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Top 30 Resources for Hardware Startups and Makers

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Hardware startups and makers can use all the help they can get. It can be difficult, however, to find resources for developing a physical hardware product (as opposed to software).

So to help you out I’ve put together a list of my favorite online resources for those developing new electronic products. These 30 resources will really help you succeed. READ MORE...

Focus on the Big Picture for Your Product – Worry About the Little Details Later

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Article Technical Rating: 1 out of 10

You need to see the forest for the trees, don’t get lost in the weeds, don’t drown in the details, take a bird’s-eye view, focus on the big picture.

These idioms all convey the same meaning, and there’s a good reason why there are so many expressions for this idea. The concept of focusing on the larger picture is so very important. I’m going to tell you why focusing on the big picture is especially critical for entrepreneurs bringing a hardware product to market. READ MORE...

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How to Package Your New Hardware Product

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Article Technical Rating: 0 out of 10

Every electronic product basically consists of three parts: the electronics, the enclosure, and the package. In my experience most entrepreneurs focus on the development of the electronics, and to a lesser extent on the development of the enclosure. READ MORE...

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Crowdfunding for Hardware Startups

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Article Technical Rating: 1 out of 10

Developing and launching a new hardware product is expensive. It’s also incredibly risky. Fortunately, there is a way to help solve both of these problems: crowdfunding. READ MORE...

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Why Hardware is Hard, But Easier Than Ever

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Article Technical Rating: 5 out of 10

Hardware is hard is so commonly said it has become a cliché. Yeah, you know it’s hard, but why exactly? In this article I will discuss this in detail.

Fortunately, there is good news too – developing and launching a new hardware product is easier now than it’s ever been. There have been many advancements in recent years that make it much more feasible for an entrepreneur to bring a new hardware product to market. READ MORE...

Charging Methods for Lithium-Ion Batteries

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The battery type of choice for most electronic equipment running on batteries is the li-ion battery.

Of the other types that were used previously, NiCad batteries for use in electronic equipment have been banned in the EU, so the overall demand for those types have dropped. READ MORE...

What’s Inside a Smartphone?

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Modern smartphones are marvels of technology, and it is really impressive how much technology is crammed into such a compact device. The product that the customer holds in their hands is certainly the result of many compromises made to satisfy many conflicting requirements. READ MORE...

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How to Add Audio Features to Your Embedded Product

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Embedded applications often need to reproduce sound. Whether you need simple prompts, chimes, rings or music clips, having the ability to reproduce pre-recorded audio can greatly enhance the UI (User Interface) of many embedded applications. READ MORE...

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A Practical Guide to Using an Oscilloscope

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An oscilloscope, frequently referred to in the trade as a scope, is an essential diagnostic tool used in any serious electronic circuit design activities.

A scope provides a time-stamped, running clip of a signal at the point of measurement. The signal in this case is simply an input voltage. READ MORE...

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Introduction to Embedded Firmware Development

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An embedded system is a stand alone, intelligent system dedicated to running a set of tasks, or an application, from the moment it is powered on.

This is in contrast to the way an application is started on a desktop or similar device, where the user does not have to specifically load anything. READ MORE...

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Wireless Sensor Communications Network – IoT Case Study

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Given the explosion of Internet-of-Things (IoT) capable products, I wanted to go into more detail on how to add wireless sensors to your new product.

This article describes a simple system, and a communication protocol, that can be used to implement a two-way, low-speed, polled star network. While not suitable for all applications, there is a surprising range of applications where this setup could be used. READ MORE...

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Electronic Lab Setup – Tools and Equipment Requirements

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If you are a maker or engineer planning to develop your own electronic product, then you’re going to need a way to test, program, and debug the electronics. In this article we will discuss how you can construct your very own lab setup for testing out all your product concepts. READ MORE...

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Introduction to the Ultra High-Performance STM32H7 32-bit Microcontroller

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The STM32H7 is the most powerful member of the popular STM32 family of 32-bit microcontrollers based on ARM Cortex-M cores, and offered by ST Microelectronics.

This microcontroller can be clocked at speeds up to 480 MHz with a benchmark performance greater than 1,000 DMIPS. This is one of the fastest, most powerful microcontrollers currently available on the market. READ MORE...

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Introduction to the ESP32 WiFi / Bluetooth Wireless Microcontroller

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The ESP32 is a very versatile System On a Chip (SoC) that can be used as a general purpose microcontroller with quite an extensive set of peripherals, including wireless capabilities.

Manufactured by Shanghai based Espressif Systems, the ESP32 costs less than $5. It’s quite popular with the maker community, but is also a good low-cost solution for mass production. READ MORE...

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Introduction to Developing Wearable Technology Devices

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Developing a wearable electronic product involves juggling design constraints and compromises in ways that are quite a bit different from a conventional non-wearable design.

In this article, I’m defining a wearable product as a body-worn device, with its own power source, that doesn’t restrict the movement of the wearer. Examples would be a pair of smart glasses, or a smart watch. READ MORE...

Advanced Guide on Interfacing with a Video Display

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NOTE: This article is a guest post by Shawn Litingtun. Shawn is an extraordinary electronics designer. He has an insanely comprehensive understanding of many topics in electronics and has extensive knowledge on electrical certifications. I’m yet to ask him a question about electronics that he can’t answer! He is also one of the experts inside the Hardware Academy available to answer technical questions. READ MORE...

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Comparison of Memory Types Available for Your Product

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Every electronic system that has some kind of microcontroller, or microprocessor, needs to have some memory attached to it.

This memory holds the program that the processor executes. It also holds the data that the program requires, or produces. This data may come from sensors, or is some intermediate result of the running program, or is simply to be saved or displayed. In an ideal world, there should be only one kind of memory. READ MORE...

How to Select the Best Display for Your Project

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If your new electronic product requires a display, then it is essential that you select the right type of display.

Your choice of a display directly impacts your product’s user experience simply by being one of its most visible aspects. A display is also likely to be one of the most expensive components in your product, and also one of the most power hungry. READ MORE...

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Introduction to Battery Chargers (Part 2 of 2)

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In this second part on battery chargers we’re going to be looking at the BQ24092 and the BQ24703 chargers from Texas Instruments.

If you are not familiar with lithium battery chargers I highly recommend you first read part 1 where I explain some of the fundamental concepts. READ MORE...

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Introduction to Battery Chargers (Part 1 of 2)

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One of the most common types of electronic circuits used in modern portable electronic products are battery chargers, specifically those for recharging lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries.

This two-part series will review three common battery chargers. READ MORE...

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How to Pick the Right Voltage Regulator(s) for Your Design

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Probably more than 90% of products require a voltage regulator of some kind, making them one of the most commonly used electrical components.

Unless you’re able to run everything directly off battery voltage or an external AC/DC adapter voltage, a voltage regulator is required. Odds are that multiple voltage regulators will be needed. READ MORE...