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12 Dec 2014


by Jim @ jimlaurwilliams.org:

I got a couple of cheap ($1.29) 1A USB LiPo chargers since I’m doing more and more LiPo/LiIon powered stuff. I mostly discharged a recycled 18650 cell for a test load and it looks like it does charge at nearly 1A. Two LEDs – red charging, green (mine is blue) fully charged. Seems like a pretty ideal cheap device.

Cheap USB LiPo charger notes - [Link]

11 Dec 2014


by praveen @ circuitstoday.com:

We have published a digital code lock using arduino some weeks before. This one is a little different. The earlier version was based on a defined password, where the user can not change it. Moreover there was no LCD display interfaced with the project to output lock status. This project is a much improved version of the same digital code lock which comes with a user defined password and LCD display. The user will be prompted to set a password at installation. This password inputted at installation will continue to serve the lock until it is changed. The user can change the current password with a single key press. The program will check for current password and allows the user to change password only if the the current password is input correctly.

Digital Code Lock using Arduino with LCD Display - [Link]

11 Dec 2014


The FT600 is a high speed USB 3.0 FIFO bridge with up to 5Gbps of bandwidth. It comes with the option of 16 and 32 bits wide parallel FIFO interface. FT600Q is a 56-pin QFN package with the 16-bit option and FT601Q is a 76-pin QFN package with the 32-bit wide FIFO bus interface. Both of these chips support up to 8 endpoints other than the management endpoints. [via]

High Speed USB 3.0 interface with a single chip - [Link]

11 Dec 2014


by jazzycamel:

I work as a software developer for a biology lab where my day job consists of creating applications to deal with big data visualisation. Recently however one of my colleagues had the need to take regular temperature measurements form a range of jars of liquids over quite an extended period. The commercial available solutions to achieve this are expensive and surprisingly lacking in features. So, as a dedicated hacker and maker, I immediately stepped in an said we could make something better ourselves. So we did. And this is how.

Quick & Easy Temperature Loggers - [Link]

11 Dec 2014


This is a website down alarm using a Tessel module. Check it on projects.tessel.io:

If your website goes down, you want to be the first to know. Make it obvious when there’s a problem by hooking up a big alarm light to a Tessel, which will ping your website every few seconds to check for trouble.

Continuously off: all is well
Continuously on: website being monitored is down
Two-second bursts (on or off): system error; monitoring isn’t working (reset the Tessel)

Website Down Alarm using Tessel board - [Link]

11 Dec 2014


here is a new review of embedded-lab.com about a simple logic analyzer.

A logic analyzer is an excellent tool for capturing many digital signals at once and displaying their timing relationships. It is particularly useful in verifying and debugging digital circuits. This tutorial is intended to provide a quick overview of a logic analyzer tool and its uses in analyzing and decoding data flowing on multiple signal lines or bus in a digital system. The logic analyzer tool is extremely helpful in troubleshooting problems arising from timing violations and transients on buses. In this article, I am going to use the SCANALOGIC-2 educational kit from IKALOGIC to illustrate very basic features of a logic analyzer.

A basic Logic Analyzer – SCANALOGIC-2 EDU KIT - [Link]

10 Dec 2014


Even a simple, well-designed tool can help significantly – we´ll introduce to you some of them …

Sometimes, only a little bit is necessary to make our work more happy – a good ergonomic chair, workbench in a suitable height, good lighting … and last but not least also a good screwdriver, magnifying lens, tweezers, or „something“ what can help at extraction of a component from a PCB or at cleaning of a suspicious place with a possible shortcut.

If we´d start by the smallest one, then it could be the ZD-151 set – i.e. six various “surgery” tools serving for bending of THT components leads, extraction of components from a PCB, cleaning of a joint (brass brush) as well as interruption of unwanted connection on a PCB. Especially suitable for work with SMT components is the set of four stainless steel tweezers 816748. By the way, for a work with sensitive components it´s certainly worth to use antistatic wrist band (suitably earthed).

If you already find a place, which should be resoldered or a component should be extracted, then there will be certainly useful desoldering pumps ZD-192 or ZD-108 from an ESD plastic. For a thorough removing of all solder residues, especially at exchange of SMT components, it´s usually necessary to use a desoldering braid, for example Toolcraft – in various thicknesses (1.0-3.0mm) or a top-quality braid with a synthetic flux Soldabsorb.

Soldering tool – that should be laid off into a reliable holder – for example ZD-10 but we´re also able to supply you various original parts from Weller, Ersa and other.

At soldering and especially at a lead-free process, it often happens, that even a relatively new soldering tip gets covered by a thin oxide layer and the tip then “doesn´t catch” solder (poor wetting). If a mild cleaning on a soft-wetted sponge (ZD-937), doesn´t help, or often better – on a dry brass or stainless steel wool – AT-A900, then it might be good to use something more efficient – regenerator of tips Stannol Tippy or Weller TIP ACTIVATOR (T0051303199).

It´s known, that solder smoke and fumes are harmful and your health is surely worth much more than the ZD-153 fumes extractor.

Do you need to extract a hard-to-reach component from a PCB? - [Link]

10 Dec 2014

TI DLP4710

by Susan Nordyk @ edn.com:

Texas Instruments is now sampling to its third-party developer network the 0.47-in. TRP Full-HD 1080p chipset—the smallest TI chipset capable of generating brighter, more efficient full high-definition projection displays from small form-factor electronics. The chipset is based on DLP Cinema technology and employs the DLP4710 digital micromirror device to deliver sharp, clear images in a compact size that enables end-user products in many form factors.

Low power consumption allows the chipset to be used in battery-powered applications, such as mobile projectors and wearable electronics. In addition, the proprietary DLP TRP architecture and adaptive DLP IntelliBright suite of algorithms deliver up to 100% higher brightness or up to 50% lower power consumption than previous DLP Pico chipset architectures.

Tiny 1080p chipset enables full HD projection - [Link]

10 Dec 2014

The most popular RTC for the Arduino is the DS1307. However, it does have some drawbacks, the most notable of which is that its operating voltage is 5v, which means it cannot be used with 3.3v projects.  The Maxim DS1339 however, features a wide tolerance of voltages from 2.97V-5.5V with the typical voltage as 3.3v, a battery backup, two alarms, and a trickle charger. The breakout board here packages the DS1339 with the components and connections necessary to use with your Arduino projects easily.

MAX DS1339 RTC Real Time Clock for Arduino - [Link]

10 Dec 2014


by Michael Whybray:

Most desk fans I have come across have three speeds: Full Speed, Almost Full Speed, and Off – useless if you want just a gentle air movement, and far too noisy if you are trying to get to sleep (in your bedroom of course, not at your work desk!). The squirrel cage induction motors they use have switches to two or more windings – and possibly a capacitor – to reduce the drive current. But unless the drive frequency is also reduced, the torque and speed stability are poor, so minimal speed reduction is usually available on these fans. Using a triac to provide phase control of the voltage works poorly for the same reason, with the speed very sensitive to the triac firing phase angle and fan load, and has a tendency to stall.

Sleep easy with this desk fan speed reducer - [Link]





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