4 x 4 mm GPS module for wearables, portables, in distribution

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by Graham Prophet @ edn-europe.com:

Distributor Acal BFi has the Nano Spider from OriginGPS; the miniature module makes it possible for manufacturers to bring accurate GPS to tiny devices.

Claimed as the world’s smallest GPS module, Nano Spider is a fully integrated, sensitive GPS receiver module. Measuring 4.1 x 4.1 x 2.1 mm and with low power consumption, it is suitable for smart watches, wearable devices, trackers, and digital cameras. A double-sided circuit design reduces footprint size and makes the Nano Spider 47% smaller than previous solutions.

4 x 4 mm GPS module for wearables, portables, in distribution – [Link]

Energy-harvesting power management ICs for wireless sensor nodes

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by Graham Prophet @ edn-europe.com:

Cypress Semiconductor has introduced what it believes to be the lowest-available-power PMICs that enable an integrated module size of 1 cm² for solar-powered wireless sensor node (WSN) designs.

Intended to manage solar-powered wireless sensors for Internet of Things (IoT) applications, these parts are said to be the lowest-power, single-chip Energy Harvesting PMICs, and can be used with solar cells as small as 1 cm². Cypress offers a complete, battery-free energy harvesting solution that pairs the S6AE101A PMIC, the first device in the new family, with the EZ-BLE PRoC module for Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity, along with supporting software, in a $49 kit.

Energy-harvesting power management ICs for wireless sensor nodes – [Link]

DHT22 Humidity datalogger

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by luckyresistor.me:

There is a large cellar where I could store unused items and documents, but the catch is the humidity there. It is a root cellar near a small brook and the humidity varies between 75% up to 90%.

Archived material should never be exposed to humidity greater than 65%, therefore I have to isolate all documents in boxes from the air of the cellar. But are this boxes safe? Do they keep the humidity away from the documents – even for years?

To have a look into the box environment, I need a data logger. It would be simple to buy one, but much more fun to build one. So a new project is born: I call it the “Data Logger” project.

DHT22 Humidity datalogger  – [Link]

How to control LM2596 buck-converter with microcontroller

by hugatry @ hackvlog.com:

Every now and then someone asks on different forums if there is an way to control cheap LM2596 modules with an Arduino or another microcontroller. I decided to demonstrate one solution that might be basic electronics for some, but still many don’t know about.

Those buck converters will change the output voltage to make the feedback pin, connected to the output via a voltage divider, become 1.25V or so. If feedback is higher, output gets lower and vice versa. If one changes the ratio of resistors in voltage divider, output voltage will change. This is usually done by turning a trimmer resistor with a screwdriver. That is good enough for many applications where voltage will be set only once, but sometimes there is a need to adjust the output voltage more frequently.

How to control LM2596 buck-converter with microcontroller – [Link]

How to build a simple laser tachometer

Did you know you can use an LED as a light sensor? In this video I show you how to use this phenomenon to build a laser tachometer capable of measuring the RPM of mechanical devices.

How to build a simple laser tachometer – [Link]

Kristall 511 solder wire won´t dirt your PCB

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Innovative flux and a high qualty alloy provide to Stannol Kristall 511 solder wire excellent processing properties with a minimum of clean transprarent residues.

You, who are at production of electronic devices, know, how important is a choice of a suitable solder. A designer of a given device might not focus on a solder used at soldering of the first protoype, bu tin a production it will manifest itself – sooner or later. Not that some solder would be miraculous and otherone unusable, but each one is suitable for something else.Similarly lie in other segments, even here are some exceptions, when by using the newest materials and know-how from development of solders exist types suitable for multiple applications. One of them is solder Kristall511 Ecoloy with an innovative flux based on synthetic resins. The result is a small spatter and clean, transparent residues, which don´t influence electrical properties of a PCB, i.e. they belong to a “No clean” category – they can stay on a PCB withot cleaning. Kristall 511 is a considerably active solder and it shows its strength even at surfaces with not that optimal solderability and also there, where it´s necessary to solder quickly (for example components that are exceptionally sensitive to temperature). KRISTALL 511 was developed for automated soldering of SMT components, as well as for hand soldering and rework.

This way Stannol, as a producer with rich experience in development of solders (from 1920), produced a combinatio of an alloy+flux with properties meeting majority of requirements of production:

  • small amount of transparent residues
  • excellent spreading even at poorly solderable sorfaces (copper, brass, nickel,…)
  • highly active
  • electrically safe residues
  • low spitting
  • mild odour and small amount of fumes

On stock we have two novelties KRISTALL 511 Sn95,5Ag3,8Cu0,7 (593132) (diameter 1mm, 500g) and KRISTALL 511 Sn96,5Ag3,0Cu0,5 (810050) (diameter 1mm, 500g) solder wires. Technical details can be found in the Kristall_511 datasheet.


Kristall 511 solder wire won’t dirt your PCB – [Link]

DIY Digital Compass

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by DaAwesomeP @ instructables.com:

I’m astounded that some cars don’t have a digital compass always visible. You either have to launch the navigation app each time which may even disappear when you adjust the radio. In this project, you’ll create a digital compass that can be powered by by the cigarette lighter or another source (batteries make it handheld). You could buy one, but where’s the fun in that?

DIY Digital Compass – [Link]

Buck-boost regulator achieves high efficiency

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by Susan Nordyk @ edn.com:

Using adaptive current-limit PFM (pulse frequency modulation) control, the ISL9120 switching regulator from Intersil realizes efficiencies of up to 98%, while automatically transitioning between buck and boost modes without significant output disturbance. The part accommodates a wide input voltage range of 1.8 V to 5.5 V and has an adjustable output voltage range of 1 V to 5.2 V for use with multiple power rails. It is capable of delivering up to 800 mA of output current (VIN = 2.5 V, VOUT = 3.3 V).

Buck-boost regulator achieves high efficiency – [Link]

Running Intel x86 apps on Raspberry Pi 1 and 2

ExaGear Desktop is virtualization solution which opens up a host of new possibilities for running apps across platforms. ExaGear Desktop makes it possible to run Intel x86 application on ARM-based devices, and is targeted to individuals running ARM-based Mini PCs and to businesses deploying ARM-based devices to cut costs. For example you can run Skype on ARM devices (youtube; https://youtu.be/4GUP27TJ5w4). Moreover you can run x86 Windows applications on ARM-based devices by installing Wine.

ExaGear Desktop also boasts outstanding performance specs – in tests it runs 5 times faster than Qemu.

Running Intel x86 apps on Raspberry Pi 1 and 2  – [Link]

Fully reprogrammable optical chip developed

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by Graham Pitcher @ newelectronics.co.uk:

Researchers from the University of Bristol and NTT in Japan have developed an optical chip that can process photons in an infinite number of ways. According to the team, the fully reprogrammable chip marks a ‘new era of research’ for scientists and engineers at the cutting edge of quantum technologies. Dr Anthony Laing, who led the project, said: “A whole field of research has essentially been put onto a single optical chip that is easily controlled. The implications of the work go beyond the huge resource savings. Now anybody can run their own experiments with photons, much like they operate any other piece of software on a computer. They no longer need to convince a physicist to … painstakingly build and conduct a new experiment.”

Fully reprogrammable optical chip developed – [Link]