Buck converter is pin-programmable


by Susan Nordyk @ edn.com:

Housed in a tiny 3×3-mm QFN package, the MIC24046-H synchronous step-down regulator from Micrel offers efficiency of greater than 90% peak and pin-selectable output voltage, switching frequency, and current limit. A wide input voltage range of 4.5 V to 19 V makes the part useful for distributed 12-V point-of-load applications.

The switching frequency of the MIC24046-H can be programmed to one of three options: 400 kHz, 565 kHz, or 790 kHz. Programmable output-voltage choices include 0.7 V, 0.8 V, 0.9 V, 1.0 V, 1.2 V, 1.5 V, 1.8 V, 2.5 V, and 3.3 V, while an internal divider is used to achieve ±1% voltage-output accuracy. The current limit of the regulator can be programmed to 3 A, 4 A, or 5 A.

Buck converter is pin-programmable – [Link]

2A, 70V SEPIC/Boost DC/DC converter with 7µA Iq


by Graham Prophet @ edn-europe.com:

LT8494 is a current mode, fixed frequency SEPIC/boost DC/DC converter with an internal 2A, 70V switch. Quiescent current of 7µA suits the device for always-on automotive or other industrial battery powered systems.

The LT8494 starts up from an input voltage range of 2.5V to 32V and once running it operates from inputs from 1V to 60V, making it suitable for applications with input sources ranging from a single-cell Li-Ion to automotive inputs. The LT8494 can be configured as a boost, SEPIC or flyback converter. Its switching frequency can be programmed via a single resistor to between 250 kHz and 1.5 MHz, enabling designers to minimise external component sizes. The combination of a thermally enhanced TSSOP-20E or 4 x 4 mm QFN package and small externals ensures a very compact footprint.

2A, 70V SEPIC/Boost DC/DC converter with 7µA Iq – [Link]

A low-cost 0.5A 33V LED driver module with 90+% efficiency

LG-LED-150702-DF-Futuro Low-cost LED driver Design FigA

by Valentin Kulikov @ edn.com

This article describes simple constant current driver module with fast PWM input that can be used for driving medium and high power LEDs. The module uses an integrated constant-current output, DC-DC buck converter with output current configurable from 0.1 to 0.5A. This article outlines the schematic, design guidelines, operation, and performance of the low cost LED driver.

A low-cost 0.5A 33V LED driver module with 90+% efficiency – [Link]

Programmable 8-character LCD module and digital voltmeter


A programmable 8-character LCD module and digital voltmeter project from Tuxgraphics:

Our 3 digit LED digital voltmeter module has been quite successful over the years. This new LCD module is basically an advanced version with a lot more capabilities. You can power it with the same voltage source that your signal is derived from. You can load your own code into this module but it has even some nice features for people who just need a voltmeter module and don’t want to play with C-code.

Programmable 8-character LCD module and digital voltmeter – [Link]

Site enables detailed component comparisons


by Sagar Savant @ edn.com:

Choosing components is a series of time-consuming tasks, from surveying the market for possible candidates to properly evaluating performance. As a hardware engineer who has worked in Silicon Valley for 10 years, I have spent significant time developing test plans and specs, building fixtures, and testing components. One of the reasons comparing components takes a long time is because you can’t always rely on datasheets to give you the information you need. The problem with datasheets is that they only tell you the story the vendor of the component wants. If an IC characteristic is better under specific conditions, you can be sure the vendor will showcase their components under those conditions.

Site enables detailed component comparisons – [Link]

Do you know, what´s a top-class programmable power supply capable of?


If you need to simulate overvoltage, slow start, fluctuations and other situations, which may occur in real life, then the TDK Lambda power supplies won´t disappoint you.

Imagine a laboratory (testing) power supply able to provide a virtually any function. Switching on, drop-out, repeated switch-on and many other functions, by which we can test our product in a „single shot“ – those are programmable laboratory power supplies from company TDK Lambda. Perhaps the biggest advantage of programmable power supply is the fact, that there´s no need to adjust, watch, set at testing itself. It´s obvious that this sophisticated device is feelingly more expensive than usual laboratory power supplies, however it´s able to bring enormous time savings and reliability into your work.
In majority of cases it´s possible to reach simulation of a real-life voltage fluctuations, dropouts, disturbances,… This „dynamic“ testing is also able to discover the risk of „freezing“ of your product (undervoltage lockout) at a short-time undervoltage..

Company TDK Lambda belongs to the very top in this segment and its devices provide a literally unlimited possibilities of usage, configuration and control. Whether it´s extremely fast response, possibility of a parallel operation of several units, control over LAN,USB, RS485, GPIB,… almost all possibilities and options known in this field can be found in the TDK Lambda power supplies.

Main series:

  • Z+ (200-800W) – extraordinarily low and compact series. Arbitrary functions generator with 16 bit resolution (+ inner memory), max. output voltage 10-650 VDC. RS232/485, USB and analogue interface. Active PFC (typically 0,99). Advanced parallel master/slave mode.
  • ZUP (200-800W) – max. out voltage 6-120V, max 132A. CC/CV, software calibration, last setting memory, active PFC. RS232/485 and analogue interface.
  • GENESYS (750-15000W) – extraordinary reliability and power. Max 650V, max 1000A. Auto-restart or safe start (user selectable). Last setting memory, available in four sizes – GENH, GEN 1U, GEN 2U and GEN 3U. Optional USB or LAN interface and further accessories.

Possibilities of power supplies are really extensive what´s illustrated in enclosed pictures. Detailed information will provide you the catalogue of programmable laboratory power supplies as well as in the TDK Lambda powers supplies and DC-DC converters brochure.

We´re able to supply you TDK Lambda products within 4-12 weeks at advantageous conditions.

Do you know, what´s a top-class programmable power supply capable of? – [Link]

Environmental Alert System


by Aleator777:

What’s that smell? It’s noxious gas of course! If you’re in an environment where there’s a possibility of gaseous release of which you’d rather not breathe, why not build an automatic system for sensing and alerting you? The design for the Environmental Alert System is driven by my motivation to understand the concentrations of different chemicals in the air. The unit consists of an array of four gas sensors (one each for methane, propane, carbon monoxide, and smoke) connected to an Intel Edison for wireless detection and alerting. While no substitute for a proper commercial chemical detection system, the EAS makes for a great weekend project!

Environmental Alert System – [Link]

Make an Apple Watch Door Unlocker


Here’s how to automagically open doors at home or at work with a tap on your wrist. By Marc Jensen, James Squires and Shawn Roske:

What’s an Apple Watch good for? How about unlocking doors with just a tap on an app? We figured out how do something no one else has done for under 150 bucks, using standard door-strike hardware, our custom app, and a tiny RFduino microcontroller. In this Weekend Project we’ll show you exactly how to do it.

Make an Apple Watch Door Unlocker – [Link]


Nixie Tube Clock


by Pete Mills :

If you’ve poked around the internets where electronics hobbyists collect, it is likely that you are acutely aware of our incontrovertible affinity for building timekeeping clocks. It is similarly unlikely that you have been able to evade the plenitude of nixie tube based projects. There is a reason for this.

Nixie tubes are cool. They have great aesthetic appeal with their difficult-to-photograph, warm orange glow, and dem curvy numerals. They add an organic je ne sais quoi to a hobby with ostensibly digital design cues. Further, they pose technical challenges in the way of producing and switching the ~175 V DC needed to light each tube element. And as far as I am aware, there are no new nixie tubes being produced; as such, procurement can be a challenge unto itself. My N.O.S. nixies came from Russia thru Ebay, and only 3 were duds. Incidentally the seller replaced those 3, FOC.

Nixie Tube Clock – [Link]

DE1-SoC Development Board from Terasic


by Joel Bodenmann:

The DE1-SoC board is populated with a six digit 7-segment display. All digits are connected to the FPGA. Therefore, in order to control the 7-segment display out of the Linux userspace code, one has to create a new component in QSys that is connected to the AMBA-AXI bus.
But first of all, please note that this is a blog post, not a comprehensive tutorial. The text below does not replace the official Altera documentation. Furthermore, the post does just show some code snippets. However, the fully working project can be found as a download at the very bottom.

DE1-SoC Development Board from Terasic – [Link]