There were a few questions in the forum about generating sine waves on the MCP4725 I2C DAC. To show one way you might accomplish this, an example sketch was added to the Adafruit MCP4725 library. You can set the resolution between 9-bit and 5-bit, depending on your requirements and how much flash space you can spare. 5 and 6-bit output would benefit from a basic filter to smooth the output out, but 7-bits and higher is reasonably smooth, as can be seen in the image above comparing the out from an Agilent function generator (in blue) and the MCP4725 sketch at 8-bit resolution (in yellow).
Sine Wave Example for MCP4725 DAC - [Link]
UT15B and UT15C voltage testers from company UNI-Trend are handy devices for an effective and safe work. Robust construction, quality materials and several functions predestine these devices for a professional usage.
From devices, which we use frequently, we expect an especially good ergonomics and a comfortable handling. UT15 series testers meet this requirement at 100% and do provide a very comfortable usage. If we add to it a fact, that UT15 doesn´t need any range selecting and even neither to switch on/ off, we get a device which is literally always ready to use. A main indication element of the device are LEDs, displaying a measuring voltage value, phase rotation and polarity (at DC voltage). UT15C has moreover in comparison to UT15B an LCD display, displaying a value of tested AC and DC voltage. In dark or constrained environment can be helpful also a possibility to illuminate a measuring tip by a built-in white LED torch, controlled by switch placed on a rear cover. Detailed information will provide you the UT15 instruction manual.
UT15 voltage tester – love at the first sight - [Link]
The TPS22966 is a small, ultra-low RON, dual channel load switch with controlled turn on. The device contains two N-channel MOSFETs that can operate over an input voltage range of 0.8V to 5.5V and can support a maximum continuous current of 6A per channel. Each switch is independently controlled by an on/off input (ON1 and ON2), which is capable of interfacing directly with low-voltage control signals. In TPS22966, a 220-Ω on-chip load resistor is added for quick output discharge when switch is turned off.
TPS22966 – 6A Dual Load Switch with Controlled Turn On - [Link]
Texas Instruments has announced the introduction of the PowerLab Reference Design Library, a collection of power management reference designs. The reference designs include relevant technical documentation, such as circuit schematics, printed circuit board layouts, lists of components and materials, Gerber files, and other design support tools.
The library holds more than 300 power management reference designs for a variety of both isolated and non-isolated power conversion topologies suitable for lighting, telecommunication, computing and consumer electronics applications.
An interactive search tool is available on the website and new designs will be added to the database each month. [via]
Power Management Design Library Opens its Doors - [Link]
Last month one of the unsung heroes of electronics has passed away. Hans Camenzind, father of one of the most famous integrated circuit of all times, the Signetics timer NE555, timed out at the age of 78. Being a gifted analog designer, Swiss-born Monsieur Camenzind is also credited to be the father of class-D amplifiers and he has introduced the concept of the Phase-Locked Loop (PLL) in ICs. During his rather productive career he designed over 140 ICs, wrote several books and many articles and his name is attached to some twenty patents.
When a famous artists dies you will hear his or her greatest hits on every radio or see his or her best films on every TV channel. Therefore, in respect of one of the great electronics inventors of our century we will play here Hans Camenzind’s most successful composition, NE555 in bipolar. [via]
Hans Camenzind, father of the NE555, dies at the age of 78 - [Link]
Reed contacts feature many properties, by which they considerably outperforms standard switching technologies. Components from company Meder electronic belong to a top in this segment.
A reed switch operates on a principle of deformation of magnetically conductive blades in a magnetic field. It can be said, that the most of reed switches outstanding properties results from the fact, that the reed themselves are small, light-weight and distant only few hundredth of milimeter (at small types). At the same time, they are hermetically sealed in a glass capsule in a vacuum, or more often – filled by an inert gas. Thanks to this construction, Meder electronic reed contacts (and on their basis produced reed relays and reed sensors) feature mainly these properties:
A reed contact can be considered to be a “sensor” controlled by a magnetic field, the most often by a permanent magnet or by a coil, creating a reed relay. Components with reed contacts can be divided to three basic groups – reed contacts, reed sensors and reed relays. Reed relays themselves, soldered into a PCB, can serve for many applications like for example a monitoring of a position (for example closing of a door, end positions of various mechanisms, …), counting of goods, etc. However, from mounting and mechanical protection point of view, in praxis the reed sensors are usually more convenient, as they are optimized exactly according for a given application. Reed relays offer all above-mentioned features of reed contacts, thus being an ideal choice for example in a measurement equipment, HF/ audio/ video and other devices with small signals, at switching of high voltages and in many other applications. Small dimensions, very low power consumption of common relays (50-125 mW), extreme reliability and a relatively low price are another arguments for usage of components from company Meder electronic. Many useful informations can be found in documents „The Basic Reed Switch“, „Reedswitch used with permanent magnet“, „Reed Switch used as Reed Relay“ and „Parameters_of_Reed_Switch“.
Wouldn´t a reed switch suit to you? - [Link]
This is a shield for Arduino designed and based on the module GSM/GPRS SIM900 or the GSM/GPRS & GPS module SIM908, to make calls, voice and data connections via GPRS. This new version has several new hardware features, that allow maximum customization and provide many configurations. With a microphone and a headset with a 3.5 mm jack (just the standard headphones for computers), you can make a voice call from Arduino!!
GSM GPS shield for Arduino - [Link]
The ATF697FF is the newest member of Atmel’s SPARC V8 processor family and the industry’s first radiation-hardened (RAD Hard) high-performance aerospace microprocessor that can be reconfigured on-the-fly. The ability to reconfigure on-the-fly allows making on-going design modifications to satellites, including specification updates, in-flight adjustments during trial flights and post-launch alterations.
The new device is a reconfigurable processor that combines an AT697F processor and an ATF280F SRAM-based FPGA unit in a single multichip module. It can run at speeds up to 100MHz and it is low-power, down to 0.7W. Designed and developed by the Atmel Aerospace Business Unit in Rousset, France, adds the flexibility of a reprogrammable FPGA to the reliability of a powerful core processor running application software. It is targeted at systems that require reconfiguration of peripherals and interfaces, making it easy to comply and stay up-to-date with evolving standards that are used on many space missions, such as SpaceWire, CAN or IEEE1553. The flexibility of the ATF697FF processor is also beneficial for late design modifications performed on Earth, for in-flight adjustments on satellites and for space trial operations. [via]
Reconfigurable Processor for Space Applications - [Link]
Data storage is becoming increasingly important as digital information doubles in volume roughly every two years. By the end of 2012 the volume will have grown 48% compared to 2011, the International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts.
Bioengineers have been jealously eyeballing nature’s information storage medium DNA for its efficiency and robustness.
Information stored in DNA can survive for a hundreds of thousand of years. Unlike data centers, DNA doesn’t need climate-control because it can withstand just about any environmental circumstance. As long as the data isn’t accessed there is no energy cost. And above all it has an extremely high storage density.
Now Harvard researchers report a major breakthrough. They have successfully encoded the contents of a book in DNA, copied it 70 billion times and fitted it on a space the size of a thumbnail. [via]
All data humanity creates in a year stored on 4 grams of DNA - [Link]
Chris @ PyroElectro.com writes:
A tachometer is a useful tool for counting the RPM (rotations per minute) of a wheel or basically anything that spins. The easiest way to build a tachometer is using a transmitter and receiver. When the link between them is broken, you know that something is spinning and can execute some code that calculates the current RPM of whatever is spinning to break the transmitter/receiver link.
In this article we will explore how to use an IR transmitter and receiver break-beam pair similar to the PIC Tachometer project I built a few months ago, but because of popular demand, the Arduino system will be used for all the processing and break-beam interruption counting. The end result will be a 16×2 LCD displaying the RPM of some computer fans.
Arduino Tachometer - [Link]