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How to Make a Tray to suspend PCBs into the Etchant

In this post I will document the procedure involved in making a tray to suspend PCBs. The etchant (FeCl3 solution) is toxic and cannot be handled with bare hands. So I devised this easy and reusable method for suspending the PCBs with the toner into the solution. If you are planning to make PCBs once in a while, then this method could prove to be really useful and time saving. But if you are a one timer then this a tiresome venture …

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Stepper Motor Interface with PIC Microcontroller

stepper motor interface

In my previous post Introduction to Stepper Motors and How they Work, we had a look at stepper motors and how they work. This post will deal with the programming and circuitry involved in the stepper motor interface with PIC Microcontrollers. Usually a microcontroller is used to produce the stepping sequence for the stepper motor. But this is not the only method of producing the stepping sequence. It can be produced by using flip flops, logic gates and some knowledge about digital …

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Stepper Motors – Introduction and Working Principle

Stepper motor is a specially designed DC motor that can be driven by giving excitation pulses to the phase windings. They cannot be driven by just connecting the positive and negative leads of the power supply. They are driven by a stepping sequence which is generated by a controller. The motor moves in steps according to this sequence. This post will discuss the basic theory behind the stepper motors. Printers are a great source for stepper motors. Old dot matrix …

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Make a Digital Clock with DS1307 and PIC 18F4520

digital clock lcd

Digital clocks are are very commonly (cheaply) available these days. Some of them have a built in RTC to keep the time running even if the main battery fails and some of them don’t. In either case, for an offline embedded application to get a time stamp, an RTC in almost the only cheap solution solution available. Most of these clocks use a 7-Segment display to display the time and date while some use LCD displays. In this post we will see how to …

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Getting Started with Linux

Linux is fast becoming the order of the day. Gone are the days when hackers, techies and geeks were the only people who could use it. The GUI (Graphical User Interface) of the Linux machines have also improved so much that one can use the computer without having to know anything about CLI (Command Line Interface). This post will help you in Getting Started with Linux. Having the skill to work with Linux as a native environment, and being able to take care …

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8 Reasons Why You Should Switch to MPLAB X IDE

The MPLAB X is an IDE for Microchip PIC microcontrollers. It has a lot of added features when compared to the older MPLAB IDE v8.xx. The MPLAB X is not a new version of the current MPLAB IDE v8 framework but is instead based on Oracle‘s open-source NetBeans platform. Old habits die hard they say, that’s exactly what happens when you are migrating from one IDE to another for the same controller, you tend to have a hostile feeling. I still see some people …

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Hack a Toy Car to Make a Cheap Wireless Robot

Hack a toy car to make a cheap wireless robot? Yes, cheap toy remote cars form china can be scavenged to get their remotes to work with our robots. All of us have seen and played with toy cars some time in the past. Some -like me- might have bought them to get the magnets inside those DC motors. I don’t know why those C shaped magnets caught my attention more than the car. I have to admit even after growing …

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Programming Shortest Path Line Follower Robot

blackboy

This post is the programming section of my previous post Shortest Path Line Follower Robot Logic Revealed!  that dealt with the logic behind the following routines. To understand the complete nature of this post you should read that post first and then continue with this one. No, this is not the entire code! even if the title reads Programming Shortest Path Line Follower Robot :-). This by no means is the entire code for the shortest path detection robot. But …

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Cubieboard a $50 Single Board Computer

cubieboard with hard disk

Lets welcome the new comer in the league of SBC (single board computers). Yes the Cubieboard is a new single board computer  heading up in the market. Its already been the market for some time but not yet popular. Cubieboard is a small, high performance ARM box. It is hacker friendly, extendable and very low cost ARM development board.It uses the China’s favorite low cost,  Alwinner A10 chip. These chips are dirt cheap and are as common as potatoes in …

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Interface – LCD in 4 bit Mode: Part 3

LCD in 4 bit mode pin connection

Embedded applications are always developed on controllers whose resources are almost fully used in order to cut the cost of the product. This is done especially in applications that do not need any future expansions or a firmware updates. They are Make-it and Forget-it kind of applications. Most of the time, either the memory or the available pins are in demand. In some cases both memory and pin count are less. The Character LCD in 8 bit mode uses 8 …

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