Crowdfunding closing on $5 Linux + Wifi tiny IoT compute module

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World’s smallest Linux server, with Wi-Fi built-in. Omega 2 is a Linux compute module designed specifically for building connected hardware applications. It combines, say its designers Onion, “the tiny form factor and power-efficiency of the Arduino, with the power and flexibilities of the Raspberry Pi.” By Graham Prophet @ edn-europe.com

Omega 2 development is the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, that closes on August 23 rd 2016 ( here). The projects starts with the base module, which is an SoC-based board with built-in WiFi, and extends through levels of added connectivity, and peripherals – for example, there is a ‘dock’ card that provides compatibility with Arduino-format hardware. Part of Onion’s offering is a cloud service, so that an Omega 2-based project can be fully cloud-connected and -enabled.

Crowdfunding closing on $5 Linux + Wifi tiny IoT compute module – [Link]

PWM Solenoid and Valve Driver using DRV103

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Tiny module is a PWM Solenoid and Valve driver using Texas instrument’s DRV103 low-side DMOS power switch employing a pulse-width modulated (PWM) output. Its rugged design is optimized for driving electromechanical devices such as valves, solenoids, relays, actuators, motors and positioners. This board is also ideal for driving thermal devices such as heaters, coolers, lamps, PWM operation conserves power and reduces heat rise, resulting in higher reliability. In addition, adjustable PWM allows fine control of power delivered to the load. Output delay time and oscillator frequency are also externally adjustable.

Features

  • Supply 8V to 32V DC
  • Load Capacity 1.5A
  • Trigger Input Voltage 1.5V to 5V DC
  • Thermal and Current Limit Shutdown
  • On Board Power LED

PWM Solenoid and Valve Driver using DRV103 – [Link]

LattePanda Puts Windows 10 on a Single Board Computer

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Imagine being able to use Windows 10 on a Single Board Computer (SBC) right out of the box – that’s LattePanda. by Cabe Atwell @ makezine.com:

Makers at Latte, a Shanghai-based startup, were frustrated at the lack of tools available to makers looking to create Windows-based projects. That, despite what you are thinking, does have some relevance. Windows being the most popular consumer OS on the planet, has a vast catalog and a huge support community. In response, the team created LattePanda, a palm-sized, quad-core (Intel Cherry Trail 1.8GHz) full Windows 10 computer.

LattePanda Puts Windows 10 on a Single Board Computer – [Link]

Issues with printf function

The C library function printf() is one of the common used functions in embedded systems world to debug the code in real time over a serial connection. Using the printf() over serial is under debate and may not be optimal for embedded systems and that’s what Jacob Beningo over EDN tries to demonstrate.

The first problem with using printf() is the need to bring a standard C library into the software which consumes a lot from RAM and ROM/Flash which are limited in size. The second problem is during the execution time of printf() where system becomes blocked until all characters have been transmitted.

 

Timing Diagram For Printing “Hello World!” Using printf() Through A UART At 9600 Baud - Image courtesy of EDN
Timing Diagram For Printing “Hello World!” Using printf() Through A UART At 9600 Baud – Image courtesy of EDN

Jacob addressed some solutions and alternatives. One of them was developing a non blocking version of printf() that uses an interrupt service routine to handle transmission of buffer content.

Performance Of The Non-blocking Version - Images courtesy of EDN
Performance Of The Non-blocking Version – Images courtesy of EDN

Another solution is to use SWD (Single Wire Debugger) interface, a 2-pin debug port for ARM MCUs, which minimizes software overhead where an internal buffer gets filled and the debug hardware automatically handles transmission to the debug probe. You can read more about SWD in ARM website.

Via: EDN

Share Your Internet Connection With Raspberry Pi Zero Over USB

Raspberry Pi Zero is the smallest member in Raspberry Pi single-board computers family with a single-core 1 GHz processor chip, a micro-SD card slot, a mini HDMI port and two micro USB ports (one for power, one for USB). A tutorial in CircuitBasics demonstrates how we can get an Internet access for Raspberry Pi Zero from our computer over USB, because Raspberry Pi Zero doesn’t have an Ethernet connector RJ45 to have direct access to network.

Raspberry Pi Zero - Image courtesy of Adafruit
Raspberry Pi Zero – Image courtesy of Adafruit

The trick used here is to recognize the Raspberry Pi Zero as a USB/Ethernet gadget, in other words using Ethernet emulation over USB.

What you need:

  • Micro USB to USB adapter.
  • Bonjour software installed on your computer to recognize USB and ethernet devices.
  • SSH client PuTTY on your computer.
  • A micro SD card with an image of Raspbian Jessie Full or Lite (version 5-10-16 or later).

Raspberry-Pi-Zero-Ethernet-Gadget-Pi-Zero-Plugged-Into-Micro-USB-Port

In order to do the trick of getting the Internet access over USB you need to setup up Pi Zero OTG before connecting Pi Zero with USB.
When you connect it with USB, after setting up the OTG, you will see the PI Zero under “Other devices”->“RNDIS/Ethernet Gadget” from device manager.

The last step is to set up shared Internet access with your USB/Ethernet gadget, here it’s Pi Zero, from “Network Connections”.

Communication with Pi Zero is done by using PuTTY.

ping www.google.com
ping www.google.com On Pi Zero

You can see the full steps from the tutorial in CircuitBasics.

ISL91128 – A New Buck-Boost Regulator With I2C Interface From Intersil

If your application requires a changing supply voltage, then this new IC is ideal for you. Intersil announced the ISL91128, a new buck-boost regulator. The new regulator has an I2C interface to select a broad set of features including output voltage range and slew rate. This eliminates the need of feedback resistors and allows the reuse of the same design for multiple output voltage needs.

The input voltage range is from 1.8V to 5.5V, and the output voltage range is from 1.9V to 5.5V with output current up to 2.2A. ISL91128 has 2.5MHz switching frequency. It is fully protected for short-circuit, over-temperature and undervoltage, according to the datasheet.

isl91128_applicationISL91128 is available in a small 2.15mm x 1.74mm WLCSP package.

intersil_bbIntersil provides ISL91128IIN-EVZ, an evaluation board for ISL91128. ISL91128 is part of ISL911xx family of buck-boost/boost regulators.

Key Differences in Family
Key Differences in Family

[Product Page]

[Datasheet]

Via: ElectronicsWeekly

ESPUSB – An USB Software Stack For ESP8266

ESP8266EX and even the new ESP32 SoC lack a USB hardware transceiver, so [CNLohr] decided to develop a USB software stack for ESP8266. After a quick search, I think it is the first try to do a USB software stack for esp8266. USB software stack is a firmware-only implementation of a USB. ESPUSB works in a similar way of V-USB for AVR MCUs.

This USB Stack uses D- on GPIO 4 and D+ on GPIO 5 and only operates with low-speed USB. To run ESPUSB on ESP8266 it will need about 317 byte of SRAM and 1422 byte from flash/IRAM.

USB Enumeration Using ESPUSB - Images courtesy of cnlohr
USB Enumeration Using ESPUSB – Images courtesy of cnlohr

[CNLohr] said that he could flash ESP8266 using the ESPUSB.

Flashing ESP8266 Using ESPUSB - Images courtesy of cnlohr
Flashing ESP8266 Using ESPUSB – Images courtesy of cnlohr

[CNLohr] described in a video the code of ESPUSB and how he developed it.

A forum for discussion for ESPUSB was created in ESP8266 website.
You can reach the source code of ESPUSB project on the GitHub repository.

Via: cnx-software

Power supply IC packs eight buck regulators

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Aimed at systems requiring multiple low-voltage supplies, Linear Technology’s LTC3374A can be configured to supply two to eight independent regulated outputs with 15 possible output-current configurations. Each of the eight synchronous 1-A buck converters is powered from an independent 2.25-V to 5.5-V input supply. Output voltage range is 0.8 V to VIN. by @ edn.com

The LTC3374A is well-suited for a variety of multichannel applications, including industrial, automotive, and communication systems. Along with a peak efficiency of 94%, the device provides one output with ±1% voltage accuracy and up to seven additional outputs with ±2% accuracy. Up to four adjacent buck regulators can be combined in parallel to provide up to 4 A of output current with a single shared inductor by connecting their VIN pins together, their SW pins together, and by connecting the slave bucks’ FB pins to the input supply.

Power supply IC packs eight buck regulators – [Link]

Rail-to-rail step-down regulator sinks/sources ±5A from 0V to 14.5VOUT

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LTC3623 is a ±5A high efficiency, current mode synchronous buck regulator that is adjustable from 14.5V down to 0V output with a single resistor. Its architecture uses a 50 µA current reference, combined with a single resistor, to set the output voltage. by Graham Prophet @ edn-europe.com

The LTC3623’s 4V to 15V input voltage range is suitable for dual-cell Li-Ion applications, and fixed 5V and 12V intermediate bus systems. Low R DS(ON) integrated N-channel power MOSFETs (60mΩ top & 30 mΩ bottom) and synchronous rectification deliver efficiencies up to 96%. The device’s design allows dynamic adjustment of output voltage from 0V to V IN – 0.5V, offering virtually rail-to-rail performance.

Rail-to-rail step-down regulator sinks/sources ±5A from 0V to 14.5VOUT – [Link]

DIY Lorentz Force Experiment

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Fabian Gebhart shared his Lorentz Force experiment on Thingiverse:

Don’t you love it? Magnetism? Electronics? And 3d printing? In this project I combine all of them together to a little but spectacular do-it-yourself experiment. With just a few components and the 3d printed part you will be able to build your own Lorentz Force Experiment.

DIY Lorentz Force Experiment – [Link]