A printed circuit board or a PCB can provide mechanical support to electronically connected electronic parts of a device using traces etched using copper sheets, conductive pathways, etc., laminated on a non-conductive substrate. Usually, preset IPC organization standards help design the PCB layout, maintain a certain level of quality, and follow a proper assembly pattern accepted by the industry. PCBs usually follow the IPC 2221A standard in terms of design and quality control, and it is the same for any material the PCB is made with. An insulator is a prime component of any PCB, home to various layers of materials attached to the insulator itself. All these layers act as a form of grounding to the entire PCB. Now coming to the copper traces – they are created either by the mechanical laying of individual lines or by applying a copper coat to the entire board and stripping away what is left after your work is done. The second process is much more efficient, as this ensures that you have the exact amount of copper traces required on the PCB for connecting electronic components.
I bet you face many problems in the design process where you need to test the power supply or LED by providing/drawing constant current regardless of voltage change. Such a device is called a dummy load. You can find lots of DIY dummy load projects, and we won’t be talking about commercial ones right now. Nick found out that most DIY dummy loads tend to be complicated or unavailable. So without struggling, he decided to start his own simple and reliable load. He wanted it to be simple, self-powered, and indestructible. Indestructible means that it won’t burn in a voltage range up to 30V. With BTS141 FET this became possible as it has built-in over-current and over-voltage protection built-in. Controlling is done with a simple potentiometer attached to operational amplifier positive input. Negative input is connected to the current sense resistor. The project is OSHW which can be found on Github as re:load. [source]
Writing software is a complex task. In every microcontroller program, you usually try to reuse previously registered libraries, downloaded code, and other data that is being updated. What if you are developing something in the team? How do you keep track of everything? Storing project files in directories eventually gets messy – finally, you lose track of what’s done. For instance, sometimes, you have written an LCD library and used it in several microcontroller projects. But eventually, you found a bug or optimized code. Usually, you would have to copy new library files in every project to keep updated. This is hard when you already have dozens of projects. There is one way to stay organized by using version control software. In this case, we will talk about SVN. Subversion (SVN) is an open-source system that allows controlling files and folders, keep track of changes made during the time. Simply speaking, SVN is a virtual file system that keeps track of every change in files, directories. It’s a clever way of storing project files either you are working alone or in a team. Using this system-wise, you will always have things organized and never lose the version of your files…
Sometimes it is better to see one time than try to imagine things – especially in electronics. When designing something in electronics, it is probably the best way to take some circuit simulator and make a simple model see how it works before putting it into real worlds design. If you want to create complex circuit simulations, you probably should choose professional Spice based electronic circuit simulation tools. But what if you need a simple “pocket-sized„ simulator that would remind you of simple basics of how circuits work, how current flows in one or another situation. For this, you should try this Java-based circuit simulator.
Probably many of you (including me) are using Programmers Notepad or AVR Studio to set up AVR projects. Each of them has advantages and disadvantages. For instance, Programmers, Notepad is a great GUI, but there are many manual routines required to start compiling projects – like setting up makefile, creating file dependencies, etc. AVR Studio is a great solution that generates makefiles automatically, and it has a great simulator for immediate debugging. So why would we need another IDE? Actually, Eclipse IDE is one of the best open-source tools that programmers widely use – so it is optimized for managing projects, code writing with auto-complete functionality. So why not give it a try. So let’s set up an Eclipse environment to work with AVR. First of all, let’s download Eclipse from https://www.eclipse.org/downloads/ site. Choose Eclipse IDE for C/C++ Developers as we want to program AVR in C. Open it (no need to install), then go to HELP->Install New Software… Click Add… and in the Add Site dialogue box, enter the URL where the AVR Eclipse plugin is located (https://avr-eclipse.sourceforge.net/updatesite/ )
You’re one of the home hobbyist and you love to spend most of the time doing the electronic projects in the weekend? Then, you must know how frustrated it will be, if the project that you’ve done cannot function properly according to your need? Well, cheer up! All you need here is an assistant that can help you off. Then, this Atanua can be your little helper here. Here is a little extra fact for the word “Atanua”. According to the Polynesian, Atanua is the goddess of the dawn and wife of Atea. Atuanua is the one that created the seas after her having a miscarriage and filling the oceans with her amniotic fluid! (Well, it’s only one of the Polynesian myths.) For your information, Atanua is a real-time logic simulator, where it was designed to help you to learn the basic Boolean logic and electronics. It uses OpenGL hardware-accelerated rendering and a custom UI. This way, it can help us detect the fast workflow and a shallow learning curve, thus concentrating on learning the subject quickly. Basically, the Atanua UI consists of three main parts, which as: The component list The work area Buttons for useful functions, such as…
If you like to work with 8051 microcontrollers and like Pascal programming language, here is Turbo51 – a free Pascal compiler for the 8051 families of microcontrollers. In the 1980s, Intel introduced the 8051 as the first member of the MCS-51 family of microcontrollers. Today hundreds of cheap 8051 derivatives are available from tens of manufacturers. This makes the MCS-51 architecture so interesting for professionals and hobbyists. It is a somewhat surprising fact that this 8-bit architecture is still in use today. In other words, it is still trendy. Several C compilers are available for the 8051. However, there are only a few Pascal compilers for the 8051 families available. There are many debates on which programming language is better. Turbo51 is for those who prefer Pascal. Turbo51 features a fast single pass optimizing compiler, Borland Turbo Pascal 7 syntax, full floating point support, mixed Pascal and assembler programming, full use of register banks, advanced multi-pass optimizer, smart linker, generates compact high-quality code, output formats include binary, Intel HEX and assembler source.