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Embedded Systems

GLEM: Graphical LCD Emulator in C

glem

At some point in time we all have had to develop some sort of UI for our embedded devices. The thing about UI design is, it can take one hell of a time before we can get it right (and it’s a thankless job! I have my reasons). I for one, hated (note past tense) glcd work. I always found reasons to procrastinate or push it off to one my co workers. Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m referring …

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External Event Counter – Seven Segment Displays

DSC09693

External event counters are pretty useful things to have around. Once I had a feud with a shopkeeper for selling 4 motors in 3 different RPMs. Well, I don’t know if you have ever tried making a robot that had wheels rotating at different speeds, I did. It wan’t a very memorable experience.  The shopkeeper agreed that the RPM on one of the motors was of a different RPM and other ‘slightly-off’ but the others where just fine. It took me a …

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Race condition in reading RTC timekeeping registers

Roll~Over-web

Most of you must have used a Real Time Clock (RTC) at some point. RTCs are small ICs that have a separate battery backup and allows you to keep a track of time. Typical place where you can expect to see an RTC in action is your computer. They are used to keep track of time when your computer is powered off. Another more obvious application is digital clocks (see how you can make a DIY digital clock for fun). The race …

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Interfacing 16×2 LCD with C2000 launchpad

c2000_lauchpad

  The C2000 Launchpad is an inexpensive evaluation module based on Piccolo family microcontrollers from Texas Instruments (TI). The famous one is TMS320F28027 Digital Signal Controller (DSC). This DSC is indented for real time control and digital signal processing applications. If you wanna learn about digital signal controllers, I would recommend this as the starting point. More information about the C2000 Launchpad can be found at TI website. There is CCS (Code Composer Studio) IDE for programming and debugging the …

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Microcontroller Input voltage Measurement through ADC Module

measure mcu input Voltage with adc

Input voltage measurement of an embedded device is not as simple as it sounds. But if estimated, can come in very handy at a number of occasions. In this article we will see how we can add this feature to your embedded system with minimal components. It is one thing to measure the voltage and totally another to measure the input voltage. If you haven’t guessed the difficulty in it already, the ADC pins of the microcontroller measures form the Vref+ to the …

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Servo Motor Interface – Looking behind Arduino’s Servo library

Servo Motor Interface

Have you ever looked into the Arduino’s source files? Well you should be!! I have been hanging around there for quite some time now. The Arduino’s Servo class has half a dozen functions to handle all the servo related tasks like the attach(), read(), write() and detach(). There was too much of AVR specific stuffs in there so I did not go very deep in to the code but looking at it helped me derive my own theories on how I have …

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Arduino Like Serial / UART Library for PIC 18 Microcontrollers

PIC with serial port

In my last post describing the implementation of a circular buffer I mentioned that I was working on a serial UART library for PIC 18. Well it is now completed! Yesterday I tested all the functions of the library and its working like a charm! In this post I will explain some key aspects of the code and how to download and use it in your code. What is UART? Universal Asynchronous Receiver and Transmitter is a serial communication protocol. …

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Basics of DC Motor Drive and Speed Control for Robots

dc motor

DC motors are really cheap and can be found very easily. In this post we will discuss the basic theory behind the DC motor drive system and its speed control. Having some basic understanding of how your motor driver works will play a key role in building your own circuits debugging them. The main advantage is that, they are really easy to interface. Hook the wires on to the battery terminals and they will work just fine. The direction of rotation …

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Circuit Debugging – Tips Tricks & Techniques

test_equipment

Here we are with a TTT (Tips, Tricks and Techniques) post again after a long time! Firstly I have to apologize for the recent inactivity in the blog. I’ve been a little busy over the last few months. But guess what! I have some good news! I think I’ll soon be payed for what I love to do! Yup, I no longer have the privilege to legally call myself a student. But personally I think I will be a student …

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PIC Pin Diagram: A printable copy for quick reference

PIC 18 Pin Diagram

Today when I was hooking up my PIC micro on to a breadboard for a quick demonstration to a friend of mine, I realized how often I needed the Pin Diagram from the datasheet. All this while I have been opening the datasheet and scrolling through to page 4. I don’t know about you, but, I bet there are a couple of people out there who did the same thing I did over and over again. You may have made a …

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