Category Archives: Hardware Hacking

General electronic hardware stuff.

AVR For PIC People, Part 1: The Basics

If you followed TuneConsole, you know I’m a PIC guy.  Unfortunately for me, Microchip hasn’t kept up with the times:  their toolchain feels like late ’80s Borland tools, and that’s a very generous comparison.  Turbo C was never this bug-ridden, and … Continue reading

Posted in AVR, Hardware Hacking | 2 Comments

The Macdweller Part Storage System

Proper storage of electronic parts is a pain in the neck, and I’m not the only one who thinks so.  Every serious hacker has to deal with this at some point, and the solutions are all over the map, ranging … Continue reading

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Review: Gold Phoenix PCB

The Breakout Fin is here! Since the boards were coming from China, I expected it to take a lot longer to get them – if nothing else, due to customs and shipping delays.  Apparently, I was wrong. They arrived on … Continue reading

Posted in Hardware Hacking | 3 Comments

The Double-Sided Breakout Fin

Arduino has its shields.  Raspberry Pi apparently now has Pi Plates.  BeagleBone has capes. I’ve now decided that my toys shall be called Fins!  Hah! But I digress.

Posted in Hardware Hacking | 1 Comment

Free USB Product IDs

Have an open hardware project that uses USB? Now you can get a VID/PID pair for free from Note that your project must be open source to qualify.  Not a bad deal considering it eliminates the $2,000 cost of … Continue reading

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Microchip XC8: Much Ado About Nothing

If you’ve followed the TuneConsole project, then you know that I’m not at all enamored of Microchip’s development tools for PIC18.  So when I saw that Microchip released a new line of compilers, I was kinda excited.  I mean, hey, … Continue reading

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Generate Any Microchip PIC Footprint For EAGLE

While EAGLE includes a fair number of PIC microcontroller footprints in their standard libraries, the selection is limited compared to Microchip’s full catalog.  If you’re looking for a more obscure part (like the PIC16F1947, for example), you’re on your own. … Continue reading

Posted in EAGLE, Hardware Hacking, PIC | 6 Comments

TC: Microchip USB Stack Isn’t Redistributable. Bah!

For the three people waiting on me to turn TuneConsole into an OSHW project, I’m afraid to say you’ll be waiting for a while longer.  I’ve noted before that I’m concerned about the licensing on the Microchip Application Library (from … Continue reading

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TC: Final Hardware

I submitted the enclosure for TuneConsole to Ponoko on March 13, and that only proves that their service is distressingly slow.  The acrylic panels arrived here on March 27, exactly two weeks later.  I was out of town for an … Continue reading

Posted in Hardware Hacking, TuneConsole | 13 Comments

Acrylic Box Resources

Thinking about having a box made over at Ponoko or some other maker?  Not sure how to make your perfect press-fit or T-slot acrylic enclosure?  Below are the various resources I found on the subject while looking into it myself.

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