and battery stack charging applications.

LTC3643 – 2A Bidirectional Power Backup Supply – [Link]

Arduino Tutorial: Using a Servo SG90 with Arduino shows us how to use a servo motor with Arduino UNO:

A Servo is a small device that has an output shaft. This shaft can be positioned to specific angular positions by sending the servo a coded signal. That’s why we need the Arduino, in oder to send that signal to the servo. Servos in general require a lot of current to operate since they have a motor inside. If you only need to control one small servo like this one you can connect it directly to Arduino. If you need to control two or more servos you need an external power supply or battery pack. Today we are going to use only one servo so we are going to connect it directly to an Arduino Uno. We are using an SG90 micro servo today which is a very popular one and very cheap. It costs around 3$.

Arduino Tutorial: Using a Servo SG90 with Arduino – [Link]

LTC3106 – 300mA Low Voltage Buck-Boost Converter


The LTC3106 is a highly integrated, 1.6μA quiescent current 300mV startup buck-boost DC/DC converter with PowerPath management, optimized for multisource, low power systems. The LTC3106 is ideal for powering low power wireless sensors from rechargeable or primary batteries supplemented by energy harvesting. If the primary power source is unavailable, the LTC3106 seamlessly switches to the backup power source. The LTC3106 is compatible with either rechargeable or primary cell batteries and can trickle charge a backup battery whenever there is an energy surplus available.The LTC3106 provides 300mA steady state and 650mA peak load current at up to 92% efficiency.

LTC3106 – 300mA Low Voltage Buck-Boost Converter – [Link]

DIY-Thermocam – an open-source, do-it-yourself thermographic camera


Max Ritter has pointed us to his latest project, the DIY-Thermocam, a open source thermal imager based on FLIR thermal sensor. The results are awesome!

The device is based on the popular FLIR Lepton thermal sensor and uses a Teensy 3.2 mikrocontroller to display live thermal images on a nice 3.2 inch touch screen.

The aim of the project is to give private persons, educational institutes and small companies access to a low-cost thermographic plattform. Offered as a selfy-assembly kit, the DIY-Thermocam is easy to build and use, you just need a basic soldering iron and some tools everyone has at home. The whole firmware is published on Github, so everyone can contribute their own ideas to the software development.

DIY-Thermocam – an open-source, do-it-yourself thermographic camera – [Link]

ESP8266 weather display – work in progress


Markus Hirsch is working on a ESP8266 weather display using an AVR mcu and an OLED display:

This is a little weather monitor. It has a 2.2″ color display and is powered by an AVR and the ESP8266. The AVR controles the display. The ESP has a custom firmware written in the Arduino IDE and provides all the weather data in a neat and very simple pre-parsed protocol. The AVR can obtain different data via a simple UART command. It is still in development. A 512kB serial SPI flash provides all the icons, images and palette data.

ESP8266 weather display – work in progress – [Link]

CSI Premier 75W and Hakko 936 Solder Station Teardowns


Todd Harrison @ did the teardown of the CSI 75W solder station as well as the Hakko 936:

The Hakko of course had all analog circuits using operational amplifiers and potentiometers as well as a temperature sensor in the iron tip to signal back to a triac chip controller which would trigger the triac to push 24 V AC through the heater in the iron.

CSI Premier 75W and Hakko 936 Solder Station Teardowns – [Link]