‘Soldering’ with a laser


Thijs Beckers @ elektormagazine.com writes about a new experimental method of connecting electronics components together using a laser beam.

Researchers from the University of Saarland have, together with colleagues from Helsinki, discovered a new material which can connect electronic components together using a chemical method. Multiple very thin layers (1000x thinner than a human heir) of aluminum and ruthenium are placed on top of each other. When an intense laser beam is pointed at it, a large amount of heat is released in the nanometer thin layer and a homogeneous layer of ruthenium-aluminide is formed.

This brief heat can reach a temperature of 2000 °C. With this, components close together can be connected to each other without the addition of solder. The ruthenium-aluminide forms a layer between the components, just like solder does.

‘Soldering’ with a laser – [Link]

Improved Arduino Rotary Encoder Reading


Here is a nice tutorial on how to use rotary encoders with Arduino. Example code is included.

I wanted to use a low cost rotary encoder as an input mechanism for one of my upcoming projects and was initially bewildered by the code options available to take readings from the rotary encoder and determine how many “detents” or cycles the encoder had clicked past and in what direction.

Improved Arduino Rotary Encoder Reading – [Link]

RF Isolator: Teardown and Experiments

In this video, Kerry Wong took apart a 8 to 10 GHz microwave RF isolator and did some measurements. High resolution teardown pictures here.

RF Isolator: Teardown and Experiments – [Link]

NeuroBytes Simulate Dendrite to Axon Input/Output


Zach Fredin and Joe Burdo has designed an electronic neuron simulator to help educate students of neuroscience.

NeuroBytes are tabletop electronic neuron simulators designed to help students understand basic neuroscience concepts. The platform consists of modular elements that can be freely connected to form biologically representative networks, and has been built from the ground up to be accessible to young learners without sacrificing the depth and sophistication that make it a valuable tool for college-level audiences. NeuroBytes are entirely open-source, meaning both the hardware design and the firmware that controls their behavior is freely accessible to anyone.

NeuroBytes Simulate Dendrite to Axon Input/Output – [Link]

Building a simple Circuit Probe


Vicente Jiménez has published a new project. It’s a circuit probe that gives an indication when a node is floating or driven logic high or logic low and can also be used as a continuity tester. He writes:

Sometimes you need to check one circuit and test some of its nodes. Usually a tester in voltage mode is a good solution, but it has a pair of problems. First, it measures about zero both when the node is driven at zero volts and when the node is floating (not driven at all). Second, it gives the information on the tester display, so you need to take the view from the circuit to the tester to check the voltage.

Building a simple Circuit Probe – [Link]

Low voltage power supply


Dilshan Jayakody has build a low voltage power supply that is able to provide four outputs:  1.5V, 1.8V, 2.5V and 3.3V. This power supply can be used to power low voltage mcus, CPLDs and analog ICs. He writes:

In this post we introduce simple and flexible, regulated low voltage power supply unit. This power supply has provision for 4 outputs such as 1.5V, 1.8V, 2.5V and 3.3V. We mainly build this low voltage power supply unit to test (and power-up) low voltage MCUs, CPLDs and radio receivers. For this power supply we choose 1.8V, 2.5V and 3.3V to get it compatible with most of the LVTTL/LVCMOS devices. Other than that, we include 1.5V because there are several analog ICs are available for that voltage level.
This power supply unit is based on LM1117/AMS1117 voltage regulator series and for this design we use AMS1117-1.5, AMS111-1.8, AMS1117-2.5 and AMS1117-3.3 fixed voltage regulators. Except to above regulators this board can be use with AMS1117-2.85 and AMS1117-5.0 regulators.

Low voltage power supply unit – [Link]

Internet-of-Things Power Meter


This is a simple, cheap, easy to build IoT Power Meter that provides accurate statistics on household power consumption:

The Internet-of-Things Power Meter (IPM) is a device fixed on top of the regular household power meter that provides detailed information about the electricity usage. Modern power meters have a LED blinking every time a Watt is used, the IPM detects these flashes using a light sensor, counts them, saves the values to an SD card. Later the data is stored to the cloud.

Internet-of-Things Power Meter – [Link]

DC Motor Speed and Direction Controller


DC Motor Speed and direction controller project based on L293D H-Bridge and 555 Timer IC. 555 Generate PWM and L293D works as output driver. The 293D provides bidirectional drive current up to 600mA a voltage from 5V to 12V. L293D includes the output clamping diodes for protections.


  • Supply 5 to 12 V
  • Inhibit facility/enable
  • PWM Frequency 5KHz Maximum
  • High Noise immunity
  • Over temperature protection
  • Capable of delivering output current up to 600 mA per channel

DC Motor Speed and Direction Controller – [Link]

Current bending yields low-power magnetic memory


by Harry Baggen @ elektormagazine.com:

Magnetic random-access memory (MRAM) is faster, more efficient and more robust than other data storage media. MRAM stores data by making clever use of electron spin – a sort of gyroscopic property of electrons. Because it used magnetism instead of stored charge, MRAM is nonvolatile, which means that the stored data can survive a power outage. MRAM also uses much less current. However, high peak currents are necessary to flip the electron spins in the right direction to store the data.

Current bending yields low-power magnetic memory – [Link]

LTM8064 – 58VIN, 6A CVCC Step-Down μModule Regulator


LTM8064 is a step-down DC/DC µModule (micro-module/power module) regulator with a 6V to 58V (60Vmax) input voltage range and adjustable load current control with ±10% accuracy at 7A.

Linear Technology introduces the LTM8064, a step-down DC/DC µModule® (power module) regulator with a 6V to 58V (60Vmax) input voltage range and adjustable load current control with ±10% accuracy at 7A. The LTM8064 can be used as a point-of-load step-down regulator operating from 24V, 36V and 48V voltage rails used in communication infrastructure, high end computers, test equipment, automotive, avionics and a wide variety of industrial equipment. In addition, the LTM8064 operates as a constant current source to precisely regulate and control (adjust) the load current up to 7A when sourcing and 9.1A when sinking. Applications requiring precision load current control include Peltier devices for cooling and heating, battery and supercapacitor chargers, LED and laser drivers, and motor and fan controllers.

LTM8064 – 58VIN, 6A CVCC Step-Down μModule Regulator – [Link]