Arduino “Pick N Place” Android Robot


Sameer tipped us with his latest build of an arduino robot which is controlled by an Android smartphone using Bluetooth.

Pick N Place robot is a basic level robot for beginners and leaders to learn all about the laws & concepts of Physics, Electronics & Mechanics hence it helps one to inherit this knowledge as one is implementing it. It helps you to get a feel of what robotics is all about.


Arduino programming, Bluetooth Application based Android smartphone control, Wheel with track belt drive, Pick and place operation by gripper, Easy circuit implementation

Arduino “Pick N Place” Android Robot – [Link]

Analogue Sensors – Calculate the Nonlinearity Introduced by a Load or Pull Down Resistor


Tecwyn Twmffat @ discuss about the notlinearity introduced by adding a pull down resistor and why you may get unpredictable readings from your ADC.

For many years I found that I would get strange, unpredictable, readings from my sensor related projects at the maximum and minimum locations when using analogue digital convertors (ADCs). I always blamed this on poorly designed micro processors and never for once thought that it might be my own circuit designs at fault ….. until now.

Analogue Sensors – Calculate the Nonlinearity Introduced by a Load or Pull Down Resistor – [Link]

Buck regulator accepts 3.0-V to 42-V input


Linear Technology Corporation announces the LT8608, a 1.5A, 42V input synchronous step-down switching regulator. A unique synchronous rectification topology delivers 93% efficiency while switching at 2MHz enabling designers to avoid critical noise-sensitive frequency bands, such as AM radio, while using a very compact solution footprint. Burst Mode® operation keeps quiescent current under 2.5μA in no-load standby conditions making it ideal for always-on systems. Its 3.0V to 42V input voltage range makes it ideal for automotive applications which must regulate through cold-crank and stop-start scenarios with minimum input voltages as low as 3.0V and load dump transients in excess of 40V. Its internal 2A switches can deliver up to 1.5A of continuous output current. The LT8608 maintains a minimum dropout voltage of only 200mV (@500mA) under all conditions, enabling it to excel in scenarios such as automotive cold-crank. Spread spectrum frequency modulation and special design techniques offer low EMI operation to minimize noise concerns in automotive and industrial environments. Furthermore, a fast minimum on-time of only 45ns enables 2MHz constant frequency switching from a 16V input to a 1.5V output. The LT8608’s 10-lead thermally enhanced MSOP package and high switching frequency keeps external inductors and capacitors small, providing a compact, thermally efficient footprint.

Buck regulator accepts 3.0-V to 42-V input – [Link]

12V to 28V Step Up DC-DC Converter


The Step-Up DC-DC Converter project provides 28V, 175mA output with input of 12V DC. The MC34063A IC is heart of the project from On semiconductor. The MC33063A is a monolithic control circuit containing the primary functions required for DC-DC converters, This device consist of an internal temperature compensated reference, comparator, controlled duty cycle oscillator with an active current limit circuit, driver and high current output switch. This IC specially designed to be incorporated step-down, step-up, and voltage-inverting applications with minimum number of external components.


  • Input 12V DC
  • Output 28V, 175mA
  • Output Fine Adjustable By On-board Preset
  • Header Connector for Output/Input Connections
  • Low Standby Current
  • On Board Filter To Provide Low Ripple Output
  • PCB Dimensions 28mmX33MM

12V to 28V Step Up DC-DC Converter – [Link]

Troubleshooting a 32kHz Crystal Oscillator


How to Actually Make it Oscillate?

Now for an oscillator to work, we need an amplifier with a gain of greater than 1, and a phase shift of 360 degrees to get positive feedback.
First problem – the transistor was saturated, with Vc stuck near 0V. For an oscillator to start noise gets amplified, filtered by the crystal, amplified again etc. I reasoned that if the amplifier wasn’t biased to be linear, the oscillations couldn’t build up. So I reduced the collector resistor to 6.8k, and changed the the base bias resistor to 1.8M to get the collector voltage into a linear region. So now we have Vc=3.2V with a 5V supply.

Troubleshooting a 32kHz Crystal Oscillator – [Link]

Ultra Low-Power (35nA!) Programmable Timer using TI TPL5111


Ultra Low-Power (35nA!) Programmable Timer using TI TPL5111.

Imagine a system for example that has to work from a small coin cell for 5-10 years.

TPL5111 solves a typical problem in low power wireless systems- things need to be off most of the time, and wake up periodically to transmit.

Ultra Low-Power (35nA!) Programmable Timer using TI TPL5111 – [Link]

Memtype: Open Source Password Keeper


Memtype is an elegant solution to have your credentials stored everywhere. By Miguel:

Memtype project is a low-cost and open source solution to store your passwords for having them available everywhere in a tiny and portable USB form factor device.

The device is based on the Atmel attiny85 device and uses V-USB software solution to have USB communications and enumerate as a keyboard.

Memtype: Open Source Password Keeper – [Link]

Review: ScanaQuad – a super-small logic analyzer


Harry Baggen @ reviews the ScanaQuad, a new series of tiny 4 channel logic analyzers. The ScanaQuad series consists of four modules (SQ25, SQ50, SQ100 and SQ200), which mainly differ in the sampling rate.

The French company Ikalogic has been making logic analyzers modules since 2010 with a USB port for connection to a laptop or desktop PC. Nothing special, you might say, but late last year they launched a new series of four-channel logic analyzer modules.

Review: ScanaQuad – a super-small logic analyzer – [Link]

Better LEDs with just a trick of the light


Jan Buiting @ discuss about a new technique used by scientist to build better LEDs.

By manipulating the incident light, researchers of the Complex Photonics Group at University of Twente in Enschede, The Netherlands, have turned light propagating in a layer of scattering nanoparticles into a rising diffusion curve.

By transforming the diffusion curve the result is more light energy being held inside an opaque layer which could lead to better yields for solar cells or LEDs. Even in a medium characterized by randomness, like a collection of non-organized particles that all scatter light, the net spreading of light is uniform. This is typical for diffusion.

Better LEDs with just a trick of the light – [Link]

Low cost OBD2 communications on K-line


RichardvdK @ shows us how to use OBD port of your vehicle to push data on a LCD screen. To achieve that he used a 16F886 microcontroller and some common electronics parts.

This is just another OBD2 solution for monitoring the sensors in a vehicle. It supports the K-line OBD2 serial communication between a vehicle and a microcontroller. This K-line communication is also known as ISO 9141-2 or ISO 14230-4 (also known as Keyword Protocol 2000 or KWP). Both ISO’s are almost similar. This solution differs from the rest that is low cost. It is low cost in the way that you don’t need an arduino, raspberry pi or smart phone. Just a microcontroller and LCD display so you can use your smartphone for other purposes.

Low cost OBD2 communications on K-line – [Link]