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

Redesigning mobile phone with rotary dial

Rotary dials are long gone since everything went digital. Now every device is equipped with keys or touch sensitive input interfaces. But if you feel a little nostalgic about old times you may find this project really interesting. This is a custom made mobile phone with rotary dial for input. We already know that building mobile phone isn’t that hard when you already have GSM modules around. All you need it so hook everything to microcontroller and LCD and you are up to go. jaromir instead of adding buttons or touch sensitive LCD went with simpler but yet interesting solution – a rotary dial. The phone is controlled with 8-pin DIP NXP LPC810 ARM Cortex-M0+ microcontroller. He had to squeeze everything to fit 6 IO pins. Shift register solves a lot here. No matter if it looks cool, making calls, entering PIN numbers can be real pain, but it works. As a phone it has huge enclosure due to large rotary dial size. You will definitely amaze your mates when taking calls. More pictures of it at Picasa. Continue reading

Miniature ARM baord

ARM development boards always been bigger, and more complex than other 8-bit systems. But things are different now – ARM also can be smaller but yet more powerful embedded devices than PICs or AVRs. We already know that ARM processor can be as small as 8 pin chip. LPC810 ARM Cortex M0+ is one of great examples. And you know you don’t need much to get it running. Jan built probably smallest ARM device with this chip which can be used in many cool projects where bigger processing power is needed. For instance in wearable electronics projects. The board (which is called Catweazle) consists of LPC810 processor in DIP package, 3.3V LDO linear regulator and LED which indicates when it is set to ISP programming mode. Controller can be programmed via UART by using any USB TTL cable and standard software like Flash Magic. Board has 6 I/O for normal use. Chip carries 4K of flash, 1 K of SRAM, 2 timers, hardware SPI, I2C and UART. And most importantly this is a true 32-bit controller for $1 Continue reading

Arm Cortex-M0 tutorial. First project with LPC810

First project with LPC800

Times when 8-bit microcontrollers dominated in small applications seems to be going to the past. Of course, there will always be a niche for AVR, PIC, and other well-known brands. But ARM is making serious progress here. ARM Cortex-M0 microcontrollers offer 32-bit power for a minimal price. Take the LPC810 microcontroller, which you can bet for less than a buck. You can get them even in a DIP-packages. So, introducing ARM in smaller applications may be beneficial in terms of performance and special features. The only thing that may not look attractive – getting development tools ready and getting used to ARM Cortex specifics. But in reality, once you start, it becomes easy with a little help. adafruit has prepared a handy tutorial to get started with Arm Cortex-M0 MCUs – specifically, LPC8100, small, low cost, and DIP. NXP offers his LPCXpresso tool, which is easy to start with. But you can always go with Eclipse + GCC setup if you like to. If you follow all the steps correctly, you will get your first blinky program working. When you… Continue reading