Latest STEM & Maker News

Test Vga Monitors With A Diy Monitor Tester

With the knowledge that an ATtiny2313 can generate simple VGA video signals, the team from EOSystems have designed and published the details for a small and useful VGA monitor tester. Working with resolutions up to 1280x1024 @ 60 Hz the tester can generate a variety of colour screens and bars. Although that doesn't sound like much, this would be very useful for quickly testing used monitors in a corporate or recycling centre before redistribution or destruction.

The entire tester could be made on a small piece of stripboard, or you can download the PCB image along with the schematic and AVR .hex file at the project website here. And for more news, updates and items of interest.please follow us on twitter, Facebook and Google+.

To build your own VGA tester we have the ATtiny2313, prototyping boards and a wide range of electronics components. Or if you are looking to create more complex VGA-interfaced output, investigate the 4D Systems Picaso VGA Controller. It can generate a wide varity of text and graphics up to a resolution of 800 x 480 with simple serial commands:


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Build Your Own Lc Meter With Frequency

Software engineer Kerry Wong as designed and documented an LC meter (that's inductance and capacitance) that also measures freqency. It is based on the ATmega328 microcontroller and uses Arduino libraries for the end results. This is an easy project to follow, and with some small effort the final results can look quite good, for example:

Furthermore you can save a lot of money by doing it yourself, and learn a lot during the process. So to get started, visit Kerry's blog here. And for more news, updates and items of interest.please follow us on twitter, Facebook and Google+.

To build your own LC meter, we have the components, a huge range of enclosures, and of course the ATmega328. Plus a full range of LCD modules including an I2C-controlled unit from DFrobot that is simple to use and doesn't use any digital I/O pins:


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Diy Avr Based Video Games

Using a simple circuit based on a Atmel ATmega168 you can build a simple video game system that allows playback through a television or composite video monitor. The games included with the source code are Snake and Tetris, for example:

Considering the minimalist hardware approach, the games are quite effective. You could also reduce the size of the system by hand-building an SMT version as well. However to get started, check out Ben Ryve's detailed page here. And for more news, updates and items of interest.please follow us on twitter, Facebook and Google+.

If you're not keen on programming directly for ATmega microncontrollers, you can achieve similar results with the Arduino ecosystem by using a Video Game Shield kit:

The Video Game Shield is an Arduino add-on shield to make your own video games, including graphics, text, sound effects, and music! Using the power of open source, this shield includes everything you need to make awesome black-and-white video games on your TV. It supports up to two Nintendo Wii Nunchuck controllers for an easy and familiar interface.

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