Saturday, April 20, 2013

Command-line driven Intel HEX file decoder

Intel HEX is an open file format to save machine code data. Today lot of compilers and EEPROM/Microcontroller programmers support for this file format as de facto standard.

hex2file is a lightweight, command-line driven application to view and convert Intel HEX files into other file formats. I developed this application as a supporting utility for our on-going compiler/virtual machine projects. This utility supports four output formats which include CSV, plain- text, binary and numerical-text.

hex2file standard numerical output in screen mode

hex2file is an open source - free software and its available for both Linux and Windows operating systems. The latest version of hex2file utility is available to download at – hex2file project page. The more details including project documentation are available at

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Electronically Controlled Nichrome-Wire Cutter

Nichrome-Wire Cutter is an essential tool for model aircraft constructions. We mainly use Nichrome-Wire Cutters to fabricate model aircraft wing assemblies, other than that Nichrom-Wire Cutters are used to cut wax, polystyrene materials and other similar kind of materials.

In this project we construct electronically Controlled Nichrome-Wire Cutter. The main feature of this cutter is its (non mechanical) variable temperature controller. The temperature of the Nichrome-Wire is controlled using TL494 PWM controller. In this design TL494 is oscillated with fixed frequency and only varying factor is its duty cycle, in this given design R2 is used to control the duty cycle of the frequency.

Duty cycle variation with R2 potentiometer

This Nichrome-Wire Cutter requires 8V to 20V – 3A DC power source and 16.5V – 3A is recommended supply for this system. When constructing this system makes sure to solder and connect all the components properly, improper connections may cause oscillations and instabilities in output.

Recommended wire for this system is 1m of 24 S.W.G Nichrome-wire (generally with mix of 60% nickel, 16% chromium, 24% iron) with approximately 6Ω resistance. When constructing this system take special care about this Nichrome-wire. Improper wiring/mounting may cause severe burns, fire and/or permanent damage to the equipments.

The schematic, PCB and all the other materials related to this project are available to download at google drive under the terms of Creative Commons - Attribution 3.0 Unported license.