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

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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

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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.

New NXP MCUXpresso Eclipse IDE v11.0

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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

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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.

Fuzz Factory replica

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Phase-locked inverter

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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.

PortL2 – Portable electric vehicle charger

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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.