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Ethernet Cable Audio Extension


CAT5 Ethernet cables to connect audio from my PC to my room stereo.  My shop has a nice stereo on the far wall away from my PCs and work bench. Rather then purchase a long audio extension cable I scrounged up some CAT5 Ethernet cable and audio connectors, a few quick splices and a 30 foot audio cable is born. Sounds great!


Posted in Discovering, Hacks, Ideas, Parts, Projects, Scrounging, Scrounging Parts, Workshop Tips.

XMOS Dev Kit Arrives and Contest Information

 DSC_1692Just received an XMOS XK-1 Development Kit in the mail as part of a Design Challenge hosted via Trossen Robotics.

XMOS has in interesting architecture, something new to explore. I am especially interested in the parallel processing features and how code is developed. Development tools are free so this might be a great part to hobby with.

From the XMOS site:
The XMOS architecture makes it practical to use software to perform many functions that traditionally have been implemented in hardware, for example interfaces and I/O controllers. Both input and output operations can be timed to a local clock or an externally provided clock. The architecture is both multi-threaded and event-driven. Threads can be used to define independent tasks; the event mechanism enables fast and controlled responses to a multitude of signals.


Posted in Contest, Development Tools, Discovering, Microcontroller, Parts, Projects, Review.

Arduino gets a Wave!

ArduinoWaveGoogle Wave is here and it looks like a great too for hobbyist that want to share project information and get help. We have even started a Wave for Arduino information and helped our first hobbyist with a power supply issue on his project. Mark Campos and I found that Wave worked very well for real-time troubleshooting and hatched the idea that people should start public waves for their Arduino projects. To make projects easy to find use “Arduino” and “Project” as tags for the wave.

More instructions after the jump…


Posted in Arduino, Development Tools, Discovering, Electronics Links, Ideas, Microcontroller, Projects.

DIY USB to Serial Cable For $3!

breadboard Jonathan Thomson submitted this useful article about converting a low cost cell phone USB cable into and easy and cheap way to connect to an Arduino microcontroller setup. Jonathan found a cable for less then $3 which can be hacked to perform the same function as the typical $20 FTDI USB cable often used in Arduino projects.

Jonathan submitted as part of the uCHobby Giveaway project and has selected to receive a Plug-in Bread Board Power Supply Kit for this article. 


Posted in Arduino, Development Tools, Discovering, Electronics Links, Hacks, Ideas, Microcontroller, Parts, Projects, Scrounging, Scrounging Parts, Workshop Tips.

CPLD Starter Kit at Maker Shed

Maker Shed has a CPLD starter kit. I’m kind of surprised. The $85 kit would be a great way to get started in digital design and an introduction to CPDLs. You should be able (pun as the software is called Able) to design up some complex digital logic, including state machine logic and test it out on the board.

The kit is also available at XGameStation for $160.

I’m trying hard to find a reason not to purchase this kit. I had done a lot of real digital design in my younger engineering years. I miss it and have not kept up with technology. This would be a great way to play around with the latest.

Some links I dug up while looking for a reason not to get this kit. By the way, I could not find a good excuse so I guess I will be ordering mine very soon.

Posted in Development Tools, Discovering, Ideas, Projects. Tagged with , .

IPhone Audio Breadboard Adaptor

OnScopeWe want to play with our IPhone, use it for some work shop projects. There are two connectors to work with, I stared with the audio headset. The IPhone uses a 4 pin 3.5mm (2.5mm) plug connector for access to right and left audio and the microphone input. I started looking online for a plug and remembered that I tossed an old Slingbox into the scrounging bin recently, it had a Audio/Video cable which used a 4 pin plug, so I dug it up.

I made a solderless breadboard adaptor using one of the Slingbox cables and a prototype adaptor PCB I’ve been working on for an adaptor kit at Curious Inventor. This kind of problem is exactly what that prototype adaptor was made for. I have a bunch of connections that need to be kept together and adapted to the solderless breadboard.

The left and right audio outputs are shown on an oscilloscope in the picture here. The IPhone breadboard adaptor is plugged in next to an audio tip jack adaptor. I used this setup to test the audio outputs and the Microphone input.

Output from an IPhone signal generator application is shown on the scope. The application is called “Oscillator” but I cant find a good direct link to it. Let me know if you do. Its available in the IPhone App store. There are some other audio generators, scopes, and spectrum analyzer applications for the IPhone, some are very expensive. Let us know with a comment If you have used any of these.

With this adaptor setup we can do some audio interfacing projects. I think its nice to have it directly connected to a breadboard. Next is to get something working with the Arduino, with audio interfacing or with the docking connector.

More after the jump…


Posted in Arduino, Discovering, Hacks, Ideas, Microcontroller, Projects, Scrounging, Scrounging Parts, Workshop Tools. Tagged with , , , , .

TGIMBOJ Palookaville

TGIMBOJBox TGIMBOJ Palookaville was received here at uCHobby. Hand delivered by Luke Iseman, originating from Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories.

Previous TGIMBOJ activity at uCHobby

More after the jump…


Posted in Discovering, Parts, Scrounging, Scrounging Parts, TGIMBOEJ.

TGIMBOEJ Code Named uCHobby2 Sent

TGIMBOJ uCHobby2uCHobby’s second TGIMBOEJ is ready to ship. Duncan Templemeyer received uCHobby1 and updated the Box Tracking page. uCHobby1 should be on its way to the next destination soon. Duncan’s write up is here.

The second TGIMBOEJ has several PCB’s scrounged from UPS units, some batteries, cables, an interesting purple plastic box is loaded with components including some of the LM158H parts I wrote about earlier.

The empty space in the top of the box will include an old Panasonic laptop. That’s right, a laptop! Its a light weight tough book. The AC supply is missing but it might be usable for a picture frame or maybe even a Linux box.  I do not know if it works at all.

I got the laptop from a scrap pile. I have several of these and have found that some are fully functional. I hope to see someone do something interesting with this laptop. Better to put it in the TGIMBOEJ then to let it gather dust in my junk pile.

Let us know with an email to if you wish to receive one of our TGIMBOEJ shipments. A hint… I will automatically send the next TGIMBOEJ to anyone that sends me one.

The uCHobby3 should be put together in a week or so. I have a microcontroller starter kit and another laptop planned for that box, along with the junk and some surplus electronics parts.

If you receive a TGIMBOEJ from uCHobby, please include a link back to the page about that shipment here…


Luke delivered a TGIMBOEJ code named Palookaville to me. It was a handoff. We met for lunch in Austin and traded boxes. Anyone else in Austin want to do a TGIMBOEJ trade in person?

Posted in Arduino, Discovering, Parts, Scrounging, Scrounging Parts, TGIMBOEJ.

Arduino Pointers and the Ping for Automated High Five

highfive2Charles Stutzman submitted this article about using C pointers in Arduino code. He combines an Arduino, a ultrasonic range sensor and a servo in this article. Pointers are used to move data around. Much of the code here is intended to show the use of pointers. The Parallax Ping sensors and general servo interfacing is also covered.

Charles submitted this article as part of the uCHobby giveaway program. Read Charles’s article after the jump and leave a comment.


Posted in Arduino, Ideas, Microcontroller, Projects.

TGIMBOEJ Code Named uCHobby1 Shipped

Box uCHobby’s first TGIMBOEJ shipped or our about Friday August 5th 2009. On its way to Duncan Templemeyer. The Box Tracking page has been updated and we await Duncan’s reaction.

This was great fun, putting together the box, selecting someone to send it to and sending it off. I highly recommend it to all you electronics hobbyist that have a collection of junk you cant bear to throw away but really don’t have a use for.

This is just the first TGIMBOEJ from uCHobby. I hope to get uCHobby2 put together very soon. I really have a huge load of stuff to place in these boxes.

Its been hectic here for the last two weeks or so. We killed the website with a WordPress update, twice. Don’t know what happened, ended up with the White Screen Of Death (WSOD). We are catching up, there are a few pending submitted articles that I have to work though. Hoping to get this done tonight. I leave for a week long business trip tomorrow morning so it could be another week before those are cleared.

Posted in Discovering, Parts, Scrounging, Scrounging Parts, uC Hobby Site.