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29 May 2014


This instructable describes a project named Duinocade, a mini pong arcade game based on the open source handheld Gamebunio. [via]

Duinocade is a very small arcade cabinet (14cm / 5,5inch height).  The software and parts of the circuit diagram based on the open source handheld Gamebunio, which based on the famous Arduino platform. The Gamebuino and also our Duinocade uses the knowns Nokia 5110 lcd as screen. At the moment the Gamedunio is an Indiegogo campain and wil be official available in July. But some games for example Pong are finished by the Gamebunio community until now… [...]

The electronic is realized on a breadboard. In the future we will create a pcb layout and perhaps also a DIY kit. In contrast to the Gamebuino we don’t have an lithium battery and an USB port. The Duinocade is powered by an external (wall) power supply. The electronic fits in the slot for the iPhone. We don’t have to made mechanical modifications of the case exept one additional hole for the power socket. We’ve mounted only an 3,3V power supply, the ATMEGA328 microcontroller, SD card socket and the Nokia LCD on this breadboard.

Mini Pong arcade using Arduino - [Link]

29 May 2014

Dave shows you a handy tip on how to see *through* a product using a Flir thermal imaging camera with the cover *on*. Thus being able to maintain the correct airflow, whilst at the same time being able to view the thermal map as if the cover was off!

EEVblog #622 – How To See Through Objects With A Thermal Camera - [Link]

29 May 2014

Just a short video to show how I hand solder a ceramic leadless chip carrier (CLCC) package to a circuit board, in this case, a Si570. Typical surface mount soldering techniques, including the use of flux, fine gauge solder, and a fine tipped iron.

How to solder a leadless ceramic surface mount package - [Link]

29 May 2014

EveryCircuit helps electronics enthusiasts to quickly prototype circuits and share their designs. Students find it useful because of real-time interactive simulation and visualization of circuit operation. EC was first released as an Android app (over 1M users). Thanks to Google’s new Portable Native Client technology that lets us run C++ code at full speed in Chrome browser, it is now available online.

EveryCircuit is a web and mobile app for EE students and circuit enthusiasts. Its interactive visual circuit simulation is great for understanding how circuits work and for quick prototyping of design ideas. And it has a huge online repository of educational and practical circuits designed by EveryCircuit community.

EveryCircuit – Interactive visual circuit simulation web app - [Link]

29 May 2014


Precise heatsinks from the production of Fischer Elektronik will take care for your devices to stay “cool”.

Over 40 years of experience of company Fischer reflect in an excellent reputation and mainly in a stable high quality of their products. Main production portfolio consists of heatsinks, connectors and enclosures. Narrow specialization on mechanical and electromechanical components is reflected just in details. We can be sure, that a heatsink which we´ll use in our device, will be available the same precisely made even in a year, two,…

Fischer Elektronik takes care for one of the most important feature of heatsinks – planarity and surface smoothness in a place of a supposed touch of component with a heatsink. This a critical place, as even the best heat-conducting pastes have still a noticeable worse thermal conductivity than aluminium and just a high planarity and smoothness enables to use only a thin paste layer.

Also available are versions with an anodized surface (natural, black and other colors) as well as various “exotic” shapes. Upon request company Fischer also makes a custom products, drilling, milling,…
And what in the case that we need to cool kilowatts? – in that case it might be a suitable solution to use a liquid cooling, which can be also find in the Fischer Elektronik catalogue.

Leave an excess heat to Fischer heatsinks - [Link]

28 May 2014


by bitsofmymind.com:

The Joule thief is a really fascinating circuit, simple yet very intricate. Basically, it’s a step-up converted in its most elementary expression. I will spare you the theory since there is plenty of information on it on the web; rustybolt.info is a good place to start.

Joule thieves in all sorts of forms have been featured countless time on DIY websites and I felt it was time I build one. However, I did not want to leave the circuit at the breadboard stage because as it stands, the joule thief has characteristics that make it very attractive for all sorts of low power applications and I figured a flash light would be a very good home for a joule thief, where having the option of using dead batteries is certainly a big plus not to mention using less cells because the circuit steps the voltage up. Why dead batteries? Because a battery is never really dead, its voltage just falls down logarithmically until it hits a point where the device it was powering up stops functioning, which does not mean the battery is totally drained but rather that its voltage has fallen below a usable level. Since joule thieves are step-up converters, they can take that “dead” battery, and give it a new life by stepping up its output voltage to usable levels again.

Maglite Joule thief - [Link]

28 May 2014


If we´re deciding whether to use a classic transformer or better a modern electronic switch-mode power supply (SMPS), it´s good to realize pros and cons of both technologies.

Switch mode power supplies Myrra series 47000 already found their stable place on the market and they gradually replace classic transformers. Why is it so?

Switch-mode power supplies definitely win in a perhaps the most important requirement of these days – in efficiency (in a whole load range) and in a low no-load consumption (Standby). Similarly also many other factors say in favor of switch-mode power supplies, for example power/ weight ratio, size, simple elimination of a high inrush current, silent operation, minimum stray magnetic field, …From these reasons for the majority of applications it´s better and often even cheaper to use an “electronic replacement” of transformer – for example modules series Myrra 47xxx or AC/DC modules Traco Power for higher power ratings.

Maybe it´s worth to question, whether there´s still any reason to use a classic transformer in usual applications with power demands say 1-1000W? Surely yes, for example in application very sensitive to HF radiation (HF receivers, pre-amplifiers,…) but also in applications with a demand for the highest reliability for decades. Transformer is a component which almost doesn´t age and if properly sealed in a resin, then it´s lifetime is extremely long. As a transformer doesn´t contain any semiconductors, capacitors etc, it´s also very resistant to various spikes, overvoltages and noise in a power line…

Power supplies of 47000 series have a very low no-load power consumption – only 200 mW, resp. 300 mW at unregulated types. With the 4000VAC isolation (input/output), they´re ready for a class II – reinforced isolation. With a built-in protection against shortcut and over-temperature, they´re ready for usage in a virtually any device with power demands up to approx. 5-5,4W.

Detailed information will provide you the Myrra 47000 datasheet and the article Save energy and production costs with Myrra 47000 switch-mode power supplies.

Transformer classic or an electronic one? - [Link]

28 May 2014


Open CPU concept at the Quectel M85 GSM module opens new possibilities in simplification of a design, as a part of system resources can be used for an application.

For a usage of GSM/ GPRS module in a target device we usually need also an external microcontroller, which controls the module itself and an overall communication and it also usually controls other parts of your device. The OpenCPU concept at the Quectel M85 module takes this approach so to say “from the opposite side” and enables to use a part of system resources of the module for your own program. In result it means, that no external MCU is necessary what naturally saves production costs and also a PCB space.

Attached picture illustrates difference between a standard configuration (GSM module + MCU) and the OpenCPU configuration. M85 module already supports also various new standards like eCall/Era-Glonass, M85 OpenCPU support a free GCC compiler (Sorcery CodeBench Lite ARM EABI) and also ARM RVCT. For a development and editing of software can be used several tools like Source Insight and Microsoft Visual Studio. M85 module system resources mainly consist of CPU 32-BIT ARM7EJ-STM RISC 104MHz and memory (64Mb Flash + 32Mb RAM), 640KB is a free space for „App image bin“, 2MB RAM for an application SW and 1MB for files and data.

Closer insight about this interesting system will give you the „Quectel M85 OpenCPU” presentation. Quectel provides various tools, application notes and examples for the OpenCPU system. Upon request, we´ll send you a detailed documentation by an e-mail. All that is necessary is to express your interest in a form below this article.

With the M85 module you don’t need a host MCU - [Link]

28 May 2014


Manual Pick and Place V2  @ Brian Dorey.com

After finishing the automatic pick and place project we soon found that we needed to be able to place components manually when working on prototype and very short production runs of pcb boards.

As the space in the loft workshop is very limited we decided to modify the old manual pick and place machine and make a new compact version which can be stored under the bench and put on the top when needed.

For the frame we used 40mm x 20mm aluminium extrusion and made a frame which is 40cm deep x 45cm wide.

Manual Pick and Place V2 - [Link]

28 May 2014

Ben is always looking for new tools and processes to help with all the projects he builds. He’s got a CNC mill, laser cutter, and a 3-D printer, but hasn’t found a way to whip up a PCB at his shop. He’s hand wired many circuits, but this can be tedious. He’s designed PCBs in Eagle and sent them off for production at a board house, but this doesn’t help when he wants a PCB the same day. In this episode, Ben experiments with three methods of PCB etching and shares the results.

Let’s Try PCB Etching! - [Link]





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