Category Archives: circuit

Countdown timer with random intervals

After the random timer based on an Attiny24 I have build a larger version of the random countdown timer. The Attiny24 had a single channel and two potentiometers. In this countdown timer the number of outputs have been increased from 1 to 8. The potentiometers have been replaced by a 2×16 HD44780 LCD screen and a rotary encoder.

Multichanel random timer with LCD and rotary encoder

With this random countdown timer circuit you can turn on and off 8 outputs. The outputs are, while randomly turned on and off, still grouped together meaning that as a group that at the beginning and half way the countdown timer cycle they are all on or off at the same time.

With this circuit you can simulate people turning on and off internal house lighting in a street on a model railroad track. Read on and see it in action.

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Time server using 1PPS GPS receiver

What is a time server? A time server gets its time from a reference time source. That source can be a another time server, a local time source such as a rubidium or cesium atomic clock. In this post I make an USB GPS receiver for a Linux time server using cheap available components. After assembling the GPS module I give instructions on how to configure the Linux NTP daemon to use this module. The GPS receiver gets its time signal from the GPS satellite network. Its longtime time drift is about 0 seconds. This is possible because the GPS time signals are constantly adjusted to keep very accurate time needed for navigation.

Finished USB GPS 1PPS receiver

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Joule thief AA battery led circuit

Here I present to you a single AA battery led circuit. This circuit is a variant of the Joule thief in that it contains 2 transistors and a simple standard 2 lead inductor instead of a hand wound 2 wire inductor.

white led circuit joule thief detail

You can use it as a white led torch. You can use a fresh AA battery, but the circuit is special in that it accepts empty batteries. Down to 0.7 volts. Do you have a box of empty batteries? They are still useful to power this led circuit. Continue reading

TDA2030A Amplifier DIY Kit Schematic and soldering howto

This howto shows you the schematic of a popular TDA2030A amplifier DIY kit which is sold on eBay and other places.

tda2030a finished BTL amplifier

After ordering the kit on eBay (search for “TDA2030A Audio Power Amplifier DIY Kit”) I received a version 1.0 PCB made by XY HI-FI with components and a short Chinese manual on what was needed to solder the kit in stereo mode (OCL) or in mono mode (BTL or bridge). Continue reading

Random timer circuit using a Attiny24A

This random timer circuit is based on a Atmel ATTINY24 avr driving one power relay. You can use this circuit to switch on and off other circuits randomly. For example, when using this circuit on a model railroad you can turn on and off parts of the animated or moving scenery to create a more dynamic view.

attiny24 random timer circuit prototype

This circuit was designed to be used on a modular model railroad. This model railroad contains different flashing light on ambulances, police cars and fire engines. These lights are on all the time, with this circuit I hope to keep visitors of a model railroad exposition more interested while watching all the action. Continue reading

7-segment led clock building progress

I made some progress with building my led clock.  In the video you can see 80 74hc595 shift registers driving 80 7 segment led displays. The bottom row works, but has no data yet to display. You can see: unix timestamp, day of week, weeknumber, date, new earth time, swatch internet time, hexadecimal time, French revolution decimal time, approximate local solar time and local time.

7 segment led disply with 74hc595

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