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Open Source Hardware

29 Posts authored by: shabaz Top Member
Introduction For open source projects, I usually create a table containing the parts details or bill of materials (BoM), but it is tiresome to then re-enter all that information into the Farnell or Newark website, to order the bits.   The March 2019 update to the element14 website contains the ability to paste BoM content and it will auto-convert into a nice table with hyperlinked buttons to go directly to the Farnell/Newark product page for each component, or a single-button to purchase a ...
Note: This is part 2 of a two-part project. For first part, see here: Building a Low Cost Solder Fume Extractor – Part 1   Introduction This project concerns a solder fume extractor that does as the title suggests, and sucks up solder fumes from soldering irons : ) It consists of a box containing multiple fans and filters, and a hose attachment with a funnel on the ingress side, and an egress side with the control/connectors. There is also an 'Aux' port, for additions such as LED la ...
Hopefully we'll hear more soon, but there appears to be another BeagleBone board launched at Embedded World, with the same form-factor as the BeagleBone Black. It's called the BeagleBone AI. I'm guessing it's not a replacement and won't be anywhere near as cost-reduced as the BBB and its variants (for example there is 16GB of eMMC on-board on the BB-AI), the board looks very useful for working with image recognition or other video processing. (Photo from the Beagleboard website, will replace w ...
Introduction This short blog post documents the specific component values and any mods done to the revision 1 PCB from fmilburn Working Prototype of a Kelvin (4-Wire) Milliohm Meter  Project14  Test Instrumentation entry! It is a project intended to create a 4-wire measurement meter for 0-4 ohm and 0-40 ohm ranges, with sub-milliohm granularity.   It is a physically small test instrument, but works well! In very limited tests, the typical discrepancy between a calibrated commerc ...
Part 1, Making Fancy Cables: Network Cables!  examined how coloured and patterned nylon braids could be used for cable assembles: ) Those cables are intended for demos/presentations and so on. Nylon braid is very easy to use because it can expand a lot, and is slippery against the wire so it slides on well too. However, although it looks visually nice, it is not soft. For home use, maybe a softer braiding is preferred.   For a long time I have wondered how to create composite cable ...
Introduction There are some really nice small enclosures that are incorporated into products sold by Mini-Circuits and others. They are very cool because their surfaces are perfectly perpendicular to each other, with no draft angle. This makes them perfect for joining modules together a bit like plumbing, and quick and easy connector alignment.   I didn’t know of any low-cost source of them (I could find low-cost angled sides, and really expensive ones with perpendicular sides but no ...
Introduction I've often heard the issue that the audio isn't loud enough when people plug in their iPods/phones and so on into music systems, even if they turn the volume up to maximum on their device or the amplifier.   Often the problem is down to the fact that the 3.5mm plug is being used for two different roles. On the iPod/phone the plug is being used to carry a headphone output signal. But on the music system, the socket is used to accept a line level signal.   Headphones have ...
(This is part 1. For part 2, see here! Making Fancy Cables Part 2: Soft Headphone and Composite Cables  )   Introduction This very short blog post describes the steps I took to make network patch cables that I think are slightly nicer-looking than normal. Such a thing is subjective of course. Why would anyone want to do this? Well, sometimes I need to do presentations or demonstrations, and the ugly messy wires at the back can become a lot more attractive this way! Also, I happened to ...
Introduction Background to the Project Hardware Overview What Functionality is Implemented? Using It What Performance does it have? How to make it? Morpheus Main Board FRDM Board Software Setting up and using mbed-cli TFT Screen Summary Appendix: PCB Renders Issues Tracking Revision 1 PCB Attachments     Introduction Sometimes it is interesting to make test equipment, even if it can’t replace commercial products. ...
Introduction This blog post discusses some practical implementations of super-low-cost ($30 upward) direct digital synthesis (DDS) based signal generator for home use. To save effort and time, they can all be built around an off-the-shelf microcontroller board, and an off-the-shelf direct digital synthesis (DDS) board. There are several different ideas discussed in this blog post, and all are similar – the principles are exactly the same, just that frequency range and desired control/mo ...
Introduction Thanks to Problemchild he advised me about a simple gaming kit called ODROID-GO, and it was fairly low cost (£38 including delivery to the UK) for such a device, so I was tempted to purchase it. (Note: that there will be duty of approx. £7 to pay, plus £12 handling charge by FedEx, so that makes it less attractive : (   The ODROID-GO is a very compact (approx 120x75x13mm) device that internally features an ESP32 (ESP32 PDF datasheet) based module (this contains ...
Introduction I’d been curious to experiment with E-paper displays for a long time, and recently I finally got around to some basic experimentation. This short blog post documents some work with a compact 2.9 inch display, building it into a simple clock.   Check out the short 2-minute video demonstration:   I’ve never owned an Amazon Kindle (I use the Kindle software on my tablet – but I’m seriously considering purchasing an Amazon Kindle now!), and this was ...
2017 was a busy year, I had a lot of personal stuff to do, but there was lots of engineering related stuff going on too, and I enjoyed seeing what everyone was working on. This blog post lists the activities I worked on.     Project/Activity Description            1 Make your own Test Leads; Assembling 4mm Banana Plugs I started off the year making some banana test leads! 2 Raspberry Pi 3 Block Diagram It was followed by an attempt ...
Note: The project is experimental. The project is low power and low voltage, and requires a low voltage source which can be derived from a mains transformer. However there are significant risks with building mains powered projects. For that reason, it is advised to use an external enclosed AC to low voltage mains transformer unless you’re a qualified engineer.   Introduction When working with analog circuits it can help to have a linear power supply. I use a Thandar supply at home, b ...
Introduction Many integrated circuits nowadays have a pad on the underside that needs to be soldered down. It can (for instance) serve as a ground connection or it might be needed to be soldered for better heat dissipation. Since the pad is not exposed on the edges of the device package, it can be awkward for prototyping. Ordinarily the solution is to use a reflow oven, a hot plate or a hot air tool. But, it is also possible to just use a soldering iron. I'm not sure how common this technique is ...

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