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App note: Meeting transient specifications for electrical systems in military vehicles

Posted on Sunday, June 30th, 2019 in app notes by DP | No Comments

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Hardened circuit protection against voltage spikes and surges tackled in this app note from Vicor. Link here (PDF)

Electrical systems in military vehicles are normally required to meet stringent transient requirements. Typical of these specifications is the MIL-STD-1275B. Although the specified levels of these surges and spikes are outside the capability of Vicors Maxi, Mini, Micro Series modules, it is quite possible, with simple circuitry, to make the 24V input (18 – 36V input range) DC-DC converter modules compliant to these specifications for the 28V vehicle voltage system. Other electro-magnetic compatibility requirements, such as MIL-STD-461E and/or DEF-STAN 59-41, apply to military vehicles, but these are outside the scope of this application note. In order to meet additional conducted emission requirements an input filter, preceding the transient protection circuit covered in this application note, will be required.

3 cent PMS150C MCU driving 300 WS2812B LED’s

Posted on Tuesday, June 25th, 2019 in LEDs by DP | 2 Comments

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Driving 300 WS2812B RGB LED’s with “the 3 cent microcontroller” – the Padauk PMS150C.

The 3 cent Padauk PMS150C is.. Interesting to say the least. First of all there’s a lot this little MCU doesn’t do. It doesn’t have a lot of code space (1K Word), it doesn’t have a lot of RAM (64 bytes) and it doesn’t even do hardware multiplication. It doesn’t have an instruction for loading data from ROM either(Though there are ways of getting around this – but that’s a subject for another post). And of course – you can only program it ONCE.

More details at ABNielsen.com.

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

Using 0603 surface mount components for prototyping

Posted on Monday, June 24th, 2019 in techniques by DP | No Comments

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Kenneth Finnegan shared a tip on using 0603 SMDs on the .1″ perf board:

As a quick little tip, when I’m prototyping circuits on 0.1″ perf board, I like using 0603 surface mount components for all of my passives and LEDs, since they nicely fit between the pads. This way I don’t need to bother with any wiring between LEDs and their resistors, since I can just use three pads in a row to mount the LED and their corresponding current limiting resistor and just need to wire the two ends to where they’re going.

See the full post on his blog.

App note: Intelligent lighting controller measures ambient light and tracks time

Posted on Sunday, June 23rd, 2019 in app notes by DP | No Comments

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Implementation on ambient light and time tracking luminaires controller from MAXIM Integrated, Link here

This reference design explains how to design an intelligent lighting controller that senses and measures the ambient light level with an ambient light sensor (ALS). Equipped with a real-time clock (RTC), the controller also knows when to turn lighting on or off at specified times.

App note: Selecting the right CMOS analog switch

Posted on Sunday, June 23rd, 2019 in app notes by DP | No Comments

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App note from MAXIM Integrated digging on the basics of CMOS analog switches and the latest improvement on them from the standard one. Link here

Integrated analog switches often form the interface between analog signals and a digital controller. With the large number of analog switches on the market today, there are many performance criteria for a product designer to consider. There are also many application-specific switch circuits that have evolved from the standard CMOS switch developed over 35 years ago.

Free PCB coupon via Facebook to 2 random commenters

Posted on Friday, June 21st, 2019 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…)

New NXP MCUXpresso Eclipse IDE v11.0

Posted on Friday, June 21st, 2019 in ARM by DP | No Comments

nxp-mcuxpresso-ide-v11.0.0

New NXP MCUXpresso Eclipse IDE v11:

The V11 of the MCUXpresso IDE is again a big step forward: new Eclipse version and 64bit, updated ARM toolchain, extended debugging support for P&E and Segger in addition to the LinkServer connection. The Global Variables view now supports live variables and graphing for P&E and SEGGER in addition to the LinkServer connection. The new views with the Build Analysis, Image Info, Stack usage and Call Analysis are very useful. And for bare metal applications it includes a heap and stack usage view too.

More details on MCU on Eclipse.

Building your own 555 timer IC

Posted on Thursday, June 20th, 2019 in DIY, how-to by DP | No Comments

555 Timer IC

The classic 555 timer on a breadboard:

Here, I will show how you can make your own version of the 555 timer using just NAND gates, opamps , a transistor and a few resistors! Now, you may think what is the purpose of building this when you can buy the IC at very cheap rates. The answer is, you learn electronics better, understand how the actual IC functions and improve your confidence in building electronic circuits.

More details on TheMagicSmoke blog.

#FreePCB via Twitter to 2 random RTs

Posted on Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 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.

Fuzz Factory replica

Posted on Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 in DIY by DP | No Comments

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Adam Zeloof made his own guitar pedal based on the Zvex Fuzz Factory:

The Z.VEX Fuzz Factory is an amazing little fuzz pedal designed by musical and electrical wizard Zachary Vex. I was introduced to it through Matt Bellamy‘s unique guitar style, and fell in love with its out-of-this-world sound. While I was tempted to buy a Z.VEX original for their beautiful hand-painted cases, I decided to save a few bucks and make my own.

See the full post on his blog.

App note: Gate-source voltage behaviour in a bridge configuration

Posted on Sunday, June 16th, 2019 in app notes by DP | No Comments

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App note from ROHM semiconductor on MOSFETS and IGBTs. Link here (PDF)

Power switching devices such as MOSFETs and IGBTs are used for various kinds of power supply applications, power supply line switching components, and other power applications. In addition, the circuit topologies used are diverse, parallel and series connections are widely used, not to mention single device use. Especially in bridge circuit configuration, in which the devices are connected in series, it is common to turn on and turn off each device alternately. Due to the current flowing and the voltage change in each device, the devices greatly affect one another. In this application note, we focus on Gate-Source voltage in MOSFET bridge configuration based on one of the simplest power circuits, a synchronous rectification boost converter to understand the switching operation in detail.

App note: Board level application notes for DFN and QFN packages

Posted on Sunday, June 16th, 2019 in app notes by DP | No Comments

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Board mounting an DFN/QFN (Dual/Quad Flat-Pack No lead) application note from ON Semiconductor. Link here (PDF)

The DFN/QFN platform offers a versatility which allows either a single or multiple semiconductor devices to be connected together within a leadless package. These guidelines include printed circuit board mounting pads, solder mask and stencil pattern and assembly process parameters.

Simple digital clock with PIC16F628A and DS1307 and 7-segment LED display

Posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2019 in clock, DIY by DP | No Comments

DigiClock1

A simple digital clock with PIC16F628A + DS1307:

In this new project I am again using PIC16F628A microcontroller. The goal is simple digital clock with 7-segment LED display and the clock will have no additional functionality – no alarm, no seconds digits, no date. The latter can be added in the software though. For the RTC chip I chose DS1307. For the LED display I used Kingbright CC56-21SRWA.

More details on DIYfan blog.

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

Phase-locked inverter

Posted on Wednesday, June 12th, 2019 in DIY by DP | No Comments

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Here’s a great write-up on building a phase-locked inverter from mitxela.com:

 The input is at 50Hz and the output is at 60Hz. So for every 5 input cycles, we want to generate 6 output cycles. We will be synthesizing a sine wave in software, and there’s no reason not to go with a conventional lookup table of 256 bytes. The PWM will be averaged out by the coils in the motor. It may even be possible to drive it with a square wave, but there is a self-starting mechanism I don’t want to interfere with. A synchronous single-phase motor normally will spin in either direction, and if you want it to spin only one way (as is the case with a clock) extra components are needed. It could be a mechanical pawl that stops it starting in the wrong direction, but the rotor spins very freely in either direction when the clock is powered off. More likely, there is a capacitor and/or additional coils which provide the shove in the right direction.

Project info at mitxela.com.

#FreePCB via Twitter to 2 random RTs

Posted on Tuesday, June 11th, 2019 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.

PortL2 – Portable electric vehicle charger

Posted on Tuesday, June 11th, 2019 in DIY by DP | No Comments

portl2_before_installation_elr

Here’s a project log covering the build of a portable level 2 electric vehicle charger by Andrew Rossignol:

This is a battery-powered EV charger that allows destination charging where L2 charging is not ordinarily available. This can be used as a range extender for electric vehicles with smaller batteries. This system has a ~7kWh battery which should charge my Cadillac ELR to more than 60%. This has been a fun project with plenty of lessons learned.

More info at The Resistor Network.

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

AF5HD’s L-Match tuner build

Posted on Monday, June 10th, 2019 in DIY by DP | No Comments

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Ryan Flowers writes,  “A fun project for every QRP enthusiast is an L-match tuner. We’ve built a couple here at MiscDotGeek and our latest build inspired Billy Dunn (AF5HD) to build a similar tuner. We have to say, this one turned out better than ours did!”

More details on MiscDotGeek blog.

App note: Why honest weigh scales are application specific

Posted on Sunday, June 9th, 2019 in app notes by DP | No Comments

App note from Maxim Integrated discussing strain gauge and accompanying circuit are used in today’s weight measurement applications. Link here (PDF)

Current laws and regulations require honesty, tolerance, and accuracy in weigh scales. The most commonly used weight-measurement element is the strain gauge. This application note explains how strain gauges are useful in multiple applications that must measure stress and pressure and their effects. The electronics of honest weigh scales are varied, and can provide the resolution and accuracy that each application demands.

App note: How to shrink your USB Type-C battery charger

Posted on Sunday, June 9th, 2019 in app notes by DP | No Comments

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Maxim’s app note on a highly compact Type-C charger solution. Link here (PDF)

A highly integrated solution, as seen with the MAX77860 USB Type-C 3A switch-mode charger, dramatically reduces system complexity by integrating the charger, the power path, the Safeout LDO, ADC, and the USB-C CC and BC 1.2 detection in a small 3.9mm x 4.0mm, 0.4mm pitch, WLP package. OTG functionality is seamlessly integrated without the need for an extra inductor. This level of integration simplifies the design, enabling the delivery of more power and more functionality in minimal PCB space.

App note: Overture series high power solutions

Posted on Saturday, June 8th, 2019 in app notes by DP | No Comments

Overture Application Note AN-1192

This application note (PDF) from TI discusses the different aspects of the Overture series high-power solutions, and discusses three application circuits: parallel, bridged, and bridged/parallel configurations

The objective is to provide simple high-power solutions that are conservatively designed, highly reliable and have low part count. This document provides three specific, but not unique, application circuits that provide output power of 100W, 200W,
and above. These circuits are the parallel, bridged, and bridged/parallel configurations.
These three circuits are simple to understand, simple to build and require very few external components compared
to discrete power amplifier designs. Simplicity of design and few components make this solution much more reliable than discrete amplifiers. In addition, these circuits inherently possess the full protection of each individual IC that is very difficult and time consuming to design discretely. Finally, these circuits are well know and have been in industry for years.

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Recent Comments

  • gant: They still have a couple of the more expensive (but still considerably cheap) 5S-I-S01 in stock...
  • readybrek: Anyone got a any recommendations for a budget-priced hot air station?
  • William: lol I'm happy to waste 3c for each program/debug cycle... but probably not the time spent soldering a new device down to a proto board!...
  • Joe Desbonnet: Ya, I can recommend the low melting point solder. I used brand 'ChipQuik' and it's amazingly easy to use.
  • Jerome: I need a new BusPirate for the Fablab ;) Many thanks!