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

Infrared remote control tester

This universal remote control tester can capture IR signals from various TV, Audio, VCR remote controls. Detector part is based on Ubicom SX28 microcontroller that can give up to 50MIPS performance. Circuit is very simple. It used three different IR sensors to read different kinds of remote controls. Decoded data is sent to PC via RS232 port. Computer software receives and displays IR waveform in convenient form. Continue reading

Surveyor robot with DSP on board

This is really huge project that is impossible to review in few sentences. Surveyor or so called SVR-1 robot is designed by Surveyor Corporation. Robot platform is equipped with wireless and video modules. It can operate autonomously or operated remotely via wireless Internet connection and console. From embedded systems perspective interesting part is Blackfin BF537 DSP processor (1000 integer MIPS). Processor is used as main heart to control robot platform, run on-board interpreted C programs, capture images, compress and transmit them via WLAN. All these tasks of course wouldn’t be impossible without uClinux embedded OS. Probably the most exiting part of this project, that all development is based on OpenSource tools. uClinux is compiled with GNU tool-chain. Console is running by using Python software. Also all necessary schematics and firmware are available for download for studying or maybe building one. But probably this is easier to order one and enjoy the ride. Continue reading

DTMF extension for microcontroller system

Telephone lines that maybe found in your house may be used not only for making calls but also for other purpose like home automation, remote device control. To make it possible there is an interface between phone line and microcontroller system needed. This DTMF extension is universal module that can be connected to any microcontroller platform. It detects DTMF tones and decodes them to binary digits that can be easily read by microcontroller, which can decide what tasks to perform. DTMF decoder is based on CM8888 chip which is ideal for interfacing with MCU. Here is an example source code for interfacing with AVR ATmega8535 microcontroller which is written for WinAVR compiler toolset. Continue reading

Tiny pocket password reminder

Probably everyone has a long list of passwords to remember. But are they safe from other and from forgetting them. Some people are using same password for all cases…well this is not safe. And of course using popular words as passwords also isn’t safe. It is better to use characters mixed with numbers. But these are hard to remember.   Alberto ricci bitti have built a fancy embedded pocket password reminder which can remember hundreds of passwords. The circuit is simple – menu navigation is done with encoder rotor and single button. Information from Cypress CY8C27443 microcontroller is displayed on 2×16 character LCD display. In order to access passwords you need to enter 5 digit code by rotating and selecting symbols with rotor encoder. But the most interesting thing in this project is how password information is captured from PC. Device have a phototransistor which is used to read data from PC monitor. Author have developed simple web script which allows to enter password with on screen keyboard. Then phototransistor pointed to special screen area reads the code which is… Continue reading

Proteus projects and tutorials

Today you don’t have to mess with wires in order to program and run microcontroller programs. There are so many tools that allow you to develop complete projects, simulate and debug them like they are real world examples. smainj in his French page has compiled ad nice collection of Proteus projects mostly for PIC microcontrollers.   His projects include positioneer, simple security system, data acquisition system with 16 analog and 16 digital inputs. But most exciting thing is that he publishes nice tutorials on how to set up embedded projects on Proteus Design Suite. Video projects include: -Designing a Schema Using ISIS; -Using mikroC compiler to Write a program for PIC16F; -Simulating programs; -Converting circuit to PCB; -Sending information from Computer to LCD Using virtual USART communication; -Software development : VB.NET and setting simple COM port communications; -Analogue simulation using PROSPICE; -Simulating ASM programs; -Viewing variable using Watch Window. Despite language is French, but video tutorials are self explanatory. Continue reading