I used to get the feeling that it wasn’t obvious enough that I really enjoy working with embedded systems. I decided to change that by designing a binary timepiece that is portable, easy to use, has long battery life, and has a very barebones “circuits and components” feel to it. After wearing the final product for about a month now, I feel like I was successful on all of those goals:
The Binary Wristwatch – [Link]
DipTrace is a sophisticated schematic and PCB layout software. I had it installed on my computer for over a year but have never really used it. Since I needed a super simple PCB for some 78XX / 79XX type linear regulators, I decided to use this opportunity for my first steps with DipTrace.
DipTrace offers different prices for different packages. The cheapest version, DipTrace Starter (300 pins, 2 signal layers), is available for $ 75. DipTrace Full offers unlimited pins and unlimited signal layers for $ 895. All versions of DipTrace come with a humongous parts library and 3D models for a large amount of general purpose parts. In case a part or footprint is not included in the libraries, DipTrace offers both a component editor and a pattern editor for custom parts.
I needed a super small PCB for 78XX type voltage regulators. This mini project was perfect for my first steps with DipTrace. Please be aware that this article is going to be extremely coarse as it is supposed to be a general overview of the DipTrace software. The functionality of this software is rather complex as this is a professional design tool. More detailed articles will follow.
PCB layout design with DipTrace – An overview – [Link]
What’s inside a 2000 vintage Globalstar GSP1600 Tri-Band Satellite Phone? Behold the Erectile Antenna, a helical designed extending antenna.
EEVblog #721 – Globalstar Satellite Phone Teardown – [Link]
Embrio, create Arduino programs without writing code:
Easy To Use -Make programs by adding and connecting nodes. No coding necessary!
Real Time Connection -Work with a live connection to your Arduino, see how your program works as you build it!
Powerful -While easy to use, Embrio is a powerful development tool that you won’t outgrow as your skills develop.
Embrio: A visual programming environment for Arduino – [Link]
That´s why this modern multimeter is also suitable development of sensitive and “ultra low power“ devices.
Wide offer of modern measuring equipment enables us to choose a suitable device for every purpose and in various price levels. A decision which device to buy and/or a decision whether it´s worth to go for a higher-level device surely isn´t easy.
UT61D, which we want to introduce to you this time offers all usual features – at the first sight. But when we go deeper, we find out that besides a pleasant resolution (5999) and a decent precision (0,5-0,8%) it also offers 60mV ranges – for DC and also AC. Especially in the AC field it´s not that common (at equipment of thice price-level) and moreover – all that we measure in the AC signals can be labeled as TRMS (true RMS). And to all this, also measuring of current starts with a 600uA range (DC aj AC), what means measuring with a 0,1uA resolution.
Probably the last main bonus of UT61D is a possibility of communication with PC via serial port (RS232) and displaying of measured parameters in a simple graphic software.
UT61D handles high and also extra low voltages – [Link]
TEXAS Instruments has announced the new SimpleLink ultra-low power wireless MCU platform. The platform has been designed to use so little energy it can be powered from harvested energy or will run for years on a coin cell. For versatility the platform supports multiple wireless connectivity standards using a single-chip and identical RF design. The SimpleLink ultra-low power platform supports Bluetooth low energy, ZigBee, 6LoWPAN, Sub-1 GHz, ZigBee RF4CE and proprietary modes up to 5 Mbps.
The first members of the SimpleLink devices to be introduced are the CC2640 which supports Bluetooth Smart and the CC2630 for 6LoWPAN and ZigBee. The CC2650 wireless MCU supports multiple 2.4 GHz technologies including Bluetooth Smart, 6LoWPAN, ZigBee and RF4CE. The support for such a wide range of radio standards helps future-proof designs and gives the ability to configure a chosen technology at the time of installation in the field. Planned for introduction later in 2015 are the CC1310 for Sub-1 GHz operation and the CC2620 for ZigBee RF4CE.
Ultra Low Power Wireless IoT Platform – [Link]
by Einar Abell @ edn.com:
This Design Idea gives two versions of an indicator light that changes from green to red as a battery discharges. There are many circuits that do this sort of thing, but all the ones I have seen are too complex and costly for my taste. This DI shows a method that uses an absolute minimum of low cost parts: a dual-color LED and four other parts.
Voltage indicator transitions between colours – [Link]
I have just recently had solar pv installed, mainly to future proof my energy costs, I do not expect it to be like drilling for oil in my back garden, however the return looks to be encouraging.
The install gives you another single unit meter, from this you will see the total amount the panels produce, but that is about it.
I wanted to know how much the production was as it was happening, I discovered the light blinks on the front of the meter will flash 1000 times for each kWh of electricity which passes through. The rate of the flashing of the LED tells you how much power is currently passing through the meter.
A basic Arduino Solar PV Monitor – [Link]
This is a small 2 Channel amplifier constructed around Sanyos LA4445 IC delivers 5.5Watts +5.5 Watts at 4 ohm load, supply in 12V DC 2Amp, Input impedance 30K.
Dual Channels output : 5.5W
Minimum External Parts
Very small pop noise at the time of power supply ON/OFF
Good ripple rejections
Small residual noise
Built-in protectors 1. Thermal Protector 2. Overvoltage Surge Protector
Standard Audio signal
Supply 12V DC
Load : 4 Ohms Speaker on Each Channel
Voltage Gain : 50DB
Output 5.5W on each Channel (THD 10%)
Total harmonic distortion 1% Max @ Po=1W
Input impedance 30 K-ohms
5.5W – 2 Channel Audio Amplifier – [Link]