Category: Informational

Explaindio Video Creator

You may not think this post has a lot to do with MicroController Electronics, however, read on before you formulate an opinion. There is a new Windows and Mac Video Creator program called Eplaindio that recently became available. I am using it to create training, educational and advertising videos for various projects. It is very …

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Prototyping Circuits using a Breadboard

Cat5 Cable Image

When I first heard the term ‘breadboard’ when reading about electronic circuits, I thought about bread of course and some great bread making recipes. I must have been hungry! For electronic recipes 🙄 (i.e. circuits), originally a smooth piece of wood (literally a breadboard with nails and wiring) was used as a surface for assembling/wiring  electronic …

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HC-SR04 Distance Sensing

HCSR04 Ultrasonic Sensor

Animals such as bats and porpoises use ultrasound for locating prey and obstacles.  If you have an electronic device that needs to sense distances from objects (like a robot or an automatic door opener) you might consider using an HC-SR04 Sensor Module. No one can sneak up on you with a couple of these and …

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Measuring Light Intensity

BH1750 Sensor

Any camera buffs out there? Sometimes it is handy to be able to measure the amount of light at a particular spot. This is needed sometimes so you can adjust your camera to take the ‘perfect’ picture. Or perhaps you are calculating the amount of solar energy your solar panels will be producing given the …

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DIY Dual Relay Circuit

BIY Relay Circuit

It is sometimes very handy to be able to control mains electric via an arduino to turn things like lights on and off.  [warning]BE VERY CAREFUL hooking up any mains electricity. [/warning] I built a dual circuit so that two things can be controlled from one board. Here is the fritzing graphic:   Once built, …

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Servo Motors

Parallax Servo Motor

A lot of people when first getting into Arduino projects seem to like robotics. It is fun to create something that you can watch move around. If you are interested in such things, you will be interested to learn about servo motors.   Pictured below is a Parallax Continuous Rotation Servo motor.   Click the …

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AVR Raspberry Pi Programmer

Raspberry Pi AVR Programmer

There are a number of ways to program AVR microcontroller chips. For my DIY projects, I like to save money by buying components and putting them together to create what I need. I bought some blank ATMEGA 328P micro controllers so that I could make Arduino circuit boards for my projects. Building the Arduino circuit …

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The BusPirate (a very useful circuit)


A few days ago my son bought me a birthday present. It was a BusPirate from SparkFun. This is what it looks like plugged into a breadboard. The BusPirate is quite a handy circuit. I have used it to flash a BIOS chip using FLASHROM  and also program an AVR ATMEGA 328P with AVRDude. It …

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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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Atmel versus PIC Microcontrollers

Many years ago (I am old  ;-)) I was asked which microcontrollers are  best, ones from PIC ( or ones from  Atmel ( 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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