Battery Monitoring with Comparators

So many portable consumer electronics gadgets in use today use small, button- or coin-cell batteries. Sometimes it is necessary to monitor their state-of-charge (SOC) and health efficiently without affecting their SOC significantly, but this can be a challenge. However, simple low-power monitoring circuits for small batteries using comparators can overcome this challenge. Managing Batteries in Portable Systems Usually, the system engineer budgets the system power requirements carefully during the Read more [...]

What are Miniature Slide Guides?

Slide guides are industrial mechanical guides to reduce friction in linear motions. They use rolling elements, either hardened steel rollers or balls, moving along two raceways, with a stick-slip arrangement. This provides a smooth linear motion in either direction even when the load is heavy. Usually, slide guides carry their loads on one or more blocks or carriages riding on a rail. Instead of carrying loads, they can also guide other components, making sure they move smoothly and easily along Read more [...]

Measuring Very High Currents

High currents, such as 500 Amps and above, are common nowadays. Industries regularly use equipment consuming high currents, and vehicle batteries experience very high currents for a short time during starting. With vehicles increasingly trending towards their electric versions, it is becoming necessary to be able to measure high currents with precision. Increasingly, it is increasingly becoming critical to monitor current consumed accurately for ensuring performance and long-term reliability. Current Read more [...]

Let the Raspberry Pi Monitor Energy

If you are looking for monitoring energy remotely, an open source system that uses the ever-popular single board computer, the Raspberry Pi (RBPi) may be suitable. The company, OpenEnergyMonitor, makes the open-source tools for monitoring energy, and at present, they are using the RBPi3. According to their co-founder Glyn Hudson, the aim of OpenEnergyMonitor is to help people understand and relate to how they use energy from their energy systems, and the challenges of sustainable energy. The system Read more [...]

Are Pin and Sleeve Connectors Better?

Most people in the US are familiar with the twist lock cable connectors, as these are the NEMA standard. In Europe, there is another advanced cable connector—the pin and sleeve connector—but it is not so very well known in the United States. In short, pin and sleeve connectors deliver power through sealed connections, while insulating the connections from moisture, grime, and chemicals, which makes them suitable for applications under abusive environments. Their design is such as to prevent Read more [...]

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 [...]