Hardware

Quick Hack: old-school bench power supply

I went out to do a beta demonstration at a client’s office, last Thursday, and brought along the prototype circuit boards as well as a small variable power supply.  As I was setting up and pulled out the power supply–a functional but somewhat shoddy little black box with red and black alligator clips–I remarked that…

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ACID released
ACID released

Announcing the release of a new hardware project :) A.C.I.D. (the Aural Colour Identification Device) lets you hear all the colours of the rainbow, by converting any light it receives into a unique combination of tones. It may be used as a handheld device or as an input module to other components by providing numerical…

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Ardweeny vs Sippino: Tiny Arduino-compatible comparison

I’m a big fan of Atmel AVR-based projects, Arduino stuff in particular.  Though I support the Arduino community by buying and using official parts, like the Uno, I also enjoy exploring spin-off projects such as the Digispark because they sometimes better address particular needs (e.g. space constraints). Also, I like to play. Here I’ll review…

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How to roll your own programmable Arduino/AVR board

Arduinos are perfect for development: you just plug them into a USB port and all the old hassles of dealing with AVR chips (crystals for clocking, hooking up comm lines, regulating power…) are handled for you.  But sometimes you need to roll your own custom solution. In real life–whether because of size, cost or power…

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Controlling High Voltage Loads Using a Microcontroller

A while back, I had a project that required high-side switching of a set of pneumatic valves by a microcontroller. Because the loads were inductive (solenoids) and required a good deal more voltage than the microcontroller supply to activate (24V), I needed some kind of middleware between the Arduino and the valves.  I created a…

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LED the sunshine in

I loooove LEDs: they’re easy to use and really efficient.  I’ve always wanted to use light-emitting diodes to feed, or at least supplement, my plants because you can get a lot of lumen without using many Watts and also because you can target the frequencies usable by chlorophyll (in the red and blue parts of…

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