New USB power supply Friwo Mini provides a surprising power in miniature dimensions.
Friwo mini USB – FW7713 is a beautiful example how modern switch-mode power supplies continuously move borders of power while keeping small dimensions. Adaptor 5V/1A with an USB-A output connector is an ideal device for travelling as well as for every office. It enables to supply or recharge almost any USB device.
With such small dimensions it occupies only a minimum space and it is usable even in narrow multiple power-line sockets. Similarly like for example Friwo PP12 power supplies, even Mini USB is equipped with a shortcut protection acting at exceeding of a nominal current by more than 10% and it will withstand even a continuous shortcut. Wide input voltage range contributes to a universal usage. With a stand-by power consumption below 0.1W it fully complies to the latest directives. Detailed information will provide you the FW7713 datasheet.
Take a 1A USB power supply to your pocket - [Link]
Ante Vukorepa draws our attention to this video of Claude Paillard, a French radio amateur (F2FO), making his own tubes (also known as thermionic valves) from scratch. “The video depicts the whole process, from winding the filament through making the glassware, assembly and vacuuming, to testing. Pretty awesome!”
For more information on Claude’s activities as well as links to articles on vintage radio topics, go to Claude’s website. (In French; if English is needed, click on the Google translate link at the top of Claude’s webpage.)
Homebrew electronic tubes - [Link]
Ferdinand added a dc/dc converter circuit to the transistor tester, allowing it to be powered from 2 AA batteries instead of a single 9volt. This project is similar to our Part Ninja, it’s designed to test various electronic components like transistors, diodes, resistors, etc, and display their pin out and basic specifications. [via]
I built my own version of this handy tool last weekend. I replaced the linear regulator with a small boost-converter. Now the circuit can be powered with two AA batteries.
The PCB is sandwiched between the battery holder and LCD, so to provide a handy device without need for a case. I had a lot of fun designing and building the circuit, so thank you DP for highlighting this project.
Transistor tester powered from 2 AA batteries - [Link]
They say you are only as good as your tools. This is a statement I can vouch for, as better tools can make the difference between a sleek and well designed prototype and a rats nest covered breadboard. Unfortunately as an electronic hobbyist you don’t always have the budget of a big tech company at your disposal. But hey, that’s what DIY projects are for!
Starting off as a hobbyist or even small tech company designing and building electronics you will soon learn that most of the fun IC or MCU chips are either cheaper in, or only available in, surface mount form, and fancy reflow ovens are expensive. But a soldering oven isn’t much different from a toaster oven– the only difference is the accuracy and temperature settings.
That is why I’m going to show you how to build your very own Soldering Reflow Oven for under $100 from an old/new standard toaster oven, thermocouple and a microcontroller.
DIY Soldering Reflow Oven - [Link]
Joint partnership builds on MITx and Harvard distance learning; aims to benefit campus-based education and beyond. EdX is a not-for-profit joint venture between Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to offer online versions of their classes and those of other universities. At the same time, edX will support Harvard and MIT faculty in conducting research on teaching and learning on campus through tools that enrich classroom and laboratory experiences. The goal of this initiative is to create a global community of online learners while improving education for everyone. To learn more about edX, visit http://www.edxonline.org.
MIT and Harvard announce edX - [Link]
LCD drivers for:
- Siemens C65 color LCD (S6B33B2)
- Motorola C350 color LCD (SSD1770)
- Nokia 3510i color LCD (S1D15G14)
- Nokia 3310, 3410 LCD (OM6206 PCF8812 PCD8544)
- Nokia 8310 LCD (OM6211)
Replacing the well known dot matrix type HD44780 based LCD displays with mobile phone graphical screens has a lot of benefit.
- The ability of showing more complex graphical information instead of plain text
- Mostly the smaller displays are using some sort of serial interface, which makes interfacing much easier.
- We can choose colour displays if we like
- They are extremely cheap, or even for free
I made these drivers for LCDHype, but they can be easily ported to anything else.
Mobile phone LCD drivers - [Link]
Global electronics community, element14, announced it has teamed up with CadSoft Computer GmbH and Microchip to present the EAGLE Design Competition – a four-month competition aimed to unite the most innovative design engineering communities using CadSoft EAGLE’s Version 6.
To enter the competition, applicants can register on the element14 community and post a screenshot of their project’s design layout, along with a written description of the build. Prizes will be awarded to the most creative idea, and include a Dell Alienware computer, a Microchip Eval kit, and a fully-loaded version of CadSoft EAGLE.
Additional contest details and judging criteria are available here
element14 helps drives innovation with EAGLE Design Competition - [Link]
New Lantronix xPico module brings a highly flexible network connectivity solution for virtually any serial interface device.
With miniature dimensions smaller than a usual SD card, Lantronix xPico is suitable even for designs typically intended for chip solutions. The key difference with the xPico is that there is virtually no need to write a single line of code (FW), resulting to a much lower development cost and faster time to market. The xPico is based on the industry-proven Lantronix device server with a relatively very easy to integration to a target device. Built-in web-manager enables a quick and comfortable configuration.
xPico is suitable for all devices, where it is physically necessary or convenient to use a module with miniature dimensions and a low profile. With the xPico you´re free to place an RJ45 connector according to your demands. That´s why it is possible to utilize the xPico even in space critical designs, where for example the Lantronix XPort wouldn´t suit.
Detailed information will provide you the xPico user guide and the xPico integration guide. For a development support also the xPico development kit is available.
Lantronix xPico – ethernet in the chip-sized module - [Link]
PI Expert® Suite v8.5 simplifies the design of off-line power supplies and DC-DC converters based on PI products.
PI Expert: an automated, graphical user interface (GUI) driven program that takes power supply specifications and automatically generates a power conversion solution designed around one of Power Integrations’ IC families. PI Expert gives you all of the necessary information to build and test a working prototype. This includes complete working schematic, bill of materials (BOM), board layout recommendations and detailed electrical parameter tabulations. PI Expert also provides a complete magnetic design that includes core size, number of turns, appropriate wire thicknesses and number of parallel wires to be used for each winding. Detailed winding instructions for mechanical assembly are also generated. The program reduces design time from days to minutes.
PI Expert Design Software - [Link]
AvrPhone is a simple mobile phone with a touchscreen. His brain is AVR microcontroller ATmega128 (128 kB flash, 4 kB SRAM) and user interface provides 2.4 “LCD display with touch foil and controller ILI9325B , equipped with 16-bit bus. The communication module provides GSM SIM100S čísnkého manufacturer Simcoe. The whole system is powered by a 3.7 V/1000 mAh Li-Pol cells.
AVRphone - [Link]