App note: The Phytochrome system – Why use far-red?

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App note from Würth Elektronik on why plants evolved to use far-red wavelengths and why it is essential for them. Link here (PDF)

The light requirement of plants is now known to be far more complex than originally thought leading to the development of numerous LED technologies that produce a variety of different light spectra, both monochromatic and polychromatic.

Far-red encompasses wavelengths 700 – 800 nm, a region of light that is on the edge of visibility in humans. However, these wavelengths have been proven to result in faster growth, increased biomass and better sensory characteristics (e.g. smell, taste, texture, color).

from Dangerous Prototypes http://bit.ly/2Fc3YT7

Free PCB Sunday: Pick your PCB

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We go through a lot of prototype PCBs, and end up with lots of extras that we’ll never use. Every Sunday we give away a few PCBs from one of our past or future projects, or a related prototype. Our PCBs are made through Seeed Studio’s Fusion board service. This week two random commenters will get a coupon code for the free PCB drawer tomorrow morning. Pick your own PCB. You get unlimited free PCBs now – finish one and we’ll send you another! Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • Be sure to use a real e-mail in the address field so we can contact you with the coupon.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.
  • PCBs are scrap and have no value, due to limited supply it is not possible to replace a board lost in the post

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from Dangerous Prototypes http://bit.ly/2Axhehb

App note: CeraLink® Capacitors

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Compact and high capacitance ceramic capacitors from TDK electronics. Link here (PDF)

CeraLink is a family of very compact capacitors for stabilizing voltages in the DC link. They are therefore suitable for use as either snubber or DC link capacitors. These products are based on PLZT ceramics and are designed to provide engineers with compact components optimized for fast switching converters, converters with very tight space requirements and converters that need to withstand high operating temperatures. The basic component is a ceramic chip which either is manufactured with lead frames or which can be combined modularly to form capacitors with higher capacitance values.

from Dangerous Prototypes http://bit.ly/2FaBPvF

Regaining debug access of NXP i.MX RT1064-EVK executing WFI

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Erich Styger writes:

Working with low power modes can be challenging. It can severely affect debugging capabilities of a microprocessor or microcontroller. I ported a FreeRTOS application using the Tickless Idle Mode to the NXP i.MX RT1064 board, and all of a sudden, the board was unresponsive to any debugger connection. Luckily the board was not really bricked, but it took me while to find a way to recover it. So for when you end up in a situation with a ‘bricked’ i.MX RT1064 board, this article might be helpful for you to recover it.

More details on MCU on Eclipse blog.

from Dangerous Prototypes http://bit.ly/2ADh7RB

Polar Coaster drawing machine

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Barton Dring designed and built a Polar Coaster drawing machine to draw custom, round drink coasters:

I recently decided to update the Polar Coaster project. The primary reason was to update the controller to use Grbl_ESP32 firmware. I also thought I could make it smaller, lighter and remove a little cost.
The old controller was not custom made and just sort of tacked onto the back. This increased the size and didn’t look very good. It had a Bluetooth module, but you still had to stream the gcode. You could use an Android app, but that was still a little awkward.
The controller runs Grbl_ESP32. This was recently updated to include pen machine features. This allows precise control and calibration of the pen servo. You can control the speed, timing and endpoints of the servo travel.

Project info at Buildlog.Net blog.

Check out the video after the break.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_aS0PbP8HY

from Dangerous Prototypes http://bit.ly/2R5VYd0

App note: Linear regulator specifications

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Thorough items on a linear regulator datasheet provides valuable details about its proper usage discussed in this App note from ROHM semiconductor. Link here (PDF)

A linear regulator data sheet includes a specifications table that lists output voltage values and precision. Besides, very important information such as maximum ratings, operating conditions and characteristic graphs are described in the table.

from Dangerous Prototypes http://bit.ly/2CI3MsB

App note: Connecting LDOs in parallel

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App note from ROHM semiconductor on combining LDOs for higher load capacity. Link here (PDF)

When you want to increase the output current capacity of an LDO, or when the power dissipation of a single LDO is insufficient, you might think of connecting LDOs in parallel if you need to disperse the dissipation using two LDOs. This application note provides some hints on how to connect LDOs in parallel.

from Dangerous Prototypes http://bit.ly/2s1eIvi

BMP180 based USB atmospheric pressure monitor

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Dilshan Jayakody published a new build:

We initially developed this USB atmospheric pressure monitor to study some operating characteristics of Bosch BMP180 sensor. BMP180 is low cost sensor to measuring barometric pressure and temperature. According to the data sheet this sensor can use to measure pressure ranging between 300hPa to 1100hPa. This sensor is introduced couple of years back but still it is popular due to lower cost and simplicity of it’s interface.

See the full post on his blog.

from Dangerous Prototypes http://bit.ly/2SmtpVc