Hand soldering a WLCSP package

MSOP-10 soldering video at mitxela.com:

I admit that when I made the video of me soldering an MSOP-10 package, I did it because I needed to use the chip right away, and didn’t have time to order a breakout board. But this time, I am just doing this for fun.
MSOP is smaller than TSSOP which is smaller than SOIC which is smaller than DIP. Although the pin pitch is larger, the physical size of the ATtiny9 in the charliestar project is smaller than the MSOP-10 package. Most ATtiny parts are also available in QFN format, which has a smaller rectangle with pads around the edges. But there’s a fundamental limit to how close you can put adjacent pins and still have them reflow correctly.

More details at mitxela.com.

PSoC5 Grbl with Native USB

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bdring at Buildlog.Net writes:

I added native USB support to my PS0C5 port of Grbl. The PSoC has USB capability on the chip. It also has a component for using it as a USB UART (CDC Interface). This means it looks like a serial port to the connected PC and uses the standard CDC interface driver that most OS have.
I am currently only using this on the PSoC5 development board so I am comfortable using their VID and PID values. If I make some custom hardware and distribute it, I will need to get my own.

See the full post on Buildlog.net blog.

Controlling an HMC624LP4E RF attenuator using Arduino

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Kerry Wong writes:

For simplicity, I used a single rotary encoder for controlling the attenuation. In order to prevent accidentally changing the set attenuation value, I used the built-in switch of the rotary encoder as the lock/adjust control. The idea is that the attenuation value can only be adjusted when the switch is in the “adjust” state and the attenuation value is set once the switch changes from adjust to the lock state. When the switch is in the “locked” state, adjusting the rotary encoder has no effect on the digital attenuator. The current attenuation value is displayed on a 1×16 LCD. For more details, you can find the Arduino code listing towards the end of this post along with a video demonstrating this control interface.

More details on Kerry Wong’s blog.

Check out the video after the break.

A limited attenuation high-pass filter for the KiwiSDR

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KA7OEI published a new build:

One of the issues common with using a broad-band, direct-sampling SDR (software-defined radio) like the KiwiSDR is that of overload by strong, low-frequency signals, such as those on the AM (mediumwave) broadcast band – but there’s another problem that should be considered as well:  The high generally-high signal levels at lower HF frequencies.  If one looks at an spectrum analyzer connected to a broad-band receive  antenna during the evening, one will immediately note that the lower the frequency, the higher the signals seem – particularly the background noise.

See the full post on KA7OEI’s blog.

App note: USB Type-C protection and filtering

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STMicroelectronics’ solution for simplifying USB Type-C protection and filtering using transient voltage suppressors, common mode filtering and proper board layout. Link here (PDF)

The USB interface has been present on the market for nearly 2 decades and thanks to that, nowadays it is quite obvious for everybody to connect electronic devices in this manner. However, the presence of different types of connectors: type A, type B, mini USB, micro USB etc., makes difficult and complicated the choice of the right one. For this reason USB Type-C, a unique connector to drive audio and power data up to 5 or 10 Gbps, is now available.

Due to the fact that for its own nature a connector is a link to the outside world, it may be exposed to a lot of disturbances which can ruin the transceivers. Moreover, the high-speed links radiate therefore an efficient filter has to be used to solve antenna desense.

STMicroelectronics has developed some specific protection devices and common mode filters with optimized performance and layout.

Dual ultrasonic sensors combine for 2D echolocation

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A how-to on making a Dual-sensor ultrasonic echo locator by lingib, project instructables here:

This instructable explains how to pinpoint the location of an object using an Arduino, two ultrasonic sensors, and Heron’s formula for triangles. There are no moving parts.
Heron’s formula allows you to calculate the area of any triangle for which all sides are known. Once you know the area of a triangle, you are then able to calculate the position of a single object (relative to a known baseline) using trigonometry and Pythagoras.
The accuracy is excellent. Large detection areas are possible using commonly available HC-SR04, or HY-SRF05, ultrasonic sensors.
Construction is simple … all you require is a sharp knife, two drills, a soldering iron, and a wood saw.

Via Arduino Blog.

Check out the video after the break.

Wavecatcher

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Anfractuosity published a new build:

“Acoustic cryptanalysis is a type of side channel attack that exploits sounds emitted by computers or other devices”

Wavecatcher is a simple PCB that makes use of a MEMS ultrasound microphone, in order to capture audio to around 80kHz, with the goal
of finding interesting ultrasound sources and playing with exfiltrating data from SMPSs etc. via ultrasound.

See the full post on Anfractuosity’s project page and the GitHub repository here.

Electronic key tear down

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Tear down of an Electronic key  from Electronupdate:

In the mid 1980’s a company called Dallas Semiconductor was producing a wide range of small RAMs with integrated battery backup. One of the more unusual item was an early attempt at an electronic key: a user would be issued a key which could then be typically used to allow access to equipment and to keep track of usage. Not very secure by today’s standards…. but an interesting data point.
Opening it up shows that it had two major parts: a silicon die and a battery. The amount of ram on the die was very small, 256 bits!

More details on Electronupdate blog.

Check out the video after the break.