THE PIC CLUB
At the November meeting Steve showed some basic functions of mbed, the online compiler and IDE run by ARM. There is a list on the website of development boards that will work with mbed, and there are many code samples and libraries available that will support a wide range of applications and peripherals such as LCD displays, RTC, sensors. One of the key benefits of mbed is that it is fully online, so there's no compiler to download and install on your PC, you just use a browser. Steve said he uses one of the STM32 Nucleo boards, but that there are other suppliers and models to suit your needs. Binaries download to your PC and the Nucleo board has an onboard programmer/debugger.
At the October meeting Andrew discussed the current use of the Forth language. He said he had used Forth in the 1980s because it could fit a lot of functionality into very small memory spaces, and suggested it had a role in today's Internet of Things. He showed a list of available Forth systems at ForthHub/wiki. One system was Mecrisp Stellaris Forth for ARM architectures such as the STM32 series. The U-Tube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvTI3KmcZ7I was viewed and showed how a $2 STM32 “blue pill” board can become a complete Forth development system able to take on a wide range of IoT projects.
At the September meeting Alex showed a Raspberry Pi 3 board from the
IOT Group. It is a compact RPi, without the connectors, and has
on-board WiFi and can run Windows 10.
At the August meeting we discussed articles in the new Australian electronics magazine DIYODE. They include a project to enhance a cheap laser cutter; the ESP8266 microcontroller that adds Wifi to projects; and a small buggy kit for teaching how to run microcontrollers.
At the July meeting Alex spoke about using a laser cutter at Robodino to make a keychain for a Blue Mountains motorcycle ride event. Topics mentioned included how to use the RDWorks software to design the keychain, prepare the laser for operations, and adjust speed/power settings to achieve proper cutting and engraving depth.
At the June
meeting Alex described how he made a simple gamebox using a 16x2
LCD, Arduino and WAV module. A Task Scheduler was used to
multitask button sensing, character animation and sound
generation by the Arduino.
At the May meeting Anthony reviewed the techniques of editing a website. He discussed web page layout, the use of HTML, and the move to separate structure from presentation by using CSS. He demonstrated source code version control, using the revision control tool Git, and the online repository Bitbucket. Future presentations will cover web site configuration and optimisation.
At the April meeting Alex showed a schematic he designed using EasyEDA, the free online schematic, circuit simulator and PCB design program, and discussed a game he wrote using the Arduino and a cooperative task scheduler.
At the March
meeting Andrew showed how the PIC12 could be used to charge
lithium Ion batteries. This type of battery requires a charging
sequence of constant current followed by constant voltage. A PIC
processor does not have an analogue output so pulse width
modulation has to be used, with an LM317 voltage regulator. Also
temperature rise has to be restricted as otherwise Lithium ion
batteries can explode.
At the February
meeting Steve talked about the STM32 ARM Cortex, and developing
At the January
meeting we were told of Einstein's description of telegraphy and
radio. Telegraphy is like a very long cat. You squeeze its tail
in New York and it meiows in Los Angeles. Radio is just the same,
except there is no cat.
At the November
meeting Steve said that small assemblies known as modules are
available on the internet for a huge range of electronics and
they are often cheaper than buying the individual components.
Modules he bought lately include real time clock (RTC)+eeprom,
relay+driver transistor+led, DS18B20 temperature sensor,
adjustable DC-DC converter. These were all $2-$3 each and would
have cost at least double that to buy the parts individually. His
next project will likely include one or more modules mounted onto
a base PCB alongside the processor. The only down side is the 3-4
weeks waiting time for free shipping from China, but if you can
wait it is a good deal.
At the October
meeting Andrew reported he had found a more efficient way of
debouncing reed switches. This is set out in Microchip's AN1450.
A PIC10F322 is used to implement a delay block/debouncer. The
delay can be set as short as 2 µs and can be used
effectively as a noise discriminator, or for switch debouncing.
The application makes use of a Configurable Logic Cell (CLC)
peripheral to produce fast switching on the output. If the same
application were written using port logic only, there would be
multiple instruction cycles before the output would change in
response to an input. Using the CLC the signal can be routed
directly and only have propagation and gate delay between the
input and output signals. The code has been written in assembly,
and in-line (without subroutines) to maximize switching
September meeting Alex spoke about electronic paper display. This
is a developing technology that mimics the appearance of ordinary
ink on paper. Unlike backlit flat panel displays that emit light,
electronic paper displays reflect light as paper does. They can
hold static text and images indefinitely without electricity.
Applications include electronic pricing labels in retail shops,
digital signage, time tables at bus stations, electronic
billboards, mobile phone displays, digital versions of books and
At the August
meeting Andrew described using an 8 pin PIC to de-bounce a
switch. His project had reed switches that can produce several
rapid contact closures, rather than just the one they should.
This is a common problem today when a microcontroller is used to
count how many contact closures take place.
At the July
meeting we saw how to make a solder paste stencil and a solder
paste mask for PCBs by etching aluminium or copper sheet. It is
good enough for small to medium quantities and much cheaper and
quicker than buying in a laser cut stainless steel stencil. The
At the June
meeting it was suggested that a good way to start learning
programming was to try to program some LEDs as traffic lights
using three microprocessors in turn: a PICaxe, an Arduino, and a
Raspberry Pi. This will give you experience in Basic, C/C++, and
Python. If you use traffic lights at crossroads, with the
complication of pedestrian pushbuttons, the exercise can quickly
lift you from beginner to intermediate level. Many examples of
this coding can be found on Google.
At the May
meeting we heard of an improved way of transferring PCB artwork
to the copper when using the iron-on or laminator process.
Peeling off the paper from the copper blank usually results in
some of the toner coming away with the paper. Instead the artwork
is printed on alfoil, laminated to the copper blank, and
submerged in hydrochloric acid. The acid dissolves the aluminium,
leaving the toner artwork adhering to the copper, which is
unaffected by the acid. The copper is then etched away by adding
some hydrogen peroxide to the acid, or by other means.
Precautions should be taken, working outdoors using goggles,
plastic gloves and tongs, and avoiding the liquids and
At the April
meeting Andrew outlined a project for testing water meters. It
requires operating electric water valves rapidly many times at
exact intervals, measuring the flow, and operating switches,
counters and LED indicators. He showed the specification he wrote
and an outline of a PIC12 microcontroller program for it.
and casting chocolate into molds the timing and temperatures must
be carefully controlled to avoid the formation of crystals that
spoil the taste. This process, known as chocolate tempering,
requires skill and patience. At the March meeting Martin showed
us a chocolate temperer he built using an ATMega328P microcessor
to control the temperature, a remote sensing thermostat, and a
digital display. He said his device greatly simplified the
procedure and improved the product.
At the February
meeting we reviewed a development relating to the solderless
breadboard, that ingenious arrangement of metal conductors in a
perforated plastic card that has been the starting point of PCB
layouts for many years. By pushing component pins and the ends of
wires into it you soon have a working test circuit of your
concept. Recently a program has been developed to create a
virtual solderless breadboard, humourously called Fritzing by its
originators in a university in Germany. It shows an image of a
breadboard on the computer screen, and you can drag images of
components and wires on to it, copying the arrangement you have
tested on the breadboard. A schematic layout and a PCB layout can
be derived automatically by mouse clicks. The library of
components is large, and includes surface mount components.
At the January
meeting we discussed the difficulties the home PCB builder has in
soldering surface mount boards, as their pads are so small and
some can't even be reached with a soldering iron. One option is
to use a toaster oven, but this requires microcontroller control
of the temperature gradients, due to the risk of the infrared
rays from the overhead heating elements melting the components.
An alternative is to use an electric frying pan, with a pyrex
lid. Here the problem is avoided as the heat comes from below.
You add solder paste to the pads, place the components on the
paste, put the board on the hot pan and close the lid. The board
slowly heats up and after a minute or so you see the solder paste
melt and disperse as its tin and lead components form a liquid
alloy. It is a property of hot liquid tin alloys that they will
dissolve metals when they reach the alloy temperature. And soon
you see the liquid alloy rapidly shrink to the pads and pins as
it dissolves into their surfaces, forming more liquid alloys. You
remove the lid, and the inrush of cold air solidifies the liquid.
The board can be removed. You have soldered it at a low
At the December
meeting Steve spoke about learning to use the Arduino
microcontroller, and showed us the Arduino controlled moving
message display he built. He said it took him a fraction of the
time it would have taken to code it from scratch.
At the November
meeting Alex spoke about the ESP8266 Module, a chip that can give
any microcontroller access to a WiFi network. Each ESP8266 module
comes programmed so it can simply be hooked up to an Arduino
device to get wireless internet access. He discussed a new
development kit, the NodeMCU board, that is based on the ESP8266
chip, and has many extra capabilities. However it uses the Lua
scripting language, and he replaced that with an
Arduino-compatible runtime program and showed how to build and
run some simple WiFi applications.
At the October
meeting David showed an LED display he and Steve developed that
sits off the side of a Raspberry Pi mini computer. Called the
Joey, it is a compact 4 digit LED display that makes it easy for
Raspberry Pi projects to show numbers such as readings, a
counter, or a clock, without restricting the use of other
expansion boards. David is in the process of raising funds for
the Joey through Kickstarter, the crowd-funding website.
September meeting David talked about his visit to China, where he
was shown through factories making enhanced Raspberry Pi type
computers. He was told of their plans to increase the capability
of these small devices.
At the August
meeting we were joined by Martin on Skype from Germany. If you
have ever attended our meetings you can participate by arranging
a Skype connection.
At the June
meeting Andrew presented a paper on the pros and cons of using
Forth. His paper was adapted from several web sources including
Forth vs C. Forth is
a tiny computer language used in the days when computer memory
was small, and was bypassed by C and other languages when memory
increased. As microcontrollers have small memories there is a
case for running them on Forth. Andrew showed a program he wrote
in both Basic and in Forth, for comparison.
At the May
meeting we heard a suggestion for designing PCBs as lids for
boxes. The idea is to mount your PCB as the lid of a box. On the
top side of the lid board are mounted the parts that need to be
accessible, such as switches, LEDs, in/out connectors. These are
through-hole components. Also on the top are the labels and
logos, as a top silkscreen. On the bottom side are all the
components that do not need to be accessed, such as resistors,
capacitors, ICs, and these are surface mounted. The PCB is simply
screwed to the box in place of its lid. In many cases no
additional wiring is required, and the result is a professional
look. For more details see The
PCB as a lid.
At the April
meeting Martin showed a circuit board he built to run as a RFID
card reader. He also discussed a problem with a circuit for a
power supply to a servo.
At the March
meeting Martin presented a new version of his Boarding House Door
Controller, designed for surface mount components.
At the February
meeting Geoff showed a simple timing mechanism using an Arduino.
Using only simple code, it can provide interval timing anywhere
from a millisecond to a month. The code can be seen at
At the January
meeting Alex presented a paper on the Internet of Everything,
IoE. This is an improvement on the Internet of Things, IoT. The
trouble with IoT is that communication between devices is only
possible when they use the same proprietary data standards and
application programming interface (API). For example, Google’s
NEST smoke alarm can share data back and forth, however a home
surveillance system made by a different vendor cannot relay
information (say on flames in the shed) to the Nest devices. The
search is on for a standard way to connect and communicate among
all devices out there. IoE is one attempt at universal data
connectivity. Some of its protocols are well known, such as SPI,
Zigbee, IPv4, HTTP, but there is a large and growing number, and
adoption of a standard seems far away.
At the December
meeting David showed a clock array driven by a Raspberry Pi A+
microcomputer. He showed the program he wrote for it after
installing the Python GPIO library. It was a much simpler program
than would be required if he had used a microprocessor instead of
the Pi. Hours of programming were saved by spending a little more
on the hardware.
At the November
meeting Martin discussed pdf2gerb, a Perl script that converts
specially-formatted PDF files to Gerber and NC Drill formats. He
also showed us a transmitter/receiver he built using the Nordic
Semiconductor nRF 24201 chips, useful for short distance remote
At the October
meeting David showed some features he had added to the
prototyping board he is building for his Raspberry Pi
microcomputer. He said the final PCB would not mount the Pi, but
a connector that accepts the Pi's smaller compute module. He also
demonstrated a recent improvement in the Eagle PCB drawing
program, and said one of his reasons to prefer Eagle was that its
component library contains all the components sold by Element 14,
saving much drawing time.
At the September meeting David showed a prototyping board he is building for his Raspberry Pi model B+ microcomputer. He connected all 40 In/Out pins to a header next to a solderless breadboard. He fitted the board with an 8 channel analog to digital converter, as the Pi does not accept analog inputs. He added a potentiometer for testing analog input, a couple of LEDs and pushbuttons for testing digital In/Out states, connections for a serial console cable, and a 3.3V regulator. For a particular project additional components would be added, and++ a program would be written into the Pi. The circuit and the program would be tested on the prototyping board and then a PCB would be made for mounting the Pi and those components needed for the project.
At the August
meeting Andrew discussed the charging of lithium-ion batteries.
The ideal method is constant current charging followed by
constant voltage charging. He showed us a charging circuit he
built using a PIC12, and discussed the mikrobasic program he
wrote for it.
At the July
meeting Martin, attending the meeting by Skype from Jakarta, told
us he devised and installed a system to monitor the occupancy
status of the rooms and car park of a motel. He has now set up a
portable router and modem that will allow him to read the system
from the internet. The hardware is a USB 3G modem and a TP-Link
MR3020 router that he programmed with OpenWRT.
At the June
meeting Martin showed how he motorised a motel carpark gate and
using OpenWRT enabled guests to open it with their RFID room
At the May
meeting Steve showed us how he enabled his computer to control
his house lights and appliances. He used the free terminal
emulator, PuTTY, to connect his computer to a Raspberry Pi using
the command line interface. To connect using a GUI the Virtual
Network Computing (VNC) would be used. He used webi0pi to control
the in/out pins of the Pi through this web interface. The Pi was
then connected to a Kambrook Powerpoint Adapter With Remote
Control. He can switch any appliance plugged into the adapter by
using any web browser from any location.
At the April
meeting Steve spoke about the Raspberry Pi and introduced us to
the Pi tutorials on the element14 website.
At the March
meeting Andrew spoke about the numbering systems in computer
At the February
meeting Alex described his progress in making PCBs using the
Toner Transfer method. He designs the artwork on Diptrace and
prints it on baking paper, then sticks it to a blank board with
Kapton tape. He then runs it through a laminator he modified to
run at a higher temperature. The artwork is transferred to the
board, and then the surrounding copper is etched away with a
peroxide/hydrochloric acid mixture.
At the January
meeting Darwin described his project of fitting a device to a
motor scooter to make it sound like a Harley Davidson, and asked
for assistance. This was volunteered by Lino, who has experience
in sound sampling.
At the December
meeting Darwin demonstrated a method of making PCBs using a
photosensitive silkscreen. The design is printed by a laser
printer on to the 200 mesh screen material and then flashed with
a bright light from Xenon tubes, dissolving the screen under the
design. Acrylic paint is then squeegeed through the silkscreen on
to the copper, and when it is dry the surrounding copper can be
etched away. The screen can be washed clean by water and reused
At the November
meeting we discussed ways of using an iPhone to wirelessly
control a Raspberry Pi. They are a natural pair in the world of
miniature computing, as the Pi lacks a keyboard and a screen that
can be provided by the iPhone. The iPhone could select and run
programs already stored in the Pi. We looked for examples on the
At the October meeting there was a discussion of new hardware and software available for use with the Raspberry Pi credit card sized computer. The web site www.meetup.com was used to show how to locate other groups interested in the Pi. The open source package openWRT that had been demonstrated at an earlier meeting this year on a small router device was also discussed as it can also be used with the Raspberry Pi. A free computer vision package called openCV that works with the Pi was also mentioned. A new form of computer memory, the resistive RAM or RRAM was discussed. Details were seen at http://www.crossbar-inc.com/technology/resistive-ram-overview.html . This will be faster, lower powered and lower cost than flash memory and should give rise to new forms of portable products, as a Terabyte of RRAM can be made the size of a postage stamp.
At the September meeting David spoke of his PIC microcontroller tutorials published on gooligum.com.au. The tutorials have been revised to cope with the new MPLAB X development environment, the PICkit 3 programmer, and Microchip's XC8 C compiler. The circuits have been updated to suit the Gooligum training and development board. Alex opened a discussion on cheap 3D printers, and we looked at the "Printrbot" at printrbot.com, and the "MakiBox" at makibox.com. Martin showed the changes to his hotel door lock circuit to use a small servo, with a Sim card as the key. Bruce spoke about his novel car cooling system. Stuart spoke of programming a PIC32 as a Fortran interpreter.
At the August
meeting Alex showed us the Wiltronics website. Wiltronics has
been appointed authorised distributor of Picaxe products in
Australia. They also have a large range of Raspberry Pi bundles,
books, accessories and peripherals.
At the July
meeting Wayne demonstrated his PIC TV. Using precise control of
the timer on a PIC12F675 he was able to generate a video, and
used the projector to show on the wall readouts of a temperature
monitor as an 8 segment RGB composite display.
At the June
meeting Andrew S told us of the computer setup he made with a
Raspberry Pi, the $35 credit-card sized computer available from
RS and Element 14 . He fitted a TV screen and a keyboard to a Pi
to make a cheap desktop computer.
At the May
meeting Martin discussed OpenWrt, an operating system used on
embedded devices to route network traffic. He showed the OpenWRT
compatible TL-MR3020 portable 3G wireless router he bought.
At the April meeting Andrew spoke of an instrument he designed for measuring the height of waves in models of ports. It records the capacitance changes in an immersed 30cm probe, caused by the presence of waves. Using a PIC 12 he was able to replace many discrete components in an earlier design, resulting in a smaller and cheaper instrument. He programmed it with the free edition of Mikrobasic. Michael discussed using the Logicator, an easy to use shareware flowcharting program used to generate Picaxe control programs. You first set up a flowchart of what you want the microprocessor to do, and the Logicator generates the required program in Pic Basic. Recent upgrades now allow it to be used with more advanced Picaxe chips.
At the March meeting Martin showed us some items he bought at bargain prices on EBay, including a stepper motor and driver for $2.50. Lino showed us some remote control devices. Geoff lead a discussion about electromagnetic interference he found while testing Michael's tea-making robot, producing some useful advice from the group. Christopher introduced us to Sparkfun's Emic-2 Text-to-Speech module, that allows a moving robot to announce status reports rather than displaying them on LCD. Steve spoke about Teleduino, featured in the current Silicon Chip magazine, a free online service that allows remote control of relays by sending commands over the internet to an Arduino board.
At the February meeting Andrew lead a discussion on overcoming some practical obstacles in programming a PIC, such as ambiguities in data sheets, conflicts in commands, inaccuracies in timers. Wayne reviewed the Color Maximite, featured recently in Silicon Chip magazine, and recommended the Commstick at around $30. Johnny showed his circuit design for an electric car: power from a battery is put through an inverter to supply alternating current to the motor. He simulated its operation under varying loads and speeds with Matlab. Julian recommended an open source Matlab-like simulator, Scilab. For symbolic logic, he suggests the Euler Math Toolbox at euler.sourceforge.net.
the January meeting was reduced due to the record hot weather.
Most came by airconditioned train or car, Martin however walked
as usual from Neutral Bay to the city, enjoying the 42deg heat.
He showed his Asuro robot, a small mobile robot developed for
educational purposes by DLR, the German aerospace centre. He is
working on making it balance on its rear wheels by having them
respond to tilting by accelerometer readings through its
microprocessor. He also explained how to send messages wirelessly
from a microprocessor, by outputting a carrier wave to the anode
of a diode and the digital coded message to its cathode.
At the December
meeting Christopher introduced us to Netduino, an open source
microcontroller platform with shields, similar to Arduino. Simple
projects can be made on both systems, but the Netduino is better
for advanced projects as it is faster and has more memory, and it
uses the more powerful Visual C# .NET programming language. A
detailed comparison of the two can be seen at
At the November
meeting Steve demonstrated his Saleae 8 channel USB logic
analyser. It connects to the USB port of a computer and allows
you to see the states of up to eight channels over time. This is
very useful for debugging communication between a microcontroller
and a peripheral device when it is not clear if a fault is in the
code or in the hardware. In addition Saleae provides several
protocol decoders, making it easy to verify that the correct data
is present on the communication bus being monitored. The analyser
can decode Asynchronous Serial, SPI, 1-Wire, I2C and UNI/O Bus
and the data can be exported to an output file for further
analysis. Steve hooked up the analyser probes to the output data
bus and sent out a test message. The screen showed the voltage
highs and lows representing the ones and zeroes of the data bits,
and the decoded message: hello world.
At the October meeting Alex
led a discussion on logic analysers and oscilloscopes. The main
difference is that an oscilloscope displays variations in
voltage, an analyser only displays digital (on/off) waveforms.
Logic analysers have more signal inputs than the two channels
provided by most oscilloscopes, and can be very useful for
debugging complex logic circuits. He described the Bitscope
pocket analyser, an affordable high bandwidth PC-based unit that
combines a dual channel digital storage oscilloscope and an 8
channel logic analyser. Also mentioned were the PicoScope, a
compact USB plug–in device for a PC; the Network Bitscope
BS445N, a high performance 12 channel oscilloscope and data
acquisition system; the Saleae Logic analyser, a powerful logic
analyser in a tiny package; the Rigol DS1000 series digital
oscilloscopes; and the Bus Pirate, a low-cost troubleshooting
tool that communicates between a PC and embedded devices.
At the September meeting
Andrew discussed using a PIC as a proximity sensor. He referred
to the Microchip application note AN1202 "Capacitive Sensing
with PIC10F". It explains how to use the PIC's internal
analogue comparator and an external diode as a relaxation
oscillator so that an external capacitance changes the oscillator
frequency, which can then be sensed by using timer 0 in the PIC.
Almost any PIC device can be used for proximity sensing, he said.
At the August meeting Martin
showed us his Raspberry Pi computer that had finally arrived. He
took it to Robodino on a Saturday and they downloaded and made a
case for it with their computer-controlled laser cutter.
At the July meeting Paul
told us of his long term interest in DBase, a once popular
program that is having a revival. He also showed a PCB that runs
some LEDs from a PIC12F683 microprocessor to make a superb garden
lighting display, called an LED rainbow. A YouTube video and an
Instructable about this board can be seen via PCBoard.ca.
At the June meeting Lino
demonstrated his technique of soldering surface mounted
components using a soldering iron and Xcelite tweezers, and
making use of surface tension and gravity.
Stuart directed us to his recently uploaded 16-bit widget driver at www.hydrazoic.info. It is an embedded script interpreter that runs in dsPic microcontrollers, and has a serial port, 14 in/out, and two analogue lines. It has a minimal footprint and runs on a small single-sided pcb.
At the May meeting we used
Skype to enable Martin to view the proceedings from Dusseldorf.
Alex used an omni-directional microphone that worked better for
this, and donated it to the club.
At the April meeting we
connected to Martin in Jakarta by Skype. He showed us the hotel
where he is installing his Atmel RFID systems.
At the March meeting Andrew discussed the use of batteries in long life low power applications. Martin showed how he designs PCBs using XpressPCB. Chris showed some of the ways he uses sugru, the air-curing silicon rubber from sugru.com. He also introduced us to the Parallax Propeller from parallax.com, the makers of the BASIC stamp microprocessor. With eight independent processors on a single chip, the Propeller offers a completely new approach to solving problems with microcontrollers. The eight 32-bit processors and a shared memory and system clock make possible true independent and cooperative simultaneous multi-tasking. The need for additional support components is reduced due to its overall processing power and I/O capabilities, and its on-board video generation and easy connection to popular PC peripherals. The Propeller chip is programmable in object-based Spin language, low-level Assembly, or with a third-party C Compiler.
At the February meeting Lino showed pictures of some designs of PCB drilling and Pick & Place machines from the South Australian PIC User Group. Alex showed Bluetooth wireless 2-way communication between a computer and his Fez Panda II board, using a virtual slide switch on the computer and a rotary switch on the Panda. He also showed how he connected his computer wirelessly to a thermometer inside a fridge, and monitored and graphed the temperature with some C# programming. Steve showed his completed electrolysis project, all boxed up and with operating instructions.
At the January meeting Martin demonstrated a clamping ammeter he bought from Seeed Studios. He uses a microprocessor to calculate and display the power consumption. John showed an open source debugger for Freescale microcontrollers. Christopher told us of a USB to RS232/TTL UART/RS485 converter he bought. It provides an easy method of connecting a USB port on a PC to RS232 signals. Steve showed us oscilloscope traces of a spurious signal on his project and described how he eliminated it. Anthony told us of his experiences in making a PCB using the Press n Peel technique.
At the December meeting Steve showed his completed PCB module for extracting hydrogen and oxygen from water by electrolysis. It is part of a project for boosting the performance of cars by adding these gases to the fuel. For more information see http://www.wam-a-bam.com/hydrostarinfo.html. Alex showed a wireless Bluetooth connector to a remote serial board. Martin showed a thermometer with LCD display he built, using a DS18S20 temperature probe with a microprocessor.
At the November meeting Martin used his Bus Pirate to display an oscilloscope read-out on a computer screen, using the Miniscope program downloaded from Futurlec. Alex gave a tutorial on using the C# language in visual studio, the language used in his Fez Panda II computer At the October meeting Alex demonstrated his Fez Panda II computer from GHI electronics. Steve discussed William S Powers' Hydrostar project for running a car on hydrogen and oxygen extracted from water by electrolysis using electronic pulses.
At the September meeting Peter introduced us to Amforth, a Forth-based command interpreter for the Atmel microcontroller family. Paul demonstrated the toy tank he modified with a PIC controller to respond to IR commands and avoid obstacles. Christopher visited virtualvillage.com. It offers a large range of low cost products, including electronic equipment. Bob showed a video of a robotic seagull on TED.com. Andrew described the PIC-based battery tester he developed. Peter downloaded for future use the PICaxe editor and the PICaxe manuals.
At the August meeting Steve demonstrated the 1 wire digital thermometer he built using the DS18B20 temperature sensor, and showed the C program he wrote for it using the free HiTec optimising compiler and the logic analyser from the PICKit2. Bob installed the PICkit2 and corrected its INC file so that the button on the LPC board can be used to alter the LED flashing sequence.. Shane showed us the DIY Park Ranger, a prototype ultrasonic car backing aid.
At the July meeting David used the Microchip In-Circuit Debugger MPLAB ICD3 to debug the timer program he displayed last month. Anthony described the electronics course he has just completed at TAFE. Peter downloaded the MPLAB X Beta and showed how to convert to it from MPLAB. Martin showed the RFID RS485 Ethernet mini board and the SFM32F103 development board he bought from Futurlec. Geoff described an Ethernet controller for remote control. Stuart showed the electrometer PCB he designed and bought. He discussed his soldering technique for surface-mounting the components on it.
At the June meeting David guided us through the program he is writing for a timer, using the free version of the HiTech C compiler.. It uses a PIC 16F690, a 4-digit 7-segment display, and a piezo sounder. Christopher showed us the power supply unit he bought, a MCI-ATX switchmode unit giving 6-12volts and 250w output. We discussed the heatsinking requirements. We also discussed converting old computer power supplies to laboratory power supplies for testing microprocessor circuits. Martin showed his Bus Pirate operating as an oscilloscope, displaying a square wave from an Atmel micro. Paul showed the Netduino he bought. It is an open source electronics platform with design files and source code included. It can interface with switches, sensors, LEDs, serial devices, and more. It combines the features of microcontrollers with the ease of coding in high-level languages such as Visual Studio and C#
At the May meeting Alex showed us some more of his Picaxe Virtual System Modelling program. He used it to verify the power supply circuit Martin showed us at the April meeting. He also applied it to a PWM voltage step-up circuit usng a diode pump and a Picaxe-08M. We revisited the Picaxe VSM homepage at http://www.picaxevsm.com. Martin showed us the Bus Pirate he bought. It is a hardware tool to interface a computer with various chips, including AVRs and PICs. You can program and run them, simplifying prototyping. Steve demonstrated GotoCamera's free software that turns a webcam into a surveillance program visible on the internet .
At the April meeting Martin discussed a circuit for a combined power supply and battery charger. Andrew spoke about green array chips. These are a new design of multi-computer chips from GreenArrays Inc using the Forth language. They have great computing power, small size, and low energy consumption, and might have a big future. Alex described the WinLIRC serial receiver. It transmits and receives infrared remote control signals, allowing you to control your computer and other equipment. Tony M described his PIC-based motorised remote control of a radio loop antenna. Christopher spoke about the SBC65EC he bought from ModTronics Engineering. It is an embedded PIC based single board computer with Ethernet and RS232 interface.
At the March meeting Alex demonstrated the Picaxe Virtual System Modelling program, a software circuit simulator that combines a virtual Picaxe chip with animated components and SPICE circuit analysis to produce a simulation of a complete Picaxe project. He showed it working on two pulse width modulation circuits he designed. He drew the circuits using simulations of a Picaxe, a FET, a transistor, a 555, resistors, capacitors, and switches. Then he altered various component values and observed the results using simulated instruments: voltmeter, ammeter, oscilloscope. For more Picaxe VSM information see http://www.picaxevsm.com. Martin showed us his STM32F103 ARM development board from Futurlec. Geoff used a small Picaxe program to show the advantages of using layers in programming.
At the February meeting we linked by Skype to Martin, who was visiting Indonesia. He talked about the electronics shops in Jakarta and showed us photos of them. By screen-sharing he was able to watch and hear the proceedings at our meeting. We discussed the PIClick-1, a kit available from Talking Electronics. It is a PCB containing a PIC16F84, with its inputs buffered with resisters and its outputs buffered with transisters. It can be a template for PIC projects. Andrew described a problem in programming the PIC24 chips. Christopher showed us a Peltier TEC1-11710, and discussed his idea of using it to measure wind speed. David showed us a video of an LED mobile designed by his daughter Bianca, 8, who also attended the meeting.
At the January meeting David discussed his car tachometer project and we looked at ways of remotely recording the data. We visited RF Digital's site to see if their 2.4GHz wireless modules were suitable.
Stuart showed the USB to serial converter prototype PCB he made with surface mounted components, .
We discussed using a Peltier device in reverse to generate electricity from heat.
We visited the Talking Electronics website and reviewed their method of programming PICs by copying selections from a library of assembler routines into a program template. We also looked at their surface-mount soldering technique, and their use of a transformer to solar charge a battery when the sunlight is weak.
At the December meeting Martin showed his prototype hotel door opening system. He used a RFID card and programmed an Atmel AVR chip, and made use of the Electronic Brick System from Seeed Studios. A magnetic switch on the card rack automatically turns off the airconditioner when the guest leaves the room. Geoff showed a light dimmer he built using a picaxe and a mosfet. He used pulse width modulation to control the brightness of an adhesive backed led strip from Rockby Electronics. Steve showed his picaxe solar light, improved with some suggestions made at his previous presentation and some of his own. The Steca Solsum solar regulator was mentioned.
At the November meeting Andrew visited the Dontronics webpage and looked at the ARM Astrobe development system that uses the programming language Oberon-07. He also showed us Microchip's extreme low power XLP chip that uses a 1.8-3v battery that will last for 20 years. David compared ARM microprocessors with the PIC and ATMEL products. He also introduced us to MBED, a tool developed by ARM for rapid prototyping with microcontrollers. The mbed microcontroller is made for prototyping, and uses two innovations; a USB disk based programmer on the hardware, and compiler tools from a cloud-computing based web-application that runs in a web browser. It supports many interfaces, so you can connect it to many input and output circuits and modules. Peter showed us the DIOS GPS Logger at kronosrobotics.com/. Christopher described the Sparkfun weather board that graphs the weather over time through a USB-connected board of sensors. .
At the October meeting Martin demonstrated his upgraded accelerometer system using an ARM7 processor and a BMA180 accelerometer running on a Sparkfun breakout board. A graphical projection showed sensitive responses to tiny movements. Andrew reviewed various commercial battery testers and showed us his design for a comparatively low cost battery tester using a PIC12F683 . He referred us to batteryuniversity.com for information on battery technology.
At the September meeting Alex demonstrated the Proteus Virtual System Modelling (VSM) he bought. It combines SPICE circuit simulation, animated components and microprocessor models to simulate complete microcontroller based designs. Using this system he can develop and test microprocessor designs before constructing a physical prototype. Johnny Kim reviewed his career as a designer in embedded programming, control engineering, mechatronics engineering, digital signal processing, microprocessors, microcontrollers. His webpage: http://au.linkedin.com/pub/johnny-kim/23/8a9/b08. He has recently moved from South Korea to Australia. Steve discussed his project for a solar powered Picaxe-based night light, and the group was able to make some useful suggestions for the coding.
At the August meeting Alex showed the circuit and programming details of his tuned radio and showed his design of an electric footwarmer mat. Peter showed the Logicator system for developing programs from flowcharts. Les showed details of the remote monitoring security system he has designed.
At the July meeting Les showed samples of the bottles handled by the robot he described last month, and gave details of how they are made. Alex showed us an alarm clock radio to which he had added a Picaxe08M to play its tunes on wake-up. Bob showed videos of various multi-legged robots. We also looked atthe new Picaxe-18M2 from Microzed. It replaces all the older 18 pin Picaxes, can run four separate tasks in parallel and operate from a 3volt battery pack. Stuart showed how he used Microchip's 16 bit development board to make a voltmeter.
At the June meeting Andrew showed a way of getting a Picaxe to log data at long intervals by using the Poke instruction. Les showed a movie of an industrial robot who's program he modified. It is an xyz type of robot 10 metres long that stacks plastic bottles of various shapes at high speed. David showed a complex PIC-based travel clock he built, and discussed the program he wrote for it in 800 lines of assembler. His tutorials on programming can be seen at JD showed several PCBs he designed with Eagle, using Freescale microcontrollers. We were able to project on the screen images of all the objects discussed on the night, by using the new auto-focussing webcam installed recently by Roger Foulds of our parent organisation the Sydney PC User group. Thanks Roger!
At the May meeting Andrew showed a PCB he built in 1987 using an 1802 microprocessor, and a sample from that era of a PCB layout using tape. Chris asked for help with a program he wrote for an Arduino/PIC/I2C project, and in a lengthy session the group was able to solve many problems. Shane showed more details of the modifications he is making to an old Holden, including fuel injection and monitoring of its vital signs using Tuner Studio MS, msefi.com, diyefi.com. Peter showed us how to find rare ICs. Niel showed a sensor he is developing for air conditioning using an R485 chip and a PIC16648A
At the April meeting Anthony showed an upgraded version of his digital clock. He built it this time on predrilled copper strip board using six GAL16V8 programmable chips. John demonstrated wire wrapping techniques, and gave Anthony some wrapping tools and sample boards. Bob showed the SPCUG blog and the Snagit screen capture program. We looked at the January 2009 Silicon Chip article on remote wireless control using a PIC and a transceiver. Alex demonstrated RocketDoc, the free application launcher. He also showed the free download OSC_DLL, from which he is building a software oscilloscope.
At the March meeting Peter talked about remote wireless control of devices using a PIC/tranceiver combination to send signals to a several similar devices. Anthony showed us a digital clock he built on bread boards from ICs and discrete components that he will upgrade to a PIC-controlled device. Peter introduced us to Source Boot. Stuart showed us Microchip's DM300027, a USB starter development board for programming 16 bit microprocessors. It comes with a PIC24 and a PIC30 and can connect to a PICKit2. Les showed Insider, a useful tool for wireless networking that displays frequencies used.
At the February meeting Les talked about the computer-controlled milling machine he built from a kit, and showed a video of it cutting various holes in an instrument case. He also showed a low-voltage spotlight he made from an array of 28 white wide-angle LEDs controlled by an Atmel Tiny 45. Michael showed pictures of a machine he built for automatically making cups of tea, and discussed problems programming a PIC to run it. Martin talked about the EZ430-Chronos wireless watch available from Farnell.
At the January meeting Stuart showed the latest developments of his programming language. Using a PIC30 he calculated the square of pi to 8 decimal places. Martin explained his strain guage project and showed its hardware, Anthony showed his Microbyte development board for PICs, Peter showed us GPutils, a set of software tools on SourceForge, including the simulator GPSIM. We looked at a video from Instructables showing a remote controlled lawnmower, and introduced the RF Digital series of miniature radio tranceivers that can be driven by a microprocessor.
At the December meeting Shane visited www.hackaday.com to show the MegaSquirt electronic fuel injection system, Martin showed a PCB he designed and bought for his strain guage project, Peter showed the Web in a Box project from Silicon Chip of November/December 2009 and searched various websites for PIC projects. Wayne showed us picabc, a visual PIC assembler programmer, downloadable from programmersheaven.com.
At the November meeting Bob showed one of the projects on micro-examples.com, a PIC based clock developed by writing on the screen. Andrew showed a critique on YouTube of the PICKit3 and a response from MicroChip. Martin showed how he used a single wire from a 10 bit ATMEL processor board to access a 24 bit A to D converter using interrupts at 100Hz. Matt spoke of how he used a PIC to display on a PC a graphical output of the humidity and temperature readings transmitted by radio from a Jaycar Weather Station. Wayne showed us the picdev and cpik web pages.
At the September meeting Bob presented our new computer with Intel i7 CPU, 6GB memory, and 2TB disk space. Andrew visited the webpage of Microzed, the Australian distributer of the Picaxe. Jahn showed some more prototypes he made from Sparkfun modules of GPS loggers using PIC24 and ATMEL Mega168. Patrick reviewed progress being made in parallel computing using large arrays of pico chips.
At the August meeting Steve showed us how he makes a flowchart to lay out the structure of a complex program. Andrew discussed moving from the PIC12F to the PIC24F for the datalogger he is developing, and showed us the Forth compiler for the PIC16F87X. Peter mentioned Cygwin and the PIC Forth Wiki. Wayne demonstrated using the Amiga operating system on a laptop computer.
At the July meeting Jahn showed some devices he built using modules purchased from Sparkfun, the microcontroller development company. Shane described how he fitted the MegaSquirtII fuel injection computer and an exhaust gas oxygen sensor to an old Holden. Wayne showed the schematic of his design of a noiseless, transformerless power supply using capacitors and 4053 switches.
At the June meeting Martin showed the device he designed using an ATmega8 microprocessor to calculate the baud rate being used on a serial connection and display it on a LED screen. Les showed us the program he wrote in C using ED for Windows, the smart language-sensitive programmer's editor, to control his solar hot water heater. Jahn spoke of his use of the AVR Mega168 microprocessor to study the performance of racing motorbikes. Shane showed pictures of KRE Engineering's remote control tractor camera that inspects the inside of underground pipes and sends images to a screen on the surface.
At the May meeting Les showed pictures of the modifications he made to his hot water heater to run it on solar power, Wayne introduced us to the PIC10F220/222 6-Pin microcontrollers, Alex described a USB interface for an ATMEL ATtiny45 microprocessor, Andrew discussed PCB autorouting using the free download Diptrace.
At the April meeting Geoff showed his add-on for a Porsche 928 driven in a hot climate. It is a fan speed controller for an oil cooler, using a PICaxe08M and DS18B20 temperature sensors. Stuart continued his talk on converting 8-bit code to 16. Martin gave away several boxes of equipment, such as switchmode power supplies and microprocessor programmers. Bob displayed his new Guestbook on the club's webpage, and invited readers to start using it for discussions of microprocessor matters.
At the March meeting Kevin showed us a PICkit3, Peter showed some voltage converters he made. Using the whiteboard, Wayne showed the schematic of his PIC TV project based on a PIC12F675, Geoff showed the schematic of his PIC08M accelerometer, Martin showed the schematic of his microcontroller based keyboard input detector with LCD display. Stuart outlined the problems he faced in rewriting his 8 bit RISC language to the 16 bit PIC30F micro.
At the February meeting Bob showed a Youtube movie of a Hexapod robot CNC router cutting a rectangular shape. We also looked at a movie of a Mang cnc wire bending machine. Andrew showed the hardware of his data logger tester using two Picaxe 08Ms. It enabled him to quickly test 250 CR800 data loggers. Alex showed a 3 to 9volt converter from Jaycar. Ashley showed his EasyPIC5 from Mikro Electronics, a programming and development board described in the May 2008 Elektor magazine. Mike told us of the meetings of the Amateur Radio NSW Radio Homebrew and Experimenters Group. Seppo spoke of Microchip's new PICkit3, and referred us to the Talking Electronics website as a good source of PIC information. Wayne showed us how to set up the ADC controller in a PIC16F688.
At the January meeting we saw two YouTube movies about cutting polystyrene foam with a hotwire under CNC control. They showed an industrial machine at work, and an Instructable on building a DIY version. Andrew reviewed his experience in programming computers with multiple CPU's. Wayne discussed the assembler code he wrote for last month's TV display of a PIC output.
At the December meeting Andrew showed us a program he wrote in Python. A free program, now in version 2.6, it is an elegant and simple language. We examined Oatley Electronics' K142 kits for driving stepper motors. Martin showed us a sound level meter with a three channel LCD display he made from a microprocessor. Wayne showed us a voltmeter and thermometer he built using the ADC converter in a PIC675. He programmed it to produce a raster output of the values, which he displayed on the screen via the projector as a TV image.
At the November meeting we made use of a new projector. It gives a better view with a wider screen, and can show photos using an SD socket and a remote control switch. Peter used these features to show some photos from his recent travels in Thailand. He also directed our attention to some free programs for PCB design listed in the September Elektor magazine, see http://www.elektor.com/panorama. Wayne described some new applications he has made of the PIC, and discussed the PIC18F67J60. Andrew asked for suggestions for a small programming language for simple tasks, and mention was made of Python, Ruby, Rex, Pearl, VB, AutoIT, and QT. Stuart showed the refinements he had made to his RISC language for the PIC. Les showed pictures of the CNC milling machine he made for his home workshop. He assembled it from a kit of modifications to a Taig milling machine. To mill an item he first draws it and its toolpaths in TurboCad. He then manually writes the G-Code program, and runs it under Mach2.
At the October meeting Steve showed some of the new features of the PICKit2. Martin showed his ET-ARM module and explained how to program it, and also showed the Hope RF radio module. Andrew showed how he used two PICAXE-08Ms to make a tester for the CR800 datalogger. We saw some movies of CNC lathes in operation, and reviewed Richard Wildey's Getting Started in CNC.
At the September meeting Bob showed how to register and login to the PIC Club webpage so you can upload comments, articles, and pictures. Les described a data slicer filter he designed to improve radio reception. Martin showed the ET-ARM Stamp module, available from Futurlec.
At the August meeting Alex demonstrated using HAPSIM, a software component simulator. HAPSIM simulates components such as buttons and leds in software, and can be used to test AVR microprocessor applications on a computer screen before committing to actual hardware. Stuart explained some details of his reduced instruction set language for PICs. Andrew discussed interfacing a PICAxe chip to the Xbee module for wireless remote control, as described in http://www.rev-ed.co.uk/docs/axe210.pdf.
At the July meeting Peter showed us some articles from Elektor, EPE, and Silicon Chip magazines. Bob introduced us to Joomla, a webpage template that allows members to easily upload articles and comments. He proposed Joomla be used for the PIC Club website.
At the June meeting Stuart continued his description of his tiny programming language for the PICs, that he introduced at the March meeting, this time showing us the interpreter. Peter showed some articles from the March Elektor magazine.
At the May meeting Martin showed the pressure/temperature monitor he built using an ATMEL HP03 sensor. He built it into a transparent floppy disk box, so all the components and the display could be seen from the outside without having to place components off the board and wire them up, and the flip lid gives easy access.
At the April meeting Martin showed the accelerometer he built, using the ATMEL LIS3LV02D6 chip. He donated a couple of PIC display and development boards, which were auctioned off at a bargain price. Steve showed us Ted Rossin's website where a Logic Analyser based on a PIC873 is described. Andrew introduced Microchip's PIC24FJ family, a new range of high pin count (64/80/100 pin) devices with 64-256KBytes of flash memory. Les discussed the merits of the serial data formats FM0, FM1 and Manchester.
At the March meeting Tony showed his stepper motor, operated by remote control. Stewart showed a tiny programming language he wrote for the PICs. He wrote an interpreter which is loaded into a PIC, enabling programs to be written in a few lines that would take several pages in Assembler.
At the February meeting Steve showed his depth sounder alarm for a yacht, David discussed using the PICkit2 as a debugger.
At the January meeting Tony showed the hardware he is developing for his solar tracker, Alex showed his Alpha system monitor that displays on a website environmental data of a remote site, and we discussed a User Language Program for the Eagle PCB Program.
At the December meeting Les showed us the webpage of the Amateur Radio NSW Radio Homebrew and Experimenters Group and talked about some of the homemade electronic and mechanical devices the members have displayed at their monthly meetings. David showed us through his tutorial How to Drive Multiple 7-segment displays. The full tutorial can be seen on his webpage.
At the November meetingTony discussed using the PIC for remote control, and demonstrated some devices he built. Andrew discussed the PIC24 family. David showed us a PIC simulator and debugger.
At the October meetingDavid demonstrated the Eagle CAD program for designing circuit boards. We saw two of the four Instructables, Schematics and Layouts, for learning this program, and examined Eagle's User language Programs. Tony demonstrated two PIC devices he built. In the first a 3-colour LED was made to show many colours by its PIC driver. In the second a Passive Infrared Detector (PID) was set up to detect movement of an intruder and radio an alarm signal to a remote station. Geoff showed his PIC-controlled triac driver set and discussed some problems he was having with it.
At the September meeting Andrew explained the use of several PICAXE-08Ms as linear digital position sensors using optical switches. He showed pictures of a rig that is currently in use plotting profiles of model beaches in a wave flume. The sensors monitor the displacement of rocks in the model under wave action, providing information for the construction of breakwaters. Martin showed how his ATMEL controlled LCD display graphically represents the movement of strain gauges on a structure. Tanjim and Paul presented their project for a dashboard display of the speed limit zones a car is travelling through.
At the August meeting Bob reviewed the final chapter of the PIC C course from EPE magazine. He said the course is a good overview, but you need to refer to a book on C while reading the course. Martin showed more details of his LCD display. It was built from Myke Predco's design: www.myke.com/lcd.htm. Peter showed us some Thai websites containing various kits and gadgets: www.silaresearch.com, www.mynpe.com.
At the May meeting Alex introduced us to the Wikipedia comparison of programming languages. Andrew showed his project for measuring temperatures at many layers of ocean depths using a string of 26 PIC processors. We discussed adapting a plotter for use as an automatic drilling machine, and the software for it. Martin showed his LCD display driven directly by an ATMEL microprocessor.
At the April meeting Aras introduced us to the Dorkbot, a worldwide network of 'people doing strange things with electricity'. A local chapter of Dorkbot meets monthly in Sydney. Steve showed us some ways of increasing the number of ports of the picaxe, and discussed using a clock module as a cheap and accurate time base for microprocessors. Bob presented Part 3 of EPE magazine's PIC C course.
At the March meeting Chris introduced us to Flex programming, an application of Flash. Chris is Manager of the Flashdev, the Sydney Flash Platform Development Group. Stuart showed us his program to write out data from his PIC-based analogue to digital converter.
At the February meeting Martin introduced us to the Atmel range of microprocessors, Alex showed us how to interrupt the PIC SERIN command, and Bob presented Part 2 of EPE magazine's PIC C course.
At the January meeting Peter showed some websites he had found, Andrew discussed an interface between a PICaxe and a memory card, Bob presented Part 1 of EPE magazine's PIC C course, a four part series beginning with the November issue, David showed us the Assembler programming course he is writing, viewable on his website.
At the December meeting Steve reviewed the available PIC programming hardware and software, Peter reviewed Maestro, a program that generates prewritten code, Alex presented a PIC to PIC communication device, Tom invited comments on a problem he has with a C program.
At the November meeting David demonstrated MPLab IDE v7.50, a free download from Microchip. He demonstrated compiling and de-bugging programs, using its CCS compiler, and discussed the PIC24, the new 24 bit microprocessor. Andrew showed us a circuit board he made using the Press 'n Peel process, double-sided, with a surface mounted PIC and other components.
At the October meeting Andrew demonstrated his PIC development board, comprising a socketted PIC with power supply, and data input and output connectors, allowing hardware under development to be plugged into this board and run. David demonstrated his PIC rendering of Hangman, the 20 year old electronics game. The electronics was greatly simplified by transferring the complexity to the program, written in Assembler. As the program only needs to be written once, the product cost was reduced. Also, errors due to component variability are removed, and the game can be easily upgraded.
At the September meeting Andrew and Alex continued their presentations from last month, Steve showed some PIC projects he'd built from Pete's World, and we examined some members websites.
At the August meeting Alex presented his graphical interface for the PIC, developed using AutoIT, a freeware scripting tool. Andrew spoke about his high resolution thermometer using a PIC and a thermister.
At the July meeting we examined Microchip's PICkit2 programmer.
At the June meeting David installed the PIC C Lite program, and demonstrated a simple "flash a LED" program, written in Picaxe BASIC, PIC assembler, and C. Bob demonstrated his PIC-based device to enable a quadraplegic to move a curser on a computer screen, and to click and double-click, by blowing into a tube.
At the May meeting Andrew showed his test instrument for a tide gauge, and showed how he used symbols in programming its PIC, simplifying the code. Peter reviewed Speed Camera Watch, a PIC project of EPE magazine Nov 2005. Bob discussed making a PCB using the Press 'n Peel method.
At the April meeting Steve demonstrating designing a circuit board from a schematic, using Circuitmaker and Traxmaker. He also reviewed the PIC-based Energy Meter circuit of the July 04 Silicon Chip. Tony displayed his remote controlled number display, and his Pill Timer, both PIC controlled.
At the March meeting we discussed controlling remote devices wirelessly, using infrared and UHF.
At the February meeting Patrick showed an application of the PicAxe to measure the speed of toy jet cars. Powered by soda siphon cartridges, they achieve speeds up to 150kph. Peter discussed the theory of connecting a keyboard to a PicAxe. His circuit diagram was drawn in ExpressSch, part of the ExpressPCB program.
At the January meeting Tony discussed interfacing a clock with the serial port of a PIC. Steve demonstrated a configuration wizard he wrote in Visual Basic for the PicAxe18X. Geoff introduced the Magic application development system, showing receiving serial data from a PicAxe, storing it in a database, display, manipulation, export to a spreadsheet etc.
At the December meeting Andrew discussed the data sheet of the PIC12F683, the IC used for the PICAXE-08M. Steve showed us the printed circuit board he built for his PIC-driven LCD display, using the PCB-making techniques discussed at a previous meeting.
At the October meeting Peter displayed a program for simulating a PIC, Bob demonstrated some programs he wrote for the sound command on the PICAXE-08, Andrew showed some uses of the serial pin, Andre showed the finished version of his development bus.
At the September meeting Bob showed the programming needed to get input from readers into a web page, and Steve demonstrated using the the infrared command in the PICAXE-08M, using a working prototype to activate a LED.
At the August meeting Tony reviewed the programming involved in driving an LCD display module with a PIC, Steve showed how he developed his PIC data logger with LCD display, Andrew described the tune-playing feature of the PICAXE-08M, Andre showed his Universal Development Bus.
Reports by Neville Hoffman, Chairman.