PIC16F886 based magic ball project

Probably everyone knows what magic 8 ball is. Normally this is a ball filled with fluid where core with answers float inside. All you need is to ask any question, shake the ball and look for random answer. DIYtronics decided to revive this magic using electronics. So as a base he took PIC16F886 microcontroller, attached OLED display and single button. This is all it needs to do the trick.

Electronic magic 8 balls has many benefits over real one. First of all you can add as many possible answers as you want. Second – you can change its purpose like turn it in to fortune cookie with single push button. This OLED display seems to fit there very well…

The Marvelous IK3OIL 16F84 PIC Frequency Counter

Well, some of you here might have built a few PIC frequency counter before, and fully understand about its usability in the electronic field. However, for those who never get in touch with PIC frequency counter, it’s an electronic instrument that being used for measuring frequency.

Technically, frequency is defined as the number of events of a particular sort occurring in a set period of time. In order to measure the frequency, you have to use a counter to accumulate the number of events occurring within a specific time. Let’s say, after a preset period (1 minute, for example), the value in the counter is to be reset to zero automatically!

IK3OIL 16F84 PIC Frequency Counter

By the way, we’re going to build an IK3OIL 16F84 PIC Frequency Counter. Most people are worry, as they might need to waste a lot of money buying the electronic components. Well, you know what? This IK3OIL 16F84 PIC Frequency Counter is very cheap, as the cost of the counter is cost you about US$2, while the display is only less than US$5!

Frankly, this IK3OIL 16F84 PIC Frequency Counter is a marvelous frequency counter, as it not only cheap, but can perform a better result than other frequency counter did!

The High Frequency 2.5 GHz Counter

Counter, which is one of the most common electronic devices, has been adding with many useful features. Well, you might quite familiar with the ordinary counter, but do you know that you can use an AVR controller and turn it into a powerful counter?

Seriously, this can be done, although it needs a bit more involved with a PIC. You must know that a PIC has an asynchronous counter input, and it able to handle frequencies up to application 40 MHz. Most of the time, an AVR’s have a synchronous counter input, where is sampled with the clock frequency.


You have to remember one thing here. When you’re using 4 MHz clock, please make sure the input frequencies must be lower than 2 MHz.

By starting an AVR counter, you can start to measure the input frequency. During the period, wait a few minutes and stop the counter again. You’ll know the frequency, if you’re reading the counter register properly. It sounds very easy, isn’t it?

Well, things can be so complicated, if you use an external prescaler to measure higher frequencies.

By the way, since this a very high frequency 2.5 GHz counter, thus you should handle it carefully and mind about the high voltage as well!

The 100% DIY Digital Picture Frame

In the past, our ancestors mostly putted their photos in the old-fashioned photo frames, where it is not only huge but lack of any other useful functions as well!

Time has passing by and the technology keeps changing. Beside of the ordinary photo frame, you’re now have another option to choose from: Digital photo frame.


The digital photo frame is not only can display your photos in JPEG format, but it can also display the photos as a slideshow.

Some other useful features of digital photo frames are:

  • They come with adjustable time interval;
  • The user can send photos to the printer;
  • Some additional multimedia functions, such as movie clips recorded in a digital camera’s movie mode, MPEG video files or MP3 audio;
  • Loading pictures over the internet from RSS feeds (Photo sharing through Flickr or Picasa!);
  • Some of them can even display txt files!

So, if you’re interested to DIY your very own digital photo frame, then you must understand the basic concept first.


If you refer to the above figure, it shows that the SD card, PIC and LCD are the three main components that needed for this project. Since this digital photo frame is a small frame, thus you can bring it and display photos anytime, anywhere you want!