Bluetooth Low Energy, also known as BLE or Bluetooth Smart, is a low energy wireless communication protocol suitable for use in embedded systems. Available as of Bluetooth 4.1, BLE is available on nearly all modern mobile devices and is an effective way of communicating with smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and so on. Despite the ubiquity of BLE, high quality, complete tutorials on BLE are difficult to come by. This post is intended to serve as a detailed, inclusive tutorial on BLE using the RN4020 from Microchip. Continue reading →
Many of the projects at Hadley Research are open source or feature open source influences, and most of the projects undertaken here would not be possible without the assistance and goodwill of the online hobbyist electronics community. It is with this spirit of collaboration and openness in mind that I am pleased to announce that the Hadley Research Eagle library is now available on github.
The library features parts and components used in some of the projects you will find here at the site. By placing them online, I am allowing the community to use them, without restriction, in their own projects and products. No Eagle library is perfect, and many contain naming issues or other things in some form or another. Still, it is my hope that my Eagle library might stand as an excellent and useful resource to my fellow electronics hobbyists.
Ahhhh, soldering. No matter how many times you solder by hand, there’s something oddly satisfying about watching flux activate and watching the wire of solder reach its eutectic point, suddenly turning liquid. YouTube user demux thinks so, and has put together this beautiful compilation video, set to background music reminiscent of a mix of Sim City 2000 and the Weather Channel. Check it out!
Of the various sites the electronics hobbyist should consider for their RSS reader, Hackaday is decidedly one of them. Last month, they announced the arrival of Microchip’s MPLAB Express Board and IDE. It’s a simple little board centered around the PIC16F18855, and featuring the web-based development and programming features first introduced to the world through the mbed platform. Better still, Microchip had 2000 on hand which it was giving away, free of charge. PIC devices feature prominently in many of my electronics projects, such as CardPOV (PIC18F25J50) and RGBSaber (PIC18F2221) so put my name in for one of the devboards on the Microchip web form. After all, the boards didn’t cost anything; what did I have to lose? Continue reading →
I’ve had the opportunity to design and build a number of different circuit boards and embedded designs. The hardware design-build process involves many steps, including parts selection, acquisition, PCB design, ordering, and assembly. Every once in awhile a useful website or community will come along to provide a service to make the PCB process easier. Whether it’s figuring out where parts are available, finding the cheapest PCBs, identifying viable parts, or more, these sites deserve a place in your bookmarks.
Oscillators are a critical piece of many electronic circuits, producing clean periodic clock signals to drive microcontrollers, as timing references in analog and RF circuits, and elsewhere. As ubiquitous as they are, however, they remain a niche topic, with minimal coverage from many of the large hobbyist electronics sites and communities.
Enter YouTube user devttys0, with an excellent deep dive into the world of analog electronics. His video on Pierce Oscillator fundamentals is posted below. For even more analog goodness, be sure to take a look at his website, Analog Zoo.
Every once in awhile, the electronics hobbyist encounters the issue of soldering free wires (that is, joining 2 wires together using solder). I find this task mildly annoying on the occasions when it comes up. Last time I came across this in a project, I came up with a minor refinement on the freewire soldering technique that has made my experience since much nicer. Check it out in the video, below.
Every electronics hobbyist has that project, that first project which they obsess over, which they pour their time and money and sanity into, which they get burned on and make their mistakes on and go on to be learned and wiser about at its completion. I had a project like that, and that project was a relatively well-known project called RGBSaber.
As mentioned in the site’s inaugural post, I previously pursued electronics as a hobby. Back in 2009, I started NBitWonder, a DIY electronics website and blog, with a close friend. It ran for a few years until being shut down in 2012. Over the course of its life, it enjoyed some success, including mentions on a number of popular electronics websites such as Hackaday, Make, Adafruit, and Dangerous Prototypes. I worked on several projects in that time, and the first one I ever published was CardPOV.