Category Archives: Electronics

HC-SR04 Breakout Board for Arduino

This weekend I assembled the first version of a new HC-SR04 breakout board that I have been working on lately. The goal of this project is to let an Arduino Uno (or any other 5V microcontroller) monitor up to 8 ultrasonic sensors over SPI, therefore only using one dedicated pin. The other advantage is that by offloading the sensor monitoring,… Read more »

How to install Eagle PCB on 64 bit Ubuntu 14.04

Eagle PCB is only available as a 32 bit download for Linux, so I ran into this error trying to install on a system running the 64 bit version of Ubuntu 14.04.

To fix this, I just had to install the 32 bit versions of those libraries, which took a little tracking down, so to save others some time… Read more »

Ultrasonic sensor comparison part 2

In my previous post, I posted some comparisons of some expensive $30 ultrasonic sensors (the Parallax Ping and the RadioShack Range Finder) and some cheap HC-SR04 sensors. I came to the conclusion that the HC-SR04 sensors were not as accurate but it turns out my testing approach was deeply flawed and my results and conclusions were completely incorrect. These tests… Read more »

BitScope Micro Review

I’ve been looking for a low cost hobby level oscilloscope for quite a while now. Entry level oscilloscopes such as the Rigol DS1052E start at around $400 which is way more kit than I need for my occasional tinkering, but without an oscilloscope it is practically impossible to work on some projects. I considered the low cost DSO Nano¬†which is… Read more »

Learning to design PCBs

I read Simon Monk’s excellent new book on designing PCB boards with Eagle¬†earlier this week. It turns out that PCB design is actually much easier than I realized, at least for the simple boards that I am interested in. My first board design contains no active components and is simply a way to cut down on the number of interconnecting… Read more »