Soldering tutorials, tips and tricks

Breadboards and hook-up wires are great for prototyping and testing out basic circuits. At some point though, you will want to create something more permanent and robust. Robots move around, bump into things, shake and vibrate and wires tend to disconnect way to easy. Soldering will help fix that! The best part is that even… Read More »

HC-06 Bluetooth module datasheet and configuration with Arduino

In a previous post I shared my notes on  how to connect an Arduino to an Android phone using the the popular and cheap HC-06 Bluetooth module. In that example I used the Bluetooth module with its default settings. That works fine, but some applications may require changing the communication speed (Baud rate), the pairing code, the module… Read More »

Arduino program / sketch upload speeds

I am working on circuit that will allow me to program my Arduino boards (I have an Arduino Uno and a couple of Arduino Pro Minis) over a wireless Bluetooth connection. I am planning to use my cheap and easy to find HC-06 Bluetooth module  for this. One of the first thing to figure out is the… Read More »

Free Arduino reference guide

Erik Verberne teaches Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Netherlands and looked into the Arduino platform in an attempt to enhance his department’s curriculum. He diligently documented his research and is now sharing it with the community. The result is an e-book of over 200 pages full of examples and tutorials, from Arduino and ATTiny… Read More »

Play simple melodies with an Arduino and a piezo buzzer

Piezo buzzer background Piezo buzzers are simple devices that are commonly used to produce beeps and sounds in many electronic gadgets, like alarm clocks, toys, pc boards, etc. They consume very little current and have high impedance, which means that you can safely connect them directly to a micro-controller pin. Buzzers have a piezoelectric ceramic… Read More »

Shift registers: add more digital I/O to your Arduino

Shift registers are useful chips that can add more outputs or inputs to your micro-controller. The 74HC595, for example, provides 8 additional digital outputs that can be controlled with only 3 Arduino pins. Additionally, you can “daisy-chain” multiple shift registers to multiply the number of outputs even further. Below is a great video by Kevin Darrah… Read More »

An Arduino self-balancing robot: working prototype

I spent some time reading on accelerometers, gyros, sensor fusion, PID, optimized PWM motor control. I tinkered with the components I have for a while and then procrastinated for even longer. Finally, I can say that I have a prototype of a self balancing bot that shows promise. More fine-tuning is needed, and I plan… Read More »

Arduino Uno and the InvenSense MPU6050 6DOF IMU

A while back I bought the InvenSense MPU-6050 sensor in a “GY-521” breakout board from eBay. For a long time it sat quietly in my box of “possibly cool things to check in the future”. Recently, I decided to finally get to building a self-balancing robot and dug it out. As with almost anything from… Read More »