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

Very minimalistic MSP430 clock

How do you think simple clock can be? It actually can be fully functional with one bicolor LED and button. So this is a very minimal clock design based on MSP430G2101 microcontroller that consumes very little power and does its job well. The whole time (hours, minutes and seconds) is displayed with single bicolor led where three colors (red+green=yellow) each represent numbers that can be added in series to form a time format. Button simply wakes microcontroller from sleep to display time and then again returns to power saving mode. There is also a select switch to enter a time set mode. So this is a great example of minimalism and yes – another digital clock design. Continue reading

Texas Instruments enters hobby market with cheap dev platform

There is quite a buzz these days about this development board. This is probably because of many cons and pros about it. But probably this is really good thing that TI company decided to make prototyping possible for everyone. We all know that MSP430 microcontroller has recommended their place due its low power consumption and this is why it is frequently found on various multimeters. Anyway you can get a simple prototyping board only for $4.30 which includes DIP socket for MSP430 microcontroller with 2kB Flash, 128B of RAM, 10 GPIO, 1x 16-bit timer and more features. LaunchPad also has a mini-USB connector along with flash emulation circuitry that allows live flashing an emulation of projects. Also there are two programmable LEDs and buttons. I’d say this is great value for such price. Who know if its gonna last for long as they seem to be expanding towards more powerful devices. Probably one of cons for this is that LaunchPad isn’t compatible with Arduino shields. That would make it more attractive. Anyway give it a try – it still cost… Continue reading

Secure card access controller

This complex project is based on two MSP processors. One is used for access control and another is placed remotely along with locking mechanism. This way controller is protected from possible tampering. First MSP 135 microcontroller reads card info and also keeps track of date – so actions actually depend on weekdays. First microcontroller communicates with second via UART using 422 communication standards. Second MSP 1101 microcontroller according to command received takes action including lock control, alarm and detecting tampering by using random unique ID. This project is a great example of building your own secure access system. Continue reading

The Effective Vessel Microcomputer Network

Nowadays, the computers are one of the most common household devices and it’s already become a familiar household appliance at every family. Some of us were probably known computer pretty well, but how about the microcomputers? Have you ever wondered, what is the main purpose of the microcomputers? To be honest, a microcomputer is a computer with a microprocessor, as its central processing unit. In this case, there is another general characteristic of the computers, where they occupy physically small amounts of space when compared to mainframe and microcomputers. The term “Microcomputer” was came into popular, after the introduction of the minicomputer by Isaac Asimov in July 1965. In that moment, the microcomputer replaced the many separate components that made up the minicomputer’s CPU with a single integrated microprocessor chip! Today’s project is about the Vessel Microcomputer Network. Frankly, there are many applications for small networks of microcomputers. The example includes home automation, trucks and factory floors. The reason why Vessel Microcomputer Network or commonly known as “VuN”, which is a general purpose, low cost system for connecting multiple micros… Continue reading

Wireless Weather Station Equipped with Voice Synthesis

Weather is considering as one of the most unpredictable natural phenomenon on the Earth. Go figure, with all the sudden tornadoes, cyclones, floods, bushfire, and even dust storm violating all across the world, it’s becoming harder and harder to predict the constantly changes of weather! However, there are many people out there have huge interested in the meteorology. If you’re one of the meteorology fans, then you have to hang out here, as we’re about to develop a Wireless Weather Station with Voice Synthesis. Well, the main objective of the project is to create a cheap and maintenance free weather station, which is allowing the paraglider pilots to tell them the current wind condition at their flying site. Unlike the ordinary weather station, this one had access to a PSTN line at the clubhouse by the landing field. The reason why the PSTN telephone line is being used, as it’s a whole lot cheaper than the mobile phone weather station. The device has two TX units. The first one is placed on the mountaintop, while the second unit is placed… Continue reading

The Creative Solar Powered Hidden Observing Vehicles (SOPHOCLES)

Those of you who involving in the design fields knows that it’s highly important to keep your creativity up all the time! Without the creativity, you’re more like to be kicked off from the job… In the electronics world, you also need to come out with brilliant idea, and invent some incredible devices that can benefit other people! In this case, the Solar Powered Hidden Observing Vehicles, or also known as “SOPHOCLES” is a very good example of the combination of creativity and usability! For your information, SOPHOCLES is a sophisticated yet small robot system, which is mainly designed for watching purpose. It has a detector that can be used to look for poisonous gases or sticky air. The motors bring the robot to hidden places, where the built-in camera shows pictures of these dangerous areas. As a result, the radio displays the information about the detected materials. In addition, you might want to use the SOPHOCLES to control the robot, and how the solar cells spend power for missions, which is requiring low-power intermittent operation. Basically, the robot has… Continue reading