DIY GSM Base Station with a BeagleBone Black

Source: http://beagleboard.org/black

To give people a better understanding of what state-operated surveillance equipment actually looks like, critical engineers Julian Oliver and Danja Vasiliev built a GSM interception unit. Now Oliver has published the HOWTO on the web. In an easy-to-follow run down … Continue reading

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Wearable Medical Computing and the Amulet Project

Dr. Vivian Genaro Motti

Health care is one of the most promising areas for employing wearable devices. Wearable mobile health sensors can track activities (e.g., count steps or caloric expenditure), monitor vital signs including heart rate and blood pressure, measure biometric data (e.g., glucose … Continue reading

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Robotics, Hardware Interfacing, and Vintage Electronics

The testing bench

Gerry O’Brien, a Toronto-based robotics and electronics technician at R.O.V. Robotics, enjoys working on a variety of projects in his home lab. His projects are largely driven by his passion for electronics hardware interfacing. Gerry’s background includes working at companies … Continue reading

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One-Wire RS-232 Half Duplex (EE Tip #135)

Grun2-HalfDup

Traditional RS-232 communication needs one transmit line (TXD or TX), one receive line (RXD or RX), and a Ground return line. The setup allows a full-duplex communication. However, many applications use only half-duplex transmissions, as protocols often rely on a … Continue reading

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July Issue Offers Data-Gathering Designs and More

Data Gathering Designs

The concept of the wireless body-area network (WBAN), a network of wireless wearable computing devices, holds great promise in health-care applications. Such a network could integrate implanted or wearable sensors that provide continuous mobile health (mHealth) monitoring of a person’s … Continue reading

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Webinar Will Bring the ActivityBot to Life

ActivityBot

On Thursday, June 26th, the Elektor Academy, in collaboration with element14, will present its latest webinar. The webinar will show you how to bring the Parallax ActivityBot to life in 30 minutes, from start to finish. Elektor Labs moderator Jaime … Continue reading

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Bit Banging

Bit banging

Shlomo Engelberg, an associate professor in the electronics department of the Jerusalem College of Technology, is well-versed in signal processing. As an instructor and the author of several books, including Digital Signal Processing: An Experimental Approach (Springer, 2008), he is … Continue reading

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Linux System Configuration (Part 1)

Linux system configuration

In Circuit Cellar’s June issue, Bob Japenga, in his Embedded in Thin Slices column, launches a series of articles on Linux system configuration. Part 1 of the series focuses on configuring the Linux kernel. “Linux kernels have hundreds of parameters … Continue reading

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FPGA Partial Reconfiguration

Figure 1—The system’s general block diagram is shown. A digital clock module (DCM) block synthesizes a new clock from the system oscillator and then outputs the clock to an I/O pin. The internal configuration access port (ICAP) interface is used to load configuration data. The serial interface connects the ICAP interface to a computer via a first in, first out (FIFO) buffer.

Many field-programmable gate array (FPGA) design modules have parameters, such as particular clock and I/O drive settings, that can only be adjusted during implementation, not at runtime. However, being able to make such adjustments in an FPGA design during operation … Continue reading

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The Sun Chaser Energy-Harvesting System

Photo 1: The Sun Chaser’s stepper motor controls the solar panel‘s “tilting.”

When Sjoerd Brandsma entered the 2012 Renesas Green Energy Challenge, he wanted to create a fun project that would take advantage of his experience at a company that heavily uses GPS. Brandsma, who lives in Kerkwijk, The Netherlands, has worked … Continue reading

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Three Workspaces, Countless Projects

Kitchen Table Workspace

Clive “Max” Maxfield, who received his BSc in Control Engineering from Sheffield Hallam University in England in 1980, began his career designing CPUs for mainframe computers. But he has branched out far beyond that, becoming a prolific writer of engineering … Continue reading

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Build an Automated Vehicle Locator

Photo 2: The base station includes an interface board, a Raspberry Pi, and a radio modem.

Several things inspired Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Chris Coulston and his team at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, to create an online vehicle-tracking system. Mainly, the team wanted to increase ridership on a shuttle bus the local transit … Continue reading

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June Issue: Vehicle Tracking, Bit Banging, and More

June issue

Circuit Cellar’s June issue is now online, outlining DIY projects ranging from an automated real-time vehicle locator to a  GPS-oriented solar tracker and offering solid advice on bit banging, FPGA reconfiguration, customizing the Linux kernel, and more. A persistent problem … Continue reading

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Execute Open-Source Arduino Code in a PIC Microcontroller Using the MPLAB IDE

Exercise 1 prototype

The Arduino single-board computer is a de facto standard tool for developing microcomputer applications within the hobbyist and educational communities. It provides an open-source hardware (OSH) environment based on a simple microcontroller board, as well as an open-source (OS) development … Continue reading

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DIY IoT: Build a ‘Net-Connected System Today

Photo 1: If you want a fancy server with lots of eye candy, a microSD card is the way to go. The WIZnet ioShields include the card socket and are available for various platforms. The Arduino version is shown here.

It’s time to join the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution. Try building a ‘Net-enabled design with WIZnet’s W5500 “smart” Ethernet chip. It’s easier than you think. In a thorough introduction to the technology, Tom Cantrell presented a garage door monitoring design. … Continue reading

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