A Soundcard HAT for the Raspberry Pi

If you have been wondering how to use the popular Raspberry Pi (RBPi) single board computer for effects to be used with musical instruments such as the guitar, the Pisound board from Blokas may be the answer. With the Pisound board, any musician can connect any type of audio gear to the RBPi, and bring their project to an entirely new level. Pisound is a soundcard HAT for the RBPi. HAT is an acronym for Hardware Attached on Top of an RBPi. HAT boards have an EEPROM that tells the RBPi the values Read more [...]

What are Digital Circuit Breakers?

We need protection from fires resulting from an electrical overload caused by a faulty device or an accidental short circuit. The huge current from the overload heats up wires and their insulation may go up in flames. There are several ways to activate this protection. The oldest method consists of a fuse wire. Usually, this is a thin wire enclosed in a casing. The material of the fuse wire is carefully chosen to heat up and melt (blow) when a certain current level is exceeded. Melting of the wire Read more [...]

Peltier Cell Generates Electricity from a Lamp

The early 20th century saw the end of the use of candles and oil lamps as electric lighting became more common. Earlier, candles were made from various items such as natural fat, wax, and tallow. However, most manufacturers make candles from paraffin wax, a substance obtained from refining petroleum. Compared to an incandescent bulb, a candle produces nearly a hundred times lower luminous efficacy. The luminous efficacy of a modern candle is about 0.16 lumens per watt, and it produces nearly 80 Read more [...]

RF Transistors using more Germanium

So far, gallium arsenide was the choice of material for building fast radio frequency transistors. However, that scenario is changing fast. Germanium is fast catching up, as it is less expensive and more compatible with CMOS and silicon. In this connection, the European research institute Imec has presented a pair of papers featuring gate-all-around (GAA) transistors at the 2017 Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits in Japan. They claim that GAA transistors can outperform standard CMOS below the Read more [...]

How to Simulate the Raspberry Pi?

You may have an urgent project that requires the use of a Raspberry Pi (RBPi), but do not have immediate access to a physical kit or the SBC. However, that should not hamper your progress with the project, as Microsoft is now offering an online RBPi simulator. The online RBPi simulator allows users to write code for controlling emulated hardware. Therefore, for the present, users can interact with a sensor to collect data from it and control an LED. On the simulator, the user has a graphic of an Read more [...]

Boosting Battery Life in IoT Devices

Earlier, the assumption was unused energy from the environment, machines, people, and so on could be used to power valuable devices and this would be done for free. The assumption was based on the convergence of four key technologies to enable mass adoption of energy harvesting—efficient voltage converters, efficient harvesting devices, low-power sensors, and low-power microcontrollers. However, it was soon realized that although energy harvesting does operate for free, the system needs investment, Read more [...]

What are Harmonics and What do they do?

In the 19th century, Jean-Baptiste Joseph Fourier presented his theorem, which is known as the Fourier’s theorem. According to this theorem, a periodic function of period T can be represented as the summation of a sinusoid with the identical period T, additional sinusoids with frequency same as integral multiples of the fundamental, and a possible continuous component, provided the function has a non-zero average value in the period. The first two are known as harmonics, while the third is known Read more [...]

Meca500 – The Tiny Six-Axis Robot

Although there are plenty of robots available in the market for a myriad jobs, one of the most compact, and accurate robot is the Meca500. Launched by the Quebec based Mecademic from Montreal, the manufacturers claim it is the smallest, and most precise six-axis industrialist robot arm in the market. According to Mecademic, users can fit Meca500 easily within an already existing equipment and consider it as an automation component, much simpler than most other industrial robots are. According to Read more [...]

How Efficient are Light Emitting Diodes – LEDS?

Almost all commercial and residential establishments are moving over to light emitting diode (LED) illumination, as they are guaranteed to be more efficient compared to other forms of lighting such as incandescent and fluorescent. Unless designed with care, LEDs can suffer from premature failure due to thermal issues. Under thermal stress, LEDs can permanently lose their brightness, while degrading much quicker than the manufacturer intended. That means designers and engineers need to balance the Read more [...]

What is Cabinet-Free Motion Control?

Controllers, drivers, and servomotors usually control automated platforms and machines in the automated production industry. With the evolvement of technology for machine motion, control and driving of individual machine axes is being increasingly taken over by highly intelligent electronics. Therefore, the control cabinet is assuming the central role with the rest of the system being designed around it. With the rest of the machinery developing much more slowly, the faster evolving complex automation Read more [...]