ESC

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.

Altium's free CircuitMaker in open beta

The latest stage in the development of Altium's CircuitMaker is to make it available as part of an open beta testing program. Read More...

The Hat at Maker Faire - Day 1

The Hat's had a busy time at the first day of the Maker Faire. Between watching high-powered kiddie car races, performing for visitors, and helping build mini-Smart Hats, there was barely enough time to get out of the booth to see a few sights. And wondrous sights they were indeed! Read More...

Greetings from Maker Faire 2015

One half embedded development platform, one half photonic fashion statement, and 100% attitude, Editor Lee Goldberg's "Smart Hat" is on its first solo assignment: report on some of the DIY activities at the Bay Area Maker Faire. Read More...

10 Arduino-based projects on Kickstarter

The Arduino development board has grown in popularity over the last few years and has spawned a myriad of interesting projects. Here are 10 of the most interesting ones on Kickstarter. Read More...

Celebrate DIY Victorian high-tech at the Steampunk World's Fair

It's time to dust off your goggles, charge up your ray gun and set your airship's course for the Steampunk World's Fair. Held May 15-17 in Piscataway, New Jersey, the fair is a Mecca for DIY-ists who take a somewhat unique approach to technology, fashion, and alternate history. Read More...

Laser-like audio with the PAL

A look at the state of audio beaming via ultrasonics. Read More...

PCB future is lightweight, low-cost, and flexible: Product how-to

Low-cost flexible additively printed circuit “boards” are enabling new technologies and markets. Read More...

Meet me at Lightfair - Meet my Smart Hat at Maker Faire!

If you are attending Lightfair on May 5th or 6th, please join me for coffee, industry gossip, and a healthy dose of geek fellowship at EDN's Reader/Editor Meet-Up. Normally, I'd be very easy to spot because I'd be wearing my Smart Hat, but this time I'll be a bit harder to pick out of the crowd. That's because The Hat is on its way to the Maker Faire. Read More...

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Rotational (or linear) measurement using an optical mouse sensor

A novel way to measure X-Y or rotational speed or position is presented in this Design Idea. Read More...

Instrumentation amp makes an accurate transimpedance amp too

The interesting topology in this Design Idea turns a monolithic in-amp into a good transimpedance amp for photodiode or similar applications. Read More...

Voltage indicator transitions between colours

Using a two-colour LED, this Design Idea indicates power-on and voltage level. Read More...

MOSFET-based Joule Thief steps up voltage

This Design Idea illustrates a novel approach to the Joule Thief circuit. Read More...

Sleep easy with this desk fan speed reducer

This innovative AC motor control skips cycles. Read More...

Bad-bulb finder fixes Christmas lights

15 years later, here’s a new take on one of our most popular Design Ideas ever! Read More...

Monitor 15 contacts with one PIC input

Take advantage of a microcontroller’s feature set to simplify switch & contact interface. Read More...

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Altium's free CircuitMaker in open beta

The latest stage in the development of Altium's CircuitMaker is to make it available as part of an open beta testing program. Read More...

EDN field-tests the ultimate LED party lights

BlissLights makes some seriously cool toys. When I gave a brief shout-out to them in a recent Semi-coherent Emissions blog I knew I had to get my hands on a couple of these grown-up party bulbs. Happily, BlissLights cheerfully loaned me a few of their photonic toys so I could subject them to a little real-world testing at my St. Patrick's Day party. Read More...

Quantum computer kit announced – Save over $10,000,000!

The most exciting announcement this editor has ever covered: Quantum computing for the masses. Read More...

Pint-sized printer delivers pro-quality 3D performance at entry-level price point

Priced at $1,350, Aleph Objects' LulzBot Mini offers a combination of versatility, precision and ease which puts it on the (very) short list of entry-level printers I'd recommend to both tech-savvy DIY-ers and the growing number of consumers who are considering buying their first 3D printer. Read More...

Dual-protocol wireless control modules enable smart, networked LED drivers, luminaires, bulbs, and wall plugs

The first two implementations of the dual-protocol platform are a multi-mode (0-10V or DALI) Bluetooth lighting controller and a Class 2 embedded Bluetooth 4.0 module. They can be integrated into lighting fixtures, LED drivers, and LED smart bulbs. Both the Bluetooth controller and lighting module are programmed to automatically form a self-healing and self-organizing wireless mesh network with any other Casambi-enabled devices within "earshot" of it. Each device can also be paired to a Bluetooth Smart Ready smartphone or tablet, enabling any fixture within the mesh to be controlled from any other point without the need for an external gateway module. Read More...

¼-size Arduino board packs full-size punch + on-board LiPo charge/mgmt

Despite its compact 1in x 1.5in form factor, the Qduino Mini board packs all the punch of its full-sized counterparts and throws in a turnkey battery fuel gauge and charger just for grins. Read More...

Wi-Fi equipped 32-bit Arduino board streamlines cloud-powered embedded app development

Digilent's chipKIT WiFire board is an awesome little beastie. Powered by Microchip's powerful 32-bit 200 MHz MCU, the Wi-Fi equipped Arduino-compatible platform has been paired with Imagination Technologies' Flow Cloud service development tools in an effort to make creating cloud-powered embedded applications practical for the average developer. Read More...

Desktop milling machine creates PCBs and packaging

Version 2 of the Othermill will create your PCB, enclosure, and other parts – on your benchtop. Read More...

ZigBee 3.0 radio chips and modules can add Smart Home/IoT capabilities to lighting applications

GreenPeak Technologies' GP691 communication controller chip and GPM6000 integrated Modules provide a much-needed solution for implementing ZigBee 3.0, Thread, and other advanced wireless protocols. Read More...

Arduino LED controller shield makes complex RGB LED lighting apps a snap

The Arduino-compatible lighting RGB LED lighting shield reviewed here was designed to give designers a low-cost easy-to-use open-source platform for fast prototyping and inexpensive evaluation of multiple LED light engines. 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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Parallel Operation Minimizes Temperature Rise in Synchronous 4-Switch Buck-Boost Converters

A single synchronous buck-boost DC/DC converter can deliver high power due to its synchronous switching topology, but eventually the switching and/or conduction losses at higher power can overwhelm a single converter with excessive board heating. Although heat can be mitigated with bulked up heat sinks, additional external gate drivers, and/or forced airflow, it may be better to simply tie together two or more converters in parallel to spread the load. This is easy to do with the LT3790 4-switch synchronous buck-boost DC/DC converter. Read More...

10 Arduino-based projects on Kickstarter

The Arduino development board has grown in popularity over the last few years and has spawned a myriad of interesting projects. Here are 10 of the most interesting ones on Kickstarter. Read More...

PCB future is lightweight, low-cost, and flexible: Product how-to

Low-cost flexible additively printed circuit “boards” are enabling new technologies and markets. Read More...

Reducing cost & complexity of LCD LED backlights with single-IC, single-inductor multi-string LED driver architectures

In his fourth installment we'll look a single-IC, single-inductor multi-string LED driver architectures which provide great savings in both solution cost and PCB real estate. For this tutorial, we'll use the LT3598 which can drive up to six strings of ten LEDs at up to 30mA per string and a built-in power switch. Read More...

Powering LED Lighting & Other Illumination Devices: Part 3

This third installment of a multi-part series on design issues in LED lighting explores the capabilities of the LT3799, a high-power factor, self-isolated, TRIAC-compatible LED driver. It includes several practical examples of how these properties can be used to solve common design issues for LED applications in a simple, cost-effective manner. Read More...

Powering LED Lighting & Other Illumination Devices: Part 2 (Updated)

This second installment of a multi-part series includes several practical examples based on the LT3791 is a 4-switch synchronous buck-boost DC/DC converter that regulates both constant-current and constant voltage at up to 98.5% efficiency with a single inductor. Read More...

Powering LED Lighting & Other Illumination Devices - Part 1

This first installment of a multi-part series on design issues in LED lighting presents several solutions to the challenges of driving the series strings of HBLEDs frequently used in DLP projectors, stage lighting, automotive lighting and other applications traditionally served by high intensity bulbs. It includes several practical examples based on the LT3763, a 60V synchronous, step-down DC/DC controller designed to accurately regulate LED current at up to 20A with fast PWM dimming. Read More...

USB 3.0—Everything you need to know

Everything about USB 3.0 that you might not know, and are afraid to ask. Read More...

Build a low-cost logic design trainer

Want to set up a lab at home for your personal experiments? Read on. Read More...

Tips and tricks for driving WS2811 LED strips - Part 1: Taming the wily WS2811

Here's a summary of some of the key design issues and a few resources to help shorten your LED strips learning curve. Read More...

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New house brings electric woes

A move to a new old house means mastering new systems, and, FIXING THE ELECTRICS BEFORE WE ALL DIE! Read More...

The Hat at Maker Faire - Day 1

The Hat's had a busy time at the first day of the Maker Faire. Between watching high-powered kiddie car races, performing for visitors, and helping build mini-Smart Hats, there was barely enough time to get out of the booth to see a few sights. And wondrous sights they were indeed! Read More...

Greetings from Maker Faire 2015

One half embedded development platform, one half photonic fashion statement, and 100% attitude, Editor Lee Goldberg's "Smart Hat" is on its first solo assignment: report on some of the DIY activities at the Bay Area Maker Faire. Read More...

Celebrate DIY Victorian high-tech at the Steampunk World's Fair

It's time to dust off your goggles, charge up your ray gun and set your airship's course for the Steampunk World's Fair. Held May 15-17 in Piscataway, New Jersey, the fair is a Mecca for DIY-ists who take a somewhat unique approach to technology, fashion, and alternate history. Read More...

7 lessons for embedded developers from ESC Boston 2015

Back from ESC Boston, Jacob reflects on seven key lessons gleaned from the conference. Read More...

Laser-like audio with the PAL

A look at the state of audio beaming via ultrasonics. Read More...

Dean Kamen says tech needs superstars

In a keynote address at MassMEDIC this week, the renowned inventor and founder of FIRST commented on the US educational system and highlighted some new and famous inventions. Read More...

First three rules of IoT security

Security for an IoT design involves a myriad of decisions and actions, but these three form the foundation of a successful design effort. Read More...

Meet me at Lightfair - Meet my Smart Hat at Maker Faire!

If you are attending Lightfair on May 5th or 6th, please join me for coffee, industry gossip, and a healthy dose of geek fellowship at EDN's Reader/Editor Meet-Up. Normally, I'd be very easy to spot because I'd be wearing my Smart Hat, but this time I'll be a bit harder to pick out of the crowd. That's because The Hat is on its way to the Maker Faire. Read More...

7 steps to reusable debounce (and other) code

All pushbuttons need debouncing, and Jacob tells us how to construct a reusable algorithm for doing so. Read More...

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