Solar-Power the Circuit Cellar (Free Download)

Team installing solar panels on Steve Ciarcia's roof

In the spirit of DIY engineering and solar power innovation, we’re re-releasing Circuit Cellar founder Steve Ciaria’s three-part series, “Solar-Powering the Circuit Cellar.” An excerpt from the first article in the series appears below. And for a limited time, you … Continue reading

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The Future of 3-D Printed Electronics

Photo 1: 3-D PE demonstrator—Tank-filling sensor produced in the FKIA project funded by the Bavarian Research Foundation (Courtesy of Neotech AMT GmbH)

Three-dimensional printing technology is one of our industry’s most exciting innovations. And the promising field of 3-D printed electronics is poised to revolutionize the way engineers design and manufacture electrical systems for years to come. In the following essay, Dr. … Continue reading

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Use Watchdog Timers (EE Tip #143)

ComponentsDesk-iStock_000036102494Large

Watchdog timers are essential to many complete electronic system designs.  As Bob Japenga explains, following a few guidelines will help make your designs more effective. No longer used in just the realm of fault-tolerant systems, independent watchdog timers are put on systems … Continue reading

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Electronica Munich 2014: Can You “Make” It?

EL-Munich-2014

Visiting Elektor International Media’s booth at the Electronica 2014 in Munich (November 11–14,2014) will have its perks. Attendees can stop at the space to relax, recharge their electronics, have coffee, and chat with like-minded electrical engineers and electronics “makers.” The … Continue reading

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Cabinet-Based DIY Electronics Workspace

(Source: Patrik Thalin)

Micrcontrollers and electrical engineering probably don’t come to mind when you flip through an IKEA product catalog. But when you think about it, IKEA has plenty of easy-to-assemble tables, cabinets, and storage containers that could be handy for outfitting a … Continue reading

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DIY Arduino-Based ECG System

Here you can see the system in action. The top line (green) has a 1-s time base. The bottom line (yellow) has a 5-s
time base. (Source: Hubber & Lu)

Cornell University students Sean Hubber and Crystal Lu built an Arduino-based electrocardiography (ECG) system that enables them to view a heart’s waveform on a mini TV. The basic idea is straightforward: an Arduino Due converts a heartbeat waveform to an … Continue reading

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Got Problematic Little Bits? (EE Tip #142)

Source: Raymond Vermeulen (Elektor, October 2011)

While testing a project, something strange happened (see the nearby image). The terminal showed nonsense, but the logic analyzer properly displayed “Elektor” in ASCII. The latter also indicated that the UART was operating at 4800 baud instead of the 19200 … Continue reading

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How to Protect Electronic Systems

Metallic shield (Source: Robert Lacoste)

Engineers must protect their electronic systems. Thus, we frequently get requests for tips, tricks, and insight on the topic. For instance, a UK-based community member recently requested some insight into electronics protection and bullet proofing. We provided him with the content … Continue reading

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Self-Reconfiguring Robotic Systems & M-Blocks

Source: Kyle Gilpin

Self-reconfiguring robots are no longer science fiction. Researchers at MIT are rapidly innovating shape-shifting robotic systems. In the August 2014 issue of Circuit Cellar, MIT researcher Kyle Gilpin presents M-Blocks, which are 50-mm cubic modules capable of controlled self-reconfiguration. The … Continue reading

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Data Communication Between “Smart” Pendants

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As head of the Computer Science and Software  Engineering department at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, Chris Coulston is busy. But not too busy to surf the ‘Net for design inspiration. And one of his latest projects may earn … Continue reading

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New PIC32 Bluetooth Starter Kit

PIC32 Bluetooth Starter Kit (Source: Microchip Technology)

Microchip Technology recently announced the new PIC32 Bluetooth Starter Kit, which is intended for low-cost applications such as a Bluetooth thermostat, wireless diagnostic tools, and Bluetooth GPS receivers. According to Microchip, the kit includes “a PIC32 microcontroller, HCI-based Bluetooth radio, Cree high-output … Continue reading

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24-Channel Digital I/O Interface for Arduino & Compatibles

Scidyne

SCIDYNE Corp. recently expanded its product line by developing a digital I/O interface for Arduino hardware. The DIO24-ARD makes it easy to connect to solid-state I/O racks, switches, relays, LEDs, and many other commonly used peripheral devices. Target applications include … Continue reading

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Kernel RTOS Evaluation Kit

eSOL has started offering the eT-Kernel Evaluation Kit for Xilinx’s Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoC, which combines the dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor with Xilinx’s 28-nm programmable logic fabric. The Evaluation Kit integrates eSOL’s eT-Kernel Multi-Core Edition real time operating system … Continue reading

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New Dual-Channel Function/Arbitrary Waveform Generators

BKprecision4060_series

B&K Precision recently launched its new 4060 Series line of dual channel function/arbitrary waveform generators. The series includes three models that generate sine waveforms up to 80 MHz (4063), 120 MHz (4064), and 160 MHz (4065). Featuring an advanced pulse … Continue reading

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Troubleshoot Electronics Problems with Logging (EE Tip #141)

datalog

Electrical engineers often develop “headless” electronic systems—that is, systems without user interfaces. And many of those systems are embedded within product and are generally out of reach when problems occur. Bob Japenga is an engineer with some advice about logging … Continue reading

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