by Dave Rishavy & Tomas Berghall:
The one piece of gear that’s essential for EMC troubleshooting is a spectrum analyzer. You can buy a decent portable for about $10k or used ones go for $1k to $5k if you don’t mind the 30 to 80 pounds of weight or the initial investment. This article reviews several models that cost under $2,000.
Compare low-cost spectrum analyzers - [Link]
Publitek European Editors writes:
Many security and motion detector systems rely on small, semi-autonomous nodes that are easy and simple to install. This implies the use of a battery-based power source and low-power operation in order to minimize the number of battery changes during the lifetime of the product.
Over its lifetime, the output voltage of a battery falls, with the biggest decline when the charge is nearing full depletion. A converter type that can accommodate this change in voltage but can still provide relatively high voltages for sensors and RF transmitters is the buck-boost converter – it operates the buck part of the circuit when the battery is fresh, moving to boost operation when the voltage falls below the threshold of the electronic circuitry it powers. A number of vendors have developed integrated buck-boost converters optimized for battery systems
Buck-Boost Converters Help Extend Battery Life for Motion Detection - [Link]
TI’s latest Power Management devices, design tools and support resources in the new 2013 Power Management Guide
TI’s Power Management Guide 2013 edition - [Link]
Have you ever wanted to send data from a sensor or project wirelessly? This simple circuit allows you to build your own wireless transceiver using two ICs, a transistor, and two resistors. The IC is from Melexis and uses On-Off Keying modulation and can be battery powered.
Here is the circuit.
DIY Wireless Data Transceiver - [Link]
CoAction Hero: a powerful proto-board with a 120Mhz processor, 1MB filesystem, and built-in OS for tinkerers and engineers alike.
CoAction Hero is an ARM Cortex-M3 microcontroller board with a built-in operating system (CoActionOS) delivering unprecedented power and ease-of-use to your embedded projects. The embedded operating system includes many of the features you find on the Raspberry Pi (filesystem, multi-process/multi-thread) but with the ease-of-use associated with the Arduino platform. CoActionOS is available free-of-charge under a permissive open source license (Apache 2.0) that encourages both commercial and personal use.
CoAction Hero: 32-bit Open-Source ARM Cortex-M3 Board - [Link]
Raj from Embedded Lab informed us about his new Easy Pulse release (Version 1.1) that has improved performance over its predecessor. The new version uses a more robust sensor based on transmission PPG principle where an IR LED illuminates a finger tip from one side and a photodetector receives the transmitted light from other side. The photodetector output is filtered and amplified to obtain a nice and clean PPG waveform, which can be further processed by a microcontroller to obtain vital information about the cardiovascular system. The Easy Pulse is also available for purchase on Tindie.
Easy Pulse PPG sensor for measuring pulse rate – [Links]
A new PCB design web application was released this last week called PCBWeb. The website states that PCBWeb is a free browser-based CAD application for designing and manufacturing electronics hardware. The tool is currently released in BETA and allows you to create a schematic, full circuit board layout, and then export to gerber format for manufacturing. The application is supported on Windows and Mac using Silverlight.
- Multi-sheet schematics
- Custom Ports
- Digi-Key Part Library (+100K components with symbol and footprints)
- Cut/Copy/Past and full undo/redo
- Multi-layer board
- Support for all units (mm/inch)
- copper pour
- DRC (design rule checking)
- Gerber Export
Bill of Material Manager
- View real-time pricing
- Order Links
PCBWeb – Free Online PCB Design Software - [Link]
Circuits for Fun have created a new product that will change the way you work with sensors and other electronic control interfaces, they have created a simple intuitive plug and play platform that will help standardize the communication of all kinds of electronic components, itʼs called the Interactive Development Kit, they recently launched on Kickstarter and would love for you to check it out and see what you think, please check out the video and if you like the project we would appreciate any help you can give getting the word out so they can get the product out in the hands of creative people everywhere.
Interactive Development Kit - [Link]
Testing probes, clips, cables and other products of company SKS enable simpler and more effective testing and development.
Probably, you´ve already faced the situation, when it was necessary to measure several signals at once, or for example to have a voltmeter connected in some point of a device and to control another equipment at the same time. In such cases, it would be great to have another pair of hands. The solution not only for these cases are the well proven SKS-Hirschmann measuring and testing accessories of German company SKS.
Who´ve ever worked with test probes or various other testing clamps, for example of the KLEPS series knows, how significantly these components can simplify and speed-up development or testing. The KLEPS 2700 test probe is extraordinary by a fact, that it comprises a stainless steel piercing tip, able to penetrate insulation of common leads (without damage), thus enabling to measure a voltage in a given lead without its stripping. Similarly for example PRUF series testing probes are able to reliably penetrate a PCB protective lacquer or through an oxidized layer and enable a precise measurement even in relatively dense PCBs without risk of tracks short-circuit.
With the Micro-SMD Clip it is possible to measure signals on all common 2-pole SMT components. Various crocodile probes enable a reliable connection with wires or PCB terminals. A big benefit of SKS-Hirschmann crocodile probes is the fact, that their jaws enable a reliable grip even of very thin wires.
A common feature of all SKS-Hirschmann components is a high quality being reflected even in such common products like banana plugs and sockets (2mm and 4mm, including reductions). A useful accessory for every workplace can also be measuring leads and cost-effective sets.
In case of interest in any SKS-Hirschmann product, please contact us at email@example.com.
SKS – measuring and testing with pleasure - [Link]
Plessey has released samples of their new gallium nitride (GaN) on silicon LEDs. These entry level products, fabricated on 6-inch wafers, are the first LEDs manufactured using GaN on silicon technology to be commercially available anywhere in the world.
Manufactured using Plessy’s proprietary large diameter GaN on silicon process technology, the LEDs are fabricated on a 6-inch line at Plessy’s facility in Plymouth, England. According to Plessey, the combination of standard semiconductor manufacturing processing and the 6-inch fab line provides yields of greater than 95% and fast turnaround , creating significant cost advantage over sapphire and silicon carbide based solutions for LEDs of similar quality. [via]
First GaN on Silicon LEDs Now Available - [Link]