Hacked Gadgets Forum

February 15, 2016

Microchip MPLAB Xpress Cloud-based IDE

at 5:04 pm. Filed under Educational

160209-marcom-bnr-mplabxpresside-1170x360

 

If you have ever installed MPLAB on your development machine you know how heavy this software is. Microchip has now given you a nice light weight option. MPLAB Xpress Cloud-based IDE is now available and will let you get up and running in no time.

Thanks for the tip James.

“MPLAB Xpress is a perfect starting point for new users of PIC Microcontrollers – no downloads, no machine configuration, and no waiting to get started on your system development.

MPLAB Xpress incorporates the latest version of MPLAB Code Configurator, which enables users to automatically generate initialization and application C code for 8-bit Microcontrollers using a graphical interface and pin map.

With massive amounts of storage available to users, you can store your current projects in the Cloud. The Community feature allows you to share your ideas with others, or gain inspiration from the shared code repository.

Best of all, MPLAB Xpress IDE is FREE, and can be accessed from any Internet-connected PC or Mac, anywhere in the world.”


January 26, 2016

How Brushless DC Motor and Electronic Speed Controllers work

at 9:49 pm. Filed under Educational, Electronic Hacks

 

GreatScott! has created a great video showing how Brushless DC Motor and Electronic Speed Controllers work. We see lots of these in quadcopters these days. The basic DC motor is popular and simple to control but as more things are using brushless motors it is nice to know how they work.

“Brushless DC electric motor (BLDC motors, BL motors) also known as electronically commutated motors (ECMs, EC motors) are synchronous motors that are powered by a DC electric source via an integrated inverter/switching power supply, which produces an AC electric signal to drive the motor. In this context, AC, alternating current, does not imply a sinusoidal waveform, but rather a bi-directional current with no restriction on waveform. Additional sensors and electronics control the inverter output amplitude and waveform (and therefore percent of DC bus usage/efficiency) and frequency (i.e. rotor speed).”

 


December 13, 2015

IR Shooting Game Project – Laser Duel

at 11:10 pm. Filed under Educational, Electronic Hacks, Game Hacks

 

Laser Duel is a project made by XiaoXing Zhao, Fred Kummer and Douglas Katz for their ECE 4760  Final Project. The two guns use Nordic nRF24L01 radio transceivers to talk back to a base station which monitors the game play and keeps score. Each gun has some visual indications so the players can see what the health is and there is also a speaker for some audible indications for things such game over.

“Each gun has an infrared emitter for shooting and an infrared detector that detects if the player using the gun was shot. We designed the shooting mechanism such that when the player presses a trigger on the gun a 38 kHz infrared wave will be emitted. If such IR radiation is detected by another gun, then the shot registers as a hit and the player being hit will lose one point of health. Each player starts off with 8 health and the game will end once a player reaches 0 lives, or if someone operating the basestation signals to end the game early. We equipped the guns with a ultra low power radio that sends vital statistics about the player such as player health and player identification to the base station.”

 


December 9, 2015

Free Illustrated Arduino Newbie Guide – The Illustrated Arduino

at 11:57 pm. Filed under Educational

The Illustrated Arduino

 

If you know someone who is interested in trying Arduino for the first time this is a great looking friendly guide by 16Hz that will walk them through everything from how a microcontroller can read a switch to how the microcontroller can use PWM to output a simulated analog output. There is a hard copy version of the guide available, there are lots of kits and parts available but if you are just interested in using some of the material for some learning and experimenting the digital version of the guide if free!

Thanks for the tip Julia.

“16Hertz, an educational electronics company based in New York City announces the release of their illustrated, graphic-novel style guide, “The Illustrated Arduino”. The guide is over 75 pages long, and contains hundreds of hand-drawn illustrations that take the readers through getting up-and-running with electronics prototyping and Arduino programming.”

 

 

 

Free Illustrated Arduino Newbie Guide

 

Free Illustrated Arduino Newbie Guide_2

December 6, 2015

How Anti-Theft Tags work

at 4:24 pm. Filed under Educational, Electronic Hacks

 
We have all seen these small tags on items in stores that have high cost and are easy to conceal and walk out of the store with. Since these items are left on the items sold the cost must be small and they need to be simple to de-activate by the cashier when the item have been purchased. The technology turns out be be very clever and extremely low cost. I had always thought the tag was getting energized by a low frequency field and then transmitting. Quite surprising that this technology works as well as it does since these transmit and receive pairs are usually 4 or 5 feet apart in practice. I guess a closed foil lined bag or pocket is all you need to defeat an active tag.

 

“Anti-theft tags contain a tiny mechanical oscillator that is activated by a magnetic field. The detectors at a shop’s doorway can detect the oscillation magnetically. The tag can be activated and deactivated by magnetizing or demagnetizing it, respectively.”


August 21, 2015

Reflow Part Melting

at 10:54 am. Filed under Educational, Electronic Hacks

 

You need to be careful when reflowing parts on your circuit boards. Different plastics can lead to a bad day for you parts. If a part was just meant to be wave soldered the actual part may not be capable of the extreme heat and duration of the reflow process. Dave found this out the hard way when he was attempting to reflow a board from a TV that was being repaired.

 

August 14, 2015

How a CPU Works

at 2:24 pm. Filed under Educational

 

Here is a great video that explains how a conventional CPU operates. Now of course when we are dealing with a microcontroller most of this is on the single chip. This Visual Transistor-level Simulation is interesting to see what is going on.

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