June 4th, 2009

4 Digit PIC Counter

4 digit PIC counter

A counter is a very useful tool, i for one could use one when I’m winding coils. These days a counter project caught my attention, because it can be configured for many applications. Basically it’s a 4 digit decimal counter that can go from 0 to 9999 in either direction, can stop when it hits the maximum counting value or can be left in free run.

The maximum counting number can be set by the operator to a desired value, which is stored in the EEPROM of the PIC16F88. This is very helpful, looking at my coil winding example i can set this way the number of windings. You can also set it to count up or down and has an overflow output which can be used to control an external device once the counter reached the preset number, in my case to turn off the winding motor.

The clock input is port B0 of the PIC and can be set to count either rising or falling clock fronts with or without zero suppression. Schematics show a debounce circuit to be used with mechanical contact switches at the clock’s input, which will accept 5V logic only.

The counting is displayed on four 7-segment LEDs and operation mode is shown on other four LEDs. D7 will indicate overflow, D8 Count Hold and D9 and10 will indicate it’s counting up or down. The whole display is multiplexed, more information about that you can find here. There are five push buttons you can use to configure the counter.

Schematics, source code and hex file for PIC as well as detailed explanation of operation can be found in the link.

4 Digit PIC Counter: [Link][Via]

controlling the flight of a zeppelin

A teams of students from Colorado State University have designed and built a PIC-based circuit to control the flight of a blimp. You can control it manually by remote or let the zeppelin find it’s own path to a specific destination that is designated by an infrared beacon.

The remote control has a 204 LCD display which shows the commands and a 12 key keypad from which you can control take off, land, forward, reverse and steering commands. The zeppelin also has an altitude controller with ultrasonic sensors. This makes it go higher if it detects the ground too close or go lower if it’s altitude increases too much.

The thrust is given by two motors, each set at the end of a horizontal bar. A servo motor controls the angle of this bar and thus the direction of the thrust. There are four IR sensors each placed in the four cardinal points. These sensors serve the autonomous flight mode. The IR sensors output a low pulse when it “sees” the beacon so the zeppelin will follow the direction of the sensor which gives out the most pulses. The beacon is made with 16 IR LEDs driven by two 555 circuits.

The altitude control is been taking care of by a PIC16F84 designated IC2 in the schematics, steering is done by a PIC16F88, IC3, and all communicate with the control center a PIC16F874, IC4. Thrust motors are driven by SN754410, IC5 in the schematics. In the remote control you will find a PIC16F877P who takes care of all the RC functions, reading the keypad, displaying characters on the LCD, sending audio message to speaker and sending serial commands to the zeppelin.

Controlling the flight of a Zeppelin: [Link][Via]

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