San Francisco, Agusan del Sur CARAGA Region, Philippines

A sneak peek at PCBway manufacturer – from ordering to sample

PCBway landing page

I have decided to try a different PCB manufacturer that offers competitive pricing – PCBway. First, let us look at the site’s landing page. Right off the bat, we can see the instant quote widget and the latest offering on flexible PCBs. Before we check their more advanced PCB offerings let’s look at the basic PCB fabrication, and also check into how competitive is their pricing, how fast the shipping is and most importantly how good their PCBs are. We have already seen the landing screen now let us register get our sample PCBs! Click on Join Free and fill in the form below – just make sure your email is correct. Continue reading

Seeedstudio Fusion Vs Elecrow Vs JLCPCB

I have been building these small projects for quite some time now and used a lot of PCB building services. Professionally made PCBs brings in a lot of advantages, the one I like most is that I don’t have to get rid of the etching solution after – oh I have to mention the silkscreen and solder mask finish that you won’t get from DIY PCBs. The professionally build PCBs generally performs better than DIY PCBs. I have used these services in the past – let’s look at them in detail and see which service you should apply for your next project. The first part that we should look at is the order screen and the options they offer. Most DIY projects would only go two layers but for those who need complicated layer stack up and shielding JLCPCB offer up to 8 layers while Elecrow and Seeedstudio offer up to 6 layers. In terms of material, Seeedstudio has the most offering having FR4, Aluminum and Flexible Boards while JLCPCB only has FR4 and Elecrow didn’t state so I would… Continue reading

Programmable Timer on a PIC18F4550

Victor got forced into building this project because a 30+ year old mechanical timer for the house heating gave up on them – instead of buying a new one, he decided to learn new stuff and build something digital. After talking to a few people he used a PIC18F4550 along with a Dallas Maxim DS1307 real time clock. The chips communicates through I2C and to still keep time even if power goes off a back up battery is used. Now you need to have something to display the time stuff – this project comes with a 16×2 liquid crystal display (that also comes with a backlight!). You would also need something to control and adjust the time – this comes with six momentary switches. As I mentioned earlier this was built for a heater so Victor threw in an LED (Light Emitting Diode) to indicate if the heater is on or not. Continue reading

An NTCS Battleship Game on an FPGA

Yaaay! Another FPGA project from Cornell guys! These guys used the DE2 FPGA board to pursue solving the problem of generating color NTSC signals and wanted to show that the VGA DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) is able to handle it. Sounds simple? How about if I tell you that the DE2 FPGA Boards don’t have NTSC ports built into them? NTSC output without NTSC ports – our friends from Cornell got us covered, get the freakin VGA port spit out NTSC signals and not just one but two! General Purpose color NTSC generators were used, NTSC signals are pushed out the VGA pins at full frame rate in 315×242 pixel resolution. Thats the video part so who takes care of the battleship game logic – A NIOS II system runs the battleship code and takes care of the input coming from the two players, the score keeping and feeding location to the NTSC signal generators. Continue reading

An arduino based Wifi Bodyscale

For all ya geeky weight watchers out there! Here’s a project that will measure your body weight, connects through wifi and records each result onto google docs – neat isn’t it? The project was built out of an Arduino Uno, a Wifi shield, a Velleman scale (that was ripped open for this project) and an LCD shield to display how much you weight. The Velleman’s load cells are hooked up into the arduino uno’s analog to digital converters through a INA125  chip that is specifically build for load cell  applications like weighting scales. The INA125 sources the precision voltage that is fed into the load cell which acts like a resistor bridge, the differential result would be in a few milivolts thus the INA125  also has an amplifier that amplifies the signals 500 times so that it can be detected by the Arduino Uno’s analog to digital converter. The uno then builds up a packed data using the APP_WISERVER  library to connect with wifi and then google docs for the recording of the weight data. There are some critical steps that need to be… Continue reading

Controllerless Pong using an FPGA

Remember the ever-popular pong? I would say your childhood is totally boring if you haven’t tried one these ball paddling games. It came in various forms like handhelds and even  arcades with power ranger robots holding paddles – the running concept stayed the same through the years, if you can’t send the ball back then you lose. This project from Cornell is a bit different from the pongs that we have seen so far – it freakin detects hand movements and translates those hand movements into paddle movement – your like controlling the freakin paddle with you Jedi powers 🙂 gesture detection was attained though skin recognition which is processed in a Field Programmable Gate Array or FPGA from Altera. The project is built upon the idea that  skin-detection, centroid computation, ball control and sound generation processes are done in parallel so that efficiency is attained. The hand movements are captured through a HTC 231x CCD camera while the game itself is displayed on a VGA monitor – and everything is processed in a single FPGA! Continue reading