Hardware

BLE112 In-system Programmer
BLE112 In-system Programmer

I do a lot of work with bluetooth low energy (BLE or bluetooth v4.0) and have a few different BLE modules I’ll turn to, but often end up using the Bluegiga BLE112 (as evidenced by my DIY BLE112 breakout).  It’s a great chip but one thing that can get annoying is programming the thing. Whether…

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The easiest way to make objects out of thin air (and a touch of PLA)
The easiest way to make objects out of thin air (and a touch of PLA)

Today, I finally took the plunge and started exploring how to make 3D printing work for me. I’ve always stumbled when it came time to deal with enclosure and the mechanical aspects of my work, preferring to leave it to some other player in the process or, at best, cutting holes in a standard project…

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Rectifier/Voltage Regulator module: post-mortem
Rectifier/Voltage Regulator module: post-mortem

Needing a modular power supply that could handle a few amps and both AC and DC input, I recently designed a circuit to perform the task.  Here I’ll go over the main points and a few lessons learned.

Bluetooth Low Energy tutorial series (part 1) published.

I’m pleased to announce that the first set of pages for the Bluetooth Smart/Low Energy Tutorial series have been published.  Within, you’ll find a BLE crash course, a DIY BLE module breakout board (including an Eagle library so you can use it in your circuits) and a complete universal bluetooth low energy client program– with…

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Servo-controlled turntable
Servo-controlled turntable

I have an ongoing project that requires a controllable rotating platter and, in order to get sufficient torque and control, I’ve been playing with servo motors to get this working (which is how I fried my faithful little power supply, and wound up needing to construct a new bench supply). To let the small servo…

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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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