LED Dice coded in C targeted via XC8 C compiler for PIC microcontroller

As Christmas is now on the horizon, I thought it might be fun to design an electronic dice, to give as presents to your family, or just use whilst playing traditional family games during the holidays.

This dice project has seven LED’s which can display the possible outcomes of rolling the dice…in other words, 1, 2, 3, 4 , 5 or 6. A single button instigates the ‘rolling’ of the dice, as the outer six LED’s rotate to indicate motion. When the button is released, the dice value is displayed on the LEDS’s, flashing at a frequency of 2.5Hz.

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HifiGear’s Hifi Dictionary

The world of hifi can be a daunting and confusing place at first, especially when looking at different models of speakers and amps and CD players and streamers and the mighty list of technical terms they come with. Hopefully we can help bust some of that jargon here. Are we missing a word or term you’d like to know the meaning of? Leave us a comment below.

Three pairs of output transistors per channel bode well for long term reliability

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Window display using five 8×8 LED matrices, MAX7219 drivers and PIC 16f690 microcontroller

This project was created to promote our new vinyl record department in our Hereford store, the idea being to place this scrolling text message display in the shop window to entice customers to browse. As you can see from the short video below, I’ve yet to build the final display project – what you see is a breadboard prototype.

Any message can be displayed within reason – it is simply edited from within the firmware. One of the challenges of this project was the fact that although there are many scrolling text projects to be found on the web and shown on You Tube, they invariably use pre-built software display libraries to cope with the driving of the 8×8 matrix displays, the communication between the microcontroller and MAX7219 display driver, and then the animation of the text – these libraries give you no real insight into what is actually going on inside the microcontroller.

I wanted to ‘roll my own’ display/ comms/ animation code in C language, but found very sparse information available. I hope to set this right over the course of this blog post, and hopefully you will want to create your own scrolling text display, or just use the information on offer here as a tutorial to go on to better and bigger things.

Here is a pdf file containing the C language source code for the project. It was compiled using Microchip’s free XC8 C complier, and flashed to the microcontroller with the PICkit 3.

8x8_matrix_vinyl

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Quad In-Store Trade-In Deal

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Quad are renowned for designing and engineering some of the most impressive sounding and longest-lasting hifi components on the market, a reputation they have developed over 80 years of experience, tradition and gruelling product development. It may sometimes be difficult to justify upgrading your system; while technology as a whole and Quad in particular have grown and improved immensely over the years – your thirty year old Quad system still sounds as good as the day you bought it… But Quad are now offering two very good intensives to move on your old system and experience sound like never before…

 

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Loewe: A Brief History (Sort Of)

Siegmund Loewe with Manfred von Ardenne

Siegmund Loewe with Manfred von Ardenne

Loewe are a well established and highly regarded manufacturer of television sets and hifi products, having been designing and engineering many ground-breaking innovations for almost 100 years. While renowned world-wide for their impeccable build quality, stunning picture, immersive sound, luxurious design and overall futuristic feel; Loewe have a compelling history as an impacting force behind the development of consumer electronics industry as we know it today. This history is extensive, so I’ve tried to simple it out to some of the more impacting milestones.

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