Level converter lets you use 5V hardware with 3.3V ARM chips

I’ve got a fair amount of equipment on hand for prototyping 5V projects. The problem is that I’m working mostly with ARM chips these days and that stuff is just sitting around gathering dust. I recently hit Mouser and started looking for what’s available when it comes to level converters. Most of them are either one-way, or have a pin that needs to be toggled to switch direction. But I found one chip that is bi-directional and sounds fantastic. TI makes the TXB0108. It’s got eight channels, one side of the chip works with 1.2V to 3.6V, the other side works with 1.65V to 5.5V. This is perfect, and will even let me prototype with some of those 1.2V EEPROM chips I bought by accident. Join me after the break to see the breakout boards I made and a quick test of the hardware.

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Tetrapuzz – Tetris clone for AVR

This is a projected that I finished development on over a year ago and I’m just now getting around to documenting it. I wanted to program Tetris from scratch and make it modular so it could be used with different displays. Right now I know it’s working with a KS0108 graphic LCD screen. I also did quite a bit of work on it with the Nokia 3595 screen which is the trunk build of the SVN right now. For this writeup I threw together the KS0108 hardware and loaded that branch of the svn onto the ATmega168 so that I could take some pictures.  I’m happy to say it worked like a charm.  Details after the break.

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