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16 Apr 2011

McZ found a sim card power supply with level translator:

The TXS4555 is a complete Smart Identity Module (SIM) card solution for interfacing wireless baseband processors with a SIM card to store I/O for mobile handset applications. The device complies with ISO/IEC Smart-Card Interface requirements as well as GSM and 3G mobile standards. It includes a high-speed level translator capable of supporting Class-B (2.95 V) and Class-C (1.8 V) interfaces, a low-dropout (LDO) voltage regulator that has output voltages that are selectable between 2.95-V Class-B and 1.8-V Class-C interfaces.

1.8V/3V sim card power supply with level translator – [Link]

16 Apr 2011

Va7sa designed this RF analyzer as his entry in the Renesas RX design contest. He writes: [via]

The NimbleSig III RF Analyzer is a compact, relatively inexpensive instrumentation cluster intended for analyzing the transmission characteristics of RF circuits designed to operate within the frequency range of 200 KHz to 200 MHz.

The analyzer is capable of generating a pair of frequency agile RF signals with digital accuracy. It has measurement capabilities for gain/loss, phase shift and low level RF power. A tracking generator sweep system mode provides a high dynamic range swept frequency display of circuit amplitude response characteristics. A spectrum display mode permits the viewing of signals in the frequency domain.

The RX62N RDK was a solid choice for the controller. It provides control logic and comms for the various RF modules and for the human-machine interface, 4.3″ touch screen SLCD display. The powerful RX62N RDK with its abundance of connectivity options and supporting peripheral devices provides a paved road for a number of planned enhancements for this instrument.

For an exhaustive description of this project, download this 58 page PDF.

NimbleSig III RF analyzer using Renesas RX62N – [Link]

16 Apr 2011

Sean Michael Ragan writes:

This circuit is commonly credited to Japanese multimedia artist Tetsuo Kogawa. It takes audio input through a 1/4″ phono jack and, constructed as shown, without the optional antenna connections, will broadcast an FM radio signal about 30 feet.

Micro FM Transmitter – [Link]

16 Apr 2011

Mariano Alvira writes:

I drive a 1998 Jeep Wrangler and recently it was stolen. As it turns out, a Wangler is embarrassingly easy to steal. The thief used a screwdriver to forced the door lock and break out the ignition; without an ignition you can start the car with your finger.

Seeing how easy is was for someone to steal my car annoyed me quite a bit, so I looked into the best ways to protect your vehicle. In addition to an ignition (which on a Wrangler should be modified to make it harder to remove), it seems that a brake/steering wheel lock and a engine “kill switch” with a good hood lock seems to do the job; at least, it should provide enough motivation to move on to the next Jeep Wrangler that’s parked 100 feet away.

Building a Open Source / Open Hardware wireless kill switch for your car – [Link]

15 Apr 2011

Jon Chandler explorers the often overlooked calculations behind selecting the right resistor for an LED. This somewhat simple task is taken for granted by many, although it’s a world of mystery for others.

Got an LED and have no idea what resistor to use with it? Jon covers it step by step.

LED Calculations – [Link]

15 Apr 2011

Cypress Semiconductor’s first USB 3.0 controller type EZ-USB® FX3 is targeted at video and imaging, printing, scanning, and a variety of applications that need higher throughput than USB 2.0. The new EZ-USB FX3 (CYUSB3014) device is a flexible peripheral controller with a General Programmable Interface (GPIF II) that delivers a 5-Gbps USB 3.0 data pipeline, a fully configurable ARM9™ processor core and backwards compatibility with USB 2.0. With an internal bus architecture designed to operate at 4 times the USB 3.0 speeds, EZ-USB FX3 is ideal for moving large amounts of data extremely fast. It can, for example, deliver high-definition video streaming in imaging applications, eliminating the need for compression on the peripheral side. [via]

SuperSpeed USB 3.0 controller – [Link]

15 Apr 2011

Together with researchers at Würzburg University, physicists at the Vienna University of Technology have developed a method to control and manipulate the polarization of light using ultra thin layers of semiconductor material. For future research on light and its polarization this is an important step forward – and this breakthrough could even open up possibilities for completely new computer technology. The experiment can be viewed as the optical version of an electronic transistor. The results of the experiment have been published in the renowned journal “Physical Review Letters”. [via]

Physicists rotate beams of light – [Link]

15 Apr 2011

Frank setup a internet-based temperature logger using the ThingSpeak contest data-logging service:

This project uses a mbed microcontroller (LPC1768 ARM Cortex-M3) to monitor temperature using a DS1620 (digital temperature sensor IC), retrieve the time via NTP (network time protocol), and then log the current temperature to ThingSpeak along with a time-stamp.

See a live graph here.

Internet-based temperature logger with mbed and ThingSpeak – [Link]

15 Apr 2011

dangerousprototypes.com writes:

Nothinglabs has posted their circuit for a simple reversible motor control for use with the Arduino and other MCUs. The circuit uses two TIP120 Darlington Transistors, two 220 ohm resistors and a 12 volt DPDT relay, parts easily obtainable at any Radio Shack. This design supports PWM for variable speed control, handles loads up to 5 amps, and is controlled using just two MCU pins for “enable” and “direction”.

Reversible motor control for Arduino and other MCUs – [Link]

15 Apr 2011

dangerousprototypes.com writes:

Circuitguy has published this guide entitled Datasheets (Don’t) Lie on his website. Its intended to show newbies how easy it is to mistake a component’s capabilities when you fail to consider all relevant information on the datasheet. Something those new, and not so new to the hobby, have to keep in mind.

Datasheet tips for newbies (and everyone else) – [Link]





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