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Archive for December, 2010

Reverse Geocache

December 31st, 2010 9 comments

Finished puzzle box

This project was inspired by the “Reverse Geocache Puzzle Box“, an idea that has been duplicated a few times.  For Christmas this year, I drew my brother-in-law, Scott.  I know that he appreciates hand-made gifts, and my idea of hand make is almost always electronics related.  I thought for a while about a gift I could give that was hand-made, but appropriate to his interests.  While I wouldn’t say he’s interested in Geocaching, per se, but I know he will appreciate the destination.   Read more…

RF Transceiver using the MRF49XA

December 8th, 2010 109 comments

Transceiver breakout boards

I’m just finishing up my last class ever!!!  (for credit, anyway.)  It was a really fun, mostly because I decided to have fun with my last class, and make it a 4/5 (undergrad/graduate).  This meant that it was much easier and less theory-heavy than those that I’m used to.  Anyway, as a grad student, I was expected to do something extra, and I decided to make a RF transceiver module.  I looked around for a little while, and I settled on the Microchip MRF49XA.  In general, it’s a nice chip.  It has about the same capability as the Micrel MICRF6xx modules that I’ve used in the past.  The Micrel modules cost $20/ea. and the Microchip IC is around $3.  I was able to make the whole breakout board for the MRF49XA for less than the Micrel module alone.  One of these days, I should dig out my notes from the Micrel project and post them, but I digress.  I noticed a distinct lack of programming information using the MRF49XA, so I’m posting not only my schematic and PCB, but the software library I wrote for the Atmel AVRmega. Read more…