ESC Con 2015

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.

10 3D printing projects on Kickstarter

No one argues that 3D printing is poised to change the electronics industry and its supply chain. The popularity of these projects on Kickstarter are just one measure of just how hot the market is. Read More...

Alternative PCB fabrication tools

Ten (mostly) new ways to make PCBs. 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...

Free PCB CAD redux

Good, free CAD is always interesting to try out. Here's yet another summary, including a new-to-me OS X package. 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...

Get your geek on for Pi Day - 3-14-15

Take a look at how the nation's geekiest town celebrates Pi Day and use the links we've provided to help you locate the irrational revelries in your home town. 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...

Product how-to: Build your own designs on flexible circuit boards

Flexible PCBs are becoming low-cost and accessible even to hobbyists. Read More...

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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...

Simple pulse oximetry for wearable monitor

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

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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...

FPGA boards under $100: Altera/Terasic DE0-Nano

A close look at the Cyclone IV-based $79 DE0-Nano FPGA devboard from Terasic. Read More...

EDN Hot 100 products of 2014

Of the many thousands of products announced during the past year, these are 100 that especially caught the attention of our editors and our readers. 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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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...

Product how-to: Build your own designs on flexible circuit boards

Flexible PCBs are becoming low-cost and accessible even to hobbyists. Read More...

A simple method for determining the optimal operating point of an LED

Field applications engineer Donald Schelle shares a simple method for optimizing the performance of LEDs. He shows how to use the information on an LED's data sheet to perform the necessary trade-offs to produce the best mix of cost, efficacy, and weight for your particular LED application. Read More...

The world is ours to make: The impact of the maker movement

The maker movement is bringing engineering into the mainstream. Innovations happen in home garages and collaborative workspaces with their peers, and are openly shared to inspire other makers. Is this the beginning of the next industrial revolution? Read More...

A master vibrator replacement for the Model T & TT Ford

Here’s something for you antique car enthusiasts. Read More...

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7 tips for designing a robust Bootloader

Today's embedded systems often need field updates. A properly-designed bootloader is the answer. Read More...

10 3D printing projects on Kickstarter

No one argues that 3D printing is poised to change the electronics industry and its supply chain. The popularity of these projects on Kickstarter are just one measure of just how hot the market is. Read More...

10 Questions to ask during code reviews

Large companies and small all seem to run into the same problems in code development. These questions to ask during code review can help catch a lot of problems. Read More...

Air Force reveals its new aircraft cloaking system uses dark-emitting diodes (DEDs)

Star Trek has finally met its match in real life with the U. S. Air Force’s revelation of a new stealth technology based on dark-emitting diodes (DEDs). Read More...

Beware licensing issues when using open source

Just because something is open source doesn't mean there aren't any restrictions. Read More...

Free PCB CAD redux

Good, free CAD is always interesting to try out. Here's yet another summary, including a new-to-me OS X package. Read More...

Get your geek on for Pi Day - 3-14-15

Take a look at how the nation's geekiest town celebrates Pi Day and use the links we've provided to help you locate the irrational revelries in your home town. Read More...

Entering the era of 3D printed electronics

A new development in 3D printing and conductive inks make 3D printed electronics a reality that will revolutionize electronics manufacturing starting this year. Read More...

Joe Hudy: 'Making' an engineering career

Well-known DIYer Joe Hudy discusses what it means to be a "maker" and how that fits into his skyrocketing young career as an engineer. Read More...

Shubham Banerjee: The brains and heart behind Braigo Labs

You can't be too young to become an entrepreneur. Just ask 13-year-old Shubham Banerjee who launched a company to develop low-cost machines to print Braille, designing his prototype product out of Lego Mindstorms parts. Read More...

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