Friday, 13 November 2015

Vocore tutorial: blinking an LED, using software SPI and unbricking

 Introduction


Hello everyone, I've recently laid my hands on this interesting piece of hardware and this article will describe my experience with it. It is an attempt to gather together all those scattered pieces of information I found on Internet to get this thing running.
Predictably, I managed to brick Vocore while messing around with its operating system (the only working thing left in memory was the bootloader), so I'll describe how to easily get it running again.

Requirements

  • PC running Linux (I used Arch Linux)
  • LED, any value resistor, any button or switch.
  • Any USB to Serial board- Only for unbricking!

Friday, 29 May 2015

A guide to more finished PCBs

If you ever had your PCB manufactured at factory, odds are you're familiar with the following situation. You design a schematic, lay out the board, check it multiple times, then send Gerbers to manufacturer and some time later the box of shiny PCBs has arrived. You assemble it (or don't, some manufacturers offer a full assembly at moderate cost) only to find that something SO obvious is amiss.
There's so much to keep in mind when designing a schematic and PCB, and it's even harder when you don't do it regularly. That's why I decided to compile a list of

things to check before you submit your PCB to fab

Friday, 27 March 2015

Improvements to Arduino

Preface

Everyone knows Arduino. It's a versatile board that is great for when you need to make some piece of hadware work really quick without building a custom board and writing low-level code. Ever since I discovered that board I've been using it where flexibility and speed of prototyping matter - robotics contests, mostly.
Now, considering Arduino is an open hardware, a lot of Arduino variations exist - actually too much to even try to list - and all of those clones try to either overcome some limitations that exist in original platform or add some useful functions to it.
This article is an aggregation of tricks for those who have an original Arduino board - some of those tricks are just improvisations I had to make up while I was working with Arduino, some of those I just found on the Internet and considered interesting.
Anyway, here's a collection of improvements:

Friday, 15 August 2014

Выключатель света с управлением с пульта от ТВ на ATTiny2313

In English

Когда я только начинал баловаться электроникой, мне нужен был проект, который отвечал бы следующим требованиям:
  • простой;
  • оригинальный (т.е. сделанный мною с нуля);
  • использующий микроконтроллер;
  • и, возможно, самое важное, полезный. У меня было достаточно устройств которые я собрал только для того чтобы разломать через месяц.
Вот что я придумал - выключатель света управляемый пультом от телевизора. Пульт который у меня был использовал протокол RC-5, следовательно, прошивка подходит для любого пульта с  RC-5.

Все знакомы с бессмертной проблемой с выключением света в комнате перед сном и брождении через темную комнату (привет, сломанный мизинец на ноге!). ИК выключатель который я описываю в этой статье решает эту проблему, и я могу определенно сказать, что этот проект удался - я до сих пользуюсь выключателем с удовольствием.


Вот так он выглядит. Крышка снята с какой-то банки с косметикой.

Infrared remote controlled light switch with ATTiny2313

На русском

Back when I was only starting to dabble in electronics, I needed a project that would meet the following requirements:
  • simple to make;
  • original (i.e. done entirely by myself from scratch);
  • containing a microcontroller;
  • and maybe the most important of all, useful. I've had enough devices I assembled just to dismantle the whole thing a month later.
The thing I came up with at the time was a light swich for my room controlled over an IR remote from TV. Remote that I had used RC-5 protocol, hence the firmware is suited for any RC-5 compatible remote.
Everyone is familiar to the everliving problem with switching the lights off in your room before going to bed and stumbling back across the room. The IR switch I describe here solves that problem, and I can definitely tell that this project was a success - I am still using it with no regret.

That's what it looks like. The blue cover is a lid from some beauty product.


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Переделка часов Электроника 7

I'm not going to make an English version of this post because the possibility of someone who doesn't speak Russian coming into possession of an old Soviet clock is basically 0.


Итак, примерно полгода назад добрые люди на кафедре отдали мне старые и нерабочие часы "Электроника 7". Так они выглядели:


Что не работает в часах видно по картинке - половина сегментов в вакуумных трубках выгорели. Мне пришла в голову идея реставрировать такое чудо советской инженерии с шиком - заменить вакуумно-люминисцентные индикаторы современными яркими светодиодами "Пиранья" и заменить саму электронику внутри.

Далее идет описание процесса реставрации для того чтобы любой человек с прямыми руками мог его повторить. Для привлечения внимания покажу фото результата:

Я заменил раму из ДВП на другую.