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10 Dec 2011

juho-eric.blogspot.com writes:

I had been reading on chaos generators in the past, and this e-mail got me interested again. Their design is somewhat complicated, with a total of 13 stages of 7 different circuit blocks. You can read all about it in the PDF they published

A much simpler chaos generator that can be built with a lot less components is called Chua’s circuit. The downside with this simple circuit is that you need an inductor which you might have to wind up yourself. Also there should be much less variety than in the waveforms of the Elektor circuit. It has so many stages that can saturate to give different waveforms.

Still, Chua’s circuit is very interesting to fiddle with. I haven’t built the circuit yet, but I did some simulations with LTSpice IV and here’s what I found out.

LTSpice simulation of Chua’s circuit - [Link]

19 Nov 2011


Now includes an interface to design simulators, enhanced circuit-element grouping capability and design calculators – [via]

RS Components (RS), on November 7 unveiled Version 3 of DesignSpark PCB, the company’s free professional standard PCB design software, used by professional designers, hobbyists and students.

Developed by RS, in conjunction with Number One Systems, the latest version of DesignSpark PCB provides extra functionality and enables the PCB design software to be used with Spice simulation tools from several major manufacturers. In addition to the tool’s new simulation interface, Version 3 includes enhancements such as component and circuit element grouping, and design calculators, which model circuit performance characteristics.

“The success of DesignSpark PCB, the world’s most powerful free PCB design tool, is unparalleled in our industry,” said Mark Cundle, Technical Marketing Manager at RS Components. “The release of the third version of this award-winning software clearly demonstrates the commitment from RS to continually improve this highly successful product. We promise to carry on supporting DesignSpark PCB and continue to make it available free-of-charge to users. We’ve gathered feedback from engineers through our fast-growing DesignSpark community to integrate the new features they’ve requested in Version 3,” added Cundle. “Additionally, the tool is fully functional – with no limitations or locked features – and is well suited to commercial use, which is not always the case with some free tools.”

DesignSpark PCB design software upgraded to version 3 - [Link]

10 Nov 2011

The program contains a lot of pages with different electronic calculations. Each page contain one or more different calculations. The program is free to download and use, but the program is timelocked. A new version will have to be downloaded after about 1/2 year

MiscEl – A program with lots of electronic calculation - [Link]

6 Nov 2011

Ok, hot off the press. We installed EAGLE v6 beta and the XML support is there. [via]

EAGLE v6 beta – XML export, some example files and screenshots - [Link]

26 Oct 2011

Chris Gammell, of Amp Hour podcast fame, decided to use KiCAD to build his latest project and make a little schematic capture tutorial* at the same time. Nice! [via]

KiCAD Schematic Capture Tutorial - [Link]

23 Oct 2011

RC time constant / voltage calculator.

Intrepid adafruit engineer Kevin Townsend came up with this very handy javascript calculator for figuring out exactly how long it takes for an RC delay to reach a certain voltage. Handy for when you want to make a delay (by charging up a capacitor) or when you want to avoid a delay (by calculating how much delay is caused by your fet/transmission line capacitance) Take it for a spin today!

RC time constant / voltage calculator – [Link]

3 Oct 2011

webtronics – is a web based electronic schematic drawing tool. – Google Project Hosting via Dangerous Prototypes… [via]

The schematic is the language of electronics. Webtronics exists to try and simplify posting of schematics. It is an online electronic circuit schematic diagram editor. When posting electronic schematics to the web a binary image format is normally used. A person copying that circuit image cannot then easily re-edit it. XML and SVG make editing schematics possible in a browser. I have tried to keep the output format pure svg, but I could add more xml later to improve performance. Ideally It could be used in a page that allowed you to open a hosted image inside of it,edit it,and resubmit it by hitting save. It’s like a schematic editor in your browser!

Webtronics –  a web based electronic schematic drawing tool - [Link]

3 Oct 2011

A follow up from “Improving open source hardware: Visual diffs”. Werner writes - [via]

Over at Qi-Hardware, we have a visual revision history for schematics, for KiCad and git. (Doing the same for layouts is still in the queue.)

This is what a simple project looks like:


Click on a thumbnail to enlarge. Click again for a PDF with both versions.

The project from which the design comes is here:


The scripts that go through the project’s git history, find the differences, and do the highlighting, are here:


The scrips also follow addition, deletion, and renaming of files. The whole process is kicked off when something new is committed to the repository. Here are a few more projects:


Visual revision history for schematics, for KiCad and git – [Link]

3 Oct 2011

Ritchie S. King from IEEE Spectrum looks at the most popular programming languages: [via]

Listing programming languages is easy—Wikipedia’s page has more than 600 entries—but ranking them by popularity is hard. As David Welton, curator of the site LangPop.com, points out, you can’t send out a horde of researchers to look over programmers’ shoulders and note what languages they’re coding in. So you have to get at it indirectly.

To do that, you can search the Web and find numbers to use as a proxy. And you can tailor the search to target different kinds of popularity: Which languages are the most sought after in the job market? Check a job site. Which are used by elite programmers? Look in on their chat sessions. How established is a language? Visit an online bookstore—new and esoteric languages don’t have many reference books dedicated to them.

The data here come in part from TIOBE, a software research firm based in Eindhoven, Netherlands. The analysts there produce an aggregate index each month. I also looked at Welton’s LangPop.com, which shows the results of individual searches, such as on Craigslist, Internet Relay Chat, and Powell’s Books.

Top 10 Programming Languages - [Link]

2 Oct 2011

Improving open source hardware: Visual diffs @ Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories. [via]

As the open source hardware movement matures, it’s worth taking a moment to consider the issue of version control.

Collaborative software projects make heavy use of version control– tools like Subversion and Git, and project hosting sites like SourceForge, GitHub, and Google Code –to organize and manage the contributions of many developers to a project. But as we begin to consider open source hardware, can we use these same tools and sites for effective collaboration on hardware projects?

The short answer is, “yes”– after all, people are already doing it. But the reality is that we could do much, much better. Some people think that we do need a separate “SourceForge for hardware.” That’s hard to say. But it is the case– perhaps against conventional wisdom –that existing tools can be used, today, for meaningful hardware version control.

Improving open source hardware: Visual diffs - [Link]





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