Monday, 5 August 2013

Small Build, Big Execuition - Good Practices

There is a huge difference between building an electronic circuit that works, and and well built electronic device.
Both will do there job, but the well built one will do it for longer and be easier to work on in the future. Simple things like including a copy of the circuit diagram in the case and making sure that the battery can be easily changed might seem like minor details, but in practice they are often overlooked.
Quite often, for a well built project, actually assembling the circuit boards is one of the easiest jobs, considering and designing in the details takes far longer.
You are probably doing most of this already, but its always good to check that you are on the right track.
Go to CP's projects for full details
[Via Hack A Day]

Hack A day : DIP switch adjusted voltage regulator

This simple adjustable power supply is another simple device that will be useful in any electronics toolkit.
Based around the widely used LM317 linear voltage regulator the output voltage is easily selected using the DIP switches below.
Go to Hack A day for full details.

Hack a Day : ProtoSynth, the prototyping synthesizer

This is more than just a keyboard and some prototype boards. Some of the tracks a re pre-wired to power supplies and cross connected to each other.
Go to Hack A day for full details.

Hack A Day : Replace your project power supplies with recycled Li-Ion cells and a switching regulator

Dr. Iguana has started powering his projects with recycled LiOn cells and Buck regulators, casting aside the more familiar disposable batteries and 7805 type regulators.
This has made his projects lighter, cheaper to run and smaller, which has to be worth considering.
Go to Hack A Day for full details.

Poor man's MSOP soldering

MSOP stands for Mini Small  Outline Package, where the spacing between leads is about a quarter that of standard breadboard, making a right pain to use.
This article shows how you gave use a pair of pin headers and lump of veroboard to make your own header bringing these tiny devices into the realm of the average hobbyist. 
Highly recommended.
Go to Coding Laboratory for the full article.

Zaarduino MIDI Organ Pedals

Armed with the pedals from a dead Logan organ, and a Korg Microsampler whose keys were to small for a hobbit these guys came up with an interesting solution to both problems.
Go to for the full article.
[Via Hack A day]

Rejuvenating and Expanding a PAiA 1550 Stringz’n'Thingz Synthesizer

Back in the 70's most us could only dream of owning a polyphonic synthesizer that brought such wondrous sounds from the fingers of our keyboard heroes.
Prices were way out of our league and the only option we had was to build one ourselves, often from a kit or magazine article.
One such kit manufacturer is PAiA, who are still going strong, but to be honest their products were at best a compromise for most people.
Years later these old devices are popping up at bargain prices on e-bay, and this article, which I found via Hack A Day details how StefanV bought one at a bargain price and refurbished it into the 21st century.
Go to for full details of the project.
[Via Hackaday]


[Via George Takai]