Full Color LED: Radio Shack 276-028 $2.99 (More datasheet reading)

FullColorLEDCircuitBoardTopSept. 22, 2009 - Waiting on parts to come in can be boring so I went on a dig through my parts bin and found this LED still in its original packaging. While the packaging leaves a lot to be desired, I actually found the datasheet on RS’ website. I played with this LED and some 1k resistors on a breadboard, and now I’m going to make a night light that changes colors. The original program that I wrote lasts about 15 minutes, and it cycles through all of the colors [edit – at least I thought it would). It uses a rough PWM method that I wrote to fade in and out.

After a little math work I decided on using 20mA for all of my colors. They are rated for 30 to 50 mA depending on the color, but with this I can use the output pins on my PIC12F675. This saves a lot of transistors for another project.
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Cracker box amp and Picaxe pictures

Cracker Box Amp gone wrong

Cracker Box Amp gone wrong

I was looking through some old file folders on my desktop. I finally arranged the icons by name and moved all of the things on my second desktop to the first. I found a folder that I haven’t looked at it in years.  January 2008 to be exact. I found the photo of my first Cracker Box Amp circuit. I am looking at the circuit, and I realize that I didn’t follow the schematic very well. I used this circuit to power speakers in a tool box. Not my best work. :) It’s actually some of my first work.

I also found some Picaxe kits that I put together. This is about a year after receiving my first Make Magazine. I wanted to get into microcontrollers, but I never really understood it. It was about this time that I found Picaxe. I bought these kits from HVWTECH.COM. They are part of SOLARBOTICS.COM. They are extremely nice and helpful folks.

PICAXE 08M start kit

PICAXE 08M start kit

The photo below is my first use of Altoids cans for a project. I still have this thing somewhere.

PICAXE 08M start kit in an Altoids can

PICAXE 08M start kit in an Altoids can

I know now where I have two nice speakers to build a few more cigar box amps with. The tool box circuit is stuffed in the attic of my barn/workshop. I’m going to pull them out next week and mount them in something. I love finding old stuff and re-purposing it, and I love recycling!!! :þ

A digital clock of mine gets an upgrade

Check out the new power plug!!!

Check out the new power plug!!!

Have you seen this post from July 1, 2008? How to make a digital clock: Picaxe

Well, the clock hasn’t work for a few months. When I plug it in and then unplug it,  it shows a few random letters. Then it stops doing anything. Well, I figured that the display driver was broke since I noted it acted quirky in the first article  almost two years ago. I was wrong.

It seems that we should always start at the wall and begin troubleshooting from there. Always. This is probably rule number 1. Well, it all boiled down to this: the original wall-wart shorted out and burned up. This leads us to the title.

Check out the new power plug. The original wall wart was a 6 volt output. I am now using a 9 volt output since the 7805 IC would prefer a little more voltage. I also did a current consumption test, and this circuit uses less tham 30mA. Now it can be unplugged and transported much easier.

Check out the new power plug!!!

Check out the new power plug!!!

The Temp/Humidity/Dewpoint Datalogger: Final Product

Well, due to eBay difficulties, I was severely delayed in finishing this project. It seems that the person that I ordered my first blue LCD display from didn’t want to send a few folks their stuff this month. I went to check on the status of my order, and there were negative feedbacks from around the time that I placed it. So much for that. They sure were inexpensive.
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POV: Persistence of Vision with a PIC16F690

POV ImagePOV ImageOver the past two days my wife and child have been sick so I’ve had lots of home time to POV Imagework on this project. It’s pretty amazing to me that I just started this PIC16F690 POV project less than two days ago, and I already have it finished and working. I worked pretty hard to get the C files completed for this. I also drew a board with Eagle, but I just used some scrap perfboard. Nothing in the world beats point to point soldering. It was actually pretty easy since there isn’t really much to solder in this project.

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