Category Archives: Tutorials


Printed Circuit Boards – Things You Must Know as a Beginner

Single sided PCBs

A systematic arrangement of electrical components defined by pathways, signal traces, and conductive paths is called a Printed Circuit Board. If as a beginner you question, ‘what’s a PCB?’, then for simpler understanding, you can look at a PCB this way. Functionally speaking, the PCB offers mechanical support to electrical connections arranged in a logical manner with the help of pads, tracks, and other features. You can find the best PCBs at a cheap PCB manufacturer such as Elecrow. Types of PCB PCBs can be categorized as follows: Single Sided PCBs Multilayer PCBs Double Sided PCBs Flex PCBs Rigid PCBs Rigid-Flex

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Introducing TI MSP430 Microcontrollers

MSP430 Launchpad Board

Texas Instruments (TI) is a well-known US-based semiconductor manufacturer. TI is perhaps best known to many as the manufacturer of some of the fanciest scientific calculators in the market. Of the long list of electronic devices produced by TI, microcontrollers are on the top. TI manufactures some of the coolest and advanced microcontrollers of the market today. There are several categories of micros from TI. These include general purpose low power MCUs which mainly comprise of MSP430s, ARMs like TM4Cs, MSP432s, etc, micros for wireless communications like CC2xxx series, ARM + DSP micros, DSP-specialized micros like the TMS32xxx series and

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Tutorial 9: ESP8266 and WS2812B RGB LED (or NeoPixel) ring

EasyESP-1 driving NeoPixel ring

This tutorial describes how to interface a WS2812B RGB LED ring or Adafruit’s NeoPixel ring to ESP8266. The WS2812B is a smart RGB LED with a control circuit integrated in a 5050 SMD package. The RGB data transfer occurs through a single data input line using single NZR communication mode. Connection between the NeoPixel ring and ESP8266 is through a single data wire. I am using EasyESP-1 here for illustration. The Data In (DI) line of the NeoPixel ring connects to D1 pin of EasyESP-1. VCC and GND pins go to 3.3V and GND terminals of EasyESP-1. I used a 40 RGB LED NeoPixel-compatible LED

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Starting STM8 Microcontrollers

STM8S003K3 Discovery

STM8 microcontrollers are 8-bit general purpose microcontrollers from STMicroelectronics (STM). STM is famous mainly for its line of 32-bit ARM Cortex microcontrollers – the STM32s. STM8 microcontrollers are rarely discussed in that context. However, STM8 MCUs are robust and most importantly they come packed with lots of hardware features. Except for the ARM core, 32-bit architecture, performance and some minor differences, STM8s have many peripheral similarities to STM32s. In my opinion, STM8s are equally or sometimes more matched than the popular PICs and AVRs in all areas. Unlike PICs and AVRs however, I have seen STM8s mostly in various SMD

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Tutorial 7: ESP8266 and ILI9341 TFT LCD

Rainbow colors demo

In tutorial 3, we discussed how to use an SSD1306-driven I2C OLED screen with EasyESP-1 for displaying basic text and graphics. We used a 0.96″ (along the diagonal) 128×64 monochrome pixels OLED display for illustration. Despite its small size, the readability was pretty good due to its high contrast, which makes it a very good, compact size display for general applications. The excitement of having a display screen in an ESP8266 project can be further enhanced by upgrading the choice of display to colorful TFT LCD. One such screen that is readily available in the market at affordable price is ILI9341

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