Beacon Keyer

Lukas Fässler from Soldernerd published a project showing how he built a PIC-based beacon keyer:

This is likely the first ham radio related project that I document here on this blog
But my very first PIC project was a beacon keyer that I made for my father, HB9BBD. That was in 2013. A beacon keyer is a great project to get started with microcontrollers since it’s not much more than a fancy way of blinking an LED.

Beacon Keyer – [Link]

Add WiFi & Bluetooth Easily With Koala® Connect Modules

Clarinox Technologies Pty Ltd was formed with the aim of providing cost effective and innovative wireless embedded systems solutions to business. Due to the experience of the Clarinox team, more embedded systems are designed to develop leading edge solutions. In addition to delivering flexible and robust wireless protocol software for embedded systems developments.

Clarinox hottest products are Koala® Connect Modules! A compact option for adding Wi-Fi® and / or Bluetooth® to new and existing projects.

These modules will give you a stable environment while used with Koala® EVM, the first and only development board to support development for all major wireless technologies. It enables embedded systems developers to create both low and high power wireless systems communicating over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth Low Energy. It provides a fast and cost effective way to commence embedded wireless development with all major wireless technologies.

Each module features a single onboard processor to drive the user application in addition to multiple wireless protocols. The modules available are:

Koala® Connect Modules
KM-141201 (20 x 30mm BT/BLE)
KM-153101 (20 x 34mm Wi-Fi+BT/BLE)

Carrier Board for Koala® Connect
KC-018102

Sensor Modules
KM-990501 Sensor Board

The Koala EVM and wireless module family will help shorten development time, reduce development costs, and open the door to new possibilities for wireless device features.

And these are the specifications

Hardware Specifications

MCU: STM32F411 (Bluetooth/BLE), STM32F412 (Wi-Fi + Bluetooth/BLE)

Wi-Fi Radio: TI WL1831MOD / WL1837MOD

  • 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz
  • -96.3dBm RX Sensitivity
  • STA, AP & Wi-Fi Direct Modes

Bluetooth / Bluetooth LE Radio: TI WL1831MOD / WL1837MOD

  • Dual-mode Bluetooth & Bluetooth Low Energy
  • Bluetooth v4.1 Compliance and CSA2 Support
  • Host Controller Interface (HCI) Transport for Bluetooth Over UART

I/O Signals: ADC, GPIO, I2C, I2S, SPI, UART, USB

Industrial Temperature Grade: -40°C to +85°C

Software Specifications

Supported Technologies: Wi-Fi WLAN, Wi-Fi Direct Concurrent Operation (Multichannel, Multirole), Bluetooth, Bluetooth LE

You can get your own products from Clarinox by filling this inquiry. More details about Koala Connect Modules are available here, also a start manual for KoalaEVM is available here.

Current Sensor Amplifier & Over Current Switch

Current sensor amplifier and over current switch project is based on ACS714-30A current sensor and LM358 Op-amp, ½ of  LM358 op-amp used as an amplifier for low voltage  and 2nd 1/2 LM358 op-amp used as comparator which provides over current TTL output, trimmer potentiometer provided to set the over current limit.  ACS714 sensor measures the current up to +/-30Amps, final output of the amplifier is 235mV/1A, and normally over current output is High-TTL, its goes low once the current over shoot than a set point. Circuit requires 5V DC and 40mA, Onboard LED indicates the power. Resistor divider R1, R3 provides bus voltage output for micro-controller interface to measure the bus voltage, choose appropriate value for R3, R1 as per your application and bus voltage, it’s should be less than 5V DC.

Current Sensor Amplifier & Over Current Switch – [Link]

Master Your Arduino Skills With Arduino Playground Book

Are you an experienced maker who are looking for more advanced Arduino skills to get?

Warren Andrews, an experienced engineer and journalist, wrote a new book that walks makers through building 10 outside-the-box projects, helping them advance their engineering and electronics know-how. With this book, makers will delve more deeply into hardware design, electronics, and programming.

The “Arduino Playground: Geeky Projects for the Curious Maker” book is published by the Geek book publisher, No Starch Press. Projects inside the book provide a way to build new things that vary between practical and fun.

Content of the book

The book has 11 chapters, the first one is a warm up, it contains a quick guide to get the Arduino ready, prepare the IDE and try some sketches, making DIY PCBs, and using SOICs. Each chapter of the other 10 chapters is a project chapter that starts with listing the required tools, components, and software, followed by detailed instructions of the build containing all sketches and board templates. There are also author’s design notes, which are sure to provide inspiration for your own inventions.

  • Chapter 0: Setting Up and Useful Skills
  • Chapter 1: The Reaction-Time Machine
    A reaction-time game that leverages the Arduino’s real-time capabilities
  • Chapter 2: An Automated Agitator for PCB Etching
    A tool for etching your own printed circuit boards
  • Chapter 3: The Regulated Power Supply
    A regulated, variable-voltage power supply
  • Chapter 4: A Watch Winder
    A kinetic wristwatch winder decked out with LEDs
  • Chapter 5: The Garage Sentry Parking Assistant
    A garage parking assistant that blinks when your vehicle is perfectly parked
  • Chapter 6: The Battery Saver
    A battery saver that prevents accidental discharge
  • Chapter 7: A Custom pH Meter
  • A practical and colorful pH meter
  • Chapter 8: Two Ballistic Chronographs
    A ballistic chronograph that can measure the muzzle velocity of BB, Airsoft, and pellet guns
  • Chapter 9: The Square-Wave Generator
    A square-wave generator
  • Chapter 10: The Chromatic Thermometer
    A thermometer that tells the temperature using a sequence of colored LEDs

Reviews

“Arduino Playground is not for the faint of heart. Unless the faint of heart person plans to build a pacemaker with Arduino!” —ScienceBlogs

“This is a book designed for Arduino enthusiasts who’ve mastered the basics, conquered the soldering iron, and programmed a robot or two. Warren Andrews shows you how to keep your hardware hands busy.” —I Programmer

The book is available for $30 on No Starch Press and Amazon. You can view the detailed table of contents and the index, and also you can download Chapter 4: A Watch Winder, and the sketches, templates, and PCB files used in this book.

Early Diagnosis Now Possible With Smart Bandage

IoE era is here since we are able now to add mobile radio capabilities in our applications! The latest incarnation of the cell phone network will offer internet connectivity and possibilities that could only be dreamt of previously depending on your standpoint, and many more factors.

And now let’s embed these concept in medical applications, like “Smart Bandage” . It is conceivable that sensors embedded in a medical dressing could continuously monitor the wound healing process and send alerts to medical personnel when an infection is detected.  Maybe the patient could not tell accurately  since the pain is not a valid indicator of biological dysfunction. The problem is that we all have different thresholds; some stalwarts may endure the pain and only end up visiting a doctor as a last resort when the simple infection has developed into something nastier. Other patients will be convinced that a slight twinge is evidence of a life threatening condition. An objective assessment of the patient’s state of health will not only be reassuring to the patient, but also lead to a more efficient use of medical resources and reduced health care costs.

For this reason, band-aids with sensors and 5G network interfaces seem like a win-win formula. They will give the doctor an early indication of problems and may even be able to run rudimentary diagnostics to indicate the cause of the problem. Instead of long waiting times for appointments and expensive laboratory tests we could, for example get an immediate recommendation of an effective antibiotic. This is just one small example of the many benefits that the IoE will eventually bring to medical care in the future.

“That intelligent dressing uses nano-technology to sense the state of that wound at any one specific time. It would connect that wound to a 5G infrastructure and that infrastructure through your telephone will also know things about you – where you are, how active you are at any one time. You combine all of that intelligence so the clinician knows the performance of the specific wound at any specific time and can then tailor the treatment protocol to the individual and wound in question.” – Prof Marc Clement, chairman of the Institute of Life Science (ILS).

 

Via: Elektor

Mostly free engineering software

Michael Dunn @ edn.com has compiled a list of software that most enginners should be aware off.

We’re living in a golden age of software, where many useful programs are available – for free!

Let’s survey some of what’s out there that just might interest an engineering crowd like the EDN  community.

I can’t offer personal opinions on most of these packages, but I expect to hear back from you after you’ve test driven a few.

Mostly free engineering software – [Link]

FPGAs For MCU Guys

by Max Maxfield @ eeweb.com:

A little while ago, it struck me that I was getting tired of explaining what FPGAs are and how they work their magic to those of my chums who — thus far — have worked only with microcontrollers (MCUs), so I decided to write a three-part mini-series of articles to offer as an introduction.

FPGAs For MCU Guys – [Link]

Motor driver fits small IoT devices

Susan Nordyk @ edn.com:

A single-chip 2.6 A driver for brushed DC motors, STMicroelectronics’ STSPIN250 targets battery-powered portable and wearable applications. This low-voltage, energy-efficient driver integrates a power MOSFET bridge and fixed off-time PWM current controller in a tiny 3×3 mm VFQFPN package.

Motor driver fits small IoT devices – [Link]

Fuel gauge needs no battery characterization

by Susan Nordyk @ edn.com

The MAX17055 single-cell fuel gauge from Maxim not only eliminates battery characterization, but also keeps SOC (state-of-charge) error to within 1% in most scenarios. With its ModelGauge m5 EZ algorithm, the device provides tolerance against battery diversity for most lithium batteries and applications. It also allows system designer’s to decide when to shut down the device when the battery gets low, maximizing device runtime.

As the battery approaches the critical region near empty, the ModelGauge m5 algorithm invokes a special error correction mechanism that eliminates any error. In addition, it provides three methods for reporting the age of the battery: reduction in capacity, increase in battery resistance, and cycle odometer.

Fuel gauge needs no battery characterization – [Link]