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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 hardware PCB

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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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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Arduino electronics hardware PCB

ATTiny Breakout Board

attiny_bo_built-upIn some upcoming projects I intend to embed some processing intelligence into small devices. The smaller Arduino boards are too big and expensive for these applications.

After some investigation, I settled on using the ATTiny series of 8 pin microcontrollers. These processors vary in capability (from a very low end) and all provide 6 I/O ports. Tools compatible with the Arduino ecosystem are also available.

As a first step, I designed a small breakout board for the SOP8 version of these MCUs.

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Arduino electronics hardware PCB software

DIY Soldering Station with Hakko FX-888 Iron – Part 2

SS_FinalIn Part 1 we looked at the design and hardware for the Soldering Station. This part covers the software, assembly and calibration of the system to provide accurate and reliable temperature control.

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Arduino electronics hardware PCB software

DIY Soldering Station with Hakko FX-888 Iron – Part 1

SS_FinalAfter many years persevering with a ‘simple’ soldering iron, I acquired a temperature controlled iron and was amazed at the difference it made to the quality of my work. Recently the iron failed and, although I managed to find the fault and repair it (the temperature sensor wire had broken off), it made me realize that I should keep one as a spare. It is actually quite¬†difficult to repair an iron without an iron!

As I can’t afford to buy an expensive piece of equipment ‘just in case’, I decided to use this as an excuse for a hardware and software project based around a Hakko-FX888 soldering handpiece that I had already purchased.

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UV Curing Lamp for DIY PCB Solder Mask

UV_Curing_In ActionOne of the downsides of home-made CNC printed circuit boards is that a lot of the copper cladding remains and can lead to short circuits when solder strays onto the common waste area outside the formed tracks. Also, after a while it tarnishes and does not look great.

One solution to both these problems is to apply a solder mask over everything that is not meant to have solder on it, similar to professionally made boards.