Bajdi did some tests for switch mode voltage regulators:
There are different types of DC-DC regulators. The most common are linear and switch mode regulators. Everyone that has tinkered with electronics has probably used a 78xx series linear regulator. They are easy to use since they don’t need any special components. With most linear regulators you just put a capacitor on the input and one on the output and they will work.
Testing switch mode voltage regulators - [Link]
New 2mm safety system Hirschmann for measuring and testing will serve even in tight spaces, on densily populated PCBs and similar.
It´s not that far, what we introduced to you a wide portfolio of a measuring and testing equipment from SKS-Hirschmann in the article SKS – measuring and testing with pleasure. It can be said, that almost everyone, who´ll try testing probes or clamps from SKS, will quickly favor them and they differ from many „no-name“ products by a precise, sufficiently rigid construction.This time, the company SKS comes with a novelty in a form of a 2mm safety system, which despite small dimensions meets specification for CATIII – 1000V. As this system for 2mm banana plugs is significantly smaller than 4mm system, it enables a comfortable and effective measurement even in tight conditions, at smaller components, …
Naturally, this system can be convenient not only because of 1000V max. voltage but also thanks to smaller dimensions of banana plugs and a whole set of accessories. That´s why we´ll appreciate it at measurement in all applications where there´s “no space left”.
New safety system we keep as items upon order, but probably we´ll soon incorporate it to standard stock items.
Even a miniature testing clamp can handle 1000V - [Link]
Frank Zhao posted his STM32F4 breakout board [via]:
I really like the STM32 family of ARM microcontrollers. This breakout board is a narrow design that fits perfectly on a breadboard. Every pin is accessible. It has USB, a reset button, and a bootload button. The chip itself has a permanent USB bootloader that is activated by the bootload button. This means that no equipment is required to program this microcontroller, no expensive debugger, nothing at all except a USB cable.
Design files are open source and can be downloaded, there is also a short video about the bootloader and more instructions
I am also giving away blank PCBs to those interested (see “giveaway” on my page), Seeed makes more than I need, every single time
STM32F4Stamp, a breakout board for STM32F4 - [Link]
pcmofo @ instructables.com writes:
I wanted to make an easy and secure way to enter my garage. RFID was the best way to unlock my door, even with my hands full I can unlock the door and push it open! I built a simple circuit with a basic ATMega 168 arduino chip and a ID-20 RFID reader to control an electronic door lock.
Arduino RFID Door Lock - [Link]
Bajdi built an Arduino MP3 alarm clock and wrote a detailed explanation on his blog describing the build:
The idea is simple, an LCD that shows the date and time. A couple of buttons to set an alarm, and an MP3 module and small speaker to play an MP3 when the alarm goes of.
Arduino MP3 alarm clock - [Link]
Suzanne Deffree writes:
Apple this week is celebrating the five year anniversary of its Apps Store. If you go to the store, you’ll notice Apple is giving away five games and five apps to celebrate the anniversary.
When it opened its virtual doors, the Apps Store did so with a mere 500 apps. Now, it showcases more than 900,000, with more than 800 apps being downloaded each second.
In total more than 50 billion downloads have taken place since the Apple App Store’s 2008 launch, with more than $10 billion being paid out to developers.
Mixed in among the whopping number of available apps are a few that engineers, specifically, might enjoy. We’ve created the following list of our own favorites as well as some contributed by engineers in the field.
20 Apple apps for engineers - [Link]
Quantitative electrochemical biosensor capable of being read out using low-cost consumer electronics.
The e-Gnosis Sensor http://marblar.com/challenge/egnosis-chip, developed in Prof Mino Green’s lab in London, is a bit like a blood glucose sensor on steroids. It can detect a huge range of substances in parallel using simple electrochemical readouts. What’s also neat: The device is based on a small, inexpensive chip that can communicate through a smart phone or tablet. Given its features it has a huge amount of potential, so Marblar is running a competition to find the best applications for the device.
Marblar is a web-based platform that creates competitions around emerging technologies for its community to crowdsource market applications. The e-Gnosis Chip was launched two weeks ago and already has 33 potential market applications exploiting the unique features. The winner will take the $750 cash prize and other rewards. To check out these ideas and get involved, head on over to Marblar, http://marblar.com/challenge/egnosis-chip.
e-Gnosis chip - [Link]
With LEDs that require only one pin, you can do a lot with even just a 6-pin microcontroller!
A touch controlled light with 4xWS2812 RGB LEDs and ATtiny10. This is a small hardware project which utilizes the light_WS2812 library and the TinyTouchLib to implement a touch-button controlled RGB-LED light. Only two output pins of the ATtiny10 are used. Atmel Studio project and Eagle files are included.
Tiny Touch Button - [Link]
Kerry Wong documented his VFD filament driver built:
I recently salvaged a vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) from a piece of old test gear. The VFD is a 13 digit 7-segment multiplexed display and I thought it would look great in a custom digital clock or something similar. While it has the model number FUTABA 13-MT-54NA, I could not find any information on the internet specifically for this model. Of course, before I could put this vacuum fluorescent display to use in my final project, I needed to first build a driver circuit to drive this display.
VFD filament driver using 555 - [Link]
IPushKarov posted his DIY Nikon DSLR IR remote with MSP430:
Three years back in time, I bought Nikon D3000 DSLR. I started shooting, but the moment I needed remote, came one day (more over night), during on night photography session. I checked all local suppliers, but the prices were high. I ordered one from China. The problem with orders from China is that they take time. I started waiting and one day I made my IR remote, using the MSP430.
Nikon DSLR IR remote using an MSP430 - [Link]