Renewable Energy Innovation

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This is where we post about the day-to-day life in the re-innovation workshop. We aim to highlight interesting ideas and projects, show the way we develop products and explain anything that we think might be useful to other people.
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This shows the build for a simple Arduino-based reflow oven controller. This converts a basic toaster oven into a temperature controlled reflow oven for making surface mount circuits. The temperature profile is read from a simple text file on an SD card. This makes changing the temperature profile very easy, without any new code to upload.

I've not done much surface mount work, mainly as I like the projects that I build to be easily repeatable with minimal tools. But there are a number of ICs which are only available as a surface mount package.

Also, surface mount boards are smaller, so consume less resources, and do not require drilling all the holes.

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I have a small CNC machine which I mainly used for accurately drilling PCBs. I have done a few experiments on milling PCBs and also here (ie. taking a sheet of copper clad board and cutting away copper where it is not needed).

I realised quite quickly that the bed of the CNC must be very level in order to create evenly milled PCB, otherwise you either get too deep cuts on one side or un-milled copper on the other side. This gets worse for larger PCBs.

Here I discuss options for levelling the bed for accurate milling.

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I've been wanting to design a nice enclosure for the Bat Listener kit which I sell on-line and recently I found the time to build and test a prototype.

I used laser-cut plywood and the slots and t-nut holder method, as shown here.

I built in some additional segments to hold the battery and keep the circuit board in place.

Hee are photos and design plans for it. You can buy this, either on its own or bundled with the bat listener electronic kit here.

 

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Ive been sorting out the workshop here and found a project that I started around 12 years ago. I thought I would finish it and make it do something fun.

The project was an 8 x 8 LED grid. I used high brightness blue LEDs.

I wanted it to display something interesting and varying. I chose Conway's Game of Life as it is interesting, random, relatively simple rules and keeps modulating.

 There are loads of other projects out there doing much cooler things, but I felt like I ought to finish this project as it had been sitting around for sooo long.

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This is a post about getting a graphical full colour LCD screen running with an Arduino.

The sample screen was the ITDB02 1.8"SP unit from iTead Studios.

It is based upon the ST7735 control IC which uses serial data for the display.

 

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