July 12, 2017

Solid state transformers - becoming a reality

May 21, 2017

Repairing an Arduino nano - replacing ATMEGA328

Hey everyone, how are you doing today?

   There is a new video on Youtube for you. In today's video I *try* to repair an Arduino Nano by replacing the SMT ATMEGA328 chip on it. I burned it by appling 8V to the +5V terminal :( 

Hope you enjoy watching me replace the chip:

May 06, 2017

Creating a Menu system on a LCD display

   Hey everyone, how are you doing todaaay ?. This blog post (and video) is all about how to create menu systems (screens) on a LCD (16x2) display, making use of Arduino UNO. 
   Menus are specially useful on small LCD screens when you have a lot of information to show and too little space available. I show in the video below how to implement a six (6) screen menu system that you can navigate by simply pressing a button. 

   The actual schematic diagram (drawn in Fritzing) is shown below, and contain one push-button, one i2c LCD display and one Arduino UNO. As simple as it gets!!.

Click the image to enlarge

   Coding for this project has its own details, but is nothing beyond beginner: every button press increments the variable "WhichScreen" by one (up to six), then a switch..case function is used to determine which screen (tied to a specific function) will be shown at the moment.
   The button pressing is debounced by the use of the 'debounce.ino' sketch, which comes with the current Arduino IDE. Every one of the six functions contains all code necessary to write messages (or other things) to every column and line of the chosen LCD display. 
   Code for this project (same seen in the video) is available on my GitHub and also shown below:

All materials used in this tutorial are available on ICStation (click here) and below:

May 01, 2017

TCS230 RGB color sensor with Arduino

   Hello everyone, how is it going? Today post and video is all about the TCS230, a light-to-frequency converter. In order to demonstrate its hability to sense color in RGB (Red, Green, Blue) I have made an Arduino sketch to convert its readings to a WS2812b, Neopixel RGB LED.

Source: Arduino&Cia

   According to TCS230 datasheet its output frequency is up to 600Khz (square wave), with the possibility to reduce it to 20% (120Khz) and 2% (12Khz). It features two inputs (S2 and S3) to binary select which color will be read at the moment (either Red, Green or blue). Its supply voltage is up to 5V (same as Arduino during my tests).
   You can see  below both the schematic diagram of the test (drawn in Fritzing) and the code I used for my Arduino UNO (which is also available here). Notice that the sketch can control a Neopixel (WS2812b) and also send RGB color to the serial monitor of Arduino IDE.

Click the image to enlarge

   The target with this post was to show you that it is possible to identify RGB color "on the cheap", based on a simple color sensor and some Arduino code. The precision of the TCS230 is not great, but it cuts for what we need; its performance could be improved by better controlling room lighting and the quality of those white LEDs as well. 
   Here are the links so that you can buy all components necessary to do this experiment yourself: 

April 25, 2017

Wireless IP camera review - T7838WIP

  Hello everyone, how is it going? Today I will be reviewing a nice wireless IP camera: the T7838WIP 720p WiFi capable camera, made by VstarCam and brand-labeled by MANY others. Note that I have also recorded the above video with the actual T7838WIP camera.

Some specs:

- Up to 720p video (1280 x 720, HD)
- WiFi capable (works with Ethernet as well)
- Infrared LED's (night vision!)
- Supplied by 5v power adaptor
- Pan 355º and tilt 120º
- Captures and reproduces audio on camera
- Works paired with the Yoosee app (Android and iPhone)
- micro SD card for recording (up to 32GB)
- Supports ONVIF protocol (can be paired to compatible DVR's for recording and monitoring!)

Starting it up is as easy as three steps:

- Download the Yoosee APP on your phone (and open it)
- Power the camera UP on the same WiFi network as the cellphone
- Follow the app instructions!

   This camera has positively surprised my in many ways: the fist is the image quality, 720p over WiFi; there is also the capability of capturing and reproducing sound to and from the camera and the APP (you can listen and talk to whoever is close to the camera - I recorded the video this way!). Finally the capability of panning and tilting around -in real time- amazing. 
   As far as buying this camera yourself, I can only recommend it and give you two links where you can find it: GearBest (here) and BangGood (here). I hope you guys like the camera and this article about i; see you soon!.