Category listing for Projects

AVR Piano with Nextion display

About a year ago a friend sent me a link to the Nextion web site where they advertise touch screen displays of various sizes. At the time I didn't have the need for a display with that much resolution and consequently never did any research on the display. But in the last couple of months I started doing some research and became intrigued with the display and so I broke down and ordered an 2.8" 320x240 Nextion touch display.

CNC Dust Shoe

Not long ago I fabricated a CNC machine but when I started to run the machine I found that dust became an issue very quickly. Checking on ebay and Amazon provided a plethora of dust shoes but they were either expensive or wouldn't work on my setup.

Build a basic Z80 computer - Part I

The Z80 is an 8-bit Microprocessor that was released by Zilog in July of 1976. Frederico Faggin, who had worked at Intel on the 4004 and its successors left the company and joined forces with Masatoshi Shima to form Zilog, a startup company with only 11 employees. The Z80 is software compatible with Intel's 8080 but with an extended instruction set, both were aimed at embedded systems. It ended up in thousands of products including the Osborne I, Kaypro II and the infamous Trash-80 computers, as well as many other products.

Simon Says Child's game

I'm working on a Simon Says like project for my 5 year old grandson that uses voice commands to instruct him to do things like; clap your hands, raise your left arm, etc..

Garage Light project - Receiver circuit

In this the second and final article of the Garage Light series I will be providing the receiver and associated circuitry and code to complete the project. When I started this project I didn't have a clear design and as a result got into a just one more feature mode and ended up with a nice design.

Stopwatch/Timer project

The Stopwatch project is an inexpensive bench Stopwatch/Timer, hardware/firmware solution that I have had on my long list of projects to do for some time. It has a simple interface; a 20x4 LCD display times and 4x4 keypad to configure the times. There are two main segments in the Stopwatch project; the clock source, an ATtiny2313 MCU that provides the clock pulses to the the Stopwatch segment, an ATMega328P that provides everything else.

CodeKeeper V1.0

In simple terms CodeKeeper started out as a simple repository for Code Snippets but soon blossomed into a tag replacement application with Code Snippet undertones. In practice CodeKeeper uses; Tags that are defined as Key - Value pairs where the Key defined in a piece of text may be replaced by the value. Alternatively the Tag may be embedded in a Snippet and a replacement made.

Z80 MBC2 Retro computer kit - Part 1 Setup

There comes a time in every programmers career when they look back on a time that was very special to them, that time for me was the age of the 8 bit micro processor. I loved them for their simplicity and the fact that anyone with a little knowledge of electronic and could program in Assembler and/or C programming laguages could put together a crude system using only a few chips.

433Mhz RF Communications using HT-12D/HT-12E

I recently purchase several pairs of the 433Mhz RF Transmitter/Receiver modules from a vendor on ebay. They are very inexpensive and they use the Amplitude Ship Keying (ASK) protocol, which allows the developer to transfer data between the two devices wirelessly using RF. But very early on I realized that the communications I required for my project would be very simple, just a notification to turn a device on and off. During my research I found that the HT-12D/HT-12E encoder/decoder devices allow the transfer of 4 bits of data without one having to deal with the ASK protocol.

Finite State Machine for embedded systems

A State Machine is defined as a pattern that allows an object to change it's state as a result of an external stimulus. When the number of states is known and of a limited number it is called a Finite State Machine..

Garage Light project - IR Emitter circuit

As the old saying goes, "Necessity is the mother of invention" and in this case the need was a light in the garage that could be turned on for a period of time when motion is detected. We tried putting a couple of inexpensive motion sensitive, battery operated lights along the path to the recycle and garbage bins but they are so faint and you have to get so close to trigger them that it just didn't do the job.

MAX7219 DotMatrix library

Years ago I was given an assignment of creating a test instrument that had a dot matrix display and charged with the task of devising a menu system to be used by the operators to program the machine. To solve the problem I created firmware that shifted the display at a rate the operator could read comfortably but quick enough to be able to program the machine in a timely manner. It turned out to be a big success so when years later I spotted a dot matrix display on ebay I thought it would be fun to see if I could created a C++ library for the device.

DIY 3D Printer filament dry box

3D Printer Filament, while not expensive per unit can add up when you have a number of rolls and protecting your investment against mositure is important. You could spend a lot of money on a prebuilt box but you can make one for a lot less, depending on options.

Refrigerator calendar hanger

My Significant Other uses a calendar to keep track of all our important appointments and hangs the calendar on the refrigerator using those little magnets she collects from places she's visited. Well the dang thing kept falling because the magnets weren't strong enough so her solution was to use more magnets. I recently purchased some earth magnets for a project I completed and had a few left over so we put out heads together and came up with a solution that works very well.

433MHz RF Scanner

The RFScanner Prrof-of-concept application was created to scan and monitor active channels for the inexpensive 433MHz RF communcations devices. Used together with the HT-12E/HT-12D EncoderDecoder chips these devices offer a fairly simple way to communicate.

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