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Programmable Servo Controller

Posted January 26, 2015 by Chris

"These things have become rather useful around the lab! In addition to the original key-switch operation, they’ve been put to use running optical shutters for pump lasers, turning deposition shields inside vacuum chambers, etc. Basically, any time we have a mechanical device we want to be in one of two positions, we use a servo and this board."

Mini Project – RGB Light Glove

Posted January 25, 2015 by Chris

"I wanted to play around with the idea of composing color by utilizing the color-combining RGB LEDs. Using 3 different variable resistors I could adjust the levels of Red, Green, and Blue color elements separately. I was exploring the idea of actively ‘composing’ color for use in software like Photoshop, Illustrator, or some other art program. This glove is a self-contained first-step towards this kind of color control."

Converting ATX Power Supply to Lab Bench Power Supply

Posted January 24, 2015 by Chris

"Small tutorial on Computer ATX Power Supplies. How to use them, how to connect them in series, in parallel. What is 12V rails? Is it possible to connect 12V rails together? ATX connector wiring explained."

Saving energy with the .NET Micro Framework

Posted January 23, 2015 by Chris

"I wanted it to be cheap to build with easy-to-find parts and very reliable as my wife does not appreciate cold showers: I decided to use a netduino-mini micro-controller, an AdaFruit DS1307 real-time clock and a servo to adjust the temperature of the water heater."

Mini Portable Power Supply

Posted January 22, 2015 by Chris

"I did this project to make myself a portable power supply I could bring around to test certain broken equipment which requires fixing. It is handy to be able to bring around a variable power supply such as this than to look for a suitable battery to power it up."

Low-rent Acoustic Receiver

Posted January 21, 2015 by Chris

"The receiver circuit completes the modem’s hardware design. It is simply a two-stage amplifier that gives a total gain of about 2000, in series with a band-pass filter….The goal is for the receiver to output a signal that is around -10 V when idle and peaks at -5 V when it receives a signal. These voltages correspond respectively to logic low and high on the microcontroller."

Turning PC On with a Knock Using ATtiny45

Posted January 20, 2015 by Chris

"Today’s post is something I’ve prepared for a long time. Hardware-wise it’s a simple thing – ATtiny45 emulating a PS/2 device, sending a key press when three knocks are detected in the attached piezoelectric sensor."

Piccolo, the tiny CNC-bot

Posted January 19, 2015 by Chris

"Piccolo is a low-cost kitset device that uses servos to create a mechanism for tinkering with or developing for basic 2D or 3D CNC output. Applications range from simple drawings, generative designs and data visualations, to small scale laser cutting or 3d printing, depending on the tool head used. Piccolo’s small size, low power and low cost makes it easy to use in almost any environment and in multiples."

A Mixed-Signal LED Clock

Posted January 18, 2015 by Chris

"The term ‘mixed-signal’ is usually reserved for circuits and ICs that process both analog and digital signals. In that sense the title ‘A mixed-signal LED clock’ is perhaps misleading since this is a digital clock from beginning to end. However, the readout is analog and since the beast had to be given a name, I a called it my ‘mixed-signal’ clock. "

PCM Sound Generator

Posted January 17, 2015 by Chris

"This is a simple sound generator based on 8-pin SD Audio Player. It is built with an Atmel ATtiny861 microcontroller and an SD memory card. The tiny861 has fast PWM outpus like tiny85 so that it can generate clear sound compared to any other AVR chips. On 20-pin device, many GPIO pins are available. It enables to control the sound generator by external signals."