AtPack: Atmel Pack parser, visualizer and fuse calculator

AtPack – Atmel Pack parser, visualizer and fuse calculator from Vagrearg:

Looking for an up-to-date fuse-calculator for the Atmel(*) AVR chips has been something of a long search. There are several online versions, but they have not been updated to the new chips (like the ATmega328PB).
When you have got an itch, you simply scratch it… Don’t you?
Well, I did, and it resulted in an analysis of the Atmel Pack format, which can be freely downloaded under an Apache 2.0 license. The AtPacks contain a master XML file with device lists and links to each device’s XML file, which in turn describes the entire chip. The format is not that hard to understand and can be easily mangled into something useful. Then, some crude jQuery hacking and many hours later… you know how that works.

AtPack: Atmel Pack parser, visualizer and fuse calculator – [Link]

Lipo Charge/Boost/Protect board in 18650 cell holder format

Peter6960 published a new build:

So couple months ago, GreatScott made a video where he designed a circuit. Nothing too innovative, just the same TP4056 charger the MT3608 Boost combined on one PCB. He did add a Lipo protection circuit though, initially using the same DW01. But then, the Aha moment from this video, he found a footprint compatible IC the FS312F-G – which is set at 2.9v! Way healthier for your cell’s longevity!
First of all I had to redraw all his work in Eagle (As I wont be using a cloud based service like EasyEDA for obvious reasons) and then order the PCBs. I added two boost circuits since I had the board space, as I can imagine needing dual voltages at some point (for example if that reverse LCD needed 12v and the Pi needed 5v – i could run both off one board.

Lipo Charge/Boost/Protect board in 18650 cell holder format – [Link]

RK Clean Air – A Gas, Smoke, and Carbon Monoxide Detector

Rk Clean Air is a gas responded device that is capable of monitoring gas leakage, smoke, and carbon monoxide leakage in the home. According to the National Fire Protection Association, “Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%) and the death rate per 100 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms.” The importance of having smoke and gas detector cannot be overemphasized.

RK Clean Air

Carbon monoxide (CO) has been called the “silent and invisible killer” because it doesn’t has smell, color, or taste. It’s one of the most prevalent causes of death due to poisoning. Smoke and CO detector are readily available and quite common, Nest Protect, one of the most popular household detectors can detect smoke and carbon monoxide in the home. RK Clean Air is offering more than just smoke and carbon monoxide protection by adding extra security of monitoring gas leakage and fan control.

The capability of combined smoke, carbon monoxide, natural gas, and propane detectors seems intuitive but has not been encountered. A detector coupled to an exhaust system to extract and dissipate dangerous flammable gasses as well as carbon monoxide could prevent many deaths and provide a warning to building occupants. For example, the first notice that many people have of a propane or natural gas leak occurs when smelled in another area of a home only after explosive concentration of gas are reached in other isolated home areas. RK Clean air is able to combine all these together to create a powerful detector.

Furnished with powerful sensors, RK Clean Air continually monitors gas, smoke and CO levels in your home, giving its users a peace of mind. Just like Nest and most detectors, RK Clean Air is able to send a notification to a smartphone. When the RK Clean Air detects danger, it alerts you on your smartphone, while simultaneously flashing its light, sounding an alarm and turning on RK Extractor system that is used in clearing out any harmful gas.

RK Clean Air is also equipped with a clock that will always display the time in idle mode. The clock can be set using the Apaxon Home Automation App that is developed for the RK Clean Air detector.

The following are some of the significant features of RK Clean Air:

  • Detect Gas, Smoke and Carbon Monoxide
  • Smartphone Alerts and Control (Apaxon Smart App)
  • Clock Function (clock can be set on the app)
  • Fan Control (RK Extractor Fan can be switch off using the App)
  • WiFi
  • RF connectivity (used in the communication with the RK Extractor Fan)
  • Comes in three colors – White, Blue and Black
  • Easy to Install

 RK Clean Air is developed by Apaxon Ltd Team, a new Startup company based in Manchester, UK. Apaxon is launching a Kickstarter campaign for its RK Clean Air detector very soon.

PID temperature control with Arduino

PID temperature control with Arduino UNO.

If you want to keep something at a certain temperature, say a block of aluminum, you’ll need a thermocouple and some sort of heating element. While you could turn a heater on and off abruptly in a sequence appropriately known as “bang-bang,” a more refined method can be used called PID, or proportional-integral-derivative control. This takes into account how much the temperature is outside of a threshold, and also how it’s changing over time. [via]

PID temperature control with Arduino – [Link]

Color Detector Using TCS230 Color sensor and Arduino

TCS230 Color Sensor

Hi guys, welcome to today’s tutorial. In this tutorial we will look at how to use the TCS230 color sensor with Arduino. To demonstrate the ability of the color sensor, we will build a color detector system capable of detecting the color in front of the sensor and displaying that color on a TFT Display.  For this project, we will use the TCS230 color sensor and the color will be displayed on the ST7735 1.8″ TFT Display.

The TCS230 is a programmable color light-to-frequency converter which combines configurable silicon photodiodes and a current-to-frequency converter on a single monolithic CMOS integrated circuit.

The color sensor module is made up of the color sensor itself and four Infrared LEDs which are used to illuminate any object placed in front of the sensor to ensure the readings are accurate and are not affected by the surrounding illumination. The sensor is made up of an array of photodiodes with color filters for red, blue, green and a clear filter on top.

Color Detector Using TCS230 Color sensor and Arduino – [Link]

ON Semiconductor RSL10 – Bluetooth® 5 System-on-Chip

Bringing the industry’s lowest power Bluetooth® low energy technology to IoT with a highly flexible multi-protocol 2,4 GHz radio RSL10 from ON Semiconductor.

RSL10 is a multi-protocol Bluetooth 5 certified radio System on Chip (SoC) which brings ultra-low-power wireless technology to IoT.

Offering the industry’s lowest power consumption, RSL10 helps provide devices like heart rate monitors with advanced wireless features while optimizing system size and battery life.

Unlike most other multi-protocol radio SoCs, RSL10 is specifically designed for applications using 1.2V and 1.5V batteries, and supports a voltage supply range between 1.1V and 3.3V without a required DC/DC converter. The highly-integrated radio SoC features a dual-core architecture and a 2.4 GHz transceiver, providing the flexibility to support Bluetooth low energy technology and 2.4GHz proprietary or custom protocols.

Features

  • Ultra-Low-Power:
    • Industry’s lowest power consumption in Deep Sleep Mode (62.5 nW) and Rx in Receive Mode (7 mW)
    • Industry’s best EEMBC® ULPMark™ scores (1090 ULPMark CP @ 3 V; 1260 @ 2.1 V)
  • Advanced Multi-Protocol Wireless Functionality:
    • Rx Sensitivity: -94 dBM
    • Transmitting Power: -17 to +6 dBm
    • Supports Bluetooth low energy and 2.4 GHz proprietary/custom protocols
    • Supports Firmware Over The Air (FOTA)
  • Flexible Voltage Supply Range (1.1 and 3.3 V): Supports devices using 1.2 and 1.5 V batteries without a required external DC/DC converter
  • Ultra-Miniature: RSL10 is offered in a 5.50 mm2 WLCSP and a 6 x 6 mm QFN. For added miniaturization, the radio SoC can be integrated into System-in-Package (SiP) solutions which combine RSL10 with a custom ASIC.
  • Sophisticated Dual-Core Architecture: Features a programmable ARM Cortex-M3 processor for clocking speeds up to 48 MHz and the flexibility to support 2.4 GHz proprietary and custom protocol stacks. An embedded Digital Signal Processor (DSP) enables signal processing intensive applications, such as wireless audio codecs.
  • On-Chip and Software Wireless Support: Features a 2.4 GHz Radio Frequency Front-End (RFFE) and a Bluetooth 5 certified baseband controller which supports 2 Mbps data rates. A wide range of supported Bluetooth low energy protocols are provided in the RSL10 development tools kit.
  • Highly-Integrated System-on-Chip (SoC): The powerful dual-core architecture is complemented by high-efficiency power management units, oscillators, flash, and RAM memories, a DMA controller, and peripherals and interfaces.
  • Other Key Technical Features:
    • 384 kB of flash memory
    • IP protection feature to secure flash contents
    • Configurable analog and digital sensor interfaces (GPIOs, LSADs, I2C, SPI, PCM)

Compact COM Express-based subsystem packs plenty of DAQs

Zeta is a Single Board Computer (SBC) from Diamond Systems that combines a COM Express Mini Type 10 module based on Apollo Lake or Bay Trail SoCs with a DAQ-rich carrier, and a heat spreader mounted below. The Zeta COM Express Mini Type 10 supports the quad-core Atom E3940 and Pentium N4200 from Intel’s Apollo Lake generation, as well as a dual-core Atom E3825 from the earlier Bay Trail family. Measures 84mm by 55mm, Diamond, Creators of Zeta do not promote their creation as a standalone Computer -on-Module product mostly because of its extra add-ons and functionality.

Diamond Systems Zeta

According to Diamond, the 84 x 55mm Zeta offers functionality and performance equivalent to Diamond’s Bay Trail-based Aries PC/104 SBC, at just 40 percent of its 116 x 102mm size.

The Zeta processor choice can be obtained in two Stock Keeping Units (SKUs), one has 16x DIO lines while the other has an FPGA-driven data acquisition circuit that replaces the 16x DIO with a 27x DIO connector. The second SKU also adds 4x channels of 16-bit digital outputs, eight 32-bit timers, 16x channels of 16-bit analog inputs among other features.

The Zeta offers 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB RAM depending on the type of processor chosen. There’s also a microSD slot, as well as a mini-PCI express slot with mSATA support. Standard features include 2x GbE, VGA, LVDS, USB 3.0, 4x USB 2.0, and 4x RS-232/422/485. It also comes with an optional daughter board to act as an expansion set. The daughter board has a full-size mini-PCI express slot, an M.2 M-key 2242 for an SSD, and audio I/O.

General Specifications for the Zeta Serial Board Controller are:

  • Processor — Intel Apollo Lake or Bay Trail:
    • Atom x5-E3940 — 4x Apollo Lake cores @ 1.6GHz/1.8GHz; 9W TDP
    • Pentium N4200 — 4x Apollo Lake cores @ 1.1GHz/2.5GHz; 6W TDP
    • Atom E3825 — 2x Bay Trail cores @ 1.33GHz; 6W TDP
  • Memory & Storage:
    • 2GB (E3825), 4GB (E3940) or 8GB (N4200) RAM
    • MicroSD slot (bootable for Linux)
    • mSATA via mini-PCIe slot
    • M.2 M-key 2242 for SSD on an optional daughterboard
  • Display — VGA; LVDS
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet
  • Expansion Options:
    • Mini-PCIe slot with PCIe, USB, and mSATA support.
  • Expansion daughterboard:
    • Full-size mini-PCIe slot with PCIe and USB
    • HD audio (Realtek ALC892) line-in, mic-in, line-out
    • 16x DIO (via I2C) with configurable 3.3V/ 5V logic levels and Pull-up/down resistors
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.0
    • 4x USB 2.0
    • 4x RS-232/422/485 (software-programmable with termination)
    • 16x DIO with selectable 3.3V/5V logic levels
    • Optional DAQ circuit (separate SKU):
    • 27x DIO with selectable 3.3V/5V logic levels (replaces original 16x DIO)
    • 16x 16-bit analog inputs
    • +/-10V, +/-5V, 0-10V, and 0-5V input ranges
    • 100KHz max sample rate with 2048-sample FIFO
    • 8x differential voltage inputs
    • 4x channels of 16-bit analog outputs
    • 8x 32-bit counter/timers.
    • 4x 24-bit PWMs
  • Power — Optional 9-36V input
  • Operating temperature — -40°C to 85°C
  • Dimensions — 84mm x 55mm (COM Express Mini Type 10)
  • Operating system — supports Linux (Ubuntu 16.04) and Windows 10 IoT with optional SDKs
  • Other features — watchdog; heat spreader; dev kit version with cables and SDKs
Block Diagram

Zeta’s small size and high feature density make it an ideal choice for mobile applications. It stands ready to meet the challenges of these environments with a wide range 6-36VDC input voltage, a -40 to +85°C operating temperature range, and fanless heat spreader cooling (heat sink options are available). Zeta is available for order online at an undisclosed price. More information for the Diamond Systems Zeta can be found on the product page.

Octavo Systems Releases OSD3358-SM-RED Beaglebone Black Compatible Board

Octavo Systems back in 2017 released their OSD335x-SM System-In-Package device, a powerful ARM Cortex®-A8 SIP-based package. The OSD335x-SM was a device of its class, measured at just 21mm x 21mm, and the OSD335x-SM is the smallest AM335x processor-based module on the market today that still allows complete access to all the AM335x device I/Os including PRUs. The OSD335x-SM helps in removing the need for DDR routing, power sequencing, complex supply chains and even the need for building larger PCBs to accommodate several components.

Octavo has announced the availability of the OSD3358-SM-RED platform.  The OSD3358-SM-RED platform is the official Reference, Evaluation, and Development platform for the OSD335x-SM SiP family. It is designed by Octavo Systems to allow users to evaluate the OSD335x-SM SiP for their application quickly.

The OSD3358-SM-RED is fully designed around the OSD335x-SM SiP at its core, thus inheriting all the features of the SiP device. The OSD335x-SM integrates a powerful 1GHz Texas Instruments Sitara AM335x processor, DDR3 Memory, two power supplies, and passives into a single easy to use package.  The 256 Ball BGA is 60% smaller than an equivalent design using discrete devices, making it the smallest ARM Cortex-A8 system implementation.

The development board comes included with a Gigabyte Ethernet (10/100/1000 Ethernet), a whopping 5 USB 2.o ports (comes with 4 USB hub ports and 1 micro USB client port), a micro HDMI for display, and two 46 pin expansion headers which makes it compatible with the Beaglebone ecosystem. The OSD3358-SM-RED has a 16GB eMMC on board and a microSD card interface.

The board also adds some onboard sensors providing a possible real-world case study. It comes with a 9-axis IMU that provides acceleration, gyroscope, and magnetometer data; a barometer to provide altitude; and a multi-channel temperature sensor.

Even though the SM-RED shares some compatibility with the BeagleBone it has no onboard WiFi and Bluetooth, but there’s an Ethernet port, and unlike the BB Black and other BeagleBone variants, it’s a GbE port. You also get 16GB eMMC compared to 4GB on the other BeagleBones.

The following are the specifications for the OSD3358-SM-RED:

  • Processor  — TI Sitara AM335x (1x Cortex-A8 @ 1GHz)
    • PowerVR SGX530 GPU
    • 32-bit 200MHz Cortex-M3 based programmable real-time units (PRUs)
  • Memory —  512MB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage — 16GB eMMC
    • microSD slot with card pre-installed with Debian and drivers
  • Display — Micro-HDMI port
  • Networking — 10/100/1000 Ethernet port
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 2.0 host/device ports
    • Micro-USB client port
    • UART and JTAG
    • 2x BeagleBone Black Cape compatible expansion connectors
  • Other features — 9-axis IMU
    • Barometer and temperature sensors
    • 4x LEDs
    • TPM and secure NOR (currently not supported)
  • Power — 5V input
    • LiPo battery connector
    • Power and reset buttons
    • PMIC (via OSD3358 SiP)
  • Dimensions – 108 x 54 x 32mm
  • Operating system — Debian Linux

The OSD3358-SM-RED platform comes pre-loaded with a Debian Linux distribution complete with driver libraries for the different sensors on the board. All of the design files are freely available and can be used as a known good starting point for new designs. The OSD3358-SM-RED is available from Octavo Systems, Digi-Key, and Mouser for $199. More information may be found on Octavo’s OSD3358-SM-RED product and shopping page.

Simplify your DC/DC #design with @texasinstruments via @oemsecrets

Simplify your DC/DC design with LMZM33603

The LMZM33603 36V, 3A power module offers stellar EMI performance in a compact QFN package.
Order yours today and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with reliable performance, small solution size, and reduced design cycle time.

Power your processor with the industry’s first 5+3- phase PMBus controller


Powering high-current processors requires flexible solutions, and the TPS53681 PMBus multiphase PWM buck controller delivers with dual output 6+2/5+3 phase configuration. This multiphase driverless controller is paired with TI smart power stages for accurate current sensing and excellent thermal performance.

The next generation of TVS surge diodes is here


With a 94% smaller footprint, lower leakage and flat-clamping technology, TI’s Flat-Clamp portfolio provides more robust protection than traditional TVS surge diodes.

TI’s new TVS3300 family of Flat-Clamps gives designers precise control over clamping voltage vs surge current, even across temperature. It’s time to re-evaluate your TVS protection. Learn more in the whitepaper.

NEW: Industry’s smallest 8A single-rail module


Powering your 4A to 8A digital load just got smaller, easier, and more reliable. At 7.5mm x 7.5mm, the TPSM84824 17V, 8A step-down power module provides the smallest footprint in its class. And with TurboTrans™ technology, it delivers fast transient response with the industry’s lowest overshoot.

TPSM84824 comes with minimal external components, and pin- and footprint-compatible 4A and 6A alternatives.

Introducing TI’s first PMBus power module


Presenting an easier way to power your high-current digital core: TPSM846C23 is a PMBus-compliant DC/DC power module with an integrated inductor and FETs that crams 35A of output current capability into 240mm2. Two of these modules can easily be paralleled to deliver up to 70A of output current to the point-of-load from a nominal 12V or 5V input voltage.

Save space in your automotive design with TI’s synchronous buck-boost DC-DC converter


The TPS5516x-Q1 family provides a cost-effective single chip solution for a regulated output voltage between 5V and 12V, with up to 1A load current depending on voltage requirements. The buck-boost overlap control ensures automatic transition between step-down and step-up mode with optimal efficiency.
These buck/boosts provide a smaller solution size and higher efficiency than a discrete boost-buck converter solution.

Highest efficiency and lowest standby power without the audible noise


Want the lowest standby power? Need to simplify your system design for your AC/DC applications? Get to know our newest power factor correction (PFC) controller, UCC28056. With zero cross detection scheme (without auxiliary winding) and advanced burst mode, UCC28056 will help you design your next offline system.

6A three-level buck battery charger enables faster charge times for portable electronics


TI’s BQ25910, the industry’s first integrated 6A three-level buck battery charger, is a game-changer for how we will charge our smartphones, tablets, electronic point of sale (EPOS) and other portable electronics in the future. New power conversion technology reduces battery charging time up to 50% and allows for up to 5% efficiency improvements compared to conventional architectures.

Get great EMI and thermal performance the easy way


Any engineers out there looking for high-efficiency DC/DC conversion without the headaches that typically come with EMI mitigation and thermal management? Everyone? Ok, good.

Introducing the LM73605/6 and LM76002/3 families of wide VINsynchronous buck converters. Designed with high integration, thoughtful pin-out, and best-in-class thermal coefficients, LM73605/6 and LM76002/3 give you amazing performance without all of the headaches.

The world’s smallest 36V, 1A DC/DC solution


With a 27mm2 package size and only two external components, the LMZM23600/ 01 power module can convert a nominal 24V input to 3.3V in a solution size that is 45% smaller than competition. With the simplicity of power modules paired with the magic of WEBENCH®, you can bring the world’s tiniest 36V, 1A buck design to market with blazing speed.

To find the best price for Texas Instruments search OEMsecrets

Top Funding Platforms For Hardware Based Projects

In the last few years, we have seen that the Makers’ Movement is growing quite strong, more makers, innovators, and hardware startups are beginning to come up. We saw back in 2015, the most famous hardware prototyping board “The Arduino” is now assembled in the USA as compared to it being manufactured only in Italy, this not only increases the number of Arduinos but also broadens up the whole hardware ecosystems. Remember Pebble Time? The guys that broke the Kickstarter record, they received $1 million in 49 minutes, breaking a current record, and became the most funded Kickstarter to date, reaching $20.4M dollars all the way to its deadline, from over 78,741 backers.

It’s one thing to have an idea, and it’s another thing to get it to people that need it. One of the challenges of getting a crafted idea to users is “Funds,” you need quite some level of funds to mass produce your product and sell it out to users. While the big corporations have the necessary funding and resources, most hardware projects are developed by individuals or small startups and don’t necessarily have such funds available. Projects that are just starting out sometimes need a financial boost to get things going, and most won’t get backing from a VC or angel investor the first time, but perhaps crowdfunding platforms could help here. Crowdfunding is where you get a lot of people to invest in your idea, rather than finding one person to come up with everything you need.

In this post, I will highlight some of the go-to platforms to get funding for your hardware projects and boards easily. Note – I am not affiliated with any of these platforms (at least for now).

Kickstarter

Kickstarter is the most well-known name in crowdfunding and arguably the most active platform, raising over $2 billion since its launch in 2009. Kickstarter is geared more toward creative projects like a new album or writing a book, as well as products and inventions like a personal single-wheel vehicle or a pocket-sized solar charger.

Kickstarter has been one of the significant go-to platforms for hardware-focused products, and we have seen a lot of projects that came to life as a result of there fully funded campaigns on Kickstarter. Kickstarter favors creative project from wearables, smart glasses, drones to robots have been funded on Kickstarter.

Kickstarter isn’t geared towards individuals that have a product they want to release but startups/companies that can manage the whole product cycle and value chain. So, if you have a working product (an MVP preferable and not just a prototype) Kickstarter might be the platform to get the money rolling.

Here’s another vital caveat with Kickstarter: If you don’t raise 100% of your goal, you get none of that cash. Your project needs to be 100% funded for you to collect that money. If you meet your goal? Kickstarter has a 5% fee, and the payment processor will charge an additional 3-5 percent.

IndieGoGo

IndieGoGo is another familiar crowdfunding platform which shares similar traits with Kickstarter. Even though Indiegogo can be used for all sort of projects from profits to non-profits, you can still fund your focused hardware projects on them, and quite many hardware projects have been funded here.

One major difference between Kickstarter and Indiegogo is the funding flexibility. Kickstarter requires you to reach your target to get the funds but IndieGoGo offers flexible funding, which means you get to keep the funds you raised, even if you didn’t reach your goal, of course, this comes at a price of an increased fee. The fee for either is 5% (fixed and flexible), but if you don’t hit your goal with a flexible funding campaign, you’ll pay a higher fee (which is reportedly 9%). There’s no fee for a fixed funding campaign if you don’t hit your goal. And, of course, there will be additional fees (usually around 3%) from payment processors.

IndieGoGo might be your go-to platform if you aren’t sure of getting the exact money you need and feels any funding will do.

CrowdSupply

CrowdSupply is a crowdfunding platform that has a high preference for hardware projects and boasts “over twice the success rate of Kickstarter and Indiegogo.” On crowd supply, you can create a campaign for any hardware projects, from raw IoT board to a full consumer product. CrowdSupply favors creative projects as well as individuals built projects.

CrowdSupply is my recommended go-to platform for makers, tinkers, and innovators out there with the likelihood of getting your creative project funded very high. Get started with CrowdSupply here.

Tindie

Tindie is a marketplace for makers to fund and sell their hardware creations. It is a DIY Hardware MarketPlace and not a crowdfunding platform, unlike others. Tindie pride itself as a hub where hardware makers can quickly sell their products or prototypes without the overhead required in creating a crowdfunding campaign.

Tindie is excellent if you have a customized hardware creation you want to sell out to the hardware community, it could be a new shield you just built or an addon for the raspberry pi that adds some extra functionality.

Final Words

Going by numbers alone, hardware projects should be a win-win proposition for both entrepreneurs and crowdfunding platforms. Seven of the top ten most-funded projects on Indiegogo are hardware projects. Getting your hardware product to markets is now easier than ever before and now could be the best time to get funded. If you have something nice, chances people will fund you are high if you use one of these platforms.