- Macrofab – have a very nice interface for developing products
- Hackvana – decent PCB fab
- Eurofins – CE testing in China, $500 – $1000
- SnapEDA – lots of pcb footprints
- Screwdriver sets
- Wire cutters
- Tin snips
Cheap component tester – gives resistance, inductance etc.
- PICKIT 3 – PIC programmer, can program 32-bit PICs
Microcontrollers and their dev boards
- stm32f429 discovery – ARM microcontroller board
- PIC32MX250F128B – £3 with hardware USB support in DIP format, nice chip
- LPC Link 2 – Dual core MCU with 80Msps ADC
- Chebyshev Bandpass Filter – Looks useful, need to test output values in SPICE sim
- 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.
- Cosycave RTLSDR – bought the cheapest one, as they didn’t have TCXO ones, when I looked
- N-type to MCX connector – for rtlsdr
- Miniwhip – based on PA0RDT design 10kHz – 30MHz active antenna
- Downconverter – can be used to downconvert bluetooth for the rtlsdr
- Mixer basics – how a mixer can be used for up/down conversion
- proto-pic Bosch Rexroth
- Aluminium-profile Bosch Rexroth
- 80/20 – The Industrial Erector Set (Westgroup apparently sell this in the UK)
- NEMA 14 bracket
- Nixie tubes
- Mercury Coulometer
- WS2812B Addressable LEDs
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- R12-150B – 12VDC in, 95…+210 VDC out, max 50mA output current
- 600W DC-DC 10-60V to 12-80V Boost Converter Step-up Module – Note this has a maximum current of 10A, constant current across the voltage range NOT constant power
Motors and drivers
- DRV8825 stepper driver (max 2.5A) – up to 32 microsteps, can work with either 3.3V or 5V logic directly. Stepper voltage: 8.2V to 45V.
- GGB PicoProbe 12C – 500MHz active probe
- CAT X-Ray – a similar approach would be useful for PCB RE
- Signatone Micropositioner S-931
- Olympus BHM Metallurgical Microscope
- Probestation.tw – Sell probing tools
- 3M 6800 – Full face respirator
- Q-View – Dropper Style Magstripe Developer
- Laser voltage prober – measures reflection of laser beam on transistors (makes use Franz–Keldysh effect), seems a very clever system! Alternatively because of the photo-electric effect, with electrons being emitted when the metal is struck with light, the current of a chip can be monitored using an ammeter capable of measuring to nA.
- On a New Way to Read Data from Memory – Using a laser and sensitive ammeter to read transistor state
- Reading mask rom optically
- degate – Reverse engineering integrated circuits
- Chipwhisperer – side channel analysis and glitching attacks
- Riscure – side channel analysis hardware, along with probing tools etc.
- Chip decapping – H2SO4 (Sulphuric acid), HNO3 (Nitric acid)
- Ubertooth – decode bluetooth packets (as bluetooth adapters themselves aren’t ‘promiscuous’
- Adafruit Bluefruit BLE sniffer – can decode a subset of bluetooth (BLE) not the full bluetooth spec though
AFM (Atomic-force microscopy)
- DIY AFM kit
- AFM developed for a PhD thesis
- AFM probes – around 180 euros for 10 contact mode AFM probes
STM (Scanning tunneling microscope)
- Home built STM – amazing site, definitely has the best explanation and details
- SXM project STM Microscope
Timing Belts & Timing Pinion Pulleys
- Active Robots – Timing belts
- Active Robots – Timing Pinion Pulleys
- Aliexpress – Timing Pinion Pulleys
- Aliexpress – 10m Timing belt £4.87
- Aliexpress – 10x 348mm closed loop Timing belt £7.62
- Aliexpress – 10x 200mm closed loop Timing belt £4.63
- Aoyue 2900 – Very good soldering iron, you replace the whole element and tip together
Solid State Relays
- PQLYT 40A SSR – supposed to be a reliable seller
- metal cut to size – cut metal to specific sizes
- the plastic people – cut plastic to specific sizes
- Choosing base resistor for a transistor
- Why MOSFETs need resistors
- Tracewidth calculator – excellent tool, plug in current you want a track to carry etc. and it will tell you the width
the track should be.
- How 4 layer PCBs are made
- 4 types of N/P-channel MOSFET configurations
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.
- 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
- BSDL to kicad schematic component
- svg2mod – Convert SVG to graphic that kicad can load
- quicklib – create kicad schematic component
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 linuxcnc
- 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.