Tag Archives: Guides

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 [...]

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 [...]

The Importance of Decibels in Electronics

Engineers use decibels everywhere for calculating power levels, voltage levels, reflection coefficients, noise figures, field strengths, and more. Most instruments use it, whether they are signal generators, spectrum analyzers, test receivers, power meters, network analyzers, or audio analyzers. Despite this, decibels remain a mystery to most people, sometimes including experienced engineers. Engineers deal with numbers in all their professional activities, with some numbers being very large or Read more [...]

Low-Side & Hi-Side Current Sensing

Electronic systems tend to manage their power consumption to reduce the production of heat as waste. This calls for optimizing the system efficiency by effectively distributing power. As the voltage applied to the circuit is usually a constant, engineers monitor power consumption by keeping track of the current drawn by the circuit—power being the mathematical product of the current and voltage fed to the circuit. Current sensing has additional advantages, mainly that of maintaining the health Read more [...]

What are Ball Grid Arrays?

Initially, surface mount devices, especially ICs, came as perimeter-only packages, with pins for soldering placed along the edge of the device. As ICs became more complex, they needed more pins for external interfacing, which made the packages larger. Manufacturers soon realized there was a large unused real estate that lay just under the package. Therefore, they made the ball grid array (BGA) packaging, which, in place of pins, had solder balls aligned in a grid under the device. Soldering BGAs Read more [...]

How Do Power Supplies Share Current?

Those who use power supplies to run different devices often face a peculiar problem. The load may demand more power from a single power supply that it can safely provide continuously. Since the voltage to the load has to remain constant, the situation calls for using additional power supplies to supply the excess current, and inevitably, users must connect them in parallel. However, simply connecting power supplies in parallel does not guarantee they will share the load current between them in an Read more [...]

What is 3D MLC NAND Flash Memory?

To unleash performance fit for the next generation of computers, Transcend has released its MTE850 M.2 Solid State Device (SSD), based on 3D MLC NAND flash memory. The device utilizes the PCI Express Gen3 x4 interface and supports the latest NVMe standard. According to Transcend, this SSD targets high-end applications such as gaming, digital audio and video production, and multiple uses in the enterprise. Typically, such applications demand constant processing of heavy workloads, while not willing Read more [...]

What are Synchronous Condensers?

All manufacturing and industrial plants around the world face the unique problem of lagging power factor. Ideally, the voltage and current vectors should align perfectly for any AC power system feeding a load. In actual practice, however, the current either leads or lags the voltage by a few degrees, depending on whether the load is capacitive or inductive. Power factor is the cosine of the angle the current vector makes with the voltage vector as the reference. A positive power factor less than Read more [...]

Raspberry Pi to Linux Desktop

You may have bought a new Single Board Computer (SBC), and by any chance, it is the ubiquitous Raspberry Pi (RBPi). You have probably had scores of projects lined up to try on the new RBPi, and you have enjoyed countless hours of fun and excitement on your SBC. After having exhausted all the listed projects, you are searching for newer projects to try on. Instead of allowing the RBPi to remain idle in a corner, why not turn it into a Linux desktop? At least, until another overwhelming project turns Read more [...]