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

Arduino Mega oscilloscope with TFT display

Oscilloscope is one of most important test devices in electronics. If your needs are not very high, you can go with any cheap or DIY scope. But in the end I would recommend getting standard bench oscilloscope. It saves time and eventually money. If you currently have low budget for purchasing scope, then take a look at this following scope project where vaupell builds it with Arduino Mega and TFT display. Scope project is mostly glued out of two sources where one deals with Arduino scope functionality and another with TFT display. The end result looks great and serves the needs. Continue reading

Optimizing SPI TFT displays for Teensy 3.1

SPI driven TFT LCDs are common way of getting graphical interface on Arduino based hardware. From Arduino perspective you just grab one of existing library like Adafruit’s TFT LCD library and with few lines of code you can get your graphics on screen. But the problem is that library is meant to be used on Arduino boards like UNO that are limited in resources like speed and memory. SO using same library on boards like Teensy 3.1 is loosing its potential. Paul Stoffregen took this library and adapted it for Teensy 3.1 to use its benefits in order to gain much better performance. Teensy 3.1 is ARM based 32 bit board, so there are plenty ways to improve things. First of all he took advantage of SPI speed. If Arduino can drive SPI at 8MHz, Teensy 3.1 can go up to 24MHz. Another improvement is 4 level FIFO buffer in Teensy 3.1 SPI port. So software don’t have to wait until transmit is complete before sending another byte. In other words, software can write byte to SPI while it is… Continue reading

16-Bit TFT LCD Adaptor for Arduino

Many of us always wanted to interface a TFT screen to an arduino to make our projects look more beautiful. However most of the TFT modules require a 16-bit data line and are mainly designed to be connected to an ARM based processor. Also majority of the TFT modules run on 3.3V instead of regular 5V and also the 16-bit data bus can take up a lot of GPIO pins of the arduino. Both the problems were solved by combination of hardware and software. In the hardware an on board level converter was implemented along with a latch that would reduce the number of pins form 16 to 8 at the expense of an additional pin for controlling the latch. The latch works sort of like a small memory. The SN74LV573APW transparent D-Type latch, from Texas Instruments, was used as a latch as it satisfies the speed requirements imposed by the XMEM interface and is easy to find on the market. For the level conversion, the SN54LVTH2245 octal bus transceiver, again from Texas Instruments is an ideal choice for level… Continue reading

Easy to build DIY cell phone

If you are looking for a new phone with a modern looks as well as modest price tag a DIY cell phone is just the right thing for you. It features a 1.8-inch, 160×128 TFT LCD black and white display, and works with a standard SIM card any almost all GSM networks across the globe. It can make and receive phone calls and text messages, store names and phone numbers, and display the time. The hardware and the software are built on the Arduino GSM shield but with extended features.  The display is available in two version, one with the old black and white display that used to come with the old Nokia phones, while the other version is build using eight-character matrix of red led’s. It also has a body made of laser-cut plywood with flexures beneath the surface so that you can press buttons. However, there are no ready-made kits available in the market but the components are easily available online or at any local hobby shops. Continue reading

Interfacing Arduino to color TFT LCD

Want to learn interfacing graphical TFT LCDs to Arduino projects? Then check out this great tutorial. As you know TFT displays are common in cell phones. In this tutorial there is a 4D Systems 1.44″ TFT display used which is featured with graphical processor, microSD interface and can be controlled via serial interface. By following this tutorial you will learn how to interface this LCD to Arduino board and send simple serial commands to start displaying things on it. Continue reading