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The Race Timing Project - Some (hard) Lessons Learned

As I mentioned in a previous post I've been working on a small scale commercial project in collaboration with a friend, unlike most of the other projects I talk about on the site this one will be manufactured in quantity (for small quantities at least) and needed to be designed for end users who expect to be able to just use the device and are not the least bit interested in modifying or hacking it. I had a number of additional things I wanted to explore with this project, above and beyond simply making a working device: Use it as a test bed for the real world use of the Clixx prototyping s…

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Wireless Communications - 433MHz Modules

David Lyon recently sent me some 433MHz transmitter and receiver modules that he is designing some Clixx tabs around. These are often used in remote control devices like garage door openers and remote power control systems which use a simple command code to activate or deactivate the remote device. There is already a lot of software around that lets you use them to control your garage door and other devices from an Arduino or similar micro - I was more interested in using them for simple one way data communication (for remote sensing applications for example). This post describes how I went ab…

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Custom Fritzing Parts

Update - October 27th, 2013 I have had a few errors in the library pointed out to me so I've gone through and cleaned everything up a bit. Some interface parts have been removed (I only use them internally), some additional components have been added and I have changed the schematic layout to mimic the physical chip layout rather than group pins together according to their purpose (this makes it much easier to design for a compact stripboard or PCB layout). This is a collection of custom parts I've made for Fritzing for parts I have that aren't included in the standard Fritzing library. A n…

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Benchtool Hardware Selection

This post is an attempt to describe how I came to choose the hardware to use for the Bench Testing Tool project. I came to the final selection in an almost organic nature after quite a few false starts and reconsiderations so it's a little difficult to describe in a neat fashion but I'll do my best. One of the overall requirements was that I would not be using any surface mount technology on any of the custom circuitry. Using readily available modules that had pin headers or through hole mounting adaptors would be acceptable but anything that needed to soldered up during the construction defin…

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Bench Testing Tool

This project is an intelligent, software driven bench testing tool that is a combination of a multi-channel Digital Voltmeter (DVM), a Digital Ammeter and can also provide a number of independent voltage reference sources. As well as being a useful addition to my workbench this project is my entry in the Brisbane Makes competition and needs to be completed by the 27th of July, 2013. Overview My goal is to build a self enclosed device with a touchscreen interface and the ability to be controlled remotely via a bluetooth connection. The following electrical interfaces will be provided: 4 voltage…

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