App note: Replacing mechanical potentiometers with digital potentiometers


Another application note from Analog Devices this time about the superiority of digital over mechanical potentionmenters. Link here (PDF)

Potentiometers have been widely used since the early days of electronic circuits, providing a simple way to calibrate a system, adjusting offset voltage or gain in an amplifier, tuning filters, controlling screen brightness, among other uses. Due to their physical construction, mechanical potentiometers have some limitations inherent to their nature, such as size, mechanical wear, wiper contamination, resistance drift, sensitivity to vibration, humidity, and layout inflexibility.

Digital potentiometers are designed to overcome all these problems, offering increased reliability and higher accuracy with smaller voltages glitches. The mechanical potentiometer has now been relegated to environments where the digital potentiometer cannot be a suitable replacement, such as high temperature environments or in high power applications.

Comparing both technologies is the simplest way to discern which is the optimal solution for your system.

App note: Precision signal conditioning for high resolution industrial applications


App note from Analog Devices on robust precision signal conditioning. Link here (PDF)

Industrial measurement and control systems often need to interface to sensors while operating in noisy environments. Because sensors typically generate very small electrical signals, extracting their output from the noise can be challenging. Applying signal conditioning techniques, such as amplification and filtering, can aid in the extraction of the signal because these techniques increase the sensitivity of the system. The signal can then be scaled and shifted to take full advantage of high performance ADCs.

4pin hall sensor adapter board


Davide Gironi published a new build:

Hall Sensor are pretty common components. Most of the time one will find 3 pin Hall Sensor. But there are time that one can find a 4 pin hall sensor. Those kind of sensor is called dual-channel.

See the full post on his blog.

Check out the video after the break.

SI5351 signal generator test gadget

si5351 tg

DuWayne published a new build:

I have been spending way too much time playing with the new 3D printer, so have to get back to some electronics.  Since the next CWTD.ORG episode is coming up, I decided to build another ‘Test Gadget’.  This time it is a Signal Generator based on the SI5351 clock generator.  I had purchased a couple Chinese versions of the Adafruit 5351 module when I was working on the ‘Sweeperino Jr. ‘ and wanted to see how  well they worked.

See the full post on his blog.

PopCom – Identify your COM ports


avishorp has written a small program that pops up a message whenever a serial port over USB device is plugged in, that is available on GitHub (code) and (installer)

PopCom is a COM port plug-in/plug-out notifier. Whenever a USB device that emulates a COM port is connected to the computer, a pop-up will be displayed, describing the device that has been plugged in and the COM number assigned to it. This pop-up helps determining the COM number assigned to each device, a number that is required for communicating with it.

More details on avishorp’s blog.

App note: Modern thermocouples and a high-resolution DeltaSigma ADC enable high-precision temperature measurement


Old app note from Maxim Integrated about high-precision temperature measurement. Link here (PDF)

Many industrial and medical applications require temperature measurements with accuracies of ±1°C or better, performed with reasonable cost over a wide range of temperatures (-270°C to +1750°C), and often with low power consumption. Properly selected, standardized, modern thermocouples paired with high-resolution ADC data acquisition systems (DASs) can cover this wide temperature range and ensure reproducible measurements, even in the harshest industrial environments.

App note: Sterilization methods and their impact on medical devices containing electronics

App note from Maxim Integrated on electronic devices sterilization. Link here (PDF)

Although there is considerable literature about sterilization methods and equipment, there is very little written about the impact of sterilization on electronics. This article compares popular sterilization methods and discusses their suitability for objects containing electronics.

Scott’s Z80SBC: Z80 single board computer


Dr. Scott M. Baker published a new build:

When I was first getting started with electronics, wanted a Heathkit ET-3400 Microproccessor trainer, but could never afford one at the time. Eventually both I and the world moved on, to fancier more capable computers. However, I’ve still always wished I had an iconic trainer, complete with LED displays and a hexadecimal keypad. So I decided to build something of my own.

Project info at and the GitHub repository here.

Check out the video after the break.