Not every application needs a microcontroller, yet often times they're used in a project unnecessarily. I’ll show you two examples of circuits that don't use a micro, but are often built with one, and explain some of the logic and theory behind these circuits.
Over the years, I have accumulated a bunch of chips from before the era of true PCs when computers with names like Altair, KIM-1, and Cosmac ELF were popular. I’ve been looking for a way to use them in new projects, so I designed a system around a 40-pin PIC16F887. I figured this would put some of my historic chips to work and be a great learning tool for understanding how a microcomputer works.
Erector sets helped to spark lifetime passions for building things. Take a trip down memory lane and follow the construction of a classic 1950’s Gilbert Erector set Ferris wheel with some new bells and whistles added from today’s technology.
Signal generators are devices used to make the signals used in testing and troubleshooting of radio receivers and other circuits, so are of primary interest to almost everyone interested in electronics.
In the US, the DC volt is legally defined by the Josephson array — a super conducting quantum device with a highly repeatable output voltage. Banks of standard cells and temperature-stabilized zener diode references are used by the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) to calibrate DC meters for scientific and industrial customers. So how is the AC volt defined?
How many times each day do you pick up a probe to measure a DC voltage? The meter reads, say 4.65 volts, and we usually accept it without question. But just what is a volt and how is it maintained? Here's a fascinating look at the search for increasingly more accurate methods of building a “standard volt.”
It’s not all that often that a new piece of hardware comes along that immediately captures the attention of the builder community. The ESP8266 is the newest example of this. It’s only about the size of a nickel, yet contains a powerful 32-bit microcontroller and a Wi-Fi interface, plus you can buy it for around $4.
Keeping tabs on relative humidity and temperature is important in a variety of situations. The DHT22 is a recent contribution to the lineup of joint humidity/temperature sensors, and is particularly attractive to DIYers thanks to its low cost. Uncover its secrets to get it working for you.
With the wild fluctuations in fuel prices over the last few years, world concern over global warming, and simply the idea of creating new and more sustainable technologies, immense interest and progress has developed recently in the world of battery development.
As an experimenter, I use wall warts all the time to power circuit boards, microcontroller boards, and even finished projects. However, during the checkout phase of a new circuit, wall warts present a problem. How do you measure their output when they’re plugged into a board or project box?
Electronic designers are familiar with the apparent perversity of Nature in the tendency of amplifiers to oscillate and oscillators to amplify.
This six-digit, beautifully designed timepiece showcases cold war era components — Numitrons instead of Nixie tubes — along with modern LEDs and a Microchip PIC to create not only a useful clock but a great conversation piece as well.
Build a Propeller-Based Mentoring Platform for hours of fun with your kids or grandkids making simple computer games or exploring computer-controlled hardware circuits together.
Automatically charge your 12V lead-acid batteries up to 12 amps using solar cells.