To reinforce the company’s commitment to the Internet of Things Intel have announced the XMM 6255; a complete 3G solution to enable cloud connectivity via the mobile phone network. In a blog post the company announced that it was commercially launching the XMM 6255 modem to provide a wireless solution for the billions of ‘smart’ and connected devices that are expected in the coming years. The modem incorporates Intel’s SMARTI UE2p RF transceiver layered onto a 3G power amplifier providing up to 7.2 Mbps download and 5.6 Mbps upload speeds. The XMM 6255 fits into a 300 mm2 footprint, claimed to be the smallest such solution on the market. Intel has targeted the XMM 6255 at IOT applications such as healthcare monitors and advertising.
3G Modem Targets the IoT - [Link]
by Einar Abell:
This Design Idea demonstrates a simple way to generate a multiphase clock signal, the frequency of which can be varied with minimal change in phase shift(s).
The phase shift of the second output can be tuned from near zero to 180° without affecting the frequency. The basic circuit uses a minimum of parts: one cap, two resistors, plus two Schmitt triggers.
Add phases to simple RC oscillator - [Link]
Pulse-controlled dimmers of lighting – Finder series 15 offer an elegant solution of lighting dimming controlled by a single switch.
Possibility to control level of lighting is beneficial at least from two reasons – saving of energy and naturally – we don´t need always a full intensity of lighting. At watching of media-projector presentation, TV, illumination of corridors, … it´s often desirable only to reach only a minimum level of illumination (but not a total darkness). Light dimmers are for a long period used for these purposes, usually based on a phase regulation.
Solution from company Finder is exceptional in a fact, that it´s usable with almost every light source – for example incandescent bulbs, 230V halogen bulbs powered by a toroidal or EI transformer, dimmable CFL lamps, as well as LED bulbs. The essence of Finder 15 series dimmers versatility is in the possibility to choose a method of a phase regulation – on the beginning of the sinusoid, or on its end (leading/ trailing edge – the difference is illustrated on the attached picture). The first method is generally suitable for electronic transformers for halogen bulbs and LEDs, the second method is better for classic transformers for low voltage bulbs, for 230V CFL and for 230V LED lamps.
As it uses to be, control of such dimmers is maximally simple – by a short push of a control button (switch) the relay (output) will switch on or switch-off. By a longer holding the button presses, we can change the light intensity from minimum to maximum and vice versa. Finder 15 series dimmers also enable to work in a mode with a switched on memory (after a repeated switch on, the last used level of intensity will be set) or without a memory (after switching on, the maximum intensity will be set). An above standard benefit is a possibility to adjust a minimum light intensity by a potentiometer, what´s important mainly at electronic transformers to avoid a possible blinking at very low intensities and it´s also at classic incandescent bulbs, as their efficiency drops down rapidly at very low intensities (duty cycles).
All 3 produced types are available directly from our stock:
18.104.22.168.0404 – assembly to installation boxes, linear dimming (also available types with dimming in 10 incremental steps)
22.214.171.124.0500 – assembly to boxes or on a panel, linear dimming
126.96.36.199.0000 – DIN rail assembly, linear dimming
Available are various versions, detailed information and a comprehensive table about possibilities of usage of particular types will give you the Finder 15 datasheet.
One impulse is able to set intensity of luminance - [Link]
Customizable, hackable real-time display used to inform you of notifications, tasks, metrics, emails and many more! by Jack Trowbridge:
Noteu is one of the first customizable, hackable real-time displays that keeps you updated in life, social media and business. Instead of needing to check multiple websites, apps or open any windows Noteu tells you what you need to know at a glance all in one place. With its easy to use Java application compatible on Windows, Mac and Linux you can choose amongst a wide range of updates and alerts with huge customization. Noteu being Open Source, based on the Ardunio platform, interfaceable with Java API’s and a simple serial protocol allows for infinite hacking.
Noteu: USB Hackable Real-Time Display - [Link]
This application note describes a DC-to-AC converter design, specifically targeted at converting highly variable energy from a solar panel into a form that can be directly connected to the power grid. This emphasizes on the control design and how PSoC 5LP is employed for a particular power topology.
Solar microinverter - [Link]
I remember that once in the beginning I said that I don’t want to buy a programmer/debugger hardware for learning a new MCU like the STM32 and also STM32s already come with built-in bootloader to facilitate programming via USART just like Arduino. Still the second is true. Well what about the first? To my own surprise I actually acquired a number of STM32-related stuffs since the time I started playing and exploring them. I actually bought both ST-Link 1 and 2 programmer-debuggers and several STM32 boards from Waveshare Electronics (http://www.wvshare.com). I believe learning new stuffs is more valuable than anything else.
STM32 Programming Tips and Tricks - [Link]
By Colin Jeffrey:
Stanford University researchers claim to have created the first stable pure lithium anode in a working battery by using carbon nanospheres as a protective sheath to guard against degradation. As a result, the researchers predict that commercial developments may eventually result in anything up to a tripling of battery life in the not-too-distant future.
At a basic level, a battery is composed of three main elements: the anode (the positive terminal), the cathode (the negative terminal), and the electrolyte (a solid or liquid chemical that stores electrical energy) which fills the battery between these two terminals. In ordinary Lithium-ion batteries, it is an all too common problem that the lithium in the battery can crystallize into dendrites – microscopic fibers that expand into the electrolyte, and can eventually short-circuit the battery, significantly reduce battery life or, worse, causing the battery to catch fire.
Stable lithium anode may triple battery efficiency - [Link]
by Francois AUGER & Philippe Fretaud:
Many previous Design Ideas [1, 2] have shown how to use the Charlieplexing technique  to drive as many LEDs as possible with a minimum number of I/O lines. This Design Idea shows how you can drive three LEDs and scan three switches with only three I/O lines instead of six. Using the same principle, it will also be possible to manage four switches and two LEDs, or five LEDs and one switch. It works well with Atmel ATmega microcontrollers including the Arduino, and could be of particular interest for any eight-pin devices, or when you’ve simply run out of I/O.
3 pins, 3 LEDs, 3 buttons - [Link]
Johannes’ Numitron GeekWatch features Numitron tubes housed in a hideous 3D printed case:
Numitron tubes are cut-down version of Nixie tubes, but instead of having a wire-mesh anode with a cold-cathode display, uses a seven-segmented indicator commonly found on digital meters and clocks.
Old School Tube Watch - [Link]
Alan Parekh of Hacked Gadgets writes:
Thanks to GearBest for sending in this Opus BT-C3100 V2.0 Intelligent Battery Charger for review. at a quick glance this charger might look like any other charger that you see at the grocery store. Your generic store bought brand probably also has 4 charging bays for AA and AAA batteries, it probably has 2 charging circuits which places 2 cells in series to charge them, it most likely has 2 charging lights which just turns off when charging is done. If you leave the batteries in your generic charger you will most likely have batteries that have been overcharging or running down. Also your generic charger can probably just charge one chemistry of battery.
When you have a closer look at the Opus BT-C3100 V2.0 Intelligent Battery Charger you can see how this system differs from your every day generic battery charger. It can auto detect and charge NiCd, NiMH and Li-ion batteries. It charges each cell independently preventing bad cells from interfering from other cells from charging properly. Forget charging lights, this has a full LCD display that provides tons of status. It will monitor batteries that are left in the charger and keep them topped up and ready to go. From here the features go on and on. Don’t let the small package fool you, there is a ton of smarts and features built into this small package.
Have a look at the pictures below and in the video for a look inside the charger. The construction is a dual sided SMD load, the construction looks very professional. The battery contact spring tensioners work well and the connection to the PCB has been beefed up with a thick metal bar…
BT-C3100 intelligent battery charger teardown - [Link]