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23 Oct 2014

Micrel 33163by Susan Nordyk @ edn.com:

Micrel’s family of low-profile step-down power modules integrates a synchronous buck regulator with an inductor into a 2.5×3×1.1-mm QFN package for the 1-A MIC33163/33164 and a 2.5×3×1.9-mm QFN package for the 2-A MIC33263/33264. The modules offer 100% duty cycle operation and accommodate an input voltage range of 2.7 V to 5.5 V.

DC/DC buck power modules fit tight spaces - [Link]

22 Oct 2014


by Philippe Duboisset:

This project is an open source (hardware & software) DDS generator, based on: smart TFT module, AD9834, LM7171 fast amplifier. The homemade function generator is a quite common project on the internet. We can find different ways to do it:

– The quick & dirty way based on a DDS module bought on eBay
– The analog version based on a MAX038 / XR2206
– The “clean” way based on a FPGA and a fast DAC (e.g. http://www.circuitben.net/node/14)
– The software way (e.g. Arduino + R/2R DAC)

From my side, I wanted a small one which could fits my needs without being too expensive. According to me, such generator should at least:

– Be easy to use
– Output a signal from 1Vpp to 10Vpp (+/-5V), from 0 to 1MHz
– Have a low profile
– Without electric hazard (shall work on a 12V DC)

Tiny DDS – Open source DDS generator - [Link]

22 Oct 2014


by Dario Borghino @ gizmag.com:

Researchers at Tohoku University in Japan have developed a new low-cost flat panel light source that could pioneer a new generation of brighter, cheaper and greener lighting devices to rival LEDs. The device uses arrays of highly conductive carbon nanotubes to deliver evenly-distributed illumination with high efficiency and a power consumption as low as 0.1 Watts – about 100 times lower than that of light-emitting diodes.

Cheap, ultra low-power light source runs on just 0.1 Watts - [Link]

22 Oct 2014

RWXBioFuge preview v1.0

by PieterVanBoheemen:

Centrifugation is a powerful method for isolation of compounds such as DNA, proteins, oil or membrane vesicles from a complex mixture. The RWXBioFuge was designed to bring this powerful tool into the hands of labtechnicans, scientists, hackers, makers, diybio-ers and those who cannot afford to procure A-label equipment in low-resource settings.

It may also be used as an educational project to teach some fundamental principles of physics, chemistry, biology and electronics hands-on. Apart from an assembly guide, this documentation also includes 7 instructions for demonstration experiments and science classes.

RWXBioFuge – Open source centrifugation machine - [Link]

21 Oct 2014


This Application Note from Microchip provides a reference design for building a non-invasive blood pressure meter using the PIC24FJ128GC010 microcontroller and MCP6N11 instrumentation amplifier. [via]

A digital blood pressure meter measures systolic and diastolic pressures by oscillometric detection. Microchip’s digital blood pressure meter demo can measure blood pressure and pulse rate during inflation. The Measurement While Inflating (MWI) principle reduces overall measuring time, which in turn reduces discomfort caused by the pressure in the cuff.

Digital blood pressure meter design using PIC microcontroller - [Link]

21 Oct 2014


First ever affordable 5axis multi-fabricator that brings most advanced fabrication right to your desk:

We’ve designed machine that combines multi- fabrication methods: 5axis milling being one of them. 5AXISMAKER is a machine versatile enough to fabricate most advanced design prototypes in readily available material while on your desktop right next to you.

Being an alumni of Architectural Association we’ve had an access to most advanced fabrication tools in the world. Yet there is no desktop prototyping machine that has versatility to replicate this technology.

Our company has been initially found as design and fabrication practise, and after years of working with wide range of designers from different fields it has become clear that one should have an instant access to a pallet of prototyping tools. We wanted same machine to include a set of tools like CNC mill, touch-probe, 3d printer, wire-cutter and have a potential for further add-ons.

5AXISMAKER: First ever affordable 5axis multi-fabricator - [Link]

21 Oct 2014


LG Display has an excellent article on how they build TFT LCD displays:

Ever wondered how the TV and monitor displays you use every day work? The TFT-LCD manufacturing process consists of a set of processes for producing TFT, color filtering, cell, module and others. LG Display Newsroom gives a detailed, but easy to follow explanation of the entire steps below.

Let’s take a closer look at the production process for a TFT board, the bottom-most layer of an LCD panel. The image above depicts a TFT board, which consists of rows of small rectangular sections that together resembles a chessboard. Each rectangular section is a pixel, and each pixel contains a transistor that controls its function. The TFT process is the process that builds these transistors on top of a glass substrate.


TFT-LCD Production Process Explained - [Link]

21 Oct 2014


by Suzanne Deffree @ edn.com:

Texas Instruments announced plans for the Regency TR-1, the first transistor radio to be commercially sold, on October 18, 1954.

The move was a major one in tech history that would help propel transistors into mainstream use and also give new definition to portable electronics.

TI was producing germanium transistors at the time, but the market had been slow to respond, comfortable with vacuum tubes.

However, the use of transistors instead of vacuum tubes as the amplifier elements meant that the device was much smaller, required less power to operate, and was more shock-resistant. Transistor use also allowed “instant-on” operation because there were no filaments to heat up.

TI announces 1st transistor radio, October 18, 1954 - [Link]

20 Oct 2014


At the same time you can be sure of a set temperature and a long-term stability that´s why it´s suitable even for the most demanding usage.

Production of company Weller (member of Apex Hand Tools) represent a synonym for top quality soldering stations intended even for a continuous 24h usage. In the Weller portfolio can be found several series, from which we can choose the right type for our usage. Right to the top belong for example series WX, WX2, WXD, introduced to you some time ago. This time Weller comes with an innovated version of station WSD81 – WSD81i.

WSD81i soldering station hides behind a relatively plain classic design a top level technique. WSD81i uses „Silver line“ technology of a heat transfer to a relatively short tip with a copper core, ensuring excellent heat transfer and excellent temperature accuracy. LT series tips usable with WSD81i provide a wide selection for absolute majority of joints. Thanks to a precise construction, they have a prolonged lifetime and even thin tips lead heat very well and we´ll succeed with them even on solder pads, which appear to be small, but they require a lot of heat (ground connections with a lot of vias on a PCB and similar).

Platinum thermal sensor built-in right beneath an exchangeable tip ensure a long-term stability, what results in a fact, that WSD81i doesn´t require calibration even after a long-term operation (IPC compliant).

WSD81i also contain electronics checking usage of a soldering tool and in case of rest, the station goes to a standby mode (adjustable in a range of 1-99min). If we decide to change a real temperature of a tip, we can make it by means of an “offset” function. This can be advantageous for example in plants, where workers were used to set say 380°C but at WSD81i even 360°C would be sufficient (thanks to excellent heat transfer to a tip). In this case a worker doesn´t have to differ which soldering station he uses and he can use a unified setting for all types.

At the same time, it´s possible to lock a station by your own code or to set a “window” in which a temperature can be changed.

Comparison of three main technologies and also a comprehensive description of particular tips can be found in the „Weller soldering tips” brochure. Detailed description of the WSD81i station can be found in the WSD81i user guide.
WSD81i is available in 3 basic versions (80W tool + dry/ wet cleaning stand or a 65W tool + dry cleaning stand), from which we bring you type T005 32 946 99, i.e. 80W tool WSP80 + stand for wet cleaning (sponge).

Weller WSD81i soldering station doesn´t need a calibration - [Link]

20 Oct 2014


by wavelet_spaghetti @ instructables.com:

Ever wanted to visualize your brain activity in real-time? Move an object on a screen with your mind? EEG devices are fantastic fun and allow you to do such things!

This tutorial will show you how to make an illumino: an easy-to-use recreational EEG device hidden inside a comfortable beanie, that turns your brain activity into an array of colorful light. Colors and brightness are manually selectable and adjustable via a small discreet pushbutton switch. The custom Arduino software is accessible via a USB port, allowing you to easily change it as you wish. The hat also works fine without the lights, should you wish to use it only as an EEG device. I recommend using Processing to create beautiful real-time moving graphical visualizations of your brain activity (code included in tutorial).

Build an EEG hat that turns your brainwaves into light! - [Link]





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