Everything for Electronics

Microcontrollers

An ESP8266 Live Wi-Fi Webcam

Having read about the ESP8266 NTP clock in previous issues of Nuts & Volts, an idea came to mind to construct an interface camera using the ESP8266. In this project, we used an old Android phone as a camera source and linked to an ESP8266 based webserver. The phone acts as a camera server and the ESP8266 web server acts as a client to the camera server. The webserver displays the live webcam on its web page.

Build the Laser Pencil Engraver

Several months ago, an idea popped into my head for a fun project. I wondered if I could burn some characters into the yellow paint of a No. 2 pencil with one of those powerful diode lasers available on eBay. Perhaps it could be my name or my grandkid’s names, or even a happy birthday message to my lovely wife. Here’s how I did it.

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 MIDI Autoharp

This project is a follow-on from my MIDI lyre project featured in the July-August magazine. I’m going to describe how to build a MIDI autoharp. Like the lyre, this is a MIDI controller, so it doesn’t make any sounds itself. Instead, it sends MIDI messages to an external synthesizer. It’s the synthesizer that makes the sounds.

Create an LED Sign Controller

When you plan to create a large sign with LED dot-matrix modules, the circuits and software can seem like a big challenge. However, the step-by-step approach in this tutorial gives you what you need to know to make a sign of your own.

Keep Your Home Secure with Raspberry Pi

Surveillance is one of the most effective deterrents against crimes lke burglary and theft. The Raspberry Pi can be the foundation of a great DIY home security system.

10 Awesome Raspberry Pi HATs You Need to Try

Whether you’re building your own electronic drum kit or measuring distance with a 3D scanner, a HAT can give your Raspberry Pi exactly the functionality you need.

Build the MIDI Replay Stomp Box

The MIDI Replay stomp box is a powerful configuration and recording device for keyboard players, based on the wonderful MIDI protocol: the standard musical language of over 30 years. 

This article explores the design challenges of this real-time system and covers topics such as task scheduling, buffers, parallel computing, dynamic memory management, response time analysis and menu system design.

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.