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

Tutorial on driving real time clocks with Arduino

tronixstuff have written a great tutorial how to interface and program real time clocks (RTC). As an example he took two widely used chips DS1307 and DS3231. The main difference between both modules is clocking mechanism that can result in precision. Usually they come in modules that can be easily connected to microcontroller board via I2C interface. Both modules come with built in pull-up resistor, so there are only two wires required to interface to microcontroller (plus power lines). Simple demo program allows to output time and date infromation to serial terminal window every seconds. Both modules come with backup batteries so if you diconnect them from Arduino board they will continue counting time. When next time you connect them again, you will get correct time values. Continue reading

IR controlled smart outlet

Sometimes you may want that some things around the house could be controlled remotely. Of course you can purchase remote controlled switches and relax. But why not building one and having features you really think off. Bergerap shared his infrared controlled smart outlet which also has a timer for turning devices on or off after some time. Outlet is controlled by Arduino Pro Mini. Load is switched with mechanical relay module. IR function is implemented with Keyes IR remote and receiver. Since there is a timer option, a DS1307 RTC Module is included for better time keeping. Smart outlet was assembled in to plastic hobby box where LCD, inlet and outlet openings were cut. Arduino was powered with additional DC adapter that was hidden inside box and connected to inlet power line. Continue reading

Dotclock – an open source hackable clock

To make another digital clock that is’t boring you must try hard. Dotclock project seems to be one of these clocks that pretend to be interesting and different. Despite its nice design it’s functionality is also cool. Great and simple design goes along with cool functionality. It uses a series of animations to tell time. Animation bits are taken from various well known classic games like Pong, Tetris, Pacman and Sspace Invaders. DOTKLOK: Game Time from The Latest Artists on Vimeo. Clock is built around Atmega328 microcontroller with Arduino bootloader. Time is displayed on dot Led matrix. So it is easy to hack, modify or blow your own clock code. As usually clock uses a DS1307 RTC chip to display correct time over time. If you are interested in this project, there are ready pieces to purchase. Continue reading