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Learning Electronics

Below are listed various electronic components that I have worked with over time. Each component has been tested using the appropriate circuit on a breadboard, whereas, some have been fabricated onto either PCB or veroboard. In all cases, full details of the working circuit (including schematic diagrams, circuit descriptions, component selection) and any difficulties encountered during construction (and fixes, alternatives or work-arounds discovered) are given in detail.

Details of the various projects are available by clicking the links in the following tables which list projects by either category, project title or difficulty.

Sometimes I developed software (using either Visual Basic, Microsoft Access, CSS C++, or Excel spreadsheets) to help with testing particular components. Such programs, modules and or source code can be found on the Downloads pages.

Click column title to change sort order
Category Project Title Description Difficulty
ESP-8266 Wi-Fi/Micro Installing/Flashing Espressif AT Command Firmware Demonstrate how to flash/update Espressif firmware to enable ESP8266 to communicate via AT commands. Medium
Component Test ESP8266 Wi-Fi Module Wi-Fi Module to enable PIC microcontroller to act as Internet Server, upload/download from Web Pages. Medium
Component Test DHT-11 Temperature and humidity composite sensor that outputs a calibrated digital signal of the temperature and humidity. Medium
Component Test HC-05 Bluetooth Module HC-05 and Android Smart Phone App used for bluetooth communications and control of PIC microcontroller circuit (LM35 temp sensor, PWM fan motor and LED controls). Medium
Component Test HX711 ADC Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) for weigh scale, connected to load cell, interfaced to PIC microcontroller. Easy
Component Test DS18S20 Temperature sensor, calibrated digital signal of the temperature in degrees. Medium
Component Test Nokia 5110 LCD 84x48 LCD module, Nokia 5110 using PCD8544 display chip Hard
Component Test MAX7221 LED Driver Serial I/O common cathode LED display driver Medium
Component Test SN74HC595 Shift Register 8-bit serial in, parallel out shift register Easy
Component Test nRF24L01+ Radio Transciever nRF2401 single-chip radio transceiver for the world wide 2.4 - 2.5 GHz ISM band Hard
Component Test LM35 Precision Temperature Sensor - linear output 10mV/degree Celsius Easy
Component Test HC-SR04 Ultrasonic Ranging Module Easy
Component Test WS2812 RGB LED Integrated RGB LED with control circuit ("pixel" full colour chip) Medium
Component Test LM317T 3-terminal positive voltage regulator (variable 1.2-37V) Easy
Component Test TCS3471 Color Light to Digital Converter Medium
Component Test A4988/Stepper Motors A4988 microstepping motor driver interfaced to PIC microcontroller and bipolar stepper motor Easy
Component Test SN754410/Stepper Motors Quadruple Half-H Driver applied to a stepper motor Medium
Component Test DS1307 Real Time Clock DS1307 Real Time Clock interfaced to PIC microcontroller, with RS232 communication to PC Easy
Component Test LM2596 Buck SMPS (3A 1.23-37V) DC-DC step-down SMPS voltage regulator (variable 3A 1.23-37V) Medium
Component Test ACS712 Bidirectional Current Sensor 5A Demonstrate the use of a ACS712 bidirectional current sensor (max 5A version) Medium
Component Test MAX471 Bidirectional Current Sensor 3A Demonstrate the use of a MAX-471 bidirectional current sensor (max 3A version) Medium
Component Test MCP4921 12-bit Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) Demonstrate the use of a MCP4921 DAC to produce analog voltage waveforms (square, triangle, sawtooth and sine wave). Easy
Component Test TowerPro SG-90 Servo Motor Demonstrate the control and use of a servo motor with a PIC microcontroller (example application servo motor points sensors at brightest light source). Easy
PIC micro. Timer0 Module Demonstrate the use of the on-board Timer0 module Medium
PIC micro. Capture/Compare/Pulse Width Modulation (CCP) Demonstrate the use of the on-board CCP module for pulse width modulation (PWM) signal generation Medium
PIC micro. In-Circuit Serial Programming (ICSP) - Flashing a LED Demonstrate the minimum circuit for a PIC microcontroller - In-Circuit Serial Programming (ICSP) and flashing a LED. Easy
PIC micro. Analog Digital Converter (ADC) Demonstrate the use of the on-board ADC module for converting voltage to a digital quantity. Medium
PIC micro. USART (RS232) Serial Comms Module Demonstrate the use of the on-board Universal Synchronous Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter (USART) module for serial I/O (RS232) with a PC. Easy
PIC micro. Button Debounce via software Demonstrate debounce of hardware buttons using a software approach with PIC microcontroller and interrupts. Easy
ATTiny Microprocessors Blink LED Demonstrate programming the ATtiny85 to blink an LED Easy
ATTiny Microprocessors Buttons Demonstrate button interfacing with ATtiny85 and software debouncing methods Easy
ATTiny Microprocessors Serial Comms (USB-TTL) Demonstrate serial communications with ATtiny85 with USB-TTL converters/PC Com ports Easy
ATTiny Microprocessors PCF8574A 8-bit port expander Demonstrate interfacing ATtiny85/Digispark with I2C using the PCF8574A 8-bit port expansion chip. Medium
Component Test MAX31855 Thermocouple Driver Demonstrate the control and use of a MAX31855 to interface a K-type thermocouple with a PIC microcontroller. Both hardware-SPI and a software 'bit banging' method is demonstrated. Medium


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