March Circuit Cellar: Sneak Preview

The March issue of Circuit Cellar is coming next week! Electronics solutions for medical wearables, PCB assembly services, a deep look into LPWAN, an LoRa-based tracking project, redefining the kilogram, industrial-strength power supplies, rotating LIDAR project, USB security attacks and more— this 84-page magazine grills up a tasty meal of embedded electronics articles for your reading pleasure.

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Here’s a sneak preview of March 2020 Circuit Cellar:


Mobile and Wearable Medical Electronics
By Jeff Child
The mobile and wearable segments rank among today’s most dynamic segments of medical electronics design. Such devices put extreme demands on the embedded electronics that make them work—and power is front and center among those demands. Devices spanning across fitness and medical markets all need highly-integrated processing and advanced power management technologies to perform as expected. Circuit Cellar Chief Editor Jeff Child examines how today’s MCU and power electronics are enabling today’s mobile and wearable medical electronics products.

PCB Assembly Services
By Jeff Child
The assembly phase is a critical step in the production of a board-level
product. Fortunately, there’s a rich set of companies offer all types of PCB assembly
services—ranging from quick turnaround prototypes to large volume runs. Circuit
Editor-in-Chief, Jeff Child, explores the PCB assembly service
capabilities available today and whose providing them.

Datasheet: Power Supplies for Industrial Systems
By Jeff Child
Over the past couple years, there’s been an increasing trend toward new power supply products that have some sort of application or industry focus. That means supplies that include special performance specs or tailored packaging intended for a specific application area such as industrial control and factory automation. This Datasheet section updates readers on these technology trends and provides a product gallery of representative industrial-focused power supplies.


Dehumidifier Revamped for the IoT Era
By Brian Millier
When his dehumidifier stopped working, Brian decided to take a crack and repairing it. In this article, he explains how dehumidifiers function and shares his journey as he replaces the old control system with a modern electronic controller. The new controller enables serval IoT era features like web-based control via smartphone, efficiency monitoring and time of day scheduling.

LoRa-Based Tracking System
By James Lawton, Callum Munn-Middleton and Cam Stauffer
Because every minute counts during search and rescue operations, technologies that narrow the search area are always welcome. Learn how these three Camosun College students built a LoRa-based tracking system designed to aid search and rescue teams in locating lost or missing individuals. Called SARNet, the system can narrow down the initial search area and giving a single tech a larger searching radius.

A Deep Dive Into LPWAN
By Wolfgang Thieme, BehrTech
There are several technology options for connecting widely distributed IoT sensors. But system developers face challenges with the range and power of many of today’s wireless networking options. In this article, BehrTech’s Wolfgang Thieme does a deep dive on Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN), explaining how the technology solves many of those design dilemmas.


Composite Video Text Terminal
By Stuart Ball
There are many uses for integrating a small display into your embedded system. In this project article, Stuart takes a 3.5” LCD video monitor and builds a circuit that provides a text-based terminal that can plug into the display. In this way, he emulates something similar to old alphanumeric computer terminals used in the 70s and 80s, but with a much smaller, lighter and less power-hungry screen.

Periodic Table Desktop Trainer
By Devlin Gualtieri
2019 marked the 150th anniversary of the periodic table. As tribute, Dev built a desktop accessory that helps students learn the chemical symbols and the order of the chemical elements in the periodic table. The circuit is based on a Microchip PIC16 MCU and it runs continually when powered by a commonly available 5V charger, or intermittently with a long-lived battery supply.


Redefining the Kilogram
By George Novacek
It may surprise you to learn that within the past couple years it was discovered that the kilogram isn’t quite what it used to be. When the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in Paris measured the reference unit for the kilogram, they discover it lost approximately fifty millionths of a gram. In this article, George discussed the background of this story, and reports on efforts last year by scientific teams—in more than a dozen countries—to redefine the kilogram.

Taking RPLIDAR Out for a Spin (Part 1)
By Jeff Bachiochi
RPLIDAR-A1 is 360-degree laser range scanner that uses a laser triangulation ranging principle to calculate distance. In this article, Jeff examines this device and its development package. He steps you through his project using RPLIDAR, detailing his hardware and software development choices.

USB Attacks and More with GreatFET
By Colin O’Flynn
A new open-source hardware tool has been released, called the GreatFET. It can be used for a variety of purposes, including performing all sorts of low-level work on the USB protocol. Beyond just raw USB, it also works as an interface for SPI, UART, I2C and other protocols. In this article, Colin discusses how you can get started using the tool.

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March Circuit Cellar: Sneak Preview

by Circuit Cellar Staff time to read: 4 min