The Atmel ATtiny85 is capable little 8-bit microcontroller that plays very well with the Arduino ecosystem. It also comes in a compact and maker-friendly 8-pin Dual Inline Package (DIP), operates on 5V, and costs less than two dollars – making it a great option for controlling some WS2812b RGB LEDs (aka “neopixels”.)
In Part 1 of this series, we explored some of the reasons you might want to use an FPGA instead of or along with an MCU. We also looked at a couple good introductory mainstream FPGA development boards. In this episode, we’re going to start examining the process of creating FPGA designs. Contrary to what […]
The good news is that that it has never been easier (or cheaper) to get into FPGA development than it is right now. Capable FPGAs are available for about the same price as a Raspberry Pi 4. Open source tools are available to avoid locking yourself in to a particular vendor or shelling out extra money for a design system.
The DS3231 Real Time Clock breakout keeps extremely accurate time, has a battery backup, and only costs a few dollars. Combine it with just about any microcontroller, a display, plus a simple stand, and you have a custom precision clock that can sit on your desk and satisfy your timing needs in a visually-unique way.
Once you are comfortable with the basics of surface mount soldering, it’s time to start using SMDs in an actual project. A great way to do this is to create your own breakout boards. Many breakout boards consist of a single SMT IC (i.e. analog to digital converter, amplifier, sensor, etc.), a few supporting passive […]