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

PIC based HV electric roach motel

Once you let the roaches in your house it is hard to get rid of them. There are so many ways of extermination, but not all of them is effective. Using poisons is not a clean solution. So why not to use some electricity.   This simple device uses a high voltage pulses that are controlled by PIC microcontroller. It generates about 400V at a rate of 10 pulses per second. This should give enough time for roaches to step on and get deadly electric shock. Schematic and PCB are easy to build. Hopefully there will be a source code available soon. Continue reading

A biologically inspired modular autonomous mobile robot platform

This is great mobile robot project that was created and described by Jidan Al-Eryani in Masters Thesis. This is full Master Thesis with deep analysis and testing that may be interesting to read as it includes various areas like designing power, control and intelligence modules where one MCU wouldn’t be effective. Project uses AVR Atmega128L microcontroller for performing basic functions like PC interfacing, Motion control, FPGA configuration, memory interfacing. All intelligence is left to FPGA Spartan-3 XC3S400-TQ144 which may be used for image recognition, machine learning and more. Have a nice reading. Continue reading

Infrared and RF transceiver projects with PIC

This is really cool remote control project that uses two communication links – IR and RF. The whole project consist of three main parts as separate boards: 4/8 channel RF transmitter, 4/8 channel IR transmitter and 4/8 channel IR/RF receiver. Each of transmitters have 8 buttons. Transmitters can act as 8 channel transmitter for sending simple codes or four channel transmitter for sending ON and OFF command with button pairs. The receiver module has 8 relays. Receiver module can be equipped only with RF or IR module- base circuit is same. I wander why not to use both receivers and make it more universal… Source codes for PIC microcontrollers for all transceiver variations are available for download and can be compiled with MPLAB. Continue reading

Simple PIC USB I/O board

This is small versatile USB board developed by Brian Schmalz. He used PIC-USB capable microcontroller for easy USB interfacing and this way got simple parallel port replacement. There is not much about circuit itself as there is only PIC microcontroller, USB connection and I/O pins. Such simple design allows making smal PCB that may fit anywhere starting from integrating in to test-boards and ending as stand alone applications. Author have compiled a nice list of various board versions that include different PIC microcontrollers, different PCB types that can fit in various applications like for plugging to breadboard, or very small SOIC board for tiny projects. Author also provides a list of various firmware versions along with bootloaders. To make things more easier there are few demo applications available for testing or modifying to your own needs. Continue reading

Use oscilloscope as terminal output

This is another great project that came from dutchtronix. This time oscilloscope is used as text terminal. This seems to be quite practical project. Imagine situation that you need to debug microcontroller code. The easiest way is to use terminal which is usually a computer. But computer isn’t always on your workbench. So why not to use an oscilloscope as terminal?   If you already have the Dutchtronix AVR Oscilloscope Clock, you now also have theDutchtronix AVR Oscilloscope Terminal which works on same hardware, only firmware needs to be uploaded. Terminal is capable to output 12 lines with 20 characters each. It also includes all ASCII character set, automatic scrolling, flashing cursor, multiple baud support, etc. Continue reading

Autopilot for autonomous aerial hobbyist vehicles

The idea of this project was to build DIY autopilot kit that anyone could build and use in their flying models like helicopters.   Autopilot uses two dual axis ADXL202 accelerometers to read 3D acceleration, also it reads attitude, engine stats, position, payload stats. All these readings and control is operated by realtime system OS, which reads each sensor at some predefined rate. This is really quite complex system which seems to be stil under development – but it already gives positive results. Project details are available on sourceforge project page. Continue reading