UPDATE 02 February 2016. The new and improved DigiRule’s are coming with a price of $10USD each plus $5USD shipping anywhere in the world for the first DigiRule and $1 shipping for each additional DigiRule. Click the button below to get further details and to place your pre-order. (Better quality photo’s soon to come…)
The New DigiRule’s will soon be available from my electronics web store. opening soon!
Here’s a youtube video of the improved version:
And now back to the original post…
This project is completely open source. You can download all files including PCB layout, source code and BOM in the link at the bottom of this page.
UPDATE: 30 December 2015 – Jaap has made a really cool DigiRule Java Simulator which you can check out in the link below. Try the DigiRule without having a DigiRule!
I’ve seen a number of PCB rulers out there for example this one from Adafruit:
However I wanted to make one that was a little more interesting and of course, should have some LED’s built in. (LED’s seem to make electronic projects more interesting…)
So I made the DigiRule! – The DigiRule is a 15cm (6″) ruler with which is marked in binary digits rather than decimal. It has a number of built in digital functions including:
It is powered by a single 3V CR1220 button battery and the brains of the unit is a PIC 18F43K20 microcontroller (which is a greatly over powered device for such a simple task – but they are cheap!) The functions listed above are controlled by nine surface mount push buttons and has twenty three surface mount LED’s to show the status of the inputs and outputs.
The rear of the ruler contains logic gate and flip flop truth tables, a binary conversion chart, a few select SMD component footprints and some drill hole sizes.
Check out the youtube video for a demonstration:
Here is the ICSP (In Circuit Serial Programming) port connector pinout.
Click below to download the DigiRule archive – note this contains all software fixes for the button bounce issue and the SR flip flop issue. It also contains a simple user manual to help with using the DigiRule.
Additional (free) software to go with the above download include:
Diptrace – The PCB editor that I used to design the DigiRule
Swordfish Basic – The IDE that I used to code the DigiRule
PICKIT2 Software – The software that I use to transfer the .hex file to the DigiRule’s microcontroller
And finally, a PICKIT2 (or similar) USB programmer to actually copy the .hex file to the microcontroller (this is used in conjunction with the PICKIT2 Software). You can buy a genuine PICKIT2 or 3 from microchip.com or you can buy a clone for cheaper. Since microchip has released the PICKIT2 hardware and firmware as open source, there is no problem with buying a clone. I recommend this one: