Turn-key PCB assembly services in prototype quantities or low-volume to mid-volume production runs

Tips to improve your electronic designs

Electronic designs cover a wide array of technical options. In this post, we will cover some of the basics that will help you improve your electronic designs and make sure that you complete it successfully. 1. Block diagram The first part of your design schematic is a block diagram. Block diagram should be an extract from the document showing the hardware design. This particular section is similar to outlining an essay. This is because it gives the design an overview of the architecture and the reader gets a reference. If you want your block diagram to look great, make sure that you include page numbers in the schematic sections. 2. Naming the nets This can be a time-consuming process, but if you want to state the purpose of every net, you need to name them. Apart from this, naming the nets will help you in debugging the program and allow simulation runs. There might be many experts telling you that naming every net is not important, but you should consider it while creating every schematic.

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USB Boost Single Multi Power Kit assembly

multiple power supply module connected

One of my projects (AVR DDS 2.0) requires multiple power supply that could supply +12V, -12V and 5V. Back then, I have constructed a simple transformer-based power source with few linear voltage regulators. It works fine but is powered from mains 220V which is not the safest solution to squeeze in to box enclosure. Another option was using ATX PC power supply, but it is too big. Banggood has been offering pretty attractive power supply kit which has a voltage boost circuit which rises voltage level either from USB or from the 5-24V jack. Power supply kit has most of the voltages that you may need including + 12V, -12V, + 5V, -5V, and +3.3V. It is capable to output 300mA per channel. Total power is limited to 10W which is not bad and can provide a short-term high current single output, but be sure to attach included heat sinks to protect ICs from overheating. It is advised to keep output currents of each channel to less than 0.2A.

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Electrical signal power and energy calculations by example

In electronics and signal processing, you have to deal with electrical signals. In many cases, you may need to calculate signal power and energy. Power and energy for DC In a standard situation, when DC power supply is applied to a known resistor or another device like an LED, motor you can calculate its power very easy by applying Ohms law: If we rung this device for time T then we can calculate total energy used: In some cases, you may not know the resistance of your circuit. In this case, you can measure the current flow. So your power formula can be transformed by using same Ohms law:

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Ultrasound wave propagation and parameters

Ultrasound waves are acoustic pressure waves that interact with propagation media. Ultrasound visualization is typically based on wave reflectance from regions with different acoustic properties. When a wave meets different acoustic media, part of it transmits further while others reflect. This happens due to different acoustic impedance. The ration between reflected and transmitted energy purely depends on the difference in acoustic impedance in both regions. As you can see each material can be characterized by its acoustic impedance Z which is equal to ultrasound speed v and material density r.

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Ultrasound waves and propagation

It is more than 100 years when ultrasound is used for analyzing materials and echolocation. A bit later it was adapted for medical diagnostics. Ultrasound became popular and widespread due to the number of benefits. Probably one of the essential features is that it is non-destructive. The other is simplicity and precision. Of course when we talk about price and simplicity we have X-ray or tomography in mind. Ultrasound can be used in many areas and environments. You can measure geometrical properties of internal structures, physical properties like density, tension. In medical diagnostics, ultrasound is mostly used for visualization of tissues and inner organs. Ultrasound waves and parameters Ultrasound waves are mechanical waves that propagate through media. In solid materials, ultrasound waves propagate faster while in liquids and biological tissues slower (~1400 m/s). In air due to low-density sound waves propagate relatively slowly (~340 m/s). Ultrasound speed depends on temperature and pressure.

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Benefits of using multiturn potentiometers

Potentiometers are common electronics components that convert rotary or linear motion in to change of resistance. They can be found anywhere where some adjustments are needed, volume control, and joysticks. You can dive into the long theory about potentiometers, how they are made, what materials are used, and what output characteristics they have regarding rotation angle. As an electronics hobbyist and probably pro, you usually deal with two common types of potentiometers – standard pots with knobs and trim potentiometers. The first group of potentiometers is used where the user has to access the potentiometer when he needs to change one or another parameter like sound volume or screen brightness. They usually are more prominent in size and can be mounted vertically or horizontally to board. Also, they have a panel mount with the nut. This type of potentiometers needs to be mechanically stronger and resistive material more durable due to frequent use.

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Building simple constant current power LED driver

Usually, when we need to drive low power LEDs, we don’t care much about power losses. What we do we add a current limiting resistor, and that’s enough. For instance, for 20mA LED, we choose between 300Ω-1kΩ resistor when powering from 5V. But a different situation is with power LEDs. The currents are much more prominent here, like 1A and more. Adding a resistor to limit the current isn’t an option because power losses become significant. Here you need a constant current driver to drive it safely without wasting energy. It happens that I have Cree XR-E Q5 XLAPM-7090 LED lying around. It requires a 3.7V driving voltage and can take up to 1A current. There are several light intensities given at specific currents:

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Driving LED – things everyone needs to know

Light Emitting Diodes, more frequently known as LEDs, are semiconductor devices that convert electricity into light. It was hard to find a gadget or other device that doesn’t use LEDs. They are cheap, they are simple to use, and they are small. LEDs can emit different light colors depending on other chemical compound material in a semiconductor. LED symbol One and universal LED symbol is as standard diodes but with a couple of arrows indicating that it emits light:

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Zener – one diode for many uses

Zener diodes are specially designed diodes (heavily doped) that have low reverse voltage breakdown. Due to this characteristic, Zener diodes are connected backward to regular operation. If Zener is forward biased, it acts as an ordinary diode with a forward voltage drop at 0.6V. Zener diode backward voltage breakdowns may range from 2.4V up to 100V. Honestly speaking, if you need like 1.2V, then probably you need to connect two forward-biased diodes in series for 0.6V+0.6V = 1.2V drop.

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Diodes – how to choose one

Diodes are semiconductor devices commonly used for many purposes. In general, you can imagine a diode to be a valve that passes current in one direction and stops it from flowing back. The first thing that comes to mind – this might be a good choice for reverse voltage protection. In reality, things are a bit different. First of all, diodes aren’t perfect devices. They have a so-called forward voltage drop, which is about 0.7V for standard diodes. If inserted diode into the power supply, say 5V, the after protection you will get 4.3V where part of voltage is lost in the diode. If you want to go this way, choose the Schottky diode instead, which has a smaller forward voltage drop. A forward voltage drop occurs when the diode is forward biased what means current flow from anode to the cathode.

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