Inspired by the finding that over 60% of oscilloscope users also use a spectrum analyzer to troubleshoot embedded system designs with integrated wireless functionality, Tektronix has developed the world’s first mixed domain oscilloscope (MDO), which provides the functionality of an oscilloscope and a spectrum analyzer in a single instrument. The new MDO4000 Mixed Domain Oscilloscope series gives engineers the unique ability to capture time-correlated analogue, digital and RF signals for a complete system view. [via]
Scope / spectrum analyzer combo captures time-correlated analogue, digital and RF signals - [Link]
Semiconductor manufacturer NXP is mighty proud of its new high-power transistor, called BLF578XR, which is good for 1.2 kilowatts of RF power output. The device is suitable for use in RF amplifiers operating within the in the 10 to 500 MHz frequency range and has proved it’s up against extremely adverse operating conditions. [via]
For sure, right now you’re surrounded by electromagnetic energy transmitted from sources such as radio and television transmitters, mobile phone networks and satellite communications systems. Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have created a device that is able to scavenge this ambient energy so it can be used to power small electronic devices such as networks of wireless sensors, microprocessors and communications chips.
Manos Tentzeris, a professor in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and his team used inkjet printing technology to combine sensors, antennas and energy scavenging capabilities on paper or flexible polymers. Presently, the team’s scavenging technology can take advantage of frequencies from FM radio to radar, a range of 100 MHz to 15 GHz or higher. The devices capture this energy, convert it from AC to DC, and then store it in capacitors and batteries.
Capture free energy 24/7 - [Link]
Deepak from Mindfront.net acquired a PIR alarm sensor module which transmitted a digital code over 433 MHz RF to signal an alarm receiver. The problem: he didn’t have the factory receiver. So he set out to sniff the transmitted RF signal using a RCR-433-AS receiver module with the data out fed into an oscilloscope. This allowed him to monitor the digital coded signal pattern and decode it into individual bits.
Hacking a PIR RF signal with PIC 12F683 – [Link]
FBI Tracking Device Teardown [via]
We partnered with Wired to bring you a peek inside an FBI car-tracking device… The device comprises of a GPS unit for receiving the car’s position, an RF transmitter for relaying your location to the interested authority (aka the FBI), and a set of sweet D-cell batteries that power the whole enchilada. But we didn’t stop there, of course. Read on to find out exactly what components make this secretive device tick.
FBI Tracking Device Teardown – [Link]
Powercast Corporation has unveiled its Lifetime Power Wireless Sensor System for wireless environmental monitoring in HVAC control and building automation systems, which uses RF energy broadcast by remote units to power wireless sensor nodes without batteries or wires.
The Powercast system consists of three parts: a family of batteryless sensor nodes with embedded Powerharvester receivers for wireless power, a WSG-101 building automation system (BAS) gateway, and a TX91501 Powercaster transmitter. The first member of the family of sensor devices is the WSN-1001 wireless temperature and humidity sensor. Additional sensors for measuring measure CO2, pressure, light level, motion and other conditions will follow shortly. [via]
Batteryless RF-powered wireless sensor system targets building automation – [Link]
Getting started with microcontrollers and simple wireless data transfer: [via]
I thought you guys might like this article, it shows you how to get started using those $10 433 MHz RF tx/rx pairs. The article explains the theory, shows an example schematic for receiver/transmitter and has the project firmware for both available for download.
Microcontrollers and simple wireless data transfer - [Link]
The NimbleSig III RF Analyzer is a compact, relatively inexpensive instrumentation cluster intended for analyzing the transmission characteristics of RF circuits designed to operate within the frequency range of 200 KHz to 200 MHz.
The analyzer is capable of generating a pair of frequency agile RF signals with digital accuracy. It has measurement capabilities for gain/loss, phase shift and low level RF power. A tracking generator sweep system mode provides a high dynamic range swept frequency display of circuit amplitude response characteristics. A spectrum display mode permits the viewing of signals in the frequency domain.
The RX62N RDK was a solid choice for the controller. It provides control logic and comms for the various RF modules and for the human-machine interface, 4.3″ touch screen SLCD display. The powerful RX62N RDK with its abundance of connectivity options and supporting peripheral devices provides a paved road for a number of planned enhancements for this instrument.
For an exhaustive description of this project, download this 58 page PDF.
NimbleSig III RF analyzer using Renesas RX62N – [Link]
JeeLabs has a product known as the JeeNode v5, which is essentially a miniature Arduino (Atmega328p) board with an onboard RFM12B wireless module. Boards are available with the serial interface (shown above) as well as USB.
While it’s not an Xbee compatible RF unit, the RFM12B has its own RF12 library of functions which should help you accomplish many control and data transfer tasks.
JeeLabs JeeNode combines Arduino, RF – [Link]