MPPT solar charger

Lukas Fässler from Soldernerd has been working on revised version of his MPPT Solar charger project:

Over the last few weeks I have been quite busy with my MPPT Solar Charger project. I’ve built up a first board and started writing firmware for it. Since the last version was not too different in terms of hardware I was able to re-use most of that code. But I hadn’t even touched on the whole USB stuff back then so there was still a lot of work to do. While the project is still far from being complete I am happy to say that I’ve made quite some progress. Most importantly, the new design seems to work well and so far I haven’t found any mistakes in the board layout. But let’s go through this step by step.

MPPT solar charger – [Link]

Raspberry Pi LCD Touchscreen Rotation

In this video, Circuit Basics walks us through the steps to change the screen rotation on an LCD touchscreen for the Raspberry Pi. Since there are separate drivers for the display and the touchscreen sensors, we need to change the orientation of both. It’s pretty simple to do, but a couple packages need to be installed first.

Raspberry Pi LCD Touchscreen Rotation [Link]

Using I2C SSD1306 OLED Display With Arduino

Sometimes it may be necessary to use a display when making a hardware project, but one confusing thing is the size of the display and the required pins to control it. This tutorial will show you how to use a small I2C OLED display with Arduino using only two wires.

The display used in this tutorial has a very small (2.7 x 2.8cm) OLED screen, that is similar to Arduino Pro Mini size, with 128 x 64 screen resolution. The OLED Driver IC is SSD1306, a single-chip CMOS OLED/PLED driver with controller for organic / polymer light emitting diode dot-matrix graphic display system. The module has only 4 pins, two of them are the supply pins, while the others are SCL and SDA, I2C protocol pins, which will be used to control the display.

Using I2C SSD1306 OLED Display With Arduino – [Link]

$10 Orange Pi 2G-IoT Competing With Pi Zero W

A new competitor to Raspberry Pi Zero W is just out! A new single-board computer by Orange Pi that is now available at AliExpress is competing against Pi Zero W, the Orange Pi 2G-IoT. Using this powerful SoC you can build a computer, a wireless server, games, musics and sounds, a speaker with Android, Scratch and a lot of other options since Pi 2G-IoT is open source.

The Orange Pi 2G-IoT has ARM Cortex-A5 32bit clocked at 1GHz with 256MB DDR2 RAM, 500 MB of on-board NAND storage to go along with an SD card slot for larger storage. It also has a CSI camera connector, WiFi, Bluetooth, an FM Radio and GSM/GPRS with a sim card slot on the bottom. It is pin compatible with Raspberry Pi’s almost standardized GPIO layout.

This $10 board is impressive especially the addition of GSM/GPRS, but it is not promised to kill other competitors in sales, even though it is a powerful little computer. Since the community of Raspberry Pi product is much more larger and more supportive, Orange Pi fails in engaging its audience with the products it makes.

Unfortunately, Orange Pi website is not updated yet to include its newest product. However if you are interested in getting one for yourself right now, head over to AliExpress to get your 2G-IoT for only $9.90 and to know more details.

Via Hackaday

Color sensor achieves high dynamic range with auto exposure

Massimo Gottardi@ writes:

The Design Idea in Figure 1 is a color detector capable of generating an RGB triplet over a high dynamic range, a useful attribute for machine vision applications. The circuit implements auto-exposure control to achieve this. Thus, RGB values for a subject are invariant over a range of light intensity.

Color sensor achieves high dynamic range with auto exposure – [Link]

LT8641 – 65V, 3.5A Synchronous Step-Down Silent Switcher

The LT8641 is a monolithic, constant frequency, current mode synchronous (external schottky diode is not necessary) step-down switching regulator. Its 3V to 65V input voltage range makes it ideal for 12V or 24V automotive and industrial applications. It delivers up to 3.5A of continuous output current and peak loads of 5A. Output voltages can be set in 0.81 to 64V range. [via]

LT8641 – 65V, 3.5A Synchronous Step-Down Silent Switcher – [Link]

Teardown of a TDA7375 audio amplifier IC

A teardown of a TDA7375 audio amplifier IC from Electronupdate:

The TDA7375 audio power amplifier.
Another example of a long-lived integrated circuit.  1st introduced in 1998… looks like it’s still being made.

Teardown of a TDA7375 audio amplifier IC – [Link]

Magic Mote MSP430G2553 wireless sensor node with NRF24L01+ module

Tom from Magic Smoke writes:

This is my first time designing a PCB for MSP430. I really like the NRF24L01+ booster pack but I would like something smaller to use for remote temperature sensors. With that in mind I’ve designed a 24.5 x 50 mm PCB (2 on a 5×5 cm prototype) featuring MSP430G2553 and an adapter for a 8-pin NRF24L01+ module using essentially the same pinout, with the intention of using the Spirilis library. There’s a jack socket to connect a 1-wire sensor (e.g. DS18B20), a 4-pin header to connect a temperature/humidity sensor (SHT22 or similar), a programming header that gives serial access, and 3 other general purpose I/O pins.

Magic Mote MSP430G2553 wireless sensor node with NRF24L01+ module – [Link]

Cortex-M-based MCUs Set Pace For Automotive Design

AUTomotive Open System Architecture (AUTOSAR) is a worldwide automotive consortium trying to create and establish an open and standardized software architecture for automotive electronic control units (ECUs). However, as is always the case with industry consortiums and standards, they are not endorsed by all interested parties, and, to complicate matters even more, not all applications require AUTOSAR.

With this in mind NXP has launched its S32K1 family of scalable ARM Cortex-M devices together with a suite of automotive grade tools and software. Initially the family will span 128KB-2MB of flash memory. All family members include ISO CAN FD, CSEc hardware security, ASIL-B support and ultra-low-power performance. Check out the demo video.

Block Diagram

In applications where the use of AUTOSAR is not mandated, the S32K platform provides a path for self-development with a free-of-charge, pre-qualified, automotive-grade software development kit (SDK) that enables rapid prototyping with simple drag and drop functionality. For AUTOSAR applications, NXP’s MCAL and OS support has been expanded with new Complex Device Drivers (CDD) and a new S32K starter kit is available free of charge for evaluation.

You can learn more about NXP’s S32K1 product line and the suite of automotive-grade tools and software that support ARM Cortex-based MCUs at the official website.

Source: Elektor

Sensirion solves long-standing stability problem in metal-oxide gas sensors

At this year’s Sensor+Test 2017 in Nuremberg (May 30 – June 1), Sensirion AG, the expert in environmental and flow sensor solutions, introduces the SGP – a siloxane resistant metal-oxide gas sensor with unprecedented long-term stability.

The SGP gas sensor is based on Sensirion’s multi-pixel platform, which integrates four gas sensing elements into a very small 2.45 x 2.45 x 0.9 mm3 DFN package featuring a fully calibrated air quality output signal. The unique combination of long-term stability and multi-pixel technology opens up new possibilities for environmental monitoring in smart home, appliances and Internet of Things applications. Thanks to its unique performance, the SGP allows the integration of metal-oxide gas sensors into mobile devices.

Sensirion solves long-standing stability problem in metal-oxide gas sensors – [Link]