Raspberry Pi and Automated Greenhouse

Many people set up greenhouses to grow tropical plants that need plenty of warmth and moisture. Usually these areas are enclosed in steel bracings holding glass/plastic panels that allow sunlight in and prevent moisture from going out. Greenhouse owners control the temperature by opening panels to allow ventilation. In winter, maintaining temperature could be difficult without use of heaters. Manually controlling temperature and humidity could be a tedious task taking away from the actual task of Read more [...]

What Are Field Logic Controllers?

FLC or Field Logic Controllers are standard IO blocks with the ability to perform logical operations. By attaching them to individual industrial devices, engineers allow them to execute arithmetic functions, support the use of counters and timers, and toggle bits. FLCs have the capability to create a web-based human-machine interface (HMI) as well. Engineers use FLCs to transfer the burden of logical operations to individual devices. Therefore, they need not rely on centralized computing power such Read more [...]

Nanoparticles Toggle a Window between Clear and Reflective

By applying a coating on a clear window, it has been possible to convert the window into a one-way reflective mirror. If applied correctly, the coating allows people from inside the room to see outside, but for those outside the room, the windowpanes act like mirrors, preventing them from looking in. To revert to the clear glass, it is necessary to peel off the coating. Clearly, this is not a reversible process. A research team from the Imperial College London has now developed a process by which Read more [...]

Whisker Growth in Printed Circuit Boards

in whiskers are not fanciful or imaginative items, but are real and pose a serious problem for all types of electronic manufacturing. Pure tin is often used as a finish material on printed circuit boards (PCBs) to protect the exposed copper pads from tarnishing. However, pure tin spontaneously grows conductive whiskers, thin wire like growth that can form electrical paths and affect the operation of the PCB assembly. Understanding Tin Whiskers and their Effects First reported in the 1940s, tin Read more [...]

The CHIP Computer Rivals the Raspberry Pi

Since the 2010s, there has been a new wave of single board computers smaller than the credit card able to perform like any major computer. Offering a range of tinkering and educational adventures, two of the most popular SBCs, the Raspberry Pi and the CHIP computer, are two unique products. While the Raspberry Pi or RBPi was the product of a UK nonprofit supporting children’s education, the Chip started as a successful Kickstarter project that raised more than two million dollars. The RBPi family Read more [...]

Preventing or Mitigating Whisker Growth in PCBs

Growth of whiskers puts PCB assembly at considerable risk, since whiskers interfere with components, and this automatically qualifies a good product as a defective one. Although a growing tin whisker may seem harmless, it can pose a very real threat to both the product as well as to the human operator. In PCB assembly, one of the most common problems that whiskers create is a short circuit or arcing. This can cause breakdown of electrical equipment, as well as harm people from the arcing. Either Read more [...]

A Cheaper Alternative for Batteries—Sodium Ion

A vast majority of electronic equipment running on batteries rely on the Lithium-ion technology for their electrode material. Since Lithium is relatively rare, its mining and refining make it an expensive material to use. This has led scientists to search for a cheaper alternative, and they have turned to the cheapest substance available, the common salt. A team from Stanford has developed a battery based on Sodium-ion whose cost per storage capacity is far lower than that of the existing batteries Read more [...]

A Music Server on Your Raspberry Pi

If you are looking to create a music server on your Raspberry Pi (RBPi), Volumio may be a suitable choice. Although several websites give perfect instructions for setting up the RBPi as a media center for watching films and video series, very few provide solutions for audiophiles who would prefer to have a server dedicated to music. Volumio is available as a Raspbian distribution. Using the application, one can manage the entire music library on a single device attached to the RBPi. Being very easy Read more [...]

Is It Necessary to Ground Cable Trays?

Within a cable tray system, one may use an Equipment Grounding Conductor (EGC), or use the body of the cable tray itself to ground the system—provided the cable tray is made of metal. There are no restrictions as to where one installs a cable tray system. Since the function of the EGC is to provide electrical safety, the EGC is the most important conductor in the electrical system. Therefore, one has three options for grounding in a cable tray wiring system: Use an EGC conductor within or Read more [...]

What is BiCMOS Technology?

CMOS and Bipolar are two of the pioneering technologies of the electronics field. Components fabricated with the CMOS technology dissipate lower power, have smaller noise margins, and are physically smaller. On the other hand, components fabricated with the bipolar technology operate at higher speeds, switch faster, and offer good noise performance. By combining the two, scientists have created the BiCMOS technology that offers a combination of advantages from both processes. For instance, BiCMOS Read more [...]