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Arduino electronics hardware PCB

Arduino Pro Mini Sensor Board

I often use Pro Mini format Arduino Boards in my projects, especially when the processor is embedded as a ‘set and forget’ controller. They have a small form factor and are very inexpensive.

However, as I prototype systems using standardized breakout modules (see this past article) it has been annoying not having a sensor-type board for this processor footprint. So I decided to make my own.

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algorithm Arduino electronics PCB software

Making music with a Yamaha YM2413 Synthesizer – Part 3

Part 1 and part 2 of this series set up the hardware and software infrastructure to support end-user applications using the YM2413 synthesizer. These are discussed in this final instalment.

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algorithm Arduino electronics PCB software

Making music with a Yamaha YM2413 Synthesizer – Part 2

The first part concluded with the YM2413 hardware and an amplifier on a test Arduino Uno shield. In this and the next part we explore the interface to the device and how to control the hardware to make music.

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algorithm Arduino electronics hardware PCB

Making music with a Yamaha YM2413 Synthesizer – Part 1

When researching material for the SN76489 sound generator (documented in these previous articles) I discovered that many early microcomputer systems incorporated both the SN76489 and a YM2413 FM synthesizer. The Yamaha synthesizer looked like an interesting piece of hardware to explore. Here’s the result.

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Arduino electronics software

Using the MAX7219 in your Projects – Part 2

In the first part we explored the functions of this MAX7219 and how the SPI link is the key to making the device work for us.

In this part we’ll develop code to efficiently display numeric data using 7-segment and LED matrix displays.

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Arduino electronics hardware

Using the MAX7219 in your Projects – Part 1

The MAX7219 is a common and inexpensive IC used for controlling up to eight 7-segment LED displays (or 64 individual LEDs).

Beginners are often intimidated by how to use this versatile component with a microcontroller, turning to libraries to help them solve the problem. In most simple cases, it is more efficient to run the IC directly. Here’s what you need to know to get the job done.

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Arduino electronics hardware PCB

MPS020N0040D Sensor as a Pressure Activated Switch

The MPS020N0040D pressure sensor is a cheap component readily available for purchase on sites like eBay.

I recently needed to create a blow activated switch and, as I already had a few of these at hand, decided to design a minimal circuit that would provide a digital output when a threshold pressure was detected by the sensor.

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algorithm Arduino hardware software

Revisiting Device Independent Control for LED Cubes

LED Cube 8x8x8

Some time ago, I wrote about device independent control of monochrome LED cubes (see this previous blog post which contains information referenced in this article).

Recently, someone contacted me about extending this framework to color cubes for a project they were considering. As it turn out, this was relatively straightforward and has added additional capability to the existing MD_Cubo library.

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Arduino hardware PCB

Fast Prototyping for Arduino Systems

PrototypingOne of the great things about Arduino systems is they enable us to try ideas and experiment with concepts. At a software level this is simple – write, compile and download. Hardware components, however, can be more time consuming as you either have to wire up a temporary breadboard or you have to build dedicated circuits.

There is a simple way to make the hardware more ‘plug and play’ by building small modules with a simple standard interface that can be combined to create bigger systems. The outcome is a library of standard modules that are easily connected to the Arduino to prototype ideas without fiddling with breadboard wires for the simple stuff.

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Arduino electronics hardware

Low Cost DIY Logic Analyzer

PulseView_LogoA logic analyzer is an electronic instrument that captures and displays multiple signals from a digital system or circuit on a common time base. It is a really useful tool for debugging circuits and communications links. However, the cost of brand-name logic analyzers runs into hundreds of dollars and can be really hard to justify for hobby use.

Fortunately, there is a low cost alternative using open source software and inexpensive hardware.