Tuesday, 14 June 2011

RS232 and you.

    As any good electronic engineer will tell you, RS232 has been around for a long time. Since the 1960's and until recently has been found on the back of computers across the world. So why has this blast from the past lasted so long and why is it worth us learning about it. Well in a nutshell it's quick simple and easy to learn, there is nothing more simple than an RS232 connection, secondly it is pretty much everywhere: It has been around since the 60's meaning you won't have any trouble finding documentation online for it and the amount of support it gets from consumer devices is still getting strong. However recently it has been fading away, my PC no longer has an RS232 connector on the back so I had to get a USB to RS232 cable which works perfectly. If you were to get into any type of data coms I would recommend looking into RS232 as it is a great way to learn how the communication works exactly and from there it is easy to build up into more advanced systems.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

You got the job buddy!

   So today I went for an interview at my university (Uclan) for an apprentice position this summer for 10 weeks. In case you are one of those people who don't read the title of posts I got the job! So this summer I will be designs an web based system to control a robot. Of course this means I will be updating what I get up to there so if you like robots your in luck.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

P is for Pubstomp

    Pretty much one of the best games of League of legends I have ever had. The picture speaks for itself.

    If you can't see that's 51 kills 3 deaths and 15 assists.

And now for something completely different.

    After all that electronics stuff I decided take a small break to give a shameless plug to the youtube channel I am starting with my friend. If you like gaming and more importantly league of legends then this is the channel for you! We will be giving commentaries and advice on how to improve you league of legends gaming. For those of you who don't know what league of legends is then I suggest you check it out. It's totally free and totally fun.

UPDATE:: If you want a free league account use this link as it helps me out.



It's getting hot in here

So yesterday I talked about development boards and why they are the best thing since sliced transistors. However they are about as useful as a LED without some sort of external circuitry to attach to it. When I got my netduino I decided I would do something simple but useful, so naturally I went with a temperature sensor. this circuit also known as a shield has pins sticking down from the bottom of the PCB that fit snugly into the netduino's holes below.

     My circuit would need a temperature sensor (obviously) known as a thermistor, this is because as temperature increases resistance decreases and vice versa. Next I needed some form of display, I went with 3 7 segment displays and a set of LED's. The 7 segment displays would need some form of decoding so I wouldn't need to attached all 10 pins of each display to the chip so I used the 4511 chip used for decoding a binary coded decimal to the format that will give said number on the display.

    Anyway if you feel like building your own temperature shield all my plans etc. will be added at the end of the post. It works perfectly apart from one small caveat you need to add a wire attaching 3.3V on the power pins to the reference pin on J2. If you follow everything through you will end up with something like this:

Everything you need to make your own temperature shield is here:
without including the price of the PCB I would guess it could be built for under £5.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

What I am packing?

A lot of modern electronics use micro controllers these days, the times of TTL logic is gone and now you will find these tiny computers in everything from your microwave to kid’s toys. Micro controllers offer so much more flexibility compared to your average circuit. They can be reprogrammed to change what it does completely, basically what you have is a small computer contained in what is a credit card sized circuit. The current king in my opinion of micro controllers is the netduino, while I have built development boards from scratch this ready-made system is perfect for starter and experts alike. For those who don't know development boards allow you to develop circuits without using a fresh chip every time. Those small blue holes you see are directly connected to the chip and thus you can access any part of the chip easily. Micro controllers like computers need some code to  do anything and it is usually some low level language like C. However the netduino runs on a .net microframework making it an excellent choice and my development go to board.

How I shoot Blog?

Well now that I have finished my second year in university at Uclan it high time that I made a blog to share with you various circuits and programs I have made during my time at university. In this blog I intend to do various tutorials examples and cool projects you can try at home. Not to mention I will be updating my progress on certain large projects I am working on.