Oscilloscopes Lose their Faces

The word oscilloscope usually conjures up images of a box with a display. Earlier, oscilloscopes were bulky devices with a display made of a cathode ray tube, but later the models became sleeker, and came with a liquid crystal display. Another difference was in their method of measurement. Whereas there were analog units earlier, later models sported an analog to digital converter inside, which converted all analog signals to digital data. Nevertheless, the display continued to be a part of the oscilloscope. However, Read more [...]

Using Hall-Effect Type Sensors Effectively

We are familiar with appliances such as wine coolers, freezers, and refrigerators. They keep out beverages and food cold, extending their useful life. Most often, these appliances have lights that illuminate the insides when the user opens their doors. Since the lights only need to be on when the user opens the door, usually, the designer of such appliances place a sensor to detect the opening and closing of the door. A sensor of the Hall-effect type can detect the position of the door. In refrigerators, Read more [...]

A Bench-Top Reflow Soldering Machine

You can easily solder a board with leaded components if you have a hand held soldering iron. Another method of soldering several leaded components in a short time is to pass the board through a wave soldering machine. However, component manufacturers are moving away from leaded components to making more of leadless components, and the soldering technology has had to follow through. Soldering leadless components or surface mount components requires a different technique than solder wire and soldering Read more [...]

What are Depth Sensors?

Ocean going ships typically use depth sensing techniques mainly for locating underwater objects to prevent running into them. This included gauging the distance of the sea floor. The principle involves measuring the time a burst of sound directed into the water takes to return after reflecting off an object. This time of flight gives a measure of its distance from the source of the sound, as the speed of sound traveling in water is fairly constant, depending on the water density and its temperature. With Read more [...]

Let Raspberry Pi Automate those Snake Eyes

If you are looking for something to bring your cosplay masks, props, or other spooky sculptures to life for your robots, animatronics, or Halloween parties, you can use the snake eyes cowl as a pair of animated eyes. This is an accessory for operating two 128x128 pixel TFT LCD or OLED displays through a single board computer such as the Raspberry Pi (RBPi). It also has four analog sensor inputs. The project started life as a project named Electronic Animated Eyes using the microcontroller Teensy Read more [...]

What are Stepper Motors Good For?

Stepper motors rotate in discrete steps. These are DC motors with multiple coils arranged in groups or phases. Energizing each phase sequentially enables the shaft of the motor to rotate in single steps. It is possible to achieve very fine positioning and speed control with a computer controlling the stepping. This allows use of stepper motors for several industrial applications involving precision motion control. As stepper motors come in various sizes, styles, and electrical characteristics, it Read more [...]

Working with Gas Sensors and the Raspberry Pi

Many devices predicted by earlier science fiction stories and movies have come true. Among them are gas detectors as envisaged by the TV series Star Trek. If you have a single board computer such as the Raspberry Pi (RBPi), you can use it to detect the type of gas and air quality around you. Of course, you will need to couple the RBPI with a gas sensor, and among the popular gas sensors available are the BME680 from Bosch, and the CCS811 from AMS. Gas sensors are helpful in sniffing out volatile Read more [...]

Facial and Object Recognition with A Raspberry Pi

f you are using the single board computer Raspberry Pi (RBPi) for vision-related tasks such as facial and object recognition, the NCS or Movidius Neural Compute Stick from Intel could help to boost the rate at which the RBPi carries out its tasks—you actually do not need to employ a server farm for the job. The RBPi is fully capable of running software for facial image recognition, and hobbyists have long being using the SBC for recognizing faces in videos to identifying obstacles in the path Read more [...]

The OpenBCI Cyton Board

OpenBCI stands for Open Brain Computer Interface. According to OpenBCI, they prefer advancements in science to be made only through open forums with concerted efforts and sharing of knowledge by people having different backgrounds. OpenBCI claims to work towards harnessing the power of the open source movement for accelerating ethical innovations of technologies involving the human-computer interface. OpenBCI offers high quality, but low-cost bio-sensing hardware for interfacing between the human Read more [...]

What makes a Soldering Iron?

Solder, usually an alloy of lead and tin, has a low melting temperature. Placed between two metallic objects and heated, solder melts and wets the two metallic surfaces. On cooling, solder forms a bond between the two objects. Originally, a heated iron piece brought the solder to its melting point, hence the name soldering iron. Later, people found copper to be a better replacement for iron piece. People working with electronic components are the biggest users of the soldering iron today. To suit Read more [...]