Nanocounter is an accurate frequency counter using an FPGA, STM32 and a bluetooth android app

Here we have a good example of how a requirement for a simple tool spirals out of control and spawns a project that takes months to complete and ends up dwarfing the project that it was originally expected to facilitate. You see, some time ago I was fiddling around with a project, something to do with data logging, probably, I’ve actually forgotten what I was up to. Said project would have used an MCU to acquire and timestamp data over an extended period of time and I quickly realised that the oscillators and quartz crystals used to generate the clock tree inside an MCU are not accurate enough to track wall-clock time over extended...

A development board for the STM32F042 TSSOP package

It’s been a while since I posted a new article, a delay at least partly due to me herniating a disc in my neck which left me completely unable to look downwards for any length of time and as you’ll know all too well you can’t work on circuit boards without peering down at...

Filtering the 5V USB power supply line Jul24

Filtering the 5V USB power supply line

I’m currently working on a new project that contains sensitive analogue components and have rediscovered what many before me already know, that is that the VUSB 5V line that comes out from your computer’s USB hub is noisy. In fact I was surprised at just how noisy it is....

An android reflow controller that anyone can build Jul12

An android reflow controller that anyone can build

The story so far Welcome to the never ending saga of Andy and his reflow controllers. About a year ago I published a project writeup showing how I built a PID-based reflow controller. It featured a 640×360 graphical LCD from the Sony U5 Vivaz mobile phone and was all-surface mount. It...

Cheap China ATMega8 investigation: counterfeit or just great value? May31

Cheap China ATMega8 investigation: counterfeit or just great value?

I was recently working on an all through-hole project and for prototyping purposes I’d bought myself an ATmega328P microcontroller from Farnell; you know the one, you can find it on every Arduino Uno board. The general idea was that I’d write the firmware with the luxury of 32Kb...

PCB Fail: Andy bitten by manufacturing defect May02

PCB Fail: Andy bitten by manufacturing defect

Regular readers of this blog will be aware that when I want to get a batch of PCBs made I use the low-cost prototyping services available from the Chinese houses such as Seeed Studio, ITead Studio or Elecrow. It doesn’t really matter which one you choose because I’m convinced that...

Modding the STM32 F4 Discovery with a 25MHz clock

In this article I’m going to show you how to do a straightforward modification to the STM32 F4 Discovery board that will change the onboard oscillator from 8MHz to 25MHz. Why do this Probably the main reason to do this is ethernet. If you’re prototyping an MII ethernet PHY then...

Arduino Uno R3 graphics accelerator shield uses no pins

Hello and welcome to another in my series of unique hardware projects designed to bring you something useful that you’ve hopefully never seen before and at a price point that any hobbyist can afford. This project brings together the knowledge that I’ve gained over the last few years to bring you a graphics accelerator for the Arduino Uno R3 based on an ARM Cortex M0 core attached to a 640×360 LCD from the Sony U5 Vivaz cellphone. In previous articles you’ve seen how I’ve reverse engineered the Sony LCD and then used it in reflow oven and FPGA graphics accelerator projects. Introduction TFT LCD shields for the...