Category Archives: Tech News

Testing circuit board for Adafruit’s FONA808 module

Testing circuit board

Jesus Echavarria from Spain has tipped us off about his latest experimenting circuit board. This time he has made a testing circuit board for Adafruit’s FONA808 module that carries SIMCOM manufacturer’s SIM808 GSM and GPS transceivers. The Adafruit board includes this module and also some electronics for choosing voltage levels, battery connection and charger. Because I need to test and programming some of this modules, I decide to make an specific PCB for it, allowing the programming and debugging via PC, wich is more comfortable that use a microcontroller for all these tasks. I use the MCP2221 USB-Serial bridge and

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Bluetooth-connected weight scale

Bluetooth connected weight scale

This design application note from Microchip illustrates the the implementation of a Bluetooth-connected weight scale using Microchip’s PIC16F1783 MCU and the RN42 Bluetooth module. It is powered by 2 AAA batteries and the measured weight is displayed and recorded on a smartphone or tablet. Weight scales have been used for quite a while in homes, businesses and medical facilities. With the increase in demand for health-related information, connected weight scales can now send data to smartphones, tablets and the Cloud where it can be utilized by medical providers and other care givers. Connected weight scales are being used with other home-based

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Talking multimeter using PIC32 microcontroller

Talking multimeter

Rachel Dipirro and Jonathan Lo (students of Cornell) built a talking multimeter as their final project for the 2016 Fall ECE 4760 (“Designing with Microcontrollers”) course. Their talking multimeter is powered with the PIC32MX250F128B microcontroller, and it can speak the measured readings while operating as a volt-, ohm-, and capacitance-meter. It is aimed to provide the user these measurements without turning away from the circuit currently being worked on. The speaking measurement system will provides an auditory alternative to a visual meter. Our system consists of a TFT LCD to display the reading, a keypad to read user input about the mode

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End of Year Sale at Microchip Store

Curiosity HPC Development Board

It’s time for the end-of-year sale at Microchip store. This year’s discount coupon code is EOY2016DT, which could save you some money on your favorite development board. Using this code can get you $65 off on Digilent Analog Discovery Multi-Function Instrument, $8 off on Curiosity HPC Development Board, and more. Check out the main sale page.

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Data logger for Skiers

Ski data logger

Matthew Magaldi and Aidan Angus are both winter sport enthusiasts who love skiing. They designed a PIC32-based data logger system that captures their skiing experience on a SD card and also wrote a Python script for post-processing and visualization of their skiing behavior. The data logger receives data from multiple sensors, including an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and a temperature/pressure sensors. There were several tradeoffs for the hardware and software used in the project. First, in software, because we were limited to using a single core processor in the PIC32, we were limited in the synchronization of our data. The protothreads that

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