Break-Beam Sensor writes:

Well, basically break beam sensor consists of two parts: transmitter and receiver. Transmitter emits light (it could be, for example, an LED or a laser) and that light goes to receiver. If that light beam between transmitter and receiver is broken by some obstacle, and receiver detects no incoming light even for a brief moment – it triggers an alarm (or any load you want). For example you can count people that entering some room, or you can use it as an alarm system, yeah, just like in movies!

First thing that comes to mind is to connect LED or laser to DC power supply on transmitter side, and use phototransistor with an amplifier on receiver side. But that is not gonna work with changing ambient light level. For example you calibrated your amplifier to work on a cloudy day, and then bright sun shined at it and in this case it won’t trigger an alarm because it already has sufficient level of incoming light.

Break-Beam Sensor – [Link]

PWM Generator Project writes:

Very often when designing some stuff I need a square wave signal generator with variable pulse width and frequency to control power MOSFETS.

You can use such a tool when designing DC-DC converter or switch-mode power supply, you can use it to emulate PWM from microcontroller when developing some new embedded design, or maybe you want to design your own wireless charger… This is only some of the things you can use it for.

PWM Generator Project – [Link]

UNI-T UT325 Thermometer Review writes:

Very often in electronics you would need to measure temperature, not just in one spot, but simultaneously in two or more spots. And log that measurements, so that you can plot temperature change over time.
Also, differential temperature measurements could be extremely useful in some cases, especially for thermal design of electronic projects.

So, the other day I bought this UNI-T UT325 dual-channel logging thermometer for a little under $80.

UNI-T UT325 Thermometer Review – [Link]


Two-Channel PC Based Oscilloscope USB writes:

More and more experiments are now ‘PC-assisted.’ Also conventional acquisition systems are very expensive. Since portable PCs are today common and a USB link is a better solutionhere we present an oscilloscope using USB port of the PC that operates at up to 10 kHz with ±16V input voltage. It has much more improved features than the PC-based oscilloscope . The oscilloscope uses IC PIC18F2550 from Microchip as the main controller, which makes the oscilloscope compact as there is no need of additional power supply for the entire circuit board.

Two-Channel PC Based Oscilloscope USB – [Link]

Microcontrollers for newbies writes: [via]

If you’re at that stage as a beginner where you wonder what’s going on behind the scenes on an Arduino board you should check out jumperone’s tutorial on using microcontrollers. There you’ll learn what’s needed to take a bare microcontroller and load your own program onto it. Both PIC and Atmel chips are covered, with an explanation of what simple components you need to get started in addition to the chip itself, along with programming connections and hardware.

Microcontrollers for newbies – [Link]

Analyse I2C, SPI and UART/RS-232 for free!

At purchase of any HAMEG digital storage oscilloscope from 7xx,10xx,15xx to 20xx series within this year, you wil gain the serial bus analysis option with a value of 190 EUR for free.

Together with a lot of useful functions which new HAMEG HMO digital storage oscilloscopes feature, HAMEG Instruments (a Rohde&Schwarz company) offers an extra bonus. At purchase of any of the above-mentioned oscilloscopes until the end of year 2011, you will gain the option 2011 for free – a license key enabling to analyse I2C, SPI a UART/RS-232 serial bus. Thanks to this function you can save a lot effort at development or service of devices, which use these communication protocols.

The option HO011 uses analog inputs and the trigger input, thus it isn´t necessary to buy any external logical sond. It offers a real time hardware accelerated decode. Values are displayed colour coded for intuitive analysis and an easy overview. Up to 4 lines are displayed for a comfortable display of decoded values. Decoding is into ASCII, bináry, hexadecimal or decimal format. HO011 also features a powerful trigger to isolate specific messages. You can download the HMO user manual, where you can find the detailed description of serial bus analysing on pages 37-41.

Analyse I2C, SPI and UART/RS-232 for free! – [Link]

Gas soldering tool DREMEL VersaTip will provide you a freedom

Multifunctional gas soldering tool will help you at many various applications like: soldering, melting, hot-cutting, welding and woodburning (pyrography)…

This quality gas soldering tool provides a freedom of usage for example outdoor and everywhere where no electricity is available. But DREMEL VersaTip isn´t only a gas soldering tool with adjustable temperature. It is a multifunctional tool, which you can use, thanks to 6 exchangeable tips, for technical and also creative works like: soldering, melting, hot-cutting, welding and woodburning (pyrography), bending of metals, application of heat shrinkable insulations, releasing of junctions locked by an anaerobic sealant (bearings and screws) and many other.

DREMEL VersaTip can be easily and quickly refilled by a widely available liquid butane (the same as used in lighters) and it has a safety lock mechanism against an accidental turn-on. Detailed description will provide you the VersaTip Instruction Manual.


  • DREMEL® VersaTip
  • Soldering Tip
  • Cutting Knife
  • Hot Knife
  • Flat Wide Flame Head
  • Reflector
  • Hot Blower Head
  • Soldering Tin with Blue Cap
  • Soldering Sponge + sponge box
  • Wrenches: 1 x 7 mm, 1 x 8 mm

Technical specification 

  • Weight: 0,135 kg
  • Ignition: Piezo
  • Burn time: up to 90 min

Gas soldering tool DREMEL VersaTip will provide you a freedom – [Link]

You can read DIP122-5 displays even at the direct sunlight

New graphic displays EA DIP122-5 series with efficient LED backlight are optimized for good legibility even in demanding light conditions like for example at the direct sunlight.

Graphic displays EA DIP1222-5 with a 122×32 pixels resolution feature an excellent contrast and an efficient LED backlight offers great legibility even in a low ambient light environment. They are equipped with a temperature compensation for an increased working temperatures range from -20 to +70°C, without necessity of contrast adjustment. Displays also feature a „superfast liquid technology“, ensuring a sufficiently quick response time even at extremely low temperatures (average 2 sec at -20°C).

Three colour versions are available: yellow/green, amber and blue-white. Yellow-green and amber variant is particularly suitable for outdoor usage and extreme light conditions, while an effective LED backlight enables their usage even in a low ambient light environment. Blue-white veriant is optimized with respect to contrast and is ideally suitable for indoor usage with or without artificial light and when low energy consumption is vital.

Displays contain 2 built-in controllers (PT6250 compatible), while every controller is assigned to 61 columns. For external communication an 8-bit interface is used. An external series resistor or constant current source is all that is needed for the LED background illumination. The displays are easily soldered to the printed circuit board or socket connectors can be used if desired. New graphic displays offer for a customer also a high flexibility in a possibility to use a graphic or a character display module for various versions of a given device. As a character display modules types EA DIP081-CHNLED (1×8), EA DIP162-DHNLED (2×16) a EA DIP204-4HNLED (4×20) with the same casing and pinout can be used. .

Further information offers the DIP122-5 datasheet.

You can read DIP122-5 displays even at the direct sunlight – [Link]

Change UART to USB in an existing device!

New DB9-USB connectors from FTDI enable to use a USB port in devices with UART interface without necessity of a PCB redesign.

By simple using of new DB9 USB connectors instead of original DB9 UART connectors, you can achieve virtually immediately a USB connectivity of your existing devices. If you from any reasons don´t wish to redesign a PCB, then these connectors are ideally suitable for you. Connectors DB9 USB contain a complete USB/UART converter circuit in their bode. So far these connectors were available in the RS232 logic levels version. Novelty from company FTDI are 4 new types supporting also 3.3V and 5V logic levels – DB9-USB-D3 and DB9-USB-D5, with a USB male or female connector.

DB9 USB family now contains 6 types for all 3 the most common logic levels, in a version with Male and Female USB connector. New connectors offer the same utilization comfort like other USB products from FTDI, DB9_USB datasheet and in the AN_149 application note. Free available drivers enable to use DB9 USB connectors as a Virtual COM Port (VCP).

Change UART to USB in an existing device! – [Link]

Complete miniature GSM/GPRS platform – Quectel M80

Company Quectel launches on the market a miniature quad-band GSM/GPRS module featuring reach functionality and extremely low power consumption.

M80 has all features, which we usually require from a modern GSM/GPRS module: GSM/GPRS performance for data, voice, sms and multimedia, powerful Internet service protocols, multiple Sockets & IP addresses. M80 provides a high performance at a very low power consumption and an extended specified temperature range from -35 to +80 °C (with restrictions -45 to +85°C). With the extremely low power consumption and only 2,6mm high LGA package it is suitable even for miniature mobile devices.

M80 is a complete powerful hardware platform for all M2M (machine to machine) applications. As such it can be found in most common M2M applications. Detailed information provide documents M80 Hardware Design, M80 ATC and the M80 datasheet. Also available is the evaluation kit.

Complete miniature GSM/GPRS platform – Quectel M80 – [Link]