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

Arduino based MPPT solar charger shield

When you are harvesting solar or wind energy, you want to take most of it. For this you need efficient power converter which would take raw energy and convert it to proper voltage level for charging your batteries or powering electronics. Soldernerd have build an Arduino shield dedicated for charging lead acid battery. He used a solar panel with voltage output around 17V which had to be converted to 14V for lead battery. This obviously required step down (buck) DC to DC converter which takes 17V – 18V from solar panel and converts it to 12V – 14V as efficient as possible. Microcontroller takes care of generating PWM signal which automatically adjusts to maintain output voltage level. Charger is capable to protect battery from overcharging when voltage of battery reaches 14V. Charger is capable to drive 30W power to the battery. Continue reading

Arduino Shield for Battery Operated Sprinkler

This is a very different project that aims at creating an Arduino based shield for battery-operated sprinkler. Although the work on creating an Arduino based controller for the sprinkler is in development stage, this one is ready to buy shield. The shield is designed to work with battery-operated sprinkler waves. The valves inside utilize a latching solenoid, which just draws power when you open or close the valve, and does not draw power in the event that it stays in the same state. Therefore, they are very efficient and are ideal for battery operated controllers. Moreover, the shield can also be stacked with other shield such as WiFi to provide web control. There’s an on-boost converter which helps in generating high voltage require to open or close the valve. An H-Bridge has also been made by using 4 MOSFET switches to generate voltage in both polarities (Ex: -9V and 9V). Overall an exciting application of both analog as well as digital electronics. If you are interested in the shield you can buy it or even make it yourself with the… Continue reading

Programmable electronic load as Arduino shield

Digitally controlled electronic loads are great for many purposes. First of all you can test batteries by discharging them with known current or measure power supply capabilities at high loads and so on. Jakub has been testing batteries and power supplies for some time, but his setup was manual. Eventually he decided to build more automatic solution and so he came up with electronic load Arduino shield. The load is based on FET which gate is controlled by op-amp which allows to maintain constant voltage or constant current across load. The load can withstand 70W power dissipation with up to 10A current. Custom PC software allows reading voltage and current data also it accepts control commands like setting constant power and constant resistance modes. The FET on shield has to dissipate quite a lot heat so there is an active cooler installed which keeps temperature within safe margins. Continue reading

Connect Arduino to Your Car

obd shield

The Arduino OBDCAN Shield connects Arduino board to CAN OBD-II compliant car, light truck, or motorcycle. For those who don’t know, OBD stands For ‘On-Board-Diagnostics’. OBD, is an automotive term referring to a vehicle’s self-diagnostic and reporting capability. OBD systems give the vehicle owner or repair technician access to the status of the various vehicle sub-systems. The Arduino OBDCAN Shield is an OBD to UART interpreter hiding all the complexity of OBD protocol and exposing it as a simple request/reply interface with the help of OBDCAN library. Using this shield is ideal for OBD data logger or scanner application. The shield is communicating with Arduino board using serial Com1 port on pins 0 and 1. Arduino Mega and Due boards have additional Com ports, it is possible to connect shield to those ports using additional connector/jumpers on the board. All the necessary software and hardware details are available on the manufacturer website. Even if you want to make the shield yourself, the schematics are also available online. It also provides operating voltage for the Arduino board from OBD connector serial port operating… Continue reading

CNC shield for Arduino

CNC shield for Arduino

All the arduino lovers must have seen the CNC shield projects popping everywhere. People who wanted to contribute to the growth of the CNC shields have came up with a 100% GRBL compatible shield. The shield features open source software as well as the hardware along with a modular and compact design. CNC shield are the simplest mean available to add control electronics to your project. This familiar footprint manages to contain everything you need for a three-axis machine. The purple boards slotted into the pairs of SIL headers are Pololu Stepper motor drivers.  The terminal block in the center feeds the higher voltage rail necessary for driving the motors. The DIL header on the right breaks out all of the connections to the limiting switches (two for each axis), spindle and coolant control, as well as three buttons for pause, resume, and abort. There’s even a header for SPI making it easier to add custom hardware if necessary. This is a dual-layer board which may not be ideal for your own fabrication process. Continue reading

Low cost Ethernet shield using ENC28J60

Arduino and Ethernet shield is a great duo. But official Ethernet shield is a bit too expensive isn’t it? Boris wanted simpler and cheaper solution, so he designed another shield that uses ENC28J60 Ethernet controller that cost as low as 3 bucks. He went with all through hole components so building it is apiece of cake for everyone even with simple home PCB making technologies. Shield itself has standard Arduino layout with headers in place. Arduino libraries for it is in place and probably only visible downside of it is that ENC28J60 chip supports 10Mbps speed only. But lets be honest – 100Mbps with Arduino is hardly reachable. Continue reading