Teardown, Repair & Experiments with the Anritsu 37347A 20GHz Vector Network Analyzer

In this episode Shahriar repairs an Anritsu 37347A 20GHz Two-Port Network Analyzer. The unit does not boot up and as a result its internal state is unknown. The boot fault is traced to a bad RTC module which has a built-in integrated battery. A replacement unit is located which allows the unit to fully boot.

The instrument initially displays an unlock condition on the internal PLL. This problem is resolved by loading the PLL calibration files from the HDD. The complete block diagram of the unit is examined in detail and an unusual PLL intermittent locking problems is demonstrated. Various measurements on several of the internal PLLs confirm their functionality. As a final experiments, the instrument is calibrated and the S-parameters of a tune-able band-pass filter is measured

Teardown, Repair & Experiments with the Anritsu 37347A 20GHz Vector Network Analyzer – [Link]

Chemoelectronics: Nanoparticle Diodes and Devices That Work When Wet


Dexter Johnson has a writeup about flexible, water-loving logic circuits and sensors without the need of semiconductors.

They constructed the chemoelectronic devices by coating gold nanoparticles with any of four types of organic molecules called ligands. Each ligand produces a different, charge-related effect when put in water or a humid environment. One dissolved, releasing a postive ion and leaving the nanoparticle surrounded in negative charge. Another had the opposite effect, making the nanoparticle positive and releasing a negative ion.

Chemoelectronics: Nanoparticle Diodes and Devices That Work When Wet – [Link]

BOM/Component manager for KiCad


Jeff Ciesielski has published a component manager for KiCad layout software.

The goal of this app is to ease the bom management burden on designers who choose to use Kicad for their layout and schematic capture needs, allowing for faster, easier data entry, and to provide a part database for re-use in future designs.

BOM/Component manager for KiCad – [Link]

Open-Source SWD Programming Adapter


Ethan Zonca has designed a programming adapter for use with STM32 programmer.

After making the switch from AVR to STM32 microcontrollers, I redesigned my old 6-pin ICSP pogo-programming adapter for SWD. The new design allows programming with pogo pins or a small pin header soldered to the pogo pads for debugging, all with the same cable. The footprint uses surface mount pads only, so it can be placed on even the most compact board layouts.

Open-Source SWD Programming Adapter – [Link]

Smartphone Solar charger card


Here is a nice idea of a business card solar smartphone charger with USB plug. The charger is 3mm thick and can provide 50mA @ 5V

Smartphone Solar charger card – [Link]

Atmel SAM D09 Development board


Dan Watson has designed a development board for the Atmel SAM D09 microcontroller:

The Atmel SAM D series of 32-bit microcontrollers includes several devices, each with a long list of features at great prices. Perhaps the best known of the series in the maker community is the SAM D21 due to its use on the Arduino Zero. However, there are several other devices in the product line that are worth taking a look at. The smallest of the bunch is the SAM D09 that comes in a 14-pin SOIC package. The 14SOIC package is one of my favorites. It is easy to solder, easy to break out on a PCB, and takes up little board space. I decided to order some SAM D09C chips and design a small development board in order to learn more about the capabilities of the device.

Atmel SAM D09 Development board – [Link]

Building a “$5 Forth computer”


Ken Boak has designed a tiny 16-bit computer around a FRAM based MSP430 microcontroller. He writes:

In this post we look at a new MSP430 FRAM based device – the MSP430FR2433. It has 15K of FRAM, 0.5K of Info FRAM and 4K bytes of SRAM. As well as the memory, there are 3 serial communications interfaces, a multichannel 10 bit ADC and 3 timers. All of this in a tiny low cost package – which makes an almost perfect Forth Computer.
The MSP430FR2433 from Texas Instruments costs about $1.36 in volume – and $2.58 in 1 off.
With a little creative design, low cost parts and a tiny 2 layer pcb we are en-route to offering a Forth Computer which could cost as little as $5 when produced in volume.

Building a “$5 Forth computer” – [Link]

Internet-Connected Migrane or Allergies Detector


adafruit has published an IoT  Migrane or Allergies Detector. This project uses Feather HUZZAH ESP8266 wireless microcontroller board to pull a forecast from the accuweather.com web site, then distills this to its barest essence: good news or bad news?

An ambient information display is an indicator which conveys meaningful data non-verbally. Unlike a computer screen which must be actively read, an ambient display needs no mental “mode shift” to interpret, and often just sits in one’s peripheral vision. The low fuel light on a car’s dashboard is an example of an ambient display.

Internet-Connected Migrane or Allergies Detector – [Link]

ESP12e + OLED display – a try to make a smartwatch


morethanuser.blogspot.com has been trying to make a smartwatch based on ESP12e and they document their efforts. Esp12e is configured as an access point and the “watch” is able to show some usefull information, but it’s not a complete watch yet.

I does not have any fancy features like mp3 player, accelerometer, gps .., it’s an oled display connected to ESP12e with charging circuit and FT232R for PC communication. It has two buttons, one bright red led connected to ESP12e used for urgent notify, also two for TP4056 charger circuit (red and green).

ESP12e + OLED display – a try to make a smartwatch – [Link]

BeagleCore Schematics and Gerbers Released


BEAGLECORE™ is licenced under Creative Commons (CC-BY-SA). They have published a ZIP-file containing all relevant information on footprint, schematics, BOM and many more for BEAGLECORE™ BCM1 & BCS1

Miniaturized computer module for industrial or commercial applications covering all core features of BeagleBone Black. Design your own embedded device with this System on a Chip (SOC). Fire up your own baseboard with BeagleCore™ to do cool things like Internet of Things (IoT), Home Servers or Wearable Devices. If you can build it with BeagleBone Black, you can build it smaller, simpler and more efficient with BeagleCore™!

BeagleCore Schematics and Gerbers Released – [Link]