Today I write in to share my newest creation. I call it the AtomKeybOR the OR is for the shape. It’s an OR gate shaped keyboard.

It only has 5 keys and is shaped to fit my hand and probably many other hands comfortably. The main reason I decided to make this is to ease my programming. While programming there are tons of functions and key combos I use often as does everyone else such as Copy and Paste but there are a few key combos often over looked because people tend to use the mouse instead.

The 5 functions my keyboard implements are…

Copy, Paste, Select Line, Select All and ESC

So with the press of any 1 key I can do any of those functions. ESC isn’t special but it’s awesome to have close by.

This keyboard not only saves time but is pretty to look at. I decided to go with Glass and wood as the final design and used a Wazer Desktop water jet cutter to cut of the glass.

The Wazer is an awesome tool to have at my disposal. Not only can I cut out glass but I can cut aluminum, steel, acrylic and more all while leaving a smooth finish since it uses sand and water to cut.

While I’m not complete with the design I have tested the code and have an mcu picked out. I decided to go with the ATSAMD21G18. I used an example from the “Advanced Software Framework (ASF) for SAM Devices”. While it was for the SAMD21J18 it was easily modified to work for my choice.

The mcu was chosen because I have a few on hand and could easily test it using my dipDuino SAMD21.

DipDuino SAMD21

The PCB I’ve designed will fit on the top-left part of the design. It’s pretty small and will have everything needed without the extras on most boards. No pin headers as all will be solder pads. 1 led for USB status and a micro USB connector. It will be fused since it’s an open design just incase something falls inside it and shorts.

Here are some test shots and designs being finalized.

Modding old MP3 player

My wife recently found an old MP3 player from about 2008 and asked if I can get it working, knowing I love this kind of stuff. I said I’d give it a shot but no guarantees.

Having a look on the side I notice a weird 4 pin header and a label on back that says it’s actually a USB port. Kind of weird. So I open it up to see what’s it like.

I find out I’m extremely lucky as a Micro USB connector not only fits but the pinout is almost aligned straight. So I rip apart a wire for a strand or 2 and get to soldering.

After soldering and plugging it it it starts up. Yes! So now I plug it to my PC and once again it starts up and then loaded a storage device. How lucky is this woman. It was fun and took about 20 minutes. Need to test the music but yeah it’s alive.

Learning Python w RGB Strip Controller

Hey everyone, been busy with work lately but had a long weekend, kind of vacation with all the storm stuff happening. Ive taken that time to pickup Python which is a funky language to be honest but a needed tool to learn especially if i want to start a career in programming. I know im a bit old to be changing careers but its my life and i want to do what makes me happy. Programming makes me happy, building and designing are the sprinkles on my life which is ice cream lol

While i dont know much i learned enough about list, tuples and variable stuff along with my current knowledge of how most of these things work. I was able to create a simple serial program to communicate with a PCB im currently designing.

The program itself is nothing crazy. As of now its a simple program where you enter the color and the amount on you want for the PWM. Just to control color. I dont even know what led strips i will be using yet but the main program will do for now. It doesnt even have a GUI and is all command line driven.

The PCB ive designed is for a simple RGB strip with no controller IC. Non addressable i think they call them. The PCB itself can be easily modified for Addressable RGB Strips though, so i’m not worried.

Here is a quick video of the program so far and a picture of the PCB design.


So ive been busy designing some new boards I call AtomICs. The main reason for them will be to allow people to create more using breadboards. Testing designs and having fun. There will be more to come but here is a peek at what’s currently made.

These are my 2 level shifters. 2 Channel and 4 Channel Level Shifters. These are great for those projects where you need to interface I2C or SPI from 5v to 3.3v systems.

NEW! 6 layer PCB service now from OSH Park

We are very excited to announce our new 6 layer PCB service! 6 Layer Prototype Service $15 per square inch, which includes three copies of your design. Pricing For example, a 2 square inch board would cost $30 and you’d get three copies of your board. You can order as many copies as you want, […]

NEW! 6 layer PCB service now from OSH Park

New Stuff

Hey guys, this post will just be an update. I have a couple of new PCBs being made by OSHPark . They are awesome as usual and have kept up during this pandemic. Which is a tuff thing to do.

The first PCB is my IOBuddy shrunk down to smaller size. Its called the AtomIO

As you can see from the render it has 3 Outputs (LED) and 2 Inputs (BTN). It’s tiny as heck and will help keep breadboards less full. The LEDs are tied to GND with a Resistor so all you have to do is supply 2v to 6v to turn them on. The buttons are pulled low via 10k – 22k ohm. So when pressed they output a HIGH signal. What ever is on the power rail it is connected to.

The colors for the LEDs will most likely be customizable on tindie shop. I will offer White, Red, Blue, Green and Yellow as the choices.

The next board I have on the way is more of an internal use PCB but may sell it if wanted enough. its a simple breakout for those memory LCDs from sharp. The LS027B7DH01 to be exact. I call it the AtomSharp.

Its a basic breakout. Contains the caps needed and 0 Ohm resistor to share VDD with VDDA. Also has a 0 Ohm resistor jumper to allow different EXTMODEs. You can check page 21 of the datasheet for its use. Most use it tied to VSS which I will also do but its nice to have the option to test the other way.

I wanted to make this so i can also 3d print a nice case for the LCD. They are fragile and it’ll be nice to have a enclosure to protect it during testing and development.

I also obtained myself a ESP32-C3 and Raspberry Pi Pico which i havent had time to play with yet. Ill try to get time for those and post up some stuff.

I’ve been a bit sick lately. Don’t want to get into it much but i have some time off from work ill be using to relax and get into this stuff again.

DipDuino v1.7 (3v3, 5v)

Ok so far both of these are stable. They are the same pcb with the same parts except for the jumper on top and resonator on bottom. 5v version is 16mhz and 3v3 version is 8mhz.

I’ve even created a little Test / Programming rig for them. It’s nice and simple and best of all it works!

These new version will be for crowd supply most likely. I’m trying to get price down which is possible only by wholesale aka bulk pricing.

I’ll be posting a link soon for them so keep checking back or subscribe to my blog for updates.

Updates… I

I’ve noticed I’ve been on twitter instead of also blogging stuff here.. ugh.. it seems like a lot at times. Perhaps I should always start here and just link to it in twitter.

For instance here are a couple of 3D prints I’ve done .. I’ll post STL in a minute. This update is done from my phone as many are so sorry for lack of information and quickness.

The little standoffs are pretty useful and cheap to make. Also can be customized easily.