PIC18F45K50 Development Board

Last week I designed a small development board for PIC18F45K50. Goal was to design a small PCB for TQFP package  to give away to students and teach them how to solder and how to use this nice microcontroller from Microchip. After a while, board came back from the fabrication house and they look and works great. 🙂

Microcontroller is really nice, with 32KB of program data, 2KB or RAM, full-speed USB and lots of other peripherals.

Some of the board features, besides very powerful microcontroller:

  • Voltage regulator
  • Crystal oscillator
  • Jumpers for selecting programming pins and reset source
  • USB Connector
  • Connectors for selecting power source
  • ICSP programming header
  • Signal LED-s
  • DC jack

 

Build Small Bedroom Clock from scratch in under 4hours

First, maybe you should see a little demo on YouTube to see how this thing looks in action…

Before we start…

I wanted to make this project for myself, and since this is very simple project, I placed a challenge to complete it in shortest time possible and make it work as I intended to.
From idea to finished product it took about 4-5 hours, including designing schematic, routing PCB and making it, programming the device and etc.
What is important is that finished product works like I want it to do, and it could be used as opportunity to learn something about other platforms different from some that are spamming us 24/7 like Arduino.
Don’t get me wrong, Arduino is great and all but sometimes I want to build something for myself from scratch. 🙂

One thing I want to ask you all is to share your opinion, how to make this project better, what would you add/remove, did you use it? Did you like it? Did you make/modify it? Share it with us!

Continue reading “Build Small Bedroom Clock from scratch in under 4hours”

Custom RGB LED strip controller

This weekend I have found some RGB LED strip laying around so I decided to build custom RGB LED strip to decorate my room. The RGB controller that I’ve built is based on Microchips PIC16F1455 microcontroller. It works as ambient light in my room and also there is an option to use it as mood light (randomly  change colors every 4 minutes) and to select predefined or your own custom color via the IR remote control.

 

Some of the (current) features include:

    • Remote control (you control all of the functions via simple IR remote)
    • 10 custom presets (Selectable via 0-9 buttons on remote)
    • Mood light (activate to randomly change color of the room every 4 minutes)
    • Loop trough presets ( with next/previous buttons on the IR remote)
    • Custom color selection ( chose red/green/blue channel and then increase or decrease light intensity with + and – buttons on the remote to get any color that you like).

Here is the Youtube video to check how it looks in action. I really hope you like it and let me know what do you think about it!

Hard and Soft 2013

Hard and SoftHard & Soft is a contest for senior students of Computer Hardware and Software Engineering who will work on an unseen task over a period of five days in teams of four.

Contestant Knowledge Requirements

The Hard and Soft contest has a focus on topics that require a close link between hardware and software in computers and ICT, to be successful teams need to demonstrate a broad spectrum of skills in these areas by creating a well-engineered and imaginative solution to the contest task.

Typical topics included in the task are:

Microprocessor and embedded system design
Software and hardware development environments
Application of structured programming techniques, data structures and
algorithms in, for example, C/C++, Java, Linux…
PC interfacing for data gathering and control
Web programming, HTML
Mobile devices and Apps
Graphics, DSP, RFID, secure wireless data transfer
Design with sensors, analogue and digital circuits
Presentation and documentation skills for expert and non-expert audience

I had the opportunity to present the University of Novi Sad at Hard and Soft 2013 competition.
List of participating teams can be found here and our finished project demo is recorded and uploaded to YouTube so you can check it out.

Remote Colorful Cloud

I just finished working on a remote controlled, color changing cloud. Cloud can change colors to please your mood, for example there are presets like cloudy day, rain, storm, sandstorm or it can be used to notify you when you have received an email, message on facebook/twitter or any other social media event. Also it can be used to detect temperature, humidity in the room and based on that to change color (eg. blue = cold, yellow = warm, red = hot).
There are numerous options to customize this cloud. I would like to hear from you what would you like to see in this finished product when it’s released.
We’ve posted few pictures of our cloud below, more updates will follow as the project develops.

Cloud in action

Simple Stereo LED Light Show

This is the Light Show made from LEDs and few discrete components like resistors and transistors. It transforms audio signal into light signal with LEDs. We have used two types of LEDs, white and blue, each one for different sound channel (from stereo audio output).

Our prototype was first built on solder-less breadboard. Link to YouTube video

Components that are required for this build:
– 5 VDC regulated power supply (You can use your USB cabel)
– 2 NPN transistors (any transistors will work, we have used BC547 for our prototype) (for one channel)
– 1x300K resistor and 1x33K resistor (for one channel)
Continue reading “Simple Stereo LED Light Show”