Driving 595 Shift Registers. Mike writes in -
Thanks for the ATmega32U4 Breakout Board and TPIC6B595 chip. They are super! I am using them to learn basics. I always write a blog entry about what I learn. This way I am forced to learn the details and remember things better. Currently learning about shift registers and SPI.
Driving 595 Shift Registers - [Link]
Monolithic component DVIULC6-4SC6 for an ESD protection of high speed signals is a guarantee of a high reliability and a long lifetime of devices, especially in an industrial environment.
You may have already had a device, which stopped functioning without an apparent cause, or even worse – it started functioning with unaccountable dropouts. The reason may have be very probably a damage by an electrostatic energy. Consequences of such a damage are always unpleasant and often hard to detect. In the most of cases it would be sufficient, if the device contained components of an ESD protection. Price of these components is a fraction of the price in comparison to potential damages, which an ESD (electrostatic discharge) can cause. For an efficient protection against a static energy it is usually necessary to meet two requirements: to use suitable protective components and also to carefully design a PCB with minimalization of parasitic inductancies.
Advantages / Features:
- ESD protection of 4 lines
- complies with IEC61000-4-2 level 4
- able to protect a power line (Vbus)
- ultra-low capacitancy 0.6pF/865 MHz
- high data integrity, usable up to 1.65Gbit/sec
- fast response
- SOT23-6L SMT package
- higher reliability thanks to a monolithic integration
DVIULC6-4SC6 is a modern component from ST Microelectronics intended for an ESD protection of a wide variety of high-speed lines like DVI, HDMI, IEEE1394, USB, ethernet, video lines and SIM cards in communication devices. In a miniature SOT23-6L SMT package it is able to protect 4 independent signals and also to protect power supply (Vbus/GND) thanks to an integrated transil. With an ultra-low 0.6 pF capacitance and an excellent capacitance matching to gnd, as well as between lines, ensures high level of signal integrity and enables troublefree protection of pair signals without asymmetric distortion up to 1.65 Gbit/sec speeds. DVIULC6-4SC6 represents an integrated monolithic solution with a high reliability, ensuring compliancy with existing ESD standards on the device level, hence greater immunity at a system level.
Detailed description will provide you the DVIULC6-4SC6 datasheet.
DVi, HDMi, USB, ethernet … they all need an ESD protection - [Link]
Imagine if the next coat of paint you put on the outside of your home generates electricity from light—electricity that can be used to power the appliances and equipment on the inside.
A team of researchers at the University of Notre Dame has made a major advance toward this vision by creating an inexpensive “solar paint” that uses semiconducting nanoparticles to produce energy.
“We want to do something transformative, to move beyond current silicon-based solar technology,” says Prashant Kamat, John A. Zahm Professor of Science in Chemistry and Biochemistry and an investigator in Notre Dame’s Center for Nano Science and Technology (NDnano), who leads the research.
“By incorporating power-producing nanoparticles, called quantum dots, into a spreadable compound, we’ve made a one-coat solar paint that can be applied to any conductive surface without special equipment.” [via]
Nanoparticle paint generates electricity - [Link]
The Audrey Braille Display – LIVE! @ Utopia Mechanicus. David writes – [via]
It’s taken far longer than I wanted, but I am finally looking at a finished prototype for the Audrey Braille Display. Made of 3mm Acrylic laser-cut pieces (via the Victoria Makerspace laser cutter), it uses two stepper motors, connects to an Arduino (and LadyAda Motor Driver board), and displays 5 characters.
The Audrey Braille Display - [Link]
With transformers for switch-mode power supplies from company Myrra you can avoid a demanding high frequency transformer design and you can focus only on a design of an SMPS according to your own specific demands.
For a power supply solution it is often more effective to use ready-made DC/DC or AC/DC modules. However if you need a power source with non-standard output voltage or if you decide from any reason for your own design of an switch- mode power supply (SMPS) like flyback or push-pull, you will need a suitable high frequency transformer.
Transformers of the 740xx series from company Myrra offer advantage in a fact, that they are optimized directly for usage with a certain control circuit (chip). That´s why they eliminate a necessity of relatively demanding design of custom transformer, or extensive comparing of parameters according to which you´d have to choose a suitable type. All you need is to choose a transformer of desired power rating and in its datasheet you will find a recommended SMPS control circuit. With some transformer types you can use more types of SMPS control circuits. Transformers provide a high level of safety – they are made of exclusively UL94-V0 listed materials and they feature a high primary/secondary insulation of more than 4000V. You can find appropriate datasheets at given transformer types listed under this article.
To design your own transformer? – No! - [Link]
On this week’s episode of element14’s “The Ben Heck Show,” modding guru Ben Heck creates an accessible controller for a student living with Pompe disease, a neuromuscular disorder causing muscle weakness. Check out the heart-warming episode at element14 when you have the chance!
For this build, Ben mods a breakout box with eight input switches to act as the interpretation layer between the Xbox 360™ controller and simplified controls, allowing 13-year-old Patrick Crowley to play video games requiring complex button sequences, such as X-Men Origins: Wolverine™.
The Crowley family’s dedication to developing a cure and raising awareness for the disease inspired Ben and element14 to get involved! Their story has also been captured in their memoir Chasing Miracles and dramatized in the 2010 motion picture, Extraordinary Measures.
Ben Heck creates accessible controller mod for 13-year-old boy with Pompe disease - [Link]
After my Masochist’s Video Card project won 2nd place in the 7400 contest, I got to choose one of many prizes being given away by Dangerous Prototypes. The prize I chose was the DE0 Nano FPGA development board, which, it turns out, is a pretty beefy little thing, despite its tiny size.
This article will look at how to build the same functionality that the Masochist’s Video Card (built only with 7400 logic IC’s) had, however this time we will use the DE0 Nano development board to complete the task, instead of wrist-breaking, pain-staking, masochist-loving wire-wrapping.
DE0 Nano VGA Output - [Link]
Electrolytic capacitors in an SMT package are not as often used as leaded radial or axial capacitors are. However they offer many advantages, which make the assembly easier and save a PCB space.
Electrolytic capacitors in an SMT package offer the same properties as their leaded familes (THT version), but they are much easier to assemble on a PCB. If you have a device, where most of components are in an SMT version, you probably proceed the way that SMT components are machine-assembled to PCB with a following reflow soldering. Leaded THT components (through hole technology) are then soldered in the 2-nd technological step – by a solder wave or manually. In a device containing many various THT components this 2-nd technological step is inavoidable. But in devices where only few THT components are, it is often possible to minimize their count or totally eliminate. This makes a production of the device significantly cheaper and quicker. Moreover in comparison to manual soldering, reflow soldering is much more consistent, ensuring a stable quality of soldering in various production batches.
Saving of a space is the second essential advantage. SMT electrolytic capacitors are available even with a very low profile. Thanks to the fact, that pads of SMT capacitors don´t require holes drilling into a PCB, like it is at THT technology, in many applications they can significantly simplify design of multilayer PCBs. Another advantage at HF circuits can be the fact, that integrity of the ground layer on the PCB won´t be corrupted by their usage. Read the rest of this entry »
While Arduino gets the lions share of attention in the hobby community there are some limitations to 8-bit microcontrollers which have been recognized by the Arduino project with their recent announcement of plans to make ARM based development boards, as well at the Maple project (STM32 based). ARM microprocessors often offer significantly more RAM/Flash and peripherals at similar prices to traditional 8-bit microcontrollers, however they have a reputation for being harder to use.
In the maker community LPC and STM32 ARM based boards seem the norm, however in my experience LM3S (LM = Luminary Micro which is now owned by Ti) chips are far easier to work with. This is largely due to StellarisWare, which makes peripheral configuration uniform across devices. (See my comparison of UART configuration on many platforms here).
When I realized there were no inexpensive LM3S based boards available (now there are few on eBay as well) I decided to make some. I made a simple breakout style board called Cygni that was as inexpensive as possible so that people could try out ARM and find out that it wasn’t scary after all. And I made two more advanced boards one that could be a USB host (called Eridani) and one that was suitable for tasks requiring a lot of memory, internet access, USB hosting or all of the above (called Procyon).
teho Labs – inexpensive LM3S based boards - [Link]