Everything for Electronics

Electronic Gadgets

Build a Fun Stylophone

I decided to make an electronic musical toy as a Christmas gift for my young son. I browsed the Web looking for inspiration and found the stylophone: a miniature analog stylus-operated keyboard that was invented in 1967 by Brian Jarvis. My unique take on it combines music and writing to make learning fun!

Build an Internet Digital Clock

The advent of the ESP32 Wi-Fi development boards allows for an increase in the sophistication of a digital clock. It doesn’t take much imagination to envision a digital clock with a large LCD display to not only show the usual time, date, temperature, and humidity, but to also be able to retrieve things from the Internet like the weather or weather forecast, and stock market reports as well. This seven inch clock also automatically corrects for Daylight Savings Time.

TGI: The TEENSY Graphics Interface

The February and March 2018 editions of Nuts & Volts featured my article detailing the Arduino Graphics Interface (AGI) project which described a general-purpose hardware and software platform that could draw graphical objects onto the face of any analog oscilloscope. A reader challenged me to see if the AGI concept and software library could be ported to the newer and faster TEENSY 3.6 processor. This article describes the new and improved TEENSY Graphics Interface project that implements a fully operational “CRT Clock” as a working demonstration of a TEENSY based graphics platform.

Build a Customizable Musical Doorbell

When my wife and I moved into our current home a few years back, it didn’t have a doorbell. We live on a quiet cul-de-sac, so it really wasn’t a problem as we had few callers. After a while, I installed a wireless doorbell that lasted about three years. Recently, after writing the series of articles on “A Digital Analog — When a PIC Can Replace a 555,” I decided to make one using a PIC.

Build a Custom Weather Gauge — Part 2

This fun, elegant, and useful project pulls data from the Internet so a series of useful displays can show all kinds of cool info in real time from your mantel or bookshelf in this impressive platform.

In our previous article, we discussed the circuit and code for each of the core components for our Weather Gauge. We took a deep dive on how the stepper is wired up and the node.js code that drives it. Now, it’s time to put it all together and light it up in this final installment.

Build a Custom Weather Gauge — Part 1

This fun, elegant, and useful project pulls data from the Internet so a series of useful displays can show all kinds of cool info in real time from your mantel or bookshelf in this impressive platform.

In this first article of a two-part series, we’ll discuss the circuit and code for each of the core components for the weather; take a deep dive on how the stepper is wired up; then learn about the node.js code that drives it.

Big Band Sound from the Palm of Your Hand

The Macchiato is a build-it-yourself/do-it-yourself (DIY) miniature eight-bit, polyphonic, digital music synthesizer kit. Derived squarely from the circuitry roots that are deeply entrenched in the pioneering work of American synthesizer maestro, John Simonton of PAiA fame and the legendary analog 1980s Pro-One synthesizer from Sequential Circuits, this offering from Zeppelin Design Labs is much more than just a kit.

Build Your Own ECG-EKG Unit

I find medical instruments like an ECG-EKG unit really fascinating. To be able to watch the electronic firing signals of a heart is mesmerizing and informative. For parts costing less than $50, I built a unit that plugs into my laptop computer’s microphone input jack and displays stunningly clear ECG waveforms. The unit worked beautifully when I tested it on myself, my wife, and friends.

Build the CHROMATICON

Want to be sure you’re playing musical chords correctly? This unit will tell you if you are and display a light show in the process. I stumbled upon this circuit while trying to design a custom frequency tuner for my guitar and is hands down the best sound to light device you could ever build.

Steampunk Planetarium Clock

This unique timekeeper will have you seeing stars ... even the same skies the Spanish missionaries observed back in the 1600s!