New RS Pro ST-80 Soldering Station +150°C to +480°C


RS Components has launched two RS Pro solder stations with interesting features. The 60-W and 80-W solder stations have smart functions to reduce energy consumption, increase ease of use and prolong soldering tip life. The stations automatically detect if the device isn’t used for a predefined period of time and goes into standby mode or switch off if necessary. Additionally they are equipped with a LCD temperature display and a warm-up status indicator on the front panel and control is done using preset buttons or temperature adjustment buttons.

New RS Pro ST-80 Soldering Station +150°C to +480°C – [Link]

SDP3x – world’s smallest differential pressure sensor

Sensirion SDP3

The SDP3x is the world’s smallest differential pressure sensor. It measures just 5 mm x 8 mm x 5 mm, enabling it to be integrated in a range of portable devices.  Measurement range is ±500Pa (±2 in. H2O) and has excellent accuracy and repeatability even below 1Pa. It is calibrated and temperature compensated on the factory and is available in Digital I2C and analog output versions. Sensors have a sampling rate of 2 kHz at a resolution of 16 bits.

SDP3x – world’s smallest differential pressure sensor – [Link]

Arduino NRF24L01 Wireless Tutorial with Arduino Uno

Here is a new video of our friends at

Do you want to add wireless capability to your Arduino Projects? Using the NRF24L01+ module is a very easy and reliable way to do so. This tranceiver module works at the 2.4GHz band and it is extremely easy to use with any Arduino board, like the Arduino Uno, the Arduino Mega or the Arduino Nano. The cost of module is less than 3$ which makes this module irresistible!

Arduino NRF24L01 Wireless Tutorial with Arduino Uno – [Link]

Air quality sensor detects microscopic pollutants


Mitsubishi Electric announced that it has developed a small, high-precision air-quality sensor, the world first to detect all fine particles measuring no more than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, called PM2.5, as well as pollen and dust. It also senses the density of particles precisely.

Scattered light from PM2.5 particles is measured with Mitsubishi Electric’s unique double-sided mirror design, which collects about 1.8 times more scattered light than conventional single-sided designs. An air flow controller provides stable airflow. Components were optimally designed to achieve a small form factor and were carefully aligned to avoid obstructing the airflow and laser beams. Mitsubishi Electric’s original shape-discrimination algorithm distinguishes between pollen and dust based on the respective differences in the optical characteristics of their scattered light, resulting in the world’s first sensor capable of detecting all PM2.5, pollen and dust particles.

Air quality sensor detects microscopic pollutants – [Link]

mavroOBD – Arduino based OBD port module


Danny Mavromatis has designed an Arduino based OBD port module using Atmel 328P MCU and Microchip MCP2515 CAN Bus controller with SPI interface and MCP2551 CAN transceiver.

The goal of this project it to create an Arduino based OBD port module that can be used to enhance a vehicles capabilites. For example, if you want door locks to close when moving faster than 5mph or to invoke/emulate certain CANbus buttons automatically at start up.

mavroOBD – Arduino based OBD port module – [Link]

Icestudio – Open Source Graphical FPGA Programming


Jesús Arroyo has published Icestudio, a new graphical tool that lets you generate Verilog code using block diagrams and run it on the Lattice Semi iCEstick development board. Using the drag and drop interface you can connect IOs, logic gates, dividers, and other elements. Once the block diagram is ready, a single button press downloads the code to the iCEstick.

Icestudio – Open Source Graphical FPGA Programming – [Link]

F1200 Low-noise Digital IF VGA with FlatNoise

The F1200 of an IDT is a digitally controlled intermediate frequency differential variable gain amplifier that adjusts the gain either dynamically or as a one-time channel gain setting. The device has extremely low noise figure over the entire gain control range. It is packaged in compact 5×5 Thin QFNs with 200 ohm differential input and output impedances for ease of integration into the receiver lineup with IF frequencies up to 300MHz.

The device has exceptional DNL and INL simplifying digital compensation. It has extremely low Harmonic, IM2, and IM3 distortion that is necessary to drive an ADC directly in an IF sub-sampling application. The F1200 acts to enhance system SNR when VGA gain is reduced. The F1200 noise figure (NF) degrades only slightly (NF slope ~ -0.16 dB/dB) over a 13 dB control range while holding the output IP3 approximately constant. The resultant improvement in noise can enhance the system SNR up to 2 decibels at low gain settings relative to a standard VGA.

This design is used in either transmitter or receiver to add an adjustable gain element to the signal chain by increasing or decreasing the attenuation value. Other applications include base station, diversity receivers, digital pre-distortion, μ-wave point-to-point radios and public safety receivers.

F1200 Low-noise Digital IF VGA with FlatNoise – [Link]

The World’s Smallest 4x4x4 RGB LED Cube


HariFun @ has build the smallest 4x4x4 RGB LED cude which is less than 1 square inch in dimensions and uses 64 SMD RGB LEDs. The guide goes through the assembly and programming of the cude using an Arduino board.

The World’s Smallest 4x4x4 RGB LED Cube – [Link]


Isolated Digital ON/OFF Switch for AC load


ON/OFF AC load Controller project offers simple On/Off Switch Control with two tact switch.


  • Input supply – 12 VDC @ 40 mA
  • Output – upto 500 W – 230 VAC
  • Onboard tactile switch for ON/OFF control
  • Opto-isolated Triac based design
  • Power-On LED indicator
  • Power Battery Terminal (PBT) and Terminal pins for easy input / output connection
  • Four mounting holes of 3.2 mm each
  • PCB dimensions 44 mm x 86 mm

Isolated Digital ON/OFF Switch for AC load – [Link]


555 Timer Teardown


Ken Shirriff has done a detailed teardown of the popular 555 timer IC. Let’s take a look inside this little chip:

Given the popularity of the 555 timer, I thought it would be interesting to find out what’s inside the 555 timer and how it works. While the 555 timer is usually sold as a black plastic IC, it is also available in a metal can, which can be cut open with a hacksaw revealing the tiny die inside.

555 Timer Teardown – [Link]