Recently many little boards running Linux appeared across the globe. These boards may prove useful for many projects and for teaching Linux OS to any enthusiast out there. But how we got there? Read about the road to development of these embedded computers. (by Publitek European Editors)
Linux has long been on the edge of breaking into embedded systems, but one barrier has been the lack of affordable development boards with fast enough processors and large enough storage to cope with Linux. In the last few years, the situation has changed and there are a number of low-cost development boards, each with an array of plug-in peripherals and carrying processors with the power and memory to comfortably execute Linux-based applications. This article will look at BeagleBoard/BeagleBone and PandaBoard. It will also look at a manufacturer’s approach to the same problem – The Freescale Tower development system with a special emphasis on the MPC8309 PowerQUICC II Pro processor.
Linux and the Road to Development - [Link]
This (SPI7SEGDISP4.40-1R) is a revised version of the previous SPI seven segment LED display (4 digit) board that displayed numerals and decimal points. The new version has a better quality seven segment LED display (LTC-4727JS) with three extra LED segments, as shown below. The additional colon segments are useful in projects where you need to display time (HH:MM or MM:SS).
New version of MAX7219 based 4-digit serial seven segment LED display - [Link]
State-of-Charge Measurement for Lithium-Ion Batteries is an advanced task, but can be simplified using specific ICs able to measure accurate SOC of Li-Ion batteries. Stephen Evanczuk writes:
All energy-harvesting-based systems need energy storage for times when the energy cannot be harvested (e.g., at night for solar-powered systems). Rechargeable batteries ‒ known as “secondary” cells to differentiate them from “primary” or single-use cells ‒ are usually specified for this task.
For rechargeable batteries, however, battery management depends on the best possible measurement of what is known as the state-of-charge (SOC) of battery cells. For lithium-ion batteries, the characteristics of Li-ion cells complicate SOC measurement and can challenge engineers looking to maximize Li-ion battery lifetime. To simplify design of Li-ion battery management systems, engineers can leverage a variety of SOC measurement techniques supported in ICs from Atmel, Linear Technology, Maxim Integrated Products, STMicroelectronics, and Texas Instruments.
Advanced ICs Simplify Accurate State-of-Charge Measurement for Lithium-Ion Batteries - [Link]
element14 is proud to offer an advanced “first look” at the next-generation BeagleBone – one of the most popular open source hardware platforms developed. The new BeagleBone boasts even more memory and higher performance than previous generations.
Availability is slated for the April timeframe, but students and hobbyists can register thier interest in receiving a BeagleBone now on the element14 engineering community. Plus, leading up to the official launch, open hardware enthusiasts and BeagleBone fans are invited to join element14’s Open Source Group to share ideas, exchange code, read reviews of the device, and sign up for the free Engineering 101 webinar series produced by the top experts in the electronics industry.
element14 offers sneak preview of next-gen BeagleBone - [Link]
Steve Taranovich writes:
Linear Technology Corporation announced the LT8705, a very high efficiency (up to 98%) synchronous buck-boost DC/DC controller that operates from input voltages above, below or equal to the regulated output voltage. This device has four feedback loops to regulate the input current/voltage, along with the output current/voltage.
Convert any input voltage from 2.8V to 80V into a fixed output voltage or output current - [Link]
Weller WX series enjoys your favour, that´s why we added another types to our standard offer.
We´re pleased, that you appreciate excellent features of inteligent soldering stations, which we introduced to you for example in the article Weller WX soldering stations are a masterpiece. That´s why already several types of the WX series can be found in our stock. Any other versions and soldering tools we´re able to provide you in a short delivery term.
WX series meets all requirements for demanding and precise everyday work. High power, user comfort and a wide range of soldering tools and tips will be probably beneficial even for your workplace. In case of interest, please contact us at email@example.com.
We enlarged our offer of Weller WX soldering stations - [Link]
Zak Kemble builded a network monitor device able to show basic network statistics on a small LCD screen. He writes:
Whenever I want to see why a download is going a little slow or getting lag on an online game I’d have to log in to my routers web page or SSH in to see if its someone else in the house downloading/uploading, the net connection going wonky or just the server, this was a bit annoying to do, so I made this device to constantly show network statistics.
Bluetooth Net Monitor - [Link]
Some key features:
- Supports all programmers and MCUs that AVRDUDE supports
- Supports presets, allowing you to change between devices and configurations quickly and easily
- Drag and drop files for easy uploading
- Automatically lists available COM ports
AVRDUDESS – A gui for AVRdude - [Link]
Pulsar is a wireless heart rate monitor device without a chest strap! It communicates with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S iPhone 5, Motorola RAZR, etc over Bluetooth 4.0. Continuously monitor your heart rate without a chest strap!
Pulsar – Bluetooth Wireless Heart Rate Monitor - [Link]
This is a great video of Alan Wolke talking about op-amp power supply options. He explains the differences when using op-amps on a single supply, a split (or bipolar) supply and virtual ground.
This video discusses the power supply considerations for op amps. It talks about split or dual power supply and single supply operation, and why the op amp often doesn’t care which you use! It shows how traditional op amps designed for split supply operation can be used in single supply applications. The most important consideration generally is taking care of where the input and output voltages are with respect to the supply rails. The input voltage and output voltage range specifications are examined in a datasheet. The operation of a op amp in a single supply application is examined on an oscilloscope. This operation is compared to a modern rail-to-rail op amp in the same circuit.
Op Amp Power Supplies: Split, Single, and Virtual Ground Designs - [Link]