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

Compiling Arduino code for PIC32

Programming PIC microcontrollers using Arduino code style isn’t something new. We are already familiar with ChipKit development boards from Digilent and their Arduino like development environment called mpide. Tom Kibalo suggests using MPLAB IDE to develop and use Arduino code for PIC32 microcontrollers. He has been developing Arduino library code for PIC32. Most agree that Arduino IDE environment sucks for making more serious projects, so different options are always welcome. For instance by using MPLAB X IDE you can be way more productive with all tools it provides. Arduino library for PIC provides most of Arduino specific functions and there fore most of Arduino code can be executed on PIC same way using simple wrapper code. Continue reading

Neat computer resource usage monitor

If you want constantly to keep an eye on computer resources, then you should consider having resource monitor. Software based are easy to set up, but in order to view the info you need to activate the window. In most cases this isn’t convenient as it requires action every time you want to look. It is better to have all info in front of you what ever you are doing near PC. So Ivan started experiments with various set ups. First of all he thought to have a tachometer based CPU LED bar. But eventually monitor evolved in to compact and very informative display. And so, resource monitor is driven by PIC32 microcontroller which connects to computer via USB port. It drives RGB 8×8 LED matrix where each column indicates different resource: total CPU, CPU by user, RAM, HDD read/write, HDD space, network upload/download. Ivan put a paper sticker with letters on top of LED matrix that gives instant clue on whats going on. Follow more detail log here.   Continue reading

Free PIC32 C++ compiler

PIC microcontrollers are great choice but there is always a problem when choosing compiler. The weak side of PIC is lack of open source C compiler. What if you aren’t doing commercial projects and down want pay a penny just for trying things out. The best choice is to use trial or limited version like CCS. Anyway there is a bit change here with PIC32 microcontrollers. Microchip has announced a free version of MPLAB XC32++ compiler with no time or code size limitations. Compiler supports all 32-bit PIC microcontrollers for C++ or mixed C/C++ projects. Free version has no best-in-class optimization or server license, but for most hobby and even commercial projects works fine. Continue reading

The Hypersensitive Radioisotope Analyzer

Earth, our lovely homeland, is a very beautiful and mystery place. It covers with assorted natural resources and elements. Most of the elements can only be traced, if you’re having a hypersensitive equipment, such as the Radioisotope Analyzer. The radioisotope analyzer is a handheld instrument, which is used for identifying and studying sources of ionizing radiation. Basically, it processes the signal from a sensor named, “scintillation probe”. The scintillation probe is often being used to analyze, store the data and produce a graphic output known as an “energy spectrum”. The users can identify the radioisotope, based on the location and amplitude of peaks within the spectrum of one component. Frankly, this radioisotope analyzer can allow the complete system to be built in a handheld device. It includes the latest data analysis tools, the back-propagation neural network. This feature is for modeling unknown samples and comparing the measured samples! In addition, the system equipped with the following components, such as: A graphical display (graphics PICtail), Buttons for the user interface, An SD flash card socket (It responsible for storage of spectrum… Continue reading

DIY a Multi-core Spectrum Analyzer Today!

You might have encountered various types of spectrum analyzers in your life. As you know, the common spectrum analyzer is limited with several functions, where you can use it for examining the spectral composition in electrical, acoustic or optical waveform! If you’re suggesting to buy a brand new spectrum analyzer, it’s the right time to have a peek on this multi-core spectrum analyzer. For your information, this project is fully based on the PIC32. It utilizes the processing power of three additional dsPIC33 processors. In this case, the inherent speed of the dsPIC33s will be used to perform repetitive FFT computations and provide the parallel interface with the high speed A/Ds. With the multiple cores, the processing of multiple analog input signals would become extremely fast and efficient than before! Different from other spectrum analyzer, this multi-core spectrum analyzer is going to provide a user with a low cost system, which is able to perform the following tasks: Sampling multiple channels of analog data, Computing the spectral content, and Displaying the result on a color graphical display. Beside that, the… Continue reading

iHippo – The Artificial Intelligent Toy!

If you’ve watched the Disney animated movies, “Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa”, then you must have entertained by the Hippopotamus inside the movie! I bet you also very familiar with this slogan, “I like to move it, move it” too, isn’t it? By the way, are you interested to develop a smart and interactive toy here? Well, have a closer look on this iHippo, as it’s an artificial intelligent toy. This iHippo is an amazing toy that based on the Pic32. Beside that, it contains a 223-unique and original soundbites. The five original full-length songs can be used to help your children go to sleep while the random blurbs will keep you laughing all the time. There are other interesting features about this iHippo: A smart Parental Control Interface – It provides a “block-out” window and allows the parent to program into the iHippo, by simply using a standard RS-232 interface. Wake-up alarm – It can be a useful alarm to get your children wake up in the morning. Smart light sensor – It equipped with an automatic volume control… Continue reading