Turn-key PCB assembly services in prototype quantities or low-volume to mid-volume production runs
Turn-key PCB assembly services in prototype quantities or low-volume to mid-volume production runs

HDD relived as binary clock

Don’t get caught… this clock doesn’t have moving parts. HDD is only as case for a clock. Design is really neat and uses no fancy components like SMD or etched PCB. So everyone can make it on old HDD. LEDs on a HDD platter look really cool. In the dark it should give nice effects.   Binary clock is running on AT90S2313 as it can be replaced by ATtiny2313 now with no code modifications.  Circuit is really simple – matrix of LEDs is controlled by using transistor keys, and additionally there are three buttons for setting time. Source code is also available which is written for AVR-GCC compiler. To see live action of binary clock, view video of the clock. Continue reading

Arduino LED cube

It seems that Arduino board has strong positions among electronic hobbyists. This makes a good base for various projects that can be prototyped very fast. LED cube is made of 3x3x3=27 LEDs that is not much, but it is still FUN to play with. Full source code is available for compiling and modifying it. Continue reading

8x8x8 3D LED effects with Borg 3D

This is what I call some time consuming project. 8x8x8 is 512 total LEDs to solder. But end result looks really cool.  Each LED in this cube can be controlled individually by ATmega32 microcontroller. The controller board can be interfaced to RS232, CAN and two joysticks from the C64. To control such amount of LEDs isn’t easy task without special time controlled multiplexing. The cube is divided in to 64 LED planes where each plane is switched about 100 times per second, so for spectator it looks like individual LEDs are controlled separately. Construction schematics aren’t final, but you can see some versions here. The complete software is written in C for the AVR-GCC compiler and can be found here. Continue reading

SPC music player on FPGA

FPGA player uses same hardware part as in Super Nintendo game console. It plays .SPC music files stored in flash memory through Sony SPC700 8-bit sound chip. SPC files are more complex than usual mp3 files as they contain so called memory state of SNES sound module. Anyway this is more or less a theory, which you have to study well before start doing something. The project is developed by using Altera DE2 board equipped with Cyclone II FPGA chip. Hardware part is written with VHDL language. 8 bit microprocessor that executes program is also emulated in software. Seems to be it is very valuable source to study, as project directory can be downloaded freely. Continue reading

Interfacing Nokia 3510i LCD to PIC16F84

This is very simple example of interfacing Nokia 3510i LCD to PIC16F84 microcontroller. LCD connects to PIC via serial interface. The only concern may be the voltage. If microcontroller works on from 5V then it is necessary to lover it to 3.3V. The easiest way to lower voltage to 3.3V is to use voltage regulator like LM317. A simple assembly code shows how to work in a 12bit color mode. The code is written in ASM and can be compiled with MPASM compiler. Continue reading

Powerful MP3 player in a mint box

There are quite many MP3 player projects done by enthusiasts. So here is another one which works with compact flash cards, handles FAT16 and fits in Altoids mint box. Player runs on PIC18LF452 microcontroller which handles flash card interface and sends data to STA013 MP3 decoder chip. Decoded digital audio is converted to analog by CS4340 DAC. The project is running from 3.3V LiIon battery. MP3 player also has a MAX756 DC boost regulator that allows using different batteries like couple AA Alkaline. In order to get rid of cables there is an optional FM transmitter MAX2606 to play music via car radio receiver. And last shot is USB connectivity, so it is possible to upload/download files and even charge LiIon battery via MAX1811. Latest project files can be downloaded form here. Continue reading