Welcome back to Elektor Lab Notes! Let's take a look back at what some of Elektor engineers and editors have been up to during the past few weeks: Lego meets RPi, a DIY Christmas project, a special anniversary edition of Elektor Industry magazine, and more. Whether you are looking for a fun weekend DIY electronics project or you would like to dive into some retro electronics content, we've got you covered. 

Share your feedback in the Discussion section at the bottom of the page. We want to hear from you. Tell us what you think about the projects we've been working on, and drop a few notes about the projects on your workbench.


Below I share some lab notes about interesting articles and projects that I recently came across. I also offer a few notes about my work, which I think you will find useful. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter at @ElektorMathias.

A New Raspberry Pi HAT: The Build HAT, Lego Meets Raspberry

Raspberry Pi has introduced a new HAT, the Build HAT, which allows you to control the POWER UP motors and sensors from Lego with the Raspberry Pi. So, you can realize interesting creations with some Legos and the Raspberry Pi. A suitable power supply is also included.
Raspberry Pi Build HAT - Lab Notes
Raspberry Pi Build HAT (source: https://www.raspberrypi.org)

A 3D Puzzle in KiCad and FreeCad for Christmas

Currently, I am working on a miniature fireplace that generates a campfire effect with an LED matrix. It is powered by a Raspberry Pi Pico. It is a 3D puzzle for the electronics enthusiasts and where possible uses THT components. Take a look! 
A 3D Puzzel in FreeCAD
Led marix
Led Matrix done in KiCAD
Part of the walls
One wall as PCB

Alibaba Opens Up the Design of Its RISC-V Processor

On GitHub, T-Head, the chip division of Alibaba, has disclosed the Verilog description of the CPU part of the wujian100. The chip can thus be loaded into a simulator or synthesized for an FPGA. An MIT license is currently used as the license for the core, and thus also allows commercial use and modification.  
E902 Function Blocks
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


It’s getting hard to get your hands on electronics nowadays: the shortage of electronic components is felt everywhere, from labs to consumer electronics. Many industries have difficulties making new products or maintaining supplies, simply by the facts that they can’t get the parts they need. All indications are that it may be some time before this shortage is resolved. So, as you can imagine, I have been doing a bit more writing and editing than hands-on engineering lately.  

Owon SDS1102 Review

Some years ago, I worked with an Owon oscilloscope for the first time, a portable model, and I must say that I didn’t like it at all. I don't remember which model it was exactly, but in terms of controls, display and overall look and feel, I put the device aside very quickly. And now, in 2021, I was asked to have a look at a benchtop oscilloscope of the same brand. To cut a long story short, I was pleasantly surprised by this SDS1102. Sometimes a brand does deserve a second chance!
SDS1102 for Lab Notes

"I really like the simplicity and clarity of the operation. Finally, an oscilloscope where you can quickly find simple settings like time base and trigger settings at a glance. That's a good reason to buy this oscilloscope." Check it out

Servo Tester

Elektor has published many different servo testers over the years. The microcontroller-based design that we will present in the upcoming January/February 2022 issue can not only be used to test if a servo works, but also to determine its characteristics if a datasheet is not available. The software (both software and HEX), PCB design, and design files for a 3D-printed enclosure will be available for download.
Servo Tester


As you know, we've been celebrating 60 years of Elektor magazine for the past several months! In the upcoming edition of Elektor Industry magazine, we review the past six decades of electronics innovation, from the tubes and ICs of the 1960s to the innovative IoT solutions and AI chips of the present day. As we investigate the key electronics-related technologies of each decade, we highlight many of the noteworthy projects, ideas, products, and inventions that came out of the Elektor community. Here is an overview of what you can expect in the edition, which will be available in the mid-November.

60 Years of Electronics and Elektor (1961-2021)

Elektor Industry edition for Lab Notes
Coming in November 2021!
The 1960s
  • Enter: Solid-State Electronics
  • The Transition from Tubes to Transistors in Dutch Higher Education
  • Tubes to Transistors

The 1970s
  • The Micro Movement
  • The Birth of the Microprocessor: The Intel 4004
  • Elektor in the 1970s and Beyond: Q&A with Karel Walraven

The 1980s
  • A Computing Revolution
  • The Battle of 8-Bit Home Computers
  • Audio Electronics in the 1980s: Jan Didden on Audio, Engineering, and Elektor

The 1990s
  • Digitization in the 1990s
  • Web 1.0: Welcome to the Internet: Computers Get Connected
  • Engineering in the 1990s: Martin Jepkens on ’90s-Era Tech and More

The 2000s
  • Microcontrollers for Everyone
  • Microcontrollers Take the Stage
  • The Microcontroller Boom: From 8 to 32 Bits in a Decade
  • The Rise of Arduino: An Interview with David Cuartielles

The 2010s
  • The 2010s and Beyond: The IoT Explosion
  • The Past, Present, and Future of the Internet of Things
  • A Decade of Raspberry Pi: Eben Upton on the Past, Present, and Future

In addition to covering 60 years of electronics, the magazine will also feature special sections about the World Ethical Electronics Forum 2021 (WEEF) and productronica 2021. Don't miss the exciting issue. It's sure to be a collector's item.