Microcontrollers & Use in Embedded Technology

Its fun programming and working with microcontrollers. With microcontrollers you can create a piece of hardware which acts according to your wish (obviously with some limitations !). Examples are you can flash a LED, drive a 7 segment display, print text on a LCD, receive signals from a remote control, control electrical appliances of your room, build a robot that follows a line on the floor and avoids obstacles coming in between, frequency meter and infinitely many more..



Basically a Microcontroller is a mini computer with CPU, Memory, I/O lines etc. Microcontrollers are much better for smaller embedded systems than their ancestors i.e. microprocessors, if you are developing a system using microprocessor, then your hardware or circuit will be more complex whereas if you choose a microcontroller, your hardware becomes simple because all the necessary peripherals such as RAM, ROM, TIMERS, I/O ports etc are embedded in a microcontroller. Therefore it is also called a mini computer on a chip. Now we will start with interfacing various devices to microcontrollers (Assuming you have basic knowledge of 8051 architecture and assembly programming and also C). I have chosen 8051 microcontroller due to its simplicity in architecture and assembly language, and learning 8051 chip is much easier than other microcontrollers if you don’t have any prior knowledge on microcontrollers. For more detailed information of hardware architecture and assembly language of 8051 microcontroller you can refer hardware manual and instruction set from ATMEL’s homepage.

Most of the projects and tutorials published here are based on Atmel’s AT89S52 microcontroller, it is a 8- bit microcontroller with 8051 architecture, comes in a 40 pin DIP, contains all necessary peripherals required for a hobby project. Now for a microcontroller to be operational the minimum hardware you need is a crystal oscillator, power supply, power on reset etc. So I have come up with a very simple development board to carry on the projects and interfacing tutorials published here. (Note: This development board is not compulsory; you can also rig up the circuits in breadboard since most of the circuits are simple). You can construct the development board on a general purpose circuit board. (Soon I will be publishing PCB layout for this).

8051 Development Board.

We will start with interfacing microcontroller with LED’s, Displays, Motors, Relays etc.

· Interfacing LED(s)

· Interfacing 7 segment Display

· Interfacing multiple 7 segment displays

· Basics of PWM

· Interfacing Relays

· Interfacing 4×4 keyboard

· 8051 Serial port

· many more to come…

In order set up your simple home lab, you need

· keil or any other assembler/compiler.

· ISP programmer circuit

· ISP programmer software

· Target hardware (your development board or circuit).

April 11, 2010 Posted by | Microcontroller's | , | 2 Comments

8051 Development Board

I have designed a development board for practicing 8051 microcontrollers. The development board is simple one containing minimum hardware required for a 8051 chip to function. The 8051 chip used in this development board is 89S52. The AT89S52 comes in a 40 pin PDIP package. It consists 8kB in system programmable flash memory for code storage, 256 bytes of RAM, 32 I/O lines, three 16 bit timer/counters, one full duplex serial port and many more. For further details you can refer the datasheet.

Figure below shows the circuit diagram of the development board. Click on the image to enlarge. I have connected pull up resistors for all the ports in the circuit diagram, but pull ups are compulsory only for port 0. You can neglect pull ups connected for other ports since they are connected to pull ups internally.

This circuit can be easily constructed in a general purpose circuit board. One can neglect the seven segment display and 8 LEDs if they wish to build it separately. I will be publishing the PCB files for this board soon. Keep visiting.

Some Images of my 8051 development board built on breadboard. This is my first version of my board so the 7 segment display is not present.

Image notes: 1] The marvel chip Atmel’s 89S52    2] ISP port for downloading programs    3] Pull up resistor network    4] connectors to connect I/O pins to any other circuits/interface boards    5] 11.0592 Mhz crystal    6] Power connector    7] 7805 voltage regulator    8] Power indication LED    9] 8 LEDs connected to Port 0

April 11, 2010 Posted by | Microcontroller's | , , | Leave a comment

Long Range FM Transmitter 1

Long Range FM Transmitter 1

Long Range FM Transmitter 1

How to make a long range FM transmitter at low cost


The use of transmitters which have a more powerful output than the ‘flea-power’ are sometimes required when there are many obstacles in the path of the surveillance transmitter and monitoring station receiver, or the distance between them is too far so as to make a low powered device feasible. Whereas a typical microtransmitter will produce an RF power in the order of just a few milliwatts, i.e. a few thousandths of a watt, the VHF-FM transmitter described has a power output of between around a half and 2 watts, depending on the power source, which may be anywhere between 6 volts and 30 volts d.c. The battery or batteries should be of the alkaline high power type, since the current drain will be found to be relatively higher when compared to microtransmitter current drain. The power output of this device is somewhat proportional to the current drain and so therefore both may be decreased by altering the value of R6 to a higher resistance, or a variable resistor with a value of around 1k may be introduced in series with the existing R6, so as to give a variable power output. The variable resistor must not be a wirewound device because this would act as an inductor which will cause feedback problems.The audio input to the power oscillator, which incidentally is formed by TR2 and associated components, is derived from a piezoelectric microphone which drives the simple audio frequency amplifier TR1. The input of the audio amplifier is controlled by the gain pot R1, which selects the correct amount of voltage that is generated by the piezoelectric microphone, then connects this signal to the base of audio amplifier TR1 via C7. It may be found that there is insufficient housing space for a bulky piezoelectric microphone, so with a slight modification to the circuit, it is possible to employ an electret microphone insert as shown. Since the RF field that is generated by this transmitter is relatively large, the problem of RF feedback may very well be encountered. This may be overcome by placing the transmitter inside a metal enclosure, keeping all internal wiring as short as possible and the aerial wire.

Component listing for 1 watt transmitter

Resistors Semiconductors R1 = 27k TR1 = BC547 R2 = 330k TR2 = 2N2219 fitted with heatsink R3 = 5k6 MIC = piezoelectric microphone R4, 5 = 10k R6 = 100R

L = 6 turns 22 gauge enamelled wire wound on 3⁄16″ former


C1, 2, 3, 8 = 330 pF C4 = 2–10 pF trimmer C5 = 4p7 C6 = 1 nF

C7,C8 = 40uF/25V Electrolytic

Circuit diagram for Long range FM Transmitter

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October 5, 2009 Posted by | project ideas, transmitter | , , , , , | 5 Comments

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