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Trying out the Program-O-Tron

Posted by Matthew Little on

The Program-O-Tron was a Kickstarter product from Proto-Pic, an online microcontroller and kit supplier. It costs £54 to buy now and is available from their online store. I thought it would be really useful for programming the microcontrollers included in some of my kits (mainly the ATTiny85 and the ATMega328). It comes as an almost complete board (SMD has all been done) with just the switches and ZIF socket to solder in. Getting started, I first went to the main page for this device on the Proto-Pic website. The main user guide is available here. The unit was dead easy...

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Quotation Machine using the CheeseBoard

Posted by Matthew Little on

Setting yourself a small challenge in the form of an interesting project is a great way of learning - even if it involves a fair bit of failing! I set myself a weekend challenge of using our CheeseBoard ESP8266 development board to obtain and display some data from a website using a wifi connection. My original challenge was to show real time data about the electricity supply mix within the UK. As I looked into this problem I realised that it was far too complex for me to start with. So I reduced the challenge to display some data from...

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Trying out the Cheeseboard:Cheddar

Posted by Matthew Little on

An overview of getting started with our cheeseboard for the first time.

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Solar Motor Controller Prototyping

Posted by Matthew Little on

Following on from our 'Solder Solar' we wanted a simple, low cost circuit that will use solar power to drive a motor. This post is a little bit of information about the design process, testing and the producing a circuit that does this. Problem We want to run a small motor using solar power. The problem is that the motor takes a high start-up and continuous running current. Generally a motor requires around 2-3 times the normal running current to start up. Solar PV panels are current limited and the current depends totally upon the sunlight falling on the solar panel....

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Soldering is Easy!

Posted by Matthew Little on

As all our kits need to be soldered together, we have been asked a number of times about soldering education and information. We usually point people to the excellent 'Soldering is Easy' comic produced by Mitch Altman, Andie Nordgren and Jeff Keyzer. This is a really great comic-book style introduction to basic soldering techniques. This guide is visual, easy to understand and open-source so can be spread and shared with everyone. There is a short guide available here: [powr-file-embed id=830011c5_1486907263] And a more in depth guide here: [powr-file-embed id=eaf2d70f_1486907524] We hope to include this guide with all of our kits...

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