Hardware Development Links

Product manufacture

PCB design


  • Screwdriver sets
  • Wire cutters
  • Tin snips

Component tester

Cheap component tester – gives resistance, inductance etc.


  • PICKIT 3 – PIC programmer, can program 32-bit PICs

Microcontrollers and their dev boards

Online tools

CMOS/TTL chips

  • 74F676 – 16-Bit Serial/Parallel-In, Serial-Out Shift Register
  • Peregrine PE64102 – Digitally Tunable Capacitor
  • SPU0410LR5H-QB (analog) – Knowles MEMS Microphones
  • SPH0641LU4H-1 (digital – PDM)- Knowles MEMS Microphones
  • MCP3008 – 10Bit ADC (8 channel) SPI (tried with the Pi)


  • 1W 433MHz FSK – Uses a Silicon Lab Si4463 chip. Alternatively they have a 868MHz @ 500mW module. (Both modules use the same chip afaik, but use different band-pass inductors etc.) Supports OOK, FSK, 4FSK and GFSK.


Construction Kit


Logic analysers

WIFI modules


Very cheap wifi module – available very cheaply from aliexpress

There is an excellent quickstart guide which explains how to connect the esp8266 to a USB FTDI module, this works fine provided you make sure the USB cable isn’t too long, or you will get serial corruption!

Linux guide to flashing the esp8266.

You can install eLua on them through nodemcu. To alter the init.lua file which is run by nodemcu on startup use luatool.

Cool modules

  • TCD1304 – line CCD
  • vl6180 – ToF distance meter
  • logic level converter – bi-directional logic level converter
  • CYUSB3KIT – USB3 dev kit
  • Neato XV-11 – Spinning distance measurement device, sort of like LIDAR, except it’s not using ToF but parallax to measure distance

USB serial

  • FTDI 3.3V/5V – module capable of 3.3V or 5V (selectable via a jumper)


  • Rigol DS1052E – I’ve got this scope, you can hack it to 100MHz through firmware, which I haven’t done yet.

Lab equipment suppliers

Power supplies

  • HP47A – works great for high power 12V electronics runs up to 47A
  • ATX power supply – seems to only work to around 10A on a 12V rail, more seems to lead to either turning off or cables getting hot
  • 500V electrophoresis PSU – low current fairly high voltage PSU, tested it powering nixies
  • SparkFun ATX 3.3V, 5V, 12V and -12V all with 5A fuses
  • Well made PSU with fan – 5V @ 60.0A, 15.00V @ 14.0A, 15.00v @ 14A, 20.00v @ 10.5A


Some SMPSs may use a charge pump to convert voltage. Others use an inductor.

DC 4.5-28V step down to DC 0.8-27V Max 12A BUCK
DC-DC step up. In: 3.0-33.5v Out: 4.5-35v – max 2.5A
DC-DC 10-32V Boost 12-35V Adjustable Power Supply 150W – max 10A

Motors and drivers



Reverse Engineering

AFM (Atomic-force microscopy)

STM (Scanning tunneling microscope)

Timing Belts & Timing Pinion Pulleys


  • Aoyue 2900 – Very good soldering iron, you replace the whole element and tip together

Solid State Relays

Sheet Metal

Sheet plastic

Basic Electronics


Library issues

I had problem with libraries from an old instance of Kicad being used.
If you delete .config/kicad/fp-lib-table and in eeschema
go to Preferences > Component libraries, remove the old library paths.

Also in pcbnew go to Preferences > Footprint libraries wizard, to download footprints from github.

Rough guide

  • Design schematic in eeschema
  • Generate netlist
  • Use cvpcb to assign footprints to the schematic components
  • Save edits in cvpcb, to write changes to the netlist file
  • In pcbnew, read netlist, to load the components

See this guide for lots more detailed info

Useful Kicad extensions/features


sudo apt-get install pylint
sudo apt-get install libmodbus-dev
sudo apt-get install libusb-1.0-0-dev
sudo apt-get install libgtk2.0-dev
sudo apt-get install tcl
sudo apt-get install tcllib
sudo apt-get install tcl8.6-dev
sudo apt-get install tk-dev
sudo apt-get install bwidget
sudo apt-get install libtk-img
sudo apt-get install tclx
sudo apt-get install libreadline6-dev
sudo apt-get install libboost-python-dev

. scripts/rip-environment


  • Nicechips – List of interesting semiconductors


Why do you only need a low pass filter on the Tx of a radio

“For a signal whose fundamental frequency is f , the second harmonic has a frequency 2 f , the third harmonic has a frequency of 3 f , and so on.” – http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/harmonic

This means that harmonics only occur above the carrier frequency (you can only have overtones, not undertones). So only a low pass filter is necessary for filtering harmonics out.

However a bandpass filter, is useful for reception.

Leave Comment

Error Please check your entries!