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Circuit Cellar's editorial team comprises professional engineers, technical editors, and digital media specialists. You can reach the Editorial Department at [email protected], @circuitcellar, and facebook.com/circuitcellar

August (issue #349) Circuit Cellar Article Materials

Click here for the Circuit Cellar article code archive

p.6: Automating the Art of Toast: With a Side of Raspberry Pi, By Katie Bradford and Michael Xiao

[1] A small, portable computer. Specifically the Raspberry Pi Zero W, a wireless enabled computer with the smallest form factor for Pis yet, was used in this project https://www.raspberrypi.org/

[2] Using the small PIC32 breakout board provided by ECE4760 course, found here http://people.ece.cornell.edu/land/courses/ece4760/PIC32/target_board.html

[3] Supported by CECOMINOD012186 motor driver boards, complete with voltage regulation and headers.  Qunqi part number MK-050-2.

Additional Information

Website: http://people.ece.cornell.edu/land/courses/ece4760/FinalProjects/f2018/mfx2_keb278/mfx2_keb278/mfx2_keb278/index.html

Video 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUwJVrSkh3M

Video 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYBhZNorL6M

Adafruit | www.adafruit.com
Microchip Technology | www.microchip.com
Raspberry Pi | www.raspberrypi.org
Sparkfun | www.sparkfun.com
STMicroelectronics | www.st.com


p.12: Build an RGB LED Controller: Using Parallel FET Dimming, By Dirceu R. Rodrigues, Jr.

Component List


R1, R10, R12, R14 = 10 kΩ

R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, R7, R8 = 390 Ω

R9, R11, R13 = 51 Ω

R15, R19, R20, R21 = 39 kΩ

R16 = 47 Ω

R17 = 4.7 kΩ

R18 = 2.2 kΩ

R22 = 0.33 Ω (Rs)


C1, C3 = 0.1 µF

C2 = 0.33  µF

C4 = 47 µF

C5 = 1 µF


L1 = 180 µH (Pulse P0465)


REG1 =  LT7805CV linear regulator

U1 =  ATmega8 microcontroller (my MYK2 module)

U2 =  ZXLD1350 350 mA LED driver

IR1 = AX-1838HS IR receiver

D1 = ZLSS1000 diode

DI1 = Seven segment display

LED1, LED2, LED3 = Power RGB LED 350 mA/3 W

Q1 = BC848 NPN Transistor

M1, M2, M3 = IRF7317 double power MOSFET


Y1 = Crystal 16 MHz

J1 = Power jack

S1 = SPST slide switch

S2 = Push button

Diodes | www.diodes.com
Microchip Technology | www.microchip.com
MCS Electronics | www.mcselec.com


p. 20: Building a Twitter Emote Robot: Reactions in Real Time, By Ian Kranz, Nikhil Dhawan and Sofya Calvin

[1]  Primack, Brian A et al. “Social Media Use and Perceived Social Isolation Among Young Adults in the U.S” American journal of preventive medicine vol. 53,1 (2017): 1-8.
[2] 18-bit color TFT
Adafruit Inc. | www.adafruit.com
[3] Twitter Python Library
Tweepy | www.tweepy.org
[4] Emotion Analyzer
ParallelDots | www.paralleldots.com
[5] Bluetooth HC-05
DSD Tech | www.dsdtech-global.com
[6] Pic32 PCB
Sean Carroll | people.ece.cornell.edu/land
[7] Peripheral Device Library
Bruce Land | people.ece.cornell.edu/land
[8] Modified Protothreads Library
Syed Tahmid Mahbub | tahmidmc.blogspot.com


Adafruit | www.adafruit.com
DSD Tech | www.dsdtech-global.com
MathWorks | www.mathworks.com
Microchip Technology | www.microchip.com
ON Semiconductor | www.onsemi.com
ParallelDots | www.paralleldots.com


Watch the video of the TweetBot project here:


p. 26: Understanding the Role of Inference Engines in AI: Benchmarks and Batching, By Geoff Tate

[1] Artificial Intelligence

Flex Logix Technologies | www.flex-logix.com


p.30: Portable Digital Synthesizer: Music Using an MCU, By T.J. Hurd and Ben Roberge

[1] https://www.microchip.com/wwwproducts/en/PIC32MX250F128B
[2] http://people.ece.cornell.edu/land/courses/ece4760/PIC32/target_board.html
[3] https://www.adafruit.com/product/1010
[4] https://cdn-shop.adafruit.com/datasheets/pec11.pdf
[5] http://people.ece.cornell.edu/land/courses/ece4760/PIC32/Microchip_stuff/port_expander.pdf
[6] http://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/en/DeviceDoc/20002249B.pdf
[7] https://www.adafruit.com/product/1480
[8] http://dunkels.com/adam/pt/index.html
[9] https://www.analog.com/en/analog-dialogue/articles/all-about-direct-digital-synthesis.html
[10] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frequency_modulation_synthesis
[11] https://www.wikiaudio.org/adsr-envelope/
[12] http://www.open-std.org/jtc1/sc22/wg14/www/docs/n1169.pdf
[13] https://www.best-microcontroller-projects.com/rotary-encoder.html
[14] https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/optimising-latency-pc-audio-interface#7

Adafruit | www.adafruit.com
Autodesk | www.autodesk.com
Microchip Technology | www.microchip.com
Monoprice | www.monoprice.com

Watch the video of the Portable Digital Synthesizer project here:



p.38: IC Solutions Rev Up for Next Gen Auto Designs: MCUs, Analog ICs and More, By Jeff Child

p.45: Display Solutions Enhance Embedded Designs: System-Level Functionality, By Jeff Child

p.48: PRODUCT FOCUS: Tiny Embedded Boards: Petite Processing, by Jeff Child

p.52: EMBEDDED IN THIN SLICES: Bluetooth Mesh (Part 4): Models and Re-Use, By Bob Japenga

[1] For Licensing rights https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2b/Osi-model.png
[2] Created by Bob Japenga
[3] Created by Bob Japenga

p.58: THE DARKER SIDE: The Fundamentals of Fuseology: Purposeful Protection, By Robert Lacoste

[1]  Fuses https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuse_(electrical)
[2] IEC60269
Low-voltage power fuses
[3] Fuseology

IEC 60127-2:2014
Miniature fuses – Part 2: Cartridge fuse-links

Fuse Technology

Fuse glass 2 A 250 VAC 5 x 20 mm
Littelfuse ref 0218002.HXP

AIM-TTi | www.aimtti.com
Keysight | www.keysight.com
Littelfuse | www.littelfuse.com
TDK-Lambda | www.tdk-lambda.com

p.64: FROM THE BENCH: Watt’s Up with LEDs?: Efficiency Put to the Test, By Jeff Bachiochi

[1]  Luxeon heatsink calculator.





‘Light Meter’ by Doggo Apps or ‘Lux Meter’ by My Mobile Tools Dev

3 W High-Power LEDs



Addicore | www.addicore.com
On Semiconductor | www.onsemi.com
Texas Instruments | www.ti.com

p.72: THE CONSUMMATE ENGINEER: Energy Monitoring (Part 3): Natural Gas and More, By George Novacek


  1. George Novacek, Humidity Sensors, Circuit Cellar Issue 339
  2. Silicon Labs Si7006-A20 http://www.silabs.com/documents/public/data-sheets/Si7006-A20.pdf
  3. Adafruit Industries https://www.adafruit.com/
  4. Universal Solder https://universal-solder.ca/
  5. SparkFun Electronics https://www.sparkfun.com/
  6. Circuit Cellar #288 WWVB Clock Revisited by George Novacek


p.79: The Future of IoT Standards: Unlock IoT: What’s West of Westeros?, By Cees Links

[1] Golden Mousetrap Lifetime Achievement Award
[2] Wi-Fi NOW Hall of Fame.

Qorvo | www.qorvo.com


Updated COMe Board Sports 9th Gen Intel Processors, 128 GB RAM

Kontron is providing the its COMe-bCL6 COM Express basic Type 6 form factor (125 mm x 95 mm) board equipped with Intel 9th Gen processors. With up to four memory sockets it enables a maximum memory expansion of up to 128 GB. The board is available in different processor versions. All versions can be equipped with up to 128 GB non-ECC/ECC DDR4 memory.

The Intel Optane system accelerator ensures fast data transfer from and to high-capacity mass storage devices. NVMe SSD also supports what is currently the fastest storage technology in a very compact package. Thanks to USB 3.1 support with up to 10 Gbps and USB Type-C support, twice the bandwidth (compared to USB 3.0) can be achieved for fast data transfers.

The COMe-bCL6 is well suited as a successor for existing solutions, because it takes over their pin out and feature implementation. Typical applications include communication, digital signage, professional gaming and entertainment, medical imaging, surveillance and security, industrial edge or server applications, as well as industrial plant, machine and robot control, both at shop floor level and from the control room. The rugged variants of the COMe-bCL6 meet the particular demands of the defense, transportation and avionics sectors by offering an extended feature set and industrial temperature range from -40°C to +85°C.

The COMe-bCL6 supports the Kontron APPROTECT security solution based on Wibu-Systems CodeMeter. In addition, Kontron APPROTECT Licensing enables the realization of new business models such as pay-per-use or time-based test versions.

Kontron | www.kontron.com

Embedded Solutions Enable Smarter Railway Systems

Computing, Connectivity and Control

Railway systems keep getting more advanced. On both the control side and passenger entertainment side, embedded computers play critical roles. Railway systems need sophisticated networking, data collection and real-time control—all while meeting safety standards.

By Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

There’s no doubt that railway systems represent one of the most dynamic segments of embedded computing design. There’s a lot for embedded systems to do aboard trains—ensuring both safety and precise control for the train, but also for the increasingly sophisticated entertainment systems installed on today’s modern trains.

Meanwhile, trains are evolving into moving Internet-of-Things (IoT) platforms, as system developers strive to leverage the many benefits of data collection and passenger monitoring. Even embedded artificial intelligence (AI) is finding its way into the mindshare of railway system developers.

Figure 1
An overview EN 50155, ISO 7637-2 and IRIS certified electronics that are embedded into trains (and buses) for control, supervision, communication, passenger information, security and testing.

Exemplifying these trends, MEN Micro is a leading example of an embedded computer vendor deeply immersed in railway system technology development. Among its offerings are its line of EN 50155, ISO 7637-2 and IRIS certified electronics that are embedded into trains (and buses) for control, supervision, communication, passenger information, security and testing. Figure 1 shows an overview of the MEN’s solutions along those lines. EN 50155 is one of a handful of standards targeted specifically for railway systems. Table 1 shows of summary of these standards.

Shown here is a summary of the key certifications for embedded computers for railway systems. (Source: Assured Systems).

DIN-Rail Mounting

In January, MEN Micro introduced the MC50M, its latest modular computer for DIN rail mounting. To clarify, “rail” in this context is referring not to railroad rails but rather to the metal DIN rail, a standard type of mounting used in industrial control equipment inside equipment racks. MEN’s DIN rail concept is designed for flexible configuration of module combinations and is suitable for embedded IoT applications in various markets. DIN rail mounting (35 mm) is standard. Wall and 19’’ rack mounting are possible using adaption brackets.

The EN 50155-compliant box is based on Intel’s Atom E3900 series with low power dissipation and scalability in performance and memory. The modular expansion concept makes the DIN rail family a cost-effective and flexible solution. For memory, the system provides up to 8 GB of DDR3 SDRAM and an M.2 NVMe slot for mass storage. The box embeds a Trusted Platform Module for security and for I/O the MC50M provides Gbit Ethernet, USB 3.0, RS-232, R-S485/422 and DisplayPort. Input voltage is 24 VDC nominal with ignition and it supports a full-range of PSUs from 9 VDC to 60 VDC. Operating temperature is -55°C to +70°C.

According to MEN Micro, the MC50M is well suited for transportation functions such as security gateways, predictive maintenance, CCTV, ticketing systems or as a diagnostic server. The MC50M can be used as a stand-alone product or in combination with a range of pre-fabricated extension modules, providing additional features and short delivery times.

Extension modules can provide application-specific functions such as wireless communication (LTE advanced, WLAN, GNSS), MVB, CAN bus or other I/Os. A removable storage shuttle supports the integration of one or two 2.5” SATA hard disks/SSDs. The wide range PSU allows isolated power supply from 24 VDC to 110 VDC nominal and extends the entire system to EN 50155 compliance.

The board management controller provides increased reliability and reduces downtime. The Trusted Platform Module supports security and encryption features. With an ignition switch for remote startup and shutdown control, the platform provides additional energy saving features. The aluminum housing with cooling fins ensures conductive cooling and fanless operation. The MC50M has no moving parts, so it can be operated maintenance-free. The long-term availability of 15 years from product launch minimizes life cycle management by making the MC50M available for at least that period.

Security and Safety

Security and safety go hand-in-hand when it comes to railway computing systems. With that in mind, in April Kontron and SYSGO jointly started the development of an integrated platform for safety-critical railway solutions based on Kontron’s SAFe-VX hardware. Their aim was to provide system integrators with a solid and flexible basis for certifiable applications in trains and signaling.

Kontron’s hardware is already used in many railway systems and has been certified up to SIL-4, the highest level of the IEC 61508 standard for functional safety of electronic systems. …

Read the full article in the July 348 issue of Circuit Cellar
(Full article word count: 3856 words; Figure count: 8 Figures.)

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Bidirectional Current Sense Amplifier Features PWM Rejection

Maxim Integrated has introduced the MAX40056, a bidirectional current sense amplifier with patented pulse-width modulation (PWM) rejection. This high speed, wide-bandwidth amplifier extends Maxim’s family of precision, high-voltage current sense amplifiers into motor control applications.

Creating a motor control system requires precise current sensing and measurement of motor winding currents, says Maxim. A commonly used approach is to infer winding currents by performing ground or supply referenced measurements in the bridge circuit. Direct winding current measurement is a simpler and more accurate method, but the implementation is challenging due to the high common mode swing of the PWM signal. Adoption of this approach has been limited by poor PWM rejection and slow settling speed of existing solutions.

MAX40056 rejects PWM slew rates of greater than 500 V/µs and settles within 500 ns to provide 0.3 percent accurate, full-scale winding current measurement. The patented PWM rejection scheme achieves 4 times faster settling time than competitive offerings, allowing motor control designers to increase drive frequency or decrease minimum duty cycle without sacrificing measurement accuracy. Higher PWM frequency smooths out the current flow and reduces torque ripple, resulting in more efficient motor operation.

Accurate winding current measurement at low duty cycle helps reduce or virtually eliminate vibration when the motor is running at a slow speed. MAX40056 has a wide common mode voltage range of -0.1 V to +65 V and a protection range of -5 V to 70 V to ensure the inductive kickback does not damage the IC. With bi-directional sensing capability, it is well suited for DC motor control, base station, datacenter, battery stack and many other applications which require precise current measurements in noisy environments.

The MAX40056 is available at Maxim’s website for $1.19 (1000-up, FOB USA), also available from authorized distributors. The MAX40056EVKIT evaluation kit is available for $69.

Maxim Integrated | www.maximintegrated.com

3.5-Inch SBC Serves up Coffee Lake-H Processors

COMMELL has unveiled its LE-37M 3.5-inch SBC based on Intel 8th generation Coffee Lake-H Core processor family. The Coffee Lake-H 8th generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3 processors provides higher computing and graphics performance but at a similar power dissipation level to the previous 7th generation. The LE-37M SBC will be offered with two processor variants: LE-37M5 comprised of Core i5-8400H Max Turbo up to 4.2 GHz with 4 CPU cores, 8-thread and 45 W TDP, LE-37M7 comprise of Core i7-8850H Max Turbo up to 4.3 GHz with 6 CPU cores, 12-thread and 45 W TDP.

The LE-37M 3.5-inch SBC is designed for the 8th generation Intel Core H-series processors in the FCBGA1440 and accompany with Intel QM370 Chipset. DDR4 memory is supported up to a total of 32 GB (DDR4 SO-DIMM 2,666 MHz). The SBC is based on powerful Intel UHD Graphics that provides high-end media and graphics capabilities, allows triple independent display with 4k resolution each, and comes with hardware-based video encoding and decoding up to 4k. The LE-37M features VGA, LVDS, HDMI and one DisplayPort outputs to provide its advanced solutions for imaging, machine vision and infotainment applications, medical and gaming machine applications.

The SBC provides lots of features including high-speed data transfer interfaces such as 4 x USB3.1 Gen2 and 2 x SATAIII, equipped with dual Gbit Ethernet Intel I210 and I219-LM (iAMT 11.0 support), and comes with PS/2 port, 2 x RS232 and 2 x RS232/422/485, 4 x USB 2.0, Realtek High Definition Audio, 1 x SMBus, 1 x 8 bit GPIO, 1 x MiniPCIe (support mSATA), 1 x M.2 (Key E). The operating voltage of LE-37M is from 9 V to 35 V DC power supply.

COMMELL | www.commell.com.tw

Firms Partner on Integrated Sensor-to-Cloud Monitoring Solutions

Atmosphere and Radio Bridge have announced a partnership that integrates Radio Bridge sensors with Atmosphere’s cloud-based IoT platform for rapid deployment and management of several sensor technologies across multiple low-power wide area networks. An integrated solution was recently deployed for a customer that manages disaster response in the energy industry. The solution was built on the Atmosphere Platform to connect and manage hundreds of Radio Bridge wireless sensors using a combination of Sigfox and LoRaWAN technologies.

Radio Bridge Inc. designs and manufactures long-range wireless sensors for the Internet of Things (IoT) industry using emerging wireless standards such as LoRaWAN and Sigfox. The entire portfolio of sensors products are designed for very long range, low cost, and extended battery life. The sensors are targeted toward the home security, smart city, medical device and industrial automation industries. Radio Bridge offers an optional web-based console for provisioning, monitoring, and configuration of the sensors in the field. Custom design is also available with the goal of achieving seamless sensor-to-cloud solutions for a variety of applications.

Atmosphere | atmosphereiot.com

Radio Bridge | radiobridge.com

LoRaWAN Gateway Offers a Choice of Orange Pi, Raspberry Pi or i.MX6 ULL

Moscow-based M2M IOT has launched a GW-01 LoRaWAN gateway built around an Orange Pi Zero H2+ SBC that supports outdoors installations. The GW-01 combines the Zero H2+ with an 8-channel LoRaWAN board based on the Semtech SX1301 LoRa concentrator.

The GW-01 is a modified version of the same board found on the company’s $95 GW-01 RPI add-on for the Raspberry Pi, as well as a $245, all-in-one GW-01 PoE gateway with Power-over-Ethernet support that runs on an i.MX6 ULL (see farther below). All three products ship with an open source Linux stack with LoRa gateway and packet-forwarder software pre-flashed on the board and posted on GitHub.

GW-01 with (left) and without the underlying Orange Pi Zero H2+
(click images to enlarge)

The new GW-01 gateway operates in the 868MHz or 915MHz LoRa frequencies and has -139 dBm sensitivity. The range is 2.5 kilometers when surrounded by buildings or up to 10 Km in open space. The 5V-powered GW-01 measures 80 х 50 х 20mm without the supplied antenna and can operate in 0 to 70°C temperatures.

GW-01 without the Orange Pi
(click image to enlarge)

The GW-01 runs OpenWrt or Armbian on the Orange Pi Zero H2+, a variant of the similarly open-spec, 48 x 46mm Orange Pi Zero with a slightly improved Allwinner H2+ instead of an H2. The H2+ SoC similarly provides 4x Cortex-A7 cores @ 1.2GHz and a Mali-400 MP2 GPU.

GW-01 gateway setup screen and Orange Pi Zero H2+
(click images to enlarge)

The Zero H2+ has only 256MB DDR3 RAM, and the only display interface is an AV-out header. There are also single USB 2.0 host, micro-USB OTG with 5V power input, and 10/100 Ethernet ports, as well as a microSD slot, WiFi, and a 26-pin header that supports early Raspberry Pi boards.

The Zero H2+ board on the GW-01 has 8MB serial flash instead of the usual 2MB in order to incorporate the 4.5MB OpenWrt image. The SBC has lower power consumption and a lower $8.50 price than any of the modern-era RPi boards.

For prototyping purposes, the gateway requires at least one LoRaWAN equipped end node and a web server. For the latter, M2M IOT recommends TheThingsNetwork or its own cloud.m2m-tele server.

GW-01 RPI and GW-01 PoE

The GW-01 RPI and GW-01 PoE have the same specs as the GW-01 except that the PoE model has a wider -35 to 70°C range. The GW-01 RPI requires any Raspberry Pi 2 or 3 board to operate.

GW-01 RPI board (left) and integrated with Raspberry Pi 3
(click images to enlarge)

The GW-01 PoE is a standalone product such as the GW-01, in this case, integrating an apparently homegrown SBC built around NXP’s power-sipping, single Cortex-A7 based i.MX6 ULL SoC. It has an Ethernet port with 48V PoE support for easier installation.

Like the GW-01, the RPI and PoE models have an 80 x 50mm footprint, and the SBC on the PoE model similarly adds 20mm on the vertical. They both ship with antennas. Like the GW-01, the PoE model runs on OpenWrt while the RPI shield uses Raspbian.

GW-01 PoE (left) and underyling i.MX6 ULL-based SBC
(click images to enlarge)

LoRa is a long-range, low-bandwidth wireless standard that can work in peer-to-peer fashion between low-cost, low-power LoRa nodes. LoRa nodes can also connect to the Internet via a LoRaWAN gateway.

Other LoRa gateway boards for the Raspberry Pi include Pi Supply’s IoT LoRa Gateway. We’ve also seen some LoRa ready gateways based on the i.MX6 UL, which is very similar to the i.MX6 ULL, such as Forlinx’s FCU1101.

Further information

The GW-01 is available now for $120 while the RPI and PoE models go for $95 and $245, respectively. More information may be found on the M2M IOT website and GitHub page, as well as the shopping pages for the GW-01GW-01 RPI, and GW-01 PoE.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on July 1.

M2M IOT | m2m-tele.com

IoT Modules Enable Large-Scale LTE-M and NB-IoT Deployments

Telit has announced the ME310G1 (shown) and ME910G1 modules, designed for mass-scale LTE-M and NB-IoT deployments that feature hundreds of thousands or millions of devices. Based on the new Qualcomm 9205 LTE modem and featuring optional 2G fallback, the modules also provide a future-proof foundation for IoT deployments that span legacy networks, 4G and 5G.
The ME310G1 and ME910G1 are the first 3GPP Release 14 additions to the Telit portfolio and the first members of Telit’s new series based on the Qualcomm 9205 LTE IoT Modem, which was announced in late 2018. The highly compact chipset enables Telit to meet booming global demand for ultra-small modules for applications such as wearable medical devices, fitness trackers and industrial sensors.

The new modules are ideal for battery-powered applications via improved features such as Power Saving Mode (PSM) and extended Discontinuous Reception (eDRX), which periodically wakes up the device to transmit only the smallest amounts of data necessary before returning to sleep mode. Both modules also ensure reliable indoor connections, with a maximum coupling loss of up to +15dB/+20dB for superior in-building penetration compared to earlier LTE standards.

The multi-band ME310G1 and ME910G1 are available in versions with 2G fallback for use in areas where LTE-M/NB-IoT service is yet to be deployed. These versions also support GSM voice and will support VoLTE for applications that require the ability to make phone calls.

The ME910G1 is the latest member of Telit’s best-selling xE910 and family. The ME910G1 is also a drop-in replacement in existing devices based on the family’s modules for 2G, 3G and the various categories of LTE. With Telit’s design-once-use-anywhere philosophy, developers can cut costs and development time by simply designing for the xE910 LGA common form factor, giving them the freedom to deploy technologies best suited for the application’s environment.

The ME310G1 LTE-only variant is less than 200 mm-squared and variant with 2G fallback is less than 300 mm2-squared and they enable enterprises to deploy new small footprint designs across many application areas including asset tracking, health-care monitoring, smart metering, portable devices, industrial sensors, home automation, and others that benefit from low-power and low-data rate capabilities. The xE310 family’s flexible perimeter footprint includes pin-to-pin compatible 2G and 4G modules, enabling integrators to design a single PCB layout and deploy a combination of technologies.

ME310G1 and ME910G1 samples are now available. Mass production begins in late 2019 and Q1 2020, depending on the product version.

Telit | www.telit.com

Semtech’s LoRa Technology Tapped for Food Temp Monitoring System

Semtech has announced that Laird Connectivity has integrated LoRa devices and LoRaWAN protocol in temperature monitoring sensors developed for the award-winning ComplianceMate solution, created by CM Systems. CM Systems, a provider of monitoring systems for food safety compliance and operational effectiveness, was the first company to incorporate LoRa-based wireless sensors and LoRaWAN networks in a temperature monitoring system for commercial kitchens.
Customers range from large restaurant chains such as Shake Shack, Five Guys and Hard Rock Café to growing regional brands like City Barbeque and Hattie B’s. The IoT solution penetrates stainless steel doors, concrete walls and even multiple stories, while boosting battery efficiency with sensors that can last for years on off-the-shelf batteries. In February 2018, downtown Nashville experienced a power outage after Hattie B’s had closed for the night. With ComplianceMate’s LoRa-based alert system, store management was notified about the failure immediately and was able to safely transport at-risk product to another facility saving $35,000 to $50,000 worth of inventory.

Semtech’s LoRa devices is a widely adopted long-range, low-power solution for IoT that gives telecom companies, IoT application makers and system integrators the feature set necessary to deploy low-cost, interoperable IoT networks, gateways, sensors, module products, and IoT services worldwide. IoT networks based on the LoRaWAN specification have been deployed in 100 countries and Semtech is a founding member of the LoRa Alliance, the fastest growing IoT Alliance for Low Power Wide Area Network applications.

Laird Connectivity | www.lairdtech.com
Semtech | www.semtech.com


Eurotech to Provide IoT Tech for New Paris Metro Lines


Eurotech France, the French subsidiary of the Eurotech Group, has announced that it has been selected by Thales as a supplier of embedded hardware and IoT software for the CAVE project “Automatic Counting of Passengers” of the new Grand Paris Express metro lines 15, 16 and 17. The entire project represents for Eurotech the supply of a minimum of 1400 passenger counters, with potential additional traches for a total up to 4250. No other financial details have been disclosed.

DynaPCN 10-20


This project aims to know in real time the number of wagon users at each station to feed mobility applications and then to improve transport services through a detailed analysis of all the data collected about passengers flows. In addition to using the PoE version of Eurotech’s DynaPCN passenger counter, the solution is based on ESF (Everyware Software Framework) for the on-board software for data collection and remote configuration, and EC (Everyware Cloud) for the ground software to enable Société du Grand Paris to securely access passenger counting information and to use this data internally or by sharing it externally.

The DynaPCN 10-20 is a compact, low power, autonomous device based on non-contact stereoscopic vision technology. It has been specifically designed for passenger counting above the doorways in buses and trains; it can also be used to count people as they enter or leave buildings or any area with restricted access.

Stereoscopic cameras capture images of the area below the device. Thanks to the integrated high luminosity infrared LED indicators it can operate in any type of lighting condition. The extended temperature range capabilities allow integrators to use the device in a wide range of climatic conditions.

The DynaPCN 10-20 analyses the height, shape and direction of any object passing the field of view; if the object is recognized as a person entering or leaving, the incoming and outgoing counters are incremented accordingly, along with time and date information.

Data transfer is made via an Ethernet interface. The onboard insulated digital I/O interfaces can be used to directly communicate with intelligent doors or flow control systems, guaranteeing optimal functionality at all times: for example, stop counting when the doors are closed.

The DynaPCN 10-20 can be easily mounted in the ceiling space above a doorway becoming almost invisible. The angle of the optical panel can be adjusted from 0° to 45°; therefore, it can be placed in an ideal position even if the mounting surface is not horizontal.

Eurotech | www.eurotech.com

650 W Modular Power Supplies Provide MoPP Isolation

TDK has announced the introduction of the TDK-Lambda brand QM4 modular power supplies rated at 550 W to 650 W. This further extends the QM series which can provide up to 1500 W output power. The QM4 models are available with up to 10 outputs, have full MoPPs (Means of Patient Protection) isolation and low acoustic noise. With medical and industrial safety certifications, the power supplies are suitable for use in medical, test and measurement, communications and broadcast equipment.

Accepting a wide range 90 VAC to 264 VAC, 47-63 Hz input (440 Hz with reduced PFC), the QM4 can deliver 550 W at low line and 650 W with a high line 180-264 VAC input.  With its modular construction, the series can be configured using a simple on-line configurator to provide 1 to 10 independently regulated outputs and include individual output good signal and remote on/off functions. The QM series module output voltages range from 2.8 V to 105.6 V and have output power levels from 300 W to 1200 W. A further subset of option modules provides an AC Fail signal, standby voltages (up to 12 V, up to 2 A), global remote on/off and PMBus communications. Overall case dimensions for the QM4 are 108 mm x 63.3 mm x 270 mm (W x H x D).

The QM4 will operate in ambient temperatures of -20 to +70°C (-40°C start-up), with output power and output current linearly derating above 50°C to 50% at 70°C. With efficiencies of up to 91%, less internal heat is generated allowing the use of a low speed cooling fan to reduce audible noise. A lower airflow speed also significantly reduces the ingress of dirt and other contaminants, improving product reliability. All models in the QM series have a seven-year warranty as standard.

The power supply has 4,000 VAC (2 x MoPPs) input to output, 1,500 VAC (1 x MoPP) input to ground and 1,500 VAC (1 x MoPP) output to ground isolation. All models are certified to the IEC/EN/UL/CSA 60601-1, ANSI/AAMI ES 60601-1 and IEC/EN/UL/CSA 60950-1 safety standards. The QM series is also designed to meet IEC/EN61010-1 with CE marking for the Low Voltage, EMC and RoHS Directives. Earth leakage current is less than 300 µA, and complies with the EN61000-6-3:2007 and EN60601-1-2:2015 (curve B conducted and radiated) emission standards. The units also meet the EN60601-1-2 and EN61000-6-2 immunity standards and are designed and manufactured under the control of ISO9001 and ISO13485 (including risk management).

TDK-Lambda | www.tdk-lambda.com


Tuesday’s Newsletter: IoT Tech Focus

Coming to your inbox tomorrow: Circuit Cellar’s IoT Technology Focus newsletter. Tomorrow’s newsletter covers what’s happening with Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology–-from devices to gateway networks to cloud architectures. This newsletter tackles news and trends about the products and technologies needed to build IoT implementations and devices.

Bonus: We’ve added Drawings for Free Stuff to our weekly newsletters. Make sure you’ve subscribed to the newsletter so you can participate

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Our weekly Circuit Cellar Newsletter will switch its theme each week, so look for these in upcoming weeks:

Embedded Boards.(7/23) The focus here is on both standard and non-standard embedded computer boards that ease prototyping efforts and let you smoothly scale up to production volumes.

Analog & Power. (8/6) This newsletter content zeros in on the latest developments in analog and power technologies including DC-DC converters, AC-DC converters, power supplies, op amps, batteries and more.

July has a 5th Tuesday . That’s means we’re giving you an extra Newsletter: PCB Design! (7/30) The process of PCB design is always facing new complexities. Rules-based autorouting, chips with higher lead counts and higher speed interconnections are just a few of the challenges forcing PCB design software to keep pace. This newsletter updates you on the latest happenings in this area.

Microcontroller Watch (8/13) This newsletter keeps you up-to-date on latest microcontroller news. In this section, we examine the microcontrollers along with their associated tools and support products.

August Circuit Cellar: Sneak Preview

The August issue of Circuit Cellar magazine is out next week! This 84-page publication rustles up a powerful herd of compelling embedded electronics articles prepared for your reading pleasure.

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Here’s a sneak preview of August 2019 Circuit Cellar:


MCUs for Driverless Cars
By Jeff Child
Driverless cars are steadily advancing toward becoming a mainstream phenomenon. Building toward that goal, chip vendors are evolving their driver assistance technologies into complete driver replacement solutions. These solutions make use of powerful microcontroller solutions to analyze a car’s surroundings, process the information and employ control functionality to steer cars safely. Circuit Cellar Chief Editor Jeff Child examines the MCU technology and product trends that are key to driverless vehicle evolution.

Product Focus: Small and Tiny Embedded Boards
By Jeff Child
An amazing amount of computing functionality can be squeezed on to a small form factor board these days. These small—and even tiny—board-level products meet the needs of applications where extremely low SWaP (size, weight and power) beats all other demands. This Product Focus section updates readers on this technology trend and provides a product album of representative small and tiny embedded boards.

Portable Digital Synthesizer
By T.J. Hurd and Ben Roberge
Gone are the days when even a basic music synthesizer was a bulky system requiring highly specialized design knowledge. These two Cornell students developed a portable musical synthesizer using a Microchip PIC32 MCU. The portable system performs digital audio synthesis on the fly and produces sounds that range from simple sine waves to heavily modulated waveforms.

Displays for Embedded Systems
By Jeff Child
Thanks to advances in displays and innovations in graphics ICs, embedded systems can now routinely feature sophisticated graphical user interfaces. What used to require a dedicated board-level graphics/video board, now can be integrated into a chip or just a part of a chip. Circuit Cellar Chief Editor Jeff Child dives into the latest technology trends and product developments in displays for embedded systems.

Building a Twitter Emote Robot
By Ian Kranz, Nikhil Dhawan and Sofya Calvin
Social media is so pervasive these days that it’s hard to image life without it. But digital interactions can be isolating because the physical feedback component gets lost. Using PIC32 MCU technology, these three Cornell students built an emotionally expressive robot which physically reacts to tweets in a live setting. Users can tweet to the robot’s Twitter account and receive near instant feedback as the robot shares its feelings about the tweet via physical means such as sounds, facial expressions and more.

Understanding the Role of Inference Engines in AI
By Geoff Tate, Flex Logix
Artificial Intelligence offers huge benefits for embedded systems. But implementing AI well requires making smart technology choices, especially when it comes to selected a neural inferencing engine. In this article, Flex Logix CEO Geoff Tate explains what inferencing is, how it plays into AI and how embedded system designers can make sure they are using the right solution for their AI processing.


Watt’s Up with LEDs?
By Jeff Bachiochi
When Jeff puts his mind to a technology topic, he goes in deep. In this article, he explores all aspects of LED lighting—including the history, math, science and technology of LEDs. He discusses everything from temperature issues to powering LEDs. After purchasing some LEDs, Jeff embarks on a series of tests and shares his results and insights.

Automating the Art of Toast
By Michael Xiao and Katie Bradford
The emergence of culinary robotics and automation has already begun to revolutionize the way we prepare our meals. In this article, learn how these two Cornell undergraduates designed an advanced toaster that’s able to toast any pattern—image, text or even today’s weather—onto a piece of bread. The project makes use of Microchip’s MIC32 MCU and a Raspberry Pi Zero W board.

Build an RGB LED Controller
By Dirceu R. Rodrigues Jr.
There are a lot of fun and interesting things you can do with LEDs and different ways to control them. In this article, Dirceu describes an alternative approach to control RGB LEDs using the parallel FET dimming technique. He steps through his efforts to design and build an alternative lightning system based on power RGB LEDs. To control them he goes very old school and uses an 8-bit MCU and the BASIC programming language.


Energy Monitoring Part 3
By George Novacek
This is the final installment of George’s energy monitoring article series. He discussed the solar power supply in Part 1 and the utility power data acquisition in Part 2. In Part 3, he wraps up the series by looking at the remaining modules that comprise his home energy monitoring setup, including the sensors, the natural gas monitor and the real-time clock.

The Fundamentals of Fuseology
By Robert Lacoste
Just because an electronic device is simple you shouldn’t relegate it to an afterthought in your embedded system design. Such is the case with fuses. Robert explores the fundamentals of this seemingly simple device. In this article, he dives into the history, key specifications and technology of fuses. He also steps you through an experiment to analyze the performance of fuses and shares his results.

Bluetooth Mesh (Part 4)
By Bob Japenga
In this next part of his article series on Bluetooth mesh, Bob looks at how models are defined in the Bluetooth Mesh specification and how practical it is to use them. He looks at the models defined by the Bluetooth SIG and discusses creating your own models for Bluetooth Mesh.




Nordic Semi’s Modules Selected for IoT Positioning Platform

Nordic Semiconductor has announced that its nRF9160 System-in-Package (SiP) LTE-M/NB-IoT cellular IoT modules and nRF52840 Bluetooth 5/Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) SoCs are being used in the turnkey “GEPS” indoor and outdoor IoT positioning platform developed by Swedish industrial IoT startup, H&D Wireless.

GEPS is a turnkey, application-as-a-service solution that is designed to bridge the information gap between physical assets and business systems. It requires no upfront investment in hardware or software, and instead employs small 59 mm x 52 mm x 23 mm battery-powered, industrial-grade IoT tags embedded with either a Nordic nRF9160 SiP or nRF52840 SoC to track key assets and equipment via cellular, GPS or Bluetooth wireless technology in real-time.

Each tag (depending on application) can be configured with a rechargeable or AA-size battery, and achieve a minimum one year and maximum 10-year battery life. Operating either standalone or in conjunction with leading business and AI systems, the ultimate aim is to boost key operational metrics such as efficiency, safety, security, throughput, responsiveness, and ultimately profits. All this data is displayed via cloud-based visual dashboards accessible from desktop PCs, tablets or smartphones.

In asset management applications, for example, H&D Wireless is finding that its customers are saving between 20-40% in operational costs due to a combination of better utilization of their assets and the ability to get rid of 30% of the assets previously required to perform the same job. Key target industries for the GEPS platform include logistics (e.g. asset and fleet management), construction (for example tools, people and equipment), and manufacturing industries (such as sub-assemblies).

At just 10 mm x 16 mm x 1 mm in size, the nRF9160 includes everything a cellular connection and IoT application needs beyond requiring just an external battery, SIM and antenna. To achieve this ultra-high integration Nordic partnered with Qorvo to make a “System-in-Package” (SiP) that more closely resembles an integrated chip than a module.

The SiP includes a powerful application processor (Arm Cortex M-33), GPS support, standard microcontroller peripherals, and enough chip-integrated memory to execute IoT applications with edge computing. Yet this is not achieved by sacrificing on-air performance: the nRF91 is capable of delivering class-leading output power (+23 dBm) and sensitivity – vital for its GPS functionality

Nordic’s nRF52840 multiprotocol SoC is Nordic’s most advanced ultra low power wireless solution. The SoC supports complex Bluetooth LE and other low-power wireless applications that were previously not possible with a single-chip solution. The nRF52840 is Bluetooth 5-, Thread 1.1-, and Zigbee PRO (R21) and Green Power proxy specification-certified and its Dynamic Multiprotocol feature uniquely supports concurrent wireless connectivity of the protocols. The SoC combines the Arm processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio. The chip supports all the features of Bluetooth 5 (including 4x the range or 2x the raw data bandwidth (2Mbps) compared with Bluetooth 4.2). Designed to address the inherent security challenges brought by the IoT, the nRF52840 SoC incorporates the Arm CryptoCell-310 cryptographic accelerator.

Nordic Semiconductor | www.nordicsemi.com