Category Archives: DIY

Using a Real-Time Clock (RTC) – NXP PCF8563P – with an Arduino

In this post, I will explain what a Real-Time Clock (RTC) is about and how to use it in your circuits. I will be using the NXP PCF8563P chip for the examples. You can find the data sheet for that chip here. A RTC is used to keep track of date & time in your circuit and make it available… Read more »

Police Car Strobe Lights using a 555 Timer and a 4017 Decade Counter

Introduction Today, we will solve the mystery behind police cars strobe lights! Seriously, I was looking at a way to simulate those lights using simple LEDs and without any rotating components. Here’s the result on a breadboard: Solution The solution to that problem was pretty simple. I used a 555 timer to trigger a 4017 decade counter. I used 4… Read more »

Adding pins to your Arduino using I2C and a PCF8574P chip

You are working on a project built around an Arduino and you realize you won’t have enough I/O pins to do everything? There are different ways of working around that limitation. One of them is to use an Inter-Integrated Circuit (I2C) bus and a PCF8574P chip. That chip will provide you with an additional 8 I/O pins at the cost… Read more »

IoT Object : ESP8266 + DHT-11 on

      No Comments on IoT Object : ESP8266 + DHT-11 on

There’s a lot of buzz around the Internet of Things (IoT) these days. This post explains how to create your own IoT object that will read your house air temperature and humidity and send that information to a web site called Once your data is on ThingSpeak, you’ll be able to visualize it to see how the your house… Read more »

Programming an ESP-8266 with FTDI Programmer

The ESP-8266 is one of my best findings of 2015. I wanted to experiment a bit with what’s called the Internet of Things (IoT). It obviously involved connecting my projects to the Internet, so I looked for a wifi module that I could use with one of my ATtiny microcontrollers to push data to the Internet. On eBay, I found… Read more »

Milling a PCB designed in Eagle with a ShapeOko 3

This post explains how I am milling PCBs, designed with Eagle, using a ShapeOko 3. There are certainly many other ways of achieving this, like by using a probe. But this is the simplest, while reliable, way that I found so far. Design your PCB The first step is obviously to design your PCB in Eagle. I won’t go into… Read more »

Plant Watering Indicator (Part 2)

      1 Comment on Plant Watering Indicator (Part 2)

In part 1 of that post, I showed the PCB design for that project and how I produced it. This design relies on an Attiny13a: You will see that the following code is not done using regular Arduino functions. I used the registers directly instead. The reason for that is that you have only 1KB of space to store the… Read more »

Plant Watering Indicator (Part 1)

      1 Comment on Plant Watering Indicator (Part 1)

If you are like me, you never think about watering your plants.  Well, you think about it but only when they look very bad because they didn’t had water for weeks…  🙂 I thought it would be fun to create a small prototype that would tell me when my plants need water.  Here it the final result:     The… Read more »

ShapeOko3 Enclosure

      3 Comments on ShapeOko3 Enclosure

I was tired of all the noise and dust generated by my ShapeOko 3 CNC so I tried to find a simple and affordable solution to that problem.  After looking at what people do, on the internet, I decided to build my own enclosure using PlexiGlass.   Here is the size of the panels I used (all 1/4 inch thick plexiglass): Back: 16″ high… Read more »