I’m a digital clock nut. I began experimenting with the newer Nextion displays, which I really like. I’ve produced digital clock versions for the 3.5, 5, and 7 inch size Nextion display. They all run from the same printed circuit board and have several different functions.
This project started out as a challenge to myself: Could I cram a full-featured Z80 microcomputer using DIP packages onto an ExpressPCB MiniBoard (3.8” by 2.5”)? Here’s what happened.
Twenty years ago, I published an article in Nuts & Volts about designing a general-purpose programming system: the LP120. I’ve used the LP120 heavily for the last 20 years to support my eight-bit design hobby. It now has uploadable drivers and programming modules for many eight-bit micros, EPROMs, and GALs. However, things have changed since 2000. Back then, few microcontrollers had more than 4K bytes of program memory. Now, eight-bit PICs have up to 64K words of memory. Clearly an update to the LP120 was called for.
After retirement a few years back, I started collecting AA5 radios, restoring and selling them. People would ask whether they picked up FM and, of course, they did not. I started thinking about how to add FM capability without destroying the AA5’s AM operation. Here is my solution.
With the influx of electric skateboards and scooters that have taken over seemingly every city, I started thinking it might be something to purchase for myself. Instead, I decided that I would try to build my own from scratch. Not really to save money, but to gain the experience of building something of my own. The primary purpose of this article is to show my design and manufacturing process, so that you can learn from what I built.
Long exposure photography captures the path of light over time, smearing moving elements to produce a single photo which creates a new realm of artistic photography. However, popular subjects of light exposure photographs are uncontrollable (stars, car headlights, etc.), so we made a light painter using microcontrollers and a DotStar LED strip to develop custom photography from images uploaded by a user.
We ended our Part 3 article by giving you an assignment that emulates the card game, often called In Between (but better as known Acey Deucey). Recall that the objective of the game was to have the “dealer” turn two cards face up and then have the player bet that the next card would fall “in between” the two face-up cards. Let’s see how close your code came to mine.
Most LED projects involve some wiring, some resistors, a solderless breadboard, and a bunch of jumper wires. Not this one! You can create bright, stunning colors by literally just plugging LEDs directly into the Arduino pins. No wiring, no resistors. Just your Arduino and a handful of LEDs. The is the absolute simplest and lowest cost way to get started manipulating light and color. I’ll show you how to do it safely in this article.
While getting the correct answer to a programming problem is crucial when designing a program, it should not be your only objective. You also want to write it with sufficient clarity that someone else can read your code and easily understand what the code does. Let’s take a look at an example program to show the square of a number.
As a final class project for our “Digital Systems Design Using Microcontrollers” course we all took last semester at Cornell University, we created a very unique device. We wanted to design something fun, aesthetically pleasing, and interactive, and since we all enjoy listening to music, we decided on a music visualizer. Our vision was to create a unit that listens to music being played, then in real time displays a dynamic and colorful visual representation of the music based on the volume and pitch of the notes. Additionally, our music visualizer provides an alternate avenue for experiencing music for the hearing impaired. Here’s how we did it, so you can make one too!