by TheSignalPathBlog @ youtube.com:
In this episode Shahriar takes a close look at an HP/Agilent 5347A 20GHz Frequency Counter and Power Meter. This defective unit does not provide any frequency information from Input 2 which is rated to operate up to 20GHz. Before the teardown and repair attempts, the principle operation of the instrument is reviewed.
The properties of a Step Recovery Diode (SRD) is presented along with the theory and practical aspects of generating a frequency comb. The heterodyne architecture of the frequency counter is explained in detail with the mechanism of detection and calculation of the input frequency.
During the teardown of the unit the synthesizer board, motherboard, power meter reference board and the main RF assembly are shown. The schematic of the synthesizer board and the RF board are also described. The defective component is identified and examined under the microscope. The slides for this episode can be found at The Signal Path website.
Teardown, Analysis and Repair of an HP/Agilent 5347A 20GHz Frequency Counter & Power Meter - [Link]
by Warren Miller @ digikey.com:
MCUs offer a very wide range of Ethernet connectivity choices. With most applications demanding Internet connectivity, it’s more likely than not that your next MCU-based design will need some type of network connection. Whether your next design is a sensor that needs to consolidate and communicate data over an Ethernet link, a network-connected security camera that needs to have periodic code updates sent via the network connection, or an industrial controller that needs to use a robust industrial Ethernet connection, your choice of Ethernet-enabled MCU will be critical in delivering the capabilities required for a successful design.
Understanding and Using Ethernet-enabled MCUs for Your Next Application – [Link]
praveen @ circuitstoday.com writes:
This article is a about a fully functional water level controller using Arduino. The circuit displays the level of water in the tank and switches the motor ON when the water level goes below a predetermined level. The circuit automatically switches the motor OFF when the tank is full. The water level and other important data are displayed on a 16×2 LCD display. The circuit also monitors the level of water in the sump tank (source tank). If the level in side the sump tank is low, the motor will not be switched ON and this protects the motor from dry running. A beep sound is generated when the level in the sump tank is low or if there is any fault with the sensors.
Water level controller using arduino - [Link]
The deadline for the 2014 European Design Freedom Contest is fast approaching and we’d love to see you win a variety of Apple products, a football table, espresso machine, or shiny new bicycle! Using the Freescale Freedom Kinetics ARM based development platform and free online tools from Digi-Key Corporation, you’ll generate a block diagram of a project of your choosing. In Phase 2, create a PCB design that brings your creativity to life! Enter today!
Contest link: http://www.eeweb.com/freedomcontest
by Radovan Faltus @ edn.com:
To meet the demanding performance and harsh environmental conditions of automotive applications, component manufacturers have developed professional-grade tantalum capacitors that ensure long-term electrical performance stability. The professional tantalum technology satisfies the automotive industry’s need for rugged capacitors that maintain high-performance standards under electrical and mechanical stress. Technical improvements have been made that strengthen the structure of the capacitor and give it more robust performance in a variety of applications.
Advanced capacitors ensure long-term performance stability - [Link]
by Graham Prophet @ edn.com:
Previewed in August this year, distributor Mouser has now formally released MultiSIM BLUE, the National Instruments Multisim Component Evaluator, Mouser Edition. The free software is a multifunction package that covers schematic capture, simulation, PCB design and bill-of-materials compilation with direct links to Mouser’s site.
Available via free download on Mouser.com, MultiSIM BLUE enables engineers to design and simulate circuits before laying them out in physical prototypes. MultiSIM BLUE adds features and functionality to provide engineers with an industry-standard SPICE simulation environment of electronic circuits using Mouser’s distributed components, including the newest in analog and mixed-signal ICs, passive components, discrete semiconductors, power management ICs, connectors, and electromechanical components. Simulation is driven by the same advanced parser technology as NI Multisim software with support from BSIM and other advanced parameters.
Mouser releases free version of NI MultiSIM simulator, PCB tool - [Link]
In a presentation at the Maker Faire held in Rome this weekend Arduino co-founder Massimo Banzi gave a preview of the soon to be released Gemma wearable Arduino board. The 27 mm diameter board contains an ATtiny85 processor programmable from the Arduino IDE via Gemma’s micro USB connector. The design is a collaborative effort together with Adafruit Industries who also worked on the Arduino Micro.
The ATtiny85 has 8K of flash and 5 I/O pins, including analog inputs and PWM outputs. It was designed with a USB bootloader so you can plug it into any computer and reprogram it over a USB port (it uses 2 of the 5 I/O pins, leaving you with 3). Ideal for small & simple projects sewn with conductive thread, the Arduino Gemma fits the needs of most of entry-level wearable creations including reading sensors and driving addressable LED pixels.
The Arduino Gemma - [Link]
who would ever imagine that global cultural and economic revolution would spring from the tranquil fields of piedmont, italy, in tiny towns nestled against the stunning backdrop of the alps? but that’s exactly where arduino, the system of microcontrollers revolutionzing the maker movement and pioneering the concept of opensource hardware, was born in 2005 and continues to make its home today.
arduino’s story is unusual to say the least. five colleagues, seeking to empower students with the tools to create, developed the platform in 2005. now distributors estimate that over one million arduinos have been sold, and the arduino community is among the most resilent and inventive on the internet. forums like instructables and arduino’s own scuola connect enthusiasts to learn from one another, and arduino users build on the platform to open up new creative possibilities.
Arduino factory + production tour in turin, italy - [Link]
by Ben Coxworth @ gizmag.com:
Tired of digging through the collection of credit, debit and loyalty cards in your wallet? Well, if you are, then you’re the sort of person who might like the Plastc Card. It’s a new electronic card-format device, that can store the information for up to 20 other cards on it at once. You just select the card that you want to access via the e-ink screen, then use Plastc as if it were that card.
Plastc – one card to rule them all? - [Link]
TI’s MSP430 family of MCUs are low-power and RISC-based powerful mixed-signal processors that require a Flash Emulator Tool (FET) for in-system programming. The official MSP430 FET from TI costs about $100. Vincete describes a way to construct a MSP430 FET using TI’s popular and in-expensive Launchpad board.
MSP430 FET using TI Launchpad - [Link]