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DIY

Suzanne Deffree
Editor
Home for DIY (do it yourself) hobbyist, hackers, and honed engineers where you can exchange ideas and design knowledge on electronics. Find answers to DIY challenges and new opportunities amongst a community of skilled electronics makers.

Struggling with X-Y mode, or, What time is it?

Having fun with the Sparkfun/Dutchtronix analog-clock-display-on-a-scope board, and struggling to tame digital X-Y mode in the process. Read More...

World Maker Faire: engineering, creativity, and inspiration

Here’s a taste of what was shown off at World Maker Faire and how some key companies are choosing to work directly with the end user, designer, and maker in the name of inspiring continued innovation. Read More...

Mostly free engineering software

There are amazing riches of free engineering software out there, if you know where to look. Read More...

Friday Fun: Put on a happy (clock) face

Tired of looking at boring waveforms? Activate "Clock Power"! Read More...

Get the fix on common EMC problems

A presentation by EMC engineer Kenneth Wyatt shows engineers why problems occur and how to reduce them. See photos and video from the presentation and download the slides. Read More...

Internet of Things: Innovation Contests

To motivate solutions and ideas that can help improve our daily lives, Gemalto is sponsoring two separate competitions this year. Here's how to enter. Read More...

Electronics of our youth

Let's reminisce about bygone projects & kits. Read More...

Hackspotter: World's most dangerous LED display caught at Maker Faire

Stay clear of the whirling sphere please, this is not a toy! Weighing in at over 350 lbs, the Orbital Rendersphere is a whirling LED array which uses the persistence of vision effect to paint 360 degree images in thin air. Read More...

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Simple pulse oximetry for wearable monitor

Use this circuit as the “heart” of a pulse oximeter and oxygen saturation monitor. Read More...

Short circuit tracer/finder uses low power

Build this bench tool and become a master at pinpointing shorts. Read More...

Add phases to simple RC oscillator

Here’s a simple way to add one or more output phases to an RC oscillator. Read More...

3 pins, 3 LEDs, 3 buttons

This LED multiplexing scheme allows for switches in the matrix too. Read More...

Hybrid vacuum tube/solid-state audio power amplifier

An audio power amp design that combines vacuum tube input circuitry with solid-state output and feedback components. Read More...

HB-LED flashing beacon repurposes switching regulator

A classic, low-cost “switcher” IC is repurposed to flash a high-brightness LED in this minimal-parts-count Design Idea. Read More...

555-based class-D headphone driver makes great practice amp

This class-D audio amp “plays” to the 555’s strengths. Read More...

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Desktop PCB factory turns your design into a working circuit in 30 minutes

What would you do if you could turn the schematic you sketched on the back of a napkin during your lunch break into a fully-assembled circuit before your afternoon coffee break? Read More...

New Raspberry Pi model adds pins, ports, and lower power

An update of the Raspberry Pi Model B - called the Raspberry Pi Model B+ - incorporates numerous small improvements that have been requested by users. Read More...

FPGA boards under $100: Introduction

I’m kicking off a major series of hands-on reviews of sub-$100 FPGA boards, so hop on “board” as we start our exploration. Read More...

Audio step attenuator with 47 positions offers precise volume control

Offered as the first in a series of new PCB-based audio switches, the A47 stepped attenuator from Elma Electronic provides 47 positions with selectable end-stops from one to six channels. Read More...

Molded enclosure houses Raspberry Pi Model B

Hammond Electronics has developed a new moulded enclosure specifically designed to house the Raspberry Pi Model B credit card sized computer. Read More...

Printoo: Printed electronics made Arduino compatible

A spin-out from YDreams, Ynvisible was founded in 2010 with the goal to bring more interactivity to everyday objects and surfaces, mostly through the use of flexible and printed electronics including the company’s fully transparent electrochromic display. Read More...

Card brings rich set of audio functions to Raspberry Pi

Jointly developed by element14 and Wolfson Microelectronics, the Wolfson audio card for the Raspberry Pi supplies multiple types of input sources and outputs to enable high-definition audio capture and playback. Read More...

Arduino add-on board targets gaming

Scottish interface chip designer FTDI Chip has developed a gaming add-on board for the Arduino open-source development platform. Read More...

Raspberry Pi control and display interface is plug and play

The PiFace Control and Display announced by Farnell element14 is a new accessory for the Raspberry Pi that allows users to control the computer and see information without the need for a separate screen or keyboard. Read More...

$15 Raspberry Pi dev board for xCORE multicore MCUs

XMOS has launched a $14.99 500MIPS multicore development kit that links to the popular Raspberry Pi board and its other development boards. Read More...

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Chumby offers opportunity for home engineering

Because anyone can submit an app and Chumby Industries has been very open to hacking the Linux kernel, there are several ways to change the firmware with OpenEmbedded to tailor the Chumby One to your own needs. Read More...

Rummage through a Roomba: Sensor-packed vacuum robot attracts hacks

This autonomous robot packs a series of sensors and motors to not only vacuum homes the world over, but also double as a robotic platform for would-be developers. Read More...

Prying apart a portable audio player

Prying Eyes: A look inside Sandisk's Sansa M250 reveals platform minded design decisions, surprising flash-memory choices, and potential hacks. Read More...

Evaluate your application's energy-harvesting vibrational profile with a Slam Stick

To know whether your application is suitable for vibrational energy harvesting, you must determine its vibrational profile. Mide Technology's Slam Stick data logger and open-source software can ease your profiling task. Read More...

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A guide to selecting power supplies for LED lighting applications

In order for your solid-state lighting design to realize its full efficiency, durability, and longevity, you'll need to choose a power supply with characteristics which closely match the requirements of your application and the LEDs you're using. XP Power's brief tutorial offers some helpful pointers on what you'll need to consider during the selection process. Read More...

Copperclad Road (with apologies to Steve Earle)

An ECL warrior battles the copperclad to produce a high-performance breadboarded test fixture. Read More...

10 free math analysis and design tools for engineers

Back by popular demand is another round of free tools that engineers and DIYers can use with their various projects. Read More...

3D printing expands beyond makers

Although technical and pricing challenges remain, 3D printing has evolved from a medium used by an exclusive few to a manufacturing trend that some believe will see widespread adoption in 2014. Read More...

Try an oscilloscope for under $200

You can get an oscilloscope for under $200. Some are even worth investigating for your toolbox. Read More...

Power to the people: the democratization of engineering

When it comes to open source, software is years ahead of hardware. But with encouragement from established electronics industry players and moves from makers and hackers, engineers could see open-source hardware and an increasingly democratized, community-based approach worked into and enhancing their design cycles. Read More...

8 hacks to watch at DESIGN West's Black Hat Summit

You can learn to hack into someone’s car or smartphone, build an underwater vehicle or tele-presence robot among the interesting DIY projects at DESIGN West 2013. Read More...

Adding analog I/O for our serial bus sensor interface

Adding analog I/O to allow sensors to present digital information directly to our embedded microcontroller is useful to provide real world analog information like light level, temperature, pressure, voltage, current, resistance, and so on. Read More...

Digital I/O in chunks: distribute control and status

Using serial protocols for distributed digital I/O can save time and money while increasing reliability and flexibility. Testing is simplified, and this approach makes it easy to expand and add functionality, too. Read More...

Make your own IIC interface to a parallel character LCD

Here’s how to connect the parallel bus alphanumeric displays using a simple IIC serial scheme from your microcontroller. This article also shows how to structure firmware and drivers to create very efficient data storage of canned messages and display modes. Read More...

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Struggling with X-Y mode, or, What time is it?

Having fun with the Sparkfun/Dutchtronix analog-clock-display-on-a-scope board, and struggling to tame digital X-Y mode in the process. Read More...

World Maker Faire: engineering, creativity, and inspiration

Here’s a taste of what was shown off at World Maker Faire and how some key companies are choosing to work directly with the end user, designer, and maker in the name of inspiring continued innovation. Read More...

Mostly free engineering software

There are amazing riches of free engineering software out there, if you know where to look. Read More...

Friday Fun: Put on a happy (clock) face

Tired of looking at boring waveforms? Activate "Clock Power"! Read More...

Internet of Things: Innovation Contests

To motivate solutions and ideas that can help improve our daily lives, Gemalto is sponsoring two separate competitions this year. Here's how to enter. Read More...

Electronics of our youth

Let's reminisce about bygone projects & kits. Read More...

Hackspotter: World's most dangerous LED display caught at Maker Faire

Stay clear of the whirling sphere please, this is not a toy! Weighing in at over 350 lbs, the Orbital Rendersphere is a whirling LED array which uses the persistence of vision effect to paint 360 degree images in thin air. Read More...

10 Things I saw at IDF2014

The Intel Design Forum came to San Francisco but, with so much pizazz, they could have called it the IoTDF because of the focus on the Internet of Things. Read More...

Do we need Radio Shack anymore?

The chain of electronics stores is on the verge of bankruptcy. Will you miss it? Read More...

Back to school essentials for learning tech

The STEM movement is full throttle. With classes and at-home STEM Education kits sprouting up all over the country, the next generation will have the tools needed to be the most innovative generation of the century. Read More...

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