PCB production/etching tutorial

Introduction

There are a lot of tutorials around that show you, how to etch your own PCBs, but either they use professional tools, that might cost a lot, or they do not give you a complete list of materials you will need. This really bothers me, so I want to show you how to produce your own PCBs at home, so you can make your DIY projects more professional and cut costs drastically when it comes to create a PCB.

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This might be you with your professionally crafted PCB

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Programming Basics – Addendum: IntelliJ QuickTip

Our last series was a big success and we decided to take it a step further with an Advanced Programming series, which will start in Dec. 2016. But for today I want to give you a quick tip for faster coding in IntelliJ IDEA! Continue reading Programming Basics – Addendum: IntelliJ QuickTip

Quick look at MacOS Sierra’s Picture in picture

The new MacOS 10.12 is now available for download, you can get it from the App Store. It has several cool new features like Siri on Mac, a new Messager, new Safari and the ability to watch videos while you work with the help of picture in picture. Continue reading Quick look at MacOS Sierra’s Picture in picture

Play hidden arcade games in emacs

Who doesn’t like retro gaming? No honestly, who doesn’t? This might not be the right article for you if you don’t like them, but there is a way to play nice hidden mini games, that come with the terminal text-editor emacs, for everyone else. This collection of games includes remakes of classic games as well as new and unique games. In this short article I’m going to show you how to play them!

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Figure 1: Solitair in emacs

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Use SCP for remote file transfers on Mac/Linux/Windows

This will be short article with a quick hint. I wanted to write it, because I often get asked how to easily transfer files from a machine to another. Of course you could just upload a file to dropbox and download it on the other machine, but for this method you can transfer files to a headless system easily and without having to physically access the remote computer, which is quite handy if the remote computer is somewhere else than you are.

Sometimes you need to transfer files from one computer to another. The simples way of sending files between computers in your home network is using SCP (secure copy). For those of you, who use a UNIX based system, SCP is already built into your system. I often have to transfer files from my macintosh computer to a Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone, so using SCP comes in very handy for me. This page is intended to be a quick and very short reference for secure copy. For more details, visit the scp man page.

If you are using windows, there is an alternative for you below!

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How to use a relay module with your Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone or Arduino

Today I’ll just upload a short how to article, explaining how to use a relay module. Some time ago I bought a dirt cheap relay module for controlling high power LEDs with a Raspberry Pi on amazon. One of these modules cost about 2$ (shipping included), which is a fantastic price, so I ordered 5 modules. In this very short article I want to explain how you can use such a module in one of your projects. Continue reading How to use a relay module with your Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone or Arduino

BeagleBone Black PRU clock cycle counter

Introduction

Today’s article will be a short one in which I’ll cover the so called cycle counter register (DWT_CYCCNT), which is present on the BBB’s PRU cores and on other CPUs from the Cortex architecture (See here). However this register is implementation dependent, so it might not be available on chips from some vendors. If this register is not present on a chip, it will always read zero. This register counts the number of cycles for which the PRU has been enabled. Continue reading BeagleBone Black PRU clock cycle counter

Using hardware PWM/CLK to get exact timings on a Raspberry Pi

Introduction

This might not be a common issue, that hobbyists run into when creating their projects, because usually the software PWM, offered by the raspberry pi’s RPi.GPIO-Module, is exact enough for dimming some lights or controlling dc-motors. But for real-time and time-critical applications, this is actually an issue: Continue reading Using hardware PWM/CLK to get exact timings on a Raspberry Pi