How to make a USB Li-Ion charger

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by Robert Gawron @ robertgawron.blogspot.com:

Li-ion cells become more and more popular due to their capacity and reasonable prices. In this entry I will present how to build a simple li-ion battery charger based on MCP73831 chip. It’s a quite useful device for DYI projects,in addition its cost is only around 1,5 euro.

The device uses USB port as a power supply (mini-USB connector). I use the standard gold-pins as an output socket. There’re three of them, but only two are used (looking on the image, counting from top: V+, V-). I will design my li-ion based devices in the same way (same socket, but female), then if I will connect it in the incorrect direction (rotated 180 degrees) they won’t be damaged (V- connected to V-, but V+ connected to n/c pin) – simple way to avoid plugging in an incorrect way.

How to make a USB Li-Ion charger – [Link]

1Mbit SPI FRAM comes in chip-scale packaging

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by Graham Prophet @ edn-europe.com:

Fujitsu has used an ultra small package for this memory part, which it presents as a solution for power-critical miniature applications in sensor and wearable markets.

The 1Mbit SPI FRAM is in an 8-pin wafer level chip scale package (WL-CSP) which is an additional package variant to the existing product MB85RS1MT. In comparison to the industry standard SOP-8 package, the new WL-CSP package, which measures 3.09 x 2.28 x 0.33 mm, reduces the surface mounting area by 77%, and the device height by 80%.

1Mbit SPI FRAM comes in chip-scale packaging – [Link]

Ultralow-power circuit improves efficiency of energy harvesting to more than 80 percent

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by Larry Hardesty @ phys.org

The latest buzz in the information technology industry regards “the Internet of things”—the idea that vehicles, appliances, civil-engineering structures, manufacturing equipment, and even livestock would have their own embedded sensors that report information directly to networked servers, aiding with maintenance and the coordination of tasks.

Realizing that vision, however, will require extremely low-power sensors that can run for months without battery changes—or, even better, that can extract energy from the environment to recharge.

Last week, at the Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits, MIT researchers presented a new power converter chip that can harvest more than 80 percent of the energy trickling into it, even at the extremely low power levels characteristic of tiny solar cells. Previous experimental ultralow-power converters had efficiencies of only 40 or 50 percent.

Ultralow-power circuit improves efficiency of energy harvesting to more than 80 percent – [Link]

 

Arduino CNC Shield – 100% GRBL Compatable

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by protoneer.co.nz:

We have designed the Arduino CNC Shield to use all the pins that GRBL implemented. We have also added a few extra pins to make things a little easier. GRBL is opensource software that runs on an Arduino Uno that takes G-Code commands via Serial and turns the commands into motor signals. Now compatible with Raspberry PI.

Arduino CNC Shield – 100% GRBL Compatable – [Link]

Thermal Conductivity: What is it and Why You Should Care

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by Norm Quesnal @ digikey.com:

Thermal Conductivity: A measure of the ability of a material to transfer heat. Given two surfaces on either side of a material with a temperature difference between them, the thermal conductivity is the heat energy transferred per unit time and per unit surface area, divided by the temperature difference.

Thermal Conductivity: What is it and Why You Should Care – [Link]

HamShield for Arduino (VHF/UHF transceiver)

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HamShield lets your Arduino talk to far away people and things using amateur radio bands (Coverage: 136-170MHz, 200-260MHz, 400-520MHz)

HamShield lets your Arduino talk to far away people and things using powerful amateur radio bands! Best of all, the hardware and software is open source!

With the power of Arduino, you can use the HamShield to build and invent amazing things in minutes!

HamShield for Arduino (VHF/UHF transceiver) – [Link]

RELATED POSTS

DIY pocket laser engraver

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Photon printer, a 3D printable laser engraver build using DVD drives by Isolt:

This is an entry for the Light It Up contest on the grounds that a laser diode is a specialised form on light emitting diode.
The Photon Printer started out as a quick weekend project then quickly escalated when I saw that there was room for improvement in the current designs. The design turned out to be quite fun and I really enjoyed seeing it work at the end.

DIY pocket laser engraver – [Link]

Non-Invasive Smart Electricity Meter

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A simple Non-Invasive Smart Electricity Meter using Spark Core. By Yonas Leguesse @ hackster.io:

A non invasive current sensor is connected to the spark core (with a few components), and clamped around a cable in the Mains distribution unit. No wiring is required, however Do not try this at home, as the Mains Distribution Unit should not be tampered with unless one is Licensed to do so.

The back end is Web Application hosted on a LAMP (Linux Apache MySql PHP) setup. Initially it was hosted on a raspberry pi on a LAN, but then I decided to host it on a hosted server. Both instances worked well, its just a matter of preference.

The spark core simply takes periodic readings and sends them to the server, where all of the calculations and filtering is done.

Non-Invasive Smart Electricity Meter – [Link]

RELATED POSTS

BE220 – intelligent embedded platform for even better price!

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Well-proven embedded mini PC with Windows CE – BEGA220 are now available in the IP66 protection class.

Bega220 as a universal microcomputer with an OS and a 7“ touch display already found its place in many applications. Now company Bolymin launched on the market an improved version resistant to dust and water (IP66) – the BE220C module. IP66 resistance applies to a front side and a bezel, what´s in the vast majority cases fully sufficient, because in praxis the module is always installed into a target device.

BE220C maintains all features of the Bega220 series. Functionality, interfaces and pinout of a communication protocol are the same. BE220C is supplied with a cable for connection to a communication connector on a bottom side of the module and also with a USB reduction (for connection of a keyboard or a mouse). The module should be powered by a 12V/1-1,2A adapter with a 5,5/2,5 mm DC connector. Also supplied is the CD with a user manual, software development kit (SDK) and code examples.

BE220C can be used (similarly like Bega220) for control of any devices or processes while maintaining an advantage of an easy programming in the Windows environment and compatibility with widely available software for a PC.

Detailed information will provide you the BE220C flyer and the BEGA220 user manual.

BE220 – intelligent embedded platform for even better price! – [Link]

Gain the intelligent display module suitable also for use with Raspberry Pi

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Set uLCD-43PT-PI from 4D Systems allows to use the display module in any application and in addition, also with the popular micro PC Raspberry Pi. Using the included serial adapter and connecting cord it´s possible to start programming the display module within few seconds.

Gain set of uLCD-43PT-PI in value of 150, – EUR for free!

All that is necessary is to answer us a simple question:

What is the name of the graphics processor used in display uLCD-43PT?

uLCD-43PT-PI module (driven by a Picaso processor) includes a rich set of serial commands that can accept the Raspberry PI to draw basic shapes (lines, rectangles, circles), text, images, sound and writing data to the USD. 5V power supply is taken over the bus directly from the Raspberry Pi (or PC USB port) and therefore requires no external power adapter.

The display can be programmed using the (free) software 4D Systems Workshop 4 IDE Software. To program through regular PC you need to purchase 4D programming cable. For use in real applications a quality frame 4DBEZEL-43 can be a useful. It´s a ready-made solution with brass bushings and accurately designed metal spring clips.


Gain the intelligent display module suitable also for use with Raspberry Pi – [Link]