In my previous post, I designed and 3D printed a high voltage connector for my Bertan 225-20R high voltage power supply. The silicone high voltage wire I ordered had finally arrived so I made a couple of cables using the connectors I printed. A few of my viewers had questioned the suitability of using PLA as printing material in high voltage applications so I decided to measure the dielectric breakdown voltage of PLA and gather some real-world data.
CurrentRanger is a nanoAmp current meter featuring auto-ranging, uni/bi-directional modes, bluetooth data logging options and more.
It is a highly hackable and affordable ultra low-burden-voltage ammeter, appropriate for hobby and professional use where capturing fast current transients and measurement precision are important.
I have been using the OSH Park’s 4 layer process a lot on my own projects. It has FR408 substrate that has better controlled permittivity and lower losses than ordinary FR-4 that other low cost PCB manufacturers use. In my opinion currently it is the best low cost process for making RF PCBs. My previous boards have worked pretty well, but I decided to make a test board that I can use to characterize the process better.
In the above picture is the test board that I made. It has two 50 ohm microstrip lines of different length, one open microstrip line, one microstrip line terminated with 50 ohm resistor and line with 0402 footprint that I populated with a 1 nF capacitor. I’m using this same type of capacitor as a general DC blocking capacitor in my VNA so I’m interested in finding out how it performs at high frequencies.
Thinking about what values I would like to display, I came up with three basic items. A S-meter when in receive, and a power output display when in transmit. In transmit, I would also like to have the capability of measuring VSWR. Thinking about the switching functions required for this I will need one control line that monitors transmit/receive, this can come from the PTT or key line in the transceiver. Then I use a second control line to select either power or VSWR when the T/R line is in transmit. Another control line can do the same for the S-meter or some other display when in receive. Since this is based on a VU meter, I will use that for the secondary function in receive. Now looking at the signal lines I need to measure, they are the AGC line for S-meter, audio signal for VU meter. And in transmit, the forward and reverse power levels will take care of power and a computed VSWR reading.
The clever solution seemed to be clever, at least for a few minutes. Suddenly the light turned off. I thought maybe there was a timeout for the manual button. Annoying, but workable. The lamp remained off for about another 2 minutes when I started to smell that unmistakeable burning plastic odor. Touching the case of the SONOFF identified the culprit immediately.
Great. So I have an AC mains switch that isn’t working, but I do not want to go poking my multimeter into it. What do I do?
Turns out, that SONOFF module was defective. I wanted to debug it, but I did not want to measure anything while connected to AC. Here’s how I used a thermal camera to debug my SONOFF.
This started when one of my raspberry pi projects failed due to voltage drop on the USB power cable that I was using, so I set out with my power supply and DC Load to measure the voltage drop of various cables that I use in my lab
After successfully building the single-phase energy monitor with the ATM90E26 there has been lots of interest in the 3-phase version. Being an open-hardware project, many people have created remixed and derived versions as well. After a while I started receiving requests to assist with the code for ATM90E36, the 3-phase version of the Energy Monitor chip. However I did not have the hardware to test the code, so I put together this basic devkit to access the SPI bus and easily inject voltage and CT signals to take the ATM90E36 through its paces. This is the first board I have designed based purely on user demand rather than to scratch my own itch, since I don’t have 3-phase supply at home.
I just completed building a device capable of measuring temperature to one hundredth of a degree Celsius and pressure to one ten-thousandth of a PSI! This project is centered around an ICstation MS5611 temperature sensor breakout board which was small enough to fit inside of a plastic syringe. The result is a small and inexpensive pressure sensor in a convenient form factor with a twist connector (a Luer-Lok fitting) that can be rapidly attached to existing tubing setups. Although the screw attachment would work well for industrial or scientific applications, I found that the inner connector (the non-threaded plastic nub with 6% taper) made a snug and air-tight connection with my CO2-impermanent aquarium tubing.
He was looking enviously at the squareness comparator that [Tom Lipton] had made when somone on Instagram posted a photo of the comparator they use every day. [Stefan] loved the design and set out to build one of his own. He copied it shamelessly, made a set of drawings, and got to work.
[Stefan]’s videos are always a trove of good machine shop habits and skills. He always shows how being careful, patient, and doing things the right way can result in really astoundingly precise work out of a home machine shop. The workmanship is beautiful and his knack for machining is apparent throughout. We chuckled at one section where he informed the viewer that you could break a tap on the mill when tapping under power if you bottom out. To avoid this he stopped at a distance he felt was safe: 0.5 mm away.
The construction and finishing complete, [Stefan] shows how to use the comparator at the end of the video, viewable after the break.
Chris Palmer (a.k.a nophead) has designed and built this coolometer project to quantify the cooling effectiveness of various fan:
I was wondering about how I was going to calibrate the airflow reading but then realised that the flow rate is not actually what I am interested in. It is the cooling effect the airflow has, which is what I am directly measuring. The result is simply the extra power needed to maintain a target temperature and is a measure how fast the bulb filament is being cooled. So rather than an anemometer I decided to call it a coolometer. Unfortunately Futurama used that name first. Rather than displaying megafonzies mine displays milliwatts!