Category: Electronics Projects

My electronics projects

Running American C7/C9 Christmas lights (110V) directly on a 220V supply

Whew, long time without another post – it’s been a busy time, glad to get back to blogging.
This post is going to explain the basics of using American 110V Christmas lights on a 220V electrical supply, by splitting the light string in half and putting them in series instead of using a dedicated voltage converter.

Last Christmas I was in the U.S. and, as a fan of large bulb C7 Christmas lights, I picked up a nice old set for a grand total of $9.49.
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They looked and worked great in the hotel room, I just needed to modify them to work on a 220V supply that we use in South Africa (and most of the rest of the world). I could have used a voltage converter but this string uses over 100W, a large transformer would be needed ($$$).
A cheap and easy solution is just to split the string in half, and have both sections connected in series; each section would receive 110V.

Temperature-controlled Peltier Mini Fridge

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UPDATE: Project featured on Hackaday.com! See here
I recently finished up on my Peltier Mini fridge project, and it works great!
It can cool down whatever you want that’ll fit in it — six 330ml cans for example — and can get down to –2.1°C!
Watch the video for a full description and how it works. I gotta say, it’s really cool, excuse the pun!

Playing video and other fun things on a Nokia 3310 LCD with Arduino

The Nokia 3310 LCD is well known in the electronics community; I decided to have some fun and get it to do things the designers probably weren’t intending it to ever do! 😛

This LCD is a monochrome graphics LCD with a resolution of 84×48 and while relatively old (1998), it’s brilliant for its very low price.

This controller uses the PCD8544 controller IC has an easy to use SPI protocol and handles all the hard work of driving this display (multiplexing, generating bias voltages, ect.) Using the display is relatively easy with any microcontroller, I used a breakout board for ease of access on a breadboard/stripboard.