If you've ever bent the pin on a microcontroller while trying to insert it into a DIP programming socket, you're not alone. Aligning those crazy pins again and again, while intermittently prying them out of the programming socket and then inserting your freshly burned chip into a target circuit, can lead to a long and sleepless night. Luckily, there is a cure for the bent pin nightmare. And this prescription costs less than $35.
Take an accelerometer, add a microcontroller and display, and watch the dollars fly out of your carburetor
By Dave ProchnowPosted 07.03.2008 at 10:46 am 5 Comments
Pain at the pump continues to reach new levels of misery every day. While most of us can’t afford to trade our current gas guzzler for a more fuel economical model, it would be nice to adopt some new driving skills that will translate into greater fuel economy. But where do you start? How do you know if your current jitney is a fuel sipper or a gas guzzler?
Convert an AVR development board into Pass Key—a handy dandy password maker
By Dave ProchnowPosted 04.03.2008 at 1:08 pm 0 Comments
PINs, passwords, secure entry systems; just about everything you access these days needs some form of passive authentication code. Heck, even that Wi-Fi router in your basement uses a mega 63-character password for enabling secure access. Before you know it, youll even need a password just to go to bed at night.
More often than not, these security code systems require you to enter a lengthy 8- or more digit alphanumeric sequence. And creating powerful, unique, protective passwords can be a tough challenge for most people. What you need is some sort of portable, automatic, press-the-button-and-read-the-password device. Pass Key is an attempt at satisfying this requirement.
Paired with a sensor, your "mood cube" can change color based on any number of outside stimuli
By Dave ProchnowPosted 03.21.2008 at 1:26 pm 7 Comments
Ambient technology is the current rage for presenting information in a unobtrusive and, sometimes, sublime manner. Information suited for an ambient format ranges from complex number-laden data streams to simple one- or two-digit numbers. The idea here is that you can glean the same information by simply looking at the color of a cube, rather than consulting a sensor's text output.
Make this $1.50 Mod and create a universal AVR programmer
By Dave ProchnowPosted 03.13.2008 at 7:17 pm 1 Comment
If your DIY tinkering tends to lean toward the programming side, there's a good chance you're familiar with AVR microcontrollers. There's also a good chance that you may have been confused when, right out of nowhere, Atmel (the company who designed the AVR family) changed the AVR in-system programming (ISP) interface from 10 pins to 6 pins. Even worse, Atmels terrific USB ISP programmer, the AVRISP mkII uses only the modern 6-pin interface. No legacy support for your older AVR-related hardware here, folks. So whats a poor budding AVR programmer to do?