Electronics

More info on the new Arduino UNO

September 27, 2010
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(Via LadyAda’s Blog) More information available on the new Arduino UNO. “The Arduino Uno is a microcontroller board based on the ATmega328 (datasheet). It has 14 digital input/output pins (of which 6 can be used as PWM outputs), 6 analog inputs, a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a USB connection, a power jack, an ICSP header, […]

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Choosing the right soldering iron for electronics work

September 25, 2010
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Dan, one of my Facebook buddies, wrote to me asking about choosing a soldering iron: “Quick question… I’m looking for a new soldering iron. would you recommend anything under 40 dollars without a soldering station? I’m getting tired of my RadioShack 45 watt iron with the screw on tips (and having to use a bench […]

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Information just in on Jarre’s latest Laser Harp

September 23, 2010
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Ryan Jarre Worsley [Is that his real name? – Ed] sent me the following message via Facebook: Just been reading you latest publish on your website, some very interesting pictures, information and a good detailed section about the history of the harp. I see you are a little stuck about the information of the current […]

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Want to learn electronics? Have I got the book for you…

September 22, 2010
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I think that the most common question I get via email is “How can I learn all this electronics stuff?”. Up until recently my answer has been to look it up online. That is, until I picked up a copy of Darren Ashby’s book “Electronic Engineering 101”. Unlike software engineering, where you have to completely […]

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Wicked Laser’s S3 – the little laser that could… (never quite ship)

September 21, 2010
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As some of you know I ordered a Wicked Laser’s S3 “Arctic” blue laser some time ago [Jun 16th to be precise – Ed]. In that time I’ve contacted them 3 times to get a ship date – every time it was always “within the next 2 weeks”, but so far… nothing. Which is a […]

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Light controlled PWM generator

September 17, 2010
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Recently I was asked it I could put together a light controlled dimmer circuit that used pulse width modulation (PWM) to drive the apparent brightness of a bank of LEDs. A PWM signal has a variable duty cycle (on time v. off time) for a fixed frequency – so a square wave is a PWM […]

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Laser Harp updates

September 10, 2010
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Earlier in the year I sold the design of the laser harp to Lightwave International (http://www.lasershows.net), part of the arrangement was that I suspend the sale of the plans. Since then I have received countless email requests for information on the laser harp project – and I’ve not done a very good job of keeping […]

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Arduino sending MIDI over USB for $3.25 in parts

September 7, 2010

I’ve built several MIDI based devices using the Arduino microprocessor – recently I found an article online about hacking this $6 USB MIDI cable (see update below) to provide hardware MIDI over USB. When my cables arrived I noticed that they were a different revision number to the one described in this article. Once I […]

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QRD1114 home sensors installed and tested

July 7, 2010

I “test fitted” the sensor circuits to the gantry tonight and I’m pleased to say that they work with a surprising degree of accuracy. The sensors are wired to input pins 11 (X), 12 (Y) and 15 (Z). I used the Mach 3 “auto set” feature to configure the pins as home for M1, M2 […]

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CNC Axis Home detector using QRD1114 IR proximity sensor

July 6, 2010

One thing missing from our CNC routers is an automatic axis home circuit. This is something that signals the control software that the gantry is in a known position (usually at the origin). A lot of CNC hobbyists like to use the end mill as part of the homing circuit – this is OK, but […]

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