PIC18F development board with ESP8266

Probably most of you know that ESP8266 can be used as WiFi connectivity module or as stand alone programmable device with same internet features. Anyway for serious applications probably it is best to use it as module along with another microcontroller. Electro-labs have shared pretty neat development board based on PIC18F microcontroller which comes with buttons, LEDs, LCD, FT232RL based USB connectivity and integrated ESP8266 module. WiFi module can be controlled by microcontroller or directly from computer via FT232RL chip. Normally ESP8266 module is controlled with AT commands sent from microcontroller or from computer terminal. Continue reading

Large 40×7 dot matrix display control

Big displays are great for many purposes especially for displaying time, temperature or even scrolling text/graphics messages. In following project LED dot matrix display does this job along PIC18F252. As you may know such number of LEDs cannot be controlled directly, so there are LED driver chips used (STP16CP05) that allow controlling LEDs dynamically row by row. Temperature is measured with help of well known LM35 temperature sensor. Device also has an automatic brightness control where ambient light is measured with light-to-voltage converter (TSL257) and then LED brightness is adjusted according to readings. To make things more interesting and flexible there is also an IR remote control implemented. So settings can be changed remotely in case you stick display higher on the wall. Continue reading