by Michael Dunn @ edn.com:
The first batch of test PCBs has arrived from Maker Studio, and overall, I like what I see.
Maker Studio’s basic board fab service supplies 10 PCBs for $9.99, with a basic international shipping cost of around $7. Interestingly, you get to choose shipping from several countries, including China, Singapore, and Sweden! Does this mean there are several fab sites? IIRC, I chose Sweden for my order.
Quick-Turn PCB shop review project: Maker Studio - [Link]
praveen @ circuitstoday.com:
This article is about interfacing gyroscope to arduino. Gyroscope is a device used for measuring the angular velocity in the three axes. It works under the concepts of angular momentum and can be used to determine the orientation of an object. Typical applications of gyroscope includes missile guidance, flight control, smart phones, game station joy sticks etc. Mechanical gyroscopes, MEMS gyroscope, optic fiber gyroscope, ring laser gyroscope.
Interfacing gyroscope to arduino - [Link]
By Steven Keeping @ digikey.com:
Switching DC-DC voltage converters (“switching regulators”) offer some key advantages over linear regulators. Chief among these are efficiency and flexibility; switching regulators can step-up (boost), step-down (buck), and invert voltages with ease. Contemporary modular chips are compact, reliable, and available from multiple suppliers (see the TechZone article “Understanding the Advantages and Disadvantages of Linear Regulators” for a full comparison between switching and linear regulators).
However, this flexibility comes at the expense of increased complexity. For an engineer familiar with the elegance of a linear regulator, designing a power supply based around a switching device can be a little daunting. The key to overcoming the challenge is an understanding of what is going on inside that little black chip.
The Difference Between Switching Regulator Continuous and Discontinuous Modes - [Link]
I’ve for some time now wanted to do more RF design. Although I have taken some RF design courses, I haven’t actually made a single RF design before. But you can’t learn without doing and inspired by the MIT coffee can radar designed by Gregory Charvat, I figured that building a radar should be a doable project that would offer some challenge while also having some real world use.
The simplest radar is a continuous wave Doppler radar, which continuously transmit a constant frequency signal. This signal reflects from a moving target and Doppler shift causes reflected signal to change frequency. This reflected signal is then received and mixed with the transmitted signal. Mixer product is the difference of the frequencies which is proportional to the speed of the target. This kind of radar is very simple to make, in fact there are even some children’s toys. Unfortunately it can’t detect the range of the target and isn’t that exiting.
6 GHz frequency modulated radar - [Link]
PREMOBOARD is a expansion board to expand your networking/embedded experience.
PremoBoard can be controlled by any system via the USB port: it is an expansion board designed for (but not limited to) cubieboard (A10 or A20).
PremoBoard is a expansion board featuring the following:
– 4 USB 2.0
– 2 LAN 10/100
– 2 WIFI (OPTIONAL)
Premoboard - [Link]
The Smartphone Quick-Jack Solution repurposes the standard 3.5mm stereo audio jack found on most smartphones into a self-powered data channel that makes communication with these smartphones as easy as plugging a headset jack into the audio port. The hardware/software platform is designed for iPhone® and Android® smartphones. This project will make it easy to connect external devices into a phone. It gives smartphones application developers an easy way to add context-aware application features, input user and environment data, or connecting peripherals. And also provides end-product designers instant access to smartphones’ convenience, appealing user interface, and cloud connectivity.
This project is compatible with both Open Mobile Terminal Platform (OMTP) and American Headset Jack (AHJ) standards; the hardware identifies the type of headset automatically and configures the hardware accordingly. First, a comparator circuit detects the type of headset port Quick-Jack has been inserted into. The result is interpreted by the LPC800, which then configures an analog switch accordingly. The analog switch connects the right pin of the jack plug to the right signal on the circuit board (GND/MIC). Read the rest of this entry »
The LT®8613 is a compact, high efficiency, high speed synchronous monolithic step-down switching regulator that consumes only 3μA of quiescent current. Top and bottom power switches are included with all necessary circuitry to minimize the need for external components. The built-in current sense amplifier with monitor and control pins allows accurate input or output current regulation and limiting. Low ripple Burst Mode operation enables high efficiency down to very low output currents while keeping the output ripple below 10mVP-P. A SYNC pin allows synchronization to an external clock.
LT8613 – 42V, 6A Synchronous Step-Down Regulator with Current Sense - [Link]
Fully Assembled Solar Cell Controller Board and Sun Tracker for Arduinos /Raspberry Pi / Phone Charging. Plus Open Source Drivers.
Ever wanted to build your own Solar Powered Raspberry Pi or Arduino system? That is what this Kickstarter is all about!! SunAir and SunAirPlus are 3rd Generation Solar Charging and Sun Tracking Boards designed by Dr. John C. Shovic at SwitchDoc Labs.
You can use this board to power your projects and add a servo or stepper motor to allow it to track the sun using photoresistors to generate even more power! It incorporates a number of outstanding features in a very compact, inexpensive single fully assembled and tested PC Board.
SunAir Solar Power Controller Board/Tracker/Phone Charger - [Link]
by Dan Meeks @ edn.com:
A long, long time ago there was a great Design Idea for a simple gadget to find a bad bulb in a series-connected string of Christmas lights. This is really simple and works great, but it exposes the user to potentially lethal line voltages. The PROBE in the figure above is inserted into the light bulb bases, so there is a good chance that you could be touching a part of the probe, while the probe is touching line voltage.
Bad-bulb finder fixes Christmas lights - [Link]
… and will prevent to spread there, where you don´t want to. Fluxes in pen Stannol series Mini Fluxer belong to the invaluable helpers of every electro-technician.
How could I work without a flux so far? That´s a probable question of probably everyone, who once tried action of a solder flux. In a common wire solder, there´s some amount of a flux, usually sufficient for one-time soldering of a given joint, if the components to be soldered are clean and oxides-free. However, we know well a case, when we use for example an older PCB, or an older component with slightly oxidized leads and suddenly it´s much harder to reach an acceptable joint. Similar situation happens at an exchange of a component or any service action, when a solder tends to oxidize on a surface and create various bad-looking creatures, which are quite far from a professional joint. Fortunately, there´s a flux here …
In general, fluxes act in a manner, that a solder is as if „more movable“ after application. It is mainly thanks to the protection against oxidation, change of surface tension and other influences. As a result it means, that a solder spreads well on metals and joints with a given material (what we naturally want) and on the non-metal substances (PCB) is a solder repelled as if on an oily surface.
At an automated „all-surface“ soldering, fluxes are usually applied by wetting (foam) or by spraying. At development and servicing smaller packages are much more practical, for example in a form of a pen. Two novelties in our offer also belong to this category:
- Stannol MINI-FLUXER X32-10i – halogen free, activated „No clean“ flux, practically residue-free, vey tolerant to various working conditions. Minimum amount of electrically safe transparent residues with a high insulation resistance enables its usage even at visible places and at production of highly reliable devices, including solar panels. Significantly eliminates build-up of bridges, that´s why it´s very suitable even for manual soldering of fine-pitch components.
- Stannol MINI-FLUXER X33S-07i – highly activated halogen-free „No clean“, resin-free flux, with a corrosion inhibitor, very suitable even for copper surfaces – clean, passivated or lacquered by rosin-based agents. Excellent wetting even on poorly adherent surfaces. Excellent spreading manifests by for example trouble-free filling of vias by a solder.
Stainless steel spring mechanism of a pen enables simple and precise dosage and also a long pen lifetime. During application, it´s only necessary to softly press on the tip. Both fluxes are in our stable stock offer, available immediately or in a short leadtime (in case of a temporary out-of -stock status).
Mini Fluxer will spread solder there, where you want - [Link]