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

A PIC16F628A breadboard module

You don’t usually see microcontroller projects in a breadboard and I’ll give you one reason why – microcontrollers require some external components that eventually consumes the prototyping space in a breadboard. This is one of the reasons why hobbyists prefers to make/test projects in a custom PCB rather than the good old breadboard. To remedy the dilemma of prototyping a PCB just to test a microcontroller circuit, R-B had this very fancy idea of making a breadboard module for a microcontroller. The module’s main part is a PIC16F628A, all the external components to make the microcontroller functional is also placed in the board – oscillator crystal, pull up resistor for the MCLR and even the reset button are already in the board. The only pins that sticks out of the module are the I/O pins and the power pins. Now people can verify microcontroller circuits without fabricating a specific board. Continue reading

PlayPIC: A PIC16F84A based trainer to play with

When we were still kids (not so long ago for me) we were trained to walk using wheeled walking aids, when we started preschool we have those plastic template for us to trace drawings. Well in the world of electronics and microcontrollers the case is similar – they don’t give you something an electronic aid or something instead they have things called trainers – these stuff is where you could practice both your electronics and programming skills keeping you tuned for the challenging project that awaits! This simple project aims just to give you the practice that you need. Based on the popular PIC16F84A microcontroller it’s jam-packed with the input and output options to hone your microcontroller programming. It has eight single Leds, a seven segment display, five push buttons and something that every project should have – LCD! It takes the beginner to a step further into the world of microcontrollers. One of the most important features of PlayPIC is that it has an in-circuit-programming header which means you could reprogram the microcontroller without unplugging it out of the… Continue reading

A PIC12F683 development board to get you starting

In order to explore the potential of the PIC12F683 microcontroller Raj built his own PIC development board using few components populating a 12 x 8 cm prototyping board. For some people it’s just a simple project placed on a plate with lots of holes, for some it’s just a generalized break out board for the PIC12F683. But guess what? This generalized piece of plate with lots of hole in it is packed up with feature of which some development boards could only dream of having. It’s powered by a +5V regulated power supply, has three output LEDs that can be tapped to any GPIO ports using jumpers, also has a power switch to take things on and off, a green LED power indicator, a socket for the PIC12F683 – means no disordering when replacing the microcontroller, two potentiometers if you want to play with analog signals – one for reference while the other is for input, an ICSP header – no need to detach the microcontroller when programming, two switches for input, a TTL to RS232 level shifter, a piezo… Continue reading

PICMAN ready for prototyping

There is nothing better than simple, effective and cheap. Especially when talking about microcontrollers. Probably first project ideas are assembled on prototyping board and this action takes some time. There is one solution to make it simple and effective – build a dev board that fits to breadboard. So PICMAN is built that way. It has a PIC18LF4553 microcontroller that is surrounded by various power supply alternatives like USB/ direct 5V or other via voltage regulator; power led, reset button and 3 programmable LEDs as well. So it is ready to work as it is. Or you can plug it in to prototyping breadboard and easily expand it with more peripherals without a single drop of solder. All that joy is assembled in pretty compact single sided PCB. So, great things aren’t always complex. Continue reading

PIC 16F877/16F874 development board

This is very universal PIC 16F877/16F874 development board that makes development of applications easier. It has a bunch of connectors available, LEDs on each octal buffer output. It also has connector for various types of programmers. The circuit itself is simple and versatile. But versatility leads to bunch of wires that needs to be traced. So board become a double sided. Author of this board provides very detailed description of it, so there should be no problem while building or interfacing with external components. But as I say it is better to design your own dev board – then you really have what you need. Continue reading

Multipurpose sensor hub board for data acquisition

Sensor Hub board so called SAK2 (Swiss-Army-Knife 2) board was developed to be flexible data acquisition board which may serve as single dev board or as part of distributed system like wearable platforms. Board can be interfaced with various sensors, serve as chain for data stream applications. It can work as stand alone board if needed. The board is equipped with 16 bit with 32kB Flash program memory PIC18F452 microcontroller clocked at 40MHz (10MIPS). Other parts on board include: 2.4GHz wireless RF transceiver with 125 channels, Compact Flash card connector, DS1302Z real-time clock with battery backup, a bunch of connectors for I2C, RS232, board to board, programming. All project files including, schematics, firmware, and layout are available for download. Continue reading