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.

Continue reading “ATTiny Breakout Board”

Advertisements

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.

Continue reading “DIY Soldering Station with Hakko FX-888 Iron – Part 2”

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.
Continue reading “DIY Soldering Station with Hakko FX-888 Iron – Part 1”

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.

Continue reading “UV Curing Lamp for DIY PCB Solder Mask”

Dual Voltage Power Supply

Dual_Supply 1Switching ‘buck converter’ power supply modules are fantastic, efficient, and can be bought for a few dollars (if not cents!). One drawback for me is that sometimes I need to have both positive and negative voltage supplies, and the buck converter/wall wart combination is not easily adapted to suit.

For these situations I have developed a reusable basic design using the LM317/LM337 3-Terminal Adjustable Voltage Regulators. Continue reading “Dual Voltage Power Supply”

Read 100 Switches with 3 Digital Pins!

4017_KM 3x3 Matrix Finished ProductFor various reasons, digital I/O pins are always at a premium when implementing micro controller projects. There have been various multiplexing schemes described to allow more than one switch to be connected to a small number of pins, but some time ago I came across a very simple but highly scalable method that uses the 4017 decade counter to connect many switches (more than 100 if needed) to just 3 digital inputs.

Continue reading “Read 100 Switches with 3 Digital Pins!”

Big Button Remote Control – Part 4 – Completion

Umote Completed 2With all the preparations completed, Umote can finally take shape for this application. The final product can be broken down into four major subsystems that need to be made and integrated in their final form – IR interface hardware, Enclosure, Power Supply, and Switches and Control Wiring.

Continue reading “Big Button Remote Control – Part 4 – Completion”