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6 Apr 2014

An Arduino-compatible smart outlet designed to instantly turn your toaster oven into a reflow soldering station.

Advances in technology continue to shrink the size of components. Hobbyists, who have traditionally worked with through-hole parts, are finding these parts harder and harder to come by as more parts become unavailable in through-hole variants.

Soldering surface mount components with a soldering iron, while possible, can be a rather tedious task. In particular, when you’re working with densely packed pins like those of a microcontroller, hand soldering a board quickly becomes a daunting task.

Reflowster – Soldering Controller for Surface Mount PCBs - [Link]

6 Apr 2014


Vishay Intertechnology Inc. have introduced a dual N-channel TrenchFET power MOSFET in a 2.05 mm square, thermally enhanced PowerPAK SC-70 outline.

The SiA936EDJ device is optimized for use in load and charger switch circuits, DC/DC converters, motor driving H-bridges and battery protection for power management in mobile devices. For healthcare applications it is suitable for non-implantable portable products and also for use with small brushless DC motors in handheld consumer electronics. It offers extremely low on-resistance of 34 milliohms at 4.5 V, 37 milliohms at 3.7 V and 45 milliohms at 2.5 V. The level of on-resistance at 2.5 V is 11.7 % lower than the closest competing 8 V VGS device while providing a higher (G-S) guard band and 15.1 % lower than the closest competing device with a 12 V VGS. A lower RDSON leads to more efficient designs which optimize battery life.

Dual N channel TrenchFET offers lowest RDSON - [Link]

6 Apr 2014

This video reviews the two most common reasons why the output amplitude setting on a function or signal generator doesn’t match what is read on an oscilloscope. This can be due to an incorrect attenuation setting on the scope, but is most commonly due to the fact that the generator is not presented with the load impedance that it is expecting. To correct this most common case, you can either use the correct load impedance, or tell the generator what load you are presenting it with.

Why your Function Generator’s output voltage reading can be wrong - [Link]


6 Apr 2014

In this tutorial Dave explains what Operational Amplifiers (OpAmps) are and how they work. The concepts of negative feedback, open loop gain, virtual grounds and opamp action. The comparator, the buffer, the inverting and non-inverting amplifiers, the differential amplifier, and the integrator circuit configurations are also explained. Then a practical breadboard circuit to demonstrate a virtual ground and the effect of voltage rail limitations.

EEVblog #600 – OpAmps Explained - [Link]

6 Apr 2014


Texas Instruments unveiled a new Tilt & Roll Pixel (TRP) DLP pico chipset. According to TI, this is the smallest (at 0.3″, which is strange because the previous model was 0.2″) and most efficient DLP chip ever. It support HD resolutions (probably 720p) and can be used in pico projectors and wearable displays, augmented reality displays and other applications. [via]

The new Texas Instruments 0.3″ HD Tilt & Roll Pixel (TRP) DLP® Pico™ chipset is TI’s smallest, most power-efficient HD micro-mirror array and can generate 720p displays from compact applications, including tablets, smartphones, accessories, wearable displays, augmented reality displays, interactive surface computing, digital signage and control panels. The chipset delivers significantly higher levels of brightness and power efficiency, allowing developers to create a wide variety of applications and products in smaller form factors than ever before. The chipset’s fast switching speeds of up to thousands of times per second enable the world’s smallest true color RGB engines with 120Hz video performance.

TI’s smallest, most efficient HD pico chipset 0.3″ HD TRP DLP - [Link]

5 Apr 2014


Raj @ embedded-lab.com

In this blog post, I am providing you step by step instructions to build a very simple temperature and relative humidity meter for indoor use. All you need to build this project are an Arduino Uno or compatible board, a DHT11 sensor, and a MAX7219 based 8-digit serial 7-segment LED display. The temperature is displayed in degree Celsius and relative humidity in percentage.

Step-by-step guide for making a very simple temperature and humidity meter - [Link]

5 Apr 2014

by scienceprog.com

Over a week ago I’ve got a notice that Texas Instruments (TI) is giving away a 50% coupon for MSP430_FRAM related devices. Without hesitation ordered their MSP-EXP430FR5739 TI experimenters board that price went down to $14.50 including free shipping.

by embedds.com

MSP EXP430FR5739 FRAM based microcontroller board is interesting piece of hardware. It features FRAM memory instead of Flash which is claimed to withstand almost unlimited number of Reads and Writes. It is also faster. It can substitute an EEPROM on board. But it is not very popular technology due to different manufacturing. On this development board there is MSP430 microcontroller which has 16KB FRAM, 1KB of SRAM. It carries eight LEDS, MTC thermistor, 3 axis digital accelerometer, optional LDR, couple buttons. So this is great for many uses.


Experiment with MSP430 FRAM board via web interface - [Link]

5 Apr 2014


joebell @ instructables.com writes:

With a little practice, you can make excellent double-sided PCBs by combining a laser cutter with chemical etching. The basic idea is: the laser cutter blasts away spray painted etch resist, then chemicals eat away the exposed copper. Once the copper is gone, the underlying board can be cut again with the laser to make through-holes. No drilling required! After some setup and practice, you should get reliable boards with 8-mil trace/space and hundreds of holes in about 2 hours. You can even cut internal routing and odd board-shapes!

Double-sided PCBs with a laser cutter - [Link]

5 Apr 2014


With its width of only 5mm is this relay able to switch 6A/250VAC, moreover at a minimum coil power consumption.

Thin as about a block of “Domino” and still so powerful and for a reasonable price – these are narrow relays series FTR-LY. Powerful and still so easily usable even in circuits with a 5V logic … Somehow this way could be described the well proven relays of FTR-LY series.

If you´d like to use a relay of this shape, then the FTR-LY series will probably also fulfill all your expectations regarding lifetime, reliability, low power consumption and other. When selecting a suitable type, it´s good to take in mind a material of contacts – on stock we keep three types (5V, 12V and 24V DC). A novelty in our portfolio – type FTR-LYCA005V has a „V“ suffix, what means AgSnO2 + Au (0.3µm) contacts. The biggest advantage of a golden layer on contacts is a very low minimum switching current through contacts (10mA/5VDC), in comparison to types with a suffix „E“ or „Y“, which have a minimum switching current 100mA/5VDC. Types FTR-LYCA012Y and FTR-LYCA024Y have in summary the same good properties, only they´re not suitable for switching of currents below 100mA (worse self-cleaning ability of contacts).

An advantage is up to 4000VAC (coil/ contacts) isolation and an isolation distance (clearance/ creepage) is 8/ 8 mm. To a reliability even in tiny areas on a PCB also contributes a max. operating temperature up to +85°C and a low power consumption (approx. 170 mW). Types, which we keep in stock are with one changeover contact (1CO, SPDT), that´s why they can be freely used in application where you need an NO or NC contact.

Upon order, there are also available types for socket and the PCB socket (JM-6N). It´s beneficial for applications, where we want to maintain a possibility to easily exchange a relay.

Detailed description can be found in the Fujitsu FTR-LY datasheet.

Narrow but strong – relay Fujitsu FTR-LY - [Link]

5 Apr 2014


Microchip Technology Inc today announced from EE Live! and the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose the PIC16(L)F170X and PIC16(L)F171X family of 8-bit microcontrollers (MCUs), which combine a rich set of intelligent analog and core independent peripherals, along with cost-effective pricing and eXtreme Low Power (XLP) technology. Available in 14-, 20-, 28-, and 40/44-pin packages, the 11-member PIC16F170X/171X family of MCUs integrates two Op Amps to drive analog control loops, sensor amplification and basic signal conditioning, while reducing system cost and board space. These new devices also offer built-in Zero Cross Detect (ZCD) to simplify TRIAC control and minimize the EMI caused by switching transients. Additionally, these are the first PIC16 MCUs with Peripheral Pin Select, a pin-mapping feature that gives designers the flexibility to designate the pinout of many peripheral functions. The PIC16F170X/171X are general-purpose MCUs that are ideal for a broad range of applications, such as consumer (home appliances, power tools, electric razors), portable medical (blood-pressure meters, blood-glucose meters, pedometers), LED lighting, battery charging, power supplies and motor control.

Microchip Releases 8-bit PIC Micros with Intelligent Analog and Core Independent Peripherals - [Link]





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