Tag Archives: Arduino

BBPSU 2.0 available now!

A quick note to report version 2.0 of the Breadboard PSU is now available from Nicegear.

They come fully assembled, so you can rip it out of the package and drop it straight into your solderless breadboard to get started.

This version, despite being significantly smaller is actually just as capable as the old version, and still supports custom voltages if you need them. They can also be sourced without any connectors or pins installed, if you are using them for a permanent install. Best to contact Nicegear if you’d like those options.

And for those of you looking for a way to power your Arduino from a higher voltage source, check out our Wide DC Supply Shield Kit which makes it easy and safe to use a DC input between 9 and 37V DC. No excessive heat or exploding capacitors on your Arduino!

More new PCBs

With a new job looming (actually, already started), it is the best time to start working on electronics projects again. No, I don’t know how that works either.

NTP Server 1.5 board has been made and now awaits testing. It’s pictured below:

The changes are documented on the history page. The two major changes are using a switch-mode power supply instead of a linear one, and removing some external flash that is no longer required now I have a working XBoot setup.

The other board to arrive is the first cut at an Arduino clone based on an XMEGA 64-pin chip. There are a few XMEGA based clones floating around, this one is mostly focussed on trying to support a wide range of 64-pin XMEGA chips and provide some extra hardware to get you started. This board is pictured below:

These are the first boards I’ve had made by the people at Hackvana. The build quality is good, with very clear silk and all drills have been correct. (I’ve had boards from other places with incorrect drills). In particular, despite the very small silk text for component labels (which, I should really have made a lower weight), they’re all clear enough to be read. Tented vias also came through just fine, and Hackvana will accept two drill files for plated and unplated holes, if you prefer to not plate mounting holes.

We’ll see how the boards perform when I get around to completing an assembly, but they look pretty good so far!

A busy few weeks

Rather unexpectedly, it’s been a busy few weeks on the electronics front. The result has been two new projects show up, and actual real honest progress on two other projects!

The two new designs are shields for an Arduino-based project that the great people at Nicegear are working on. One is a isolated driver and input shield, that allows switching higher voltages than the little Arduino can normally drive at much higher currents; the other is a compact switch-mode supply shield to allow you to run an Arduino off higher voltages without generating large amounts of heat.

The driver shield has been already built and tested by Nicegear, and works mostly as expected. There has been a revision to it already to include more voltage input options for the Arduino on the same shield as the drivers and input isolation. The original revision was limited to 12V for powering the Arduino.

The switch-mode supply shield hasn’t been built or tested just yet, but I’ve breadboarded the design so I am reasonably certain it’s going to work okay.

On the existing projects front, both the XMEGA-based Arduino clone and my long term NTP Server project have new boards ordered and on the way. The XMEGA board turned out pretty well I think, I’m hopeful with upcoming multiarch support in the Arduino IDE to see better support for such boards. On aspect about this board is rather than overloading the shield header with a bunch of useful but in-the-way peripherals, all additional hardware is conflict-free and allows full use of all the shield pins.

For example, the board includes pads for an 8-pin SOIC SPI flash or SRAM chip. While the SPI interface is wired to the usual Arduino pins for this (10-13), the CS line for the chip is on a discrete pin not shared with any of the shield pins. The same is true of extra LEDs, 32.768kHz watch crystal for the RTC, etc.

The NTP server had a minor polish up from the last post on it, but otherwise it’s down to just getting the board made and see if I’ve nailed down the last remaining issues. The software side of this is looking almost complete enough to start field testing!