In a world where upgrades and advancements are constant, it is easy to overlook older technology in favour of newer, more advanced options. However, the case of 8051 microcontrollers defies this trend. Despite being considered relics of the past, there is still a significant demand for these microcontrollers. Manufacturers have revitalized the proven 8051 architecture by incorporating modern features such as ADCs and communication modules, transforming them into powerful, reliable and versatile devices.
Laboratories (SiLabs) is an American semiconductor-manufacturing company,
similar to Microchip and STMicroelectronics. They are renowned for producing a
wide range of semiconductor components, including both 8 and 32-bit
microcontrollers. Notably, SiLabs is highly regarded for its RF chips and
USB-Serial converters such as CP2102.
In terms of their 8-bit MCU product line-up, SiLabs
offers microcontrollers based on the well-established 8051 architecture.
However, their MCUs go beyond being simple, traditional 8051 devices. Like
other manufacturers like Nuvoton and STC, SiLabs enhances their MCUs with
additional modern hardware components such as DACs and communication
SiLabs C8051 microcontrollers are recognized for their good performance, reliability, and scalability. They cater to the evolving needs of the embedded systems industry, whether it’s in the realm of consumer electronics, industrial automation, or smart home applications. These microcontrollers serve as a solid foundation for various projects, providing developers with a dependable and flexible platform.
LED matrix displays provide flexibility to display text, graphics, animations, and video, and therefore, they have become a popular mean of displaying information these days. You can see them at gas stations displaying the gas prices, or in the public places displaying information, and alongside highways displaying advertisements on large dot matrix panels. This project is about constructing a mono-color LED matrix display board that consists 320 LEDs arranged in 8 rows and 40 columns. The heart of this project is PIC16F1847 microcontroller which receives data from a PC through a serial port (or USB using an USB-UART interface), and display on the LED matrix with the help of five 74HC595 shift registers.
8x40 LED Matrix Display
Mark Weir from Australia sent us his revision of our Programmable digital timer switch project. He modified the original code, which was written for PIC16F628A, to incorporate it with PIC18F4620 microcontroller, while hardware and overall functionality remain the same.
Digital timer using PIC18F4620
Here is a link to download his modified version of the firmware written in MikroC compiler.
Controlling temperature has been a prime objective in various applications including refrigerators, air conditioners, air coolers, heaters, industrial temperature conditioning and so on. Temperature controllers vary in their complexities and algorithms. Some of these use simple control techniques like simple on-off control while others use complex Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) or fuzzy logic algorithms. In this project I’m going to discuss about a simple control algorithm and utilize it intelligently unlike analogue controllers. Here are the features of our controller:
- Audio-visual setup for setting temperature limits.
- Fault detection and evasive action.
- Temperature monitoring and display.
- Audio-visual warning.
- System status.
- Settable time frame.
- Data retention with internal EEPROM memory.
Measurement and control of temperature and relative humidity finds applications in numerous areas. These days devices are available which have both temperature and humidity sensors with signal conditioning, ADC, calibration and communication interface all built inside them. The use of such smart sensors greatly simplify the design and reduces the overall cost. We discussed in past about Humidity and temperature measurements with Sensirion’s SHT1x/SHT7x sensors. These sensors are capable of measuring both temperature and relative humidity and provide fully calibrated digital outputs. While SHT1x/SHT7x are very accurate sensors, they are still expensive for hobbyists use. This articles discusses the DHT11 sensor which also provides calibrated digital outputs for temperature and humidity but is relatively lot cheaper than the Sensirion sensors. The DHT11 sensor uses a proprietary 1-wire protocol which we will be exploring here and implementing with the PIC16F628A microcontroller that will receive the temperature and humidity values from the sensor and display them on a 16×2 character LCD.
Interfacing DHT11 sensor with PIC16F628A