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23 Apr 2015


Always handy small but versatile power supply for everyday work with low-power electronic projects

Presenting USBminiPower – the pocket power supply powered from a standard USB port on your computer.

The adjustable power supply is an absolutely vital piece of equipment for any electronics engineer or hobbyist. However in the vast majority of cases the needs presented towards a lab power supply are quite relaxed and usually within the low voltage range. With the modern component base the current consumption is usually also very low, and in a number of cases a large and fancy (and of course expensive) lab power supply could just be an overkill purchase for many users.

Pocket USB-powered power supply for the hobbyist – [Link]

21 Apr 2015


by Naomi Price & Martin Rowe @ edn.com:

USB data-acquisition modules offer good value and ease of use, which makes them an attractive choice for manufacturing test. But before you use the modules in a manufacturing test system, you need to take steps to protect them. During manufacturing test of circuit boards or subassemblies, a defect in an assembly may result in a condition that damages a data-acquisition module.

The typical USB DIO (digital I/O) module uses a set of 8-bit bidirectional tristate ports. Figure 1 shows a typical circuit that we test with one of those ports. We use one digital output pin from the USB module to drive the circuit and one digital input pin to read the circuit’s response.

Protect USB measurement circuits – [Link]

21 Apr 2015


microtherion has published new project the ChipHeadBang, that is available on Github:

Design for an USB to Serial converter with ICSP header for (slow) bitbang programming, based on the CH340G chip.

While this seems to work pretty well, and the CH340G can be obtained extremely cheaply from sources such as AliExpress, driver support can be a bit iffy. For current versions of OS X, the vendor provided driver will cause kernel panics, and as far as I know, only this commercial alternative will work

ChipHeadBang – design for an USB to Serial converter with ICSP header – [Link]

24 Mar 2015


by Abhishek Gupta @ edn.com:

In the last 14 years, the Universal Serial Bus (USB) has become the standard interface to connect devices to a computer. Whether it’s an external hard drive, a camera, the mouse, a printer, or a scanner, the physical connection to transfer data between devices generally is a USB cable. The interface is indeed universal.

USB technology has been under development since 1993. The first official definition, USB 1.0, was introduced in 1996. It provides a Low-Speed transfer rate of 1.5 Mbits/s for sub-channel keyboards and mice, and a Full-Speed channel at 12 Mbits/s. USB 2.0, which came in 2001, made a leap to Hi-Speed transfer rates of up to 480 Mbits/s. In 2010, USB 3.0 finally hit the market.

USB 3.0 – Everything you need to know – [Link]

5 Mar 2015


The miniSpartan3 is our new, low cost, tiny, FPGA kit. It starts at just $25, and there is a more powerful FPGA chip available for $35.

  • The Spartan 3A XC3A50 FPGA ($25), or the Spartan 3A XC3A200 FPGA ($35) from Xilinx.
  • An on-board USB JTAG Programmer to power and program your FPGA.
  • An on board USB to Serial Interface.
  • One HDMI port.
  • 41 digital I/O pins.
  • A 4-channel analog to digital converter running at 200 KSPS with 8 bit resolution.
  • 4 Mbit SPI Flash.
  • 32Mhz oscillator.
  • 3 LEDs for debugging.
  • 2 DIP switches.

miniSpartan3 – [Link]

21 Feb 2015


by Tomasz Ostrowski @ tomeko.net:

Extremely cheap low-speed PC/USB oscilloscope with STM32 (STM32F042) microcontroller.

Announced in January 2014 Cortex-M0 microcontroller family that features crystal-less USB FS device allows to cut noticeable part of BOM when building oscilloscope/recorder similar to miniscope v2c/v2d. STM32F042F devices are interesting in particular because of small and friendly TSSOP20 package with minimum number or power lines.

STM32F042F4 devices feature USB bootloader (DFU), single 1MSps ADC (so single channel sampling would be preferred to avoid crosstalk issues), 16 kB FLASH memory (~2 times more than needed) and 6 kB RAM.

Miniscope v2e – STM32F042 Oscilloscope – [Link]

4 Feb 2015


Teensy-LC (Low Cost) is a powerful 32 bit microcontroller board, with a rich set of hardware peripherals, at a very affordable price!

Teensy-LC delivers an impressive collection of capabilities to make modern electronic projects simpler. It features an ARM Cortex-M0+ processor at 48 MHz, 62K Flash, 8K RAM, 12 bit analog input & output, hardware Serial, SPI & I2C, USB, and a total of 27 I/O pins. See the technical specifications and pinouts below for details.

Teensy-LC maintains the same form-factor as Teensy 3.1, with most pins offering similar peripheral features.

Teensy LC – Coming March 2015 – [Link]

22 Jan 2015


With a focus on the 2.4 GHz RF application area, Holtek is delighted to announce its new I/O Type Full Speed USB Flash MCU, the BC68FB540. This device forms one of a series of new generation 8-bit Flash USB RF MCUs. The 2.4 GHz RF Transceiver includes the features of low power consumption, high performance and high noise immunity characteristics and has a data rate of up to 2 MBPS.

The BC68FB540 is compatible with the USB 2.0 specification and has an operating voltage of 2.2 V to 5.5 V, and with an operating temperature of –40 °C to +85 °C it meets with industrial specifications. The RF circuitry derives its system clock from an externally connected 16 MHz crystal while the MCU system clock is derived from a fully internal 12 MHz HIRC oscillator.

Holtek New BC68FB540 2.4GHz Full Speed USB Flash Type RF TRX MCU – [Link]

20 Jan 2015


Ralph Doncaster writes:

Since the release of V-USB, dozens of projects have been made that allow an AVR to communicate over USB. USB data signals are supposed to be in the range of 2.8 to 3.6V, so there are two recommended ways to have an AVR output the correct voltage. One is to supply the AVR with 3.3V power, and the other is to use 5V power but clip the USB data signal using zener diodes. Most implementations of V-USB, like USBasp, use the zener diodes. I’ll explain why using a 3.3V supply should be the preferred method.

USB interfacing for AVR microcontrollers – [Link]

16 Jan 2015


by simplicio @ instructables.com:

PUB! is a Programmable USB Button on which you can program a sequence of keystrokes. When you press the button those keystrokes are “replayed” over a USB connection.

The button (which is really a rotary encoder with a built-in push button switch) is programmed using an innovative and slightly quirky interface that does not require any custom software to be installed on your computer. All you need is a text editor like Notepad (for Windows) or gedit (for Linux).

PUB! Programmable USB Button – [Link]





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