Hackaday Prize Entry: Powering A Pi From A Battery — Hackaday

Knocking a microcontroller into sleep mode and waking it up on demand or in intervals is common practice in many low power applications, enabling devices to stay in operation for years on a single coin cell battery. Since there are tons of applications where you might want to do similar things with a Raspberry Pi, [Patrick…

via Hackaday Prize Entry: Powering A Pi From A Battery — Hackaday

Hackaday Prize Entry: Powering A Pi From A Battery — Hackaday

PICTIL: Remake of the TIL311 display


Yann Guidon (YGDES) and Alex (al1) on Hackaday.io have remade of the classic TIL311 hex LED display with a microcontroller:

Hackaday.io: PICTIL

The TIL311 is a nice but expensive, obsolete, power-hungry hexadecimal display. The size of the PCB is the same and […] the pin mapping is similar. The PIC16F527 is […] cheap and exactly the right number of IOs.

The firmware source code and hardware design files are on Bitbucket:



ALKR has shared the board on OSH Park:




PICTIL: Remake of the TIL311 display

Making Music: new beginner challenge on Reddit

Following the exciting An Unconventional Clock contest, a new Beginner contest has been announced on /r/diyelectronics:

diy.pngMaking Music

Make something with electronics that makes music!

The rules include these constraints:

  • Sound must come from the project itself
  • Do not amplify or change sound from another device
  • No music signal can be used as input to be processed
  • Human input like knobs or buttons is OK

One winner will be decided by community vote, and one by the judge.  Each winner will be awarded a $30 gift code for OSH Park.

Deadline to enter is July 12th.  Winners will be announced on July 21st.


Making Music: new beginner challenge on Reddit


Nick Sayer created a toaster oven reflow soldering controller:



It seems like a right of passage for makers that progress to surface mount work: building your own oven (or other appliance) to do reflow soldering.

The design consists of a power board and a controller.

  • Each channel of the power switcher is a basic opto-isolated triac circuit
    • MOC-3020 opto-isolated driver triac
    • BTA-20 power triac.
  • Controller monitors oven temperature and controls the heating elements
  • Thermocouple measures the temperature of the oven interior
  • PID controller makes oven temperature arrive at a setpoint without overshoot, undershoot or instability.

The firmware is availble in this GitHub repo:


nsayer has shared the boards on OSH Park:

Controller & LCD backpack (ATtiny84)

i (18).png

This variant has an ATTiny84 and an AD8495 analog thermocouple amplifier. It’s cheaper than the model II controller, but the flash is full, so there’s no room for more features.
Order from OSH Park


Controller & LCD backpack (ATMega328)

i (19)

This variant uses an ATMega328P controller and a MAX31855 thermocouple amplifier. It’s more expensive than the model I controller, but there’s lots of room for more features in the flash, it has connections for 3 buttons instead of just 1 and an FTDI serial port

Order from OSH Park

Nick’s Tindie store offers the following kits:

  • power board
  • Model I controller (ATTiny84/AD8495)
  • Model II controller (ATMega328P/MAX31855 variant)



Getting to Blinky with Kicad 4.0

Chris Gammell of Contextual Electronics and The Amp Hour teaches Kicad beginners how to design a simple board in this new video series:

Getting To Blinky 4.0

Screenshot from 2016-05-06 14-22-26.png

KiCad 4.0 introduced different methods of library management and workflow from the 2013 release which the original Getting To Blinky used:

We decided to re-do the Getting To Blinky series […] the software being out of sync has started to affect learners’ ability to really get going with KiCad and building electronics.

There are 3 new videos from the original series:

We enjoyed seeing purple pop-up several times!


Getting to Blinky with Kicad 4.0

Choose next beginner challenge on Reddit


We loved the winners of An Unconventional Clock contest and are excited /r/diyelectronics is planning a new beginner challenge:

Choose the topic of the next beginner challenge!

Now, we are looking for topics for the next beginner challenge. If you have an idea, please let everyone know, or respond to others’ ideas. This is a community thing, so the topic of the contest will of course be decided by you as well!

Here are some initial ideas:

  • Powerful ATtiny
    • What is the most powerful system you can make, controlled by an ATtiny?
  • Renewable energy
    • Make the most creative system to get energy for a circuit from wind, solar or another form of renewable energy!
  • Attractive Circuits
    • PCB’s are inherently beautiful to people who are interested in electronics, but can you make a really attractive circuit? Think along the lines of combining different materials in a PCB, or go homemade with perfboard and wires.


Choose next beginner challenge on Reddit

SnapNsew soft circuit kit


Makersbox created SnapNsew as an easy to assemble, low-cost microcontoller board with 2 input and 2 outputs:

Snap the pieces apart and easily sew them into a soft circuit project or wire them into a project.

MakersBox shared the board on OSH Park:


Order from OSH Park

The original version was an Instructable tutorial:

Video of assembly from the Instructable:

SnapNsew soft circuit kit

Queso Dip for C.H.I.P.

What goes good with chips?   That’s right, dip!

Daughter boards (e.g. shields, capes, etc) for Next Thing Co’s C.H.I.P. are called DIPs.  Kolja Windeler (JKW) has been prolific in creating Open Source Hardware DIPs including this board that adds 4 USB ports:

Queso DIP


 The C.H.I.P. is a great board, a tiny linux computer that fits on your palm. It has one USB outlet and requires a pretty stable 5V supply that can deliver up to 1.1A.

The QUESO attacks theses two drawbacks: It is a hyper active 4-port-USB-HUB. Instead of a passive hub or an active hub the Queso will be hyper-active and provide power TO the C.H.I.P.

Queso DIP offers these features:

  • Sits on top of your C.H.I.P. with the same footprint
  • Keeps all C.H.I.P. pins untouched
  • Optional on-board regulator provides stable 5V with up to 3A current from 7-28V DC (e.g. run your C.H.I.P. on the 12V from your car)


Hardware design files are on Github:


Visit the Next Thing Co forum for more information:

Queso DIP – A hyper-active-USB-hub

Queso Dip for C.H.I.P.

Black Magic Probe

Blacksphere created a debugging tool for ARM Cortex microcontrollers:


Black Magic Probe

See what is going on ‘inside’ an application running on an embedded microprocessor while it executes.
Supported ARM Cortex-M based processor families include:
  • ST Microelectronics: STM32F1xx, STM32F2xx, STM32F4xx
  • NXP: LPC8xx, LPC11xx, LPC43xx
  • Atmel: SAM3N, SAM3X, SAM D20
  • Nordic: nRF51
  • Luminary Micro / TI: LM3Sxxxx
Black Magic Probe is Open Source Hardware and Open Source firmware:

More details from the project’s wiki:

  • Control and examine the state of the target microprocessor using a JTAG or Serial Wire debugging port and on-chip debug logic provided by the microprocessor
  • Probe connects to a host computer using a standard USB interface
  • Control exactly what happens using the GNU source level debugging software, GDB
  • Works with Windows, Linux and Mac environments


Black Magic Probe