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28 Jan 2015

Parts.io is a new service for finding electronics parts that just opened its doors to the public:

Parts.io has its sights set on a better path to part discovery. Yes, this is parametric search but it will return data for all parts from all manufacturers. The distinction may not be completely obvious, but for example if you are searching on Element14 you’re only getting data on the parts that Element14 carries. Once you have drilled down to a reasonably manageable pool of components you get what you would expect: one-click datasheets and a roundup of pricing and availability from worldwide distributors. The presentation of the parts is grouped into families that differ in trailing parts designators, and I must say I am impressed at the interface’s ability to roll with you. It feels easier to find alternative parts after the drilldown where in my past searches I would have started completely over again.

Parts.io Electronics Parts Search is Open - [Link]


28 Jan 2015

by Martin Rowe @ edn.com:

The DMM (digital multimeter) is a basic measurement tool for nearly every electrical engineer and many other engineers. With the push to constantly improve power efficiency in electronic designs comes a need to not only measure voltage and current, but to dynamically see them as well. Keithey’s DMM7510 combines a 7½-digit DMM with an 18-bit, 1 Msample/s digitizer, which lets you see measurements both numerically and graphically.

Having the ability to see waveforms lets you uncover problems that used to require an oscilloscope. The DMM7510 also features a 5-in. capacitive touch screen. You can use gestures such as swipes and pinches to sweep though setup menus or zoom in or out of waveforms. I tried it firsthand just prior to today’s product launch, as the short video below shows.

DMM provides numerical and graphical displays - [Link]

27 Jan 2015


The HDC1008 is a digital humidity sensor with integrated temperature sensor that provides excellent measurement accuracy at very low power. The device measures humidity based on a novel capacitive sensor. The humidity and temperature sensors are factory calibrated. The innovative WLCSP (Wafer Level Chip Scale Package) simplifies board design with the use of an ultra-compact package. The sensing element of the HDC1008 is placed on the bottom part of the device, which makes the HDC1008 more robust against dirt, dust, and other environmental contaminants. The HDC1008 is functional within the full –40°C to +125°C

HDC1008 – Integrated Low Power Digital Humidity Sensor with Integrated Temperature Sensor - [Link]

27 Jan 2015


If you´re deciding whether it´s worth to use a backup battery, we bring you a few remarks why to go for it or not.

Lithium battery Xeno Energy with a lifetime of over 10 years and rules for their usage were brought to you in our article „10 years of operation for 1 battery?”. They´re usable as a “main” power source for low power consumption devices and the second main field of their usage is a power supply backup. In contrast to the smallest cells used for PC memories backup (BIOS) for example, the types, which we keep in stock feature capacity of several Ah and they´re also able to provide a relatively decent current. That enables to use such battery also for a real operation of the device (MCU) during the power supply dropout.

Probably the main reason why not to use a backup battery is a doubt about higher production costs of a given device. However, when we look at the sales price in our e-shop, we find, that common PCB types like for example XL-050F AX (LS14250CNA) or XL-060F AX (LS14500CNA) are available for the price of max. 4 Eur/pce. At the same time, using this type of batteries eliminates the need for a battery holder, charging chip, etc.

The newest contribution on the field of PCB lithium batteries in our stock is the type XL-210F/STD 5,5mm, what´s the disc with 33mm diameter and only 6.6mm height, with leads to be soldered to PCB (THT). Low profile enables usage even in slim devices and everywhere, where common cylinder types are not suitable.

Further information will provide you the Xeno short form catalogue as well as detailed datasheets of Xeno batteries. In the Xeno production portfolio can also be found special batteries with a higher pulse capacity and type for extra high temperatures -55 to +130°C.

Backup battery soldered directly to a PCB? - [Link]

27 Jan 2015


by micahmelnyk @ instructables.com:

In short: I developed a portable, battery powered device that sounds an alarm when your bag or purse is moved. Once armed, can only be turned off by your secret code.

The device is built off an Arduino compatible Trinket Pro, using an off-the-shelf project box with PCB.

Bag movement alarm for theft prevention - [Link]

27 Jan 2015


by TinyCircuits @ instructables.com:

In this Instructable, we will be building a compass using the TinyShield Compass as well as the Circle Edge Led shield.

After getting your boards and battery, the Arduino IDE will be the first thing to download if you have not done so already. When the IDE has been loaded go to tools, board, and select Arduino Pro or Pro Mini (3.3V, 8MHz) w/ ATmega328.

TinyCompass - [Link]

27 Jan 2015


Kevin Rye’s GPS clock project :

I’ve been working on this clock for a long time, and a lot of effort has been put into it. I’ve learned so much from this project. I do have to admit some parts of the code aren’t as elegant as they should be, but it works. With the code complete, all that’s left to do is try my hand at designing a 3D printed joystick for the 5-way switch.

GPS Clock Assembly - [Link]

26 Jan 2015


by Colin Jeffrey @ gizmag.com:

Swiss scientists have created the first semiconductor laser consisting solely of elements of main group IV (the carbon group) on the periodic table. Simply, this means that the new device is directly compatible with other elements in that group – such as silicon, carbon, and lead – and so can be directly incorporated in a silicon chip as it is manufactured. This presents new possibilities for transmitting data around computer chips using light, which could result in potential transfer speeds exponentially faster than possible with copper wire and using only a fraction of the energy of today’s integrated circuits.

First germanium-tin semiconductor laser directly compatible with silicon chips - [Link]

26 Jan 2015


Shawon M. Shahryiar @ embedded-lab.com writes:

In embedded systems, oftentimes it is needed to generate analog outputs from a microcontroller. Examples of such include, generating audio tones, voice, music, smooth continuous waveforms, function generators, voltage reference generators, etc. Traditionally in such cases the most common techniques applied are based on Pulse Width Modulation (PWM), resistor networks and external Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) chips like MCP4921. The aforementioned techniques have different individual limitations and moreover require external hardware interfacing, adding complexities and extra cost to projects. XMega micros are equipped with 12 bit fast DACs apart from PWM blocks and again it proves itself to be a very versatile family of microcontrollers. In this post we will have a look into this block.

XMega DAC - [Link]

26 Jan 2015


by elektor.com:

Intersil have introduced a single chip just 9 x 6.5 mm which contains just about all the control features (including the output stages) needed to build a dual 0.8 to 5 V power supply with 3 A per channel output capability. The ISL8203M can also supply 6 A in current sharing operation.

The ISL8203M is an integrated step-down power module optimized for generating low output voltages down to 0.8V. The input supply voltage range spans from 2.85 V to 6 V. The two channels are clocked 180° out-of-phase to help reduce input RMS current and EMI. While in current sharing mode this interleaving of the two channels is beneficial for reducing input and output voltage ripple.

Dual 3A PSU on a Chip - [Link]





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