Teltonika RUT955 NMEA HTTP Post + Parser

January 26, 2021

RUT955 is highly reliable and secure LTE Industrial router with I/O, GNSS and RS232/RS485 for professional applications. For a given application, several such devices were installed on buses and I was in charge of developing a positioning system using the Teltonika’s built in GPS capabilities. This was somewhat easy, as I worked with NMEA before. The RUT955 rich config panel has a section for GNSS positioning (Menu->System->GPS) . There you…


NMEA GPS Library for Microcontrollers -2-

July 7, 2020

A few years back I wrote a NMEA parser library that would run on AVR Microcontrollers. Released as open source under GPL, it became quite popular. All these years I used this code as reliable way to add GPS functionality to my hardware projects. One example is the portable environmental monitor, the “model D”, here’s some cosmic radiation data mapped to location in an airplane flight, that was created using…


Covid Coronavirus Face Mask

April 1, 2020

With the supply chains breaking due to the #covid-19 pandemic, some resources are becoming hard to procure. But there are cases when someone’s health or even life, depends on these limited resources. Being a 3D Printer owner, I realise that this is a valuable asset for building things that are otherwise hard to get. Take a face mask for example. With all the 3D printers out there owned by individuals,…


SSD1306 OLED LCD Library

October 27, 2018

Although there are already many examples and fine libraries readily available, most of them are using a buffer, meaning all the drawing operations are saved to a memory array and them dumped to the LCD as one complete frame. This has certain advantages that I would normally go for, but it also uses a lot of memory, a no go for small microcontrollers. This is why I wanted to write a library that will directly write to the LCD hardware instead of using a buffer. It’s a bit slower but it saves considerable memory!


Simple AVR Bootloader tutorial

July 21, 2018

I’ve used AVR microcontrollers both for hobbies and work projects. These versatile microcontrollers ran the code I programmed them with, but once the final device was shipped, it was hard to change the firmware (the software running on the microcontroller): The user needed an ISP programmer and the software tools to update the firmware. A more convenient solution is to use a bootloader. The bootloader is a small program that…


RAK831 LoRaWAN Gateway

March 10, 2018

Previously, I covered the Dragino LG01 Single Channel LoRaWAN Gateway, a low cost solution good for testing basic LoRaWAN communication setups. I needed a better gateway and I was about to go for the german IMST IC880A gateway when I stumbled upon a Chinese variant named RAK831, that was cheaper and offering the same features. The RAK831 and the IC880A boards are almost identical in terms of Semtech chips used…


High Voltage inverter KIT

March 10, 2018

This blog was home to some exciting high voltage related experiments already. While my time for hobbies is becoming increasingly limited, I recently got a HV-1 high voltage inverter KIT and decided to show it here. It’s a one transistor oscillator, with a feedback coil in a compact high voltage transformer. It’s identical to the first high voltage inverter I’ve built, except for the flyback transformer. Even with its tiny…


RN2483 / RN2903 Firmware upgrade guide

February 13, 2018

The Microchip RN2483 and the RN2903 are Low-Power Long Range LoRa┬« Technology Transceiver Modules, in the same package and Pin compatible. The RN2483 is intended for the 433 MHz and 868 MHz Frequency Bands (Europe), while the RN2903 is for the 915 MHz Frequency Band (US, Taiwan). I used the RN2483 in my first LoRaWAN project, some time ago. While LoRaWAN technologies have seen an impressive recent boost and Microchip’s…


Simple IOT temperature sensor

September 7, 2017

IOT stands for Internet of Things and refers to small devices equipped with direct internet connectivity, without needing an external computer. They are usually composed of a main microcontroller and an additional connectivity (eg. ESP8266 for Wifi, ENC28J60 for Ethernet) or they are complete SOC including both the processing unit and the connectivity modems in one single package. Regardless of their form or shape, these devices open new applications for…


Dragino LG01 LoraWAN Gateway

September 5, 2017

I already covered the impressive LPWAN LoraWAN technology with a proof of concept remote air quality monitoring unit based on the BME680 from Bosch and the RN2483 from Microchip, in a previous post. The device, capable of measuring temperature, humidity, pressure and VOCs can run for months on a single cell battery, thanks to the low power LoraWAN communication solution. It can send real time data on distances up to…


Portable Power Supply

August 19, 2017

I have a few excellent external batteries, the kind with USB female connectors used to charge phones. Now I needed a high voltage 12V battery, or more specifically something in the 6V-28V interval to power a uRADMonitor A3 unit. The form factor was important too, as I needed something more compact, a portable power supply with DC output. With a 3D Printer and a CNC Router at hand, a quasi-professional…


CNC Router for DIY PCB manufacturing

August 15, 2017

I’ll have to go straight to the point: get yourself a CNC router now! I’m serious: I used to make my PCBs dual layer and in the kitchen, as Hackaday folks like to show on their Twitter from time to time, but looking back, I can’t understand how I’ve done without a CNC router so far. And if you’re like me, and you probably are since you’re on this blog,…


Yihua 8786D Hot air station with soldering iron

August 5, 2017

I don’t change my tools too often, and those that I get stay with me for a long time. These are the things that extend my hands and allow me to freely express my creativity. At least for when it comes to electronics. I already have my excellent ZD937 and the Yihua 858D and these two stay side by side in my daily activities. But recently as a young parent,…


An IOT Swing

June 25, 2017

The new generations benefit of an advance over their predecessors. This is a simple equation that guarantees progress. For that I can do a simple comparison between the toys I had as a child and my daughter’s new IOT Swing that I just assembled. An IOT Swing Initially, this was a nice Fisher-Price Precious Planet swing. It is an older model running solely on batteries, so what I did was…


Microcontroller Programming Issues

February 11, 2017

Bugs in software are bad, bugs in hardware are even worse, but inconsistent results are what makes it a total nightmare. Not my first post on crazy voodoo wasting precious time, I previously approached a similar issue here, so you can call this article “voodoo reloaded” without being far from the truth. Because sometimes those devices we spend so many hours to build – using the best of our logic…


Easy PCB Manufacturing

January 26, 2017

For a maker, there’s now no excuse in not using his/her creativity to the maximum extent. All the tools are readily available, you just need to think of what you want to do and shape that will into something real. Electronics industry now offers everything from advanced microcontrollers to low power radios, various sensors, displays, a multitude of module of all kinds and also pcb manufacturing. Take the latter as…


Gerber Viewer

January 10, 2017

You designed your new PCB board and you’re sure it’s all perfect, but some mistakes can go unnoticed resulting in wasted time and money. This is why it is important to test your new design before submitting it for production. I use software that visualises the Gerber files directly, so I can see exactly that the factory will receive for manufacturing. Let’s just take an example, the PCB files for…


Introduction to CC2541

October 3, 2016

Exploring the versatile AVR microcontrollers or the powerful STM32 counterparts were amazing experiences which resulted in interesting projects, many of them presented on this blog. For a hardware designer, the multitude of options can be overwhelming and this is a good thing. In regards to BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) applications, TI’s CC254X solutions are appealing to say the least. “The CC2541 is a power-optimized true system-on-chip (SoC) solution for both…


Morse encoder

August 17, 2016

The morse code encodes the latin alphabet comprised of 26 letters to a binary base. Traditionally, the destination set used dots and dashes, making the encoded letters easy to transmit as signals both over radio and wire. But any binary set of symbols can be used instead. For other languages with more than 26 characters, or for special characters, there is an extended set of morse binary combinations something we…


Voronoi diagrams and OpenLayers 3

July 24, 2016

OpenLayers is an opensource javascript library for rich web-based geographic applications. I recently had to represent temperature readings on a map. The first idea was to use heatmaps, due to their nice blur and colour gradient effects. There is native support for heatmaps in OpenLayers 3: Demo code on JSFiddle. function initHeatmap(src) { return vector = new ol.layer.Heatmap({ source: src, blur: 2, radius: 8, weight: function(srcObject) { return parseFloat(getDoseRate(srcObject.get(‘averagecpm’), srcObject.get(‘factor’)))…


Sharp GP2Y1051 dust sensor

April 15, 2016

The previous Sharp GP2Y1010 dust sensor was already a successful optoelectronic product due to its small factor, simplicity and low cost. The 1051 update comes with some important improvements to make this an even better product, while using the exact same enclosure shape and size. The connector It’s the same 6 pin connector, but the pins are reassigned due to the new functionality: This new model makes using the sensor…


LoRaWAN, RN2483 and BME680

March 26, 2016

Some of the best moments are those when exciting technologies come together to create even greater products or results. This is such an example. Taking advantage of the latest IoT advancements, the LoRaWAN is a network protocol intended for wireless battery operated Things. Geographic areas ranging from the size of a city to the size of an entire country can be covered with just a few LoRa base stations, finally…


Full metal Delta 3D Printer

January 26, 2016

Finding the right 3D printer is not an easy task, considering the many options on the market. Many sellers claim unprecedented innovation, when instead all they offer is just another open source design at inflated prices. I knew I wanted a delta design, and a robust frame to better control vibrations, preferably metal. For the rest the more hackable the platform it was, the better. I opted for the one…


Featured by Atmel

November 7, 2015

Trained as a software developer I’ve been active in the field doing mostly mobile apps since 2003. My first contact with microcontrollers came later, in 2009, and I still remember how exciting it was to see the tiny silicon piece run some code. That was the Atmega8 made by Atmel, and the first app was blinking a few LEDs with a simple software loop and a delay. Amazed by the…


City Air Quality

November 5, 2015

Introduction Environmental surveillance is a big thing. Important for our health, but also resource consuming when it comes to designing a system that works. I started with the first unit to monitor background radiation back in 2012, pushed that to global scale with the uRADMonitor project for most of 2014, then approached the air pollution problem with the uRADMonitor-D for half of 2015. And this is just the beginning. To…


DIY Geiger Counter Kit 1.1

October 4, 2015

This is an Open Source Digital Radiation Dosimeter, that can be used both as a portable detector, but also as a monitoring station to upload readings to the uRADMonitor network. This project is an update to the previous Geiger Counter Kit 1.0. When used as a portable detector, readings are displayed on the LCD. There is also a speaker that beeps on radiation events or is used to sound an…


Tube: SBM-20M Small Geiger Muller

October 4, 2015

Pictures: Details: Compact Geiger Muller tube, the SBM-20M shows an excellent sensitivity for its small size. It was designed for hard beta and gamma radiation, and the particular tubes in my photos above are new generation tubes, manufactured in 2012. This is similar to the SBM-20-1, but smaller. Notes on sensitivity: The sensitivity of this tube is comparable with the SI-29BG and the SBT-9. Its small size makes it ideal…


Magnetic gyroscope levitation

September 19, 2015

In the magnetic gyroscope levitation, a magnet is levitated via magnetic forces above another magnet, and stabilised by gyroscopic effect due to a spin that is neither too fast, nor too slow.