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7 Nov 2013


“Power bank” or a mobile power supply with a USB output can contribute also to your undisturbed work. 

Nowadays already almost every battery-operated device with a USB port has a possibility to be operated or recharged through this port. Whether it is a smartphone, external harddrive, various modems, dataloggers and many other specialized devices, almost all of them can be powered/ recharged also from a USB port from an external mobile power source -“Power bank”.

In respect to the fact, that there are still more devices with this possibility, we incorporated to our stable stock offer two types of these power supplies – B110 and B120 from a renowned company Apacer. They differ mainly by a capacity of an in-built battery (4400/ 6600 mAh). B110 has one USB connector with a max. output current of 5V/1A, while a bigger type – B120 features two USB ports with a max current of 1,5A/1A (max 2.1A both ports simultaneously). Both Power banks can be recharged through a micro USB port by means of a supplied short USB cable enabling recharging for example from PC, USB adapter or from still more used wall USB outlets, which are becoming a common part of modern buildings installations, on airports etc. The same micro USB/USB B cable can be consequently used to connect a device which we want to power/ recharge (through an “OUTPUT” connector). A small complement of both types is a 5mm white LED, thus B110 and B120 can serve as a small torch with a long hold-off.

Overview of features of both types can be found in the Apacer B110 and B120 datasheets.

Apacer B110 and B120 – Power banks not only for your smartphones - [Link]

7 Nov 2013


The Oscilloscope Watch by Gabriel Anzziani of Gabotronics:

The Oscilloscope Watch has all the features of a modern watch (time, calendar, alarm, etc…) combined with all the features of the popular Xprotolab (Oscilloscope, Waveform Generator, Logic Analyzer, Protocol Sniffer, Frequency Counter).

Currently on Kickstarter

The Oscilloscope Watch - [Link]

7 Nov 2013

Here is a nice series of 3 video tutorials, covering basic functionality of Cadsoft Eagle from Schematic Capture to CAM Export and PCB manufacturing. The 3 parts are:

Check them out!

CadSoft Eagle Tutorials by jeremyblum.com – [Link]

6 Nov 2013


Wireless technology IQRF was introduced to you in our recent article „IQRF – a wireless technology which breaks barriers“ and in our SOS webinar „How to integrate wireless technologies into your devices without a long-term programming?”. In the time of publishing of the previous article, was the IQRF Alliance launch in a status of intensive preparation. With pleasure we announce you, that from now it´s possible to deploy IQRF Alliance services and to make your development of wireless applications even easier.
What´s all that about? IQRRF Alliance opens to manufacturers, system integrators and installation companies an opportunity to quickly and cost-effectively make all the electronic products wireless without any programming.

IQRF Alliance focuses on extremely easy integration of smart wireless solutions prevailingly in the segments of Indoor Lighting, Outdoor Lighting, Building, Smart Home Automation and many other. Thanks to the revolutionary and patented concept of Direct Peripheral Access and Hardware Profiles, IQRF Alliance members can simply integrate wireless communication and networking into their devices or systems by a simple circuit of a wireless module with a universal DPA application. This will enhance an existing or just developing product with a possibility to communicate in a wireless network, receive and transmit data. DPA moreover ensures a full compatibility of all products using this protocol. New, fully compatible product can be this way launched on the market within few weeks.

IQRF Alliance members will be able to easily and quickly innovate their devices with a wireless connectivity, incorporate full MESH networking into their systems and to use a portfolio of fully compatible products of other IQRF Alliance members.

All details regarding a membership are available at www.iqrf.org/alliance. Membership is without any membership fees. The only “fee” is a 1000 EUR annual credit, i.e. it´s not a fee but a credit for a purchase of IQRF components (transceivers, development boards and kits,…).

IQRF technology features, description of a new IDE4.13 development environment and a new OS3.04 operating system, as well as advantages of membership in the IQRF Alliance can be uncovered already on 23.10.2013 in our SOS webinar about IQRF.

IQRF Alliance brings programming-free wireless networking - [Link]

5 Nov 2013

Dave tests the myth that plugging a PCB VIA with solder does nothing (or not much) to improve the current handling capability. Is manual wire feed-through any better?

EEVBlog #543 – PCB VIA Current Investigation - [Link]

4 Nov 2013


New, more efficient LED series from company Kingbright were recently introduced to you in our article Small but powerful LED series KP- 2012, where we presented you new stock types – red series SR-J4. Meanwhile we also enhanced our stock offer with green LED series (525nm) LED – ZGK as well as with yellow LED series – SYK. All these series have one feature in common – high efficiency, whch is praxis reflected in two aspects:

  • significantly higher luminous flux than standard types (at the same current) or
  • significantly lower current necessary to reach the same brightnessFor illustration we attach series of snapshots from the same device with two different green LEDs (various expositions at a common indoor lighting). In the left device, there´s a standard LED, in the right one the KP-3216ZGCK is used (compare only a green LED, red LEDs are the same). We believe, that these pictures say it all – the difference is really very big.

It´s necessary to mention, that because of a different technology of a chip, the operation (forward) voltage of the ZGK series is higher than at standard types, i.e. approx. 3.3V, 2V at a yellow series and and 2.2V at red series. As a value of brightness (cd) is dependent on a radiation angle, this value is at SMT types without optics always lower than for example at 5mm or 3mm THT LED. However, that doesn´t mean, that a given LED provides less amount of light – overall luminous flux of these types with the same chip is the same. The only difference is that LEDs with optics focus light into a narrower radiation angle. Detailed information will provide you the Kingbright SR-J4, ZGK and SYK datasheets. Type „C“ at marking of many LEDS – for example ZGCK, SYCK means a transparent package (Clear).

Save 90% of LED power consumption with new types from company Kingbright - [Link]

3 Nov 2013


Resettable fuses are a very useful complement significantly increasing a safety of devices.

Polyswitch-es provide a big service at protection of devices, where they behave like „resettable“ fuses. How many times it is suitable or necessary to use a fuse in a device, but a relatively bulky fuse socket simply doesn´t have a space in our device (or it would spoil a device design) and we also don´t want to use a PCB fuse holder, because a device would have to be constructed as user accessible… Then and not only then, is the ideal solution to use a Polyswitch. Such „fuses“ are available from various producers (for example also under names Polyfuse, Multifuse), Polyswitch is a trade name of company TE Connectivity/ Raychem, representing a top level in this segment.  In a principle, a Polyswitch is a PTC resistor with a Polymeric structure designed for a big change of resistance in a narrow temperature range. Conductive particles are dissipated in an amorphous polumer, which changes its structure at a higher temperature (melts), increases its volume resulting in a rapid increasing of a component resistance. In this point (tripping point) a very rapid increasing of resistance appears, which is high enough, so that a leakage current is practically negligible and won´t cause a damage to a protected circuit. Each Polyswitch has a defined holding current (I hold), nominal resistance at a given temperature and tripping (switch off) current (I trip). By a current flowing through a Polyswitch, it gets calorified (I2R), until a certain current it will reach a level, where a rapid increasing of its resistance appears. An exact current at which this change arises naturally depends also on an ambient temperature (at higher temperature a lower current is sufficient). This behavior is digestedly illustrated on an enclosed graph (Fig.4). In the A region, a Polyswitch is switched off (tripped) and a device is disconnected. In the region B the Polyswitch allows for normal operation (on) at any combination of a current and ambient temperature. In the region C can the component go tripped (off) so to say “anytime” depending on a concrete resistance value of a given piece. Read the rest of this entry »

3 Nov 2013

2013-10-27_triac-blocwemakethings.net writes:

From time to time I get requests to make some high power switching, so I decided to design a solid-state relay that could handle a lot of different situations. The most common use for it I have is refurbishing old ceramic kilns. Since our technical life is close to the stage (both theatre and music), I also wanted it to be usable as a dimmer module. And, just for kicks, as a single phase AC motor speed controller, in case we would want that.

A solid-state relay with I2C interface - [Link]

3 Nov 2013


by Publitek European Editors:

Led by solar photovoltaics, the market for harvesting energy from renewable sources is booming. At the simplest level, a single residence is equipped with a PV system, generating electricity for its own use, and feeding the excess back to the national grid. At the highest level are utility-scale PV plants and solar farms, contributing to improved grid resiliency and helping governments meet global targets to reduce CO2 emissions.

Meanwhile, the smart grid concept is emerging as the way forward to provide a much-needed upgrade to national electrical infrastructures. The deployment of smart meters and off-peak tariffs will help utilities meet peak demands without excessively increasing overall capacity. Techniques such as ‘demand response’ and ‘transactive energy’ will help us exploit renewable energy generation effectively.

Taking the Measure of Photovoltaic System Output - [Link]

3 Nov 2013


The perfect gift for any electronics enthusiast or student. Although small, the Key-Scope performs as a fully functional oscilloscope.

Although small, the Key-Scope performs as a full functioning oscilloscope. You will receive the world’s smallest, high quality, low-cost oscilloscope realized in a key ring-type housing made in Italy. Priced below US$60, it serves as a useful gadget or gift to the electronics enthusiastic hobbyist. Since Key-Scope covers all major functions of a traditional oscilloscope, it also serves as a great tool supporting the electronics student to get familiar working with oscilloscopes.

World-smallest keyring-type oscilloscope with color LCD - [Link]





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