0430450200 – Quo Vadis, Connector Industry?

MicroCrystal RV-8803 – A Really Accurate RTC June 17, 2019- RTC chips traditionally were the domain of Maxim and NXP. Switzerland-based MicroCrystal recently made quite a buzz with its RV-8803, which offers simple integration, an I2C interface and extreme accuracy. Let us start out by looking at a system overview. Figure one shows how this I2C RTC is made up internally – interested observers note … Continue reading MicroCrystal RV-8803 – A Really Accurate RTC
Analog Devices’ LTM2887 – If a Digital Bus Needs Galvanic Isolation June 15, 2019- In theory, digital buses are intended to connect things to one another. Sadly, one sometimes wants but a logical connection – in many cases, galvanic isolation helps out. Should you ever feel like isolating very fast buses, definitely give the LTM2887 a chance. From a technical point of view, Linear Technologies attempt at entering the … Continue reading Analog Devices’ LTM2887 – If a Digital Bus Needs Galvanic Isolation
AVAGO APDS-9008 or APDS-9005-020 – Keeping an Eye on Ambient Light June 14, 2019- Recent times saw quite a bit of interest for part numbers such as the APDS-9008 or APDS-9005-020 – they are a very interesting type of ambient light sensor. One of the oldest questions in regards to light sensors involves their spectral sensitivity. If a part is to output but one voltage level, the conversion between … Continue reading AVAGO APDS-9008 or APDS-9005-020 – Keeping an Eye on Ambient Light
STMicroelectronics’ LIS2DH12 – Low Power Motion Sensing June 12, 2019- Apple’s iPhone introduced gyroscopic sensors to a wider range – before that, accelerometers were not commonly found in consumer hardware. STM sells excellent parts which, however, get little media attention – time to take a look at the LIS2DH12. Integrating the part into your circuit as an MPU6500 alternative or MPU9500 alternative is not difficult. … Continue reading STMicroelectronics’ LIS2DH12 – Low Power Motion Sensing
Panasonic AMG8833 – FLIR for cheap June 7, 2019- FLIR made infrared thermal sensors cool – sadly, their parts are all but cheap (and suffer from export control problems). Panasonic’s Grid-EYE family is a low-resolution alternative which comes at significantly lower cost. From a technical point of view, Panasonic’s image sensor could not be simpler. We are looking at an 8×8 sensor with an … Continue reading Panasonic AMG8833 – FLIR for cheap
DipTronics DTS-62R-V – Small Switch, Very Big (and Very Cheap) June 5, 2019- When yours truly was but a lowly cadet, various US manufacturers produced (pricey but quite reliable) switches. Chinese vendors recently started to catch up – seeing the DTS-62R-V top our customer interest list shows that the run stage of the crawl-walk-run cycle is reached. DipTronics has been around the Asian switch market for ages, exhibiting … Continue reading DipTronics DTS-62R-V – Small Switch, Very Big (and Very Cheap)

Whilst boring to most electrical engineers, connectors manage to gain significant interest in our search queries…

Whilst boring to most electrical engineers, connectors manage to gain significant interest in our search queries. At the last Hannover Fair, connector manufacturers showed off an interesting developmental path.

Let us start out with the obvious; if something does not use extremely advanced technologies or difficult-to-clone software, it will get cloned in Asia eventually. Connectors such as Molex’s well-liked MicroFit series can, of course, be had somewhat cheaply when comparing distributors. The real profit, on the other hand, lays in sourcing products “elsewhere”.


The “pressure” felt by traditional vendors is best summed up in a recent shot by yours truly at Hannover Messe – Tianli had its booth literally metres away from trusty old connector-wiseguy Weidmüller.

What will change?

When faced with Chinese pressure, the safest response involves going into high technology and offering value-added services. A RIGOL spectrum analyzer might be able to give you similar performance in heterodyne sweep. Units like the Keysight MSA can play out their strengths by acting as an application platform solving technical problems without further human intervention.

The clearest demonstration of transition was shown at the booth of Phoenix Contacts; the company exhibited a wide variety of innovative plug designs, which aimed to reduce the time needed for the assembly of components. Some plugs even accept Litz wires without additional “wrapping” – the practice of tinning Litz wires is frowned upon in power electronics circles due to odd behaviors of the tin when high currents flow.

In addition to that, a drive towards technology is clearly visible. All vendors offer various SPS-like process computers which are intended to bind users to their connector and product portfolio. Weidmueller even went so far as to integrate a web-based programming environment into one of their systems; users can connect a phone or a notebook and code away without needing to install dedicated software.

Logistics, of course, also remains king. Weidmueller jumps onto the current sensor market by offering a series of sensing elements of their own – the idea behind this is that users who already have a relationship with the vendor will be less likely to buy another product for convenience reasons.

NRF51 – To Spend or Not to Spend…

MicroCrystal RV-8803 – A Really Accurate RTC June 17, 2019- RTC chips traditionally were the domain of Maxim and NXP. Switzerland-based MicroCrystal recently made quite a buzz with its RV-8803, which offers simple integration, an I2C interface and extreme accuracy. Let us start out by looking at a system overview. Figure one shows how this I2C RTC is made up internally – interested observers note … Continue reading MicroCrystal RV-8803 – A Really Accurate RTC
Analog Devices’ LTM2887 – If a Digital Bus Needs Galvanic Isolation June 15, 2019- In theory, digital buses are intended to connect things to one another. Sadly, one sometimes wants but a logical connection – in many cases, galvanic isolation helps out. Should you ever feel like isolating very fast buses, definitely give the LTM2887 a chance. From a technical point of view, Linear Technologies attempt at entering the … Continue reading Analog Devices’ LTM2887 – If a Digital Bus Needs Galvanic Isolation
AVAGO APDS-9008 or APDS-9005-020 – Keeping an Eye on Ambient Light June 14, 2019- Recent times saw quite a bit of interest for part numbers such as the APDS-9008 or APDS-9005-020 – they are a very interesting type of ambient light sensor. One of the oldest questions in regards to light sensors involves their spectral sensitivity. If a part is to output but one voltage level, the conversion between … Continue reading AVAGO APDS-9008 or APDS-9005-020 – Keeping an Eye on Ambient Light
STMicroelectronics’ LIS2DH12 – Low Power Motion Sensing June 12, 2019- Apple’s iPhone introduced gyroscopic sensors to a wider range – before that, accelerometers were not commonly found in consumer hardware. STM sells excellent parts which, however, get little media attention – time to take a look at the LIS2DH12. Integrating the part into your circuit as an MPU6500 alternative or MPU9500 alternative is not difficult. … Continue reading STMicroelectronics’ LIS2DH12 – Low Power Motion Sensing
Panasonic AMG8833 – FLIR for cheap June 7, 2019- FLIR made infrared thermal sensors cool – sadly, their parts are all but cheap (and suffer from export control problems). Panasonic’s Grid-EYE family is a low-resolution alternative which comes at significantly lower cost. From a technical point of view, Panasonic’s image sensor could not be simpler. We are looking at an 8×8 sensor with an … Continue reading Panasonic AMG8833 – FLIR for cheap
DipTronics DTS-62R-V – Small Switch, Very Big (and Very Cheap) June 5, 2019- When yours truly was but a lowly cadet, various US manufacturers produced (pricey but quite reliable) switches. Chinese vendors recently started to catch up – seeing the DTS-62R-V top our customer interest list shows that the run stage of the crawl-walk-run cycle is reached. DipTronics has been around the Asian switch market for ages, exhibiting … Continue reading DipTronics DTS-62R-V – Small Switch, Very Big (and Very Cheap)

Some years ago, development kits were expensive by definition…

Some years ago, development kits were expensive by definition. As the “maker revolution” redistributed electronics development into smaller and smaller companies, prices fell. Whilst Boeing or UAC might not flinch at a 600€ PCB, some of our clients balk heavily. When dealing with Nordic Semiconductors, developers have the choice between a large amount of boards, all of which recently gained a lot of attention. As always, use OEMSecrets to find the best prices – even when dealing with “super-low volume” such as development boards, distributors will and do charge more or less contango.

NRF51-DONGLE

A few years ago, an event organized by WEKA Media raised attention – a speaker claimed that many semiconductor vendors create but one silicon design, and tailor the ICs to various wireless protocols only via the loaded firmware.

The NRF51 supports a set of so-called SoftDevices, which can be used to emulate various wireless systems – it can be used as both Bluetooth and custom wireless system. Finally, the product can even be used as a Bluetooth sniffer, thereby saving money.

NRF52 DK

Adding hardware to the above-mentioned dev board can be difficult – soldering to “eye side contacts” is not exactly a pleasure. Thus, the nRF52 DK was introduced, providing an Arduino Uno-like pinout which greatly simplifies the adding of various peripherals.

This is especially interesting for all working under time pressure; if the demands placed on the “edge device” are low, a bit of firmware run on the wireless module can eliminate the micro-controller. Incidentally, Nordic are not the only firm doing this – a variety of other companies deploy similar technologies, albeit under strict NDA.

NRF6936 Thingy:52

In some cases, starting out with an advanced design can be helpful – the final revision can then be created by “eliminating” unneeded elements. The Thingy52 provides a set of sensors along with a GPIO extender, whose schematics are outlined in the second half of the PDF found here.

Nordic furthermore provides a set of example applications for Android and iOS – if you need to get started quickly, this is definitely the way to go.


Even more…

The three above-mentioned products provide wide-band access to various wireless protocols; this is especially useful if you aren’t completely sure which way leads to the future. If you already know which chip to use, using one of the dedicated development kits for the specific chip can be a more attractive option.

In short, if work on an RF system is planned, purchasing the evaluation board definitely is a good idea. Knowing that the radio software works simplifies design verification – in addition to that, never underestimate the amount of software work needed. Buying developer boards allows the software team to get to work before hardware is ready to ship…

Using Murata’s PKMCS0909E4000-R1 to Create Sounds

MicroCrystal RV-8803 – A Really Accurate RTC June 17, 2019- RTC chips traditionally were the domain of Maxim and NXP. Switzerland-based MicroCrystal recently made quite a buzz with its RV-8803, which offers simple integration, an I2C interface and extreme accuracy. Let us start out by looking at a system overview. Figure one shows how this I2C RTC is made up internally – interested observers note … Continue reading MicroCrystal RV-8803 – A Really Accurate RTC
Analog Devices’ LTM2887 – If a Digital Bus Needs Galvanic Isolation June 15, 2019- In theory, digital buses are intended to connect things to one another. Sadly, one sometimes wants but a logical connection – in many cases, galvanic isolation helps out. Should you ever feel like isolating very fast buses, definitely give the LTM2887 a chance. From a technical point of view, Linear Technologies attempt at entering the … Continue reading Analog Devices’ LTM2887 – If a Digital Bus Needs Galvanic Isolation
AVAGO APDS-9008 or APDS-9005-020 – Keeping an Eye on Ambient Light June 14, 2019- Recent times saw quite a bit of interest for part numbers such as the APDS-9008 or APDS-9005-020 – they are a very interesting type of ambient light sensor. One of the oldest questions in regards to light sensors involves their spectral sensitivity. If a part is to output but one voltage level, the conversion between … Continue reading AVAGO APDS-9008 or APDS-9005-020 – Keeping an Eye on Ambient Light
STMicroelectronics’ LIS2DH12 – Low Power Motion Sensing June 12, 2019- Apple’s iPhone introduced gyroscopic sensors to a wider range – before that, accelerometers were not commonly found in consumer hardware. STM sells excellent parts which, however, get little media attention – time to take a look at the LIS2DH12. Integrating the part into your circuit as an MPU6500 alternative or MPU9500 alternative is not difficult. … Continue reading STMicroelectronics’ LIS2DH12 – Low Power Motion Sensing
Panasonic AMG8833 – FLIR for cheap June 7, 2019- FLIR made infrared thermal sensors cool – sadly, their parts are all but cheap (and suffer from export control problems). Panasonic’s Grid-EYE family is a low-resolution alternative which comes at significantly lower cost. From a technical point of view, Panasonic’s image sensor could not be simpler. We are looking at an 8×8 sensor with an … Continue reading Panasonic AMG8833 – FLIR for cheap
DipTronics DTS-62R-V – Small Switch, Very Big (and Very Cheap) June 5, 2019- When yours truly was but a lowly cadet, various US manufacturers produced (pricey but quite reliable) switches. Chinese vendors recently started to catch up – seeing the DTS-62R-V top our customer interest list shows that the run stage of the crawl-walk-run cycle is reached. DipTronics has been around the Asian switch market for ages, exhibiting … Continue reading DipTronics DTS-62R-V – Small Switch, Very Big (and Very Cheap)

Adding sound to a product can be useful in many cases…

Adding sound to a product can be useful in many cases; in addition to checking boxes on product demand lists, a bone-shattering beep is a sure-fire way to alert users to problems in systems.

Murata’s extensive experience in the production of all kinds of ceramic elements put them in the unique position of being able to run other ceramic-based products “just for kicks”. The PKMCS0909E4000-R1 is one example of this – in the bigger hierarchy of things, the product is a square-wave-driven buzzer.

This means that it can not be driven by applying DC. In fact, the datasheet explicitly warns against that due to electro-chemical effects taking place in the substrate. Instead, a figure is provided with the following outline between sound output strength and drive frequency.

The volume reached is dependent on the frequency…

As for the actual drive circuit, Murata limits itself to the designs shown in figure two. In principle, a resistor in the range of 1kOhm is suggested to keep the current flowing in the part in check.


Various drive circuits can be used to generate the necessary square wave…

…Various drive circuits can be used to generate the necessary square wave

Due to the relatively low prices of the component and the ease of the generation of square waves, the product is ideally suited to all situations where multiple different output frequencies are needed. If your system needs only one beep, different components can be slightly easier to handle – but keep in mind that the reduced flexibility may come around to bite you at a later point in time…

OEMSecrets, however, currently is in the process of procuring samples and will report on the whole experience shortly – in the meantime, keep buzzing!

Microchip’s MCP1640 | Super-Effective Battery Power

MicroCrystal RV-8803 – A Really Accurate RTC June 17, 2019- RTC chips traditionally were the domain of Maxim and NXP. Switzerland-based MicroCrystal recently made quite a buzz with its RV-8803, which offers simple integration, an I2C interface and extreme accuracy. Let us start out by looking at a system overview. Figure one shows how this I2C RTC is made up internally – interested observers note … Continue reading MicroCrystal RV-8803 – A Really Accurate RTC
Analog Devices’ LTM2887 – If a Digital Bus Needs Galvanic Isolation June 15, 2019- In theory, digital buses are intended to connect things to one another. Sadly, one sometimes wants but a logical connection – in many cases, galvanic isolation helps out. Should you ever feel like isolating very fast buses, definitely give the LTM2887 a chance. From a technical point of view, Linear Technologies attempt at entering the … Continue reading Analog Devices’ LTM2887 – If a Digital Bus Needs Galvanic Isolation
AVAGO APDS-9008 or APDS-9005-020 – Keeping an Eye on Ambient Light June 14, 2019- Recent times saw quite a bit of interest for part numbers such as the APDS-9008 or APDS-9005-020 – they are a very interesting type of ambient light sensor. One of the oldest questions in regards to light sensors involves their spectral sensitivity. If a part is to output but one voltage level, the conversion between … Continue reading AVAGO APDS-9008 or APDS-9005-020 – Keeping an Eye on Ambient Light
STMicroelectronics’ LIS2DH12 – Low Power Motion Sensing June 12, 2019- Apple’s iPhone introduced gyroscopic sensors to a wider range – before that, accelerometers were not commonly found in consumer hardware. STM sells excellent parts which, however, get little media attention – time to take a look at the LIS2DH12. Integrating the part into your circuit as an MPU6500 alternative or MPU9500 alternative is not difficult. … Continue reading STMicroelectronics’ LIS2DH12 – Low Power Motion Sensing
Panasonic AMG8833 – FLIR for cheap June 7, 2019- FLIR made infrared thermal sensors cool – sadly, their parts are all but cheap (and suffer from export control problems). Panasonic’s Grid-EYE family is a low-resolution alternative which comes at significantly lower cost. From a technical point of view, Panasonic’s image sensor could not be simpler. We are looking at an 8×8 sensor with an … Continue reading Panasonic AMG8833 – FLIR for cheap
DipTronics DTS-62R-V – Small Switch, Very Big (and Very Cheap) June 5, 2019- When yours truly was but a lowly cadet, various US manufacturers produced (pricey but quite reliable) switches. Chinese vendors recently started to catch up – seeing the DTS-62R-V top our customer interest list shows that the run stage of the crawl-walk-run cycle is reached. DipTronics has been around the Asian switch market for ages, exhibiting … Continue reading DipTronics DTS-62R-V – Small Switch, Very Big (and Very Cheap)

Super-effective battery power

Designers working on line-powered systems are in luck; whilst wasting power is always bad, a few mA of waste don’t really matter. When working on battery powered systems, every bit of energy helps – an efficient switching regulator can be helpful in various ways.

First of all, the holy grail of battery powered systems is connecting your electronics directly to the battery. Controllers with a wide input range can “float” around the battery voltage, thereby eliminating switching losses completely. Sadly, this is not always possible – LCD modules and various other elements demand fixed voltages or tight voltage ranges.

In this case, a highly efficient voltage regulator can be valuable. Microchip’s MCP1640 boasts with a 96% conversion rate, and furthermore it comes with a power-saving shutdown mode as shown in figure A.

The MCP1640's external circuitry looks similar to other switching regulators

The MCP1640’s external circuitry looks similar to other switching regulators

Due to the high switching frequency – the PWM modules work at 500KhZ – the inductors required are small; their weight is comparable with that of SMD resistors, thereby ensuring “minimal grief” when used in surface-mount form factors.

Focus on the family…

Microchip provides designers with a set of power-gating methods which are designated by the letter after the part number. On the B series, the EN pin completely disconnects the output from the power supply – this yields a loss current of less than 1 microampere.

The C and D family, instead, use output bypass. This means that the battery voltage is “passed through” via the FET when the EN pin is used to switch off the regulator – especially useful in cases where the load can also run in a lower-voltage hibernation mode.

Let this table be your guide to the world of the MCP1640

Another, albeit more “esoteric”, difference involves the switching mode used when currents are very low; in principle, Microchip provides a trade-off between higher efficiency and lower ripple.


In Conclusion

This product can, for example, be used to isolate OLED modules and their driver circuitry from low-power parts of the system. As always, let OEMSecrets find the best price for you!