Monthly Archives: October 2014

ESP8266 boards are in, time for a project

Oooh yeah I got 3 ESP8266 WiFi boards in the mail today from SeeedStudios.  Now lets make a project!  For those that don’t know the ESP8266 is a WiFi to serial board that is only $5-$6 USD.  Apparently the board does all the WiFi and ethernet stuff, so all your project has to do is some basic setup and then RX and TX.  I’ll be reporting on how easy this is here and posting any projects as well as code for microcontrollers.

Got my esp8266 boards today

Debounce switches with simple components

Lets start off with a post that dives into one of the uglier sides of electronics, switch bounce.  Every time a switch closes, mechanical contacts  (which are just pieces of metal) touch each other and complete the circuit. For a short period of time the contacts chatter and open and close the circuit, this is a real nightmare if you are looking for a clean on and off signal.  I ran into this issue with a set of limit switches for a CNC machine.  I decided to put one of the switches on a scope and see what the bounce time was.  Take a look at the scope trace below, as you can see there is about 1.5ms of bounce on these switches for both rise and fall.  It’s been a while since I debounced a switch outside of firmware, so I went off looking for some info, what I found was Jack Ganssle’s site with two pretty good articles on debouncing.  (While you’re there, check out his newsletter).  I dug through my parts bin and found a few 74HC14 schmitt inverters which can be used for debounce since they have a hysteresis between the high and low voltage levels.  Running through the equations on jacks page with a 5v supply, 0.1uF capacitor and a 2.37v high signal for the 74HC14 I came out with almost exactly 31K for the resistance.

I had a 33K resistor and a 0.1uF resistor so I hooked them up as per this schematic and left off the input resistor from Jack’s page and the rise time was just about 2ms. There are some other pages that discuss leaving off the input resistor so I decided to see if the response was acceptable.   You can see the schmitt inverter flips with a nice clean edge, switch debounced!

bouncing_scope_trace scope_rise_debounce scope_switch_debounce_output scope_proto_74HC14_debounce

Welcome to Protological

Protological is a site about electronics, DIY and software.  Our goal is to educate and share our experiences and projects with the world.  We will showcase projects from across the internet as well as posting information, schematics, code and documentation on our own development.  We also design electronics and we will offer our products via our online shop for purchase.

The major topics on Protological include:

  • PCB design
  • Microcontroller code
  • Prototyping
  • Electronic product development

Our goal is to have multiple posts per week in each of the major topics on the site as well as downloadable code and project files.  We will be documenting our progress at getting these posts out and pitfalls along the way.  As we get this site off the ground we would love support from the community, share your projects, hacks, mods and prototypes with us at info@protological.com and we will get them up on the site.

Happy building

Drew