by Michael Dunn @ edn.com:
Well, the “Test PCB” project is finally underway. In case you don’t remember my original blog, the idea is to send a PCB design out to a half-dozen or so low-cost PCB prototype shops, then review their service and quality.
I’ve created a 6 × 6cm double-sided design for this project. I would have made it larger, but at least one fab’s prices (I’m looking at you, OSH Park) rise steeply with board size, and I wanted to keep within budget.
Quick-Turn PCB shop review project: Step 1, the PCB - [Link]
by R O Ocaya @ edn.com:
This Design Idea shows a way to drive low-power electronic circuits using a single 1.5V cell. The design is based on a free-running oscillator that drives a flyback transformer to generate a controllable higher voltage. It can be used to power analog circuitry, microcontrollers, and any other light loads.
Flyback switcher works down to 1.1V, flashes HBLEDs - [Link]
Infrared headphones can be used for listening to music or television cordlessly. The headphones utilize a transmitter that connects with audio cables to the audio source, such as a home entertainment center. The transmitter utilizes light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to direct a focused beam of invisible pulsating light towards a receiver built into the headphone set. The pulsations act as ON/OFF signals that are translated digitally by the receiver into audible sound waves. Most infrared headphones have an effective range of about 30 feet (~10 meters) or less, and require a clear line of sight between transmitter and receiver.
The headphones pick up the light with a receiver and turn it back into sound. The receiver has an infrared CDS cell, which produces a pulse of electricity every time infrared light lands on it. The cell is designed to pick up the particular frequency of light produced by the transmitter, so it is not disturbed or thrown off by other light. A small computer inside of the receiver takes these pulses of electricity and turns them into an audio signal. This audio signal is then amplified and sent to the headphones themselves, which play the sound.
For the receiver side, a photodiode D1 feeds high gain IR remote control preamp IC, a CA3237E. U2 is a PLL FM detector tuned to around 100 kHz. The detector output is amplified by U3 and it can drive a speaker or a set of headphones.
Wireless IR Headphone Receiver - [Link]
by Susan Nordyk:
A four-channel PMBus digital power-system manager IC, the LTC2975 from Linear Technology, performs current, power, and energy monitoring of the intermediate-bus input to point-of-load (POL) converters. The device relieves the host of burdensome computation and poling by providing the energy consumed, reported in joules, and the elapsed time through a PMBus interface. When combined with its digital measurements of POL output voltages, current, and power, the input data enables long-term monitoring of a power system’s conversion efficiency.
Monitor IC optimizes board energy consumption - [Link]
Use a $4 microcontroller to launch web pages with the push of a button over serial I/O.. by Elliot Williams @ makezine.com:
A microcontroller is a self-contained, but very limited computer — halfway between a computer and a component.
The top reasons to integrate a microcontroller into your projects are connectivity and interactivity, and one easy way to get your microcontroller talking with the outside world is standard asynchronous serial I/O. Many devices can communicate this way, from wi-fi routers to GPS units to your desktop or laptop computer. Getting comfortable with serial I/O makes debugging your AVR programs much easier because the AVR can finally talk to you, opening up a huge opportunity for awesome.
Beyond the Arduino IDE: AVR USART Serial - [Link]
8 Channel Relay Board is a simple and convenient way to interface 8 relays for switching application in your project. Input voltage level support TTL as well as CMOS. Easy interface with Microcontrollers based projects and analog circuits.
8 Channel Relay Board - [Link]
by talk2bruce @ instructables.com:
Using a Raspberry Pi, a Raspberry Pi camera module, a PIR motion sensor, a USB WiFi adapter, a handful of parts, and a couple of Python programs, you can construct a camera that will automatically snap photos or record short videos when something moves in front of the camera and will automatically upload the photos/videos to Dropbox. This instructable shows how to build a Raspberry Pi Motion Sensitive Camera.
Raspberry Pi Motion Sensitive Camera - [Link]
by Colin Jeffrey @ gizmag.com:
Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) are a common and increasingly pervasive method of displaying information for everything from watches to giant TV screens. Though, like most other displays, LCDs require electrical energy to constantly display an image. Researchers from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, however, have produced an ultra-thin LCD screen prototype that is not only capable of displaying images without continuous power, but in 3D as well.
Energy-efficient 3D display maintains images without power - [Link]
The LTC2645 is a family of quad 12-, 10-, and 8-bit PWM-to-voltage output DACs with an integrated high accuracy, low drift, 10ppm/°C reference in a 16-lead MSOP package. It has rail-to-rail output buffers and is guaranteed monotonic. The LTC2645 measures the period and pulse width of the PWM input signals and updates the voltage output DACs after each corresponding PWM input rising edge. The DAC outputs update and settle to 12-bit accuracy within 8μs typically and are capable of sourcing and sinking up to 5mA (3V) or 10mA (5V), eliminating voltage ripple and replacing slow analog filters and buffer amplifiers.
LTC2645 – Quad 12-/10-/8-Bit PWM to VOUT DACs - [Link]
by Martin Rowe @ edn.com:
Teledyne LeCroy has announced the LabMaster 10-100Zi, the world’s first 100-GHz real-time oscilloscope. First demonstrated in 2013, the LabMaster 10-100Zi acquisition module for the LabMaster 10 Zi oscilloscope makes a significant jump in bandwidth over the previous record of 65 GHz, also held by Teledyne LeCroy.
100 GHz real-time oscilloscope arrives - [Link]