Video tutorial on using voltage multiplier

Dave have made a nice video tutorial on building and using Dickson voltage doubler made if diodes and capacitors. This appears to be cheap and easy way of rising voltage for low power applications. For instance if you microcontroller circuit is powered from 3V power supply and you want to attach 5V LCD it may be useful to consider a voltage double to increase supply voltage instead of designing additional power supply branch. In tutorial there are real measurements made with different loads attached. [source] [Useful wiki source]

Electronic parts voice look-up assistant

As electronic enthusiast you probably have pile of resistors, capacitors and other electronic components. Most of them are color coded and in order to use any of these you need to identify each of them. Usually resistor color band table works fine or multimeter. But how to speed up process a bit, free your hands and even eyes from looking at tables or multimeter. Anthony coded a simple application (EEspeak) which simply listens to you what type of element and colors are identified. Imagine sorting things out – sitting around with pole of resistors and reading each color values aloud. Voice recognition seems to work great without any training. It can tell color coded resistor, capacitor and inductor value with its tolerance. Simple commands enable it to read values aloud and display on screen. Program is free so give it a try – at least it’s fun.

Nicer PC HDD activity indicator

Normally computer hard drive activity is indicated with single flashing LED when there is write or read operation performed. [Harvey Wilson] wanted something different then just flashing LED and came out with spindicator. He replaced single LED with 10 LEDs mounted in circular shape. After digging some info from Internet he found the hdd signal nature and built 4017 counter based circuit which accepts each incoming LED signal and then increments counter. All 10 LEDs are connected to counter output pins so each event lights makes feeling of running lights.

SMD soldering tutorial

SMD has entered hobby market long time ago, but there are still many people who afraid to push their projects to SMT level. Once you try it appears to be very easy – even easier than through hole PCB technology. Dave from eevblog have published series of PCB soldering tutorials where he goes through tools needed to make quality soldering, then through hole soldering tips and finally SMD component soldering. In this video Dave carefully explains what main techniques (individual pin soldering, well based and drag) can be used to successfully solder SMD parts and what odds are awaiting for inexperienced players. If you don’t want to solder with iron, then you’ll see how it is easy to do this with solder paste and hot air gun. So, take your time and see how it’s easy.

Importing PCB boards in to Google Sketchup

Designing electronics devices doesn’t end with building a PCB board. Most of finished products are placed in enclosures. Even if you don’t use enclosure – the board has to sit somewhere or has some mechanical attachments like heat-sinks, holders etc. One way to be sure everything fits nicely is to put everything together in mechanical CAD like Google Sketchup which is free. The problem is – how easy to transfer PCB image in to Sketchup. There is no direct export to format that 3D CAD would understand. So RS Components (EU electronics component distributor) have put all pieces together. They developed a simple solution that clears the gap between PCB and 3D CAD formats. Their small software takes IDF file format (Intermediate Data Format) that is supported by most of PCB software packages. Then with RS program this file is converted to Collada (.dae) file which can be imported in …

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Soldering small chips in dead bug style

Probably you’re following Dave’s eevblog. He constantly publishes great stuff for electronics engineers and enthusiasts. Following video might be useful for someone who deals with small SMD parts like LGA. Soldering those might be tough, but there is always a way out of situation. This video demonstrates how to solder 3 axis axelerometer on to prototyping board in dead bug style. By following this technique you can solder almost any SMD chip that are meant for re-flow soldering.

Still struggling with PWM?

PWM is common way of controlling analog things with digital electronics. If you need to control lamp intensity, DC motor speed then check out this video tutorial prepared by Jameco Electronics. PWM can be generated by specialized chips like famous 555 or by microcontroller. [source]