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13 Feb 2015


By Chris Glaser @ ti.com:

Especially for switch-mode power supplies (SMPSs), the printed circuit board (PCB) layout is a critical but often under appreciated step in achieving proper performance and reliability. Errors in the PCB layout cause a variety of misbehaviors including poor output voltage regulation, switching jitter, and even device failure. Issues like these should be avoided at all costs, since fixing them usually requires a PCB design modification. However, these pitfalls are easily circumvented if time and thought are spent during the PCB layout process before the first PCBs are ever ordered. This article presents five simple steps to ensure that your next step-down converter’s PCB layout is robust and ready for prototyping.

Five steps to a great PCB layout for a step-down converter - [Link]

13 Feb 2015


Whether it´s a prototype or a whole production batch of PCBs, Kontakt PCC cleaner will manage any residues after soldering.

Manual intervention to a PCB is usually always visible. With modern „No-clean“ fluxes it´s not that obvious as in the past. But still it doesn´t make resulting look of a PCB better. However, probably more important is the fact, that soldering residues are a potential risk, especially in humid environment – as they may cause a corrosion and leakage currents.

A PCB can be cleaned by various solvents (often also ecological ones – water based), but some residues are often simply too persistent … That´s why we need a solvent, which is relatively “as strong as possible, but safe for solder resist, marking and components with plastic packages at the same time.
Spray Kontakt PCC is developed specially for these purposes, what´s raised by a fact, that it´s equipped by application brush, helpful for a fast dissolving of thick layers. To maintain ESD safety, it´s necessary to moisten the brush by short pressing the valve before touching a PCB.

Kontakt PCC dissolves all types of fluxes without leaving residues. When cleaning thick layers, it´s necessary to wipe wet board with a paper tissue or similar. In result we gain perfectly clean PCBs resistant to leakage currents formation. Naturally, to obtain a long-term protection it´s advisable to use some of protective coatings like for example Plastik 70, Urethan 71 or Silisol 73 and other. Thanks to a strong effect, Kontakt PCC is also suitable for cleaning of various connectors, sockets, contacts, commutators of electric motors, …

Kontakt PCC is safe for majority of plastics except a few very sensitive types (e.g. polystyrene, polycarbonate). If a whitish coating appears after cleaning, usually it means, that the board was already treated by a protective coating (lacquer) before. In this case it´s possible to restore perfect look by application the Plastik 70.

Even your PCBs can look professionally - [Link]

13 Feb 2015


by MikeArduino @ communities.intel.com:

One might mistakenly think that the Intel® Galileo Gen 2 as only an advanced, more powerful version of Arduino Uno that happens to be layered on top of a Linux system.

There’s actually more to it than that and hopefully, this tutorial will show the bigger and more complex view of the Linux core underneath.

Tutorial on getting started with Intel Galileo Gen2 - [Link]

13 Feb 2015


by R. Colin Johnson @ eetimes.com:

The world’s first microelectromechanical system (MEMS) spectrometer on-a-chip was shown today at at Photonics West (San Francisco, February 10-12) by Si-Ware Systems (SWS, Cairo, Egypt with offices in La Canada, Calif.) Instead of transporting materials across sometimes great distances to be analyzed with a normal bench-top spectrometer, Si-Ware’s MEMS-powered spectrometer fits in the palm of your hand and thus can be taken to the material to be analyzed.

“Spectrometers are usually bench sized, so your have to take the object to the bench, but now with our MEMS sized you can can take the spectrometer to the object,” said executive vice president, worldwide marketing and business development of Si-Ware, Scott Smyser.

World’s 1st Spectrometer On-a-Chip - [Link]

13 Feb 2015


by electronichamsters @ instructables.com:

A few years ago, I became a dog owner for the first time. I didn’t like leaving Cody in the kennel alone all day. I had a webcam on him, but I couldn’t watch it all day long. What if he was in some kind of distress? What if there was a emergency at the house, like a fire?

I wanted some way of getting an immediate email notification when he barks, or when something bad happens. So reading lead to tinkering, and tinkering eventually lead to making this full blown home automation system based on open source hardware (Arduino) and open source software (OpenHAB). I know I know, yet another “Arduino Home Automation” project, right? But I promise I’m not going to turn on a light from a smart phone. I’m more focused on extensive networked sensors, timely alerts, and aesthetically appealing presentation of events.

Uber Home Automation w/ Arduino & Pi - [Link]

12 Feb 2015


The UltraCMOS® PE42020 Integrates RF, Digital and Analog Functions in a Monolithic Die to Preserve Signal Integrity From DC to 8 GHz

Peregrine Semiconductor announces the availability of the UltraCMOS® PE42020, the industry’s first and only RF integrated switch to operate at true DC, zero Hz. This True DC RF switch features high power handling and maintains excellent RF performance and linearity from DC through 8000 MHz. A reliable alternative to problematic mechanical relays and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), the PE42020 is ideal for test-and-measurement (T&M) and automated-test-equipment (ATE) applications.

“For the first time, an integrated RF switch can operate at DC and truly cover the signal over the entire frequency spectrum,” says Kinana Hussain, Peregrine’s senior manager of marketing. “Until now, only mechanical relays and MEMS switches allowed DC pass through, and these products are plagued with reliability issues and lack of integration. Today’s release of the UltraCMOS PE42020 is another example of Peregrine solving the RF industry’s biggest challenges.”

Peregrine Semiconductor Ships Industry’s First True DC Switch - [Link]

12 Feb 2015


by acidbourbon @ acidbourbon.wordpress.com:

Soon after I played around with some simple sequencers and multiplexers to generate more complex sound patterns. I thought it would be cool to have a device to gate oscillators or switch multiplexers with a random sequence. But the the output should change at a defined rate. Can we build a simple random pattern/number generator that works synchronized with an external clock signal? I believe so.

Clocked 8-bit random pattern generator for CMOS synth - [Link]

12 Feb 2015


by Tim @ timleland.com:

Have you ever wanted to wirelessly control power outlets from your phone? You could buy a Belkin WeMo Switch for over $40 for 1 outlet or build your own with 5 outlets for under $35 if you already own a Raspberry Pi. Hopefully this post will guide you in the right direction.

Wireless Power Outlets RF from Raspberry Pi - [Link]

12 Feb 2015


Kenneth made a 2m low pass filter and wrote a post on his blog detailing its assembly:

I’ve been playing with the DRA818V modules that have been making quite a stir in the amateur radio world at the moment. I haven’t gotten one on a spectrum analyzer yet, but I have reason to believe that it will require a low pass filter to be RF legal. I’ll write more about that once I get a look at it, but figured I’d first built myself a low pass filter in case I need it (if not for these modules, but some other VHF project in the future).
My process for building a low pass filter went as follows:
Select the type of filter and cutoff frequency desired
Look up normalized coefficients in the ARRL Handbook
Divide these coefficients by the cutoff frequency
Convert the inductances into turns on some core and capacitors into the nearest values
Build the filter


Designing and building a 2m low pass filter - [Link]

12 Feb 2015


Markus Gritsch shared his WiFi LED light project in the dangerousprototypes forum:

I built a prototype for a WiFi controllable LED light, using the popular ESP8266 module running the NodeMCU firmware [1]. To allow controlling the WS2812B LEDs from Lua, I extended the firmware with a bit of C code

WiFi LED Light (ESP8266 + WS2812B + Lua) - [Link]





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