PIC32 Based breakout Board

Everyone has been in a situation, while prototyping your project you are in a need of more power and easy to configure peripherals. The requirement might not be easily met by an 8-bit Arduino which currently seems to be the best way to prototype your project faster. There are situations, where you need a microcontroller with fairly large number of pins, but most of them are available in SMD package which are so hard to solder. So Gaurav has come up with a breakout-board for his own, which is based on PIC32 based controller few necessary peripherals like bunch of LED ,few switches , USB , EEPROM , V-Reference for ADC ,Oscillator and Voltage regulators too. The cost of the board has been tried to keep as low as possible and the most important thing, the board is bread-board compatible. The board boast off two on-board oscillator, an altimeter and temperature sensor along with a digital compass. It has also has a combination of different types of LED’s and few user switches. The board seems to be a good choice… Continue reading


DRUM-MACHINE is a device which is modelled on classic machines like the ROLAND TR808. However, this version is digital and not analogue in nature and only require a single microcontroller which is PIC24 in this case to work. The PIC has 128kb of memory which is enough to store audio samples. Another advantage of PIC24 is it is capable of running at 40MHZ of frequency which is quite fast. However the author switched to PIC32 in the later stages as he couldn’t get the prototype working. The advantage of PIC32 was that the user has full-access to flash memory s so it made the code part easier. Talking about the DRUM, the drum features 16 different instrument which are stored in flash memory along with 16 step patters with 16 pattern per song. It also has 8 sample polyphony, which are sample from classic drum machines. Another advantage is it can drive audio headphones directly or a speaker via a TPA301 IC. The data is displayed using a Nokia 5110 LCD and there are also a combination of 20 LED’s… Continue reading

QR clock now with graphical LCD

QR code is capable to carry decent amount of information so it is suitable for encoding things like time. When you look at video it seems that it is some sort of alien clock ticking (the one you saw in “Predator” movie). All you can distinct here is a tick every second. If you need to tell a time you need to take a picture and decode QR message. Clock was build by Markus with original idea taken from LED matrix based QR clock. Clock runs on PIC32 microcontroller which decodes time signal from DCF77 receiver, then calculates QR code and displays on ST7735R graphical LCD at 30FPS. It has a nice feature programmed in. When clock is unable to read radio signal it displays time in greyscale and it gets colorful with plasma effect once it locks to DCF77 signal. I would probably add a digital time as well to the screen since QR clock is quite useless unless you are really well trained to read them on the fly 🙂 Continue reading

Picture frame that follows image orientation

Some images are portrait and other are landscape. When taking photos you probably were trying to get best picture out of it and rotated camera as you found it necessary. Well then after in order to view pictures correctly you need to rotate them. Markus found another great solution. Instead of editing pictures he left rotation job for his frame. He made a platform with 320×240 graphical LCD attached using servo motor. Images from SD card are uploaded to screen with help of PIC32 microcontroller. Electronics is mounted on prototype board using through hole elements only. Sadly the frame doesn’t support jpeg images only raw. So they must run through python script for conversions. But this process is fast and works automatically. Finally raw image data is taken from SD card analyzed by microcontroller and depending on image scale it is rotated for best view. Continue reading

Maximite – a PIC based BASIC language interpreter

Couple decades ago BASIC language was quite popular. If you feel sentimental about those old style BASIC interpreters then take a look at Geoff’s project so called Maximite. It is a PIC32MX based basic interpreter box that can be used to play with BASIC around. It has 128k of ram on PIC microcontroller, VGA output, PS/2 interface to connect keyboard. Also you can use USB and SD cards to store and load your programs. Board also has 20 programmable I/O pins that makes it real fun to interact with external hardware. I/O pins can be used for digital and analog voltages. BASIC interpreter supports floating point arithmetic’s, string values with full file I/O. Interpreter can handle up to 40000 program lines per second. If new firmware is released – it can be upgraded easily with bootloader via USB interface. Continue reading

PIC32 based GSM car alarm system

No matter what security system is in your car you can’t feel secure – especially if your vehicle is expensive or unique. Standard alarm systems are well known and easily crackable by persons of interest. If you look for more protection – custom alarm system may be great addition to current. In following project there is a bunch of technologies used. It is based on PIC32 microcontroller that interfaces a GPS module that tells CAR position at any given time, also it is able to send and accept SMS messages with system status. System can take pictures with on-board camera and send it via GPRS. And lastly car movement can be monitored with PC software (data is sent with same GPRS). While GPS, GSM and other high tech toys get cheaper due time – why not add these to your current security solution… Continue reading