by Steve Taranovich @ edn.com:
A circuit or system designer’s job is a difficult one. Fraught with design compromises to be made and challenges to overcome that are sometimes seemingly insurmountable. That’s why our personalities are programmed to solve problems and “Think outside the box”. The best designers don’t even know there is a box!
I see so many new product offerings every day that “fill a hole in our line” or are simply another op amp or regulator for the portfolio among a sea of analog and power devices out there. I turn away the great majority of these so-called “new” products because my readers need innovative solutions with options that can meet their many and varied design needs. Time to market is the mantra in the industry.
Power management for wearables: Designer options - [Link]
3 Tone Musical Bell is a project built around BT66T (UM66) IC driving, LM386 has been used as audio amplifier to give extra punch.
3 Tone Musical Bell - [Link]
by Arthur Pini @ edn.com:
Modern mid-range oscilloscopes have more features than most engineers ever use. This article summarizes ten oscilloscope applications that may surprise you. In any event, you may find them useful.
Use the oscilloscope’s fast edge feature and math operations to make frequency response measurements
Frequency response measurements require a source signal that has a flat spectrum. By utilizing the fast edge test signal of the oscilloscope as a step source it is possible to derive the impulse response of the device under test using the scopes derivative function. This can then be applied to the FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) function to obtain the frequency response. Figure 1 shows the steps in the process for both the frequency response of the input signal and that of a 37 MHz low pass filter.
10 tricks that extend oscilloscope usefulness - [Link]
Freq Show: Raspberry Pi RTL-SDR Scanner is a new guide in the adafruit learning system:
Have you ever wondered what’s in the radio waves zipping invisibly around you every day? Software-defined radio (SDR) is a great tool to explore radio signals using a computer and inexpensive radio tuner. With SDR you can examime many radio signals such as FM radio,television, emergency & weather radio, citizen band (CB), and much more.
Although dedicated SDR hardware like the HackRF allow you to tune an immense range of the radio spectrum, you can easily get started with SDR using a Raspberry Pi and inexpensive RTL-SDR tuner. Inspired by the HackRF PortaPack, this project will show you how to build a small portable SDR scanner using a Raspberry Pi, PiTFT, and RTL-SDR radio dongle. With the Raspberry Pi Freq Show RTL-SDR scanner you can visualize the invisible world of radio!
Freq Show: Raspberry Pi RTL-SDR Scanner - [Link]
A group of engineers have developed the smallest organic laser [via] :
The 8-µm-long device, which looks like a suspended bridge riddled with holes, is carved into a silicon chip coated with an organic dye. Integrated into microprocessor chips, such tiny lasers could one day speed up computers by shuttling data using light rather than electrons. They also could be valuable for sensors and lab-on-a-chip devices.
Engineers Build Ultrasmall Organic Laser - [Link]
The Juice4Halt module is a supercapacitor based energy storage. It contains two independent DC/DC converters. The first one is a bidirectional step-up/step-down converter working as the interface between the stable 5V supply rail and the supercapacitor. During charging the converter works in step-down mode and transports energy from the external power supply to the supercapacitor. In case of a power failure the load device (Raspberry Pi or another SBC) is supplied from the supercapacitor via DC/DC converter working in step-up mode.
The second DC/DC converter is a Front-end step-down converter. The only function is converting a high input voltage down to 5.1V for the 5V rail. It is necessary to use the Front-end converter in case of an external power supply.
The Batteryless UPS for the Raspberry Pi - [Link]
RaspWristRadio – Wearable Personal FM Radio Station - [Link]
The Santa Fe (MAXREFDES5#) reference design is a 16-bit high-accuracy industrial analog front end (AFE) that accepts -10V to +10V, 0 to 10V, and 4–20mA current loop signals with isolated power and data integrated into a small form factor. The Santa Fe design integrates low-noise/high-impedance analog buffers (MAX9632); a highly accurate ADC with on-chip attenuation (MAX1301); an ultra-high precision 4.096V voltage reference (MAX6126); 600VRMS data isolation (MAX14850); and isolated/regulated +12V, -12V, and 5V power rails (MAX256/MAX1659). This AFE solution can be used in any application that needs high-accuracy ADC, and targets industrial sensor, automation, process control, PLC, and medical applications.
SANTA FE (MAXREFDES5#): 16-BIT HIGH ACCURACY MULTI-INPUT ISOLATED ANALOG FRONT END (AFE) - [Link]
Ray Wang has been experimenting with the ESP8266 Serial-to-WiFi module, which has gained much hype recently. “The module is very compact, easy to interface with, and inexpensive. I wrote an Arduino program to show how to use the Arduino to communicate with the WiFi module and set up a very simple web server.” Check out the blog post at RaysHobby.
First impression on the ESP8266 serial-to-WiFi module - [Link]
Kevin Rye writes:
I’m in the very early stages of prototyping a nixie clock. I picked up some MJE340 power transistors to switch on some IN-3s. I can then use a digital pin on my Arduino to turn on the IN-3s through the transistor. I’ll then have myself a blinking colon for my nixie tube clock.
Flashing a Nixie with an Arduino - [Link]