August 2014 archive

PIR Sensor for your Arduino

PIR Sensor Image (Back View)

A PIR  or Passive Infrared module is really fun to play with. This is what they look like:     They are basically a motion detector and are called ‘passive’ in the sense that these devices do not generate any energy for detection purposes. They work entirely by detecting the energy given off by other …

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Wireless Bluetooth Module for your Arduino

Serial Bluetooth Module

If you’d like to wirelessly attach your Arduino to another device (such as a phone or tablet) via bluetooth, I’d recommend the serial bluetooth module from Elecrow.com. Here is what they look like:     The module has firmware from BOLUTEK. The PDF document with all of the available BOLUTEK commands is BLK-MD-BC04-B_AT COMMANDS . I …

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Connecting an Arduino to a LAN with the ENC28J60

ENC28J60 LAN Module

I picked up a couple of these modules:   from Elecrow.com so I could attach (communicate with and control) several of my Arduinos through a LAN connection. The main chip is the ENC28J60 from microchip.com. These modules are better than an Ethernet Shield in that you can easily attach these to any Arduino and they …

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Careful! Don’t Let the Smoke out!

[warning]Careful! Don’t let the smoke out![/warning] Hopefully you’ve never ruined any electronics device due to applying too much power. Some people have (cough, cough .. the voice of experience) and when this happens the device or component goes up in smoke. In popular jargon it is said to have “lost its smoke“. When working with …

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OBD-II Testing with an Arudino

FTDI Breakout 5V

OBD-II  (an abbreviation for  On-Board Diagnostics, Second Generation) is a set of standards for implementing a computer based system to control emissions from vehicles ( and a lot more ! ).  If you are not familiar with OBD-II you can read more about it here. I just recently acquired an OBD-II UART board and cable from …

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Atmel versus PIC Microcontrollers

Many years ago (I am old  ;-)) I was asked which microcontrollers are  best, ones from PIC (microchip.com) or ones from  Atmel (atmel.com). At the time I was asked, there was a lot of discussion about chip architecture, instruction sets and which chip was best. I thought at the time and still feel this way, …

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Fritzing Circuit Design Software

Fritzing Sample Output Image

If you need a way to design a circuit or show a nice graphic of it for someone else to follow, you might consider Fritzing from fritzing.org. A quote from their website: Fritzing is an open-source hardware initiative that makes electronics accessible as a creative material for anyone. Fritzing.org offers a software tool, a community …

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MicroController Electronics

We live in an exciting age!  Just think about how computer technology has progressed in just one ‘people’ generation! Electronic devices with smaller and smaller components are infiltrating our lives more and more making things easier.  The ‘Internet of Things‘ is taking over! My main interest (and I hope yours too) is in electronics and …

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