LEAP325 Pimp My Boldport Club Spoolt

Building the latest Boldport Club project - “spoolt”, a solder dispenser. It actually works and now has a place on my workbench. It’s also a nice reminder and inspiration to consider how PCBs can be used as a structural element in design. Of course one essential feature it was missing was LEDs - so I’ve added those myself;-) As always, all notes, schematics and code are in the Little Electronics & Arduino Projects repo on (more...)

LEAP#324 EspoTek Labrador

The EspoTek Labrador is a crowd-funded lab-on-a-board that includes an oscilloscope, waveform generator, power supply, logic analyzer, and multimeter. I was drawn to the project specifically because it promised open hardware, and multi-platform open source software. I’m really impressed by my first tests - no trouble getting the board up and running on MacOSX. As always, all notes, schematics and code are in the Little Electronics & Arduino Projects repo on GitHub hero_image

LEAP#323 Boldport Club Stringy

Stringy synthesizes guitar sounds on a PIC microcontroller using MadLab’s implementation of the Karplus–Strong string plucking algorithm. As always, all notes, schematics and code are in the Little Electronics & Arduino Projects repo on GitHub But for now, I’m too distracted just playing tunes;-) Here’s my take on the Star Wars Cantina theme..

LEAP#322 Fidget Cube Cordwood Controller

A colleague gave us all Fidget Cubes, I think mainly to keep idle hands from causing too much mayhem in the office. After building Boldport Club Cordwood Too, I was trying to think of interesting controls for it, and started wondering if the Fidget Cube could be converted into a workable controller. Answer is: Yes! It was a bit finnecky, but I managed to wire up most of the controls on the cube, (more...)

LEAP#321 The Boldport Club Cordwood Too

The original Cordwood Puzzle became an instant classic with club members, and the concept returns this year with a brand new puzzle. The cordwoods evoke an era of stuffing massive components into small spaces. This is real hardware! As before, it really is a puzzle, so if you don’t want any spoilers - read no further. As always, all notes, schematics and code are in the Little Electronics & Arduino Projects repo on GitHub hero_image

LEAP#320 Synchronous JK Counter

A synchronous counter changes its output bits simultaneously, with no ripple. This project implements a classic 8-bit synchronous counter design using JK flip-flops and AND gates. As always, all notes, schematics and code are in the Little Electronics & Arduino Projects repo on GitHub hero_image

LEAP#319 Digital Logic Clock

This digital clock module was designed by Ben Eater as part of his 8-bit computer build. It is also an interesting demonstration of the 555 timer in all its major modes of operation. As always, all notes, schematics and code are in the Little Electronics & Arduino Projects repo on GitHub hero_image

LEAP#318 555 Bistable Latch

Ben Eater’s 8-bit computer yields more interesting circuits. Here I’m reproducing his bistable latch circuit based on the 555 timer. This circuit takes advantage of the fact that the trigger and reset pins provide direct access to the SR latch within the 555 timer that drives the output. As always, all notes, schematics and code are in the Little Electronics & Arduino Projects repo on GitHub hero_image

LEAP#317 Discrete Schmitt Trigger

A Schmitt trigger is a comparator circuit with hysteresis, which can help overcome the effect of noise or oscillations on an input signal and provide positive switching between high and low logic levels. Schmitt triggers are often built into the input pins of integrated circuits. Stand-alone Schmitt triggers are usually constructed from comparators. The most basic Schmitt trigger can be implemented with discrete components, and here I’m exploring a classic emitter-coupled Schmitt Trigger circuit. As (more...)

LEAP#316 The Boldport QSOP Breakout

The QSOPBreakout was a special (read: beautiful!) board produced for the Boldport Club to help members practice QSOP-24 soldering techniques for the Touchy project. Firstly, I’m using this project to collate my notes on solder technique. And secondly, perhaps there is something useful I can do with the QSOPBreakout board after all .. other than use it as a breakout board of course. And it turns out there is .. see the SolarPendulum! As always, all (more...)