Solenoid Driver PCB

A part of a bigger project needed control circuits for up to 16 DC solenoids. Instead of wiring up a one-off prototype, I decided to design and manufacture a PCB to do the job in a scalable manner, and with a minimum of Arduino pins, so that the same circuits could be used for future high power on/off control tasks.

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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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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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YX5300 MP3 Player

The YX5300 MP3 module is easily interfaced to a microcontroller, creating MP3 player with a user interface. Using the MD_YX5300 library and an understanding of how the device works (see the previous posts here and here), this article describes the code for a simple MP3 player and a more complex player with an LCD module display.

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YX5300 Serial MP3 Player – Message Sequencing

Since my previous YX5300 post I have received a number of questions related to how the serial messages between a host and the MP3 module work. Understanding this message flow is important when writing code that uses the MP3 player in an interactive application.

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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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Home Automation and The Internet of Things – Controlling

In the previous part we finalised the configurations for the IoT ESPEasy devices to give local control capability. In this  instalment we complete the configuration that enables our devices to create an integrated home automation system.

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Home Automation and the Internet of Things – First Steps

In the first and second parts of this series we set up the hardware with the ESPEasy software. Now the hardware is set up, it is time to work out how to and exercise control over the I/O that will turn the AC power on and off.

As it turns out, ESPEasy makes this a simple process.

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Home Automation and the Internet of Things – The (re)Start

IoT_Icon

In Part 1 of this series I optimistically expected that the hardware selected was going to be “reasonable pace to start” experimenting and implementing a basic Home Automation system. When I actually started implementing the system one shortcoming became obvious.

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Home Automation and the Internet of Things – The Start

IoT_IconI have wanted to experiment with home automation and Internet of Things (IoT) for a while and recently came across an inexpensive WiFi relay/switch combination on AliExpress that seemed a reasonable place to start. So after waiting a few weeks for delivery, my adventure into IoT-land started.

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