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Learn, Imagine, Build
Geoff Messier's Projects & Ideas

Hardware Hacking

This page describes the various embedded microcontroller and circuit design projects I’m enjoying. Much of this is frog themed due to a long time love of Kermit and their role in our ecosystems.


I use eagle for my PCB design. While a little dated, I still like Jeremy Blum’s eagle tutorial in parts 1, 2 and 3. It’s also handy to be able to know how to create a custom library part.

Frog Brain

The microcontroller board I use for most of my projects is implmented using a PIC from Microchip. The processors I’ve selected are from the PIC16F1777/8/9 family since they seem to be the 8 bit PICs that have the most options for interfacing to analog circuitry.


Wireless connectivity is implemented using the LoRa standard. I chose this since I don’t need a lot of speed for simple PIC applications and the excellent link budget is really nice for home projects. I’m using a now unavailable transceiver board that is essentially a direct interface to the Semtech SX1280 chip with the RF front end and on-board antenna.

Tadpole Boards

Aka daughter boards (haha). These boards plug into the PIC brain board using headers.