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

Fancy reflow oven with color GLCD

Reflow soldering is common technique of soldering SMT parts to PCB. This is quick process, but requires precise temperature and timing control. If you are about to build/use one, be sure to implement controller that would take care of heating and cooling process. 0xPIT shared his reflow oven controller project where he did really good job on functionality and looks. Controller is based on Arduino Pro Micro which sits on top of custom made motherboard. Motherboard performs load switching by using PSB-mount solid state relays and interfaces thermocouples with MAX31855. Software is based on PID algorithm which gives smooth control of heater and fan. But probably the color LCD is that catches eye at first. It displays information in nice graph. Intuitive menu allows selecting parameters like fan speed, PID constants and more. This is great example of paying attention to details when you are serious about where controller is gonna be used. Continue reading

Self-setting alarm clock with Google Calendar

Imagine an alarm clock you don’t have to set manually. This idea seems to be real with DPAC (Dynamically Programmable Alarm Clock). This is done pretty originally. It connects to Google Calendar via Wi-Fi and collects events for next day and then calculates the best time to wake you up. It even counts in breakfast, shower and even time to drive to place where you need to be including traffic conditions. It sounds amazing. Let’s see how it’s done. Mainly its is based on Arduino platform with a bunch of peripherals that include big 6.4” LCD screen, FM radio, iPod link, audio amplifier, WiFly wireless module, x10 to control light,  RTC. Alarm clock connects to specially written Web User Interface where all necessary settings are entered including Google calendar login, locations, destinations. It seems to be really professional and feature rich alarm clock. Continue reading

The Fanstactic Arduino LCD

Sometimes, your life can be more exciting. All you need to do is using your imagination, and then give the ordinary electronic components a little bit modification. Most of you here must be very familiar with the LCD, but how about the Arduino LCD? This Arduino LCD is slightly different from the normal LCD types, as it used the ModernDevice LCD117 Serial LCD kit. If you refer to the above figure, you can see that the serial LCD board is fully piggybacked onto the 2×16 LCD. The BBB or “Bare Bones Board” is inserted onto the bread board with connections to GND, +5 and analog 0. By simply hooking up the power, the ground and data are good to go. By using the ModernDevice LCD117 Serial LCD kit, there are no any libraries or handfuls of wires to be messed with. Furthermore, the coding for LCD117 serial board is as simple as ABC, where the words, “Hello World!” can be performed with one line. The board uses a programmed PIC chip and it can convert serial commands, such as Serial.print… Continue reading

Arduino controls LCD via 3 wires

Microcontrollers have a limited number of I/O pins. And sometimes you need more than you can get. But there is always a solution. For instance, is this simple project Arduino board controls an LCD via 3 wires. The technique isn’t new. I bet many projects are already using this technique. The solution is simple – Arduino sends serial data to shift register that sends it to LCD via parallel lines. Of course, when doing such modifications – standard LCD control libraries won’t be useful any more. For this particular case use this one. Continue reading