by Henrik’s Blog @ hforsten.com:
All of the best integrated circuits today come in hard to solder BGA packages. Because BGA packages have connections under the chip soldering is harder and it needs to be done using a reflow oven or hot plate. Another problem is with designing the PCB, vias and traces need to be small enough to fit between the solder balls and there needs to be usually quite many layers in the board to make room for all the closely packed traces. This means that a cheap Chinese two layer board doesn’t have enough room and more layers are needed. Adding layers increases the cost of the board dramatically when ordering only a few copies.
Making embedded Linux computer - [Link]
Dan over at HackAday documented his single chip computer project with the PCBs from DirtyPCBs:
A single AVR microcontroller (the ATmega 1284P) has been used to create a standalone computer system which runs the BASIC programming language. The 1284P runs TinyBASIC Plus, generates RCA video signals (using TVout) and reads PS/2 keyboard input. A single sided PCB was used to hold all the components meaning it is easy to manufacture the computer at home using processes such as photo-etching. Additionally, the component count is fairly low and only one IC is required (the 1284P).
Single chip AVR BASIC computer - [Link]
Linear Technology Corp have introduced the LTC3124 which is a two phase 3 MHz current-mode synchronous boost DC/DC converter featuring output disconnect and inrush current limiting. Dual phase operation has the benefit of reducing peak inductor and capacitor ripple currents allowing equivalent performance to be achieved in the power supply design with smaller valued inductors and capacitors.
The LTC3124 incorporates low resistance MOSFETs with an RDS(ON) of 130mΩ (N-channel) and 200mΩ (P-channel) to deliver efficiencies as high as 95%. The output disconnect feature allows the output to be completely discharged at shutdown and reduces switch-on inrush. An input pin can be used to configure the LTC3124 for continuous frequency mode to give low-noise operation. Additional features include external synchronization, output overvoltage protection, and robust short-circuit protection.
Dual-Phase Boosts Step-Up Efficiency - [Link]
What’s inside a 1991 vintage IBM PS/2 L40SX 80386SX laptop?
EEVblog #639 – IBM L40SX Retro Laptop Teardown - [Link]
By Darren Quick @ gizmag.com:
After unveiling the world’s first flexible OLED TV at CES earlier this year, LG has gone a step further with the unveiling of two new 18-inch OLED panels: the first is a transparent display, while the second can be rolled up. Although both fall short of the 77-inch flexible TV on show at CES, the company says the new panels prove that it has the technology to bring rollable TVs with screens in excess of 50 inches to market in the future.
LG “rolls out” latest flexible and transparent OLED panels - [Link]
Anandtech tears down the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live:
The G Watch turns out to be pretty easy to take apart. There are four Torx T5 screws on the back, removing them gives you access to its internals. The 400mAh battery is integrated into the back cover. ARM’s teardown confirms 3.8V chemistry, resulting in a 1.52Wh total capacity.
The logic board in the Gear Live is a bit more complex. There’s a second layer stacked on the main logic board that also acts as an RF can.
LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live Teardowns - [Link]
by Avago Technologies:
Analog isolation is still widely used in motor drives, power monitoring, etc whereby applications typically use inexpensive analog voltage control for speed, intensity or other adjustments.
The HCNR201/200 analog optocoupler is commonly added to isolate the analog signal in the front end module of an application circuitry. The optocoupler will be placed between the analog input and the A/D converter to provide isolation of the analog input from the mixed signal ADC and other digital circuitries. The HCNR201/200 is an excellent solution for many of the analog isolation problems.
Fast analog isolation with linear optocouplers - [Link]
Pup05 shared his SmartMatrix project. He writes:
The panel fits perfectly, just had to shim it with a little bit of folded card stock on each side. There’s plenty of room for the Teensy and SmartMatrix board, wiring, SD card, etc. I cut out a piece of white printer paper to size, and placed it between the panel and the glass for a bit of diffusion. The magnetic feet that came with my panel from Adafruit fit perfectly, and keep the panel pushed against the paper and glass. I cut a notch in the bottom of the back, just big enough for the power cord, USB cable, and IR receiver.
I loaded up Craig’s LightAppliance sketch and made a few minor modifications, loaded up my SD card with the animated GIFs I wanted, and everything works great. Unfortunately, I already had my Teensy soldered on to the SmartMatrix board, and didn’t feel like pulling it off to solder the RTC crystal on to the back. I might do that later, and add the temperature sensor.
SmartMatrix project - [Link]
Here’s a cool Mini LED volume towers project by Ben Finio. He writes a complete step-by-step instructions here:
The inspiration for this project started when I saw a variety of awesome stereo LED towers on YouTube (also referred to as VU meters). Many of the videos showed the end result, and maybe a slideshow of the assembly process, but lacked complete build details or a circuit diagram. So, I set out to find out how they worked, and build my own “mini” desktop version that would go nicely with computer speakers, instead of a big living room stereo. This Instructable will give you complete directions to assemble the required circuit (even if you have no electronics experience – you can even do it without soldering), build two LED towers, and hook them up to an audio input so you can simultaneously drive them and listen to music.
Mini LED volume towers (VU meters) - [Link]
Mr.Fishers3 @ instructables.com writes:
Ever looked at a lightbulb and thought that doesn’t look too complicated, I bet I could make one? With this Instructable you can!
This lightbulb is made entirely out of simple, mostly household materials requiring very little in special equipment. The basic construction includes a glass jar filled with CO2 and a graphite filament(Pencil Lead). This makes it a carbon filament bulb analogous to those made by Edison before tungsten became the norm.
Homemade Lightbulb - [Link]