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.
Test Ideas: Protect USB measurement circuits - [Link]
by Bray @ coreforge.com:
I’ve had a CNC mill for a few years now, and while many homemade CNC mills use EasyDriver or Pololu, mine came with a sturdy, generic TB6560 controller board. For those unfamiliar, boards like this are interfaced using an old fashioned LPT parallel port, which was initially an annoyance, but quickly became impractical and a hassle, having to use an old PC with VNC installed. The board has plenty of power to push the steppers around, far more than any of the smaller / cheaper solutions had to offer I think, so I wanted to try and teach this board a few new tricks, and let me interface with it using a more modern interface.
GRBL CNC USB to TB6560 Interface using Arduino - [Link]
by TheSignalPathBlog @ youtube:
In this episode Shahriar takes a close look at some of Dino-Lite’s USB Digital Microscopes and accessories. Two of the microscope stand offerings from Dino-Lite are demoed (model MS36B and RK-10) with a close look at their features and usability. All USB stands offer precision Aluminum bodies and flexible ranges of motion for a variety of viewing angles and distances.
Three USB Digital Microscopes from Dino-Lite are also demoed: models AM4113ZTL Dino-Lite Premier, AM4515ZTL Dino-Lite Edge and AM4815ZTL Dino-Lite Edge. These microscopes offers features such as large magnification combined with long working distances, adjustable polarizer, adaptable cap design, MicroTouch shutter button, extended depth of field (EDOF), extended dynamic range (EDR) and automatic magnification reading (AMR) which are all compatible with the provide DinoCapture 2.0 interface software.
Using Dino-Lite’s microscopes, a variety of electronics components are presented: An Analog Devices PCB containing 0102 footprint components, A PIC UV erasable Silicon die, a 325GHz horn antenna, a composite wafer probe with 150um pitch from GGB industries. Finally, the complete breakdown of a QuinStar mm-wave PA module is shown with microwave filters, pre-amplifiers, and a Wilkinson-based GaAs PA as a final stage.
Dino-Lite USB Digital Microscopes Review and Experiments - [Link]
A USB port is a great power source for charging a single cell Lithium-Ion battery. It is capable of supplying a maximum of 5.25V and 500 mA. The circuit above is a USB powered single cell Li-Ion battery charger. LM3622 is used as the controller. This special purpose IC has a precise end-of-charge control and low battery leakage current about 200nA. S1 and S2 select the low voltage detect enable/disable. The low voltage detection is handy for conditioning a deeply discharged battery with a low current stage, to prepare it for the full charge cycle.
LM3622 Li-Ion USB Battery Charger - [Link]
Who says logic analyzers canʼt be beautiful? Saleaeʼs Logic USB Logic Analyzer packs a lot of punch in a small, anodized aluminum package.
- Monitors up to 8 channels
- Saves up to 10 billion samples
- Is multi-platform Windows, Mac or Linux
- Can export data in binary, VCD and CSV
- Supports I2C, Async Serial, SPI, 1-Wire, CAN, I2S, PCM, and UNI/O
Used by students, engineers and hobbyists, Saleaeʼs analyzers have been used for satellites, avionics, submarines, electric cars, and more.
And with the launch of the Saleae Logic 4, 8, Pro 8 and Pro 16 next month, recording, measuring, and annotating will be even easier.
Saleae Launches New Logic 4, 8, Pro 8, and Pro 16 Analyzers - [Link]
BreadBoardManiac have been making some cool prototyping boards and accessories like their thin, double-sided, BiscuitBoard and CakeBoard that can be physically mounted onto the LEGO brick system, they even produce a special breadboard made of wood! Along with the accessories is a wire stripping gauge that allows you to accurately bend wire interconnects and cut them to the correct length so that they all line up neat and tidy, flush with the surface of the solderless prototyping board. The finished wiring looks like a work of modern art rather than the messy rats nest effect that you normally get with flying leads. You have probably already worked out that these people are passionate about breadboarding.
Neat Breadboard Connector - [Link]
The TUSB8041 is a four-port USB 3.0 hub. It provides simultaneous SuperSpeed USB and high-speed/full-speed connections on the upstream port and provides SuperSpeed USB, high-speed, full-speed, or low-speed connections on the downstream ports.
TUSB8041 – Four-Port USB 3.0 Hub - [Link]
Embedded modules may surprise you by their contribution and an overall costs savings.
As we know „embedded module“ is a quite wide term and it can represent a powerful microcomputer with OS, but it can also be a significantly simpler module with a microcontroller and peripherals, still able to add considerable functionality to a target device.
Typical representatives of useful modules, which add a lot – without big costs are so called quick start modules from company Embedded Artists. Their contribution is in a ready-made „tuned up“ PCB containing for example in case of module LPC4088 QuickStart Board (EA-QSB-016) the microcontroller itself (Cortex- M4), memory, display controller and many interfaces like Ethernet, USB, UART, SPI, CAN, PWM, Analog In/Out, I2C, XBee compatible connector and other.
Especially at low and mid-volume production batches their contribution is mainly in the fact, that it is a really proven solution with a guaranteed operating temperatures range, proper ESD protection and mainly – supported by a wide scale of development tools (free). In case of solving of problems, it´s still possible to contact customer support of company and a lot of hints for successful usage, source codes and libraries can be found directly on the producer´s website.
Try to go easier way - [Link]
Microchip Technology Inc has introduced a PIC32 Bluetooth starter kit. The kit includes a board with a PIC32 microcontroller, HCI-based Bluetooth radio, Cree high-output multi-color LED, 3 standard single-color LEDs, an analog 3-axis accelerometer, analog temperature sensor and 5 push buttons for user-defined inputs. In addition the PICkit™ On Board (PKOB) eliminates the need for an external debugger/programmer and supports USB connectivity and GPIOs for rapid development of Bluetooth Serial Port Profile (SPP), USB and general-purpose applications. To support Bluetooth audio the starter kit also includes an interface for a plug-in audio CODEC daughter card set for release at a later stage.
Microchip Bluetooth Starter Kit - [Link]
It’s holiday season and the chances are some of your gadgets will be also be going along for the ride. The ThinkPower mobile charger by Zettaly has been designed to provide essential recharge capability for USB-charged devices when you find yourself any distance from a mains wall outlet. The ThinkPower itself can be fully charged in just 90minutes and once charged its 10,000mAh high-capacity battery pack can recharge any USB-powered gadget. It has been tested with iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Nexus, HTC, Moto, LG, GoPro and many other brands of smartphones, tablets, and cameras (for DIY fans its also tested been tested with the Raspberry Pi :). A fully charged ThinkPower has enough capacity to recharge an iPhone 5 over four times.
Speedy Recharger - [Link]