Decap a Chinese chip at home: Clone or not?

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Sjaak writes, “It has been a while before I posted something useful. On my search for obscure chips, I came around another interesting Chinese chip (which I don’t reveal yet). The chip was advertised as a cheap drop-in replacement for a American IC so I suspected it would be a clone. I wanted to look inside the chip to check if that is true.”

More details at smdprutser.nl

Teardown of a Marconi 2305 modulation meter

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Kerry Wong did a teardown of a Marconi 2305 modulation meter:

I picked up a Marconi 2305 modulation meter off eBay the other day. As the name indicated, a modulation meter is used to measure the modulation characteristics of a source signal. The Marconi 2305 is capable of measuring amplitude/frequency and phase modulated signals from a few hundred kHz all the way up to 2 GHz.
The Marconi 2305 was built sometime between the late 70’s and 80’s. It is a pity that the iconic British Marconi Instruments went under in 1998 and had since changed hands a couple of times.

See the full post on his blog.

Check out the video after the break.

DIY inline refractometer

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DIY inline refractometer project from Anfractuosity:

The idea of this project is to image the refractometer output, then convert the position of the blue line, to a digital reading, using image processing. The idea is to measure the brix of wort during mash and sparging, so that sparging can be stopped around 1.010 SG, to avoid tannins.

More details on Anfractuosity blog.

Check out the video after the break.

App note: Light quality – White light parameters

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App note from OSRAM on consistency of colors specifically white lights. Link here (PDF)

White light is not the same as white light. When different light sources are used, color differences may become visible. To understand why this can happen, it is necessary to understand how people perceive color and light. Nevertheless, it is possible to reduce the color shifts by choosing suitable white LEDs combined with an appropriate system setup. This application note provides basic information on optical quantities, color spaces and CIE chromaticity diagrams. Furthermore, it describes how color consistency for white light applications can be achieved.

App note: Ambient lighting design utilizing RGB LEDs

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App note from OSRAM on using RGB LEDs or their MULTILED® for automotive interior lighting. Link here (PDF)

This application note describes the advantages and challenges of utilizing RGB LEDs for ambient lighting control. Besides pointing out practical challenges, preferred solutions for RGB LEDs are outlined and discussed to assist customers with engineering design solutions.

Edge-lit seven segment display

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Debra over at Geek Mom Projects posted detailed instructions of how to build this edge-lit seven segment clocks:

This build combines small dozens of small laser-cut acrylic pieces which fit together with very tight tolerances. It uses skinny (4mm wide) LED strips which must be soldered, bent, and then slotted in between those acrylic pieces. When assembling the parts you must be willing to force pieces into place, even though it feels like you are stressing the brittle acrylic. You must also be willing to remove and re-seat said pieces and LED strips when it turns out they *can’t* actually be forced into place. At some point during the assembly there is a strong likelihood that you will have to remove everything and re-solder your LED strip when you realize that forcing everything into place broke one of the wires away from your LED strip or created a short circuit.

See the full post on Geek Mom Projects blog.

Check out the video after the break.

PocketPi MK2

img_20190518_140600 A smaller thinner PocketPi from Facelesstech:

Thinner with a simpler design but packing the same feature as before. At its heart is a raspberry pi zero W with a 3.5″ screen 480×320. It has all the GPIO pins available what aren’t being used by the screen. Its powered by a 2500mAh battery and has one full sized usb port. Its controlled by a bluetooth keyboard with trackpad

More details on Facelesstech blog.

Check out the video after the break.

App note: Eye safety for proximity sensing using infrared light-emitting diodes

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A guide to human eye safety for designers of consumer products, app note from Renesas. Link here (PDF)

Active Proximity Sensing for Consumer products requires the use of a light-emitting component to illuminate the target object to be detected at some distance from the sensor. Typically, product designers do not want the illumination to interfere with the other functions of the product, or to distract the user during normal use. Therefore, Infrared Light-emitting Diodes (IR-LEDs) are used as the light-emitting components for proximity sensing. To further reduce the user awareness of the proximity function, the IR-LED and the proximity sensor are located under heavily tinted – but, infrared-transmitting – glass. While remaining unaware of any illuminating light source, the consumer indeed is exposed to low-levels of infrared radiation. All consumer products that emit light radiation – whether visible, ultraviolet, or infrared – must adhere to international standards that specify exposure limits for human eye safety.