The best multimeter for beginners (or most people, really)

1024px-Transformer_kit

Building your equipment inventory

Getting more serious about DIY electronics and circuitry but don’t have an extensive workbench setup yet? Test equipment is an important part of any workshop, and a digital multimeter (DMM) is one of the most important pieces of test equipment you can own. From measuring current and voltage, to testing capacitors, to waiting for the reassuring “beep” of continuity, you’ll pull out your multimeter for almost every project you build.

Continue reading

Find project parts and prototype hardware at SmallParts

One of the biggest challenges of robotics and DIY hardware is simply finding the right components for the job. You may have cooked up the perfect locomotion system, but obtaining that oddly sized axle bearing or aluminum channel can take up more of your time than the actual design and assembly. Because of this, we’re always on the lookout for good sources of project parts and hardware that can deliver quickly when needed.

Continue reading

Project setup to develop and debug for AVR

Atmel AVR ATMega 1284 in a DIP socket.

Pete Brown, the lead of the Developer Guidance Community Team at Microsoft, has written a great post on how to properly prepare for a new AVR project. He covers how to choose a microcontroller, collecting necessary datasheets and information, setting up your hardware development environment and software IDE, and how to properly test and debug your code.

If you’re looking to make the jump from Arduino or another processor family but aren’t sure where to start, this should help get you off the ground. You can also cross-reference our tutorial on using AVR Studio 5 with Arduino projects if you want to mix and match environments.

Five hacks to make your ride the coolest thing on the road

Car modded with Xbox 360 controlsLike hacking?  Like cars?  At EngBlaze, we’re pretty fond of both of these things, which is why we enjoy seeing creative ways to hack your vehicle.  The following projects are a few ideas if you’re looking to insert some DIY hardware into your ride (or perform surgery on an unsuspecting friend’s).  Here are five of our favorite ways to hack your ride and make it stand out from the crowd.

Continue reading