Hobby Projects - Insulation tester, LED Circuits, Meters.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pinguino - Arduino-compatible for PIC

Pinguino is an Arduino-compatible open source hardware electronics prototyping platform. It supports different 8- and 32-bit microcontrollers, all with built-in USB module

New library : I2C 16-bit I/O expander #Pinguino can now drive Microchip MCP23O17 / MCP23S17 16-bit input/output port expanders with i2c interface, interrupt output and cascadable for up to 8 devices on one bus.

Pinguino - Arduino-compatible for PIC

Pinguino - Arduino-compatible for PIC

Pinguino Software is an Integrated Development Environement (IDE) which gives everyone the ability to write, compile and upload programs on a Pinguino board.

Pinguino comes with a USB Bootloader. This small program running inside the microcontroller is responsible for transferring your application from your PC to the microcontroller memory and handing over the control to this program afterwards.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Optical Sensor for Viscous Liquid

This was built for a Varnish Impregnation Unit. It could be Epoxy or some liquid used in Coil-Capacitor Vacuum Impregnation Process. This was fixed behind a Glass Window, when the liquid reaches this level, the circuit senses it and works like a limit detector. Hence the name Optical Proximity Switch. It is fairy simple in design. It worked after a few trials.

IR Pulsing Light Detector

This was a custom design. We always should cost custom designs more, there is more time and materials used up. Only when some quantities are made, you can make it break even. Costing should also involve a R&D component, this is needed to build the in-house lab. Many good firms today, owe their present performance to the research effort and investment done by their predecessors.

InfraRed Detector for Proximity Switch « delabs Schematics

Power Supply for Optical Proximity Switch

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Toy SMPS or an Overkill White LED Driver

Jonathan Westhues site of Intriguing Projects include A Test Instrument for HF/LF RFID and a compiler that starts with a ladder diagram and generates native PIC16 or AVR code.

Toy SMPS or an Overkill White LED Driver

Toy SMPS or an Overkill White LED Driver

I sense the load current and control the duty cycle. The PWM pin on the AVR drives the gate of the FET through a couple of BJTs. Note the absence of any input capacitance; Vin looks terrible but it works. The micro power supply section is isolated with an RC.

delabs Notes

This is a nice way to start, learn uC and Power electronics in one go. It does not matter if it an expensive solution for LED Lighting. It certainly is an excellent Educational Project.

It may also be useful to use Intelligent Systems (uC and Firmware) to monitor and manage LED Arrays and control their brightness and color. Large Arrays can be Interfaced to PC by XBee for Home/Office or Factory Lighting Automation and Energy Consumption Optimization.

uC Real World Interface

uC I/O is Keyboard and LCD when you Build a calculator or a Text/Morse Communicator. When you control a motor it is Drive/Speed and Direction for Motor and Tacho or Opto Counters for Feedback. In both cases you have Input and Output which is Logic or Analog which has to reach the CPU.

Microcontroller Interfacing

Monday, October 10, 2011

MadLab – Inventive electronic kits

Unique, hands-on electronics workshop for children and adults. In the workshop participants solder electronic components onto specially-designed circuit boards.

MadLab - Inventive electronic kits

MadLab has been made possible through the generous sponsorship and support of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, Zot Engineering and Microchip.

MadLab – Inventive electronic kits

A really useful tool for the budding electronics engineer - a digital frequency meter. New and improved version.
  • input signal range from about 15Hz to 8MHz
  • new feature - bypass switch for low-frequency TTL-level signals from 1Hz
  • internal accuracy +/-1Hz
  • 4 digits of displayed accuracy
  • input conditioning amplifier sensitive to 50mV
MadLab presents an absolute beginner's guide to electronics. Following this short course will lead you from basic ideas about electronics right up to an understanding of how the simple MadLab kits actually work.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Tale of Three LED Lamps

Two lamps (china make)  had gone bad due to overvoltage or transients. I created a Third Lamp out of them that was a Rechargeable Table Lamp. Rechargeable Table Lamp This was made many years back. Now people are making more Robust lamps.

A Dockable and rechargeable Torch. Table lamp when Docked. All Green, Only LED, no carbons footprint like thing.

From Hobby Hound - DIY Electronics

This is as Green as you can get. It Recycled two lamps, one a Florescent Desk Lamp, the other an Emergency Lamp. Both failed in a few weeks after commissioning in our residential infrastructure (read 'used at home'). It is green again as it is LED and rechargeable.

A new circuit design with mosfet. A Dockable cup with quick detach connector made of Sawn off Mouth-Wash Bottle. Finger cuts took weeks to heal. A Metal Plate that was part of a instrumentation chassis (my excess inventory). This plate belonged to an electroplating unit i designed. Many SSR (Solid State Relay) Polycarbonate Stickers on plate for lamination.

The Lamp became Head Heavy and kept falling. Then it was affixed with a Nut-n-Bolt to the sturdy 316 grade Steel Plate.

Moral - When we are praised or get some money, head becomes heavy. Then we stroll in a Intoxicated way, till we fall with a Thud.

Elektrick the Power Jedi

Elektrick the Power Jedi

The main problem is, sometimes the voltages may climb more than 50% of rated voltages. The thumb rule is, if Mains supply is rated at 100V AC then the Appliance must withstand jolts upto 200 V AC for upto 10 Seconds. Else use a tripping device in the Home or Office Switchboard.

Home or Office should have OverVoltage Relay, OverLoad (OverCurrent) Fuse, Earth Leakage Tripper, Under-Voltage shutoff or Boost. Lastly Transformer Isolation and Excellent Earth and Lightning Return Systems.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Amicus an Arduino Like for Microchip PIC

Amicus is a multifunction development system inspired by the popular Arduino board, however, the Amicus board uses a Microchip PIC microcontroller instead of an Atmel AVRtm type.

Amicus an Arduino Like for Microchip PIC

Amicus an Arduino Like for Microchip PIC

Extension boards add functionality to the Amicus, these boards are known as shields. A shield is a PCB that fits over the Amicus board and provides extra functionality, such as Ethernet, Motor control, LCD, Smartcard, GPS, GSM etc…

Amicus is supported by an integrated development environment (AMICUS IDE).
  • Proton Basic source code editor - with colour syntax highlighter
  • Compiler - Full version of Proton Basic for the PIC Microcontroller with full integration to MPLAB for debugging, if required.
  • Programmer - automated programming of the Amicus Board - no external programmer required.