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{ Category Archives } Hardware

The engineering and devices that make it all work

Dolby? In a TV context?

The big deal this season looks to be TV sets. The fifty to eighty inch diagonals are getting below $2k for OLED and below $1k for standard LCD with all the bells and whistles. One of the new features is HDR or high dynamic range that is showing up in 4k sets with a lot […]

One thing leads to another: Time for the pi, GPS, ntp, ESP8266, microPython, Lua

The pi boots without any calendar time reference. If it comes up on the I’net, it uses ntp to set the clock but offline it has no reference. Things work pretty well by just ignoring the clock and I could just set it manually if need be. The other options would be to use a […]

What do I do with this rPi?

An Amazon deal, the Vilros kit was on sale a while back, so I now have a Raspberry Pi 3 B to see what all the fuss is about. First thing up was to boot NOOB  (New Out Of the Box software) and install a basic Raspbian system, the LibreElec (just enough Linux for Kodi) and […]

Computers, microcontrollers, cost points, features

I see Seeed Studio has a special on a Raspberry Pi 7″ Touchscreen Display for $60. Add $40 for the SBC and another $10 for a case and memory and on down the line and you’ve got to wonder about cost effectiveness. You can get a ready to run 7″ tablet for under $50 and […]

Transtronics Wiki

It was a link to the capacitor codes page that got me started on the TransWiki. A look at the sealed lead acid page indicated that the technical expertise was up there, too. There’s a good range of information on  the Wili from paint primers and solvents to KiCad information. The company sells industrial level […]

Cheap computers for the hobbyist to make anything smart and connected

It looks like the Kickstarter project for a $9 computer is getting a lot of publicity and a lot of subscribers.(See C.H.I.P. Is a Tiny, Incredibly Powerful Mini $9 PC That Runs Linux at Softpedia). The plan is to take a System on a Chip (SoC) designed for cheap tablets and put it out in […]

Paradigm shift: cell phone to PCD (Personal Communications Device)

Gatta’ have those TLA’s (three letter acronyms) so I’m calling the modern smart phone a PCD (personal communications device).  Ye olde flip phone’s external LCD decided that it was going to emulate a modern art postage stamp rather than communicate things such as time or date or ID of incoming calls. That screen was a […]

The microcontroller human interface

Generally, anytime I see a little box with a 2 line by 16 or 20 character display and a few buttons and whatnot, I think microcontroller. An example is the West Mountain Radio Target Tuner designed to assist in tuning mobile screwdriver antennas. Sometimes the display is a small OLED graphical display – I’ve seen Ardutesters […]

PICAXE Clock Exercise: LCD driver

The LCD driver is standard stuff for a 4 bit parallel data feed to an LCD display. A complication is the mapping between the PICAXE 401 and Arduino shield compatibility. That requires the data pins to be addresses independently. There is also a hassle in the PICAXE nomenclature and how it differs for various operations […]

PICAXE clock exercise: hardware

A clock can get rather complex! The idea with this one was to see how the I2C works. I picked up a $5 board on E-Bay with a DS1307 clock, and 24c32 EEPROM, and an optional temperature sensor that all communicates via I2C. You can see it near the bottom of the picture here with […]