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


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


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


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


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