Electronics and Pic Programming

One of my other keen interests is in electronics and how things work. This page contains details of some of the projects I've built (some not model related) and hopefully will provide some hints and tips for anyone getting into this fascinating hobby.

Please note that this page simply documents projects that I've either designed myself, or projects I've found on the internet and developed them further. If I simply build a project that I find on someone else's web site I will provide a link to that web site for others to obtain the project files. I've only started to list the many projects I've been developing, so keep popping back and look out for the updates. Also if you have a project that you're working on and would like me to add it to this page, then please contact me as I would like to hear about it


Project - Lightmaster III  

Ever wanted to have your own light show in your home ? - well this project provides 8 pattern sequences ( you can add more) that can be selected via two buttons, and the speed at which the lights chase is controlled by a simple 10K potentiometer. The code was written in PicBASIC, and is simple to modify to add additional patterns.

The project uses a 16F628a PIC with portB being used for the output to the LEDs. If you wanted to drive mains bulbs then adding 8 solid state relays in parallel to the LEDs will give the best option. You could use Triacs or Thyristors, but due to the potential of mains leaking across to the PIC I wouldn't recommend it

Click on the icon to download the HEX file schematic, and picBASIC code (zip file)

Project Notes

The zip file contains png image, BAS, eagle and HEX file. Simple build using strip board or make your own PCb from the eagle file


Project - Navigation lights for model aircraft  

A few years ago when I was working on the Voyager E scale project, I wanted to fit some flashing strobe / LEDs to the model to replicate the navigation lights. I looked around and the commercial units were really expensive, and at that time there was a market for a cheap sequential flasher, so I purchased my first PIC microchip programmer and with help from the guy who sold it to me, had my first baptism in PIC assembly code and produced a suitable solution.

I have since modified the code and incorporated the facility of having the strobe lights remotely switchable from the transmitter. The project is based around a 12F675 Micro controller and the total cost should be around £12 including the LEDs.

Click on the icon to download the HEX file and schematic (zip file)

Project Notes

The zip file contains jpeg image and HEX file. Simple build using strip board


Project - Automatic Night Light for Aquariums  

I wanted to switch on a set of blue cold cathode tubes for use as night lights on my freshwater aquarium, but didn't want to use another timer, so I developed (with help from an experienced JAL coder ;-) ) an small module that used a light dependant resistor to detect when the main lights were turned off, and then it switched on the cold cathode lights for two hours and then re-set itself the next time the main lights came on the following morning.

The device uses a 12F675 and a FET to switch the 12v supply for the cold cathode lights.

Click on the icon to download the files

Project Notes

The zip file contains eagle files, JAL code and HEX files as well as some images


Project - RC2PC USB Interface  

One of the early projects I wanted to develop was an interface that allowed me to control a virtual plane in a model flight simulator. I searched the web and found a few USB "windows joystick" interfaces and set to building one... It worked (prototype shown left) but it only allowed the conversion of the first 4 channels to analogue axis.

I then came across a version for the flash microchip 18F2550. But this too only converted the first 4 channels to analogue. I then teamed up with a fellow poster on one of the RC forums and we set about modifying the code to give 8 analogue channels / axis. I must give Mark Jervis credit for the actual coding (Pic Assembly), my contribution was mainly in the testing and de-bugging, and production of the schematics etc.

Click on the icon to download the files

Project Notes

The zip file contains schematic image, eagle files for schematic and PCB, HEX files for both JR and Futaba channel assignments and ASM files.

Please note the terms and conditions of use as outlined in the header of the ASM file

Project - Servo Controller  

I wanted to control some standard servos for use with a robotic arm project (I've yet to get the arm made..one day !). I located a suitable schematic on this web site and thought it would provide the answer.

The Schematic was drawn up in Eagle and a simple PCB made. The result was quite good with smooth control over the 8 servo ports.

The controller interfaces with a PC via RS232 serial comms, and there are lots of freeware applications that allow you to send the data to the controller from the PC.

Click on the icon to go to the site for the files

Project Notes

The site includes ASM code for use with a compiler to produce the required HEX code for programming the PIC