Test/Measurements category

Air Quality Analyzer

This is a project that analyses home air quality and records the values in a SD card.

The quality of the air that we breathe, is very important to our health. This device analyses the air quality inside our homes, and records the values in a SD card. By analyzing the stored values, we know how the evolution of the parameters thru time was.

I will use temperature, humidity and air quality sensors that are cheap enough to use in this kind of project, without sacrificing too much the precision. The main idea behind this project is to know if the air is breathable or not.

Air Quality Analyzer – [Link]

Low cost single cell L-Ion battery pack simulator

Mare @ e.pavlin.si designed a single cell Li-Ion battery pack simulator to facilitate the testing process of a new device.

Modern battery operated portable devices use smart battery packs. Every new development of an electronic medical device must follow strict design flow defined by world-wide or local regulatory
directives. The development process of any such device using smart battery pack requires specific operating conditions to meet the testing criteria. When smart battery pack is one of the main power sources the host system should be tested with several battery states. The testing is necessary during development, validation and later in production testing.

Low cost single cell Li-Ion battery pack simulator – [Link]

Oscilloscope, generator, debugger, multimeter and much more

The complete electronics lab on your desk. Oscilloscope, waveform generator, programmer & debugger, VCOM, host device and more.

OMNIBOARD is is a versatile, portable electronics workbench. I have created the OMNIBOARD to make electronics easier and more affordable, to put in your hands tools which are rarely accessible for hobbyists while still being easy to use for the beginners and powerful enough for the experts.

OMNIBOARD can be used as the USB device, connected to the computer or as a standalone device (limited functionality: oscilloscope, basic waveform generator, voltmeter, power supply & clock source).

Ikalogic logic analyzers come with open source protocol decoder scripts

The MicroUSB-connected ScanaQuad series of 4-channel logic analyzers from Ikalogic perfectly fit serial protocols debugging and diagnostic purposes for the like of I2C, SPI, RS232, CAN or 1-Wire. By Julien Happich @ eenewseurope.com

Smaller than a matchbox and available in four versions, the ScanaQuad Logic analyzer captures or generates signals or do both simultaneously, not only supporting protocol debugging but also useful to stimulate a circuit with test patterns and check its response.

The four versions include the SQ25 with a 25MHz sampling rate and 256k Pts per channel, the SQ50 with a 50MHz sampling rate and 1M Pts per channel, the SQ100 with a 100MHz sampling rate and 2M Pts per channel and the SQ200 with a 200MHz sampling rate and offering 4M Pts per channel. Complex multi-step trigger lets you target precise features of your data, like a specific I 2C address or a CAN frame ID. Trigger sequences can even be defined for proprietary protocols.

Over 30 open-source protocol decoder scripts are available, included by default, but intuitive ScanaStudio software allows users to modify existing protocol scripts or write their own proprietary decoder via an integrated IDE using (Java) scripts.

Ikalogic is actively working on new software updates as well as new products and supports its user base with a forum and downloadable code on GitHub.

website – www.ikalogic.com

ESP8266: Monitoring Power Consumption

Dani Eichhorn @ thingpulse.com writes:

In this post I’m going to show you how you can monitor the power consumption of your battery driven (ESP8266/ ESP32) device. Measuring the power consumption over a full activity/ sleep cycle is the precondition to optimize your code for a longer battery runtime. Only with a reliable tool you can decide which code changes lead to less consumption. In a later post we’ll look at some tweaks we can apply to the code to get a few more days out of the battery.

ESP8266: Monitoring Power Consumption – [Link]

Revolutionizing Electric Field Measuring Techniques

Nowadays, electrical fields are being used not only in electrical engineering, but also for industrial, weather forecasting, safety, and medical applications. As a result, the need for a precise electric field strength measurement device has become increasingly high, and many investigations have devoted their resources to creating such device. TU Wien has developed a small electric field sensor that is much simpler, and most importantly, it is less prone to distortion.

There are a lot of measurement systems in the market. However, most of them are big, depend on complex surrounding calibration procedures, or the device is grounded to provide a reference measurement. All these factors cause distortion that affects the measurement. Additionally, dielectric devices develop surfaces charges that also lead to distortion, and conductive metallic components can have the same effect.

The sensor made by TU Wien is made from silicon forming a small, grid shaped structure fixed onto a small spring, so that when the silicon is exposed to an electrical field a force is exerted on the silicon crystals causing the spring to compress or extend. Another grid was added to make these slight changes visible. The silicon grid is lined up, so when movement occurs, light can pass through which is then measured and used to calculate the electrical field. It can only measure strength not direction, and it can be used for fields of up to 1 k Hz.  The silicon structures are just a few micrometers in diameter making it much smaller than conventional sensors.

This method of measurement is new, Andreas Kainzs from the Institute of Sensor and Actuator Systems says that in the future they would be able to achieve even better results as the measuring technique matures. The sensor is a micromechanical systems (MEMs) that has the potential for replacing the measuring techniques used nowadays. This device is not only less prone to distortion, but also portable, easy to transport and capable of fitting into wearables. The prototype has can measure weak fields of less than 200 volts per meter. This means that in terms of measuring capabilities, this sensor can easily compete with those already in the market. The sensor is not currently being sold, and TU Wien plans on keep improving the device.

[Source]

Arduino Milliohm Meter

danielrp @ instructables.com writes:

This is an accurate milliohm meter with a maximum resolution of 0.1mOhm. The design is very simple, the whole assembly can be built in a couple of hours once all the parts are gathered. It is based on a precision current sink and a high-resolution ADC controlled by an Arduino Nano V3. It uses a Kelvin connection with the resistor under test to exclude the resistance of test leads from the measurements. It can be very useful for measuring small resistors and the resistance of PCB traces, motor coils, inductance coils, transformer coils, or calculate the length of wires.

Arduino Milliohm Meter – [Link]

Pokit – Multimeter, Oscilloscope & Logger in your pocket

Pokit – Multimeter, Oscilloscope & Logger in your pocket – [Link]

Physicists design $100 handheld muon detector

by Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office:

Now physicists working in MIT’s Laboratory for Nuclear Science have designed a pocket-sized cosmic ray muon detector to track these ghostly particles. The detector can be made with common electrical parts, and when turned on, it lights up and counts each time a muon passes through. The relatively simple device costs just $100 to build, making it the most affordable muon detector available today.

Physicists design $100 handheld muon detector – [Link]

Continuity Tester using ATtiny85

This article describes a simple continuity tester based on an ATtiny85. The tester features a buzzer that sounds to help you determinate the trace continuity. It is designed for checking circuit wiring, or tracing out the tracks on a PCB. According to it’s author David Johnson-Davies it has a low threshold resistance of 50Ω to avoid false positives, and passes less than 0.1mA through the circuit under test, to avoid affecting sensitive components. It’s powered from a small button cell, and automatically switches itself off when not in use, avoiding the need for an on/off switch.

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