Jordan Bunker writes:
Conductive inks have a myriad of different interesting applications. As a quick, additive construction method for electronic circuits, they are especially intriguing. Unfortunately, for a long time they have been just out of reach of the hobby market. They are too expensive to buy in decent quantities, too complicated to make, too resistive to be practical, or require high annealing temperatures (which would ruin many of the materials you’d want to put traces on).
Make your own Conductive Ink - [Link]
- Supply voltage: Between 11 and 15V (MAX) CC
- Adjustments PWM between 1% to 98% typical
- 5A output current (with cooling)
Led Dimmer using TL081 - [Link]
Researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland say they have developed a new approach to producing environmentally sustainable photovoltaic devices. The research team developed a new method for producing dye substances and attaching them to the surface of titanium dioxide nanoparticles. With this they demonstrated that simple dye compounds based on zinc, a readily available metal, can be used.
Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) consist of titanium dioxide, a semiconductor material coated with a colored dye. The dye absorbs sunlight and injects electrons into the titanium dioxide, which ultimately results in a photovoltaic current. Conventional DSCs use ruthenium dyes, but ruthenium is very rare and expensive. The research team showed that dyes made with abundant and relatively inexpensive copper are effective in DSCs, and that low-cost zinc compounds can also be used. Although the new devices are not yet especially efficient, the finding opens the way to new generations of DSCs with previously ignored dye types. [via]
Dye-sensitized Solar Cells based on Zinc Compounds - [Link]
A cheap white brand Android 4.0 USB/HDMI Stick based on AllWinner A10 has started to show up in Chinese websites. Initially, I thought it was like a low cost version of FXI Tech Cotton Candy (which will start shipping this month), but as you can see in the image below, the HDMI port is female so you’d still need a HDMI cable. The hole next to the USB port should be for the power supply, so this device is apparently not powered via USB (TBC).
74 USD AllWinner A10 Android 4.0 Mini PC - [Link]
Marcus Roskosch writes about his Iphone – Ipad application.
Elektor Electronic Toolbox combines electronic reference material with calculation and conversion tools in one handy app. Whether a professional or hobbyist, the app gives users a collection of the most important electrical information right at their fingertips such as:
- Type listings (with color coding) for Resistors and capacitors including SMT types
- Databases for Transistors, FETs, Triacs, Thyristors, Diodes, ICs, TTL, CMOS, Atmel and PIC controllers
- Calculating circuit values for Resistor, Capacitor, Inductor, NE555, Filter circuits and much more
- Unit conversion for numerous types of Measurements (pressure, energy, distance, speed, weight, etc.)
- A database for common electrical Symbols
- An Indices database of common electrical components
- Calculation of voltage regulators with 78xx,79xx,LM317 or LM337
- Op-amp circuit calculation
- Number base converter (Hex, decimal, binary etc.)
- Frequency, period wave-length calculation
- LED / resistor calculation
- Voltage divider calculation
- R/L calculations
- BJT calculations
- Schematic Diagrams
- Pinouts of Audio, Video, Computer or phone sockets
Electronic Toolbox Pro - [Link]
Nanotransistors just got a lot more nano. A new chip construction process cooked up by Applied Materials in Santa Clara creates transistors so small they can be measured in smatterings of atoms.
The company can now coax a few dozen of the little guys to assemble themselves into a base layer that helps control the flow of electricity on computer chips. The biggest development is the manufacturing process: Applied Materials devised a way to keep several interconnected manufacturing machines in a near-total vacuum—at this level, a single stray nanoparticle can ruin everything.
The other part of the breakthrough is making this base from hafnium (used also in nuclear control rods) instead of the standard silicon oxynitride, which is terrible at holding back electrons on a supersmall scale. (Gordon Moore himself has called this technique the biggest advancement in the field in 40 years—and it is likely to keep processors advancing on pace with his eponymous law for the foreseeable future.)
Applied Materials’ system means transistors can be about 22 nanometers wide, as opposed to the current standard of about 45 nanometers, resulting in smaller, cheaper computing devices.
CA Lab Creates the World’s Smallest Transistors - [Link]
I was digging around trying to find some information on an obscure LCD module, and came across this interesting table (compiled partially in Russian) that correlates a lot of older mobile phones with their specific LCDs, LCD controllers, dimensions, serial bus, etc. If you’re looking for cheap LCDs of a specific physical size or resolution, this might be a good starting point since there may still be spare parts floating around out there. If nothing else, it’s just an interesting read looking at how much time and effort went into this thing (presumably a repair shop owner, or something similar). Original Excel Spreadsheet: http://vrtp.ru/index.php?act=Attach&type=post&id=385043, or safer HTML conversion courtesy google.
Interesting Mobile Phone LCD Spreadsheet - [Link]
I’ve been doing a lot of power supply testing lately, using both switching a linear supplies. Since it’s not something I’ve had to do often in the past (I’m an apps person, not so much a test engineer) … I thought it was worthwhile to spend a bit of time digging around for app notes on accurately characterising linear and switching supplies.
AN 372-1 Power Supply Testing - [Link]
Instructables user cold_steel writes: [via]
This is probably one of the most used tools in my workshop, the “extra hands”. It is the ultimate tool for soldering and prying in the very small range. But over time I found that I do not have enough light on my work when using this tool. Actually all the benefits you would expect from having a magnifying glass for easy reach are over shadowed by the shadow cast by the rim. And honestly I haven’t managed to position my desk lamp in such a way that I was able to conveniently light my tiny work. So I decided it is time for some upgrades.
As usual you will find all G-code and other files included so you can reproduce this easy on your own CNC machine.
Ring Light for Helping Hands - [Link]
Stephanie @ planetstephanie.net writes:
The red circle ‘red alert light’ is wired to the XBee’s RSSI so when the XBee receives a wireless command, the red light comes on for a few seconds.
The white gridded rectangle is the DHT22 sensor (temperature and humidity). I felt it would ‘blend in’ enough that it should be mounted right up front for all to see. The little black hole to the right of the DHT22 is for the light sensor.
Why is there a light sensor? Why not? Also: because I had an extra one laying around.
The screen display is mostly self-evident. Time, day, date. Heat/Cool. Run/Hold/Override. Target temp (small) and actual temp (large). Fan status (on/auto) and humidity.
Thermostat Three - [Link]