by Stephen Evanczuk @ digikey.com:
Microinverters provide an effective solution to solar-energy harvesting by providing power conversion at the individual panel level. The emergence of highly integrated MCUs offers an attractive approach to microinverter design, providing an option that reduces the cost of complexity which limited widespread adoption of microinverters in the past. Today, designers can build highly efficient microinverter designs using available MCUs from semiconductor manufacturers including Freescale Semiconductor, Infineon Technologies, Microchip Technology, Spansion, and Texas Instruments, among others.
Solar-energy-harvesting systems have continued to evolve away from traditional centralized solutions (Figure 1). Unlike systems based on a single central inverter or even multiple string inverters, microinverters convert power from a single panel. In turn, the AC power generated by microinverters on each panel is combined on the output to the load.
Integrated MCUs Enable Cost-Effective Microinverters for Solar Energy Designs - [Link]
by R. Colin Johnson @ eetimes.com:
PORTLAND, Ore. — Any embedded device can made to recognize 3D gestures in mid-air, with the addition of the new GestIC from Microchip Technology Inc. (Chandler, Arizona). Microchip supplies all the chips, development software and know-how, it claims, to enable engineers to quickly make any embedded device smart enough to respond to commands drawn in mid-air with your bare hands.
Microchip believes its newest GestIC chip is the most cost-effective gesture detection system available today. “We not only provide the lowest-cost entry point for easy-to-use yet advanced 3D hand gesture recognition,” Fanie Duvenhage, director of Microchip’s Human Machine Interface Division told EE Times, “but by focusing our newest family member, the MGC3030, on the core gesture detection function, we make the software engineers job quick and easy too — using our free, downloadable Aurea graphical user interface (GUI) and Colibri Gesture Suite.”
3-D Gesture Control For Just $2 Per Device - [Link]
What a CAM Drive can or can not do:
A CAMdrive node must be selected according to the motor.
Stepper motors need a Stepper Controller of CAMDrive.
Normal DC motors need a CAMdrive-BrushedDCMotor controller.
To connect with Bluetooth, only one node needs the Bluetooth module. The remaining nodes are wired via the bus.
There is only one power supply required! No matter which node is connected, it supplies the remaining nodes and motors on the bus
It does not matter on which node the camera is connected, it all work “Camera” jacks simultaneously.
The bus connection is established via a standard network cable (patch cord).
CamDrive – an open source multi-axis control for time-lapse photography - [Link]
Access Dallas 1-wire bus on your PC with simple and cheap hardware.
This project is based on Maxim’s application note: Using a UART to Implement a 1-Wire Bus Master
Onewire over UART - [Link]
The OPT3001 is a sensor that measures the intensity of visible light. The spectral response of the sensor tightly matches the photopic response of the human eye and includes significant infrared rejection.
The OPT3001 is a single-chip lux meter, measuring the intensity of light as visible by the human eye. The precision spectral response and strong IR rejection of the device enables the OPT3001 to accurately meter the intensity of light as seen by the human eye regardless of light source. The strong IR rejection also aids in maintaining high accuracy when industrial design calls for mounting the sensor under dark glass for aesthetics. The OPT3001 is designed for systems that create light-based experiences for humans, and an ideal preferred replacement for photodiodes, photoresistors, or other ambient light sensors with less human eye matching and IR rejection.
OPT3001 – Ambient Light Sensor - [Link]
Raj over embedded-lab.com has build a prototyping board that facilitates the building of simple circuits. It includes a regulated power supply for both 3.3V and 5V, four output LEDs, four input switches, a buzzer, a potentiometer and an onboard breadboard. Using this board you can fast prototype your next project.
Experimenter Prototyping Board for easy circuit build - [Link]
Arduino Tutorial: GSM/GPRS SHIELD (SIM900) SMS Send and Receive Tutorial on Arduino Uno
In this video we are going to see, how easy it is to send and receive SMS messages using the Arduino GSM/GPRS shield (with SIM900 chip) from Tinysine. The shield is capable of sending and receiving SMS messages as well as making and receiving phone calls. It can also connect to the Internet using the GPRS network. But we will take a look at this later on in another video.
In this video, we connect to the GSM network of COSMOTE in Greece and we send an SMS message to a cell phone. Then we reply to Arduino and read the message in the Serial Monitor in the computer.
How to send and receive SMS messages with Arduino - [Link]
Silicon Labs introduced a new family of high-precision temperature sensors offering industry-leading power efficiency. Silicon Labs’ ultra-low-power Si705x temperature sensors consume only 195 nA (typical average current) when sampled once per second, which minimizes self-heating and enables multi-year coin cell battery operation. Unlike traditional digital temperature sensors, the Si705x devices maintain their accuracy across the full operating temperature and voltage ranges and offer four accuracy levels up to +/-0.3 °C. The sensors are ideal for HVAC, white goods, computer equipment, asset tracking, cold chain storage, industrial control and medical equipment. AEC-Q100-qualified versions are also available for automotive applications.
Traditional approaches to temperature sensing that use thermistors or embedded MCU temperature sensors suffer from poor accuracy and higher power consumption. Although improved accuracy can be achieved through end-of-line calibration, this technique presents additional manufacturing costs and challenges while accuracy is still susceptible to variations in power supply voltage. In contrast, the Si705x sensors’ patented signal processing technology provides stable temperature accuracy over the entire operating voltage and temperature ranges without the need for costly end-of-line production calibration. In addition, the integrated low-power analog design delivers an optimal price/performance solution with up to 35 times better power efficiency than competing temperature sensor products.
New Vishay Intertechnology IHLP® Inductors in 2020 Case Size Offer High-Temperature Operation to +155 °C - [Link]
SAN FRANCISCO and MINNEAPOLIS, January 26, 2015 — Punch Through Design, a hardware and software development firm that brings Bluetooth Low Energy hacking to the masses, has released the Windows Bean Loader, the first-ever wireless Arduino programming app for Windows users. Using the loader app, Windows-based developers and hobbyists can easily upload code to their LightBlue Bean and experience the power of Bluetooth Low Energy, without cables or a physical connection to the LightBlue Bean.
“The LightBlue Bean represents a new method of wirelessly interacting with prototypes and projects; says Colin Karpfinger, founder and CEO, Punch Through Design. Previously, only Mac OS X and iOS users could program their Beans, and now we are extending that functionality to Windows users.
The full-featured app, available from the Windows Store, fills a void for Windows-based developers and DIYers looking to create smartphone-controlled devices.
Windows Bean Loader Enables Wireless Arduino Programming from Surface Pro Tablets - [Link]
Compact installation step relays Finder 26 series save energy similarly like latching relays, but they also operate on AC voltage.
Step relays are able to effectively control lighting or other devices and they significantly simplify circuit complexity at the same time. If you´re familiar with a bistable (latching) relay, then you know, that a relay can keep its status (On/Off) even without a power supply. A step relay, which we´d like to introduce to you this time, is mechanically significantly different from latching relays, but it also features this energy-saving property – i.e. maintaining the On/Off status even without a power supply.
A step relay is usually available with an AC coil and it´s very simply controllable by one push-button switch (momentary SPST-NO). The principle of the step relay is in the fact, that a driving coil mechanically moves a contact mechanism in various sequences. Each switching of a relay (switching a power to a coil) moves a mechanism in one “step” further. In the simplest case the sequence looks as On/Off/On/… But it also can be in other way, as illustrated in the attached picture. Step relay are probably the most frequently used for switching of lighting. This is enabled by a fact, that simple push-button switches, controlling a coil, are connected in parallel. In result, the circuitry gets much simpler and to control one or two lighting circuits from several places, it´s necessary to use only 2 wires (moreover only with a small cross-section – say 0,5mm2). Second saving is in a practically zero power consumption of the relay itself, as energy is only necessary to change a relay status.
Finder 26 series is constructed as a “small box”, which can be placed on a panel but also for example – into a common wall installation enclosure. On stock we keep the type 26.02.8.230.0000, what´s a two-pole (10A) relay with 230Vac coil, with the On/Off sequence. Upon order, we´re able to supply you also versions with 12/24/48/110Vac coils and also modules for usage with 12/24VDC and for usage with illuminated switches.
Detailed information and a comprehensive table about possibilities of usage of particular types will provide you the Finder 26 datasheet. Useful examples of usage of these and also other switching components from Finder will provide you the document „Finder – The Electrician´s guide”.
With a step relay Finder 26 can be saved energy and also installation costs - [Link]