Category Archives: Guides

Why Use a Multi-Layer PCB?

Although a multi-layer PCB is more expensive than a single or double-layer board of the same size, the former offers several benefits. For a given circuit complexity, the multi-layer PCB has a much smaller size as compared to that a designer can achieve with a single or even a double-layer board—helping to offset the higher cost—with the main advantage being the higher assembly density the multiple layers offer. There are other benefits of a multi-layer PCB as well, such as increased flexibility Read more [...]

What are Multi-Layer PCBs?

Most electronic equipment have one or more Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) with components mounted on them. The wiring to and from these PCBs determines the basic functionality of the equipment. It is usual to expect a complex PCB within equipment meant to deliver highly involved performance. While a single layer PCB is adequate for simple equipment such as a voltage stabilizer, an audio amplifier may require a PCB with two layers. Equipment with more complicated specifications such as a modem or a Read more [...]

How do Surge Trap SPDs Work?

Surge trap Surge Protection Devices or SPDs are protection devices to absorb high-energy power spikes that could damage sensitive electronic equipment such as process controllers, instrumentation, and computers. They divert high-energy power away from an appliance by providing a low-impedance path to the common point earth ground. Frequently, panel boards use several metal oxide varistors or MOVs, connected in parallel, to act as surge suppressors or traps. AC surge suppressors most commonly use Read more [...]

Ethoscope with the Raspberry Pi

Although ethoscopes are very popular instruments for detecting or recording the real-time activity of fruit flies, they can potentially be used on other animals as well. The ethoscope platform is actually a collection of interconnected tools that biologists use when designing experiments, to capture and analyze huge amounts of behavioral data. The ethoscope uses a free and open-source set of tools, both hardware and software. The hardware is a Raspberry Pi (RBPi) while the software is built on top Read more [...]

Do It Yourself Blynk Board

Those who have some experience with Do It Yourself (DIY) electronic projects, and are just starting to test the waters in the Internet of Things (IoT), the Blynk Board from SparkFun is an activity filled challenging exercise. Both experienced users as well as beginners will find this fun to set up and learn—the kit comes with more than ten projects. Of course, you can make this board work without the IoT Starter Kit from SparkFun, but then you will have to buy the sensors and other components Read more [...]

A New Magnet for Electric Cars

The advent of electric cars is spawning innovations in almost every technology field including batteries, motors, wires, PCBs, electronics, and many more. Electric cars require powerful and efficient motors, and for that, magnets used in the motors must be stronger than usual. Toyota Motor Corporation has developed a new magnet for electric motors, and they have reduced by 50% the use of critical rare-earth elements they were using so far. As the number of electric cars is set to increase rapidly Read more [...]

Things Gateway Ties IoT Devices Together

Project Things from Mozilla is a framework of software and services. It helps to bridge the communication gap between IoT devices. Project Things does this by giving each IoT device a URL on the web. The latest version of the Things Gateway, also from Mozilla, can directly let you control your home over the web, and manage all your devices through a single secure web interface. Therefore, if you have several smart devices in your home, you will not need different mobile apps to manage each of them. Read more [...]

Raspberry Pi Makes the Pac-Man Game Go 3D

Some avid gamers of today are not even aware of the video games that flourished in the seventies and the eighties. Those who have a collection of retro games may have given their children time to catch up with the old games. One such classic game from the 1980s, a very addictive one, was the pellet-guzzling arcade game with the name of Pac-Man, from Namco. One of the youngsters, Emanuele Coletta, has come up with a 3-D rendition of Pac-Man. Emanuele wanted to make something funny, while at the same Read more [...]

LTM2893 μModule isolator for ADCs

Analog to digital converters (ADCs) need to float to the common mode of the input signal to absorb the harsh voltage conditions and transients. The best way to do this is to place an isolation barrier between the ADC and the external signal. Even applications that perform under moderate conditions can benefit from the presence of an isolator. The LTM2893 from Linear Technology provides such isolation, improving on system safety, especially when reading from high-resolution successive approximation Read more [...]

What are Linear Actuators?

Any device creating motion in a straight line is a linear actuator. A vehicle is an excellent example of linear motion—the engine makes the car move forward or back in a straight line, unless the driver changes the direction. Other examples of this application are available in the process industries, material handling, food, and beverages processing industry, robotics, and many more. The industry uses different types of linear actuators powered by pneumatics, hydraulic, and/or electric. As it Read more [...]