The Public Lab is a collaborative community enabling people to explore and inspect their environment with DIY techniques. During the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill they provided aerial mapping devices using balloons and kites so citizens could obtain contamination data independent of information provided by BP and the US government.
Now the Lab has provided an online manual on how to construct your own visible light spectrometer. A spectrometer identifies materials by measuring their unique color absorption but those on the commercial market cost thousands of dollars. Using cheap off-the-shelf parts such as a VHS-box and a USB webcam the Lab has reduced the cost to $35. In addition they developed open source software to analyze the spectral data. [via]
Build a Spectrometer for $35 - [Link]
Compact embedded module WizFi630 enables to connect any serial RS232 device to a TCP/IP network. However it´s not all. By supporting 3 Ethernet ports, it offers a wide variability to connect another devices to a Wi-Fi network, in various operation modes.
Novelty from company Wiznet – WizFi630 module provides, besides the RS232/ Wi-Fi interface, even many other functions, which place it to a category of routers. Via 2 UART and 3 Ethernet ports it is possible connect several devices in various modes of operation: AP (Access point), Client , AP client and Gateway. These modes are best illustrated in attached picturs. For a development support, we offer you a novelty – WizFi630EVB evaluation board with complete accessories for a promo price in a limited amount – with almost 50% discount.
- high-performance Wi-Fi module with the RS232 interface
- 90 Mbps effective rate
- IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
- 2 UART and 3 Ethernet ports
- usable as a Wi-Fi router, AP, AP-client, Client, AD-HOC
- 64/128 bit WPA/WPA2-PSK TKIP, AES
- easy configuration via a built-in web server, serial commands or a Windows utility
- CE, FCC, KCC certificates
WizFi630 – WiFi on all ways, including AP, Client and Gateway – [Link]
This blog will contain descriptions of some of my favorite workshop techniques and projects. The subject area will include everything from woodworking to electronics to machining and project design.
Decapping ICs (removing epoxy packaging from chips to expose the dies) - [Link]
Last month one of the unsung heroes of electronics has passed away. Hans Camenzind, father of one of the most famous integrated circuit of all times, the Signetics timer NE555, timed out at the age of 78. Being a gifted analog designer, Swiss-born Monsieur Camenzind is also credited to be the father of class-D amplifiers and he has introduced the concept of the Phase-Locked Loop (PLL) in ICs. During his rather productive career he designed over 140 ICs, wrote several books and many articles and his name is attached to some twenty patents.
When a famous artists dies you will hear his or her greatest hits on every radio or see his or her best films on every TV channel. Therefore, in respect of one of the great electronics inventors of our century we will play here Hans Camenzind’s most successful composition, NE555 in bipolar. [via]
Hans Camenzind, father of the NE555, dies at the age of 78 - [Link]
Company FTDI released drivers form ARM processors compiled for Linux OS, enabling to Access FTDI USB devices thus expanding I/O ports in various applications with ARM processors.
Existing FTDI drivers for many processors architectures and various operating systems have extended with a new clone and further enlarged possibilities of an easy USB interface implementation with FTDI devices into various devices, including the popular Raspberry Pi. New D2xx drivers for Linux are compatible with all ARM processors supporting the V5 instruction set.
They are free to download at: http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/D2XX.htm.
ARM processors providing a high computing power while maintaining a small power consumption, are probably the most often choice for powerful data and multimedia application nowadays. That´s why, if you have an application with ARM processors, or you´re just developing it, you may appreciate also this possibility to add a USB interface into a target device simply.
FTDI USB devices understand even the Raspberry Pi - [Link]
Mifare and DESfire RFID modules from company Stronglink enable to use advanced RFID technologies while maintaining a very affordable price.
MIFARE ultralight, MIFARE 1k, MIFARE 4k and MIFARE DESfire are known technologies of RFID enabling to use various application, store various data and other functions. From this reason, they´re largely used in admission systems, loyalty programs, goods tracking and many other segments. From the security point of view, mainly the DESfire system with the DES/AES encryption excels. New 13,56 MHz Stronglink modules in our portfolio – SL025M, SL030, SL031, SL032, SL040 and SL040A enable to use these technologies and they are relatively easily applicable because of more reasons. Firstly, they are available in more versions with UART, I2C, RS232 as well as USB interface, they are certified (CE and RoHS) and the producer provides an above-standard development support.
Usage of modules is also simplified by their low power consumption and a relatively very low-profile construction with the height of only few mm. An important factor – the price, also says in favor of Stronglink modules, because they´re available for relatively very competitive prices. For the development support, there are also available source code examples for various microcontroller families. Further information will provide you the SL025M, SL030, SL031, SL032, SL040 and SL040A user manuals and AN100721, AN101203 and AN110221 application notes.
Stronglink modules will provide you a highly secure RFID - [Link]
The LTC®4000-1 is a high voltage, high performance controller that converts many externally compensated DC/DC power supplies into full-featured battery chargers with maximum power point control. In contrast to the LTC4000, the LTC4000-1 has an input voltage regulation loop instead of the input current regulation loop.
Features of the LTC4000-1’s battery charger include: accurate (±0.25%) programmable float voltage, selectable timer or current termination, temperature qualified charging using an NTC thermistor, automatic recharge, C/10 trickle charge for deeply discharged cells, bad battery detection and status indicator outputs. The battery charger also includes precision current sensing that allows lower sense voltages for high current applications.
LTC4000-1 – High Voltage/Current Controller for Battery Charging with Maximum Power Point Control - [Link]
John Donovan writes:
Alternative energy sources deliver small amounts of power intermittently, and at times power levels may not match the needs of the applications that depend on them. Some form of energy storage is needed, though the solution will vary with the demands of the application. This article will examine various energy buffering solutions, including small form-factor batteries, thin-film batteries, and supercapacitors, highlighting both their specifications and the applications to which they are best suited.
Storage Alternatives for Energy Harvesting Applications - [Link]
A Switch Mode Power Supply circuit collection from Linear Technology. It covers 12 basic SMPS circuit categories: Battery, Boost, Buck, Buck-Boost, Flyback, Forward, High Voltage, Multioutput, Off Line, Preregulator, Switched Capacitor and Telecom. [via]
Switching regulator circuit collection - [Link]
Announcing APM 2.5! – DIY Drones. Jordi writes -
I’m pleased to announce the new APM 2.0 revision, better known as APM2.5! But before you start screaming that you just got an APM 2.0, let me explain that there’s NO difference in performance at all between the two, the board is still the same in terms of functionally and it runs exactly the same code as APM 2.0. We just took the liberty of throwing in a few new universal connectors in there (so accessories can be cross compatible with the new PX4 and protect the user from connecting the cable in the wrong direction), some production improvements that will allows to manufacture it faster and finally we added some protection features to protect it from those reverse polarity/short circuit lovers.
We’re making them at the new Tijuana facility, so we hope that we’ll be able to keep up with demand much better than we have in the past. We’re committed to shrinking all delays, and our investment in the Tijuana facility is just one sign of this.
Announcing APM 2.5! - [Link]