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

Audio spectrum analyzer based on water pump array

This is what I call really cool project. Project itself is complex and requires some skills like Matlab and FPGA programming and even minor plumbing. First stage is a computer where Matlab GUI captures audio from any audio device like microphone. Then it calculates sound FFT and sends further data to FPGA board via LPT port. ALTERA board then receives data from parallel port and according to FFT amplitudes controls 16 fountain pumps through Darlington resistor array. Project description contains plenty of videos and explanations on building this great device. Of course prototype is small enough – but if put in bigger scale it could be nice and modern attribute in various places. All project files are available here. Continue reading

PIC based magnetic card reader

Probably you have a full drawer of magnetic cards. Maybe some of them can be useful to read or experiment with. You can build a simple reader just in few moments by using reader for couple bucks and building simple PIC circuit that interfaces reader to COM port. Reader reads common track-2 format magnetic cards and outputs data in ASCII format that can be monitored directly in terminal software. You can view project assembly source code here. Continue reading

Fully featured automatic aquarium controller

I believe aquarium controllers are quite expensive and not as flexible as your own. This aquarium controller is developed by Pasquale D’Orsi who managed to manage and control most of controllable parameters in aquarium. Controller is based on PIC18F4520 microcontroller which is interfaced with various devices including: temperature sensor, 8 controllable relays, RTC, LCD, additional EEPROM memory, LED indicators and RS232. Depending on time events that are scheduled precisely by using RTC module, and temperature readings, there can be various events triggered like switching heater, cooler, feeder, lights – you name it. Practically aquarium can be set to work autonomously for several days – so you don’t have to ask a neighbor to look after while you are somewhere on vacation 🙂 Prototype project files can be downloaded here. Continue reading

Flexible AVR Atmega48/88/168 single sided development board

This is yet another good AVR development board which is actually cool, as you can use it for many purposes like testing your applications or simply develop a end application as it includes many built in peripherals like four LED’s, four  buttons, piezo speaker, potentiometer connected to ADC(including filtered analog voltage and adjustable AREF). Board also is featured with two temperature sensors where on gives analog value while another outputs temperature in PWM forms. Development board also has connectivity to standard RS232 interface and built in ISP circuit. – You don’t need additional ISP cables -only COM cable in order to program ATmega. Board files are downloadable here. Continue reading

Simple 3 channel RF remote control application

Using radio frequency (RF) in embedded projects is always cool. You have ability to get rid of wires and transfer information to any direction in some radius. This project uses simple and common transmitter module TLP434A which transmits data by using a 433.92MHz carrier. It’s transmitting range may reach up to 200m with proper antenna and desired power voltage (up to 12V). In this project Transmitter is connected to PIC12F509 microcontroller and powered by 3V coin battery. Such low voltage gives range about 10m. In other end receiver is also connected to PIC microcontroller which receives commands from transmitter and controls three relays – so three independent electrical devices can be controlled e.g. lights, garage doors. Remote control uses Manchester encoding where data is encoded in a single bit stream where bits are represented as PWM. Project source code can be downloaded here. Continue reading