DC Motor & Direction Controller with Brake using MC33035

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This is a 3AMP DC Motor speed and direction controller using MC33035 IC from on semiconductor, though the MC33035 was designed to control brushless DC motor , it may also be used to control DC brush type motors. MC33035 driving a Mosfets based H-Bridge affording minimal parts count to operate a brush type motor. On board potentiometer provided for speed control, slide switch for direction control and brake, On board jumper available to enable the chip. The controller function in normal manner with a PWM frequency of approximately 25Khz. Motor speed is controlled by adjusting the voltage presented to the non inverting input of the error amplifier establishing the PWM’s slice or reference level. Cycle by cycle current limiting of the motor is accomplished by sensing the voltage across the shunt resistor to the ground of H-bridge. The overcurrent sense circuit makes it possible to reverse the direction of the motor, using normal forward/reverse switch, on the fly and not have to completely stop it before reversing.

DC Motor & Direction Controller with Brake using MC33035 – [Link]

Adjusting clock with alarm, hygrometer & thermometer on 1.8″ ST7735 display

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Nicu Florica blogged about his adjusting clock with alarm, hygrometer and thermometer on 1.8″ ST7735 display:

I use feature from article Another adjusting clock with alarm & thermometer using DS3231 on 1.8″ ST7735 display and change reading internal temperature of DS3231 with DHT22 sensor (AM2302), but you can use a cheaper and not very precise DHT11 sensor.
By using educ8stv_rtctft160_alarm_dht.ino or much better educ8stv_rtctft160_alarm_eeprom_dht.ino sketch, on display you can see: name of day, date, hour clock, hour alarm, temperature and humidity

Adjusting clock with alarm, hygrometer & thermometer on 1.8″ ST7735 display – [Link]

RELATED POSTS

MDBT42Q, nRF52832-based BLE module

The open hardware innovation platform Seeedstudio produces the MDBT42Q, a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) module. It is a BT 4.0, BT 4.1 and BT 4.2 module designed based on Nordic nRF52832 SoC, a powerful, highly flexible ultra-low power multiprotocol SoC ideally suited for Bluetooth low energy, ANT and 2.4GHz ultra low-power wireless applications.

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MDBT42Q features a dual transmission mode of BLE and 2.4 GHz RF with over 80 meters working distance in open space. It is a 16 x 10 x 2.2 mm board which contains GPIO, SPI, UART, I2C, I2S, PWM and ADC interfaces for connecting peripherals and sensors.

nrf52832_mediumThe nRF52832 SoC is built around a 32-bit ARM® Cortex™-M4F CPU with 512kB and 64kB RAM. The embedded 2.4GHz transceiver supports Bluetooth low energy, ANT and proprietary 2.4 GHz protocol stack. It is on air compatible with the nRF51 Series, nRF24L and nRF24AP Series products from Nordic Semiconductor.

MDBT42Q Specifications:

  • Multi-protocol 2.4GHz radio
  • 32-bit ARM Cortex – M4F processor
  • 512KB flash programmed memory and 64KB RAM
  • Software stacks available as downloads
  • Application development independent from protocol stack
  • On-air compatible with nRF51, nRF24AP and nRF24L series
  • Programmable output power from +4dBm to -20dBm
  • RAM mapped FIFOs using EasyDMA
  • Dynamic on-air payload length up to 256 bytes
  • Flexible and configurable 32 pin GPIO
  • Simple ON / OFF global power mode
  • Full set of digital interface all with Easy DMA including:
  • 3 x Hardware SPI master ; 3 x Hardware SPI slave
  • 2 x two-wire master ; 2 x two-wire slave
  • 1 x UART (CTS / RTS)
  • PDM for digital microphone
  • I2S for audio
  • 12-bit / 200KSPS ADC
  • 128-bit AES ECB / CCM / AAR co-processor
  • Lowe cost external crystal 32MHz ± 40ppm for Bluetooth ; ± 50ppm for ANT Plus
  • Lowe power 32MHz crystal and RC oscillators
  • Wide supply voltage range 1.7V to 3.6V
  • On-chip DC/DC buck converter
  • Individual power management for all peripherals
  • Timer counter
  • 3 x 24-bit RTC
  • NFC-A tag interface for OOB pairing
  • RoHS and REACH compliant

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This BLE module can be used in a wide range of applications, such as Internet of Things (IoT), Personal Area Networks, Interactive entertainment devices, Beacons, A4WP wireless chargers and devices, Remote control toys, and computer peripherals and I/O devices.

Full specifications, datasheet, and product documents are available at seeedstudio store, it can be backordered for only $10.

3D Printed Organ-On-Chip

Researcher at Harvard University had been working to build new microphysiological systems (MPS), also known as organs-on-chips, that can mimic the operation of the structure and function of native tissue.

By developing such systems, they are replacing the conventional way of measuring and testing synthetic organs -usually by testing them first on animals.

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Although such a solution can help in advancing research and making easy organ-replacement real, but it also somehow costly and considered as laborious.

To build up this system you need a clean room and you have to use a complex, multistep lithographic process. To collect data you also need microscopy or high-speed cameras. Considering also the fact that current MPS typically lack integrated sensors, researchers developed six different inks that integrated soft strain sensors within the micro-architecture of the tissue.

09/15/2016 Cambridge, MA. Harvard University. This images shows multi-material, direct write 3D printing of a cardiac microphysiological device. This instrument was designed for in vitro cardiac tissue research. Lori K. Sanders/Harvard University
This images shows multi-material, direct write 3D printing of a cardiac microphysiological device. This instrument was designed for in vitro cardiac tissue research. Lori K. Sanders/Harvard University

They combined all the steps in one automated procedure using 3D printer. The result was  a cardiac microphysiological device — a heart on a chip — with integrated sensors.  According to the research paper, these 6 inks were designed based on “piezo-resistive, high-conductance, and biocompatible soft materials that enable integration of soft strain gauge sensors within micro-architectures that guide the self-assembly of physio-mimetic laminar cardiac tissues”

“We are pushing the boundaries of three-dimensional printing by developing and integrating multiple functional materials within printed devices,” said Jennifer Lewis, Hansjorg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering. “This study is a powerful demonstration of how our platform can be used to create fully functional, instrumented chips for drug screening and disease modeling.”

You can check this video to see this heart in action, and to take a look at the 6 inks 3D printer

Right now, researchers are testing their new heart-on-chip by performing drug studies and longer-term studies of gradual changes in the contractile stress of engineered cardiac tissues, which can take multiple weeks. This approach will make it much easier to test and measure the tissue contractile and its response to various chemicals like drugs and toxins.

This work was published in Nature Materials and the research was named “Instrumented cardiac microphysiological devices via multimaterial three-dimensional printing”.It was supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health, the US Army Research Laboratory and the US Army Research, and the Harvard University Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC).  For more information, you can check the paper out here and learn more at Harvard website.

Nanotechnoloy – Nano coating prevents exploding Li-ion batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are very popular as they’re lightweight and have high energy density. But at the same time, li-ion batteries are very sensitive to overcharge/over discharge. An internal short circuit can cause fire and it may even lead to a violent explosion. Fortunately, nanotechnology found a way to prevent this kind of nightmare. How? let’s discuss:

Why Does li-ion Battery Explode?

When a device draws too much power from a Li-Ion battery, it heats up and thus melts the internal separator between the two flammable electrolytes. This phenomenon ignites a chemical reaction between the electrolytes causing them to explode. Once their package ruptures, the oxygen in the surrounding air helps the flammable electrolytes to catch fire. The fire then spreads quickly to other cells and loads a thermal runaway.

Thermal runaway in Li-ion Battery
Thermal runaway in Li-ion Battery

During a thermal runaway, the high heat of the damaged or malfunctioning cell can propagate to the next cell, causing it to become completely thermally unstable as well. In some worse cases, a chain reaction occurs in which each cell disintegrates at its own timetable.

So, in a nutshell, Li-ion cells possess the potential of a thermal runaway. The temperature quickly rises to the melting point of the metallic lithium and cause a violent reaction, which finally causes an explosion.

How Can Nanotechnology Prevent This?

Recently conducted research shows that atomic layer deposition (ALD) of titania (TiO2) and alumina (Al2O3) on Ni-rich FCG NMC and NCA active material particles could substantially improve Li-ion battery’s performance and allow for increased upper cutoff voltage (UCV) during charging, which delivers significantly increased specific energy utilization.

Atomic Layer Deposition in li-ion CellsAtomic Layer Deposition in li-ion Cells
Atomic Layer Deposition in li-ion Cells

 

A company called Forge Nano claims to prevent this thermal runaway situation by never letting it get started even if the battery electrodes are shorted out. Forge Nano’s precision coatings on cathode and anode powders protect against the most common degradation mechanisms found in Li-ion batteries.

The benefits of Forge Nano precision coatings include extended battery life and greater safety, especially in extreme situations such as high-temperature operation, fast cycling rates, and overvoltage conditions.

By implementing lithium-based ALD films in nanostructured 3D lithium-ion batteries, significant gains in power density, cycling performances during charge/discharge, and safety is noticed.

What’s the Result?

Some of Forge Nano’s accomplishments in the Li-ion battery space includes:

  • Increased lifetime of commercial cathode material by as much as 250%
  • 15% higher energy density in large format pouch cells (40 Ah) that pass nail penetration testing
  • 60% reduced gas generation in cathode material
  • A low-cost high-voltage cathode powder with exceptional performance
  • Increased rate capability of conventional materials for enhanced fast charge acceptance using Forge Nano’s proprietary solid electrolyte coatings

    ForgeNano Claims Their Technology as Best Solution
    ForgeNano Claims Their Technology as Best Solution

Since the solution found by the research, Forge Nano has been working on a commercial version of the product that they finally believe they can place in the market very soon.

PureModules, IoT Building Blocks

New range of building blocks for IoT development are just out there! Just like LEGO, PUREmodules by Pure Engineering are the building blocks for IoT connected smart sensors where there is no need to solder, using breadboard or wires. It’s all done just by snapping the modules together and writing some lines of code.

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The modules that are already designed are:

  • COREModule
  • SUPER SENSOR module
  • General Purpose IO modules via I2C Expanders
  • I2C ADC and DAC modules
  • Energy Harvesting Modules
  • Low power chemical Sensors
  • PIN diode Radiation Detector Module
  • I2C thermal camera modules
  • Dual I2C DC motor Module
  • GPS and IMU Module
  • Long Range LoRa RF modules (10+ miles)
  • Li-Ion and other Power modules
  • Ethernet Module
  • Low Power LCD module
  • User IO button and LED modules
  • Multiple Core modules; CC2650, EFM32, ESP32 and more.
  • Adapter modules to other sensor systems such as Grove and LittleBits
  • Adapters to popular platforms such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi.

Only COREmodule and SUPER SENSOR module are live now in the Kickstarter campaign that Pure Engineering has launched, check the campaign video:

COREmodule

The brain of other modules based on nRF52832 SOC. It is compatible with Arduino and a number of other open source frameworks, it has an onboard antenna and able to update its firmware over the air. Also it supports these IoT operating systems: Mynewt, Zephyr, Contiki OS, RIOT-OS, and mbed OS.

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SUPER SENSOR module

This multi function sensor can be used in home automation and monitoring, health tracking, and industrial measurement. It contains the following embedded sensors: barometric pressure, humidity, temperature, accelerometer, magnetometer, UVA UVB, RGB, IR, and heart rate pulse oximetry.

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PUREmodules goal is to simplify IoT development for hackers, tinkerers and designers and to propose a new easy way of interaction and control everything through the Internet. More details can be found at the official website and the Kickstarter campaign. You can pre-order a COREmodule and SUPER SENSOR for $59 as an early bird pledge.

Semtech TS30041 – Buck regulators accept up to 40-V input

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A wide input range of 4.5 V to 40 V enables the TS3004x series of DC/DC synchronous buck regulators from Semtech to work in a wide range of applications, including industrial, telecommunication, and consumer. The current-mode TS30041 and TS30042 furnish 1 mA and 2 mA of continuous output current, respectively, and include integrated power switches and robust fault protection in a small 3×3-mm, 16-lead QFN package. by @ edn.com

Semtech TS3004x – Buck regulators accept up to 40-V input – [Link]

Chronos 1.4, Everyone’s High-Speed Camera

The Canadian Kron Technologies, led by its founder David Kronstein, has just launched a brand-new camera: Chronos.
Chronos 1.4 is a purpose-designed, professional high-speed camera. It enables you to capture stunning high-speed video at up to 1280×1024 resolution thanks to its 1.4 gigapixel-per-second throughput. Its frame rate ranges from 1,057fps at full resolution, up to 21,600fps at minimum resolution.

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David is an electronics engineer specializing in digital systems, FPGAs, and image processing. His passion for high-speed imaging began in 2006 since he was unable to afford a high-speed camera at the time. Starting from the belief that high-speed imaging should be for everyone, David wanted to disrupt the high-speed video industry with Chronos. Chronos is about 1/10th the price of similar professional camera ($25000), plus it has more features and  better usability. Renting a traditional camera that has similar features for 2 weeks may cost you more than getting Chronos!

David started a campaign on Kickstarter for his amazing camera, check the campaign video

Chronos Features

  • 1.4Gpx/s, 1.3 megapixel image sensor captures 1280×1024 @ 1057 fps, and up to 21600 fps at lower resolution.
  • Available in color and monochrome.
  • 8GB or 16GB memory options for 4 or 8 second record time respectively.
  • High sensitivity of ISO 320-5 120 (Color), 740-11 840 (Monochrome) enables shooting with modest lighting.
  • Completely standalone, untethered operation with 1.75hr internal battery.
  • Runs indefinitely on AC adapter. “Run-n-Gun” record mode allows you to forget about saving.
  • Take bursts of video by holding the shutter button, and the video is automatically saved to card.
  • Continuous record mode records normal rate video (60fps) continuously to storage devices while simultaneously recording bursts of high-speed video.
  • Focus peaking highlights sharp edges for quick and perfect focus.

Detailed specification can be found at the datasheet.

Here’s some highlights and demo videos captured using Chronos. More demos here.

Good news that Chronos full source code and development environment for the camera’s user application will be released soon. Everyone now can modify the operation of the camera, add features, and contribute to improve the software!

Check the campaign page for detailed description and more updates, The campaign still has 22 days to go and it already has achieved 5 times its goal in record time! You can pre-order your Chronos now for $2700 and also get the best accessories you need.

Withings Body Cardio Teardown

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Nick tipped us with his latest teardown of an advanced weighing scale. He writes:

The Withings Body Cardio is the latest in the brand’s range of smart health-centered devices, and the second Withings product we’ve tackled in this series!

It’s a smart scale with a pretty impressive set of metrics. It detects weight; fat, muscle and bone mass; hydration level; heart rate; PWV (Pulse Wave Velocity); and it shows your daily step count (if you use the app) and today’s weather.

Withings Body Cardio Teardown – [Link]

MAX11311 – The Powerful Configurable Mixed Signal I/O

The MAX11311 is industry’s first configurable high-voltage mixed-signal I/O that allows user-defined ADC, DAC, or GPIO functionality.

Programming MAX11311 is very easy. A nice GUI tool helps to generate the right register values. If you want to make a universal signal processing board with a good number of I/O, it often gets very difficult to select a correct microcontroller. Finally, when you select one, it either has less I/O than you need or has fair enough number of I/O but burns your pocket. But if you know about MAX11311, then you’ve got a perfect solution.

Description:

The MAX11311 integrates a PIXI™, a 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC), and a 12-bit digital-to-analog converter (DAC) in a single integrated circuit. This device offers 12 high voltage, bipolar ports. Each of the ports is configurable as an ADC analog input, a DAC analog output, a general-purpose input output (GPIO), or an analog switch terminal. One internal and two external temperature sensors track junction and environmental temperature. This feature prevents thermal runaway. Adjacent pairs of ports are configurable as a logic-level translator for open-drain devices or an analog switch.

MAX11311 MIcrocontroller Block Diagram
MAX11311 Mixed Signal I/O Block Diagram

Features:

  • Up to 12 12-Bit ADC Inputs
    • Single-Ended, Differential, or Pseudo-Differential Range Options: 0 to 2.5V, ±5V, 0 to +10V, -10V to 0V
    • Programmable sample averaging per ADC port
    • Unique voltage reference for each ADC PIXI port
  • Up to 12 12-Bit DAC Outputs
    • Range options: ±5V, 0 to +10V, -10V to 0V
    • 25mA current drive capability with over-current protection
  • Up to 12 General-Purpose Digital I/Os (GPIO)
    • 0 to +5V GPI input range
    • 0 to +2.5V GPI programmable threshold range
    • 0 to +10V GPO programmable output range
    • Logic-Level Shifting Between any two pins
  • 60Ω analog switch between adjacent PIXI Ports
  • Internal/External temperature sensors with ±1°C Accuracy

Applications:

You can use this chip as an expansion module to MCUs in various applications. Let’s see the list:

  • Base station RF power device bias controllers
  • Control for optical components
  • Industrial control and automation
  • Power supply monitoring
  • System supervision and control
  • Universal signal processing

Conclusion:

The MAX11311 adapts perfectly to specific application requirements and allows for easy reconfiguration as the system needs further change. It also reduces BOM (Bill of Materials) cost with fewer external components in a small footprint.

To know more about this awesome chip, refer to the datasheet.