New Tutorial: AVR Fuses Explained #AVR #Atmelstudio

AtmelStudio Fuses

Created a list of AVR fuses with a easy explanation of what each does. Found myself in a situation where my project didn’t work and eventually found out that the fuses were the issue. I thought I would dig deeper into understanding them and share it with those who happen to be scratching their head at what microcontroller fuses do. I hope it’s helpful, enjoy. You’ll find the tutorial HERE.

Circuit Design: Autodesk 123D Circuits #Autodesk #123D

123D Circuits is a revolutionary free tool for designing your electronic projects online. You can design in a familiar breadboard view and the app will guide you to make professional printed circuit boards with built in layout tools. When you’re done just click to have your boards professionally manufactured and shipped for free worldwide.

What’s also cool is how you can easily, simultaneously work on the same circuit with your friends. And at any point you can compile and emulate your Arduino code inside a live, editable circuit!

Free Samples: CC3000MOD #CC3000

IMG_9214Just received my free sample of the CC3000 exclusively from Texas Instruments. So thank you TI for generously allowing me to experiment with your chip.

This little chip is a low cost ($10.00) self contained wifi processor. It does a majority of the heavy lifting so your microcontroller can worry more about working other parts of the circuit, than processing wifi signals.

Recently there has a been an increase of popularity with this module and the Arduino. Adafruit has created their own prototyping Arduino shield ($39.95) and breakout board ($34.95) using the CC3000, with promises of an Arduino friendly library in the near future. Aside from Adafruits promises, a motivated individual has ported TI’s MSP430 CC3000 library to the Arduino.

I have thought of some uses for this little device, such as a prototype board or even a wifi controlled relay board for home automation, but I figured it would be a great opportunity to get some other ideas from this sites followers. I am aware that a larger majority of viewers are foreign, but I would encourage a response from you as well.

Lessons Learned: Too much power, Magic Smoke!!


While working on the power supply for what will be a temperature control unit I made a grave mistake of attaching my ISPduino, formally testuino (atmega328p breakout essentially) directly to the, 7805, 5v regulator. The result was a little bit of smoke from the micro controller (MCU) and the blink led program stopped working. the burn marks in the picture were part of a failed attempt to remove the mcu.

The Setup: The temperature control will drive a peltier so I plan to drive it from a 12v 2A wall wart. That will be hooked up to the 7805, 5v regulator to run the mcu. The problem is, and I learned this the hard way, the 7805 produces 1.5A of current and the mcu only requires around 500mA.

The Fix: The solution is simple, I need to use a resistor. A 10ohm resistor will produce approximately 500mA. But note you can’t attach just any resistor. You’re generating approximately 22 watts of power. So I’ll need at resistor rated to at least 25 watts.

Good thing I made a couple backup ISPduino boards. This one is finished. If you’re interested in the files for the ISPduino board I’ll be posting them in the projects portion here shortly. Please leave comments. I hope these tutorials and lessons learned are helpful for some. Any kind of feedback is extremely encouraging.

DIY Solder Mask for your homemade PCBs #DIY #Soldermask

I’ve been looking for something like this for a while. Enjoy.

This Instructable is about dry film solder mask, in other words, is the green stuff that is on top of the circuit board.
I like to use smd components in my circuits board because I don’t have a computerized drill machine and do in it by hand for a big
boards are really tedious.

Soldering smd components in a copper board without dry solder mask, especially for those little capacitors and resistor of 402 in size, becomes a tough challenge and of course those micro controllers with almost zero space between pins.

Read more here

Photodiode Gamma Ray Detector

Gamma photons interacting with cheap photodiodes produce small current pulses which are easily amplified and allow detection of individual photon events. This offers the possibility of cheap, small and rugged radiation detectors of reasonable sensitivity. While not as sensitive as larger GM-tube detectors, this solid state device is still quite useful for determining if something is radioactive enough to be interesting/concerning…..Read More

Oregano: Designing Electronics with Linux

In many scientific disciplines, the research you may be doing is completely new. It may be so new that there isn’t even any instrumentation available to make your experimental measurements. In those cases, you have no choice but to design and build your own measuring devices. Although you could build them using trial and error, having a way to model them first to see how they will behave is a much better choice—in steps oregano. With oregano, you can design your circuitry ahead of time and run simulations on it to iron out any problems you may encounter.


Read more HERE.