Neoway M590 GPRS tutorial: sending and receiving files from/to SD card


Neoway M590 GPRS tutorial on sending and receiving files from/to SD card from Vadim Panov:

Here’s a bit of useful info from what I’ve been doing lately. I got a job to design a device that connects to a web-server via GPRS and downloads a bunch of tiny WAV files, that it later plays on a specific schedule. Now, there’s a jellybean part for this kind of task, and that is SIM900 (or SIM800), but I have a knock for “optimising” my electronics. Optimising in this context means making everything I can as cheap as possible, provided it doesn’t impact overall quality in a negative way.
That’s how I came upon this el cheapo GPRS module – Neoway M590. It’s sold as an assemble-it-yourself kit at Aliexpress, and at the moment of writing this article it retails for as low as 2USD.

More details on Vadim Panov’s blog.

Chrome Apps and serial port communication


Luca Dentella writes, “When it comes to develop a GUI for your project, you may need to be sure it will be available for users under Windows, Linux and MacOS.
Chrome Apps may be the solution: they are developed using the same technologies behind any websites (HTML5, CSS, javascript) but, thanks to the Chrome APIs, they offer a seamless desktop integration and the ability to access hardware devices such as serial ports.”

Full details at

Via the contact form.

Getting started with OPENOCD using FT2232H adapter for SWD debugging


Yahya Tawil wrote a tutorial about flashing EFM32 MCUs with OpenOCD using FT2232H adapter:

Learn how to make flashing your ARM-based MCU easy by using OpenOCD debugger with an FT2232H adapter.
Old MCUs from vendors like ATMEL and MICROCHIP, like the PIC16F and Atmega family, tend to have a special programming interface to program internal flash. For example, Atmega used SPI pins (MISO, MOSI, SCK) and PIC used two pins (PGC, PGD)— one as a clock and another as a bi-directional data line.
New MCUs, especially with an ARM core, use JTAG/SWD as a programming/debugging interface.

Full details at All About Circuits homepage.

Eagle CAD tips and tricks, part 2


Here’s the part 2 of Yahya Tawil’s Eagle CAD tips and tricks we covered previously:

In part 1, we talked about the importance of issuing commands with your keyboard and using your mouse effectively. In this part, we will continue talking about other useful tips and tricks for using Eagle CAD.
Read part 1’s tips and tricks here.

More details at All About Circuits homepage.

Via the contact form.

Eagle CAD tips and tricks


Yahya Tawil from All About Circuits shares some Eagle CAD tips and tricks that you may not be aware of:

Most hobbyists and many professionals use Eagle CAD as a daily tool in designing schematics and laying out PCB. I’m going to share with you the most important tips and tricks for using Eagle CAD, which make my work much easier and faster.

More details at All About Circuits homepage.

Via the contact form.

Raspberry Pi web server using flask to control GPIOs


Rui Santos from Random Nerd Tutorials writes:

In this project you’ll create a standalone web server with a Raspberry Pi that can toggle two LEDs. You can replace those LEDs with any output (like a relay or a transistor).
In order to create the web server you will be using a Python microframework called Flask.

More details at Random Nerd Tutorials homepage.

Check out the video after the break.

Using BMP180 for temperature, pressure and altitude measurements


Raj from Embedded Lab has posted a comprehensive tutorial on how to use BMP180 for temperature, pressure, and altitude measurements:

The BMP180 is a new generation digital barometric pressure and temperature sensor from Bosch Sensortec. In this tutorial, we will briefly review this device and describe how to interface it with an Arduino Uno board for measuring the surrounding temperature and pressure. We will also discuss about retrieving the sensor altitude from its pressure readings.

Details at Embedded Lab homepage.

How do I FPGA?


TC-Engineering writes:

I’ve been thinking about building stuff with FPGA’s for a while, and usually get turned away because FPGA’s are considerably harder to implement than microcontrollers since they have no on-chip memory. It is necessary to re-program the gates every time they power up, which requires an external flash memory chip. There aren’t great references online for the DIY community, so I figured I’d post how to get this working. Not using dev boards opens a world of opportunities, so I’m a proponent of not using Arduino’s and their FPGA equivalent for too long (sure, they’re good to get started with, but don’t become dependent)
Not wanting to screw up an expensive complex board by being a first-timer at putting an FPGA into a circuit, I figured I’d build a little test board with the cheapest Spartan 6 you can get (about $10), which comes in a solderable TQFP144 package. Sadly, most high end FPGA’s are BGA and therefore quite hard to solder as a DIY project.

More details at TC-Engineering blog.

NFC tags and Android smartphones

I recently brought from Banggood 3 NFC tags, for about 4 euros. Tags are adhesive and round shaped; the package also contains three colored stickers labeled please touch it to cover the tags:


A NFC (Near Field Communication) tag is a passive device (it does not contain batteries or any other power sources) that, when located near to a reader, establishes with it a peer-to-peer communication to change data. A tag contains some read only fields (for example the serial number) and also normally offers some memory locations where the reader can store custom data (read and write).

If your Android smartphone features an NFC reader, you can – thanks to dedicated apps – read and write NFC tags. In this tutorial I’ll show you how it’s possible to configure the smartphone to automatically execute tasks when it scans an NFC tag.

First, install from the Google Play store the free applications NFC Tools e NFC Tasks:


Run NFC Tools (sorry if the screenshots below are in italian!):


Put the tag next to the phone; you’ll hear a beep and NFC Tools will display tag’s information:


Choose the TASKS tab and click on Add actions:


In this example, I’m going to configure my smartphone to run the Waze navigator when I put it near the tag. You can of course configure different actions: the list of the actions supported by the app is very impressive!

Choose Application – Launch app and select the app you want to be launched:


Click on Write and put the tag near the phone:


Wait for the confirmation:


If I glue the tag on my smartphone car mount, I can now automatically launch the navigator app when I put the phone in it: