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The USB-C Explorer

Posted on Friday, October 19th, 2018 in open source, USB by DP | No Comments

Top_on_cropped-600

Jason has designed a development board for USB-C and Power Delivery, that is available on GitHub:

The USB-C Explorer is a development board with everything needed to start working with USB Type-C. It contains a USB-C port controller and Power Delivery PHY chip, a microcontroller, and several options for user interaction.

Project info on Reclaimer Labs blog. It’s also up on Tindie.

Free PCB coupon via Facebook to 2 random commenters

Posted on Friday, October 19th, 2018 in Free PCBs by DP | 1 Comment

BP

Every Friday we give away some extra PCBs via Facebook. This post was announced on Facebook, and on Monday we’ll send coupon codes to two random commenters. The coupon code usually go to Facebook ‘Other’ Messages Folder . More PCBs via Twitter on Tuesday and the blog every Sunday. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

(more…)

Tutorial: Git with Eclipse

Posted on Friday, October 19th, 2018 in tutorials by DP | No Comments

egit-with-eclipse

A detailed tutorial on Eclipse with the EGit plugin by Erich Styger:

There are things which are game changer in the world of software development: one such event was when I started using a VCS (Version Control System): it changed for me how I keep and store my projects and settings. It even changed the way how I deal with non-software related items like documents or other valuable things: I started storing them in to a VCS too.

Via MCU on Eclipse.

Tutorial: Adding the SSD1306 OLED screen to an Arduino logger (without a library)

Posted on Thursday, October 18th, 2018 in Arduino, tutorials by DP | No Comments

SSD1306 OLED screen on a DIY Arduino Based Data logger

Edward Mallon writes:

While I loved the Nokia 5110 LCD’s readability in full sun, the pressure sensitivity was a real problem for the underwater units. So I started noodling around with some cheap OLED screens from eBay.
With the exception of the init & XY functions (which are more complicated on the 1306 controller) the rest of the code ported over from the Nokia screen with no changes at all.  My guess at this point is that the shift-out method will work with most of the other cheap OLED screens, provided they don’t exceed the pin current limits implied by my method.

More details on Underwater Arduino Data Loggers blog.

SmileyBox – Statistics, the old fashioned way, upgraded

Posted on Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 in Arduino, DIY by DP | No Comments

sb-top

Vagrearg published a new build:

Lies, damn lies and statistics.
You have a high school science fair and want to know how your project was perceived by the visitors. Modern online behaviour will direct you to “taking the online survey”. That requires an extra step for the visitors, usually by taking hold of their mobile device and fiddling with a small screen.
One problem you will encounter is designing good computer interaction and a proper look and feel on the tiny screen. It is a lot of work. A second problem is the distraction of using the mobile device with respect to the project being surveyed. The visitor will concentrate on the mobile device and that will diminish focus on the project for a moment. A third problem is anonymity and proliferation of data. Do we really need to be online and spread all that information one’s device sends?

Project info at vagrearg.org.

Automated channel switching with Motorola GM3x0

Posted on Tuesday, October 16th, 2018 in RF by DP | No Comments

Automated channel switching with Motorola GM3x0

With the integration of POCSAG/DAPNET features into the MMDVM/MMDVMHost I came to think about if it would be possible to combine an MMDVM repeater/HotSpot with a DAPNET tranmitter. The advantage in Germany is that there is a single coordinated frequency for POCSAG tranmissions on UHF. 439.9875MHz is used for fixed-frequency pagers which are modified to receive on that frequency. With latest hand-programmable pagers (e.g. AlphaPoc) it would basically be possible to set them to the repeater frequency but that wouldn’t work while one is en route.
In the programming software for Motorola GM3x0 radios I found an interesting GPIO setting called “Channel Steering”. Some line of the help function revealed that it would exactly do what I expected. You can trigger a GPIO and the radio switches channels.

Via Notizbl0g.

Check out the video after the break. (more…)

#FreePCB via Twitter to 2 random RTs

Posted on Tuesday, October 16th, 2018 in Free PCBs by DP | No Comments

BP

Every Tuesday we give away two coupons for the free PCB drawer via Twitter. This post was announced on Twitter, and in 24 hours we’ll send coupon codes to two random retweeters. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times a every week:

  • Hate Twitter and Facebook? Free PCB Sunday is the classic PCB giveaway. Catch it every Sunday, right here on the blog
  • Tweet-a-PCB Tuesday. Follow us and get boards in 144 characters or less
  • Facebook PCB Friday. Free PCBs will be your friend for the weekend

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • Check out how we mail PCBs worldwide video.
  • We’ll contact you via Twitter with a coupon code for the PCB drawer.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.

We try to stagger free PCB posts so every time zone has a chance to participate, but the best way to see it first is to subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

Shenzhen to Hong Kong on High Speed Rail

Posted on Tuesday, October 16th, 2018 in #liveupdates, Shenzhen by Ian | 2 Comments

excitement

Even though Shenzhen and Hong Kong are basically the same city on opposite sides of a border, it’s still a frustratingly long trip to Hong Kong Central for a Reuben at Morty’s Deli. The new high speed rail line linking downtown Shenzhen to downtown Hong Kong makes the trip in just 15 minutes. A lot of frequent travelers are hoping it just got a lot easier to eat delicious pastrami on a whim, but with all the formalities of Chinese rail will it really cut the travel time? We jumped on to find out!

(more…)

Yet another Masterplay clone

Posted on Monday, October 15th, 2018 in DIY by DP | No Comments

masterplay_clone_top

Dr. Scott M. Baker made a Masterplay clone:

The Masterplay was originally a device that allowed Atari 2600 digital joysticks to be used with the Atari 5200. In this post, I describe a masterplay clone that I created.
The analog controllers for the Atari 5200 are (in)famous for their poor feel and performance. The analog stick, while a really good idea at the time, doesn’t have a decent return-to-center feature. As the vast majority of the games for the 5200 do not make use of the analog capability, this feature while innovative, is far more of a drawback than a benefit. As such, there have grown to be a number of different solutions for connecting Atari 2600 sticks to the 5200.

See the full post on Dr. Scott M. Baker blog.

Free PCB Sunday: Pick your PCB

Posted on Sunday, October 14th, 2018 in Free PCBs by DP | 6 Comments

BP-600x373

We go through a lot of prototype PCBs, and end up with lots of extras that we’ll never use. Every Sunday we give away a few PCBs from one of our past or future projects, or a related prototype. Our PCBs are made through Seeed Studio’s Fusion board service. This week two random commenters will get a coupon code for the free PCB drawer tomorrow morning. Pick your own PCB. You get unlimited free PCBs now – finish one and we’ll send you another! Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

(more…)

App note: Power battery charger application guidelines

Posted on Sunday, October 14th, 2018 in app notes by DP | No Comments

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App note from Holtek on smart battery chargers. Link here (PDF)

Battery chargers usually are products which transfer alternating currents to low voltage direct currents and which are widely applied in various rechargeable battery application fields. According to different applications, battery chargers can be divided into two types, namely digital chargers and power battery chargers. In not having an MCU for charge management, traditional charger applications fail to implement precise control of the battery charging curve, which will result in situations such as overcharging or charging to less than full capacity, situations which will affect battery life.

Holtek provides MCUs dedicated for power battery charger applications. In addition to resolving the problems of poor control of the charging curve, these MCU devices also include a battery charging management module, which can precisely control the charging voltage and current. The devices therefore reduce the need for the usually required external operational amplifier and TL431 components in traditional battery charging circuits. The charging voltage and current calibration parameters and profiles can be stored into the MCU’s internal EEPROM, thereby eliminating the need for traditional manual calibration, thus improving production efficiency.

App note: I/O emulated UART baud rate calibration

Posted on Sunday, October 14th, 2018 in app notes by DP | No Comments

an_holtek_an0475e

Software/bitbang method of baud rate calibration for micro without built-in UART, App note from Holtek. Link here (PDF)

Not every HOLTEK MCU contains a Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter function, otherwise known as a UART. If this function is required, it can be emulated using software. However, the software accuracy will change according to the system frequency error. This application note will illustrate how to use a software method to calibrate the baud rate and how to avoid errors between the two communicating parties. It will also show how to readjust to the same transmission frequency of each other when transmission errors occur.

Taking the HT66F4540 as an example, this application note describes the UART baud rate calibration method.

Free PCB coupon via Facebook to 2 random commenters

Posted on Friday, October 12th, 2018 in Free PCBs by DP | No Comments

BP

Every Friday we give away some extra PCBs via Facebook. This post was announced on Facebook, and on Monday we’ll send coupon codes to two random commenters. The coupon code usually go to Facebook ‘Other’ Messages Folder . More PCBs via Twitter on Tuesday and the blog every Sunday. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

(more…)

ESP32 AM radio transmitter

Posted on Friday, October 12th, 2018 in tutorials by DP | No Comments

am-modulation

A how-to on making a simple AM radio transmitter using the ESP32 microcontroller by Bitluni:

AM Radio transmissions are based on a carrier signal which is modulated by the audio signal. It’s a very basic principle but prone to noise from the environment. Using the ESP32 it is really simple to generate an analog signal using the built-in DACs. With the provided code here just a wire as an antenna has to be connected to the pin 25 of the ESP32. The transmission will end up on the AM frequency ~835kHz.

Via Bitluni’s Lab.

Check out the video after the break. (more…)

Project PITA: Build a mini mass deauther using Bettercap and a Raspberry Pi Zero W

Posted on Friday, October 12th, 2018 in R-Pi, wireless by DP | No Comments

deauth

evilsocket shared a how-to on making a mini WiFi deauthenticator using Bettercap and a Raspberry Pi Zero W:

A few days ago I started playing with some idea I had from a few weeks already, using a Raspberry Pi Zero W to make a mini WiFi deauthenticator: something in my pocket that periodically jumps on all the channels in the WiFi spectrum, collects information about the nearby access points and their connected clients and then sends a deauthentication packet to each one of them, resulting in some sort of WiFi jammer on the 802.11 level. As an interesting “side effect” of this jammer (the initial intent was purely for the lulz) is that the more it deauths, the higher the changes to also sniff WPA2 handshakes.

See the full post on Evilsocket blog.

#FreePCB via Twitter to 2 random RTs

Posted on Tuesday, October 9th, 2018 in Free PCBs by DP | No Comments

BP

Every Tuesday we give away two coupons for the free PCB drawer via Twitter. This post was announced on Twitter, and in 24 hours we’ll send coupon codes to two random retweeters. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times a every week:

  • Hate Twitter and Facebook? Free PCB Sunday is the classic PCB giveaway. Catch it every Sunday, right here on the blog
  • Tweet-a-PCB Tuesday. Follow us and get boards in 144 characters or less
  • Facebook PCB Friday. Free PCBs will be your friend for the weekend

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • Check out how we mail PCBs worldwide video.
  • We’ll contact you via Twitter with a coupon code for the PCB drawer.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.

We try to stagger free PCB posts so every time zone has a chance to participate, but the best way to see it first is to subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

Inside a two-quadrant power supply – Agilent 66312A teardown and experiment

Posted on Tuesday, October 9th, 2018 in power supply, Teardowns by DP | No Comments

Agilent66312A

Kerry Wong did a teardown of an Agilent 66312A dynamic measurement DC source:

Typically, a lab power supply can only operate within a single quadrant. Take a positive voltage power supply for example, it can only output or source current. If any attempt is made trying to sink current into the power supply by connecting a voltage source with a higher voltage than the output voltage of the power supply, the power supply would lose regulation since it cannot sink any current and thus is unable to bring down and regulate the voltage at its output terminals.
The Agilent 66312A dynamic measurement DC source however is a two-quadrant power supply, it not only can source up to 2A of current between 0 and 20V, but also can sink up to 1.2A or 60% of its rated output current as well. Although lacking some key functionality of a source measure unit (SMU), Agilent 66312A can nevertheless be used in similar situations where both current sourcing and sinking capabilities are needed.

More details on Kerry Wong’s blog.

Check out the video after the break. (more…)

Free PCB Sunday: Pick your PCB

Posted on Sunday, October 7th, 2018 in Free PCBs by DP | 7 Comments

BP-600x373

We go through a lot of prototype PCBs, and end up with lots of extras that we’ll never use. Every Sunday we give away a few PCBs from one of our past or future projects, or a related prototype. Our PCBs are made through Seeed Studio’s Fusion board service. This week two random commenters will get a coupon code for the free PCB drawer tomorrow morning. Pick your own PCB. You get unlimited free PCBs now – finish one and we’ll send you another! Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

(more…)

App note: Minimizing light flicker in LED lighting applications

Posted on Sunday, October 7th, 2018 in app notes by DP | No Comments

an_richtek_an022

Another application notes from Richtek this time on LED lamps flickering. Link here

Applying LEDs in offline retrofit lamps seems straightforward, but should be done with care to achieve similar light quality as the conventional lamp that the user is trying to replace. Light flicker is one of the aspects that need to be considered carefully during LED lamp design to avoid customer complaints from the field. This application note explains the LED lamp flicker phenomena in relation to driver topology and LED characteristics, and provides solutions based on several Richtek LED drivers in combination with specific LED strings. A practical flicker measurement method is explained as well, that can be used to measure light flicker in LED lamps.

App note: Li-ion battery and gauge introduction

Posted on Sunday, October 7th, 2018 in app notes by DP | No Comments

an_ricktek_an024

Richtek app note for Li-ion battery definitions and gauge introduction. Link here

SOC is defined as the status of available energy in the battery and usually expressed as percentages. Because the available energy change depends on different charging/discharging currents, temperatures and aging effects, the SOC could be defined more clearly as ASOC (Absolute State-Of-Charge) and RSOC (Relative State-Of-Charge). Typically, the range of RSOC is from 0% to 100%, a fully charged battery’s RSOC is always 100% and a fully discharged battery has 0% RSOC. The ASOC is a reference calculated by Design Capacity which is a fixed capacity from when the battery is manufactured. A fully charged new battery will have 100% ASOC, but a fully charged aging battery could be less than 100% because of different charge/discharge conditions.

Battery management is part of power measurement. The fuel gauge is responsible to estimate the capacity of battery in the domain of battery management. The basic function of fuel gauge is to monitor the voltage, charge/discharge current and battery temperature, and to estimate the battery’s SOC and Full Charge Capacity (FCC) of battery. There are two classic methods to do the SOC estimation which are Open Circuit Voltage (OCV) and Coulomb Counter, respectively. The other method is dynamic voltage-based algorithm designed by RICHTEK.

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