News & Articles

Get started learning to build your own electronics by following our FREE online courses below!
Learn More »



Build Like A Pyro!
Find many of the parts used on this site at our favorite online electronics shop
Take Me To The Gadgetory!

MCM Electronics Daily Deal and Bulk Bargain

Simple 6X USB Charger with Current Monitor

Posted March 5, 2015 by Chris

"This is a simple 6 port USB device charger with a individual current monitor on each port. The charging current is indicated using RGB LEDs. Blue means slow charge, green means 250mA to 750mA, red means over 750mA, and purple means over 1500mA. This circuit involves an ATmega328P, INA169, and a OKR-T10-W12."

HID-class USB Serial Communication for AVRs using V-USB

Posted February 15, 2015 by Chris

"As you probably know, V-USB is a very useful software-only implementation of low-speed USB device for AVR microcontrollers. It adds USB functionality for almost any AVR, particularly for those without hardware USB functionality. With this, it’s possible to make a very low-cost standalone Arduino with USB port and without having to use an FTDI chip."

Visualising Optical Mouse Sensor Data Using Arduino And Processing

Posted January 29, 2015 by Chris

"If you open a common optical mouse you will most likely find two chips inside — one being a general purpose micro-controller and the other an optical mouse senor. The sensor captures images of the surface below the mouse at high frame rate. It uses captured images to calculate the displacement the mouse is moved over time. Incidentally, it is also able to provide the raw image data. "

HD44780 LCD To USB

Posted December 5, 2014 by Chris

"LCD2USB is a open source/open hardware project. The goal of LCD2USB is to connect HD44780 based text LCD displays to various PCs via USB. LCD2USB was meant to be cheap and to be made of easily available parts. It is therefore based on the Atmel AVR Mega8 CPU and does not require any difficult to obtain parts like separate USB controllers and the like."

Meet Robin: The CAPS-LOCK indicating robotic helper

Posted September 18, 2014 by Chris

"Are you struggling to see if your caps-lock is enabled? Typing in incorrect passwords, because of this? Robin can be of assistance. He will also warn you if you are toggling caps-lock to quickly."

Open Source Framework for USB Generic HID devices using PIC18F

Posted September 11, 2014 by Chris

"I’ve developed a framework for producing USB devices which covers both the Windows host-side application development and the PIC18F firmware itself. The framework consists of a Visual Studio C# class library, a windows reference application, a simple USB hardware reference design and a PIC18F4550 firmware which communicates with the class library."

Low cost temperature data logger using PIC and Processing

Posted September 3, 2014 by Chris

"This project describes an easy and inexpensive way of adding a digital thermometer and data logging feature to a PC. It involves a PIC microcontroller that gets the surrounding temperature information from the Microchip MCP9701 sensor, and sends it to a PC through an USB-UART interface."

HID QuickKey USB Adapter

Posted August 8, 2014 by Chris

"The hardware is based on Microchip’s Low Pin Count USB Development Kit for the 1814K50. It is setup with 10 inputs, each with a pull-up resistor. The firmware is programmed with USB Human Interface Device Keyboard example from Microchip Solutions. It requires no drivers or special setup, it is plug and play."

Little Wire AVR Programmer And More

Posted July 29, 2014 by Chris

"When i saw simpleavr’s implementation of usbtiny on attiny45 , i thought it would be cool if i make a kit version of this with a minimal form factor. Then i designed a PCB and sent for first prototype. Later on i thought, if i want to sell this, it would be much cooler ,and more suitable with “Open Source Hardware” concept, if i bring this project one step ahead. So i tried to fit anything extra to the device and this Little Wire project came out."

Using a Wii Nunchuk as an Earthquake Sensor

Posted June 28, 2014 by Chris

"This article explores the suitability of a Wii nunchuk based USB accelerometer as an earthquake sensor for the Quake-Catcher Network (QCN) project. It examines the nunchuk over several metrics: precision and range, frequency response, total cost and availability."