In the beginning, computers were very large and took up a lot of space. These days, single-board computers have gotten quite small. So, could an older Intel 8080 compatible computer be built to today’s smaller size standards? Why yes! It can!
After creating an Internet connected digital clock using the Adafruit RA8875 driving an seven inch LCD display, I decided to step it up a notch and add several additional features including: the ability to set an alarm; a countdown timer for uses like monitoring an exercise program; a weather display to provide brief conditions at 10 different cities; a real time stock market report that gives the changing prices for a selection of stocks; and lastly (just for fun), a Mandelbrot fractal generator to produce those wonderful images.
Recently, I began to explore ways to improve and upgrade my “thermal monitoring technology” and came up with this simple, easy to build trend-plotting thermometer. This project features a large color graphics display to show the current temperature in big bold digits. Better than that, it also graphs the temperature trends over the most recent 4, 8, 16, or 24 hour period.
Whether it be temperature trends, time and date, current/voltage readings, battery status, or other variables, consider giving your next project some extra pizazz by including an LCD color graphics display into the design!
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!
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.
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.
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.