Test/Measurements category

SPIDriver – A better SPI Adapter

This moment in Crowd Supply you can find SPIDriver an intuitive tool for using SPI devices. The campaign that has already collected over $1000 of its $2700 goal, was designed to launch into the market a device to make our lives easier. It can be used with any SPI device such as LCD panels, flash memory, sensor LEDs etc. but what does it does exactly? The SPI driver shows you the SPI bus in real time, which is useful for debugging, testing, and calibrating.

It works with Windows, Mac, and Linux, and it can be controlled via the command line, python 2 or 3, C and C++, or a GUI. It is easy to plug in and includes 3.3 and 5 v supply. The display shows you what it’s happening in real time and sustains SPI transfers at 500 kbps. Additionally, it measures only 61 mm x 49 mm x 6 mm. Also, it uses a FTDI USB serial chip to talk to the PC.

Some of the solutions used as an example in the Crowd Supply webpage are:

  • Driving, testing, and evaluating new displays. Using displays is often difficult and getting them to work can be hard, but this device makes it easy
  • Programming SPI flash. Reading and writing SPI flash in- circuit. For example, for Atmel´s flash, a short script is everything you need to read and write
  • Lightning up LED strips. SPIDriver makes using these devices fast and fun giving users the ability to rapidly test using its own power supply

Plus, the colors in the screen are the same colors as in the cables, so you can know exactly what you are seeing.

The PCB is being manufactured by JLCPCB in Shenzhen, and its assembled in Pescadero USA. The units are thoroughly tested and calibrated with 1% accuracy.

There are 28 days left on the campaign, and you can support it with $27, $57 or 69$ which will get you your own SPIDriver (and some other stuff depending on the amount you pledge). The company claims that they will start delivering rewards on August 24th.

This device was designed, so that you never have to ask yourself again “What’s it doing now?”, and its meant to be used by all kinds of people from total beginners to experts. The complete specifications can be found on this website which is also the place to back the project.

Bode Analyzer using STM32F407 Discovery board

Debraj shares his project details of a Bode Analyzer using STM32F407. He writes:

Frequency domain analysis is very important to know more about any system/ circuit or transfer function that we deal with. And the first thought comes to our mind about frequency domain analysis is “Bode plot“. Bode plot is a combination plot of magnitude and phase difference of output vs. input of a cosine wave of single frequency, when it is applied to a circuit.

Each of these cosine wave (signal) are applied once at a time and the frequency (in Hz or rad/sec) is increased in linear order (called chirp). All the while the amplitude of sine wave is kept constant (at say 1V_peak). While the frequency can be increased in small steps (1Hz/ sec), the time required to complete the entire frequency range can be quite big. Hence, it is preferred to choose 20 frequencies/ decade. For example, I had chosen 05Hz, 1Hz, 1.5Hz, 2Hz, 2.5Hz… 10Hz.

Bode Analyzer using STM32F407 Discovery board – [Link]

iTRUBEC Minimonitor v1.0 – IoT for Bees

A beehive (and not only) monitor (temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity and noise level) the size of a box of matches.

iTRUBEC Minimonitor started as a side project to another our project – iTRUBEC – beehive heating – published recently. The objective was to build a tiny device capable to monitor beehive (and not only a beehive). The result is matches box sized device with WeMos D1 mini, BME280 and MAX4466 in it and two additional DS18B20 sensors connected via two extra wires.

iTRUBEC Minimonitor v1.0 – IoT for Bees – [Link]

DSO-1000E/F Series – Four-channel oscilloscopes with bandwidth up to 250MHz

Conrad Business Supplies, a household name for the distribution of electronics items has added to its ever-expanding products a new set of Oscilloscopes made by Voltcraft. The oscilloscopes are four-channel, they are very well equipped and are particularly suitable for measurements in research and development departments, in laboratories and schools as well as for maintenance, repair and service tasks.

DSO1000E/F Series of oscilloscopes cover the bandwidths from 80MHz to 200MHz and provide the real-time up to 1GSa/s. Also, they have 7-inch color TFT LCD with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels as well as Windows-style interface and menus for smooth operation. What’s more, the plenty menu information and the easy-to-operate buttons allow you to gain information as much as possible while measuring; the multifunctional knobs and the powerful shortcut keys help you save a lot of time in operation; the Auto Scale function lets you detect sine and square waves automatically. By using the three methods the oscilloscope provides (context-sensitive, hyperlinks, and an index), you may master all operations on the device in quite a short time so as to greatly improve your efficiency in production and development.

The digital oscilloscope is intended to be used for visualizing electrical magnitudes and signals. There are four independent input channels available for measurement. The measuring lead is connected to the oscilloscope via two BNC sockets. Integrated help system can be called upon the display. The signals measured can be displayed on display as well as on a PC when a USB cable is used. The oscilloscopes also have a USB interface for connecting an additional data memory, for example, a USB stick.

The Oscilloscopes can perform some of the following: FFT (Fast Fourier Transform), extensive trigger options, standard Oscilloscopes functionality, firmware loading from a USB stick, and many more. The available models of the oscilloscopes are listed below:

  • Model DA0-1084E :
    • 4 Channels
    • Bandwidth – 80MHz
    • Sample Rate – 1GS/s
  • Model DA0-1104E :
    • 4 Channels
    • Bandwidth – 100MHz
    • Sample Rate – 1GS/s
  • Model DA0-1204E :
    • 4 Channels
    • Bandwidth – 200MHz
    • Sample Rate – 1GS/s
  • Model DA0-1254E :
    • 4 Channels
    • Bandwidth – 250MHz
    • Sample Rate – 1GS/s

The oscilloscopes are available for purchase on Conrad with ranging price depending on the model.

Model DMM6500

Tektronix Launches Two New 6½-digit DMM and DAQ systems : DMM6500 And DAQ6510

Tektronix, a US-based company, has introduced two new Keithley 6½-digit models to its line of Digital Multimeters (DMMs) and data-acquisition systems: The new DMM6500 DMM and also the new DAQ6510 data-acquisition system. The company has also upgraded their Kickstart measurement software to version 2.0.

Keithley has long been a dominant provider in the 6½-digit DMM market. With the DMM6500 and DAQ6510, the company looks forward to strengthening its position further. Both of these new instruments use the same touchscreen UI (with pinch gesture) first unveiled with the company’s 7½-digit DMM7510.

DMM6500:

Model DMM6500
Model DMM6500

With a base price of $1140 (same as previous models), the DMM6500 hits a sweet spot for bench and production measurements. In addition to its 6½ inch display, the DMM6500 also features a 16-bit, 1 Msample/s digitizer and can display voltage and current waveforms over time. It can store up to 7 million readings in internal memory.

Like its previous models, the DMM6500 is also expandable to ten channels. It uses the same expansion cards as models in the 2000 series DMMs. The DMM also maintains software compatibility with Keithley’s 2000 series models, minimizing software changes. It also emulates software commands for the now obsolete but still in use HP/Agilent/Keysight 34401A.

Measurement ranges:

  • DCV and ACV: 100 nV to 1000 V (750 VAC) with 0.0025% 1-year DCV accuracy
  • Resistance: 1 µΩ to 100 MΩ
  • DC Current: 10 pA to 10 A, AC Current: 100 pA to 10A
  • Temperature: -200°C to 1820°C
  • Capacitance: 0.1 pF to 100 µF
  • Digitize Voltage: 10 µV to 1000 V
  • Digitize Current: 10 nA to 10 A
  • Maximum measurement reading rate: 20,600 readings/s

Communications and channel expansion:

  • Interfaces: LAN LXI and USB-TMC standard. GPIB with digital I/O ($225), RS-232 with digital I/O ($200), or TSP-Link with digital I/O ($200).
  • Multichannel measurement capacity: 10 channels with two card options (10 channels voltage/current ($628) or 9 channel temperature/general-purpose inputs ($700)

DAQ6510:

Model DAQ6510 virtual front panel
Model DAQ6510 virtual front panel

Based on the DMM6500, the DAQ6510 ($1750 system only, $2230 with 20-channel scanner card) support up to 80 channels using two 40-channel cards. Keithley offers twelve switch modules, which are the same as used in the 2700-series data-acquisition DMMs. Scanning speed is 800 channels/s across multiple systems connected through Keithley’s TSK Link. The GPIB and RS-232 interface modules are also supported.

More information can be found at Tektronix/Keithley website, DMM6500 product pageand DAQ6510 product page.

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]