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

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

Fun with Tengu project

Do you know what is Tengu? It is known as a toy which responds to music sounds and animates along with it. Tengu analyses sound and according to it’s loudness or other parameters it changes faces made of LEDs or other imaging device. Alex inspired by original Crispin Jones Tengu have decided to build one on his breadboard. He used a LED matrix for displaying face.   Tengu heart is an Atmega48 microcontroller running at 10MHz speed. Sound sensor is based on electret microphone from old mobile phone and LM386 operation amplifier. Sound is sensed on AVR ADC input and according to its level the face is updated on LED matrix. Simple and fun. Want to build one – project files are available. Continue reading

RC5 code analyser

This small adapter allows to experiment with various RC5 infrared adapters. It simply reads IR signals lets say from remote control and gives a code. Holger Klabunde have constructed couple versions of RC5 analysers: One stand alone with alphanumeric LCD second sends code via USART to computer COM port.   Circuit uses TSOP1736 IR receiver modules that are optimized for 36kHz carrier signal. RC5 tester also accepts extended codes – up to 128 commands. Continue reading

PIC12F675 controlled electrical key-lock

For building 12 button key-lock you don’t need microcontroller with many ports. Ivica Novakovic has a nice demonstration on how low pin count microcontroller with ADC can be used to read many keys. Key-lock itself is simple. It controls two relays where electromagnets or motors can be attached. In key-lock circuit there are only one one wire used to read buttons. Of course there are also VCC and GND (power supply) needed. Author also included simple piezo buzzer for sounding keys. Each keypad is positioned between resistor voltage dividers so when one of buttons is pressed, ADC reads a voltage drop. This way each button provides different voltages when pressed. As there is 10 bit ADC used, there can be 1024 different voltages read, but in reality there has to be voltage range left for one button, because voltage may fluctuate. For 12 buttons each button has 85 value range what is enough for reliable operation. With more precise resistors and stabile power supply there can be more buttons interfaces if needed. Project files and firmware are available for download.[via] Continue reading

AVR Tiny G-force metter

While stumbling around Hackaday projects I found this interesting G-Force measuring project. Project aim was to measure lateral acceleration force of driver in car when turns when he turns right. According to author car can normally handle 0.8g of centrifugal force. Above this value car may slide to the sideways. Well this of course is a matter of tires used and other factors.     Measuring board contains: Atmel ATtiny26 microcontroller; 3×10 LED bars; ADXL103 accelerometer; and other necessary parts needed for correct performance. Program reads accelerometer value via ADC converter and indicates on one of 30 LEDs on the bars. There is simple lookup table implemented which corresponds to 1g(left) on first LED and 1g(right) on LED 30. The middle LED indicates the current G-force. Design can be improved by adding filtering from noise and vibrations. Continue reading

PIC18F4550 USB prototyping board

PIC18F4550 microcontroller has USB module built in. This allows using USB interface without additional interface chips and drivers. Evan has developed pretty simple PIC18F4550 prototyping board which is capable to download software via USB without need of other external programmer adapter.   Board can easily be adapted for various PIC USB interfacing projects such as HID or virtual COM port applications. PIC board is quite compact, but it has all pins available for interfacing. You may also want to grab a PIC USB Bootloader in order to test USB run.[via] Continue reading