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

MSP430 alarm clock uses LED matrix display

Digital DIY clocks are and will be one of most popular microcontroller projects. And it seems that people never run out of ideas to make it a bit different. Markus built pretty simple digital clock that is driven by MSP430 microcontroller. Two dot matrix LED displays are used to display time and various status information. Two push buttons allows selecting necessary parameters like time, alarm settings, etc. Some special attention is paid to alarm section. It consists of two components – bright LED and buzzer. As seen from video, at the beginning alarm flashes LED with silent buzzer tick. For some people this is enough to wake up. If this doesn’t work, then alarm starts going crazy with more intense flashing and annoying music played on buzzer. Clock is powered from single LiFePo4 battery which is more than enough to power it for quite long time. Algorithm takes care of saving power with various means starting by turning off LED display after some time. Continue reading

Making LED Matrix at Home

Ok, it won’t be a new project for some of you here, especially the LED Matrix. Maybe you’ve involved with LED Matrix more than once, twice or several times, but it’s still a fun to develop a brand new LED Matrix in different method. For this project, you’ll have to make an LED matrix display in 16×24 Green SMD LED matrix. Beside that, you must apply a driver for it. In this case, you can use shift registers to sink the columns and a line driver of some sort to source the rows. To be honest, the matrix is a lot bigger, as it used eight IO lines to drive each row. Since the matrix has sixteen rows, you can use an ATmega168 and a 4:16 de-multiplexer to control all sixteen rows with only four IO pins. Continue reading

The Best Self made Blinking LED matrix – Blinkomat!

Some of the people love the “blink, blink things” and they just can’t help themselves when they discover this kind of stuff! Well, if you’re one of them, then you should try to develop this LED matrix – Blinkomat! You would need to use an Atmega16 Microcontroller by Atmel that running at 16MHz for controlling the LEDs. It has 16KB of Flash memory, 1KB of SDRAM and 512 Bytes of EEPROM. Since it has 32 I/O lines, you only have to choose 12 and the others as dimensions for the LED matrix. As a result, it has 12 rows and 20 columns making 240 LEDs totally, where you can drive directly through the 32 I/O lines easily. The only problem that you’re going to face here is no I/O line left for input purpose. The LEDs can be switched on and off line by line by using time multiplexing. Honestly, this can be done via a timer interrupt. Hence, every time when the interrupt occurs, you will need to switch to the next line of LEDs. By the way, those… Continue reading

DIY The LED Matrix “Fancy LED” and Feel The Fun!

Do you have the deep interest in learning about the PIC programming? Well, it’s not as hard as you think here, and it’s requiring only some basic or fundamental knowledge of the programming. If you an amateur and would like to involve yourself in the PIC programming world, then this Fancy LEDs’ project will be the suitable experiment for you to starting with. Since this is not a hard project, and most of the components that needed are only some cheap transistors, those common red LEDs, and of course, a 16F28 and you ready to go with it! There are few more things you should pay attention in this project. First thing first, you have to ensure that the transistors are either NPN or PNP types, and do check the current flows carefully (You don’t want to make something that won’t work for you, right?). Secondly, do wire the common emitters of the six transistors to the ground, there is a link on the PCB that makes this connection. This is a very fun and interesting project for all the… Continue reading