Here’s a cheap and simple Laser Power Meter LPM for small power source, based on “MarioMaster LPM meter” by Davide Gironi:
This type of meter uses a ThermoElectric Cooling module (TEC) to measure the power of a laser. The TEC will absorb the laser light, and transform the heat generated by the laser beam to an electrical signal.
An operational amplifier is used then to amplify the signal and ouput it to a volt meter.
Voltage meter will display the power in W unit of the laser beam you are testing.
The TEC takes a little amount of time to heat, so wait until your reading became stable.
This type of meter is simple and cheap to build.
It can measure laser power up to 2W, with an accurancy of +-10mW.
A cheap and simple Laser Power Meter LPM for small power source - [Link]
Geir Andersen over at LetsMakeRobots has designed and built this cool solder paste dispenser:
As I’m doing SMD prototypes I wanted to do reflow soldering instead of hand soldering and needed a solder paste dispenser.
The professional ones are not that expensive but you need an air compressor and I was trying to avoid that extra cost and noise. So I came up with this design.
It uses a PICAXE M14 microcontroller and ULN2003 Darlington driver to run the 28BYJ-48 stepper motor. As a stepper the 28BYJ-48 sucks with its gear ratio, but for this purpose it is cheap and has lot of torque. For my type of work and one-off prototypes it works great.
DIY solder paste dispenser - [Link]
Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. today announced the development of a receiver circuit capable of receiving communications at 56 Gbps. This marks the world’s fastest data communications between CPUs equipped in next-generation servers. In recent years, raising data-processing speeds in servers has meant increasing CPU performance, together with boosting the speed of data communications between chips, such as CPUs. However, one obstacle to this has been improving the performance of the circuits that correct degraded waveforms in incoming signals. Fujitsu Laboratories has used a new “look-ahead” architecture in the circuit that compensates for quality degradation in incoming signals, parallelizing the processing and increasing the operating frequency for the circuit in order to double its speed. This technology holds the promise of increasing the performance of next-generation servers and supercomputers.
Record-breaking 56 gbps receiver circuit for communications between CPUs - [Link]
David Szondy @ gizmag.com writes:
If it weren’t for the microchip, your smartphone would be size of a building and need its own power plant to work. Thanks to the integrated circuit and its modern incarnation in the microchip, electronics are a bit easier to carry around than that, and this week, Christie’s put one of the very first integrated circuits up for auction. Designed and constructed in 1958 by Texas Instruments, it’s one of the three earliest “chips” ever made and went on the block with an estimated value of up to US$2 million.
One of the world’s first integrated circuits goes up for auction - [Link]
Here we have it – an affordable Open Source Laser RangeFinder – OSLRF-01 from www.lightware.co.za. You can order it fully assembled and working or just PCB and optics (all other components have to find by Yourself).
An Arduino Based Laser Rangefinder - [Link]
Science Daily posted about this breakthrough in superconductors on their site.
A world record that has stood for more than a decade has been broken by a team led by University of Cambridge engineers, harnessing the equivalent of three tonnes of force inside a golf ball-sized sample of material that is normally as brittle as fine china.
The Cambridge researchers managed to ‘trap’ a magnetic field with a strength of 17.6 Tesla — roughly 100 times stronger than the field generated by a typical fridge magnet — in a high temperature gadolinium barium copper oxide (GdBaCuO) superconductor, beating the previous record by 0.4 Tesla. The results are published today in the journal Superconductor Science and Technology.
The research demonstrates the potential of high-temperature superconductors for applications in a range of fields, including flywheels for energy storage, ‘magnetic separators’, which can be used in mineral refinement and pollution control, and in high-speed levitating monorail trains.
Superconductors are materials that carry electrical current with little or no resistance when cooled below a certain temperature. While conventional superconductors need to be cooled close to absolute zero (zero degrees on the Kelvin scale (or -273 °C) before they superconduct, high temperature superconductors do so above the boiling point of liquid nitrogen (-196 °C) which makes them relatively easy to cool and cheaper to operate.
New superconductor world record set - [Link]
Diogoc shared his Hakko T12 soldering controller in the project log forum:
I finally finished my Hakko T12 soldering controller.
Thanks to sparkybg and arhi for all help and sugestions.
Some features of the controller:
- 3310 graphic display
- rotary encoder for easy and fast temperature selection
- sleep mode when the iron is in the stand
- turn off when a long time in sleep mode
- audible indications
- intuitive menu navegation
- percentage visualization of output power
- powered by a compact and lightweight 24V dc laptop power supply
- ambient temperature sensor for a better cold junction compensation
- lcd backlight control
- alarm for very high temperature, turning off immediately the heater
- indication of tip removed to allow hot swapping the tips
- bootloader for easy firmware upgrade via integrated usb port
- usb port and c# software to monitoring all parameters and help to adjust the pid parameters
The controller still need a little adjust in the PID parameters but for me it is almost perfect.
Hakko T12 soldering controller - [Link]
By Steven Keeping @ digikey.com:
Modular DC-DC switching voltage converters (or voltage regulators) are fully integrated devices that take away most of the complexity of power supply design — but not all. One of the key areas that are still left to the design engineer’s discretion is the choice of components for, and layout of, the energy storage and filtering circuits. In principle, these look like simple circuits comprising a few resistors, capacitors, and the energy-storage element, usually an inductor.
Capacitor Selection is Key to Good Voltage Regulator Design - [Link]
3,5″ display with the processor Diablo16 from company 4D Systems can handle even applications, where processor Picaso is not sufficient.
So as to make it right – it´s still true, that processor Picaso is a relatively very powerful graphic processor able to manage demanding applications with graphics, animations, sound, video,… Naturally, like each processor, there are applications where its power is sufficient with a reserve and for someone already not. If you suppose, that processor Picaso wouldn´t suit to you by its features, or at least it wouldn´t enable eventual further enhancing of functionality, then the Diablo16 processor will meet even high requirements.
In behalf of processor Diablo16 says not only the computing power itself, but also the other functionality as a memory size, communication interfaces, analog inputs, GPIO and other. Until now, the power of Diablo 16 could be used in two ways – in the uLCD-70DT module (7“, 800×480), or in your own design using the processor itself. Now, company 4D Systems comes also with a 3,5“ module (480*320px) uLCD-35DT, „driven” by this powerful processor.
Another good news is availability of a new CMOS VGA camera module – uCAM-II with a serial output (UART TTL). As a standard, the camera is equipped with an optics with a 56° viewing angle. Also available is the exchangeable optics, with a 76° and 116° viewing angle.
Similarly like at all 4D Systems modules with Picaso and Diablo16 processors, also in case of uLCD-35DT module can be used for development of application a powerful software package – Workshop4 IDE.
Try the hell power boxed up in 3,5″ - [Link]
By Jon Gabay @ digikey.com:
Copper-based connectivity has served us well for a long time and will continue to do so in applications where it is effective from a performance and cost perspective. For very-high speed and/or long-distance signaling, however, the material cost and physical signal limitations of using metallic conductors has driven eyes to other transport mechanisms.
Fiber optics is not new, and the telecom industry has pushed development and deployment of fiber-optic transceivers and links so that they now span the globe. Very few of our designs have had the need to traverse long distances at such high speeds. Even fewer of us have had deep enough pockets to set up vast high-speed networks. On the other hand, engineers now are finding that local requirements are pushing the limits of metallic interconnects.
Microcontrollers and Fiber Optics - [Link]