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R&S®NGE100 power supply series with WiFi option

The R&S®NGE100 power supply series consists of robust, high-performance, affordable instruments. They offer high efficiency combined with low ripple plus a variety of comfort functions that are not usually found in this class of power supplies.
The R&S®NGE100 power supply series consists of the R&S®NGE102 two-channel power supply and the R&S®NGE103 three-channel power supply. Both instruments provide up to 33.6 W output power per channel Unlike most power supplies in this class, the R&S®NGE100 power supplies feature 100 % electrically equivalent output channels. All outputs are earth-free and short-circuit-proof. The output channels can be combined in serial or in parallel to achieve higher voltages or higher currents (up to 96V/9 A using all three channels of the R&S®NGE103).

Key Facts

  • R&S®NGE102 with two or R&S®NGE103 with three channels
  • Max. output power of 66 W with R&S®NGE102,
  • 100 W with R&S®NGE103 (33.6 W per channel)
  • Max. output voltage of 32 V per channel (up to 64 V/96 V in serial operation)
  • Max. output current of 3 A per channel (up to 6 A/9 A in parallel operation)
  • Electronic fuse (OCP), overvoltage protection (OVP), overpower protection (OPP), over temperature protection (OTP)
  • USB interface (VCP/TMC), optional LAN (LXI), optional wireless LAN
  • Optional digital I/O (4bit)

Volterman, Your Personal Smart Wallet

With the rapid growth of technology, smartphones and e-payments are replacing cards, cash, and wallets. However, developers are still trying to keep wallets relevant in the 21st century, and Volterman is the newest attempts. Besides WiFi hotspot and power bank, Volterman also provides novel security features to protect your phone and wallet from loss.

Similar to other smart wallets, Volterman has a GPS tracking capability, so you can find it easily in case it lost. Through Bluetooth connectivity, it connects to the smartphone to ensure that you will not forget one of them. An alarm will start ringing to notify you and pick up what you have missed.

The new innovative idea on Volterman is a small built-in camera. It captures everyone trying to open the wallet while “lost mode” is running. The pictures are sent directly to the paired smartphone, meaning that you will know who is using your wallet and where is he. With an embedded SIM card, you are also able to track your wallet via the website.

Volterman’s Embedded System Specification

Inside the wallet, there is a full computing system to do all the stuff. The main components are:

  • CPU: ARM Cortex A9
  • Memory: 512MB RAM, and 32GB ROM
  • SD card: 64GB embedded card
  • Bluetooth: 5.0
  • Camera: 4MP
  • Mobile Network: Worldwide 2G, 3G
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11 BGN, Hotspot
  • GPS: A-GPS, GLONASS
  • Connector: magnetic connecter by Volterman
  • Power Bank: 2000mA, 2600mA, 5000mA, in addition to the capability of wireless charging.
  • Input voltage: 5V, 1A
  • Output voltage: 5V, 500mA

An interesting point is that the purchase price is covering the data charges for the GPS tracking and sending of photos to the Volterman server. According to the makers, Volterman will automatically connect to local networks in 98 countries, but at the moment the exact tariffs from country to country are unclear. However, it is offering up to 3 times cheaper internet cost than the regular price, with an early estimate of around $15 per 1 GB.

The Volterman comes in three different sizes: a small cardholder model $98 with 2,000-mAh power bank, a conventional bifold wallet $135 with 2,600-mAh power bank, or a larger travel size $157 designed to hold more cards, a passport and with a 5,000-mAh power bank.

After reaching more than one million dollars on IndieGoGo, Volterman is now ready for mass production and estimated to start shipping and the first quarter of 2018.

Take a look at the crowdfunding campaign video below:

Imagina Book, For Augmented Reality Education

Virtual reality and Augmented reality became essential technologies these days. They have an important role in making products much exciting and entertaining, especially in education. Recently, Livit Studios announced its new augmented reality book series “Imagina Book“.

Imagina Books is an educational book series that converts the classic and traditional book into an interactive and 3d visualized. It provides a new reading and learning method which leads to better understanding and also more enjoyable experience for kids.

Imagina consists of two components, a mobile application, and a printed booklet. Using the app is easy, so the kid in only need to put the camera on a page and then an interactive animated 3D model will appear on the screen.

This technology can cover most of the scientific topics by making some customization to the app and print a new book. However, the first book of the series is about the human body, and Livit had launched it through a kickstarter campaign. It is a journey inside the human body allows kids to explore their body organs and functions with an interactive augmented reality experience. Below I will talk more about the book and the application.

Imagina Book Features

The book is a hardcover 32-page booklet for children from 8 to 12. It is designed to be attractive for kids and to have a substantial amount of science on its own. It also consists of several sections, each one talk about a system in the human body.

Sarah and Adam are two friendly characters who will take the learners on a journey to explore their body. They make the learning experience more friendly and enjoyable for kids. In addition, the printed book is a high quality and colorful, to make sure that kids will love it.

Imagina Book App Features

The app is compatible with both IOS 9 and above devices, and Android 5.0 and above devices. Inside the app, the “gamification” process is one of the main aspects of the learning process. The 3D games include levels and achievement goals to help the learner develop a sense of competition among his peers and friends.

Main features of Imagina book app:

  • 3D Models Overlay
    The app simply adds another dimension to the 2D conventional world of books. It overlays 3D models of each organ or system on each page of the book.
  • Organs Animation
    Each model is a realistic rendering of the body organs and systems with accurate animations that portray the functionality of each organ.
  • 3D Info Labels
    The user can inspect the anatomy of the human body organs with the help of accurate 3D labels for each part of the organ.
  • Interaction
    The user can interact with 3D models by resizing and rotating them to better visualize each organ.
  • Screenshot & Share
    The user can take screenshots from the application anytime and share these shots via social media.
  • In-Game Currency
    You gain coins when you finish each level. You use coins to build your own in-game hospital.
  • 3D Games
    For each organ, they made a customized 3D interactive game in which Sarah and Adam help the learner identify the basic anatomy of the organs.

Although there are still 17 days remaining for the kickstarter campaign, Imagina Book achieved their goal of $9,000. And with $21, you can pack your early bird copy of the human body book, while the original copy is available for $25.

More details and information can be found on the official website.

Voladd: The First Fully Integrated 3D Printer

The Spain based Voladd company introduces their fully integrated 3D printer on a kickstarter campaign. The heart of printer is a BeagleBone Black single board computer running Debian Linux that connects to cloud service directly without need of an attached computer.

With your smartphone, tablet or laptop, you have the power to search for thousands of available objects in the online platform connected to your Voladd 3D printer. It’s as easy as pressing play and listening to a song. No downloads. No software installation. No previous knowledge of 3D printing required. Just select your desired object and make it. It’s as simple as that.

Kickstarter pricing starts with early bird packages of 499 Euros ($591), with shipments due in December.

Da Vinci Color, The First Full Color 3D Printer

3D Printing became an important process in prototyping, and sometimes in manufacturing. But till now, the filament types available in the market are limiting printing colors. Although there are many multi color printers, printing a design in full color is still a dream.

XYZprinting has announced its da Vinci Color printer, the world’s first full color 3D printer. In fact, the printer combines inkjet techniques with Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF). It uses ink cartridges to drop pigment onto each layer of plastic filament as it prints.

da Vinci Color Specification

  • Build volume: 200 x 200 x 150 mm
  • Layer resolution: 100-400 microns (0.1-0.4 mm)
  • Filament material: 3D Color-inkjet PLA / PLA / Tough PLA / PETG
  • Ink type: Separate ink cartridge (CMYK)
  • Nozzle diameter: 0.4 mm
  • Print bed: EZ-removable print bed (non-heated)
  • Print bed leveling: Auto-leveling
  • XYZ position precision: X/Y 12.5 micron, Z 4 micron
  • Build speed: Average: 30-60 mm/sec, Max: 120mm /sec
  • Print head travel speed: 30 – 300 mm/s
  • Host software: XYZmaker
  • File type: AMF, PLY, OBJ, STL, 3CP
  • Power requirements: 100-240 V, 50-60 HZ
  • Connectivity: WiFi, USB 2.0 port
  • Operating temperature: 15-30℃

Fortunately, the printing base area of ​​20 x 20 x 15 cm provides a large build volume in a relatively small housing. The machine prints at an average resolution of 100-400 microns, so the lines where two colors meet can get a little blurry when viewed up close, but the output is generally pretty impressive. It’s basically an ink jet printer that outputs in 3D, so the results aren’t quite as sharp as a professional production job.

In addition, the software is easy to use and supports most common 3D file formats, amf, ply, obj, stl, and 3cp. Users of any age can download designs and add colors, or create their own colored prototypes from scratch. Thus, with an embedded color touch screen, users can control the printer and do some setting easily, such as connecting to the home wireless network. Also, da Vinci Color has many sensors that indicate broken material during the printing process, allowing users to save time and filament.

Applications of da Vinci Color printer

This types of 3D printer may have a several areas of applications, some of them according to the manufacturer are:

  • Animation and film: Enables production of prototypes in color that can be used immediately after printing
  • Architects and designers: The production of solid models, miniatures and prototypes provides customers with a better appreciation of design concepts.
  • Small businesses: The 3D printer helps to create your own company models and products with 3D full-color printing. Color printing reduces costs and speeds up production. The use of PLA filaments ensures that time and money is not wasted on post-processing.
  • Schools: Enables color printing by students in 3D, let their creativity run wild.
  • Model makers and collectors: All types of model figures and accessories can be produced including comic book figures rendered in authentic colors. You can also print the original designs.

The printer price is $3,500. But it is available now for pre-ordering for only $3,000 on XYZ official store, with estimated shipping date at the end of November. Beyond that, you have to buy four ink cartridges (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) for $65 each, and you need a special filament that works with the ink, which costs $35 per roll.

Making AI Projects Become Easier With NVIDIA Jetson

Hardware development boards became a key enabler for many of recent hardware projects. Such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi, these boards are great for beginners and hobbyists to kick start and bring ideas to reality.

Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are the technologies of the future. So it is important to know how the process goes, and what type of hardware to use. But with the limited computing capabilities of current boards, developers need a powerful and easy to use tools.

Nvidia provides a good solution with its Jetson boards, which are siblings to NVIDIA’s Drive PX boards for autonomous driving. The first board TX1 was released in November, 2015, and now Nvidia has just released the more powerful and power-efficient Jetson TX2 board.

Image credit: Android central

The TX2 is a complete supercomputer. It is a development tool and a field-ready module to power any AI-based equipment. Developers can use it to build equipment around, and also use it itself to run demos and simulations.

Jetson TX2 comes with NVIDIA’s Pascal™ architecture, which boasts 150 billion transistors built on 16 nanometer FinFET fabrication technology.

Some of technical specifications

  • NVIDIA Parker series Tegra X2: 256-core Pascal GPU and two 64-bit Denver CPU cores paired with four Cortex-A57 CPUs in an HMP configuration
  • 8GB of 128-bit LPDDR4 RAM
  • 32GB eMMC 5.1 onboard storage
  • 802.11b/g/n/ac 2×2 MIMO Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • USB 3.0 and USB 2.0
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • SD card slot for external storage
  • SATA 2.0
  • Complete multi-channel PMIC
  • 400 pin high-speed and low-speed industry standard I/O connector
Nvidia Jetson TX1 and TX2 comparision

TX2 has two performance operating modes: Max-Q and Max-P. Max-Q is the TX2’s energy efficiency mode, at 7.5W, this mode clocks the Parker SoC for efficiency over performance (essentially placing it right before the bend in the power/performance curve) with NVIDIA claiming that this mode offers 2x the energy efficiency of the Jetson TX1. In this mode, TX2 should have similar performance to TX1 in the latter’s max performance mode.

Meanwhile the board’s Max-P mode is its maximum performance mode. In this mode NVIDIA sets the board TDP to 15W, allowing the TX2 to hit higher performance at the cost of some energy efficiency. NVIDIA claims that Max-P offers up to 2x the performance of the Jetson TX1, though as GPU clock speeds aren’t double TX1’s, it’s going to be a bit more sensitive on an application-by-application basis.

Image credit: anandtech

Devices such as robots, drones, 360 cameras, medical, etc., can use Jetson for “edge” machine learning. The ability to process data locally and with limited power is useful when connectivity bandwidth is limited or spotty (like in remote locations), latency is critical (real-time control), or where privacy and security is a concern.

Jetson TX2 is available as a developer kit for $500 at arrow.com. In fact, this kit comes with design guides and documentation, and is pre-flashed with a Linux development environment. It also supports the NVIDIA Jetpack SDK, which includes the BSP, libraries for deep learning, computer vision, GPU computing, multimedia processing, and more.

Finally, this video compares Jetson TX1 and TX2 boards:

GnuBee Personal Cloud 2

The GnuBee is live on crowdsupply.com.

The GnuBee Personal Cloud 2 (GB-PC2) is a network-attached storage (NAS) device specifically engineered to run free, libre, open source software (FLOSS). The GB-PC2 has all the functionality of any commercial, proprietary NAS, but at a much lower cost and with the transparency, reliability, and accessibility advantages that come with using FLOSS.

GnuBee Personal Cloud 2 – [Link]

PCB Prototyping Is Much Easier Than Before With This PCB Printer

3D printers and other prototyping tools are making it easier and simpler to build prototypes and test ideas. Building circuit boards is fun but difficult. While you could do it at home with  some etchant and some clear plastic, PCB printer hopes to make the entire process much faster and easier.  The success of these tools make them necessary through the different domains of manufacturing.

A desktop PCB printer?

Voltera V-One is a desktop PCB printer that can make two layer circuit boards. It can print onto the standard FR4 boards, and also place small components on the board.

In fact, the Voltera V-One uses a gantry system, similar to a 3D printer or CNC mill, to move accurately in the X, Y, and Z dimensions. The base of the V-One also heats up like a skillet to bake the conductive ink into place and to reflow SMD parts.

V-One has three tool heads that attach magnetically:

  1. a probe to measure the blank PCB and feature locations
  2. a conductive ink dispenser that draws the circuit traces and part pads
  3. a solder paste dispenser that applies solder to pads for surface-mount devices (SMD)

This video shows a brief about how Voltera works, it produced a printed circuit board of a prototype GPS module in about  half an hour.

Voltera V-One is available for $3,500. You can get more information about V-One and its specifications by visiting the official website.

Microchip SST26WF064C Flash Memory Chip

SST26WF064C – Low-voltage 64-Megabit SuperFlash® Memory Device From Microchip

Microchip introduced a new 64Mbit Serial Quad I/O memory device—SST26WF064C with proprietary SuperFlash® technology. The SST26WF064C writes with a single power supply of 1.65-1.95V and significantly lower power consumption. This makes it ideal for wireless, mobile, and battery-powered applications.

Microchip SST26WF064C Flash Memory Chip
Microchip SST26WF064C Flash Memory Chip

This 64Mbit memory device also features DTR or Dual Transfer Rate technology. DTR lets the user access data of the chip on both rising and falling edges of the clock, reducing overall data access time and power consumption significantly. The SST26WF064C utilizes a 4-bit multiplexed I/O serial interface to boost performance while maintaining the tiny form factor of standard serial flash devices.

Microchip’s high-performance CMOS SuperFlash technology provides the fastest chip erase time, consequently, reduces overall power consumption. It also improves performance and reliability of the memory chip. The SST26WF064C’s typical chip-erase time is 35-50 milliseconds, where other chips take nearly 30 seconds to be completely erased.

This chip combines a hardware controlled RESET function which is not present in common flash chips available in the market due to their limited pin count. In SST26WF064C, the user can program the HOLD pin to use for the RESET function. This feature lets the host microcontroller to reset the chip by sending a pulse to it.

SST26WF064C supports full command-set compatibility with traditional Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) protocol. Operating at frequencies reaching 104 MHz, the SST26WF064C enables minimum latency execute-in-place (XIP) capability without the need for code shadowing on a SRAM. To learn about code shadowing, read this article.

The key features of the SST26WF064C are:

  • Single Voltage Read and Write Operations – 1.65-1.95V
  • Serial Interface Architecture
  • High-Speed Clock Frequency (104 MHz max.)
  • Burst Modes
  • Superior Reliability
  • Low Power Consumption
  • Fast Erase Time
  • Flexible Erase Capability
  • Suspend Program or Erase operation to access another block/sector
  • Software and Hardware Reset mode
  • Software Protection
  • Security ID
  • One-Time Programmable (OTP) 2KByte Secure ID
  • 64 bit unique, factory pre-programmed identifier
  • User-programmable area

To learn more about this memory chip or to purchase some, visit http://www.microchip.com/wwwproducts/en/SST26WF064C.

Turn Your iPad Into A Second Screen with Luna

It is possible now to turn your iPad into a second display using Luna Display! Luna Display is a hardware solution that extends your Mac desktop to your iPad, creating a wireless second monitor maintaining high resolution.

In fact, Luna is one of Astro HQ products, a startup working on delivering tools for designers and animation creators. It is originally  founded by two ex-Apple engineers, a reason to understand the loyalty for Apple products!

With no complicated settings, you can set up Luna in seconds using your already available Wi-Fi. This feature is Powered by Astro HQ LIQUID technology. Anyway if Wi-Fi is not available, USB can be the alternative.

 LIQUID technology provides:

  • Uncompromised image quality
  • Lightning fast speeds
  • Lag-free performance at 60 frames per second
  • GPU acceleration, so your Mac stays fast and optimized
  • Hand optimized ARM assembly to maximize battery life
  • Velocity Control, which analyzes network conditions dozens of times per second

System Requirements

Works with any modern Mac – Luna requires a Mac running macOS 10.10, Yosemite (or later). Recommended configurations: MacBook Air (2012 and later), MacBook Pro (2012 and later), Mac mini (2012 and later), iMac (2012 and later), Mac Pro (Late 2013).

Works with any modern iPad – Luna requires an iPad running iOS 9.1 (or later): iPad 2 (or later), any iPad Mini and any iPad Pro.

 

You can perfectly use Luna Display with the software Astropad, a software that allows you to draw directly into your Mac apps using your iPad and it works over wifi or USB.

“Luna extends both Astropad Standard and Astropad Studio to provide the ultimate drawing experience with the best second screen solution for iPad. If you are a creative professional, Luna has been designed with you in mind.”
Unlike other solutions, Luna uses the raw power of your graphics card, and harnesses it in order to allow you have the full potential of graphics acceleration. Check this video about the technology used in Luna Display, battery use and energy.

To know more about Luna, you can check the Kickstarter campaign they launched earlier.
Fortunately, the 1,450% funded campaign is still running and still has 39 days to go. You can pre-order your Luna Display gadget for 65$, or the Artist bundle for $99, including 1 Luna Display and 1 year Astropad Studio.

For more information and details, you can check the official website of Astropad and Astro HQ. Also, take a look at the campaign video here.