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

Endoscopy inspection in electronics-detect BGA defects

Endoscopy is known to be used in medicine, but it can also be used in other areas of industry like electronics. In big electronic industries where investments are huge, the requirements for quality are also big. In big industries, there is automatic testing using. This allows achieving maximum quality with minimal cost. In smaller industries, there is a requirement to inspect almost every product to avoid faults. One of the biggest problems that may occur is soldering errors, position errors, or other defects. For visual defect identification, endoscopy is often used. Endoscopy in electronics is some AOI (Automatic Optical Inspection), often used to check BGA pins. The endoscope usually consists of a light source directed by fibber glass and an optical sensor with variable focus. Changing focal length, it is possible to view about 50mm area while space between chip and board can be only 0.05mm. Information from the optical sensor can be sent to a computer for further processing. Comparing to the X-RAY method, optical inspection of electronic devices is cheaper.

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Celsius converter to digital code from remote sensor

This circuit is originally published by Elana Lian and Chan Tran (Analog Devices). This simple single supply system enables to measure remote temperature with less than 1°C error in a range of 0 to 100°C: The circuit consists of the following parts: T1- low-cost AD590 temperature sensor; AD8541 – rail to rail amplifier; four resistors; potentiometer; and ADC AD7416. Use precision resistor RF for amplifier feedback to minimize scale factor.

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Few words about SMD-Surface Mount components

Today electronics is shifting to SMT (Surface Mount Technology) or SMD (Surface Mount Devices) area. DIP domination has left behind. They won’t vanish from the electronics industries as they are many areas and will be successfully used. But as electronic circuit complexity grows, demand for PCB miniaturization increases, there is no other way to use SMD technology to achieve these goals. Electronic hobbyists noticed that it is harder to find some particular electronic elements in DIP-packages. Many microcontroller types are released only in SMT packages like Atmega128– QFP64, LPC2000 microcontroller series in the LQFP package series. I don’t talk about bigger IC like AVR32 or FPGA, where BGA packages come with 672 connection balls.

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Sensing Sound Wave with microcontroller

A sound wave can be sensed by using a sound sensor. If you are designing a robot, sometimes it is useful to enable sensing of sound. Then you can program your robot to follow your voice commands. In some cases, sound wave sensors are used as collision sensors. A sound wave sensor is a microphone. The microphone is a device that converts sound pressure into electric signals. Let’s see how sound waves can be sensed. As we already know, the sound is a complex signal which consists of multiple different frequency waves. One sound wave can be represented as sin or cos signal: When many of such waves are summed (s called harmonics), we can represent any analog signal- any shape and any frequency.

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Prototype board types

If you are starting to take an interest in electronics, this is a good thing to know what type of prototyping boards can be used. There can be four types of prototype boards: Solderless breadboard- where connections are made by using jumpers;

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USB powered power amplifier for your PC

I faced this article when I was looking for a simple solution to increase the output of my PC’s integrated sound card. The sound level of it decreased, so I can’t normally listen to my headphones. So this article is about how to increase your PC sound card’s power by using a minimal amount of parts and a USB power supply. This might be a good solution for all of those who have a PC with an integrated sound card into the motherboard. The main problem is that the outputs of such sound cards are for active acoustic systems; this means that speakers must have a power amplifier built-in. If you decide to connect headphones sometimes, it might not be enough to provide the required sound level. If you are an electronics amateur, you can solve this very easily. You may build your simple power amplifier by using well known Philips operational amplifiers. Let’s say we use the TDA7053 amplifier. The TDA7053 is an integrated class-B stereo power amplifier in a 16-lead dual-in-line (DIL) plastic package, which requires a minimal amount of external parts. This is a straightforward solution for easy, quick, and quality design. One of the board solutions…

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Radio Frequency Identification RFID

There are two types of RFID devices: Active and Passive. Active devices have a power source built-in, which supplies the transmitter. The transmitter is triggered by sending the signal to an RFID device. These devices have their own code and can transmit signals in desired time intervals. Active RFID devices are good in defining locations of objects or sending some information about a particular place (RFID-based location determination). Active RFID devices use high frequencies (455MHz, 2,45GHz, or 5,8GHz) – working range about 20 – 100 meters. The most common are passive RFID. They don’t need a power source. Passive RFID devices are low frequency(124 – 135kHz – low) and high(13,56MHz – 960KHz – high; 2,45GHz – UHF). The working principle of low and high-frequency devices differ. Simultaneously, low-frequency readers generate a magnetic field that induces a current in the RFID device antenna. The chip inside the RFID device modifies this magnetic field, which is reread by the reader. The working distance of such a device is about 35cm.

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What is surface mounting?

Simply talking surface mounting is a soldering technology where the component is soldered directly to a series of solder pads called a footprint. It is different soldering technology from through-hole, where component leads are inserted into holes of the board. The footprint is a series of pads that conform to the lead layout of packages of surface mount devices (SMD). Surface mounting has several advantages over through-hole technology. First of all the board become much smaller. So smaller boards and more dense placement of elements reduce costs. Because of higher placement density, traces between components becomes shorter. It lowers parasitic inductance and capacitance.

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Shelling The Intel 8-bit Hex File Format

Intel 8-bit Hex File Format is the most common hex file format used globally, as far as I know. There is also Motorola Hex file format and maybe others. Creating applications with AVR-GCC, we usually select ihex output file format what means Intel hex file format. Let’s go through it and see what’s inside. It is simple as 6 and 6 (six and six) because each Hex file line consists of six parts. And there can be 6 record types in the hex file. Lets go through all six parts of each line:

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RS232 interface standard overview

This is a pretty old standard but still widely used in embedded systems. Using the RS232 interface standard, the data is sent bit by bit. Usually, first comes LSB. The receiver receives data by knowing the position of each data piece and delay. To ensure the quality of data transmission, we need to control the start of transmission. The acknowledgment procedure does this. Let’s take the asymmetrical type of interface RS232-C. The transmitter sends RTC (request to send) signal to the receiver. On the other hand, the receiver detects this signal, finishes the previous operation, and then sends to receiver CTS (clear to send) signal, which means that receiver is ready to accept data. Without CTS transmitter cannot start data transmission. Note: In the RS232 interface, logical “1” corresponds to voltages from -3V to -12V, and logical “0” corresponds to voltages from +3V to +12V. The logical level in the interval -3V to +3V is undefined.

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