How Good Are Hydrostatic Drives?

Wherever a means of power transmission and variable speed are required, we typically think of using mechanical and electrical variable-speed drives and gear-type transmissions. However, there exists another equally excellent means of transmitting power, and that is through hydrostatic drives. While offering a fast response, hydraulic drives can maintain precise speed under varying loads all the while allowing infinitely variable speed control from zero to maximum. Gear transmission systems usually Read more [...]

What are Leadless Packages?

Electronic components, especially semiconductors have undergone a dramatic transformation over the past few decades. Starting from the through-hole packages, semiconductors evolved into the surface mount packaging, which is the default today. With the increase in packaging density, surface mount packaging is now limited to passive components mostly, while semiconductors are moving towards current technologies involving leadless packaging. Modern technologies involve leadless packaging such as Read more [...]

LED Indicator for the Raspberry Pi

Some projects are attempted not because they have any ulterior value, but simply because they are fun to do and involve learning for the uninitiated. The Raspberry Pi or RBPi is a low-cost, compact single board computer platform that came into being for the sole purpose of teaching youngsters how to program computers. However, its popularity has grown beyond its primary mandate. Making an indicator light come up for notifications is a simple fun project, which shows how to set up notifications and Read more [...]

Expect These Smartphone Innovations In The Near Future

Things are moving very rapidly in the smartphone arena. The phone you buy today after so many considerations and searches on the web, loses its new shine the very next day – some other phone has better features at a lower price. Just as for desktops, new processors for smartphones are entering the market with ever-increasing number of cores inside them. Memory prices are falling, so 2GB RAM is now a norm rather than a feature. Today's top-of-the-line smartphones are powered by processors from Read more [...]

An Introduction to the Raspberry Pi GPIO

The highly popular, tiny, single board computer, the Raspberry Pi or RBPi has a row of pins along one of its board edges close to the yellow video out socket. These are its general purpose input/output or GPIO pins and one of its very powerful features. The RBPi needs these pins to interact with the outside world physically. To simplify things, you can think of them as switches that you can control as inputs or that the RBPi can control as outputs. Of the 26 pins available, nine are for power Read more [...]

LED myths and truths

People tend to make up myths about things not understood properly. For example, we have been using incandescent bulbs for over 100 years now, and some think they offer the best illumination possible. Studies related to energy consumption and investigations into the spectral light distribution have debunked this myth about incandescent lamps being superior. People are readily moving over to fluorescent types and lately, to LED types for meeting their illumination requirements. However, the fear of Read more [...]

Are There Any Energy-Saving Fans

While LED lights have brought about a sea of improvement in the efficiency of lighting systems we use every day, we do not hear of similar achievement in the area of fans. Along with inefficient incandescent bulbs, manufacturers have stuck with the same design of the DC or AC fan for a long time. Things are beginning to look up now. AC motors have two windings, one on the stator and the other on the rotor, which create the magnetic fields that interact with each other. A capacitor provides the Read more [...]

Wireless sensors sans batteries

The Internet of Things has led to several simple sensors being used for applications requiring reporting of their readings wirelessly to a gateway or hub. However, most sensors require to be powered from batteries, creating logistical and cost barriers to several use cases. Now, many wireless sensor modules appearing on the market do not require batteries, as they are ultra-low power types. Several key building blocks are necessary to make up a wireless sensor module meant for IoT use. The first Read more [...]

RemotePi: An Intelligent Infrared Remote Controlled Power Switch for the Raspberry Pi

When you have built a mediacenter system using the tiny single board computer, the Raspberry Pi or the RBPi, there is usually a hand-held infrared remote to manipulate the various controls. However, using the remote to switch off/on the mediacenter system does not switch the RBPi. Adding a RemotePi board lets you switch on/off the power of the RBPi safely with the remote or a push button. There are two versions of the RemotePi board – one that fits the RBPi Models A+ or B+, and another that fits Read more [...]

Control your computers from anywhere with the Raspberry Pi

If you are one of those who often need to use the home computer from a remote location, then you need a Web-based application that can power your home computers up or down. For example, you may have a specific file or folder on your home computer that you urgently want to access but cannot do so because you are in a different location. Keeping the home computer always powered on is not a great idea, even though it allows remote connections when required. For one, an always-on computer consumes Read more [...]