Embedded applications often need to reproduce sound. Whether you need simple prompts, chimes, rings or music clips, having the ability to reproduce pre-recorded audio can greatly enhance the UI (User Interface) of many embedded applications.

This article explores the ways to reproduce pre-recorded audio in a typical small embedded system, along with the tradeoffs that are usually made in the process.

Please note that it is not the intent of this article to discuss what sounds acceptable or not, because audio “quality” is personal and subjective.

This article was originally published on PredictableDesigns.com. …


An oscilloscope, frequently referred to in the trade as a scope, is an essential diagnostic tool used in any serious electronic circuit design activities.

A scope provides a time-stamped, running clip of a signal at the point of measurement. The signal in this case is simply an input voltage.

The usefulness of a scope lies in knowing what point in the circuit to probe, when to start the actual probing, how to properly set up the scope, and how to interpret what the scope is showing. These are all totally dependent on the skills and knowledge of the scope operator.


Creating a new hardware startup is an overwhelming process and it can be quite confusing to know where to even start. In this article I want to highlight what your top 6 priorities should be when forming a hardware startup.

These priorities will help you minimize your financial risk, reduce your chance of focusing on the wrong activities, and ultimately give you a better chance to succeed with your product.

Priority #1 — Set Up Your Business

As soon as you decide that you’re pursuing your product idea, and that it’s going to be a serious endeavor of yours, then you need to set up some type…


Choosing your product’s optimal price is an extremely important decision that should be made as soon as possible. In general, if your product is priced too high then it won’t sell well. If your product is priced too low, you won’t be able to make a decent profit.

Charging too much or too little can be difficult for a startup to recover from. It’s especially hard to increase the price of your product after it has hit the market.

So, let’s look closely at the best way to price your product. Pricing depends on many variables, so start thinking about…


Selecting the right microcontroller for a project involves juggling many factors. In addition to cost, performance, power consumption and overall size, the availability of the proper software and hardware tools is a prime consideration.

Support for the chosen platform is also very important — not just from the vendor, but from the community at large. It also helps if the chosen microcontroller has a readily available development board.

Finally, development time can be significantly reduced if the selected microcontroller has extensive, fully debugged, software libraries with well documented Application Programming Interfaces, or API’s.

NOTE: This is a long, very detailed…


There are many types of prototypes that you will hear about when developing a new hardware product. Each stage of bringing your product to market has different prototype requirements.

Unfortunately, a single prototype is never sufficient for bringing a commercial product to market. No matter how advanced computer-aided-design has become any new product will require multiple prototype iterations.

You always want to start off with the simplest, lowest cost type of prototype. Then, gain as much information as you can from that prototype before transitioning to a more expensive category of prototype.

In this article I’m going to review all…


I’m going to start with a story about an engineer named Gary.

Like many engineers and makers, as a child Gary always loved playing with electronics and computers, so it was no surprise that he ended up with an electrical engineering degree. He spent his free time as a teenager tinkering around with circuit boards and building odd ball things like a dial joke machine.

By age 19 he had built an electrical box that could hack into the public phone network, allowing him to make free phone calls. To Gary, this wasn’t a job or a way to make…


Developing a new electronic product is never cheap, but in this article I’m going to share with you 12 tips to significantly lower your costs.

Minimizing your costs is even more important in the early stages of development. Goal number one should be getting your product to market as quickly and cheaply as possible.

As an entrepreneur with a limited budget and limited experience you need to focus on minimizing your upfront cost not your manufactured unit cost. This article focuses on reducing the upfront cost to get your product to market.

This article was originally published on PredictableDesigns.com. Download…


It’s a long, rough, expensive journey to take a hardware product from idea to market. That journey becomes even longer, rougher, and more expensive when you end up taking the wrong path.

So I want to share eight tips with you that will speed up your journey and make it a bit easier and less expensive too. These tips will help keep you on the right path to success.

Failure to follow these tips will likely mean failure for your startup, so I suggest you read through each one very carefully, and implement these tips as soon as possible.

This…


It’s a long, rough, expensive journey to take a hardware product from idea to market. That journey becomes even longer, rougher, and more expensive when you end up taking the wrong path.

So I want to share eight tips with you that will speed up your journey and make it a bit easier and less expensive too. These tips will help keep you on the right path to success.

Failure to follow these tips will likely mean failure for your startup, so I suggest you read through each one very carefully, and implement these tips as soon as possible.

This…

John Teel

Founder @ PredictableDesigns. Electronics Designer. Writer @Make @Hacksterio @Entrepreneur. Fmr Engineer @TXInstruments. Circuits in @Apple products.

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