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How to Go from Concept to Prototype: Part 1

Most people have a great idea that comes to mind. You want to create it but something gets in the way. It may be that you have to much functionality, don’t have direction, or don’t know what components to buy. I am going to talk about in 3 parts on how to go from concept to prototype.

Concept

You finally have your first concept of building a drone, weather station, security lock, or motor controller. But now you need to make a prototype. Wait!!!! Don’t start buying the parts yet even though it is one of the most exciting part. First you need to write down your idea and what functions you want in it. We will practice with a weather station.

One of the first questions we have to ask ourselves is this: Is this product going to be for a customer, hobby, or something else? We will say hobby.

Choosing Functionality

I want the weather station to read:

  • Temperature
  • Pressure
  • Altitude
  • Rain accumulation
  • Snow accumulation
  • LUX (Sun Brightness)
  • UV intensity
  • Solar powered
  • Connect to the internet
  • Connect to my phone
  • Wind Speed/direction

Alright you have a lot of ideas, but if this is your first time you probably won’t get your concept to prototype. The reason is there are a lot of functions that may overwhelm you once you start trying to put it together. So lets choose a couple easier ones to start with.

Skills

Great now that we have narrowed down the list to less than 5 we can start figuring out what type of platform. What kind of skills do you have?

  • I have:
  • Know how to design Motor controllers
  • Altium Experience (Schematic/PCB Design)
  • Know some software (C,C++, Python)
  • Know how to solder

Even though my skill set suggests that I could make a custom circuit board with all the bells and whistles we will start as if I know only a little bit. So we will go with arduino as the software for it is not too hard to learn. Also there are great sparkfun or adafruit tutorials which can teach you how to write software or how to connect the hardware for sensors that will get the functions to work.

You are on your way to making your idea go from concept to prototype. Next blog will be on selecting parts. From here there are other steps you can take like form factor, cost limits, timeline, etc. If you want me to share my thoughts on these types of steps, comment on this blog.

Entertaining and Educating the Engineer Minded Child….Even Though You Are NOT an Engineer or Scientist.

Over the recent years there is a new term called STEM. What is STEM? It stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics. This new STEM education focuses on educating children how to apply those things they have learned in a practical way. Growing up with parents of a financial background, limited my scope of what is out there.

So I came up with ideas of a STEM program I can do as a parent for my two little girls. Here are a few steps:

  1. Do you want to invest in your child’s future?

I am not going to lie, investing in your child’s future can be pricey. You might want to go out and buy all the items in this blog but you might find that your bank account has lost a lot of money. I will list a few starter items that won’t break the bank at the end of this blog. In the future I will talk about others ways to invest in your child’s educational future and what educational items to get your child at particular ages. (please leave a comment or email me at the bottom requesting particular topics you would like to hear.)

2. Get them the Knex and Legos.

This is a wonderful first step for any child with a technical, artistic, and/or brilliant mind. It allows them to build and create objects that are existing. In other cases, it even allows them to tinker on things that have not been created either.

3. Get some books and Google search.

Make sure your children read about potential career opportunities such as:  Aerospace, Software Developer, Chemist, Robotics, etc. This will allow them to get excited about a particular field they never heard about. Once they are engaged in something, start by finding mini projects that are related to those fields of interest. Example a kid likes Robots, so look into buying Lego Mindstorms or LittleBits. Click pictures below.

4. If they are older than 12 start getting them into more advanced topics like below

  • C/C++ Software (Coding)
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Architectural Software
  • Chemistry Sets

Coding and electrical engineering can be addressed in Lego Mindstorm or Little Bits. For that little civil engineer or architect, you can get a intro chief architect home designer software.

My parents got me this my junior/senior year, and I played with it for over a year. It helped me realize I was not interested in being an architect. This saved me money that I would have spent on college classes that I wouldn’t have enjoyed.

By providing them more advanced outlets will allow them to be more creative, weed out the fields they are not interested in, or have impressive projects they have built they can show on their resume for college.

5. Make sure your kids take some time for technical/creative time outside of video games. You might realize that the more they enjoy doing those creative projects the less they play mindless video games and become better engineers and students.

All in all giving new outlets, that even yourself didn’t know about, to your kids will allow them to expand their view of the world and future.

Below are some picture links for basic starter items to get your brilliant scientist.

UltraSonic Sensor Tutorial #1: How to Use HR-SR04 Sensor

Picture of Tinee9: DIY Drone Avoidance Sensor

Tinee9 is back with another quick tutorial. This tutorial will talk about the HC-SR04 Ultrasonic sensor, how to use it with arduino, and how it could be used for Drone obstacle avoidance and landing.

Tutorial Difficulty: Beginner

Step 1: Drones and Environment Sensing

Picture of Drones and Environment Sensing
Picture of Drones and Environment Sensing
Picture of Drones and Environment Sensing

DJI Mavic Air has 6 visual sensor and 2 downward infrared sensor. The sensors’ information combined, allow the Air to sufficiently detect and avoid obstacles in nearly every direction. There are 2 cameras in front, 2 on the bottom, and 2 in the rear of the drone. These cameras take in the information around, which then the computer on board stitches the pieces together and creates a 3D environment. This environment is then dissected in software to determine what is an obstacle and how far way it is. When the camera looking downward does not have enough information, the infrared sensor facing down ward sends out a infrared signal and then receives it in the other channel. This allows the drone to land because it gives the information of how far away the drone is from the ground.

Step 2: DIY Drone Avoidance Sensor

Picture of DIY Drone Avoidance Sensor
Picture of DIY Drone Avoidance Sensor

Since the DJI camera sensors are lot more complicated and probably cost more money, so we will use a different sensor. The sensor we will use today is the HC-SR04 Ultrasonic Sensor. This sensor sends out an sound wave that we can’t hear but maybe dogs can and waits until the sound comes back to the receiving sensor on board. Once the receiving sensor on board receives the signal, the computer makes a quick calculation of how far away an object is. This calculation is based on the speed of sound and the time it took to get back.

In the picture on the left above, this is an example of how the sound wave leaves one sensor, hits the ruler that I am holding, and then bounces back to the receiving sensor.

So how would this work on a self made drone, well if we put enough of these on we would be able to determine objects above, behind, below, and in front of us at all times. And if the sensors had enough resolution and range we could possibly and more accurately hold a position in air more accurately than a GPS signal.

Step 3: Materials

Picture of Materials
Picture of Materials

Materials list is pretty simple:

1x Arduino Nano

4x Male to Male Jumpers

1x HC-SR04 Ultrasonic Sensor

1x Breadboard

1x USB to Mini USB cable

1x PC with Arduino IDE

You can collect all materials (except PC and USB cable) in the link here. Link

Step 4: Connection

Picture of Connection
Picture of Connection

1. Place the Arduino on the breadboard (This is saying you have headers on your Arduino already)

2. Place HC-SR04 Sensor facing out of the Breadboard like above

3. Connect a Jumper from Arduino D13 Pin to HC-SR04 Trigger Pin

4. Connect a Male to Male Jumper from Arduino D13 Pin to HC-SR04 Trigger Pin

5. Connect a Male to Male Jumper from Arduino D12 Pin to HC-SR04 Echo Pin

6. Connect a Male to Male Jumper from Arduino +5V Pin to HC-SR04 VCC Pin

7. Connect a Male to Male Jumper from Arduino GND Pin to HC-SR04 GND Pin

8. Connect USB to USB mini from Computer USB to Arduino Nano USB Mini

Step 5: Load Code and Test

IMG_20180619_225659.jpg
Ultrasonic sensor

Turn On your PC and load up your Arduino IDE. If you do not have Arduino IDE please visit Arduino.org and follow their instructions.

Paste the Code Below into your Arduino IDE and Program. Once you have programmed and place your hand or an object in front of the sensor, you should see the arduino monitor show the distance changing as the object moves closer or father away.

By learning how the code below work you can then manipulate it for your need for an RC car or drone that avoids objects or even an automatic doorbell that has no button.

#define trigPin 13

#define echoPin 12

#define led 11

#define led2 10

void setup() { Serial.begin (9600); pinMode(trigPin, OUTPUT); pinMode(echoPin, INPUT); pinMode(led, OUTPUT); pinMode(led2, OUTPUT); }

void loop() { long duration, distance; digitalWrite(trigPin, LOW); // Added this line delayMicroseconds(2); // Added this line digitalWrite(trigPin, HIGH); // delayMicroseconds(1000); – Removed this line delayMicroseconds(10); // Added this line digitalWrite(trigPin, LOW); duration = pulseIn(echoPin, HIGH); distance = (duration/2) / 29.1; if (distance < 4) { // This is where the LED On/Off happens digitalWrite(led,HIGH); // When the Red condition is met, the Green LED should turn off digitalWrite(led2,LOW); } else { digitalWrite(led,LOW); digitalWrite(led2,HIGH); } if (distance >= 200 || distance <= 0){ Serial.println(“Out of range”); } else { Serial.print(distance); Serial.println(” cm”); } delay(500); }

Below is a video of someone performing an obstacle avoidance test for the DJI Mavic Air

Circuit Board Break Down: Graphics Card

img_1372.jpg

Having designed 7 different 1000+ part circuit cards in 2.5 years, you come to learn how circuit cards are laid out and some of the regulations around them. Today as the first Circuit Board Break Down, Tinee9 is going to take a look at a graphics card.

Reason why to start with a graphics card….well they tend to have a lot of different engineering sectors that other consumer electronics may be missing like a bike odometer, keyboard, or arduino uno.

Sections to Identify:

1.Connector Types
2.Power Supply
3.Processor/Micro-controller/FPGA
4.I/O (Inputs/Outputs)
5.Types of Components
6.# of Layers Board is Made of
7.Types of Vias
8.Unique Copper Traces
9.Power Planes

Note:This is not a complete list of everything that can be analyzed, but it hits the major sections of a PCBA (Printed Circuit Board Assembly) design.

Section 1: Connector Types
I would like to say most electronics have connectors on them for various purposes. Those purposes are Power and I/O. ( I/O has many sub-categories)

Below shows what types of connectors and what they interface to.

Connectors
Red Circle- Fan Control/Power Connectors, Dark Blue Circle-Graphics Card Power, Pink circle- PC monitor connectors, Light Blue Circle-PC Mother Board Interface

Section 2: Power Supplies/EMI Filters
A lot of electronics that are not handheld and have to plugged into a device that connects to a wall outlet, generator, or battery producing a substantial amount of power >1 Watt, typically need to follow FCC, or other electrical standards. These standards not only help protect the circuit from unwanted signals, power, frequencies, voltage spikes, etc from disrupting its functions. In addition to self protection, the electronic is not allowed to produced those same unwanted signals either that would disrupt other electronics.

So, how can you tell what a power supply/EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) filters are? Well you look for inductors, and capacitors near by a power connector. Power connector is in the top right corner of the pictures below.


If you hover over each picture a caption will tell you what each box represents.
Now you know what to look for, when identifying power supplies/EMI Filters.

Section 3: Processor/Micro-controller/FPGA

Most electronics now a days have a brain/computer that tells the device what to do. That brain can be of many forms such as; Processor, Micro-Controller, or FPGA as a few types.

These brains have software/firmware/code/instructions that are programmed in telling it what to do when a certain events happen. Computers are mostly dumb and only do what you tell it to do but now we are getting into the age of A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) which can learn and do things on their own. But this graphics card is dumb in comparison to A.I.

Above are two brains each performing a different function:

Left Image: Most likely performs a power supply control to allow the graphics card to go into low power mode or all out performance mode.

Right Image: Big square block in the middle is the Graphic Card Processor or FPGA. I can’t tell or know what type of brain computer graphics card typically use.

4. I/O (Inputs/Outputs)

Next, determining what kind of I/O are coming into and out of the board. We know that there are signals for power, PC monitor signals going out from the PCBA, PC mother board signals, Fan control signals, and some other signals I currently can’t identify.

5. Types of Components

Determining what kind of components are on the board are critical on knowing how the board works and what the circuit board interfaces to. Basic component definitions:
Component Designator
1. Resistors R#
2. Capacitors C#
3. Inductors L#
4. Transistors Q#
5. Diodes D#
6. ICs U#
7. Oscillators Y#
8. Connectors J#
9. Test Points TP#

If you would like to know what each of these things are I will make another article talking about each component type. Below are some pictures with captions of different types of components.

Types
Light Blue- Resistor, Yellow- Diode or Transistor, Green- Transistor, Red- Capacitor, Blue- IC

For a graphics card not only is there a brain but there typically is memory to store values until they need to be recalled. Below are pictures of those circuit elements. For this card there are 8 ~500MB RAM Chips totaling 4 GB of Memory. Some IC chips you can read their part number and then look up there specifications online to help you figure out their function on the PCBA.

6.# of Layers Board is Made of

# of Layers of a PCBA can tell you how complex, density, component package types, or Lots of or Not many signals on a board.

For this Graphics Card I could not get a clear picture but a PCBA is layered fiber glass and copper. # of copper layers is what we are looking for. Most simple circuits have 2, but this graphics card has up to minimum of 8 layers that I could tell.

This means that there are a lot of signals running around on the board or there is a IC that uses Ball Gate Array for Soldering onto the PCB which typically means it has a lot of signal it is trying to get onto the PCB. For this case the Graphics Card Processor/FPGA is a Ball Gate Array Chip and most likely has over 100+ signals running out from underneath the chip. One would need many layers just to get that many signals to the rest of the PCBA with out causing shorted circuits.

7. Types of Vias

This is another hard one to show on pictures but vias are copper traces that run between layers and connect the layers together.

1. Through-hole via- connects all layers together

2. Blind via- connects an outside layer to an inside layer

3. Covered via- Connects only inside layers

This graphics card may have all three. Covered vias are the hard to identify since you can not typically see them from outside looking at the PCBA.

8. Unique Copper Traces

Typically copper traces on a board are straight and have may have some bends in it, skinny or wide, or they zig-zag a lot.

1. Straight and may have some bends- normal signal
2. skinny- low current signal/higher resistance
3. wide- high current signal/low resistance
4. zig-zag- a calculated impedance added to the circuit to balance signals (Frequency sensitive signals)

This graphics card had all four.

Trace types
Red- Thicker Copper/normal signals, Blue- Zig-zag calculated impedance, Pink- Skinny copper/normal signal

9. Power Planes

Power Planes are large areas of copper and they represent high power signals, ground/reference signals, voltage signals. These power planes are used to dissipate heat from the board quickly so the board does not malfunction/catch on fire. In the below picture, where Q3, Q2, or R15 designators are at are on top of planes. These are useful so if you need to test a voltage you can go quickly go to these point and find a ground plane or voltage plane.IMG_1365

Hope you enjoyed this article and feel free to follow my blog as Tinee9 will be performing more of these break down PCBAs to help identify the 9 sections above.

Arduino Controlled Motor ESC

4 Years ago I made my own drone for a cost of $300 back when the first commercial drone was about $1500. The Arducopter controller controlled the motor ESC, I used the DJI DIY frame, and bought a 720MHZ remote control. Here is a modified KIT of what I built 4 years ago. KIT

Now that I have bit more experience in electronics aerospace engineering, I want to build my own arducopter controller to control the drone. I will be using Arduino for my platform. For today, I will demonstrate that we can control an ESC with and arduino nano.

Materials: Get Most Materials Here
ESC
Motor
Battery that will run the motor
Solder
Solder Iron
Arduino Nano
Bread Board
Jumper Wire
PC
USB Cable
Arduino IDE

Step 1: Solder your Motor to the ESC controller.
Step 2: Attach your Arduino Nano to a bread board.
Step 3: Attach your Battery – to the ESC Black Wire.IMG_20180605_005410
Step 4: Attach your ESC Black to the Arduino GND Pin.
Step 5: Attach your ESC White wire to Arduino D9 Pin.IMG_20180605_005423

Step 6: Attach Arduino Nano to PC with USB Cable.
Step 7: Program Arduino Nano with this Code in Arduino IDE.
Code:
#include ;
Servo esc;
int Pin = 0;
int x = 0;
void setup()
{
esc.attach(9);
}
void loop()
{
int throttle = analogRead(Pin);
throttle = map(throttle, 0, 1023, 0, 179);
for(x = 0; x < 175; x++){
esc.write(x);
delay (250);
}
esc.write(0);
delay(10000);
}
Step 8: Attach your ESC Red wire to Battery +.
Step 9: Enjoy your Arduino Nano commanding the ESC with PWM commands.


RBG LED Tutorial #1: Arduino

Picture of Tinee9: RGB LED Module

*Tiny9 or Tinee9 are the same company just working out the kinks in the business name.

*Please subscribe/follow my blog.

*This instructable is considered a beginner level tutorial with some knowledge of software. (Ardruino)

*Caution LED light is bright and may give eye irritation to though who are sensitive to bright light.

Step 1: The RGB LED

Picture of The RGB LED
Picture of The RGB LED

The RGB LED is what it sounds like:

R: Red

G: Green

B: Blue

L: Light

E: Emitting

D: Diode

A RGB LED will emit Red, Green, or Blue, or all or a mix of the colors at once.

Today we are going to combine the LIS2HH12 Accelerometer with the RGB LED module and make the LED turn colors depending on which angle we have achieved.

Little Bits 

Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit

Step 2: Materials

Picture of Materials

Materials you need for this instructable are:

You can find the items at this location-KIT and KIT2

Items from this instructable ->Accelerometer:

Arduino nano

LIS2HH12 3-Axis Accelerometer

RGB LED Module

24 AWG wire

100 Ohm Resistor

2x 1Kohm Resistor

Wire Strippers

Breadboard

Step 3: Setup

Picture of Setup

First you need to set up the breadboard like in this instructable here.

Once you have set up the breadboard like this, then we place the RGB LED next to the Accelerometer.

Once placed Jumper the pin called 3.3 to the red row on the breadboard.

Next, Using wire strippers cut the 24 AWG wire into 3 strips of 3 inch wire. Strip the ends of the wire.

Now jumper Pin called R on RGB LED to Arduino Pin D2

Jumper Pin called B on LED to Arduino Pin D3

Jumper Pin called G on LED to Arduino Pin D4

*No, the Pins R, G, B on LED do not mean you turn OFF Pin D4 to turn on the Green LED. Sorry for the confusion will be fixed on the next rev of the LED.

Step 4: Open Up the .ino

Picture of Open Up the .ino

Download the Tiny9_LIS2HH12_and_RGB.ino file from Github here

After you down load the .ino, open it up in the Arduino IDE.

Step 5: The Code

You will notice in the code 1 line usually is made LOW. This is because we are using Arduino Pins D2, D3, D4 as current Sink versus Current drivers. Typically Pins on Processors can Provide more current in a Current Sink mode versus Current Drive mode.

Definition of Current Sink & Current Driver

Current Sink means that the Pin on a processor pulls to ground the power source that it is tied to.

Current Driver means that the Pin on a processor supplies the source with the Power.

if(x1 < -0.9){

digitalWrite(redledPin, LOW); //Turn on Red LED Pin if X’s gravity in the X direction is less than (<) -0.9g

digitalWrite(greenledPin, HIGH); //Turn off Green LED

digitalWrite(blueledPin, HIGH); //Turn off Blue LED

}

else if(y1 < 0.9){

digitalWrite(blueledPin, LOW); //Turn On Blue LED if Y’s Gravity in y direction is < 0.9

digitalWrite(greenledPin, HIGH); //Turn off Green LED

digitalWrite(redledPin, HIGH); //Turn off Red LED

}

else if(z1 < -0.9){ // if gravity in the Z direction is < -0.9g turn on Green LED

digitalWrite(greenledPin, LOW); //Turn on Green LED

digitalWrite(redledPin, HIGH); //Turn off Red LED

digitalWrite(blueledPin, HIGH); //Turn off Blue LED

}

else { //Turns off all LEDs

digitalWrite(greenledPin, HIGH);

digitalWrite(redledPin, HIGH);

digitalWrite(blueledPin, HIGH);

}

Tinee Lesson #1: Series Resistors

Picture of Tinee9: Resistors in Series

Tutorial Level: Entry Level.

Disclaimer: Please have a parent/guardian watching if you are a child because you can cause a fire if you are not careful.

Electronic design goes way back to the telephone, light bulb, powered plants in AC or DC, etc. In all of electronics you run into 3 basic components: Resistor, Capacitor, Inductor.

Today with Tinee9 we are going to learn about resistors. We won’t learn color codes for resistors because there are two package styles: Thruhole and SMD resistor which each have there own or no codes.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Materials:

Nscope

Resistor Assortment

Computer (that can connect to Nscope)

LTSpice (software

Below is a link to the Nscope and Resistor Assortment:

Kit

Step 2: Resistors

Picture of Resistors

Resistors are like pipes that allow water to flow through. But different pipe sizes allow a different amount of water to flow through it. Example a big 10 inch pipe will allow more water to flow through it than a 1 inch pipe. Same thing with a resistor, but backwards. If you have a big value resistor, the less electrons will be able to flow through. If you have a small resistor value then you may have more electrons to flow through.

Ohms is the unit for a resistor. If you would like to learn the history of the of how the ohm became the unit named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm go to this wiki

I will try and keep this simple.

Ohm’s Law is a universal law that everything abides by: V = I*R

V = Voltage (Potential Energy. Unit is Volt)

I = Current (Simple terms number of electrons flowing. Unit is Amps)

R = Resistance (Pipe size but smaller is bigger and bigger is smaller. If you know division then pipe size = 1/x where x is the resistance value. Unit is Ohms)

Step 3: Math: Series Resistance Example

Picture of Math: Series Resistance Example

So in the above Picture is a screen shot of an LTspice model. LTSpice is software that help electrical engineers and Hobby people design a circuit before they build it.

In my model, I placed a Voltage source (ex. Battery) on the left side with the + and – in a circle. I then drew a line to a zig zag thing (this is a resistor) with R1 above it. Then I drew another line to another resistor with R2 above it. I drew the last line to the other side of the voltage source. Lastly, I placed a upside down triangle on the bottom line of the drawing which represents Gnd or reference point of the circuit.

V1 = 4.82 V (Nscope’s +5V rail Voltage from USB)

R1 = 2.7Kohms

R2 = 2.7Kohms

I = ? Amps

This configuration is called a series circuit. So if we want to know the current or number of electrons flowing in the circuit we add R1 and R2 together, which in our example = 5.4 Kohms

Example 1

So V = I*R -> I = V/R -> I = V1/ (R1+R2) -> I = 4.82/5400 = 0.000892 Amps or 892 uAmps (metric system)

Example 2

For kicks and giggle, we are going to change R1 to 10 Kohms.

Now the answer will be 379 uAmps.

Path to Answer : I = 4.82/(10000+2700) = 4.82/12700 = 379 uAmps

Example 3

Now R1 = 0.1 Kohms

Now the answer will 1.721 mAmps or 1721 uAmps

Path to Answer : I = 4.82/(100+2700) = 4.82/2800 = 1721 uAmps -> 1.721 mAmps

Hopefully, you see that since R1 in the last example was small the current or amps was bigger than the previous two examples. This increase in Current means there are more electrons flowing through the circuit.

Now we want to find out what the voltage will be at the Probe point in the picture above. The probe is set in between R1 and R2……How do we figure out the voltage there?????

Well, Ohms law says Voltage in a closed circuit must = 0 V. With that statement then what happens to the voltage to from the battery source? Each resistor takes away the voltage by some percentage. As we use example 1 values in example 4, we can calculate how much voltage is taken away in R1 and R2.

Example 4

V = I * R -> V1 = I * R1 -> V1 = 892 uAmps * 2700 Ohms = 2.4084 Volts

V2 = I * R2-> V2 = 892 uA * 2.7 Kohms = 2.4084 V

We will round 2.4084 to 2.41 Volts

Now we know how much many volts are being taken away by each resistor. We use the GND sysmbol (Upside down triangle) to say 0 Volts.

What happens now, the 4.82 Volts produced from the battery travels to R1 and R1 takes 2.41 Volts away. Probe point will now have 2.41 Volts which then  travels to R2 and R2 takes away 2.41 Volts. Gnd then has 0 Volts that travels to the battery which then the battery produces 4.82 Volts and repeats the cycle.

Probe point = 2.41 Volts

Example 5 (we will use values from Example 2)

V1 = I * R1 = 379 uA * 10000 Ohms = 3.79 Volts

V2 = I * R2 = 379 uA * 2700 Ohms = 1.03 Volts

Probe Point = V – V1 = 4.82 – 3.79 = 1.03 Volts

Ohms Law = V – V1 -V2 = 4.82 – 3.79 – 1.03 = 0 V

Example 6 (we will use values from Example 3)

V1 = I * R1 = 1721 uA * 100 = 0.172 Volts

V2 = I * R2 = 1721 uA * 2700 = 4.65 Volts

Probe Point voltage = 3.1 Volts

Path to Answer Probe Point = V – V1 = 4.82 – 0.17 = 4.65 Volts

Probe Point alternate way of calculating voltage: Vp = V * (R2)/(R1+R2) -> Vp = 4.82 * 2700/2800 = 4.65 V

Step 4: Real Life Example

Picture of Real Life Example

If you have not used the Nscope before please refer to Nscope.org

With the Nscope, I placed one end of a 2.7Kohm resistor in a Channel 1 slot and the other end on the +5V rail slot. I then placed a second resistor on another Channel 1 slot and the other end on the GND rail slot. Be careful as to not have the resistors’ ends on the +5V rail and GND rail touch or you may hurt your Nscope or catch something on fire.

What happens when you ‘short’ +5V to GND rails together? The resistance goes to 0 Ohms!!!

I = V/R = 4.82/0 = infinity (very large number)

Traditionally, we do not want current to approach infinity because devices can’t handle infinite current and tend to catch on fire. Luckily Nscope has a high current protection to hopefully prevent fires or damage to nscope device.

Step 5: Real Life Test of Example 1

Picture of Real Life Test of Example 1
Picture of Real Life Test of Example 1

Once all set up, your Nscope should show you the value of 2.41 Volts like the first picture above. (each major line above channel 1 tab is 1 Volts and each minor line is 0.2 Volts) If you remove R2, the resistor that connect Channel 1 to GND rail, the red line will go up to 4.82 Volts like in the first picture above.

In the second picture above you can see LTSpice prediction meets our calculated prediction which meets our real life test results.

Congrats you have designed your first circuit. Series Resistor connections.

Try out other values of Resistance like in Example 2 and Example 3 to see if your calculations match real life results. Also practice other values too but make sure that your current does not exceed 0.1 Amps = 100 mAmps = 100,000 uAmps

Accelerometer Tutorial #3: Arduino Self-Balancer

Tiny9 presents the Arduino Self-Balancer just using an Arduino Nano, a servo, and the Tiny9 LIS2HH12 Module.

Step 1: Self-Balancer

Picture of Self-Balancer

In actuation systems for automated drones, hover boards, segways, etc. there is an accelerometer that helps the micro-controller tell motor or servo know what to do.

In the case of hover boards and segways they use and accelerometer as an inclinometer, a device that measures the angle you are at. The desired angle it wants to be at is 0 degree forward or backward, so straight up. If the angle is any degree backward or forward the person would fall over. Example a person balancing on top of a ball. (very hard to do) If the person on the ball leans forward or backward too much with out correcting themself then they will fall off the ball. But if the person is correcting themself on the ball, then they will stay on top of the ball.

Arduino UNO Super Starter Kit

Step 2: Materials

The materials you would need for this tutorial are:

You can find them all at this location-Kit

1: Arduino nano or arduino compatible

2: Tiny9: LIS2HH12 Module

3: 5volt Servo (mine is futaba s3114)

4: 24 AWG Wire

5: Wire Strippers

6: Bread Board

Optional items

7: Tiny9: RGB Module (Make the lights turn colors if it is in the wrong or right position)

8: PerfBoard (I used it to show an object move in the video at the end of this tutorial)

9: 1/18 drill bit

10: Drill

11: Screw driver

Step 3: SetUp

Picture of SetUp
Picture of SetUp

To get to this point in the tutorial for setup follow the instructions on these tutorials:

Tinee9: LIS2HH12 3-axis accelerometer module

Optional tutorial if you want to use the RGB Module

Tinee9: RGB LED Module

After you have set up your breadboard to this point then we can do these steps.

1: Attach a wire to the red line on the breadboard and connect the other side to the red wire socket on the servo

2: Attach a wire to the blue line on the breadboard and connect the other side to the black wire socket on the servo

3: Attach a wire to D6 on the Arduino Nano and connect the other side to the white wire socket on the servo

Whooo Hooo all done super simple.

If you are attaching a perfboard to the servo like me then her are some steps:

4: Drill in the middle of the perfboard with the 1/18 drill bit.

5: Screw the screw into the middle of the Perfboard and connect it to the servo on the other side.


Arduino Starter Kit – English Official Kit With 170 Page Book – K000007

Step 4: Download .ino

Download here from github the Tiny9: Self Balancer .ino for arduino.

Upload it to the Arduino Nano.

Step 5: Now Enjoy!!!

Now that everything is hooked up and you have the the code in the arduino, move the X axis (see video for orientation) of the breadboard and see the servo move.

Once you have played with the servo for awhile change the code and make it go faster, slower, or create a magnetic robotic arm that can move up and down and pick up things with its magnet.

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Thanks everyone and keep inventing.

Disclaimer: This blog is solely Tinee9’s opinions through electrical engineering experience and does not have exact knowledge of the inner workings of DJI products that would compromise IP, or patent infringement. DJI is not a sponsor of Tinee9 but Tinee9 is apart of DJI affiliate and Amazon affiliate program to help earn revenue to keep the website going.