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25
votes
3answers
15k views

What are Atmel Fuses?

What are Fuses in Atmel microprocessors and when I should or need to change the default settings?
6
votes
8answers
7k views

Sensing touch through a thick surface?

How can I sense the touch of a hand through a thick surface? I'm working on a device that has to be completely enclosed in a 1-2" thick wooden casing (or 1-3mm thick metal) due to design requirements, ...
5
votes
8answers
1k views

Investing in a bench-top power supply

For my projects I have always used hacky power supplies: wall plug + 7805, a USB port or an ATX PSU. I am looking at getting into 3.3 V circuits and I am having trouble getting hold of the necessary ...
5
votes
4answers
22k views

Turn-on voltage for LED

I have a bunch of green LEDs (not super bright), the plastic around the actual LED is physically green, but they did not come with a turn on voltage. 3V seems to work but they're not too bright, is ...
8
votes
2answers
209 views

LED changing colour over time

Can a LED change colour over time? I've had a blue LED set up for some time and it use to be a much brighter (ultramarine blue) now it's heading to a more greenish dull colour. How is this happening?...
3
votes
3answers
372 views

Current source for CREE XLamp XP-G

Looking to play around with the CREE Xlamp series LED and was wondering what would I need to drive them off 110V household power? Output current needs to be in the range of 800-900mA. EDIT: I am ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

Simple circuits 1.5 V DC to 9 V DC

Anyone got any super simple circuit designs for converting 1.5 V DC to 9 V DC? Maybe something that uses a couple of transistors would be good?
44
votes
15answers
11k views

What are low cost circuit and PCB design software? [closed]

Do you know of any freeware or low cost circuit / PCB design software? I know a few which I have listed below but I was wondering if there were more of its kind. Please mention the good features and ...
71
votes
7answers
78k views

What are the freeware SPICE simulators available?

Does anyone know of a freeware SPICE / circuit simulator? SPICE (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis) is a general-purpose, open source analog electronic circuit simulator. It is a ...
39
votes
18answers
13k views

What are good microcontrollers available today? [closed]

I have experience with assembly and C programming for microcontrollers, but I'm not familiar with the various MCU and DSP families offered by today's companies. (eg: Texas Instruments, Atmel, Renesas) ...
5
votes
4answers
444 views

What is Arduino?

What is this Arduino concept that I keep hearing about? Is it a microcontroller family, or a demoboard? Please include pictures in your answer, and if there are multiple possible items known as ...
9
votes
10answers
4k views

Visualizing sensor data with OSX?

What software do you suggest for visualizing sensor data on OSX. For example bunch of sensors connected to Arduino and sent to MacBook via serial. Realtime graphing preferred but would be interested ...
17
votes
8answers
12k views

DIY SMT Reflow: Toaster Oven, Skillet or?

I've read quite a few write ups on converting toaster ovens or skillets for reflowing SMT components. The important parts appeared to be: Attempting to match a reflow profile (temperature pattern to ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

"Logic Design" vs. "Digital Circuit Design"

I'm aware that different companies have different definitions for job titles, but in general, is "logic design" the same thing as "digital circuit design"?
14
votes
6answers
31k views

Very Slow Electric Motor

A customer has asked: I want to slow down a small hobby sized DC motor to a user variable range that runs from slow to zero RPM. I would simply use a wall wart for a power supply and a ...
62
votes
16answers
89k views

How do you cut PCB?

I just spent about 20 minutes trying to cut through a PCB with a hacksaw. These things are really tough. What is the correct tool to cut PCB material, and get a nice straight line? I saw something ...
26
votes
15answers
26k views

Controlling 500 LEDs with PWM

I'm considering taking on a project that would involve individually addressing 500 LEDs, optimally with PWM support for each. I'm planning on using an Arduino since I already have one, but I'm open ...
13
votes
8answers
25k views

Wireless communication over long distances

Would like to communicate between an Arduino and a PC but over a distance of 2500+ feet outside in the open, wirelessly. What would be the best way of doing this? The communcation devices I have ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Tango to Eagle Schematic import

Does anyone know a way to get Tango schematics into Eagle? Even if it is a hard way (other than entering from scratch)... Of course, an easy way would be nice. Cheers, Marcus
19
votes
8answers
5k views

Choosing a new soldering iron [closed]

I'm looking for a new soldering iron. What is the best all rounder soldering iron (soldering station) < $200 USD?
10
votes
4answers
6k views

Connecting a Lilypad to a WiFi network?

I would like to connect my Lilypad Arduino to a WiFi 802.11 network that provides internet. What is the best way of achieving this? Can I use a XBee module and somehow interface with my home router? ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

Best PIC programmer?

I would like to start using PICs in my projects and was wondering which programmer I should get. I have plenty of experience using micro-controllers (68k, avr), I also have lots of experience with ...
25
votes
4answers
1k views

Long-Life Electronics

i was wondering for a project of mine if i can order components that are made for a long time of usage. would Mil-spec components fit under this category? What i basically want are parts that are good ...
27
votes
4answers
1k views

Best licenses for Open Hardware

Can anyone give me a rundown of the various licenses that are well-suited to open hardware? I've designed a few circuit boards and would like to make them available for others to use, so I need to ...
8
votes
3answers
711 views

Nitinol: Useful stuff?

I have been considering using Nitinol wire for some experimentation as a component in an autonomous system. My understanding is that it will return to its original, contracted state when it reaches ~...
7
votes
10answers
3k views

Recommendation for Arduino [closed]

Okay, here's some background info leading up to the [obvious] question with further elaboration: I have been using a 28 pin PICAXE for small projects here and there for the last couple of years and am ...
12
votes
2answers
478 views

How do you tell if an FPGA is capable of running an ip core?

I'm looking at a cheap board to start on and I'm wondering if I'll be able to fit a Picoblaze, LEON, S1, or OpenRISC core on there. Is there any way to tell?
46
votes
10answers
51k views

Why is AVR used in Arduino?

Why is Arduino using AVR? I understand that they are the official processor but there isn't a reason the code couldn't be ported to an ARM or a Freescale architecture other than cost, right? As long ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

How to connect the Arduino with Twitter via GSM/GPRS?

I know there are tons of projects that use WIFI or simple LAN shields to send sensor data from the Arduino as Twitter messages. How could this work with a mobile phone connection? Are there libraries ...
204
votes
13answers
252k views

What's the difference between a microcontroller and a microprocessor?

What's the difference between a microcontroller and a microprocessor?
107
votes
5answers
9k views

Can microcontrollers be run at arbitrarily low clock frequencies?

The datasheet for the ATTiny13A, for instance, lists Min frequency of 0 MHz. Does this mean the clock can be run at any arbitrarily low frequency with no ill effects? I'm assuming it draws lower ...
9
votes
1answer
431 views

Conductive Thread - non toxic?

Is the conductive thread non toxic? Safe to wear up against your skin for extended periods of time?
40
votes
5answers
5k views

What is an FPGA?

I've seen a lot of people talking about FPGA's before and I know that it stands for field-programmable gate array but how does it work and what is the purpose of using an FPGA?
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Controlling High Voltage device with Arduino

I want to control lava lamps using Arduino. I think it shouldn't be hard project, but I have no experience with hardware projects so I'm not sure witch design will feet best for me. I consider using ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Source for flexible, stranded wire

Can someone suggest a source and part number for insulated, stranded small-gauge wire (around 22AWG) that is flexible and doesn't hold its shape? Something along the lines of the wire found on ...
16
votes
8answers
4k views

Project to learn VHDL

I am an EE student and can write [at least simple] programs in more languages than I have fingers. I have just started learning VHDL and I was wondering what a good project would be to really get to ...
234
votes
37answers
103k views

Good tools for drawing schematics

I was going to add a bit of information to my post on a previous day using schematics and some instructions. What programs are being employed for this purpose? I mostly want to see what others are ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Anyone ported the QP state framework for Arduino?

In reviewing possible approaches for my data logging project, I have found the book "Practical UML statecharts in C/C++" to be very interesting for more serious work with the Arduino. QP is a family ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Monitoring voltage without a known reference

I'm working on a little sensor platform that runs off of batteries. I'd love to be able to trigger an alert when the voltage gets too low. The problem is that anything I use to measure that voltage ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

PIC18F4550 C-compiler that's open-source & cross-platform?

I'm a long time AVR user. I really like that AVR-GCC works on the two main OSes I use (Mac OS X and Linux), is open-source, and is supported by Atmel. I'd like to get back into PIC programming (used ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the difference (electrically) between AC- and DC-coupled sampling circuits?

I've noticed that in analog signal acquisition hardware you see two paradigms: AC-coupled and DC-coupled. Typically AC-coupled hardware is less expensive, and basically has a 20 Hz high-pass filter ...
38
votes
13answers
22k views

ARM Cortex-M3 development tools?

I am planning to migrate to the NXP Cortex M3 architecture and I'm a little lost between the existant development tools. Keil is expensive and I don't know if it's worth it. Anyone who has tried some ...
22
votes
12answers
11k views

Best serial monitor?

I just recently started using a Sparkfun serial LCD. I am able to control it through an arduino, but I want to be able to control it through a terminal on my computer. To be able to move the cursor or ...
49
votes
18answers
45k views

Which electronics components should I always have on hand?

I am thinking about ordering up some parts for every day use. I am thinking about making one big purchase so as to minimize on shipping and other charges. What are some of the components that any ...
10
votes
2answers
12k views

FTDI FT2232H (USB <-> UART) baud rates?

Anyone used one of the FT2232H chips from FTDI? Specifically, how do you figure out the permissible baud rates? The data sheet is kind of vague, and I have to pick something in the 1-3 MBaud range ...
35
votes
30answers
8k views

Electronics Blogs and Podcasts

There are some great blogs out there for programmers (Joel on Software, Paul Graham's Essays, etc.). I would love to know about any similar quality content for electronics. Do you have any great blogs ...
33
votes
3answers
6k views

Arduino pin spacing

How do you get around the annoying pin spacing on the Arduino? Where pin 7 and pin 8 are not standard spacing. Why is it set up like this?
16
votes
5answers
12k views

Scaling Voltage for Arduino Analog In, Beyond Voltage Dividers

I've recently built some fiber-optic bend sensors and I want to read the values I get from them into a computer via an Arduino. I'm measuring the light with this photodiode from Industrial Fiber ...
14
votes
8answers
3k views

RnD on an EEG, Help required, what op-amp?

this is my first post, and I need some help/advice finding the right integrated circuits. I'll start by describing the project background a bit. I've received a fellowship to develop an open source ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Disabling trailer protocol when using this W5100-based Ethernet shield

I have an Arduino Duemilanove (ATmega328) and Ethernet shield (based on the WizNet W5100). My network gateway is a D-Link DSL-G604T. Using this setup, I can contact computers on my local network fine....

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