Category Archives: PIC Projects

Another minimalist wrist watch, but with binary display

Earlier this week, we saw David Johnson-Davies’ minimalist ATtiny85 wrist watch that displays time using 12 LEDs arranged in a circle like a watch dial. I found another interesting LED-based wrist watch design shared by MACROFAB. It is a low cost watch based on Microchip PIC16F527 and it displays time in binary format. The PIC microcontroller runs in low-power crystal mode using a 32.768 KHz external crystal, that helps to achieve an accurate 1Hz signal required for timekeeping. The Macro_Watch has 11 LEDs. Four LEDs for the Hour (H1 – H4), Six LEDs for the Minute (M1 – M6), and a single Seconds LED for timing

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Making an Ultrasonic Anemometer

An anemometer is a common instrument at a weather station. It is used to measure the wind speed and wind direction. The most common type of anemometer uses mechanical sensors consisting of three or four hemispherical cups mounted on horizontal arms on a vertical rod. As the wind blows, the cups are pushed causing the arms to rotate at a rate proportional to the wind speed. In addition, a wind vane connected to the anemometer can give the direction measurements. While the cup and vane anemometers are very popular due to their very simple design, they can be susceptible under cold and humid conditions

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PIC24F Blood pressure monitor

Digital blood pressure monitors come in handy for checking and monitoring blood pressure at home or in a hospital. This reference design from Microchip provide tips to build a low-cost, low-power, handheld or portable blood pressure meter with user interface using the system-on-a-chip PIC24FJ128GC010 MCU. The meter is used with an inflatable cuff for restricting blood flow and a pump to inflate the cuff, and measures both systolic and diastolic pressures, as well as the heart rate of the patient.

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Bluetooth connected thermometer

Bluetooth connected thermometers are making their way into many consumer products such as fitness devices, medical activity trackers, BBQ Grills, etc, to allow temperature monitoring through smartphones and tablets. This reference design from Microchip illustrates the implementation of a Bluetooth-connected digital thermometer using Microchip’s PIC16F1519 MCU and RN42 Bluetooth Module. Powered by two AAAA batteries, this design measures temperature in Fahrenheit or Celsius using the Melexis MLX90614 non-contact infrared thermometer sensor. It also implements input touch buttons using mTouch integrated capacitive touch technology. An OLED display on board is used to demonstrate stand-alone design capability, while the Bluetooth module demonstrates smartphone/tablet connected design

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Universal motor driver for PIC16F MCUs

This application note from Microchip presents the design of an open-loop speed control TRIAC-driven universal motor driver board. An interesting thing about this design is it uses Core Independent Peripheral (CIP) on an 8-bit microcontroller to optimize the processing speed and free up the CPU usage. The complete source code and reference design material are included. The universal motor used in this application note runs from 120V-240V AC power and is driven from a TRIAC. A bench test for running a 220V universal motor has been done. The circuit is powered off the line from an non-isolated AC supply; therefore, safety precautions should be taken when working with this type of system. An isolated on-board UART

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