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Embedded Lab
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An online teaching laboratory for Microcontrollers and Embedded Systems
An online teaching laboratory for Microcontrollers and Embedded Systems

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This project is about a similar LED dice but with a slightly different output form. It uses 6 LEDs which are arranged in a circular pattern and are labeled 1 through 6. They create a chasing effect when the dice is rolled. The chasing effect slows down gradually, and eventually stops at one of the six LEDs. The rolling is done by a gentle shaking of the dice horizontally. The LED dice is powered with a 3V coin cell battery and uses PIC12LF1822 microcontroller to generate a random number and drive the output LEDs.

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I2C or IIC (Inter-Integrated Circuit) is a simple bidirectional serial interface, which requires only 2 signal lines for data transfer. It was originally developed by Philips in 1980′s to provide easy on-board communications between a CPU and various peripheral chips in a TV set. Today, it is widely used in varieties of embedded systems to connect many low speed peripherals, such as external EEPROMs, sensors, LCD drivers, port expanders, real-time clocks, etc, to the host microcontroller. In this tutorial, we will explore the chipKIT Wire Library for establishing an I2C communication link between the chipKIT Uno32 board and two I2C sensors. The Uno32 board receives the sensor outputs through the I2C link and displays the results on the serial monitor window on the computer screen.

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In this blog post, I am providing you step by step instructions to build a very simple temperature and relative humidity meter for indoor use. All you need to build this project are an Arduino Uno or compatible board, a DHT11 sensor, and a MAX7219 based 8-digit serial 7-segment LED display. The temperature is displayed in degree Celsius and relative humidity in percentage.

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The Si7005 is a digital relative humidity and temperature sensor from Silicon Labs. It integrates fully factory-calibrated humidity and temperature sensor elements with an analog to digital converter, signal processing and an I2C host interface in a single monolithic CMOS sensor IC. The Si7005 is available in a “non hand-assembly-friendly” 4×4 mm QFN package, which requires reflow soldering to mount it on a PCB. This breadboard friendly breakout board is designed to make your prototype project with the Si7005 sensor much easier. It can be used with PIC, Arduino, or any other microcontroller development platform through an I2C bus. The power supply and I2C signal pins are accessible through breadboard friendly 0.1″ pitch header pins. 

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This is a third project in our chipKIT tutorial series and today we are going to construct a simple pulse rate meter using our Easy Pulse sensor with Digilent’s chipKIT Uno32 board. Digilent’s chipKIT Basic I/O shield is also used in this project for displaying the pulse waveform and the pulse rate.

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The 12F series of PIC microcontrollers are handy little 8-pin devices designed for small embedded applications that do not require too many I/O resources, and where small size is advantageous. These applications include a wide range of everyday products such as hair dryers, electric toothbrushes, rice cookers, vacuum cleaners, coffee makers, and blenders. Despite their small size, the PIC12F series microcontrollers offer many advanced features including wide operating voltage, internal programmable oscillator, 4 channels of 10-bit ADC, on-board EEPROM memory, on-chip voltage reference, multiple communication peripherals (UART, SPI, and I2C), PWM, and more. Today we are introducing a new development board (rapidPIC-08 V1.0) for easy and rapid prototyping of standalone applications using PIC12F microcontrollers.

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Seven segment LED displays are known to be resource and power hungry. But because they are visually so charming and readable from a far viewing distance and at a much wider viewing angle as compared to any other electronic displays, they are still hugely popular. The required number of I/O pins to drive the LED segments can be reduced significantly by using an additional dedicated hardware. For example, the MAXIM’s MAX7219 device allows you to interface 8 pieces of seven segment LED modules using only 3 I/O pins of Arduino or any other microcontroller. You can find details on the use of MAX7219 to drive seven segment LED displays in my previous projects 4-digit serial seven segment LED display (SPI7SEGDISP4.40-1R), 8-digit serial seven segment LED display (SPI7SEGDISP8.56-1R), and double-row 4-digit seven segment LED display (SPI7SEGDISP8.56-2R). 

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A light meter is a device that measures the intensity of light. It finds applications in schools, hospitals, production areas, passageways and more to measure and maintain proper lighting levels. It is often used by photographers to determine the proper exposure for a photograph. Today we are going to build a simple light meter using an Arduino board and a BH1750 digital light sensor. The measured lighting level or intensity is displayed on eight seven segment LED displays, in both Lux and Foot-candle units.

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The heart rate, also referred to as pulse rate, has been recognized as a vital sign since the beginning of medicine, and it is directly related to a person’s cadiovascular health. Today, we are going to make a PC-based heart rate monitor system using an Arduino board and Easy Pulse V1.1 sensor. Easy Pulse is a pulse detecting sensor that uses the principle of transmission photo-plethysmography (PPG) to sense the pulse signal from a finger tip. The sensor output is read by the Arduino board, which then transfers the data to the PC through a serial interface. A PC application is developed using Processing programming language to display the received PPG signal and instantaneous heart rate.

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LED matrix displays provide flexibility to display text, graphics, animations, and video, and therefore, they have become a popular mean of displaying information these days. You can see them at gas stations displaying the gas prices, or in the public places displaying information, and alongside highways displaying advertisements on large dot matrix panels. This project is about constructing a mono-color LED matrix display board that consists 320 LEDs arranged in 8 rows and 40 columns. The heart of this project is PIC16F1847 microcontroller which receives data from a PC through a serial port (or USB using an USB-UART interface), and display on the LED matrix with the help of five 74HC595 shift registers.
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