The Learning Centre

The Learning Centre is a collection of tutorials, FAQs, and other info that we have found to be useful. This page is designed to give you all the information you need in developing / designing with microcontrollers and robotics (we've also thrown-in some unrelated, but very cool stuff).

Quick Index: Microcontrollers Robotics Infra-Red & Optoelectronics
Interfacing & I/O Printed Circuits (PCBs) Displays (LCDs, etc.)
Stepper, Servos, Motors & Actuators GPS & Navigation Magazines
Imaging/Video General Electronics X-10
Programming Construction Techniques


Updated: April 20, 1999


[redball.gif] Decoding the BASIC Stamp -How it works inside
[redball.gif] Microchip PIC FAQ
[redball.gif] 68HC11 FAQ
[redball.gif] 8051 FAQ


[redball.gif] Robotics FAQ
[redball.gif] BEAM Robotics FAQ
[redball.gif] Seattle Robotics Society
[redball.gif] Dallas Personal Robotics Group (DPRG)
[redball.gif] The Western Canadian Robotics Games
[redball.gif] Johann Borenstein's Home Page (Lots of good info on robot positioning)
[redball.gif] The light spectrum of a candle flame
[redball.gif] MOSFET H-Bridge Tutorial
[redball.gif] List of Robotics Competitions (Worldwide)

Infra-Red & Optoelectronics

[redball.gif] I/R Repeaters
[redball.gif] IR Remotes Page
[redball.gif] Sci.electronics Infra-Red FAQ
[redball.gif]Laser Diode Info.
[redball.gif] The light spectrum of a candle flame
[images/pdficon.gif] How to hack a Sharp I/R module for range-finding
[redball.gif] Implementing IR Rangefinding
[redball.gif]IR Remote Info


[redball.gif]CCD Cameras
[redball.gif]About the Tyco Video Cam


Displays (LCDs, etc.)

[redball.gif]How to control HD44780-based Character-LCD Good code examples
[redball.gif]Fil's FAQ-Link-In Corner: LCD Technology FAQ
[redball.gif]LCD FAQ

Stepper, Servos, Motors & Actuators

[redball.gif]Basic Stepper Motor Concepts
[redball.gif]Stepper Motor Intro
[redball.gif]Stepper Motors
[redball.gif]Motorized Actuators Tutorial (steppers etc.)
[redball.gif] All About Servos
[redball.gif] Modifying the TS-53 Servo for Continuous Rotation
[redball.gif] Modifying the Futaba FP-S148 Servo for Continuous Rotation
[redball.gif]Servo Basics
[redball.gif] Motor Technology Tutorial
[redball.gif] Motor Operation Principles -Animated demonstration of working motors
[redball.gif] Electric Motor FAQ

Printed Circuits (PCBs)

[redball.gif]Printed Circuit Prototyping Manual
[redball.gif]Build a full-blown PCB lab
[redball.gif]Bill Boucher's Home Electronics tips & tricks

Interfacing & I/O

[redball.gif]Parallel Port Info
[redball.gif]Jan's Parallel Port FAQ
[redball.gif]An Introduction to Serial Communications
[redball.gif]All about Magnetic Cards


[redball.gif]Circuit Cellar INK
[redball.gif]Nuts & Volts
[redball.gif]Embedded Systems Programming
[redball.gif]Robot Science & Technology Magazine

GPS & Navigation

[redball.gif]GPS System Overview
[redball.gif]Peter Bennett's FTP Directory
[redball.gif]USCG NAvigation Centre (GPS Headquarters)
[redball.gif]The GPS Resource Library
[redball.gif]Electronic 2-axis Compass

General Electronics

[redball.gif]On-line Basic Electronics Course
[redball.gif]Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ
[redball.gif]PC Keyboard FAQ
[redball.gif]Oscilloscope FAQ
[redball.gif]Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) Tutorial
[redball.gif]The Speaker Building Page
[redball.gif]Andrew's Circuit Archive -Lots of useful circuits (Telephone, IR, etc)
[redball.gif]Telecommunications Links-Excellent list of links to info on everything (video, IP, Cable TV, Telephones, LAN, ISDN...


[redball.gif]X-10 Protocol Specification
[redball.gif]X-10 FAQ


[redball.gif]Introduction to C Programming (On-Line Tutorials)
[redball.gif]A Brief Introduction to DLLs

Construction Techniques

[redball.gif]Injection Molding Basics for the Minimal Mold


[redball.gif]All about the Pelier Effect




The idea of this page is to be a one-stop information source for hobbyists, reaserchers, developers, etc. for datasheets, appnotes and the like. Please feel free to suggest additions. This page is constantly under construction !

Datasheets / Manuals [getacro.gif]


Microcontrollers & Memory
Type Size Description Appnotes
180K Scenix SX  
129K Xicor X25640 8K Serial EEPROM  
1003K PIC16C554
1354K PIC16F84


Type Size Description Appnotes
1055K Industrial LCD & VFD User Manual v1.52
68K Economy LCD Manual


Real-World Interface Devices (ADC, DAC, Thermal, etc.)
Type Size Description Appnotes
418K Linear Technology LTC1298
79K Dallas DS1620 Digital Thermometer  
167K MotorMind B Datasheet
254K PocketWatch B Datasheet


Power ICs
Type Size Description Appnotes
? National's LM78xx series of voltage regulators (e.g. LM7805)
? L293 4-Channel Motor Driver
188K L298 Dual Full Bridge Driver

Application Notes

Type Size Description
480K Applications for the LTC1298 (AN62)


1K Interfacing the MotorMind B with the BASIC Stamp I (AN-251)


1K Interfacing the MotorMind B with the BASIC Stamp II (AN-252)


1K Interfacing the PocketWatch B with the BASIC Stamp I (AN-152)


2K Interfacing the PocketWatch B with the BASIC Stamp II (AN-151)



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