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GNUdino – ARDUINO design using gEDA

14 Mar 2009

Arduino is one of the coolest board to start learning microcontroller programming. You can get a whole lot of documents from the internet. It’s an Open Hardware project. So that you are free to distribute it, copy it, modify it…. like a free software. Open hardware is a latest trend in the electronics field.

One of the problems of Arduino was that, it’s designs were done using a proprietry software named Eagle. Although free version of eagle is available from the net, it is not a free software. Also the free version of eagle has a limitation that we cannot design large boards.

So I thought of redesigning the Arduino Single-Sided Serial Board (version 3) board using free software gEDA (GNU Electronic Design and Automation) tool. These are the design files of the board.


These files are released under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License 2.5.  You can use this file anywhere you want same as like the arduino license. Please give me proper credits while using this file and also give a link back to my page

I have designed this board by tracing the pcb layout of arduino which was designed using eagle. A small tutorial of tracing pcb’s by DJ Delorie is shown here.

Similar to the tutorial above, I am giving the files which I had first used for designing purpose.



Place these two files in a folder. Now in the terminal run the command

pcb –bg-image 125_90.ppm ard.pcb

You can see the pcb tracks over the arduino pcb design which was done using eagle. The pcb tracks were drawn on the component side. While loading the file, PCB will be showing the component side. So you will be seeing the tracks not sitting on the background image. To switch to the solder side press the “TAB” button. Now you will see the track alligned.

Please check the files for any mistakes. If there is any, please comment it.

If you have any comments please do it… :)

Sita Sings the Blues

05 Mar 2009

“Sita Sings the Blues” is an animated feature (72 minutes) based on Sita’s adventures in the ancient Indian epic the Ramayana.

Visit Sita Sings the Blues for more info.

This is a cool collection of animated movies released under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License .

I had a look at the website. Wow superb design. Cool animation. There are cool still images in the front page it self. I loved it. Have a look at those pages….

“Sita Sings the Blues” is the work done by Nina Paley.

You don’t need my permission to copy, share, publish, archive, show, sell, broadcast, or remix _Sita Sings the Blues. Conventional wisdom urges me to demand payment for every use of the film, but then how would people without money get to see it? How widely would the film be disseminated if it were limited by permission and fees? Control offers a false sense of security. The only real security I have is trusting you, trusting culture, and trusting freedom.     –from_ Sita Sings the Blues by Nina Paley.

There is also a faq page

Also a dedicated wiki

Read the interview with Nina Paley How Copyright Restrictions Suppress Art: An Interview With Nina Paley About “Sita Sings The Blues”

You can download the videos from

See a whole lot of stills from

This link for video has been taken from

Learn to solder

05 Mar 2009

Soldering  is one of the essential skill required for an electronics hobbyist. These days I was searching for some cool soldering tutorials. And the result was my favourite site  INSTRUCTABLES .

You can check this link for a whole lot of soldering tutorials with some of them having videos.

The other web page I found was . Spark Fun is an amazing website. This website has all its circuit open. You can find a whole lot of tutorials and other thing about electronics from its page.

These kind of soldering skills are essential for hacking devices.

From my experience in soldering 50% of soldering skill is obtained by practice. But the remaining 50% skills can be improved only if you have good tools for soldering. At least have an micro soldering iron with you for doing SMD soldering.


Octave Tutorials

23 Feb 2009

Octave is a kind of FREE SOFTWARE  replacement to matlab. But still these days matlab is being used by colleges for their lab purposes.

Even my B-Tech syllabus of calicut university has matlab to be learned. So I thought of  moving towards octave. These are some cool links to start with OCTAVE. You must have installed octave in your PC for using this.

These tutorials are not written by me. But I am planning to write one. It will contain some basic commands and also the experiments solved for the B-Tech Electronics and Communication Engineering.

Octave Introduction

Experiments using Octave for B-Tech course

Soon this page will be running up. Now I am going for my final year tour to Hyderabad (INDIA) .After that the tutorials will be setup…

You can just see a small experiment implemented by my friend using octave.

Free Software and Open Hardware talk on Chelakara

20 Feb 2009

Brief report on the talk conducted at Government Polytechnique college, Chelakara

Yesterday (19-02-2009) Krishnan Unni and I went to conduct a talk on Free Software, Python Programming and Open Hardware. These talk’s were conducted as the request from students of poly technique.

I and unni reached the college almost at 10.00 AM. There was a small inaugural session. After that we were asked to start the talk . The morning session was on Free Software Philosophy, GNU/Linux installation steps and general GNU/Linux doubts. this was handled by Unni.

All the students were eagerly hearing the talk. There was a very good response from the  students. And the important thing is that all the students were very interactive. Questions were coming from all sides on general GNU/Linux tools, virus removal methods, installing games, accessing internet….. This session had an end at 12.30 PM.

The afternoon session was split into two, the python programming and the other was Open hardware. Python Programming was handled by unni. There was a small programming contest on python. He also showed how to develop software’s using python.

My topic was Open Hardware. Actually what I had in mind was introducing what is open hardware, common electronic designing tools and programming the AVR microcontrollers using GNU/Linux. But everything changed after seeing their syllabus.These guys had to  study about ATmega128 and also about ARM processors. I was shocked seeing it. Even the calicut university Electronics Engineering syllabus didn’t have these latest topics. I introduced about open hardware. But programming the AVR microcontrollers was not that much nice. There was a parallel port failure and the other fact was that the students knew how to program all these . What I showed was LED blinking. But they had studied blinking LED’s in their 6th semester itself. Anyway I could have made it more fun if  I knew about the syllabus by adding some superb videos like Big Buck Bunny :(

Now I am in a shame to say that I am learning Electronics engineering because a lower course like the diploma had a lot more to study than engineering course…. these students were more practical.

Anyway the response form the students were fantastic. Thanks to Yamini Madam and all the computer science students of chelakara.

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