Mobilinkd – Highly mobile packet radio

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If you enjoy APRS (the Automatic Packet Reporting System) in US and Canada this device will make your life easier. All you need is the tiny board, your radio and an Android phone.

Introducing the Mobilinkd Bluetooth APRS® TNC. With your radio, your Android phone and this TNC, you have everything you need to get started with APRS — all at a fraction of the cost of a dedicated APRS® radio, and with a better user interface than any APRS® HT on the market.

Mobilinkd – Highly mobile packet radio – [Link]

New Eagle 7.5 imports gerber and DXF, adds second sheet to freeware version

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by Clemens Valens @ elektormagazine.com

EAGLE‘s export and import capabilities have been extended, allowing users to import designs that are in Gerber format into the board editor and use them as board templates for component placement or as a manual routing guide. Basic Gerber file editing and export options are also available. Also it is now possible to import DXF files such as a company logo or complex board outlines and use them as a guide for component placement. Furthermore, EAGLE designs can now be exported as DXF for 2D compatibility with your preferred mechanical application.

New Eagle 7.5 imports gerber and DXF, adds second sheet to freeware version – [Link]

Mango: A Compact Size FPGA Research Platform

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An arduino-compatible FPGA platform that can be used for a wide range of applications.

The Mango is a compact field-programmable-gate-array (FPGA) platform that can be used for a wide range of projects, such as signal processing, mobile computing and robotics.

FPGA Mango board comes with a soft-core Nios II processor running on an Altera Cyclone IV FPGA. The board comes with 16MB of SDRAM, 16Mb EPCS flash memory, and a micro SD card slot. The FPGA Mango board also comes equipped with 9 degrees of freedom IMU (with temperature sensor) and four PWM motor controllers, which makes it a perfect solution for many applications, including robotic applications.

Mango: A Compact Size FPGA Research Platform – [Link]

Protecting the USB from over voltage and overcurrent threats

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An application note from Littelfuse about USB protection.

This application note addresses the various requirements for protecting the Universal Serial Bus (USB) from overcurrent and overvoltage environmental threats. The solutions presented cover both USB 1.1 and the higher speed USB 2.0 circuitry. Specific emphasis is placed on USB 2.0 with information directed at hot connection over current conditions and electrostatic discharge (ESD) induced in the USB system.

Protecting the USB from over voltage and overcurrent threats – [Link]

Rigol DSA875-TG 9kHz – 7.5GHz Spectrum Analyzer & Tracking Generator Review, Teardown & Experiments

In this episode Shahriar takes a close look at the top-of-the-line Rigol DSA875-TG 7.5GHz Spectrum Analyzer. This unit which, offers a built in tracking generator for the full frequency range, has a portable form-factor.

Rigol DSA875-TG 9kHz – 7.5GHz Spectrum Analyzer & Tracking Generator Review, Teardown & Experiments – [Link]

CHIPINO – The Microchip PIC Based Arduino Style Module

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Chipino is an electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, students, technicians, engineers and anyone else interested in creating interactive gadgets.

Chipino is not designed to replace Arduino, it’s just another option. Arduino is a great platform based on the Atmel microcontrollers. But many people prefer the Microchip PIC microcontrollers. There is a seemingly endless supply of software examples and application notes available for the Microchip PICs but a common hardware platform was missing.

CHIPINO – The Microchip PIC Based Arduino Style Module – [Link]

POWER PLAY – Arduino based smart power monitors

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POWER PLAY are Arduino based smart power monitors that are used to measure and optimize the power consumption of battery operated devices such as smart phones.

This model provides the most accurate results but requires modifying the tested device. The POWER PLAY 3.8V outputs regulated 3.8 volts are simulates the power provided by a single cell Li-Ion battery cell. It requires disconnecting the battery from the tested device and hooking the output of the POWER PLAY 3.8V instead.

POWER PLAY – Arduino based smart power monitors – [Link]

Epson develops compact atomic oscillator

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Epson has revealed a new atomic oscillator to provide a better accuracy device for telecommunication networks. This new oscillator is using a special laser and IC that are developed by Epson.

Seiko Epson Corporation has developed a small, highly stable atomic oscillator, the AO6860LAN, for telecommunications networks and industrial applications. The development of the new oscillator will be presented on November 4, 2015, in Edinburgh, UK, at the upcoming ITSF 2015 (the International Telecom Sync Forum). Volume production is scheduled to begin in 2016.

The new product makes it possible for Epson’s customers to build smaller, more reliable telecommunications infrastructure and test and measurement systems that consume less power. Although Epson has provided atomic oscillators for communications infrastructure equipment in the past, the new product utilizes an original vertical cavity surface-emitting laser and special IC, both designed and manufactured by Epson.

Epson develops compact atomic oscillator – [Link]

Increasing cable length in precision video applications

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Maurizio tipped us about his latest article. In this article he talks about the different ways of transmitting video signal over large distances. He writes:

Traditionally, the physical environment for transmitting video signals over long distances has been the shielded coax cable. Its quality and advantages are well known, and many times designers looking for off-the-shelf solutions do not know that long distance video transmission can be achieved with the same quality but for a much lower price.

Increasing cable length in precision video applications – [Link]

XLR8: Arduino-compatible FPGA-based Application Accelerator

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XLR8 has both an ATmega328 clone and custom accelerator blocks on an FPGA and uses the standard Arduino IDE for programming.

XLR8 is a drop-in replacement for an Arduino Uno, but with a twist. It is an Arduino-compatible board that uses a Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) as the main processing chip.

The FPGA provides a reconfigurable hardware platform that hosts a clone of an ATmega328 microcontroller. The FPGA also provides the ability to implement custom logic that accelerates specific functionality known to be slow or otherwise problematic for the standard 8-bit ATmega328 microcontroller.

The FPGA-based hardware acceleration and offload provided by XLR8 results in significantly improved performance in the same physical footprint and using the same tool chain as standard Arduino Uno boards.

XLR8: Arduino-compatible FPGA-based Application Accelerator – [Link]

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