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3 Nov 2014


by fobit.blogspot.com:

Hey all, this is my first post on this blog, so I’d like to say hello! I’m Ian M, a high school student who likes breaking(/fixing(/breaking again)) electronic stuff. I was just sitting around, and I wanted to see how cheap I could make a usb avr isp programmer. I based the design off of http://www.simpleavr.com/avr/vusbtiny, which is based off of the original UsbTinyIsp. For the firmware, I just took their firmware and re-compiled it. The source is available at http://www.simpleavr.com/avr/vusbtiny/vusbtiny.tgz?attredirects=0. Their post uses 3 resistors, 2 diodes, 1 capacitor, and an MCU. I thought I could do better. Turns out you don’t need two of the resistors, or the diode. My schematics are released into the public domain, and the original code stays under its original licence (which I don’t exactly know what it is, but I bet it’s in the readme).

Tiny, Tiny, AVR Programmer - [Link]

3 Nov 2014


Raj writes with this technique for installing open source drivers on Windows.

I came across a surprisingly simple approach to installing USBasp and USBtiny drivers for all versions of Windows — XP, 7, 8, 8.1, whether 32-bit or 64-bit, all inclusive! As you may know, installing open-source drivers such as USBasp and USBtiny have been a great pain on some of the recent Windows OS, due to the enforcement of signed drivers. The typical solution involves rebooting Windows into a mode that disables driver signature enforcement. This can be a huge source of frustration.

While searching for ‘fully signed USBasp driver’, I came across this tool called Zadig, which can be used to install libusb drivers on all versions of Windows, and it’s digitally signed. Since USBasp and USBtiny are both based on libusb, it worked really well — I was able to install both drivers on Windows XP, 7 (32-bit and 64-bit), 8, and 8.1 instantly, without messing with driver signature enforcement at all. I was mostly surprised such a great solution wasn’t documented more widely online.


How-to install open source USBasp and USBtiny drivers on Windows - [Link]

3 Nov 2014


by elektor.com:

Silicon Labs have introduced a tiny 3 mm square hybrid TV tuner chip which supports reception of all worldwide terrestrial and cable TV transmission standards. According to its preliminary data sheet its design eliminates the need for an external balun, LNAs, SAW filters, and inductive power supply filtering. Some competing TV tuner solutions also eliminate the balun but can suffer from degraded NF and second-order distortion, which compromises reception. A fully-integrated 1.8 V LDO power supply regulator enables single supply operation, while a dual supply option offers additional system flexibility. Increased immunity to LTE interference and a harmonic rejection mixer filters out Wi-Fi interference and eliminates the need for external filtering.

Tiny hybrid TV Tuner - [Link]

3 Nov 2014


by elektor.com:

Farnell element14 have announced that they will be stocking the BitScope BS10 measurement device which combines a 2-channel USB oscilloscope, spectrum analyzer, 8-channel logic analyzer and function generator. You can use it with a PC running Windows or Linux, an Apple Mac or even a Raspberry Pi. Sampling rate is up to 40Msample/s giving it an analog bandwidth of 20MHz. The software supports frame rates beyond 20Hz and includes a ‘digital phosphor’ display mode. Resolution is up to 12bits.

Farnell element14 and the BitScope - [Link]

2 Nov 2014


What´s more, M66 is currently the smallest quad band GSM/GPRS moduloe in the world … AT the same time it withstands strong frosts, so it´s ready for a wide spectrum of applications.

New extraordinary attractive communication module Quectel M66 asks its place maybe even in your application.
Does it deserve it? Most probably yes. Besides two basic facts mentioned in the name and perex of this article, it offers a lot of “smallnesses” making the life of a developer easier, for example:

  • Quectel OpenCPU functionality
  • power consumption only 1.3 mA (DRX=9)
  • easily applicable LCC package suitable for small and also big production series
  • powerful internet protocols embedded
  • based on the newest 2G chipset ensuring a long lifetime (availability) of the module
  • GPRS multi slot class 12
  • 3x UART/ 1x RTC
  • DTMF, QuecLocator, QuecFOTA for a simple software update, eCall

What to add? For a real decision and usage in your device we bring you the M66 presentation and mainly a complete documentation M66 (30 MB). In this package can be found a detailed description, various application notes, description of AT commands as well as SW tools.
MM66 offers a stable platform to build a quality product, moreover for an attractive price. As usually, even M66 is also available on a so called adaptor board – M66TE-A nabling usage through a connector – without soldering and also usage in a universal development kit M10EVBKIT.

Within a frame of novelties in Quectel communication modules, there´s also available the second version of the M95 – module – M95 R2.0, marked as M95FA which is fully compatible with a previous version of M95 but it also has another features like digital audio, DSSS a SSL.
Another novelty is the GPS/Glonass module L76 offering an advanced functionality, excellent sensitivity and various services (AlwaysLocate, advanced AGPS, LOCUS, …).
Comprehensive comparison of current Quectel modules can be found in the Quectel v3.4 brochure.

GSM/GPRS module Quectel M66 is proud to be small and that it has a Bluetooth - [Link]

31 Oct 2014


5W Stereo Audio Amplifier project based on BA5406 IC which is suitable for application like stereo radio cassette player, stereo components systems etc.

The Heart of the project, BA5406 is a dual OTL monolithic power IC with two built-in, high output speaker amplifier circuits. High output of 5W×2 can be produced when VCC=12 V and RL=3Ω, and 2.8 W×2 when VCC=9V and RL=3Ω. The BA5406, which uses a high allowable power dissipation package, has a simple heat-sink design.

5W Stereo Audio Amplifier - [Link]

31 Oct 2014

In this tutorial Dave explains what a PCB spark gap is and how it can be a useful zero cost addition to your PCB layout to help prevent ESD damage.
He shows how to easily design them into your board and calculate the approximate voltage rating.
And of course has some fun applying 5kV to some gaps to show how them at work.

EEVblog #678 – What is a PCB Spark Gap? - [Link]

31 Oct 2014


by ti.com:

The bq2510x series of devices are highly integrated Li-Ion and Li-Pol linear chargers targeted at space-limited portable applications. The high input voltage range with input overvoltage protection supports low-cost unregulated adapters.

The bq2510x has a single power output that charges the battery. A system load can be placed in parallel with the battery as long as the average system load does not keep the battery from charging fully during the 10 hour safety timer.

BQ25100 – 250-mA Single Cell Li-Ion Battery Charger - [Link]

31 Oct 2014


by Rob Matheson @ phys.org:

Stream video on your smartphone, or use its GPS for an hour or two, and you’ll probably see the battery drain significantly. As data rates climb and smartphones adopt more power-hungry features, battery life has become a concern. Now a technology developed by MIT spinout Eta Devices could help a phone’s battery last perhaps twice as long, and help to conserve energy in cell towers.

Beating battery drain: Power-conserving chip may increase smartphone battery life - [Link]

31 Oct 2014


Focus a beam of sound at objects or into your head!

The Soundlazer directional audio project is the continuation of my first and very successful project here on Kickstarter. I developed the Soundlazer “Snap” during my quest to lower the cost of this amazing technology and give backers the opportunity to explore new possibilities in directional audio.

Parametric speakers like the Soundlazer are directional speaker systems. They use ultrasonic carrier waves to transmit audio to listeners in a focused beam of sound that acts like light from a laser. Generally speaking, only the person standing in front of a parametric speaker can hear the audio being transmitted. People to the sides of the directional audio source hear little or no sound.

Soundlazer “Snap” – The Directional Parametric Speaker - [Link]





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