High Voltage Capacitor Charger for Photo-Flash Using LT3751

The project is built for professional photo flash systems. Circuit generates high voltage from low voltage battery to operate a photo-flash tube. The project can also be used in other applications like high voltage capacitor charger, emergency strobe, high voltage power supply, security, detonators etc. LT3751 is the heart of the project.

The LT3751 is a high voltage input flyback controller designed to rapidly charge a large capacitor to a user-adjustable high target voltage set by the transformer turns ratio and three external resistors. Optionally, a feedback pin can be used to provide a low noise high voltage regulated output. The LT3751 has an integrated rail-to-rail MOSFET gate driver that allows for efficient operation down to 4.75V.

High Voltage Capacitor Charger for Photo-Flash Using LT3751 – [Link]

Imagina Book, For Augmented Reality Education

Virtual reality and Augmented reality became essential technologies these days. They have an important role in making products much exciting and entertaining, especially in education. Recently, Livit Studios announced its new augmented reality book series “Imagina Book“.

Imagina Books is an educational book series that converts the classic and traditional book into an interactive and 3d visualized. It provides a new reading and learning method which leads to better understanding and also more enjoyable experience for kids.

Imagina consists of two components, a mobile application, and a printed booklet. Using the app is easy, so the kid in only need to put the camera on a page and then an interactive animated 3D model will appear on the screen.

This technology can cover most of the scientific topics by making some customization to the app and print a new book. However, the first book of the series is about the human body, and Livit had launched it through a kickstarter campaign. It is a journey inside the human body allows kids to explore their body organs and functions with an interactive augmented reality experience. Below I will talk more about the book and the application.

Imagina Book Features

The book is a hardcover 32-page booklet for children from 8 to 12. It is designed to be attractive for kids and to have a substantial amount of science on its own. It also consists of several sections, each one talk about a system in the human body.

Sarah and Adam are two friendly characters who will take the learners on a journey to explore their body. They make the learning experience more friendly and enjoyable for kids. In addition, the printed book is a high quality and colorful, to make sure that kids will love it.

Imagina Book App Features

The app is compatible with both IOS 9 and above devices, and Android 5.0 and above devices. Inside the app, the “gamification” process is one of the main aspects of the learning process. The 3D games include levels and achievement goals to help the learner develop a sense of competition among his peers and friends.

Main features of Imagina book app:

  • 3D Models Overlay
    The app simply adds another dimension to the 2D conventional world of books. It overlays 3D models of each organ or system on each page of the book.
  • Organs Animation
    Each model is a realistic rendering of the body organs and systems with accurate animations that portray the functionality of each organ.
  • 3D Info Labels
    The user can inspect the anatomy of the human body organs with the help of accurate 3D labels for each part of the organ.
  • Interaction
    The user can interact with 3D models by resizing and rotating them to better visualize each organ.
  • Screenshot & Share
    The user can take screenshots from the application anytime and share these shots via social media.
  • In-Game Currency
    You gain coins when you finish each level. You use coins to build your own in-game hospital.
  • 3D Games
    For each organ, they made a customized 3D interactive game in which Sarah and Adam help the learner identify the basic anatomy of the organs.

Although there are still 17 days remaining for the kickstarter campaign, Imagina Book achieved their goal of $9,000. And with $21, you can pack your early bird copy of the human body book, while the original copy is available for $25.

More details and information can be found on the official website.

Ubuntu Core to the i.MX6 based TS-7970

Technologic Systems,Inc. announced that it will be partnering with Canonical to make Ubuntu Core available for their newest single board computer: the TS-7970. The TS-7970 is a high-performance single board computer based on the NXP i.MX6 CPU which implements the ARM® Cortex A9 architecture clocked at 1 GHz.

Bob Miller, founder of Technologic Systems said, “With the functionality of our TS-7970 and the flexibility of Ubuntu Core, I can see these powering virtually anything from industrial Internet of Things gateways, plant automation, network equipment, high definition digital signage, to remote monitoring stations.”

The TS-7970 is ideally suited for deployment into a wide range of robust industrial applications and is truly a high end general purpose single board computer ideal for smart devices, auto entertainment systems, medical systems, enterprise class intelligent control, plant automation, or any high-end embedded systems. Ubuntu Core is ideal for this environment because of its rich networking and protocol support. In addition, Ubuntu Core offers a secure, reliable, and remotely upgradeable platform to easily update and maintain IoT devices making for a more secure and cost-effective deployment.

Most Accurate Digital Temperature Sensor STS35

Sensirion, a leading provider of environmental and flow sensor solutions, presents the STS35 temperature sensor – the most accurate sensor of the versatile STS3x series. The high-accuracy temperature sensor has been designed to fulfill the needs of demanding markets such as the medical and automotive sectors. Typical applications include body temperature measurement and temperature control.

The new STS35 temperature sensor is a high-end model in the STS3x series and has an outstanding temperature accuracy of DT = ± 0.1°C. Like all STS3x series models, the sensor features increased intelligence and reliability. Its functionality includes enhanced signal processing, two distinctive and user-selectable I2C addresses and communication speeds of up to 1 MHz. The DFN package can be integrated into an extensive variety of applications thanks to its footprint of 2.5 x 2.5 x 0.9 mm3 and the wide supply voltage range of 2.4 V to 5.5 V. Furthermore, the STS35 sensor includes a configurable alert function, allowing it to be used as a temperature watchdog. Like all sensors by Sensirion, the STS3x is based on the unique CMOSens® Technology that integrates the sensing element and read-out electronics onto a single chip, enabling high production volume at an exceptional price/performance ratio.

ICECool – An Intra-Chip Cooling System That Is More Efficient

In the Moore’s Law race to keep improving computer performance, the IT industry has turned upward, stacking chips like nano-sized 3D skyscrapers. But those stacks have their limits, due to overheating. Researchers from IBM have solved this problem by developing an intra-chip cooling system as a contribution to ICECool program research project by the DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).

ICECool - intra-chip cooling system by IBM
ICECool – intra-chip cooling system by IBM

Today, chips are typically cooled by fans which blow air through heatsinks that sit on top of the chips to carry away excess heat. Advanced water-cooling approaches, which are more effective than air-cooling approaches, replace the heatsink with a cold plate that is fixed on the top of the chip.  But this approach requires extra protection and proper insulation of the chip because of the electrical conductivity of water. Neither of these technologies can cool down the chip much efficiently. Here comes the ICECool that cools the chip down from the inside rather than just from the upper surface.

ICECool uses a nonconductive fluid to bring the fluid into the chip. This completely eliminates the need for a barrier between the chip and fluid. It not only delivers a lower device junction temperature, but also reduces system size, weight, and power consumption significantly. The tests performed on the IBM Power 7+ chips demonstrated junction temperature reduction by 25ᵒ C, and chip power usage reduction by 7 percent compared to traditional air cooling. This is clearly a great achievement when the operating cost is much smaller than the conventional cooling technologies.

IBM’s ICECool intra-chip cooling system solves the problem of cooling the 3D “skyscraper” chips by pumping a heat-extracting dielectric fluid right into microscopic gaps, some no thicker than a single strand of hair, between the chips at any level of the stack. Being nonconducting, the dielectric fluid used in ICECool can come into contact with electrical connections without causing any short circuit, so is not limited to one part of a chip or stack. Based on the tests with IBM Power Systems, ICECool technology could reduce the cooling energy for a traditional air-cooled data center by more than 90 percent.

Teardown & Repair of an Agilent E3632A DC Power Supply

In this episode Shahriar & Rosanah investigate an Agilent power supply which does not appear to power on. It can be quickly observed that the fuse has failed on the unit. Using an isolation transformer a small amount of AC voltage is applied to the unit after the fuse replacement. It is clear that a short is present somewhere in the instrument since even at 10V AC the instrument consumes more than 1A.

Teardown & Repair of an Agilent E3632A DC Power Supply – [Link]

Four-Channel Thermometer on OLED display

David Johnson-Davies @ technoblogy.com build a four-channel thermometer that monitors the temperature at four temperature sensors, and gives a continuous readout on a small 128×32 OLED display. It’s a useful project for various applications like PSU or PC monitoring. The article describes 1-wire and code in details.

It could be used in any application where you want to monitor multiple temperatures, such as in controlling a greenhouse, checking the output transistors in a power amplifier, monitoring key points in an overclocked gaming PC, monitoring the chips on a Raspberry Pi, or checking the temperature in different rooms in a home.

Four-Channel Thermometer on OLED display – [Link]

DevDuino – Learn and Explore Arduino World

DevDuino is a Fully Redesigned and Enhanced Arduino-Compatible Board with Plenty of Must-Have Features. It features a 128×64 OLED display, along with a variety of LED indicators, RTC module, a slot for a micro SD card, and many other convenient features. The project is live on kickstarter and has 29 days to go. [via]

DevDuino – Learn and Explore Arduino World – [Link]

WISP – Re-programmable Microcontroller That Runs On Energy Harvested From Radio Waves

A new research initiative between the University of Washington’s Sensor Lab and the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands has created a microprocessor that can power itself through stray radio waves and receive programmable updates in the same fashion. While the RISC-derived 16-bit microcontroller CPU is very weak compared to modern standards, it’s much more powerful than any other device that’s powered by ambient energy in the environment with no battery required.

The WISP 5 - Microchips and sensors run from radio wave's energy
The WISP 5 – Microchips and sensors run from radio wave’s energy

This battery-free system is equipped with a sensor and a microchip, which can be powered entirely by radio waves harvested from the air and is up to 10 times faster than similar ambient-powered devices. Best of all, in contrast to similar devices, it can also download executables, allowing it be reprogrammed or upgraded to newer version of firmware whenever needed. This has significant implications for the Internet of Things development and for ambient computing as a whole.

The variety of handheld, portable technology, and wearable gadgets available today is truly amazing. In order to make devices even more compact and thinner, manufacturers typically try to shrink their designs as much as possible. Unfortunately, device size is ultimately limited by the batteries, all of which have a certain capacity before they dry out and must be recharged again. It is a challenge for engineers and designers to balance battery life with function and aesthetics.

The project of radio wave-driven microcontroller is dubbed WISP, or Wireless Identification and Sensing Platform. RFID (CRFID) technology is an example of  WISP. In particular, WISP is capable of being powered passively by converting radio frequencies emitted by conventional RFID (radio frequency identification) readers into electrical power. The project’s latest accomplishment is the addition of Wisent (short for “wirelessly sent”), a faster and more reliable downstream communication-oriented protocol for CRFIDs that can tolerate fluctuations in operating power.

The WISP is constructed out of an open source, open architecture EPC Class 1 Generation 2 RFID tag that incorporates a fully programmable 16-bit microcontroller, in addition to any add-on sensors. It differs from ordinary RFID tags as it is programmable, and can be multi-functional. The team writes in their research paper,

The novelty of Wisent is its ability to change adaptively the frame length sent by the reader, based on the length throttling mechanism, to minimize the transfer times at varying channel conditions. Wisent enables wireless CRFID reprogramming, demonstrating the world’s first wirelessly reprogrammable CRFID.

ESP32 WiFi Weather Station with a Nextion Display

Our friends at educ8s.tv uploaded a new video about how to build a ESP32 Wifi enabled weather station:

In this video, we are going to make this. It is yet another weather station project I know, but this time we use the new ESP32 chip! We also use the new BME280 sensor which measures the temperature, the humidity, and the barometric pressure. When we power up the project, it connects to the WiFi network, and it is going to retrieve the weather forecast for my location from the openweathermap website. Then it will display the forecast on this 3.2” Nextion Touch Display along with the readings from the sensor! The readings are updated every two seconds and the weather forecast every hour! As you can see, in this project we use the latest technologies available to a maker today! If you are a DIY veteran, you can build this project in five minutes. If you are a beginner, you have to watch a couple of videos before attempting this project. You can watch those videos by clicking on the cards that will appear during the video. Let’s start!

ESP32 WiFi Weather Station with a Nextion Display – [Link]