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17 Feb 2015


rancidpacon writes:

I recently wrote a 15-page getting started guide for the $5 ESP8266 WiFi modules for Kiwicon 8, a local New Zealand hacker con. It’s available as both HTML and a PDF.

It provides details on: how to make the hardware connections using an FTDI Board or Arduino (with suitable disclaimer); how to communicate with the module; using AT commands to act as a client, server or AP; and, updating the firmware.

The con brought in a shipment of 100 of the modules which sold out extremely quickly and the guide provides a one-stop-shop for how to get started with the modules.

ESP8266 WiFi module quick start guide – [Link]

16 Feb 2015

An active bandpass filter can be wide-band or narrow-band as needed.  If the higher -3dB frequency divided by the lower -3dB frequency is greater than 1.5 then a wide-band filter is needed.    An effective and easily understood active wide-band filter can consist of merely a low-pass and high-pass filter in series.   The high-pass and low-pass filters are share the same design, with resistors and capacitors in the same positions but reversed for each type of filter.

Bandpass Filter – [Link]

16 Feb 2015


by Donald Schelle @ ti.com:

Achieving optimal performance of an LED luminaire or LED backlight design requires numerous trade-offs. Understanding an LED’s power transfer characteristics empowers intelligent choices regarding cost, power consumption, and weight. While most LED datasheets publish pertinent data that can be used to make these decisions, data may not be formatted in a way that is readily applicable to the chosen application. Optimal performance requires finding pertinent information from manufacturer’s LED datasheets and utilizing methods to capture, reformat and analyze the data.

Optimal operating point of an LED – [Link]

16 Feb 2015

by mjlorton @ youtube.com:

A catch for some new folks – Performance (waveform updates per second) drops off if you have a large enough horizontal offset / delay – this happens on most scopes.

The Keysight / Agilent struggles to Auto trigger on less frequent pulses. This is due to their Auto trigger rearm timer being very short…because the scope is fast.

The Keysight has a set of 5 GSa/s ADC’s and MegaZoom IV ASIC’s paired and hardwired behind channels 1 & 2 , 3 & 4 respectively.
This means that if you are only using two channels and you select 1 & 2…the sample rate is halved to 2.5 GSa/s and so is the waveform update rate. You need to select channels 1 & 3 to maintain the higher performance and sampling rate.
The Tektronix MDO3000 series allow you to select any two channels and maintain the higher sampling rate.

The new time correlated FFT (frequency domain) feature (FFT Gating) with a time domain signal suffers from a harware problem. If too much data is being parsed in the zoomed mode with FFT Gating, the FFT funcion will stop / hang / freeze.

Keysight MSO-X 3000T – Tips, Quirks and a Bug! – [Link]

16 Feb 2015


by Chris Wood @ gizmag.com:

Over the last couple of years we’ve seen a number high-tech cards that aim to slim down your wallet, all offering pretty similar functionality. The Swyp Card is the latest to make a bid for your hard-earned cash, promising to condense your wallet into a single metal card that stores info from debit, credit, loyalty and gift cards.

Swyp holds onto the classic card form factor and allows users to switch between stored cards using physical scroll buttons, with a built-in display showing information for the chosen payment method. New cards are registered by swiping them through a card reader that plugs into the headphone port on a user’s smartphone running a companion iOS/Android app.

Swyp aims to replace all your plastic cards with one that’s electronic – [Link]

16 Feb 2015


New series of Friwo FOX mains adapters meets the most stringent energy regulations already now and at the same time it´s more compact than its predecessors.

DoE 2016 is a known term naming stringent regulations established by DoE (department of energy USA) valid from year 2016. Among other things it brings a requirement for a standby power consumption of small adapters to be below 0.1W. In Europe we have here a limit of 0.5W for majority of small adapters, but even here can be expected toughening in the nearest years.

That´s why German company Friwo as a long-term long-term OEM producer of power supplies and adapters comes with a new line of mains adapters named “FOX”. Besides high efficiency, these power supplies are also extraordinarily compact. Already recent series MPP and GPP are very compact, but FOX is a “step further”, as also illustrated on attached picture. System of exchangeable primary and secondary adapters (connectors) enables to use the same power supply for various applications and in various countries.

Even the FOX series meets various international requirements and obtained many approvals. a medical version will be also available soon. The FOX series is a novelty – 12W types are available upon order. Gradually also other types – FOX 18, FOX 30 a FOX 6 will be produced.
FOX series, as the only type on the market meets criteria for IP42 protection – with selected primary adapters (connectors).

An adapter with standby power consumption below 0.1W? – [Link]

16 Feb 2015


Intersil’s application note (PDF) on building a battery operated auto ranging DVM with the ICL7106:

This application note describes a technique for auto-ranging a battery operated DVM suitable for panel meter applications. Also, circuit ideas will be presented for conductance and resistance measurement, 9V battery and 5V supply operations, and current measurement.


App note: Building a battery operated auto ranging DVM with the ICL7106 – [Link]

16 Feb 2015


by soldernerd.com:

If you’ve read my last post you’re already familiar with my Inductance Meter project: http://soldernerd.com/2015/01/14/stand-alone-inductance-meter/. At that time the hardware was ready but there was no software yet. That’s been corrected, the inductance meter is now fully functional.

From a high-level point of view the new software is very similar to the Arduino sketch I wrote for the Inductance Meter Shield (http://soldernerd.com/2014/12/14/arduino-based-inductance-meter/). If you look a bit closer, you’ll notice some differences for several reasons:

This project uses an entirely different microcontroller: A PIC 16F1932 instead of the Atmel Atmega328
This code is written in C (for the MikroC for PIC compiler by Mikroelektronika), not Arduino-style C++
The display I’m using here comes with a I2C interface rather than the familiar Hitachi interface

Stand-alone Inductance Meter – [Link]

14 Feb 2015

In this world exclusive episode, Shahriar visits Teledyne LeCroy to take a close look at the operation, teardown and experiments with the LabMaster 10-100zi, 100GHz simultaneous bandwidth, 240GS/s real-time oscilloscope. This instrument provides either a single 100GHz channel, or two 33GHz and one 65GHz digitizing channels. The instrument uses a frequency interleaving technique invented and implemented at LeCroy.

The block diagram and the theory of operation of the scope is presented. This includes the architecture of the 4x80GS/s ADCs and the triple frequency interleaving system. The teardown of the scope includes a close look at the ADC platform, the dual frequency interleaving (65GHz operation) and the triple frequency interleaving (100GHz operation). The experiments with the scope demonstrate the instrument’s capability to digitize signals up 100GHz using the beat frequency of two non-coherent lasers. The scope is also used to capture a 4pS rise time pulse from a femtosecond laser pulse system and a high-speed photo detector.

A complete factory tour is also presented where Teledyne LeCroy assembles all their oscilloscope products right here in the USA.

Experiments and Teardown of the Teledyne LeCroy LabMaster 10-100zi 100GHz, 240GS/s Oscilloscope – [Link]

14 Feb 2015

by Henry Tonoyan @ htonoyan.blogspot.gr:

Last week I had the idea to create a last-minute valentine’s day gift for my girlfriend. I had a bunch of WS2812 LEDs from my previous endeavors and decided to make a big LED heart. These are a great choice because of the very minimal amount of components necessary: no I/O expanders, driving transistors or ICs necessary. Plus you just need one I/O line from your microcontroller to drive them.

Since they run off 5V, I planned to create a board that is powered from a wall-wart power supply. That way the board doesn’t even need a voltage regulator on it. I chose to use an ATMega48 because I have several from previous projects.

A Valentine’s Day Surprise – [Link]





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