Starting a Hobby in Electronics

•August 22, 2009 • 8 Comments

What is electronics?

Electronics, at least on my own definition, is a science (more related to Physics) of controlling or manipulating the flow of electrons to achieve favorable results or outputs. Results could be in the form of sound as with what we hear from audio devices, light as with what we see from displays, and information as with what we have from most digital devices and other communication equipments.

For me electronics is not only a science but also an art just like magic. There may be a standard way or solution to a problem but there will always have a better ways of solving it. With this people will ask you how did you do that. Hehehe

What does an electronics hobbyist do?

Now you might ask, what is an Electronics Hobbyist and what he does? Well for me, again it’s at least on my own point of view (hehehe), he (could be a she but I haven’t seen any ladies inclined with this hobby, I would love to meet one) is a person with passion for electronics and have this natural curiosity with “how stuff works” and has his own way of replicating that trick in his backyard/home. A complex process such as radio transmission of an FM station could be simplified and replicated by an Electronics Hobbyist at a lower cost and less complexity, though oftentimes the quality is disregarded. He loves making gadgets and instruments and even toys using his knowledge in electronics.

What are the things needed to get me started?

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Projects: 555 Based Digital Voltmeter

•February 21, 2011 • 5 Comments

Abstract:

This project is a remake of my greatest college project, the digital voltmeter. This time I made a major modification.

Instead of using a DAC for producing the ramp I used the 555 timer to produce the analog linear ramp voltage for higher resolution. Later I realized that I could greatly reduce component count by using the 555 chip itself as a single slope converter for measuring input voltages.

Voltmeter:

Single Slope Analog to Digital Converter

To understand how the voltmeter works let me introduce the concept behind a single slope analog to digital converter.

single slope converter

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DIY Arduino Proto-Shield

•October 23, 2010 • 1 Comment

Personally I would say Arduino is one the best tool a hobbyist, expert or beginner, can have.

Experts may find it very useful for rapid prototyping of their design ideas and beginners will surely enjoy the high level approach of programming. It is easy to learn, very straight forward, yet simple.

With all of the advantages offered by Arduino there’s one thing I don’t like with it. The pitch between digital pin 7 and 8 is not standard, and I’ll bet non of the locally available prototyping boards (universal PCB) would be suitable for it.

 

*Images Courtesy of : Project Blog

 

At first look the 0.04” offset between a standard header spacing and Arduino is barely noticeable but the problem becomes evident when you try to squeeze a standard spaced shield in. If you do this you’ll probably notice the header’s pin would slightly bend due to the offset.

*Images Courtesy of : Project Blog

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DIY Jumper Wires

•May 23, 2010 • Leave a Comment

When I finally got my Arduino from e-Gizmo, I realized I need wires to connect my components onto it. During my college days I used #22 solid wires to make connection on a breadboard and this could work well for Arduino because the wire’s gauge would fit perfectly on the Arduino’s sockets.

One problem I anticipated with using solid wires is that the frequent insertion and pulling out of the wires would wear it especially near the ends. An alternative could be to use stranded wires but using it would be difficult when inserting the wires on the sockets.

After browsing the net I found a topic on how to make DIY Jumper Wires ad this gaved me an idea on how I can create my own version of the DIY Jumper Wires.

8 Final Product

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Projects: DIY LCD Projector

•January 24, 2010 • 4 Comments

Many of us preferred watching their favorite movie on screens wider than their usual television set. One solution might be is to buy an LCD projector but most of us cannot afford those heavily priced commercial LCD Projectors. I was among those who wished I could so I decided to build one for myself.

Building the LCD Projector is a great experience but never was easy. If this is not taken seriously, you might end up with a dead LCD module and lost a couple of bucks just like me.

Monitor Dismantled

The principle behind the DIY LCD Projector is fairly simple. If you could remember the days when you’re using the overhead projector for your school reporting, well, the LCD Projector work very much like that same principle. The only difference is instead of using the acetate to project images, on the DIY LCD Projector, you’ll be using an LCD screen. LCD screen can then be connected to a computer to project anything you want.

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What’s Inside It? – Line Following Robot Tank

•December 18, 2009 • 3 Comments

One day while looking around a toy store near my workplace I found this nice little line following robot tank on sale. Originally, the tank cost around Php400 but then it was sold at around a hundred less. Without thinking twice I know I had a great offer so I decided to buy the toy.

I played it for a while but then I got a little bored so I finally decided to crack it open.

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The toy is powered by four small button cells. Two of the cells power the motors while the other two power the control board.

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Opening the toy was quite a bit tricky. The track belt needs to be removed first and the middle wheels must be pulled out to reveal the two screws joining the tank’s upper body to the lower chassis.

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Underground Workbench is Offseason

•November 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Sorry guy’s for the lack of updates. I know many of you are waiting for many of my projects but I have been very busy for the past month with my day time work and my teaching, love and personal life is a little shaky now. Probably I’d be like this for 2 more months to come but I’m optimistic. (-:

When I return I’m hoping I could finished those projects I already started. I’m also excited to start working with my thesis starting this summer.

Thanks for visiting my blog…

 

DIY Smoke Absorber

 

RPSU Rendered

Numeric Keypad on SIMPLE

 

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Hacks n Mods – CIA (Clock Intruder Alarm)

•October 5, 2009 • 23 Comments

Abstract…

Can you remember the movie “Entrapment” wherein the lead actress (Katherine Zeta Jones) tried to defeat the security of the building to get a very valuable item? In the movie she had to practice very well only to cross an area guarded by invisible lasers that once the line is cut it would trigger the building’s alarm and that would alert the all the building’s guards. Hollywood spy movies have given those optical alarms (infrared laser) an impression of being a state of the art technology. Though in reality it is very simple, it is still one of the projects many hobbyist would love to build.

On my CIA project I’d like to show how simple (6 components, an alarm clock, and a laser pointer) it is to build one of these devices.

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