SoloPCB Designer 2.0™, the free PCB design software reached a milestone this week when the 5,000th download was completed. SoloPCB Designer, the Windows-based PCB design software found at Solo-labs.com, consists of powerful schematic capture and PCB layout modules. SoloPCB Designer provides all the capability to meet the most challenging design requirements, with the features and functionality of high-end commercial systems blended into an easy-to-use system. SoloPCB Designer version 2.0, is free to download and use. Customers only pay a small, one-time fee once they complete their design to purchase Gerber or Drill files. Solo-Labs.com generates the files, sends them to the user and the user is able to choose the manufacturer of choice anywhere in the world to purchase their PCBs.
Solar energy is renewable, free, widely available and clean form of energy. It is considered as a serious source of energy for many years because of the vast amounts of energy that is made freely available, if harnessed by modern technology. Many people are familiar with so-called photovoltaic cells, or solar panels, found on things like spacecraft, rooftops, and handheld calculators. The cells are made of semiconductor materials like those found in computer chips. When sunlight hits the cells, it knocks electrons loose from their atoms. As the electrons flow through the cell, they generate electricity. In this project, we are building a power bank which harvests energy by using a solar panel. The energy gained by the solar panel […]
This Arduino shield is designed to drive RGB (Red Green Blue) LED strips by using PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) method. It can brighten up and down each color independently by changing the duty cycle of PWM.You can produce any color by mixing the different percentage of colors. The endless turn rotary encoder on the board allows the user select the channel and change its brightness. Low Rds-on resistance MOSFETs, which are the switching elements, generate very low heat dissipation even used with large number of LEDs.
We are building another opensource SoloPCB project which is very enjoyable to build and use. In our electronics works, we frequently need to know the actual value of a capacitor. As you know, small sized SMD capacitors have no markings showing their values. Or there are lots of fake electrolytic capacitors which are rated much lower than their stated values. Sometimes the capacitors have large tolerances and we want to choose the best fit for our circuit. What we need is an accurate capacitance meter. This is a capacitance meter which can measure capacitors rated from picofarads to millifarads. The principle of operation is simple. Just apply voltage to the capacitor and measure the elapsed time to charge it. The […]
Another DIY project designed with Solo-Lab.com’s SoloPCB Designer tool is ready to be shared with Electro-Labs community. This is an USB stick which measures the supply voltage of the USB port and current drawn by the device connected to the port over the stick. Then it calculates the power consumption of the device and displays the whole information with the help of the small OLED display on the board. The stick itself is also powered from the USB port. The board is built around an Atmel ATMEGA328 microcontroller. To make the circuit as small as possible, the MCU is used in minimal configuration. Internal 8MHz oscillator is used. The voltage and the current are measured by the internal 10 bit ADC. […]
Stepper motors are brushless DC motors which can move in discrete steps thanks to the special coil arrangement inside. They are very popular in DIY and industry projects which require accurate mechanical movement control. In this SoloPCB Designer project, we are building a dual stepper motor driver shield based on two Allegro A4988 ICs which can supply up to 35V and 2A and provide overcurrent and thermal protection.
ESP8266 is an 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi module which became very popular recently because of its capabilities and ease of use and integration. Many electronics hobbyists are building projects on ESP8266 and they generally need to connect the module to a PC or a microcontroller. Some interfacing problems arise at this point. In this project, we are building an ESP8266 Development Board which lets the user make connection to ESP8266 from a PIC microcontroller and a PC. The board also provides all the needs to be used as microcontroller peripherals such as LCD display, pusbuttons, indicator LEDs and GPIO extension. The PC connection is done by the help of FT232RL USB-UART converter over a Mini-USB connector. Since the PIC microcontroller used is […]