Archive for category: electronics

The Sparkfun Serial LCD

November 24, 2011 | Arduino, electronics | By: Mark VandeWettering

I was driving around various Silicon Valley electronics and surplus stores (like HSC and Anchor Electronics) and decided to stop in at Microcenter. I remembered that they supposedly were beginning to stock items from Sparkfun and the Maker Shed. And, indeed they do! I found a Serial LCD module from Sparkfun that I thought might […]

Using a 1N4148 diode as temperature sensor…

November 21, 2011 | Arduino, electronics | By: Mark VandeWettering

I had an application where I wanted to detect temperature. No big deal, lots of good temperature sensors exist. But of course, I don’t have any of those. Rather than order something from sparkfun, I thought I’d just try to see what I could do with the stuff I had on hand. What I had […]

A cool little computer: FIGnition

November 19, 2011 | electronics, Link of the Day | By: Mark VandeWettering

I keep looking for cool projects where people build small computer and microcontrollers, more or less from scratch. Today, I ran across FIGnition: FIGnition is a £20 educational DIY computer which works like an 8-bit home Micro: outputting to composite video and ready to be interactively programmed from the moment you switch it on. It […]

A Low Power 477Thz beacon

November 17, 2011 | Amateur Radio, electronics | By: Mark VandeWettering

I mentioned that Roger, G3XBM was shifting from the very low frequencies to much higher frequencies. His interest has already uncovered some links that I hadn’t seen before. One very cool thing was his discovery of a local 477Thz beacon (that’s red light) that is aimed roughly in his direction at a distance of around […]

Arduino PPT Solar Charger

November 17, 2011 | electronics | By: Mark VandeWettering

A conversation I had recently got me on the topic of solar energy, and introduced me to something I hadn’t heard of before: maximum power point tracking. The basic idea is solar cells exhibit a complex non-linear relationship between illumination, temperature and resistance. This is usually represented by an curve that (for a given temperature […]

ANGST: the Arduino n’ Gameduino Satellite Tracker

November 13, 2011 | Amateur Radio, Amateur Satellite, electronics, My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’ve stopped hacking on my Arduino/Gameduino satellite tracker for now. Here’s the final video demonstrating it running: I’m currently working on the final schematic which will be posted on this permanent page. The code will be available, for right now, it includes the library that I wrote that does the satellite prediction. I’ll be […]

JeeNode v6 Kit from Modern Device

November 13, 2011 | Arduino, electronics | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’ve been playing a great deal with Arduinos lately, and have acquired a couple of Xbees to experiment with wireless. But Xbees, cool as they are, are kind of expensive for many tasks where a much simple RF link could suffice. Today, I ran across the JeeNode, which is available as a kit from Modern […]

KD1JV on boost and buck converters implemented with an ATtiny13V

November 9, 2011 | Amateur Radio, electronics | By: Mark VandeWettering

Legendary QRP hacker Steve “Melt Solder” Weber has some awesome stuff on his website, particularly if you are interested in homebrew ham radio gear.   (Indeed, it appears he’s about ready to offer his legendary ATS-4 5 band rig kits again, experienced kit builders might want to check it out.)   But what drove me to his […]

Some simple circuits with solar cells…

November 8, 2011 | Amateur Science, electronics | By: Mark VandeWettering

My tinkering with my ATtiny13 based pumpkin circuit had me thinking that perhaps I should try to make something similar, but solar powered. Luckily, Windell had already anticipated my needs, and had put up a nice simple page with some circuits to experiment with. If you want a simple solar battery charger, or a simple […]

STM32L-Discovery: What should I build with it?

November 7, 2011 | electronics, My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

I got one of these boards the other day for free: STM32L-DISCOVERY – STMicroelectronics. Even if you didn’t get one for free, they seem to be pretty cheap: Nu Horizons has ’em for around $15, Mouser has them for $11.67, which makes them pretty much cheaper than every Arduino you can order. But what do […]

Nyle Steiner finds and demonstrates a memristor

November 3, 2011 | Amateur Science, electronics | By: Mark VandeWettering

Nyle Steiner, of the Spark Bang Buzz blog has been at it again, demonstrating cool electrical/electronic devices that are homebrewed. This time he constructed his own memristor. If you aren’t up on electronics, you might not have heard of memristors before. While Leon Chua proposed that such a circuit element was possible, they weren’t actually […]

BeagleBone, a new ARM-powered embedded platform

November 2, 2011 | electronics, Microcontrollers | By: Mark VandeWettering

I really like the Arduino, but even I must admit that performance-wise, it can be a little, well, disappointing. A 16Mhz 8 bit processor can do a lot, but there is also a lot of applications where having something a bit beefier makes a lot of sense. Something with support for a richer peripheral set, […]

A Constant Current LED Driver…

October 31, 2011 | electronics | By: Mark VandeWettering

While tinkering with my ATtiny13 Pumpkin Project, I ended up using a fairly inefficient circuit: the same amount of power is dissipated in the current limiting resistor as in the LED itself, which mean that at best, the efficiency would turn out to be around 50%. In reality, some power is consumed by the switching […]

Making an ATtiny13 Powered Pumpkin!

October 29, 2011 | electronics, My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

Happy Halloween! Here’s a little project I’ve been working on for Halloween… I’ve created a separate page with the details: it’s pretty rough right now, but I’ll try to tidy it up as time goes on. Feel free to mail me with any direct questions to serve as incentives to documenting the project better. brainwagon […]

“MOAR POWER!” … Wait… I mean, “LESS POWER!”

October 27, 2011 | electronics | By: Mark VandeWettering

My electronics experimentation has brought a couple of comments from people I’ve met who have much greater experience and knowledge than I. For instance, in response to my posting of a schematic for flashing a rather large, powerful LED yesterday, I drew the attention of Mike Colishaw on Twitter: @brainwagon Hmm, wasting half the power […]