Electronics

Designing an ESP32-based RGB Matrix Driver and Making 500 of Them!

At the end of last year Fede Heinz, a colleague of mine at Google reached out for a collaboration on his Blinkenlights project, to build a web-connected LED matrix driver for his team of about 500 people. It took about 4 months, but the hardware design part of the project …

Electronics

Designing with USB-C: Lessons Learned

Disclosure: JLCPCB sponsors some of my projects, but I would never recommend something that I wouldn’t otherwise. Their SMT Assembly service I believe is unique in the industry, and is great for hobbyists who need high quality assembled prototypes for cheap, without having to deal with logistics of component supply. …

Electronics
1

Building an ESP32 Light Controller

In this post I am going to do a deep dive into the electronics design for my simulated sunrise/sunset aquarium light project. If you have not read that post, I recommend starting with that. Disclosure: JLCPCB is sponsoring my projects, but I had already been a big fan of their …

Electronics

Oscilloscope Current Measurement on the Cheap

I have been spending a lot of time working on microcontroller power optimisation recently, and not having a current probe for my oscilloscope has been quite inconvenient. Working with current optimisation without a current probe is like designing a circuit without an oscilloscope – shooting in the dark. Can I …

Electronics

Simulating Sunrise/Sunset For My Aquarium

Why? This is what I started with: It’s… fine, but the lighting left a lot to be desired. Lighting is not just aesthetic – those are real plants, and plants require light for photosynthesis. A lot more light than most people imagine! In a tank of this size, with plants …

Electronics
54

Using KiCad with JLCPCB Assembly Service

TLDR: Click here. A Bit of History I remember when I first started making PCBs in ~2010, our low spec (8 mil min traces / 8 mil min spacing) 2-layer boards costed $133 for 4 copies. Special academic pricing. There were services like Sparkfun’s BatchPCB and OSH Park that were …

Electronics

Designing a 13A Arduino Motor Shield

I am currently working on a tensile strength testing rig that will be detailed in a future post, but as part of that project, I need an Arduino shield that can drive a 12V/13A linear actuator. Electrically speaking, linear actuators are just DC motors. However, because I need to be …