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=== N8VEM Home Brew Computing Project ===
=== RetroBrew Computers Project ===
The N8VEM Single Board Computer (SBC) is a home brew Z80 small computer project. It is made in the style of vintage computers of the mid to late 1970's and early 1980's using a mix of classic and modern technologies.  Its purpose is to entertain through education.  It is intended to be used to teach and promote principles of electronic computer design.  It is a solely non-profit educational project and is not intended for any commercial application.  Please see the wiki for detailed information on the N8VEM project.
The RetroBrew Computers Project (also called "Home Brew Computing Project" ?) began with the Andrew Lynch (N8VEM) Single Board Computer (SBC), a home brew Z80 small computer project. It is made in the style of vintage computers of the mid to late 1970's and early 1980's using a mix of classic and modern technologies.  Its purpose is to entertain through education.  It is intended to be used to teach and promote principles of electronic computer design.  It is a solely non-profit educational project and is not intended for any commercial application.  Please see the wiki for detailed information on the N8VEM project.
[ N8VEM Mailing List]
[ N8VEM Mailing List]
[ RetroBrew Computers Wiki] (was:
[ N8VEM wiki]
[ N8VEM wiki]
RetroBrew Computers Projects includes boards supporting the Zilog Z80, Motorolo 6809, MOS Technology 6502, as well as ISA bus and S100 bus.
Related websites building new computers in the style of vintage computers:
* [ "RetroBrew Computers Forum"]
* [ "the lo-tech blog wiki"]
* [ "Sergey's Projects"]
* [ "Vintage Computer forum"]
== Home Power - Off the Grid Projects ==
== Home Power - Off the Grid Projects ==

Revision as of 16:25, 4 July 2016

What is a good way to break this long page into shorter pieces? Discuss: Talk:Projects#too_big_to_edit.


Open Circuits

These should be projects or links to projects that are open, at a minimum in the sense that there is enough information so that others can reproduce the project. Lets stay away from sites that are just show cases without the details. In no particular order:

Open hardware stenotype chorded keyboard

Other open-hardware keyboards


Open-hardware camera system

AXIOM introduces the first professional, extendable and modular cinema camera platform entirely based on free software, open design and open hardware.

This project was created by film-makers who were fed up with the expensive and limited tools they had to work with every day. The desire to have devices/technology without limitations, that are tailored exactly to the film-makers needs sparked the creation of the apertus° project and still keeps it going many years later. The created technology will be freely adaptable, just as the generated knowledge are made freely available. The AXIOM product line is the result of the ongoing endeavor to redefine the industry well beyond the DIY garages and hobbyist labs the project started in: to build the very first open digital cinema camera from scratch and to create a platform for film-makers, creative industry professionals, artists and enthusiasts.

AXIOM was inspired by the earlier Elphel camera open hardware camera.

SD Card Bathroom Scale

On SD Card Bathroom Scale project I hacked a cheap commercial digital bathroom scale, for write (log) my weight variations over time, on a memory SD Card. I write the information (time + weight) on a comma separated values (CSV) file (weight.csv) so I can quickly build a graph using OpenOffice.

Programmable Chip EEG

The Programmable Chip EEG is a Multi-channel electroencephalograph that could be a brain-computer interface. See the OpenEEG Project


the Qualcomm Tricorder X PRIZE. A $10 million competition to bring healthcare to the palm of your hand.

The tricorder project: A Canadian developer, Dr. Peter Jansen, has been making functional tricorders. Science Tricorder Mark 2 runs Linux and has many sensors.

Seth Colaner. "Canadian Developer Building Open Source Tricorders". [1]

Emi Kolawole. "Homemade tricorders and handheld health care". [2]

Mari Silbey. "How to make your own tricorder". [3]

RetroBrew Computers Project

The RetroBrew Computers Project (also called "Home Brew Computing Project" ?) began with the Andrew Lynch (N8VEM) Single Board Computer (SBC), a home brew Z80 small computer project. It is made in the style of vintage computers of the mid to late 1970's and early 1980's using a mix of classic and modern technologies. Its purpose is to entertain through education. It is intended to be used to teach and promote principles of electronic computer design. It is a solely non-profit educational project and is not intended for any commercial application. Please see the wiki for detailed information on the N8VEM project. N8VEM Mailing List RetroBrew Computers Wiki (was: N8VEM wiki )

RetroBrew Computers Projects includes boards supporting the Zilog Z80, Motorolo 6809, MOS Technology 6502, as well as ISA bus and S100 bus.

Related websites building new computers in the style of vintage computers:

Home Power - Off the Grid Projects

Maximum power point trackers

(1) The Free Charge Controller project is a maximum power point tracker.

(2) The MPPT Solar and Wind Power Boost Charge Controller matches lower input voltages to higher 12v, 24v or 48v batteries using LTC3703.

Maximum power point tracking helps a solar panel, wind turbine, et cetera, to achieve maximum efficiency.

Fridge Defrost Timer with Solar Trigger Option

The project video shows a fridge timer which can be set to trigger during high battery voltage sunny days so the defrost cycle never uses valuable battery power. It is switchable to act like a regular defrost timer for long cloudy stretches of time, like winter.

Solar panel rotator motor power with auto-shut-off

The project video shows a way to power solar panel rotator motors from a solar panel, supplemented by a walladapter.

Bioengineering Photovoltaic Semiconductors within a distributed-source 3D-printing system & project

My "GNU Organic Photovoltaic" project to use Synthetic Biology and Open Manufacturing towards freely-distributable organic, thin-film solar panels printable with RepRap:

Scoring Machine for Fencing

This is an open source hardware and software design for a 3-weapon (foil/epee/sabre) scoring machine. Scoring equipment need not be expensive & should be made affordable & accessible to anyone wishing to enjoy the sport of Fencing. Members are urged to submit any new design contributions to this group & to the GNU. All firmware and schematic updates are secured under the GPL agreement. For complete design details see Join the GNU-GPL-3WT "Open Source Fencing Machine" forum.

Eric Schlaepfer. "The first open-source scoring machine for the sport of fencing".

Open Source Disability Gadgets


  • uWatch aka µWatch: World's First D-I-Y Scientific Calculator Watch

Open Source Circuits Magazine

Defunct website.

- Anykits publishes an open source magazine with quite a few, application oriented circuits. It contains schematics, parts list and PCB illustrations. The best part is that its formated for print and available as regular PDF.

vehicles: manned and unmanned

Lots of vehicle-related projects -- for motorcycles, automobiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).


Open Mobile Gadgets -- open source, open hardware, open mobile phones

  • Openmoko An open source, open hardware mobile phone running Linux and other free software, actively developed by community. CAD files and schematics included.
  • NanoNote open hardware project, mini pc.
  • OpenPandora an open source mobile device with 10 hours runtime game pads, qwerty, and touchscreen. dual sd slots.

Phone line relay controller with PIC16F84A - single relay

  • [9] controll one relay over phone-line. Uses PIC16F84A and MT8870.

Phone line relay controller with PIC16F876A - 6 relays!

  • [10] controll up to 6 relays over phone-line. Uses PIC16F876A and MT8870.

Cellular Rotary Phone

An indepth breakdown of the Port-O-Rotary. Some clues to help you avoid audio problems with the GM862.

Free Telephony Project

Free Telephony Project

  • Embedded Asterisk IP-PBX hardware and software
  • Low cost, completely open IP-PBX hardware including FXS/FXO analog and E1/T1 interfaces, and DSP motherboard hardware. Target price of $100 for a 4 port IP-PBX.


  • An open, inexpensive Foreign Exchange System design with a USB interface. A small board based on a Microchip PIC 18F2550 microcontroller (to handle USB) and a Silicon Laboratories Si3210 chip (complete SLIC codec for microphone and speaker; also generates the high-voltage to ring the bell). You plug an ordinary analog telephone into the RJ11 jack on the board, and plug the board into a USB port on a Linux computer running Asterix.

Homemade MIDI turntable

Cheap and simple homemade MIDI turntable with GPL2 license. Using a ATmega, a HDNS-2000 optical mouse encoder, GCC-AVR, AVR-Libc and FreeRTOS. Homepage of Homemade MIDI turntable.

Motherboards that Run Linux

See Motherboards that run Linux.

There are many fascinating and surprisingly small boards that are capable of running Linux. Some of them -- such as the Linuxstamp, the Elphel camera, the Balloon board, LART, etc. -- are open hardware.

Gaming consoles

Several open-hardware projects may be relevant as part of a game, such as: multi-touch display motherboards that run Linux

Music Players including MP3 players

  • TRAXMOD Open source MOD music player for dsPIC/ARM microcontrollers.
  • Andy MP3 Player PIC & VLSI's VS1011e based MP3 player with documentation in english/spanish.

radio projects

FM radio with Arduino and Nokia 3310 LCD

I have interfaced the single chip based FM stereo radio IC TEA5767 with the Arduino microcontroller and a Nokia 3310 LCD. Full source code and schematics are avaiable at [12] .

FM Transmitters

Sort-of-Networked RFID Reader

A 125Khz RFID Reader with a simple ring network - to allow connection of multiple units to the same control computer.

RFDISPLAY - A Scrolling Display with RF connection to a PC - DEAD LINK

POV scrolling display with an RF connection to a mini-itx computer and weatherstation. Project is built out of 384 discrete red LEDs. Display shows time and date, sunrise/sunset time and outdoor/indoor weather.

Schematics, Board Layouts, and MPLAB C18 firmware source code is provided.


The PINGPONG-CDC project is a homebrew USB frequency hopping spread spectrum RF modem (FHSS). The modem is based on the Microchip 18F2550 and the Semtec XE1205 RF module. The module does not include a MAC or protocol layer. That is what this project implements. The project demonstrates how to write a FHSS MAC layer and use USB to interface it with a PC through CDC and WinUSB. Since the protocol is not hard-wired, it is easy to change the software to experiment with different protocols. A utility for pairing and configuring modems is included. The schematic, firmware, and host C++ software is provided.

XE1205-RNDIS : FCC Legal Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum USB Wireless Ethernet

This is the PINGPONG-CDC project that emulated ethernet through the RNDIS driver in Windows rather then a serial cable replacement. Full source code is provided.

OpenFHSS An open hardware frequency hopping modem design

   * High Performance, Long-Range Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum Modem
   * Synchronous, Multi-Hop Repeater Chains
   * Ethernet Bridge Mode
   * Ethernet communications over 50-channel RF Link
   * 4uA MCU initiated sleep current
   * 2ppm frequency and system timing reference.
   * Industrial quality enclosure, connectors
   * Real-Time Data Collection System with user defined scripts
   * LM3S6965 32-Bit Stellaris ARM-core MCU, CC1101 transceiver, CC1190 LNA/PA
   * Highly immune to multipath fading, interference
   * 5mS Channel Dwell Time

Serial Communication Protocols

PG31 GPS RS232 Dev Board

A simple RS232 example project that takes 3.3V TTL serial and outputs to a super-common RS232 connection. Insto-NMEA!

PG31 GPS USB Dev Board

A great example project using the CP2102 USB to TTL UART IC as well as some basic battery holder info.

RS232 Dev Board

A simple RS232 example project that takes all the power it needs from the serial port. Use it to power your microcontroller and communicate between serial port and microcontroller. Takes advantage of the fact that pc serial ports will accept 0-5V rather than the RS232 standard of around negative 10V to positive 10V. Very convenient - no external power required! Note that you may use either a 5.1V Zener or a 5V regulator.

RS232 RS485 USB Converter Board

Aim to build a general Converter between different Interfaces.

Number Six

"#6" (the son of Chalk Roach) is a ultra simple microcontroller development board for Atmel ATmega32 = 16MHz, 2KB SRAM, 16KB Flash

LED and POV displays

Led displays range from a battery and an LED which light up ( cool!, add a magnet and you have an led throwie ) to microcontroller led projects, either Smart Led ( Led with a microcontroller so that it blinks, reacts to the environment, or shifts color ) or Led Arrays ( or led matrix ) that do simple graphics and or play games, or POV devices where what you see depends upon you persistance of vision ( which can include some led arrays ). You can probably dig up more using these terms in google.

Our Own Projects

Off Site

See the links at the bottom of POV display.

Das Brewmeister! and Fermenter Controller

Home controller

Program your appliances to operate automatically in conjunction with your weekly and daily schedule, manually turn them on/off from your PC or use the controller as a process ON/OFF controller to regulate some kind of physical variable to the desired value.

Interactive Lock Box

An interesting project using an accelerometer and capacitive touch ICs.

Motor driver (H-bridge)

atomic microscope

An atomic-resolution microscope.

  • STM (scanning tunnelling microscope)
  • AFM (atomic force microscope)


A bluetooth JTAG ICE debugger for AVR's!!!

Battery charger

See "Build A Smart Battery Charger Using A Single-Transistor Circuit" by Ejaz ur Rehman. But be sure to read the "Reader Comments" at the end. The suggestion to add a zener diode is a good idea.

the Open Graphics Project

the Open Graphics Project a project started by chip-designer Timothy Miller. His goal, along with the rest of the project, known as the “Open Graphics Foundation” is to make a 3D accelerated video card which is fully documented, free-licensed, and open source. See the Open Graphics wiki.

Amiga floppy project

The Amiga floppy project: designing, building, and programming an adapter to allow PCs to read from Amiga floppies. "This is really designed to be a community project(hence the blog with progress reports)."

This project is the building of an external USB amiga floppy drive controller. It sits between the USB port on a Windows PC, and a regular PC floppy drive. It will allow the PC to create .ADF images from an amiga floppy disk. This device is based on a Parallax SX28 microcontroller, uses Ramtron FRAM memory for temporary track storage, and uses another Parallax component for the USB interface.

See for the latest in the blow by blow attempts to get this thing off the ground!!


Infrared Proximity Sensor Alfa Infrared Proximity Sensor Alfa in

The Infrared Proximity Sensor Alfa is a sensor to detect objects that can reflect infrared light. It has the following characteristics.

  • Designed to detect objects that are close and can reflect infrared lights.
  • It has a Infrared Transmitter to eliminate the dependency of solar lighting. So It can be used in the night.
  • It has a Infrared Receiver that detects the closest object that reflects the infrared lights.
  • It has an incorporated voltage regulator
  • The output is a constant 5V when it is active and 0V when no detection.
  • You can change the proximity threshold with a potentiometer.

Multi-purpose Embedded System

  • This project intends to provide ideas and technical information to create a multi-purpose embedded system.
    • Information contained in this wiki should be as generic as possible (unless otherwise stated) so that the ideas and information can be portable to different hardware (e.g. 8-bit/16-bit/32-bit MCU).
    • The peripheral devices should be expandable

dsPIC33 Development Board

A development board using Microchip dsPIC33, a 3.3V based 16-bit microcontroller with DSP functions, EEPROM, ADC, PWM and communication ports of UARTs, I2C, SPI etc. Contains concise information on:

  1. Development environments (IDE)
  2. External programming methods (ICSP Programming using ICD2 Programmer)
  3. Bootloader implementation (RTSP)
  4. Software development tips based on POSIX concepts

ADuC832 Development Board


Ethernet Module

  • This project aims to develop an Ethernet Module, to be used in conjunction with a 8/16 bits embedded system such as the dsPic33F development board.

MMC Card Reader

  • This project aims to develop an MMC Card Reader, interfacing with a 8/16 bits embedded system such as the dsPic33F development board.

Modulation Plugin

  • This project aims to develop an Modulation Plugin Module, to be used in conjunction with a 8/16 bits embedded system such as the dsPic33F development board.


Some people derive an inordinate amount of pleasure from building semi-useful objects from zero-cost junk.

In the electronics field, the most popular 2 categories of things to build from scavenged components are:

  • ham radio transmitters and receivers -- built from a few transistors, caps, resistors, and wire
  • BEAM robotics -- built from the above plus motors, solar cells, ...

Other things to build and tips on scavenging at Free_From_Salvage.


openEyes is an open-source open-hardware toolkit for low-cost real-time eye tracking. See the OpenEyes hardware and software and the openEyes wiki.

updated link


RepRap is an open source project to create a 3d printer or fabber machine. There is tons of information available on its website. The current iteration is a 3 axis cartesian robot with 2 extruder heads: a Thermoplastic head that extrudes plastics like HDPE, ABS, and CAPA, and a support material head that extrudes a water soluble material to support the build process.

The Biollante project is a kind of RepRap that uses a 6 axis Stewart platform. Can devices from a mechanical model library be fabbed with RapRap? The article "Self-reproducing machines" goes even further than just 6 identical parts -- it suggests that "self-reproducing machines composed of many identical microscale modules" may be a better design than the original RepRap design where just about every part is unique.

"This is the meta-problem of engineering: Design a machine that can design other machines." -- Hod Lipson[13]

Other open hardware 3d printing projects:


Challenge: Build a Wiki Device with a parts cost of no more than twenty dollars which is usable as a portable wiki. Include feature to make it compatible with a desktop or laptop computer's PersonalWiki, with a connector allowing this use. --

"hardware portable wiki for taking notes with an auto-merging functionality when you are very close to Internet or your computer." --

Could you maybe build it out of a "$12 Computer" ? "$12 Computer: Playpower Wants to Save the World 8 Bits at a Time"[14]

How close is the Kiwi project to acting like such a "wiki device"?

breakout boards

These are three boards that I designed for a specific project and found them very useful. Each of these boards uses the phoenix contact plugable terminal blocks. The 50-pin breakout board is for a 50-pin ribbon cable. The LEM breakout board is for LEM AC/DC current sensor. The power supply breakout board is for a +5v +/-15v power supply.

Eyes for Open Robot

Is there a simple way for my Java application to fetch the latest camera image in an Array of pixel values?

  • OpenHDCapture: capture (analog) High Definition Video 1280x720 at 30fps, and convert to some digital format to stream over USB. (Rather than a lot of expensive electronics to directly produce tightly compressed video, it has very little compression to reduce the cost of the hardware and the amount of CPU effort to uncompress it while watching live video).


Wiegand reader simple controller

The PICmicro 16F628 decodes Wiegand protocol coming from card reader. If the card matches one of the 40 cards in EEPROM, it turns on the light (opens the door). Schematic and source code published under GNU terms.

ComClone2 Intercom

ComClone2 is a DIY clone of the industry-standard "party line" production intercom system as first introduced by Clearcom and now sourced by many other vendors. This intercom system is widely used in both live show(theatrical, music, etc.) and video production. Website provides complete construction information including PC board, etc.


Amiga 500 implemented with Xilinx FPGA + Freescale mc68000

USB Audio Streamer : A Homebrew USB Soundcard

This project is a homebrew 12bit 24KHz homebrew USB soundcard based on a pic 18f2550 and a few Microchip analog parts. The project is based on the Microchip USB framework, but the core audio processing is written from scratch. The card is a duel Audio 1.0 + generic interface composite device with the generic interface being handled by WinUSB. The schematic, card firmware, and host C++ software is provided.

An acceptable third generation PostScript printer

"Ask the Guru: A Third-Generation Printer" article by Don Lancaster 1990 lists specifications for "An acceptable third generation PostScript printer." Would this be a good "open hardware" project ?

the Kestrel

The Kestrel is a grass-roots computer design employing half-way modern technology, where *EVERYTHING* is documented openly. Other goals: Instant on, (nearly) instant off. Fun to build. Fun to use. Fun to expand. The creation of a vibrant and healthy user and developer community, capable of supporting itself on both software AND hardware fronts.


A variety of "open" tools for optical and radio astronomy.

flash downloaders

Many people have published open-hardware schematics for downloading programs into the flash of various microcontrollers. m8cprogs for Cypress PSoC, various flash downloaders for Microchip PIC, etc.

Open Source USB programmer

Open Programmer is an open source USB programmer for PIC micros, ATMEL micros, I2C EEPROMS, generic I2C/SPI devices. It's based on a 18F2550. Open Programmer home page.
Usbpicprog is another open source USB pic programmer for PIC 10F, 12F, 16F and 18F devices, for Windows Mac and Linux Usbpicprog


The WikiNode project tries to link every wiki in the world together. Our "WikiNode" links to closely-related wiki (and their WikiNode links back).

If you want to talk about something that is not quite on-topic here at Open Circuits (say, "desktop PC case modding", or "embedded Linux programming"), our WikiNode helps you find another wiki where people love to talk about that exact topic. The corresponding WikiNode on each of those wiki helps people who want to talk about "open hardware" to discover this wiki.


arm7-oled-clock is a clock hardware/software project for a clock with a graphic organic led display running on an atmel arm7 microcontroller.

Here is the arm7-oled-clock's project page on google code.

A really big wall clock. Why? Well, cause it might look cool? Probably not. But we do use GPS to get the time! Groovy.

Tide Clock uses the low-power LinuxStamp board (another OpenCircuits project) to calculate daily tides at almost any location. Tide predictions are displayed on a bar graph using 12 motorized lead-screws to move the 'bars'.


Sun Microsystems has open sourced both hardware and software for the Sun Microsystem Laboratories Sun SPOT (Small Programmable Object Technology) Wireless Sensor Network.

This Java-based system is an ARM920T 180MHz processor, 4Mbyte Flash, 512Kbyte pSRAM and 802.15.4 radio transceiver (TI CC2420). See the Sun SPOT World website for more information. We also have an active forum.

The hardware designs can be downloaded from The content available for download (subversion) are the schematics (pdf, Altium), bill of materials (Excel), assembly drawings (pdf), fabrication drawings (pdf), PC design files (Altium) and gerber files (RS274X) for these boards.

The boards we have posted are:

  • eDemo: Demonstration add-on board for the Sun SPOT.
  • eFlash: MiniSD card reader/writer add on board for Sun SPOT
  • eProto: Prototype board with simple interface to Sun SPOT
  • eProtomega: eSPOT Prototyping board with Atmega88 processor
  • eSerial: RS232 Serial interface board for the Sun SPOT
  • eUSB-Host: USB host interface to Sun SPOT
  • eDaq: Industrial strength ADC board
  • eBones: Basic interface board application note
  • eSPOT: Main Sun SPOT board

Our wiki for the hardware is

SPOTs run Squawk, an open source Java virtual machine (VM). The download (and more information) for Squawk is The SPOT specific libraries can be downloaded from along with community applications

[[GPIB] General Purpose Interface Bus]


SenseOpen, an open-hardware, open source coffee machine hardware platform; supporting open source coffee machine software implementations.

improved flashlight design

"Shake to Charge Flashlight" designed by David A. Johnson, P.E. has a sketchy outline of an improved flashlight design. "Knock-off Flashlight Trades off Light Intensity for Duration" has some further comments.

One interesting idea: "... it might be powerful enough to charge up a dead automotive lead acid battery after a few minutes of string pulling to start a car. Such a device might be small enough to fit into a car’s glove box ..."

"Virtual" USB Keyboard/Mouse System

"Virtual" USB Keyboard/Mouse System - Use your laptop as a keyboard/mouse for another computer. "This project is a computer interface that will allow you to hook up your computer to another computer--for example, a "headless" computer-- as a USB device, and use your laptop as a keyboard/mouse on the other machine.

There are 2 mini-USB connectors on this device. One side plugs into your laptop, the other side plugs into the computer without a keyboard. You type on the laptop, and the results will appear on the other machine. It will require special software on the laptop-side, but the destination computer should not require special drivers."

open source benchtop power supply

Simple projects with Arduino (Spanish) LogoPequenoNaranja.png

Arduino clones






Pedal Desk

The pedal desk allows the user to power and use a laptop, or any other low power device, entirely off grid by pedal power.

The pedal desk design is open source under the Creative Commons License.

ViewTonic - a hologram in a drink

ViewTonic is a free open hardware and open source project about a volumetric display on low cost basis for home use.

The ViewTonic project is open source under the Creative Commons License.

OMFootCtrl - OSC and MIDI Pedals

OMFootCtrl is an open source project for OSC and MIDI foot controllers.

hardware random number generator

Several hardware random number generator projects are open source.

pick and place

The two open-hardware pick-and-place projects I've heard about so far are:

  • Peter van der Walt. open source pick and place machine.[17] [18] [19]
  • Tim. open-source pick and place system. [20]

Public Lab

Many of the Tools & techniques developed by Public Lab contributors have associated open hardware, including:

  • "SkyShield AutoKAP Controller" "The SkyShield ... is an open-source custom circuit board which is a "shield" for an Arduino Nano. ... With a connected camera ... e.g., a CHDK-enabled PowerShot ... you can capture aerial photos to stitch into high resolution panoramas ..."
  • The WheeStat is an open source potentiostat. A potentiostat measures electrochemically active compounds and microbes in water.
  • Thermal Flashlight: a simple, cheap, and effective way of measuring heat leaks or cool leaks. Thermal photography using an Arduino, a single-pixel thermometer, etc. for an order of magnitude less cost than other thermal cameras.
  • Mãe d'Água: open hardware to monitor water quality in real time.
  • Water Quality Sensor: an Arduino microcontroller, a set of water quality sensors, and a network connection module (a GSM based cellular module to send data via SMS).
  • Fido: The Raspberry Pi based Temperature Alarm that sends text messages
  • Balloon Telemetry Kit: Arduino Uno, GPS receiver, barometric sensor, three-axis accelerometer and data logger.
  • etc.

Audio as sensor data format

Open-hardware projects that use human-audible sound to transfer sensor data:

  • Coqui: a simple, inexpensive, open source device that generates an audible tone that is based on any electric resistance-based measurement.
  • Hot Rod ROBO: a distributed control system and audio format, simple enough to be implemented on a ATtiny85 that (bidirectionally) connects hardware to the audio jack of a cell phone.

Other Lists of Semi-Open Projects

  • more Creative Commons licensed circuit boards
  • "Parallax Open Source Designs" includes open-source hardware like "Parallax Printed Circuit Board Hardware Designs" and the Propeller 1 Verilog files.
  • Super OSD is an on screen display generator; it adds text to PAL and NTSC video signals. Automatic detection of input video signal format (PAL or NTSC). Currently supports 192x128 outlined OSD on a dsPIC33FJ128GP802 (can be prototyped on a breadboard in a DIP28 package.) [21]. Open software and open hardware. (Apparently there are two supported boards, one with a dsPIC33F and a PIC24F, another with two PIC32 microcontrollers).
  • UHF FM BUG with ButtonCell battery ( ) "This bug is 100% made from an old Nokia GSM phone! It operates at 434 MHz and reception can be achieved on a modified TV tuner or 70cm band HAM radio."
  • demo board and microcontroller alternatives lists a bunch of "small PCBs" (is there a better name?) designed for hacking and prototyping, that already have the processor and a few other super-common things built in ... so you don't have to start *completely* from scratch.
  • ThinkCycle "ThinkCycle is a ... non-profit initiative ... supporting distributed collaboration towards design challenges facing underserved communities and the environment. ThinkCycle seeks to create a culture of open source design innovation"
  • Are the Positron projects "open" enough to be mentioned? I especially liked the "Lasercut Acrylic Casebuilding Tutorial" .
  • Is the Vislab puck suitable for this list?
  • PICList & JAL_List free PCB contest "this will encourage people to publish designs and get more good ideas out into the real world for everyone to see." (So, are these "open" circuits?)
  • has a bunch of schematics and a web discussion forum. Are they "open" enough to mention here?
  • "Yet Another One-hand Keyboard" ( ) "The firmware included in the download lets an Atmel AVR '2313 microcontroller interpret chords and talk to a PS/2 port." -- it's not completely open, but the license allows you to immediately download, for free, lots of technical information and a license to build up to 5 of your own. Building more than 5 requires some sort of payment to license the patent on the hardware configuration. (The software appears to be open source). There seems to be an associated Yahoo mailing list. What is an appropriate way to invite John W. McKown and others on the mailing list to use a wiki such as Open Circuits to maintain a FAQ?
  • FC's Electronic Circuits ?
  • "Pandemic Ventilator Project" asks: "Does Open Source Hardware Development Work?"
  • GSM SMS Controllers ( ) "TwoWay Thing (GSM Controller v3) is a device that allows you to control appliances using SMS messages. There are also 4 inputs for connecting sensors so the device will send an alarm SMS or even call you to report an alarm condition. The device draws very little current and is being powered by phone’s battery which is a great thing. Nokia should be constantly charged or supplied with some sort of external power for long term operation."
  • Phone-call alarm alert ( ) "After programming just supply power to the device. After pressing the button "Pokreni dojavu alarma" it will start to dial (tone or pulse, depending on the jumper setup). When the phone call is succesfully established, the called party should press pound key "#" to stop the device from calling another number or again."
  • SMS Box ( ) "This device acts as interface between your microcontroller project and a GSM phone. It handles all modem data communication between the GSM phone and your micro-project. The best thing is that it decodes PDU into TEXT on the fly!"
  • GSM alarm alert - call ( ) "Alerting alarm over via GSM network"
  • Bug Labs: A startup is readying a modular, open source hardware/software system resembling a set of electronic Legos. Nov. 05, 2007 [22]
  • PIC flow meter and instrumentation modules: Sensors, Gauges, Flow meter, data logging, connected by Grundfos Pumps inc. GENIbus over RS485.
  • Raphaël Assénat has posted several electronics projects, including schematics. Several of them involve interfacing various "classic" video game controllers to USB. His "Caller Id decoder" is a nice example of adding just one more feature to something using a minimum of additional electronics.
  • Grand Idea Studio -- do these badges count as "open circuits"?
  • "HOWTO set up a molecular biology lab for less than $1000" Posted by Cory Doctorow 2009

other project sites or links to projects

May or may not be open, not much review material here, noted for the record, may be promoted in the future if they are outstanding in any way.

  • Free Electronics mini projects here
  • cooling related projects (open source Peltier fridge, etc.)
  • "EFF: Calling All Hackers: Help Us Build an Open Wireless Router"[23] (Is there any hardware here, or is this entirely software?)
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