The BlueButton Project

Recently, after attending Ability-Maker-Meetup we were inspired by a group of friendly and openminded people with vision, passion, creativity and tremendous variety of skillsets. The people who share the same goal – to help those in need and with limited mobility by making openhardware things making hard lives of disabled people a bit easier and […]

Revisiting VFD PSU – Part III

It is time to test our revisited VFD PSU in real life. We are going to build a quick prototype using a PCB from MVFD 16S7D Panel with minimum components loaded. All we need to solder is a VFD controller IC2 (instead of HT16515 we are going to use PT6315 as they are pin-to-pin compatible), […]

Revisiting VFD PSU – Part II

We are continuing our experiments with an alternative VFD power supply which we started some time ago. The high voltage part remains pretty much unchanged for now – it is an inverting regulator based on inexpensive chip MC34063. Excessive current consumption (60-70mA) in idling mode is still an issue but we are not going to […]

Spark IO – First Encounter

Searching for a compact, flexible and cost effective WiFi solution for our new project we came across Spark IO This tiny board met all our requirements and looked ideal for our application, however, it was ‘out of stock’ in many if not all online electronic stores. Best we could do was to ‘express interest’ which […]

Firmware for Pilot Display

The firmware of Pilot Display unit comprises of two parts: bootloader and main application. Bootloader simplifies the process of main application upgrade – once the bootloader is programmed, there is no need in external programmers to do firmware upgrades. Source code of the main application is designed as a sketch for very popular Arduino platform […]

First Pilot Display PCB is Assembled

First Pilot Display PCB is finally assembled and tested. As it usually happens with revisions 1.0 there are several things that have been overlooked during design. Good news is that all issues are minor and don’t impact main functionality. Here are the discovered issues:

a) First of all, FT232 is not powered when USB cable […]

Luminardo: Setting up Environment and Flashing Bootloader

Flashing bootloader is probably first priority task following immediately after PCBA soldering and assembling process. A board with bootloader in place significantly simplifies firmware development process, allows not to be dependent on presence of external ISP programmer (such as USBTinyISP). It also allows for seamless integration with well-known and very popular Arduino IDE

As a […]

First Luminardo Prototype Assembled

First Luminardo prototype has been assembled and tested. As it usually happens, first revision is not without flaws. There are two issues with circuit diagram, one issue with component footprint, a few typos in BOM as well. First and the most annoying issue is related to 74AHC125 buffer (U5) which outputs never go to high […]

MVFD Panel in 3D

Building a 3D model from PCB design files can bring your project to a totally new level. It comes at a price as it requires extra design time but being properly done it saves a lot of effort and money in the future as it minimises risks by helping to capture issues on early stages […]

First factory manufactured PCB has been assembled

DefendLine assembled main board

At last all necessary parts arrived and the home made device reincarnated into a neat assembly based on factory manufactured PCB. The microprocessor has been flashed by means of USBTiny programmer via ISP connector and the system has been successfully tested – no functional problems.

For more information about this […]