Home Blog  

12 Jun 2014


Stylish and mainly functional are new enclosures from Hammond dedicated for miniature computers..

Credit card-sized miniature computers (SBCs) experience big popularity and they´re quite similar as for th shape and size. Here belong for example Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone black, Arduino Uno, Due, Tre, Mega and Freescale Freedom. They´re used as built-in into a target device but often also as standalone. Just for these purposes are suitable ready-made enclosures designed exactly for a given type.

Despite a similar size of various SBC-s, their physical construction and mainly a position of various connectors are different. That´s why Hammond comes with enclosures designed exactly to fit to a given microcomputer. From several available types, in our store can be fopund types for Raspberry Pi (model B) marked as HAMPIxxx and types for BeagleBone black marked as HAMBONxx. As we might expect, all connectors, expansion slots etc. are easily accessible while maintaining a great mechanical protection of the module itself. Enclosures are constructed to be closed by a “click”, that´s why no tools are necessary to open or close them. Particular details are probably best illustrated on the attached pictures.

Detailed information can be found in the 1593HAMBONE and 1593HAMPI datasheets.

Place your BeagleBone or Raspberry Pi into a stylish enclosure - [Link]

8 Jun 2014


1,6V rechargeable batteries experience “rebirth” and bring several advantages in comparison to 1,2V NiCd accumulators

Experts in electrotechnics might say, that these are a long-time known batteries invented already by Edison thus being no novelty at all. That´s true but in contrast to older tyes is in technological advance of electrolyte and electrodes so as to reach a substantially higher lifetime that few decades ago.

So what´s interesting about these rechargeable batteries? By one sentence, NiZn cell has an output voltage of approx. 1.65V, what´s about 0.4V more than NiMH/ NiCd cells.
At the same time they´re able to provide a high current, similarly like NiCd/ NiMH cells, that´s why they´re also usable in devices with high current demands (conductivity of Zinc is about 15% than Cd). NiZn cells are easily recyclable and they´re very environmentally friendly. Another benefits:

  • energy density of NiZn cells is about a third higher than that of NiCd cells (Wh/kg and also Wh/liter).
  • higher voltage (1,6-1,8V) enables to reach a higher voltage of „battery-packs“ with a lower count of cells
  • lifetime is comparable with NiCd cells
  • no memory effect, trouble-free recharge to 100%
  • flat discharging characteristics, average voltage aprox. 1,6-1,7V

It is recommended to recharge NiZn cells by C/4 to 1C current (i.e. for example 500 mA to 2000 mA for a 2000mAh cell) while observing a max. voltage of 1.9V/ cell. It´s not recommended to leave cells at a so called “trickle charging” as overcharging might decrease lifetime of cells. Naturally, like in case of almost all rechargeable batteries, the highest lifetime can be reached at operation on a partial discharge (not to a deep discharge). It´s worth to say, that NiZn are not an ideal replacement into devices with a very small power consumption ( e-g- remote controllers), where still win primary alkaline cells.

In our offer can be found NiZn cells themselves: 4AA2500mWh1.6V BP4 and 4AAA900mWh1.6V BP4 as well as a set – charger + cells (4xAA+4xAAA) NizN Charger + Accu. This charger charges by 500 mA current (AA/AAA) and monitors each slot individually. During recharging a LED at agiven slot blinks slowly (1x/s) and after finishing of recharge it shines continuously. In case of a faulty cell it blinks quickly (4x/s).

NiZn rechargeable batteries – when Nickel and Zinc create a strong pair - [Link]

5 Jun 2014


When a tool becomes a legend, usually there must be a good reason for it. This is also the case of Voltcraft mark.

Voltcraft has become legendary as a mark almost “from day to day” when in th year 1982 introduced on the market the first digital multimeter Voltcraft 6010 affordable for wide range of customers (for 139 DM), when other common tools were sold for about 300 DM. Already in the first year over 100 000 pcs were sold. Naturally, only the price wouldn´t cause such attention, but it was remarkable, that this tool offered (at a given price) practically the same functionality as other significantly more expensive tools.

This philosophy of an excellent price/ performance ratio together with technical innovations maintains mark Voltcraft up to day and nowadays multimeters represent somewhat like a golden middle way between usual quality meters and top level professional types, as for the quality and also as for the price. Voltcraft often brings innovations, which can´t be found at other equipment or we only find them after some time …

Despite a very affordable price, we can find at Voltcraft tools some features of top-level equipment, for example:

● optically insulated interface for communication with PC, possibility to combine data from several meters in one window
● robust fuse with a disconnecting ability of 1000V/30kA
● lock against insertion of measuring leads into a device if a rear cover is not closed (at a battery exchange)
● low pass filter (LPF below 1kHz) for interference suppression at measuring of AC voltages
● possibility to measure at a decreased impedance (400 kOhm) to suppress interference
● possibility to measure by a clamp accessory (display shows A, mA)
● they´re available with a calibration certificate (at an extra price)
● majority of types has a max. reading of 5999 or up to 39999
● usually they´re CATIV/600V, CAT III/1000V class
● also available types with a resolution of 0,01 Ohm
● measuring of capacity with 10 pF or even 1 pF resolution
● usage of OLED display (VC890)

In our offer can be found a few types attached below this article. A comprehensive comparison of basic features illustrates attached picture and detailed information ca be found in datasheets at particular types.

Multimeters Voltcraft – above-standard quality for an appropriate price - [Link]

30 May 2014


This is the portable version of the Xminilab. The Xminilab Portable is a small mixed signal oscilloscope with an arbitrary waveform generator and protocol sniffer.


  • Mixed Signal Oscilloscope: Simultaneous sampling of analog and digital signals
  • Advanced Trigger: Normal / Single / Auto, with rising or falling edge and adjustable trigger level
  • Meter Mode: Average, Peak to peak and Frequency readout
  • XY Mode: Plot Lissajous patterns, See the phase difference between two waveforms
  • Spectrum Analyzer with different windowing options and selectable vertical log
  • Horizontal and Vertical Cursors with automatic waveform measurements
  • Arbitrary Waveform Generator with Sweep on all parameters
  • Display options: Persistence, Different grid options, and more
  • Curve tracer function

Xminilab Portable Small Mixed Signal Oscilloscope 2.42″ OLED - [Link]

29 May 2014


Precise heatsinks from the production of Fischer Elektronik will take care for your devices to stay “cool”.

Over 40 years of experience of company Fischer reflect in an excellent reputation and mainly in a stable high quality of their products. Main production portfolio consists of heatsinks, connectors and enclosures. Narrow specialization on mechanical and electromechanical components is reflected just in details. We can be sure, that a heatsink which we´ll use in our device, will be available the same precisely made even in a year, two,…

Fischer Elektronik takes care for one of the most important feature of heatsinks – planarity and surface smoothness in a place of a supposed touch of component with a heatsink. This a critical place, as even the best heat-conducting pastes have still a noticeable worse thermal conductivity than aluminium and just a high planarity and smoothness enables to use only a thin paste layer.

Also available are versions with an anodized surface (natural, black and other colors) as well as various “exotic” shapes. Upon request company Fischer also makes a custom products, drilling, milling,…
And what in the case that we need to cool kilowatts? – in that case it might be a suitable solution to use a liquid cooling, which can be also find in the Fischer Elektronik catalogue.

Leave an excess heat to Fischer heatsinks - [Link]

28 May 2014


If we´re deciding whether to use a classic transformer or better a modern electronic switch-mode power supply (SMPS), it´s good to realize pros and cons of both technologies.

Switch mode power supplies Myrra series 47000 already found their stable place on the market and they gradually replace classic transformers. Why is it so?

Switch-mode power supplies definitely win in a perhaps the most important requirement of these days – in efficiency (in a whole load range) and in a low no-load consumption (Standby). Similarly also many other factors say in favor of switch-mode power supplies, for example power/ weight ratio, size, simple elimination of a high inrush current, silent operation, minimum stray magnetic field, …From these reasons for the majority of applications it´s better and often even cheaper to use an “electronic replacement” of transformer – for example modules series Myrra 47xxx or AC/DC modules Traco Power for higher power ratings.

Maybe it´s worth to question, whether there´s still any reason to use a classic transformer in usual applications with power demands say 1-1000W? Surely yes, for example in application very sensitive to HF radiation (HF receivers, pre-amplifiers,…) but also in applications with a demand for the highest reliability for decades. Transformer is a component which almost doesn´t age and if properly sealed in a resin, then it´s lifetime is extremely long. As a transformer doesn´t contain any semiconductors, capacitors etc, it´s also very resistant to various spikes, overvoltages and noise in a power line…

Power supplies of 47000 series have a very low no-load power consumption – only 200 mW, resp. 300 mW at unregulated types. With the 4000VAC isolation (input/output), they´re ready for a class II – reinforced isolation. With a built-in protection against shortcut and over-temperature, they´re ready for usage in a virtually any device with power demands up to approx. 5-5,4W.

Detailed information will provide you the Myrra 47000 datasheet and the article Save energy and production costs with Myrra 47000 switch-mode power supplies.

Transformer classic or an electronic one? - [Link]

28 May 2014


Open CPU concept at the Quectel M85 GSM module opens new possibilities in simplification of a design, as a part of system resources can be used for an application.

For a usage of GSM/ GPRS module in a target device we usually need also an external microcontroller, which controls the module itself and an overall communication and it also usually controls other parts of your device. The OpenCPU concept at the Quectel M85 module takes this approach so to say “from the opposite side” and enables to use a part of system resources of the module for your own program. In result it means, that no external MCU is necessary what naturally saves production costs and also a PCB space.

Attached picture illustrates difference between a standard configuration (GSM module + MCU) and the OpenCPU configuration. M85 module already supports also various new standards like eCall/Era-Glonass, M85 OpenCPU support a free GCC compiler (Sorcery CodeBench Lite ARM EABI) and also ARM RVCT. For a development and editing of software can be used several tools like Source Insight and Microsoft Visual Studio. M85 module system resources mainly consist of CPU 32-BIT ARM7EJ-STM RISC 104MHz and memory (64Mb Flash + 32Mb RAM), 640KB is a free space for „App image bin“, 2MB RAM for an application SW and 1MB for files and data.

Closer insight about this interesting system will give you the „Quectel M85 OpenCPU” presentation. Quectel provides various tools, application notes and examples for the OpenCPU system. Upon request, we´ll send you a detailed documentation by an e-mail. All that is necessary is to express your interest in a form below this article.

With the M85 module you don’t need a host MCU - [Link]

25 May 2014


“Plus” version of new graphic modules FTDI with an EVE technology brings a big plus in a form of a compatibility with an Arduino platform. 

Innovative graphic chips of the family EVE were introduced to you in our article: Is a display design difficult? Leave it to „Eve“! or also in the webinar in cooperation with the producer – FTDI. This time company FTDI comes with another significant step to make development easier – compatibility with an Arduino platform.
New versions of VM800 modules with the „P“ (Plus) suffix contain besides the graphic chip FT800 and a touch display (3,5/4,3 a 5,0“) a RISC procesor ATMEGA328P (16 MHz) with a precompiled Arduino „bootloader“ (from the supplied 4GB uSD card). It means, that applications can be developed in a free Arduino IDE environment and to use a huge amount of Arduino libraries. “Plus” version also contains a USB interface with the FT232R chip and a precise bezel (Black or Pearl). Also available are over 50 sample “EVE” applications including various gauges, keyboards and other usable in a target device. It can be said, that the Plus series is designed to be directly used not only for development, but also into a target device as a standalone graphic module (HMI) able to control even other peripheries and to communicate through a USB port. The module can be powered through a microUSB connector or from an external 5V adapter.

FTDI brings for a maximum versatility two possibilities of programming:
• through a so called HAL interface (Hardware Abstraction Layer ) enabling cooperation with various MCUs through an SPI interface as described in the Application Note 246 – VM800CB_SampleApp_Arduino_Introduction
• by using Arduino libraries as described in the document Application Note 318 – Arduino_Library_For_FT800_Series

Thanks to a close cooperation with the producer we already have first pieces in of VM800P modules in stock. Detailed information can be found in the VM800P datasheet.

Be in plus with a graphic platform FTDI VM800P - [Link]

22 May 2014


Connectors M.2 also called as NGFF have a chance to become a widely used standard in computers, communication equipment and M2M applications.

The newest member of the data connectors family in our offer are connectors Attend series 123, so called NGFF – New Generation Form Factor connectors, also known as „M.2“. Their main advantage is implementation of PCI Express 3.0, Serial ATA 3.0 and USB 3.0. buses into one connector. The connector is considerable miniaturized and at the length of only 21.8 mm it has up to 75 pins ( 0.5mm pitch/ 50V/0,5A). M.2/ NGFF are designed as a future standard for SSD memory media, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS/GNSS, NFC and other modules. As it´s not a “specialty” of one producer but it´s a connector designed as an international standard, their usage in your device can be advantageous thanks to a supposed easy availability even in the future. An important fact is, that connectors are produced with various keying (A-M). That provides a possibility to differentiate various modules on one board and prevents improper connection (PCIe x2, PCIe x4,…).

M.2 connectors are designed for a direct insertion of PCB, i.e. one part of a connection (M) is a PCB and another part is the connector (F). Connectors support various PCB widths – 12, 16, 22 and 30 mm. Depending on a type, M.2 connectors also enable a double-sided assembly of components on a PCB.

Another novelties from the Attend production in our stock are interesting types for SIM cards, as well as combinations 2xSIM(115L-AB380), 2XSIM + uSD (115M-AB360) and other, which can be found below this article.

Will a New Generation Form Factor become a new standard? - [Link]

17 May 2014


DC/DC switch mode regulators TRACO will save the most precious substance – energy. And now they´re even more affordable thanks to a lower price and better stock.

Maybe, switch-mode regulators are familiar to you from your own praxis or at least from our articles New switch-mode stabilisers Traco TSRN-1 for positive and negative output or Try the effective replacement for standard 78xx regulators and many other.
Fortunately even in this segment it´s true, that thanks to a still bigger popularity of these regulators their price drops down. Moreover, thanks to our close cooperation with the producer – Traco Electronic AG and still bigger stocks we gain a better purchase price and that´s why a better sale price for you as a result. It´s the most obvious in the most popular versions like for example TSR1-2450 and TSR1-24120 with output voltage of 5V or 12V.And the main difference between series TSR1 and TMA? TSR is a so called POL (point of load, non-isolated) regulator, thus it works as “almost lossless load” (buck converter) regulating output power similarly like classic regulators (7805, 7812), only naturally with a substantially higher efficiency. Similarly excellent is also an output voltage stability at a load variation ( typ. 0,4% / 10-100% load). Series TSRxx has the same max. output current for all output voltages, i.e. for example 5V/1A or 12V/1A. In many applications it can be beneficial that TSR operates with up to 36V input voltage.

On the other hand, series TMA is an isolation DC-DC module with an output transformer operating at high frequency (tens to hundreds of kHz). Advantage of the TMA series is a complete galvanic isolation of an output voltage (so called floating voltage) and that´s why it´s suitable even for power supplying of various measuring probes, AD converters and other devices requiring isolated power supply or elimination of ground loops. Despite a significant advantage in a form of an isolated output this type of DC-DC modules has somewhat worse output voltage stability at a load change (max +-10%/20-100% záťaž). Max. output power is constant for a given series (TMA-1W, TMR-2, TEN3-3W, …) i.e. versions with a higher output voltage provide a lower current.

The most comprehensive overview of available DC-DC and AC-DC modules will provide you the short-form Traco catalogue and datasheets at particular types.

Traco TSR, TMA – when every Watt is precious - [Link]





Search Site | Advertising | Contact Us
Elektrotekno.com | Free Schematics Search Engine | Electronic Kits