How to use I2C LCD with ESP32 on Arduino IDE


A how-to on using an I2C LCD display with the ESP32 using Arduino IDE from Random Nerd Tutorials:

This tutorial shows how to use the I2C LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) with the ESP32 using Arduino IDE. We’ll show you how to wire the display, install the library and try sample code to write text on the LCD: static text, and scroll long messages. You can also use this guide with the ESP8266.

See the full post at

Hand soldering a WLCSP package

MSOP-10 soldering video at

I admit that when I made the video of me soldering an MSOP-10 package, I did it because I needed to use the chip right away, and didn’t have time to order a breakout board. But this time, I am just doing this for fun.
MSOP is smaller than TSSOP which is smaller than SOIC which is smaller than DIP. Although the pin pitch is larger, the physical size of the ATtiny9 in the charliestar project is smaller than the MSOP-10 package. Most ATtiny parts are also available in QFN format, which has a smaller rectangle with pads around the edges. But there’s a fundamental limit to how close you can put adjacent pins and still have them reflow correctly.

More details at

DIY Arduino FM radio


Nick over at shared detailed instructions of how to build this DIY Art Deco style FM Radio project using Arduino:

Let’s see what we are going to build today! As you can see, we are going to build an Art Deco style FM radio receiver. The design of this radio is based on this spectacular 1935 AWA radio. I discovered this old radio while searching online and also in this book about the most beautiful radios ever made. I loved the design of this radio so much that I wanted to have a similar one. So I devoted a month of my time to build my own.

Full details at

Check out the video after the break.

3D printed stirling engine gas burner and flywheel

Stirling Engine

The 3D printed Stirling Engine with its new gas burner and heavier flywheel from Do It Yourself Gadgets:

Take a look at my upgraded Stirling Engine with its new gas burner and flywheel!
If you take a look at my previous post you’ll see how I built a 3D printed holder for my Stirling Engine kit. Since I needed a constant heat source I added a small gas burner salvaged from an old BBQ lighter and attached it to the engine.

See the full post on Do It Yourself Gadgets blog.

Check out the video after the break.

Amiga 500 power supply build


A how-to on building an Amiga 500 power supply from Inkoo Vintage Computing:

The power supply of my Amiga 500 is a bit unreliable. I’ve had some issues with the machine where the PSU could be the culprit, so I thought that it would be better to get a new power supply. There are used Amiga 500 power supplies occasionally available on online auctions, and there are also unused (but probably quite old) power supplies available on some online retailers. The issue with these 20-30 year old power supplies is that the capacitors are starting to dry. This can be a fire hazard, as old capacitors may even explode (this has happened to the PSU of my old IBM XT, it was not a pleasant experience). So in order to get safe and reliable operation from an old PSU, the capacitors should be replaced.

More details on Inkoo Vintage Computing homepage.

A software only solution to the vexing beagle bone black PHY issue


Josh Levine has a nice write-up about a software only workaround for the Beagle Bone Black PHY issue:

Sometimes the Ethernet port on a Beagle Bone Black does not work on power up. It takes either a physical reset button press or a power cycle to fix it. This problem affects all BBB’s and until now could only be solved with hardware hacks.

The final official word from TI on this problem:
“There is no solution for this on the BB Black“

Full details at

Tutorial: Setting up a low cost QRP (FT8, JT9, WSPR etc) monitoring station with an RTL-SDR v3 and Raspberry pi 3


A detailed tutorial on how to set up a cheap QRP monitoring station using an RTL-SDR V3 and a Raspberry Pi 3 from

This tutorial is inspired by dg0opk’s videos and blog post on monitoring QRP with single board computers. We’ll show you how to set up a super cheap QRP monitoring station using an RTL-SDR V3 and a Raspberry Pi 3. The total cost should be about US $56 ($21 for the RTL-SDR V3, and $35 for the Pi 3).
With this setup you’ll be able to continuously monitor multiple modes within the same band simultaneously (e.g. monitor 20 meter FT8, JT65+JT9 and WSPR all on one dongle at the same time). The method for creating multiple channels in Linux may also be useful for other applications. If you happen to have an upconverter or a better SDR to dedicate to monitoring such as an SDRplay or an Airspy HF+, then this can substitute for the RTL-SDR V3 as well.

More details at

Bit-bang FTDI USB-to-serial converters to drive SPI devices


Scott W Harden writes , “The FT232 USB-to-serial converter is one of the most commonly-used methods of adding USB functionality to small projects, but recently I found that these chips are capable of sending more than just serial signals. With some creative programming, individual output pins can be big-banged to emulate a clock, data, and chip select line to control SPI devices.
This post shares some of the techniques I use to bit-bang SPI with FTDI devices, and some of perks (and quirks) of using FTDI chips to bit-bang data from a USB port. ”

See the full post on Scott Harden’s blog .

Check out the video after the break


An easy way to mount DS18B20 temperature sensors


Matt wrote an article describing a technique he used to mount DS18B20 temperature sensors:

One of the biggest advantage of these sensors over I2C sensors, is that you can mount them almost anywhere. That having been said, I’ve never quite managed to come up with an elegant solution, particularly when attaching to a heatsink (for cooling applications)

More details at Matt’s Tech Pages.



ETA Nixie tube clock

ETA Nixie Tube Clock-600

Mark Smith over at surfncircuits has a nice write-up about building an ETA Nixie Tube Clock:

This DIY project will combine the estimated time of arrival function with a Nixie tube display to create an estimated time of arrival (ETA) Nixie tube clock. It is all easily controlled by a Raspberry Pi Zero W that is connected to the internet through WiFi to provide the latest time and gets the ETA for any number of destinations. The travel time is provided by the free Google Directions API interface that includes traffic to give the best estimates on any particular day.   The goal is that with an ETA Nixie tube clock, no math is needed to add a rough, often optimistic travel time, to the actual time to determine if we are running late.   The clock does that for you and with the power of IOT, is much more accurate!    A motion sensor is also added to the clock to turn off the Nixie Tube Display when no one is around, saving power and increasing the Nixie tube lifetime.

Build log at Project files are located at Github.