Parts: AT keyboard


Last week we introduced a new version of the Bus Pirate universal serial interface tool. The last firmware update included an AT keyboard decoder library for both hardware versions.

There’s a ton of old AT keyboards making their way to the landfill. We’ll show you how to recycle one as an input device for your next project.

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Parts: Chip sockets for dual in-line package (DIP)

DIP through-hole chips are an old package with instantly recognizable dual in-line pin rows.  Beginners love these chips because they’re large and look easy to solder; we abhor them because we hate messing around with the drill. Whatever your motivation for using a through-hole chip, use a socket whenever possible. A circuit board with socketed chips is easy to test without endangering the parts, and ICs can be removed, tested, and replaced, without resorting to a soldering iron. This week, by request, we looked at several common through-hole chip sockets. [Read more...]

Parts: LM317 adjustable voltage regulator

Every project needs a power supply. As 3.3volt logic replaces 5volt systems, we’re reaching for the LM317 adjustable voltage regulator, rather than the classic 7805. We’ve found four different hobbyist-friendly packages for different situations.

A simple voltage divider (R1,R2) sets the LM317 output between 1.25volts and 37volts; use this handy LM317 calculator to find resistor values. The regulator does its best to maintain 1.25volts on the adjust pin (ADJ), and converts any excess voltage to heat. Not all packages are the same. Choose a part that can supply enough current for your project, but make sure the package has sufficient heat dissipation properties to burn off the difference between the input and output voltages.

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