UltraV: a Portable UV-index Meter

fmarzocca @ instructables.com build a portable UV index meter with Arduino. He writes:

Being unable to expose myself to the sun due to a dermatological problem, I used the time I would have spent on the beach to build an ultraviolet rays meter. UltraV.

It is built on an Arduino Nano rev3, with an UV sensor, a DC/DC converter to raise the 3v battery voltage, and a small OLED display. My main target was to keep it portable, so that I could easily know the UV-index in any moment and in any place.

The ML8511 (Lapis Semiconductors) is an UV sensor, which is suitable for acquiring UV intensity indoors or outdoors. The ML8511 is equipped with an internal amplifier, which converts photo-current to voltage depending on the UV intensity. This unique feature offers an easy interface to external circuits such as ADC. In the power down mode, typical standby current is 0.1µA, thus enabling a longer battery life.

UltraV: a Portable UV-index Meter – [Link]

Osram promises better facial recognition with IR VCSELs

Osram Opto Semiconductors is launching a new product family with Bidos PLPVQ 940A, its first Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) for new areas of application such as 3D sensing and facial recognition for mobiles. [via]

This announcement comes shortly after the acquisition of US specialist Vixar. The VCSEL acts as a light source, illuminating the face evenly with infrared light. VCSEL combines the outstanding properties of two lighting technologies – the high power density and simple packaging of an IRED coupled with the spectral width and speed of a laser. Unlike laser diodes (edge emitters), Bidos is a surface emitter which emits its light perpendicular to the surface of the semiconductor chip and, in terms of its wavelength, is much less sensitive to temperature fluctuations. A VCSEL chip is also much easier to install in the end application – it can be glued into the package like an LED chip and can be used for example as an array (consisting of several hundred individual apertures per VCSEL chip). “Compared with other infrared technologies, VCSEL offer better beam quality, excellent focusing and a very small footprint”, said Bianka Schnabel, Marketing Manager for the Emitter Laser Sensor segment at Osram Opto Semiconductors.

With a wavelength of 940 nm, PLPVQ 940A offers a maximum efficiency of 27 percent and an output of 300mW. Two bond wires supply the laser diode uniformly and rapidly with energy. The angle within which the VCSEL provides illumination is 65°x78° from a 1.90×2.20×0.85mm package.

Osram Opto Semiconductors – www.osram-os.com

NIMO Clock – Recreating the look of a 60’s CRT display

Recreating the look of a 60’s CRT display with small LCDs. By Paul Bricmont @ hackster.io:

My design uses six 1.44-inch TFT LCD displays to display NIMO-style digits. These small LCD displays are cheap (around $3.50 US each) and use the ST7735 chipset and SPI bus. To drive the displays I’m using the Adafruit Metro M4. I found that a traditional ATmega328 based board wasn’t fast enough to update the displays once per second and didn’t have enough memory to store all the digits. The Metro M4 is fast, has plenty of memory and is compatible with the Adafruit ST7735 library.

I wanted to try to replicated the phosphorus CRT glow so I replaced the fairly dim white LED backlights of the LCDs with 16 WS2812B (NeoPixel) RGB LEDs. The digits are displayed on the LCDs as white characters on a dark background. The color is provided by the NeoPixel backlights. Finally, I used plano-convex lenses (LED flashlight condenser lenses) placed directly in front of the LCDs to create a tube-like appearance.

NIMO Clock – Recreating the look of a 60’s CRT display – [Link]

Raspberry Pi-based industrial computers

The proven Raspberry Pi-based industrial computers from Janz Tec AG have now been updated with the new Raspberry Pi 3 B+ module for long-term availability and enhanced specs. [via]

The emPC-A/RPI3+ embedded PC and the emVIEW-7/RPI3+ 7″ panel PC both now offer a faster CPU, dual-band wireless LAN, and long-term availability. An outstanding innovation for product manufacturers is the guarantee that the 3 B+ modules will be manufactured at least through 2023. Another advantage for industrial IoT projects is the new Gigabit Ethernet support, although real throughput is limited to 300Mbit/s by the internal USB 2.0 connection.

The two embedded computers boast a network connection of triple the speed of their predecessors, and with the built-in IEEE 802.11ac wireless networking standard the two systems support both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. The Wi-Fi module already has global pre-certification and can be quickly integrated into existing products. The new Bluetooth 4.2 module improves the speed for Bluetooth LE, allowing data packets containing up to ten times more data to be sent two-and-a-half times faster than with preceding modules. The IPSP protocol (Internet Protocol Support Profile) is also supported, enabling packets to be exchanged using IPv6 packets. Smaller, low-performance devices such as sensors and actuators can now communicate directly with IoT cloud services via the internet. The CPU fitted is now a Broadcom BCM2837, an ARM Cortex-A53 64-bit quad-core processor operating at 1.4GHz.

Saelig Company – www.saelig.com

Bluetooth 5 SiP module for easier connectivity

ON Semiconductor has added to its RSL10 family of Bluetooth 5 certified radio SoCs with a ready-to-use 6 x 8 x1.46 mm System-in-Package (SiP) module. [via]

The RSL10 SIP has a built-in antenna, RSL10 radio and the required passive components in a small package. Certified by the Bluetooth SIG, the RSL10 SIP cuts design time and development costs by removing RF design considerations.

The SiP combines the 2 Mbps Bluetooth 5 speeds and low power consumption. RSL10 consumes 62.5 nW while in deep sleep mode, and 7 mW peak receive power. The RSL10’s energy efficiency was validated by the EEMBC’s ULPMark where it became the first device to break 1,000 ULP Marks and produced Core Profile scores that doubled the scores of the previous industry leader.

More information www.onsemi.com

Arduino launches a Command Line Interface (CLI)

As a new Linux user or even a window pro user, you will probably be familiar with the terminal or command prompt as known in windows. Those tools give user extra control when using a  pc, as you can perform actions faster, automate things and so much more as compared to using the equivalent of GUI (Graphical User Interface).

A sample command line interface

Although the improvement of the GUI environment is significant, some users still stick to their never failing or never hanging command interface. Programmers have leverage on command line interface to increase their work productivity and with CLI you can go beyond the limitations or restrictions on the language or framework IDE. CLI allow anyone to use available tools other than using IDE to achieve the same result.

Arduino is a tool that has empower several makers and developers around the world, and this underlying success isn’t entirely due to the hardware design but to an easy to use software called the Arduino IDE, that makes programming possible. The Arduino IDE makes programming micro-controllers and embedded boards a thing of love and despite the robustness of the IDE, it still has it’s own challenges as well, especially for professional developers.

Arduino Uno WiFi Rev 2

Arduino team has just launched the Arduino CLI (Command Line Interface) which will inevitably put Arduino in the hands of doubtful professionals in the industry. Arduino Command line interface is a single binary file that controls most of the features found on the Arduino IDE and even more. Arduino CLI is a tool that gives you the full power of creation. Just like the Arduino IDE itself, the Arduino CLI is available for use on Windows, Linux, and the Mac operating systems.

So what can you do with it? Well, that depends on your own imagination (of course, you can’t do all yet as it is still a beta release) –

  • You can install an existing Arduino library with it and even build yours as well.
  • Compile your own written Arduino library.
  • Upload and Compile your Arduino Sketch and even compile for other hardware cores.
  • Parse Output from the command line and interface with other IDE or tools using the built-in JSON interface.
  • Integrate with Makefiles and compile your program with other programs as well.
  • Build automated scripts and easily deploy your code on tens to hundreds of boards.
  • Write your own codes from another platform like Atom, Sublime, VS, or directly from the command line using the likes of nano on Linux.

Installing project dependencies can be done with a single line of command as shown below:

arduino-cli lib install "WiFi101” “WiFi101OTA”

The Arduino team has been working hard to support the needs of our professional developer community. Many of you requested a way to use our tools in Makefiles and wanted Arduino IDE features available via a fast, clean command line interface. How cool would it be to install project dependencies with:

The CLI is not only limited to the major OS but can run on both ARM and Intel architectures. So you can use  the Raspberry Pi to deploy your own Arduino code. The binaries for Linux (64-bit32-bit, and ARM), macOS, and Windows are available to download. More information about the CLI can be found on the getting started page on Github and also on the Arduino blog.

A Tiny Electronic Dice based on ATtiny25V

Zak Kemble @ zakkemble.co.uk shared another great tiny project. This time it’s a tiny electronic dice based on ATtiny25V microcontroller. Sources available on GitHub. He writes:

Here’s a simple, tiny electronic dice project using 7 LEDs, an ATtiny25V, a CR1616 coin cell and a few passives. Measuring just 18mm x 18mm and 4.9mm thick while weighing 2.1g.

Rolling The Dice
There’s only one button, the roll button, which when held down will cause the dice to roll through numbers 1 to 6. After releasing the button the rolling will slow down until the last change where it will instead use a randomly generated number sourced from an XORShift random number generator algorithm (nabbed from here). XORShift algorithms are great for their speed and small code size while still maintaining excellent randomness. The final value flashes a few times, then after a further few seconds the dice turns off.

A Tiny Electronic Dice based on ATtiny25V – [Link]

4-channel voltage supervisors accurate to ±0.5%

Analog Devices’ LTC2962-LTC2964 family of 4-channel voltage supervisors has been designed with exceptional accuracy for increased system voltage margin and enhanced reliability. [via]

ASIC, FPGA, DSP, MCU and MPU architectures that operate from supplies as low as 1V cannot utilize traditional 1%-2% accurate voltage supervisors without shedding valuable system voltage margin and shrinking the remaining load operating voltage range. The LTC2962 family possesses a best-in-class ±0.5% reset threshold accuracy, which relaxes power supply demands, increases system tolerance to transients, and enabling a lower nominal supply to dramatically reduce power consumption. The LTC2962 family fulfills many network, telecom and automotive requirements with its high accuracy, flexible 1V to 5V (or adjustable) reset thresholds, and wide operating temperature range. For each channel, one of 16 preset or adjustable, ±0.5% accurate, voltage thresholds can be selected for undervoltage, overvoltage or negative monitoring. The supervisory circuits monitor inputs and drive the outputs according to the configured thresholds. Alternatively, a manual reset input is also available for optional use of a pushbutton switch to force a system reset. The devices come in multiple temperature grades: 0°C to 70°C (C grade), –40°C to 85°C (I grade), and –40°C to 125°C (H grade), in a 16-lead 3x3mm QFN or 20-lead 3x4mm QFN package.

Analog Devices – www.analog.com

Pico – The World’s Smallest Arduino 328PB Core.

The Pico is still the smallest Arduino development board on the planet, at 20.32×20.32mm. It’s breadboard compatible, and offers roughly the same amount of flash (31.5/32Kb), 1Kb of EEPROM, and 2Kb of onboard SRAM. You’ll also find the same 18V max input, tactile reset switch, micro USB, and LED indicators.

The most significant addition, though, has to go to the 328PB’s onboard capacitive-sensing hardware, specifically a Microchip QTouch PTC (8-bit AVR), which allows you to run capacitive touch buttons without the need for additional ICs and supports both self (up to 24 buttons) and mutual (up to 144 buttons) capacitance sensors.

Pico – The World’s Smallest Arduino 328PB Core – [Link]

The NANO-002: Industrial Power in the Palm of Your Hand

(Taipei, Taiwan – September 11, 2018) – AAEON, a global leader in the development of innovative IPC solutions, launches the NANO-002, a mini PC with the power and flexibility to manage tough applications in the factory, office, and off-site locations.

Fitted with a 6th generation Intel® Core™ or Celeron® 3955U CPU, the NANO-002 is a low-power-consumption unit with fast, dependable processing speeds. With the option of two SODIMM sockets, users can take advantage of up to 32G dual-channel DDR4 memory, and additional storage is available via an M.2 M Key, which enables PCIe[x4] and SATA slots.

The NANO-002 is ideal for media player, digital signage and POS applications. Its dual HDMI ports enable 4K Ultra HD graphics on two displays. With a COM port, two LAN ports, and four USB3.0 ports, the PC can easily be connected to a range of other devices, and an M.2 E Key enables greater system flexibility.

As an industrial solution, the NANO-002 offers protection against vibrations and sudden impacts, and the system has 12V-5%~19V+10% wide voltage power support. The PC is available in either fanless (NANO-002N) or fan-assisted (NANO-002F) configurations, giving users the choice of 0oC~40oC or 0oC~50oC operating temperature ranges.

There are other mini PCs on the market, but nothing can match the NANO-002’s range of features and industrial-grade strength, reliability, and resilience.

said AAEON product manager Lauren Luo.