FreePCB is a free, open-source PCB editor, released under the GNU General Public License. It was designed to be easy to learn and easy to use, yet capable of professional-quality work.

FreePCB – PCB editor

Some of its features are:

  • 1 to 8 copper layers
  • Board size up to 60 inches by 60 inches
  • Uses English or metric units (i.e. mils or mm) for most functions.
  • Footprint libraries courtesy of Ivex Design International Inc.
  • Footprint Wizard and Footprint Editor for creating or modifying footprints
  • Imports and exports PADS-PCB netlists
  • Exports extended Gerber files (RS274X) and Excellon drill files

Example – Logic Analyzer: This is an open-source logic analyzer called MiniLA contributed by Bob Grieb of the User Forum. The image on right is the Logic Analyzer PCB.

FreePCB - PCB editor

Some Features:

  • Up to 32 channels
  • 128 Kb of memory for each channel
  • Sampling rate up to 100 MHz (timebase in 1-2-5 sequence)
  • Input levels compatible with 3.3V and 5V logic
  • Selectable pretrigger/posttrigger buffer size in 8K step

Located in London, Earthshine Electronics is a source of parts and kits relate to Arduino. Other electronics or microcontroller needs also.

Digital Barograph made with SCP1000 & GLCD

Arduino Mega Project – Measurement and Data Logging. Digital Pressure Sensor and 128×64 Graphic LCD. Plots graph of current pressure, temperature variation with time.

This certainly is a good project for college students. You can also enhance it for multiple channels, mini thermal printer interface.

Stand alone remote data loggers must be able to take a Standard Thumb Drive for storing and easy retrieval of data. In urban areas a wireless internet transfer is better. In a desert or jungle a satellite data transfer or small flash storage, that can be manually collected and logged into network.

Environmental Monitoring Arduino - The Arduino Guy

The blog of ‘The Arduino Guy’ aka Mike McRoberts

The basic premise of the project is to have sensor nodes monitoring things such as temperature, pressure, humidity, light levels and so on and then send that data wirelessly back to a base station which will upload it to a web server.

The Complete Beginners Guide to The Arduino

Earthshine Electronics
Suite 13365 2nd Floor 145-157 St John Street London EC1V 4PY, UK.

At the PackRat WorkShop Lee Bell has archived Power-Energy Ideas, Mechanical Howto and Robot Designs too.  A Practical Man, His drawings are a language by itself. He has created a useful resource which will keep a DIY Enthusiast busy for many months.

Alternate Energy Plans by Lee Bell

“I already had a marine deep cycle type battery and an alternator that someone had traded me a while back in exchange for a 1hp dc treadmill motor. He was building a windmill and the car alt needed too many rpm’s for what he wanted to do. I think it’s a standard GM type.” – Lee Bell

Alternate Energy Plans by Lee Bell

delabs Notes

Alternate Energy, storing and managing your own small power source, are an invaluable asset for Home or Small Business.

Depending on oneself, not only develops skills but also keeps you in form always. Building an energy source cost-effectively, requires you to put in a lot of learning and building efforts.That itself may become your future Small Business

Remember Fossil Fuels are Running out fast, Only Internet Communications and Alternative Energy will keep Business Blooming.

The lifestyle has to change, The future Generations are going to face the Heat, or is it Bitter Cold ! Even Freezing ?

Coal and Steel with Steam brought about the First Industrial Boom. Then Oil created unprecedented Magic, the Second Technological Revolution. This will not last long. If only Rover found Oil in Mars, this post was not needed.

Some projects are Audio VU meters, Serial Port PIC programmer and other interesting articles. The low and high logic levels are displayed by LEDs,which are OFF if the probe tip is floating or connectedto a hi-impedance (>220k) output. A pulse transition isdetected and is indicated by turning on the LED for80 ms.

Erik Grindheim and Engineering Assistant

Logic State Analyzer – The analyzer fetches 300 single bit samples at a select-able rate (in 16 steps from 40 Hz to 1 MHz). It has aprogrammable start at High-to-Low or Low-to-Hightransition at input. Digital waveforms are displayed in apseudographic mode on the LCD

Electronics pages of Erik Grindheim and Engineering Assistant

Engineer’s Assistant – Electronic hand-held instrument invented by mr. Voja Antonic. It’s based on Microchip’s PIC16F84 (running at 10 MHz) and a standard 2×20 character LCD-module.

Read More →

Amplify uV from Sensors to mV levels for A/D Converters, which in turn may drive a display or connect to a uC means MicroController.

I have my own human interface and memory limitation. I am like a 8086 based nobody’s computer in a Penta-Core 5 Ghz Fiber-Computing World, add a 5 Teral Byte HDD. I am Obsolete, i am Legacy.

Now getting back to Bizness, the inputs from the world we interact are analog, A uV level from a Strain Gauge to measure Weight/Pressure; mV from a K Type Temperature Sensor or mV from LVDT Displacement Transducer to Gauge measure linear displacement. All these Low voltage/current, AC/DC need some signal conditioning and special construction – FOR – Amplification, Attenuation, Noise/Pickup Immunity/Rejection, Linearizion, Isolation and Transmission (long wire/wireless).

Thermocouple Amplifier Standard

This means take a small signal sample in the best possible way. The Sensor/Transducer shape and sensing/converting element/technology is chosen/developed. This low mV/uV is then Amplified/Cleaned and Transmitted.Some steps like Linearization can be done by software not all steps. Now we have a nice 0-10 V or 4-20 mA Signal which any A/D with process enthusiastically. The Digital signal will be eagerly processed by a uC with firmware, without batting a eyelid or like the kids say “look no hands” (then its plaster of paris for a few weeks).

A Low cost A/D with a Potential of 5KV Isolation from Computing elements by use of Normal/Special Opto-Couplers. This can give better resolution and accuracy than a 8 bit A/D. may be close to 10 bit A/D. Added advantage is that you can optically isolate the inputs.

Convert Analog to Digital with a V-F

Suppose your temperature sensor touches a heating element OR your speed sensor is subjected to a shock from a defective motor with earth line broken. Such situations happen in the field, even at home or lab. Sometimes it is carelessness, other times it is wear-tear. Many times it is breakdowns, accidents etc. So do not let the High voltage to get at your Microcontroller Board.

More about Embedded Micro here – Hyper Embedded

We all have phones and we can create apps too. This makes a Arduino a bit isolated without connectivity.

Using some of these Shields you can gift Smartphone Power to your Arduino. Create a Home Automation System with a Smartphone App control. An interactive Robot with SMS. Create a Process Automation System with SMS Alerts too.

3G + GPS shield for Arduino

3G GPS shield for Arduino

Connect to high speed WCDMA and HSPA cellular networks. Make web interactive project like the “Internet of Things”. The module counts also with an internal GPS what enables the location of the device outdoors and indoors.

  • HTTP and HTTPS (secure mode) navigation, download, upload to web server.
  • FTP and FTPS (secure mode) protocols are also available.
  • Send and receive mails from Arduino using the SMTP and POP3 clients.

Arduino GSM Shield

Arduino GSM Shield

The Arduino GSM Shield connects your Arduino to the internet using the GPRS wireless network. Just plug this module onto your Arduino board, plug in a SIM card from an operator offering GPRS coverage and follow a few simple instructions to start controlling your world through the internet. You can also make/receive voice calls (you will need an external speaker and microphone circuit) and send/receive SMS messages.

How would you let your PIC-Micro Board Interface with your Cell Phone (Network). These Cards and Designs will help your Embedded System to be Controlled or Monitored using a simple Wireless Device Networking.

PIC-GSM at Olimex 

Using PIC-GSM you can easily monitor and control your home from everywhere with your GSM cell phone. You can switch on and off relays remotely by SMS. You can monitor the status of your GPIOs or toggle them. You can establish a call to the GSM module and speak or listen on the audio channel of the board. You can monitor the temperature from several digital remote temperature sensors.

PIC-GSM at Olimex

SMS Transceiver for PIC (SMST4PIC)

SMS Transceiver for PIC (SMST4PIC) is a tool for sending SMS via a RS232 serial connection between a PIC and a mobile phone. It establish on the basis of a serial line connection a AT command based communication for sending SMS and SMS-based e-Mails.

GSM Monitoring and Control System

A simple GSM based monitoring and controlling system on a small board with a PIC processor holding a solid program able to control a various types of GSM modems and Cell phones.  Four inputs, one power output prepared for monitoring and controlling through SMS messages on your mobile phone.

Electronic Circuits

Electronic Design

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