Category Archives: Product Review

TENMA 72-8155 digital LCR meter

An LCR meter is an extremely useful device for measuring three basic impedance elements, namely, Inductance (L), Capacitance (C), and Resistance (R). Recently, I got a TENMA 72-8155 digital LCR meter from Newark for review. I was very excited to receive it as I didn’t have a dedicated LCR meter in my home lab. Here’s my quick review of this product.

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Reviewing the iCA05 Graphic LCD development kit from iCircuit Technologies

The Graphical LCD (GLCD) displays provide more flexibility in presenting data, as compared to standard character-based LCDs. Owing to a significant drop in price lately, GLCDs have become more popular these days in the hackers’ and DIY worlds. If you are planning on doing an embedded microcontroller project including a graphical LCD display, you might be interested in this PIC-based GLCD development kit from iCircuit Technologies. This decently priced development kit will help you to get started quickly with your project. Here’s a brief review of the kit.

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A brief overview of Allegro ACS712 current sensor (Part 2)

In the first part of this discussion, the features of ACS712 device were briefly discussed. Now we will use that theory to implement the ACS712 sensor to make a simple DC current meter. The analog output voltage from the sensor is measured through an ADC channel of the PIC16F1847 microcontroller. A voltage to current conversion equation will be derived and implemented in the firmware of the PIC microcontroller and the actual load current will be displayed on a character LCD.

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Setting up the CCS v4 build and debug environment for TI MSP430 Launchpad

Last year, Texas Instruments (TI) released industry’s lowest cost (only $4.30) microcontroller development kit named Launchpad. It is a complete development tool for rapid prototyping with TI’s ultra-low power MSP430 Value Line MCUs. I also bought a Launchpad kit several months ago but haven’t really looked into it. Last weekend, I spent a couple of hours reading about the MSP-EXP430G2 experimenter board (that comes with the Launchpad kit) and the Code Composer Studio (CCS) software tool. CCS is an integrated development environment (IDE) to develop and debug applications for TI’s embedded processor families. As always, a “Hello World” program is the best thing

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Introducing the AmiPIC18 LCD shield

Last month I reviewed the Amicus18 development board, which is an Arduino-style platform with a PIC microcontroller. The Amicus18 board is physically compatible with Arduino shields. However, the default PIC processor on the board is a 3.3 V type, which could be an issue while interfacing some of the shields that strictly operate at +5V. As a support to the users of the Amicus18 development board, Gevo Electronics from The Netherlands has designed a special shield, named AmiPIC18 LCD. Although the name says it is a LCD shield, but in real it provides a lot more features, which we will be

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