Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Desktop Computing Future

Wish we could Stop making Desktop Computers that are Energy Guzzlers by 2020. The Laptop/Notebook Electronics Design Architecture could be Ported to the Desktop Computer Physical Framework.

This makes Battery Operated Lean Desktops that can always be on Float Charge. Temporary mobility and convertibles are also possible. Power Failure proof.

A flexi ferrite table cover to wireless charge mouse, printer and keyboard batteries. An additional Lan with Wi-fi to network with all the Peripherals. This gets rid of the Cable Clutter and Device Drivers for Peripherals.
 
Desktop Computing Future

Device Interface

Wireless USB has not still been adopted as a standard for peripheral interface. (not to be confused with Wi-Fi USB sticks). BlueTooth is good but does not completely address Easy Peripheral Interface in terms of usability etc. This may help the Desktop Comp.

Nettops use less power and are the Desktops of Tomorrow, with cloud computing and wireless storage these are the essential devices to go to Green Computing and the Client-Server Architecture with the Cloud in mind. We need both Intranet-Cloud and Internet-Cloud.

Each PC should have Two Wi-Fi. One for Device Networking and the other is for Web and Networking. Device Networking means adding Smart Peripherals without Drivers. Example Wi-Fi External HDD and Wi-Fi Printer.

HardDisk

Rapid on off Power can Damage Hardisk. Transport of PC over rumbling Terrain, PC or Notebook drop on Hard Surface, Impulsive Jerks of Table on which Desktop Comp is placed; can mean, that your data and device is a goner. Maybe Desktops should use the more mobile Notebook Drives or external portable drives (technology), as these consume less power and are more robust.

old and new notes of mine since 2007 - delabs

Monday, November 07, 2016

Desktop Computer Reforms

Please pay attention to an earnest plea from a person who has pulled cards and ram from xt-at 286-386 days. Some people are innovating, at least follow those lines. Help make Desktop Computing Obsolete.

Dockables and Convertibles that means Tablets that transform into Laptops and Desktops. Then the Abominable Laptop Hinge or Lid failure will not bother you.

Tablets, Nettops, Netbooks and Notebooks are the future. Low power consumption, wireless, light, modular, low voltage.

Desktop Computer Reforms

If you are still fanatic about Desktop Computers, here are the ways you can move in the right direction, from legacy to Futuristic !
  • Make the internals of a Desktop computer, Dust Free. 50 Microns particle, not any larger.
  • Make the Desktop Computer SMPS and design Earth Free, Two Wire Only, No Y caps.
  • Let it work on a 12-24 V DC Bus/Grid Standard, With External Connectors. Adapter Outside.
  • No Fan should be used, No moving or Rotating parts inside, No Wires, good connectors.
  • Modular Plugin, Stackable System to be used for External CDROM/DVD and HDD Drives.
  • Flash Integration Internal for main OS Firmware and External Flash like HDD Stackable.
  • DVD, HDD, Flash Expansion on USB Removable or SATA Stackable like Building Blocks.
  • For a Whooping One Grand, People deserve a Backplane Plugin Architecture in the Desktop.
  • Box, LCD/LED Monitor, HDD, Wi-Fi must not consume more than a Maximum of 50 Watts.
  • All Internal and External Modules and Devices should go to quiescent state, non-obtrusively.
More to come, as i try to fix and break some more ...

Present Day Work Time Utilization of man using Desktop Computing. -
  • 30% Updates and Installation of The Operating System, Safety Issues.
  • 20% System Admin, Networking, Application Installation and Updates.
  • 10% Hardware Problems, Interfacing, Sharing, Wire and Port Issues.
  • 10% Physical and Mental Fatigue and Stress Caused by above, plus Coffee.
  • 30% Productive Work Done. Means work done in a Job or Profession.
delabs Notes 2004-2010

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Tablet Ándale - HandHeld Computing

Just some study i made, only the understanding or conclusion here. For the years 2012-16. Low power consumption means we all last longer, healthy, si no, carbon footprint, Ser hombre bueno.

Tablet Types - dapj tech

Units and Metrics -

Screen Size is in Inches. Carbon or 'caramba' is the color code to emphasize the energy consumption.
Power is the zap or punch of 'P4 at 2 Giga Hz with 1GB Ram' - Let us say, this configuration packs One "Gonz".

Energy is the juice it takes on the average browsing, word processing or youtubing, in Watts.

Tablet Ándale - HandHeld Computing

What you saw and What you got

If a Video was created in a Lower Resolution it is no use showing it at a High Resolution. A Video created or acquired in High Resolution can be shown in any lower resolution.

Showing a Video in High Resolution in smaller devices will not help much. This is the limit of the Human Eye itself. So do not waste bandwidth and processing power in very small devices. 

Gracias Senor or Senorita, for the patient reading.

Adiós Amigos, go for your Siesta.

As for me .....Ándale, Ándale, Arriba, Arriba.

I see a Splendid Future for Tablet Computers as they consume low power, portable, wireless web, ergonomic and affordable. They leave less eWaste when the product is disposed and it does not stress the Health of the user.


Tablets and Slates based on OpenSource OS. Even OpenHardware Tablets. This is a collage of various blurbs of mine in my other pages. An Home Appliance for Consumer Computing.

Why Tablets ?
  1. People want computing to be Personal and Portable and hassle free. With less Maintenance Tasks.
  2. Low Power or Green is the order of the Age, Fuel and Energy is not as easy, expensive and depleting.
  3. Low Carbon Footprint, The global carbon footprint of making, selling and scrapping tablets is low.
  4. The Technologies have evolved in Flash, Battery, CPU, OS, GUI, LCD, SMT and most Electronic Parts.
  5. Online - Web Computing and Cloud Computing offers Safer Storage and Powerful Web Applications.
First posted around 2010-2011 delabs

Friday, October 07, 2016

iGoogle Widgets and The First App Store

iGoogle the father of Web 2.0 - iGoogle shaped and inspired many technologies. To name a few, The Web UI Frameworks and the Community App Store Idea. Even though the "Desktop" was just a webpage and the apps were web widgets. - 2010

The API access could be any web app or Google Service. I made a Online Desktop in its memory. The Cloud Desktop (2017). The code is still in 2010 version, see in google code archive. I have cleaned it and put it in a Google Cloud Bucket for test,

There are some more gadgets i made and these are at dapj Gadgets. I put a lot of effort into these. My gadgets will be Floating on this Jot Desktop Site. This is a Web Desktop on JavaScript and css.

iGoogle the father of Web 2


The Chumby Device posted earlier had this Chumby ARM Board. You could program the Widgets that could scroll or cycle thru the screen. Like News, Clock or Weather. The App Store was available but the device had to be configured unlike the Apps on the Phone today, which is much easier. This was the first App-Store that worked with a Touch-Screen.

Then ARM core deserves a lot of credit. but the 300MHz board you see below was an early step. The 1GHZ ARM that came a bit later makes the Tablet a powerful Web, Gaming, Office and Utility App Console.

Chumby ARM Board

The Desktop Computer wastes a lot of power but a HandHeld is green, sustainable. A 10" Tablet is the best way. So do not wait buy some Tablets and Netbooks and use your Desktop Computer when necessary.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

All flash Field Replaceable

Make all Flash Memory in Home Appliance, Gadgets and computers - Easily Replaceable and Field Replaceable. If possible replaceable by layman like batteries.

Many people are having problems and high costs of service, as equipment and devices made over the last few years have flash that is hard to replace and source.

The only flash that can be SMT and Soldered could be the ones loaded with "Static Software or Firmware". That means that area of memory that is subjected to very less write cycles. Even Firmware that is frequently updated should be on an replaceable module.

Make All flash Field Replaceable

I first experienced flash usage in a 8051 based Fuel Dispensing Unit we were developing in the late 80s. It was a SEEQ chip with 10K Full Erase/Write Cycles. it was a pin-2-pin replacement for 2732 UVPROM (kilo bytes). It later needed a piggyback timer.

Flash has developed immensely since, It lasts much longer and goes to Giga Bytes Storage. Giga Byte was BigData in the 90s.

Also Frequent software updates must be written as an overlay over the "Static Software".An External SDCARD as a database/code source for the updates.

Keep all frequently up-gradable parts of a firmware in a easily replaceable device called "DynamicWare" which includes the Interface/Internet areas and all that is susceptible, vulnerable, UI and young-and-growing sections.

So we have StaticWare Flash for OS, DynaWare Flash for Updates/Fixes/Apps. and External Flash for media/apps. The StaticWare alone can be SMT Hard Soldered into PCB, this should have enough smartness to upgrade device on Wi-FI with barebone GUI.

Gizmos and Gadgets that consume more batteries can be supplied with easily pluggable battery and spare battery with charger. This way the battery can be quick replaced when drained, rather than charging the device. This reduces system downtime.

delabs - 2014

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Usability of Front Panel Controls

I once worked in Tek for a very short period. I got to experience the 2235 and 2465 analog scopes and their controls. The 2465 was a 400 MHz Digitally Controlled Analog Scope.

I also used the Plugin Scopes and Calibration systems that were Tek Culture and Tech contribution to the Instrumentation world, it probably evolved into VXI-PXI as uC systems took over.

I also had a chance to look at DSO/Logic Analyzers and the just developed TDS Series.The older tek analog scopes made me understand about usability and panel layouts. Many controls are inevitable in a Analog Scope with Electromechanical Interface.

Usability or Ergonomics Review

In a Digital World that can be largely changed using the Monitor and Trackballs. The older BlackBerry phones are also good study for usability before Touch Screens came.

delabs Experiments

delabs Web Widget and Application Interface Usability Experiments 2003-2008

In 2003 i tried some experiments in Web Interface. I also converted some mini DHTML Widgets i made in 2000. These i later added to iGoogle too. In 2000 it was a Midi Player later an Alarm Clock when iGoogle came. Then a Metronome and Mini-Notes Holder and a Text-Database driven Music Player.

delabs Web Widget and Application Interface Usability Experiments 2003-2008

Talking of Touch Screen, i had seen a  Monitor in a Universal Pick-Place Assembly Machine. A Huge Pneumatic System, Not a SMT, there was no SMT then. This monitor had IR LED and Opto Transistor Array over the monitor. That sensed the finger Probably.

Capacitive Touch Screens and Accelerometers have given a new dimension to Ergonomics.

Then came Euro controls for Consumer Electronics. Like remote controls. Look at the National Panasonic VCR Remote on the right. It could be in the 90's. It is so easy to operate the VCR, you do not need a manual. Flap a Lid and you have many things to do, including control any brand of TV in tandem with the VCR.

Software or hardware it is the same thing. The way the Common man sees a Gadget, like a Lamp Switch or a Water Tap.

The HTML5 thing also is in the same direction, which empowers Web Designers to make Usable Apps and Sites not just Flashy Mazes where one can get lost for eternity. Some of the sites i built are like that, Labyrinth of Docs which only the Search can Reveal.

2003 - 2008 delabs Notes

Sunday, August 14, 2016

PCB Prototype by Cu Deposition and Sn Plating

Take a Blank Epoxy Card. No Copper, just the glass epoxy card. It will not be copper clad. I am trying to explain the concept. The Glass Epoxy card as you know is Epoxy (Like Ciba Araldite) with glass fiber as filler. Maybe new technologies have come now. The fiber is for Reinforcement and Epoxy you know is a Marvel of an Engineering Material.

EE Design Library - Electronic Product Design Resource.

PCB Prototype by Cu Deposition and Sn Plating

PCB belongs to AVR JTAG adapter - MadWizard.org

In those days some people told me that these epoxy with glass fiber and iron flakes as powder are used to repair aircraft/spacecraft. It could be cast into a shape and even turned on lathe for making custom replacement components.

This nudged an idea, If we Screenprint a Mixture of Epoxy + Fine Iron Dust + ? over the blank Glass Epoxy card. The positive is used not the negative. That means Pads and Tracks on Positive create an Image of Pads and Tracks of this Epoxy/Iron paste on Glass Epoxy surface. Now Screenprinting done, let it dry. We can also be print a thin layer of epoxy pcb pattern and blow iron dust on it.

Dip this Printed Epoxy card with this iron/epoxy pattern; into a Copper Sulfate CuSO4 + ? + ? Solution. The ? has to figured by chemical engineers. I used to be good at Organic and Inorganic Chemistry, when i was young. The copper replaces/plates the iron powder and with some electrostatic and electrochemical methods the copper layer grows over the entire tracks and pads quickly. Now the card is Tin Sn plated to complete.

A single Prototype PCB is ready and no extra copper wasted. Copper and Tin was deposited.

2004 - delabs Notes

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Visual Embedded RAD for EDA

Just like an electronic circuit is a graphical representation of what will be on the PCB. Firmware development should be a 2D graphical diagram of what goes into eeprom.

An example is the Ladder Logic software that can program 80C51 types in a Fanuc, Allen Bradley or Siemens PLCs. Then many people can do at least restricted firmware programming for some embedded solutions.

Build a DMM or digital multi meter

Visual Embedded RAD. This is more like code snippets inserted in code in the background when user drags and drops a Hardware Function or Program Method. The Environment is Visual, but Code is compact as same modules or blocks used. There is no C or Intermediate Language. Visual to Binary Hex Direct.

(Ideas of delabs - Mar-04, Revised again - 4 April 2008, Nature - Open Source)

The Motor Bicycle

At late 40s I am into riding Geared Cycles. A Cycle Guru says it is the 'Cadence' in pedaling speed. What I need is a 'Mentor' for the Methodology behind Optimum Gear usage.

Mixed Circuits Analog with Digital

But some people are developing what will become well known as The Motor Bicycle, funny names.

Updated Nov 2015

Monday, August 08, 2016

Costing of EE Products

This is a Crude Costing Formulae based on my Ideas which is called "Gut-Feel Thumb-Rule Methodology." Even Though i am probably the only follower of this popular System, I am sure it is worth a casual Look.

Costing of EE Products

RM - Raw Material Cost         SP - Selling Price to Distributor

Reserves are for Dry days, Employee Fund is to reduce Attrition and Layoff. I was costing the products as a Proprietor, Managing Director and as an R&D Engineer too.

This post is just to enlighten you of the intricacies involved. It is merely the Tip of the IceBerg. You will need a Spreadsheet and lot of foresight and hindsight to make a practical costing.

Management Methodology 

This rule is for products made in good numbers. Large scale production costs may go down. Custom designed products made in small numbers the price may double. The cost of Engineering and IP has not been taken to consideration. It has been covered by a 10% Research Cost.

All this assuming we make products of reasonable quality and reliability. Build a reputation by good customer service when the product fails. So this will add into the cost depending upon the organization.

The grey areas in this costing are "Sourcing quality Raw Materials and Parts". Designing and Engineering "Reliable and Robust Products" . Customer Support at site or field may be expensive and warranty too.

Better to be Honest, Transparent and build a Brand Reputation for a Long Term company Success.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Corning - Engineered Glass and Ceramics

American manufacturer of glass, ceramics and related materials, primarily for industrial and scientific applications.

Corning - Engineered Glass and Ceramics

The company was known until 1989 as Corning Glass Works, The Corning Museum of Glass

They Specialize in developing technologies and products in Displays, Telecommunications, Life Sciences, Specialty Materials and Environmental.

Corning - Engineered Glass and Ceramics

Corning Optical Fiber, part of Corning's Telecommunications segment, invented the first low-loss optical fiber in 1970 and today remains the worldwide market leader, offering a full line of single-mode and multimode optical fibers for all network applications

Labware and Equipment from Corning - Scientific laboratory products. Consumable glass and plastic laboratory tools for life science research.

Gorilla Glass (wiki) is the registered trademark for an alkali-aluminosilicate sheet toughened glass manufactured by U.S. glassmaker Corning Inc. Engineered for a combination of thinness, lightness, and damage-resistance, it is used primarily as the cover glass for portable electronic devices including mobile phones, portable media players, laptop computer displays, and some television screens.

It is manufactured through immersion in a molten alkaline salt bath using ion exchange to produce compressive residual stress at the surface. This prevent cracks from propagating - for a crack to start, it will first have to overcome this compressive stress.

Casio Computer Company

Japanese manufacturer of consumer electronics, business equipment, clocks, musical instruments, cameras, and electronic dictionaries.

Casio Computer Company

December: 1954 First prototype of all-electric compact calculator (relay model) completed

June 1957: Marketing the world' s first compact all-electric calculator, Casio 14-AO and establishing Casio Computer Co., Ltd. - History of Casio

BT-9100 - The All-In-One PC POS Touch Terminal

"The BT-9100's solid cabinet design is built around a high resolution 15" TFT flat panel display to emphasize minimum space requirements"

BT-9100 - The All-In-One PC POS Touch Terminal

History of Calculators

Monday, July 04, 2016

Panasonic and Matsushita Electric

The brand Panasonic was created by Matsushita in 1955 for the US, Canada and Mexico because the National brand was already registered by others The Panasonic brand was created from the elements "pan" meaning "all" combined with "sonic" meaning "sound", because it was first used for audio equipment.

Panasonic and Matsushita Electric

Panasonic radio receivers

1918 - Matsushita Electric Factory was founded
1927 - National brand name was introduced
1931 - Production of radios began

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. - Panasonic - Wikipedia

It was founded by Konosuke Matsushita in 1918, with its first product being a duplex lamp socket. In 1927, it produced a bicycle lamp, the first product it marketed under the brand name National.

8-in-1 Multifunction Communication Center - Panasonic

8-in-1 Multifunction Communication Center

Not only does the KX-MB2061 include standard printing, color scanning, copying, and fax capabilities; it also includes a built-in digital answering system and DECT 6.0 cordless telephone system with corded handset, which is expandable up to 6 handsets.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Siemens - Industrial Technology

Siemens is one of the world's largest technology companies. Siemens has six major business divisions: Communication and Information, Automation and Control, Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution, Transportation and Automotive, Medical, and Lighting.

Siemens - Industrial Technology

Siemens & Halske was founded by Werner von Siemens and Johann Georg Halske on 12 October 1847. Based on the telegraph, his invention used a needle to point to the sequence of letters, instead of using Morse code. The company, then called Telegraphen-Bauanstalt von Siemens & Halske, opened its first workshop on October 12. - Wikipedia - Siemens

Analog Integrated Circuits 1976 - Siemens

In 1999, Siemens' semiconductor operations were spun off into a new company called Infineon Technologies.

Analog Integrated Circuits 1976 - Siemens

In 1881, a Siemens AC Alternator driven by a watermill was used to power the world's first electric street lighting in the town of Godalming, United Kingdom.

Siemens Console 1988

Siemens Console 1988

Siemens Industry Automation and Drives

Complete and integrated line of products, systems and solutions for production and process automation. Customized automation solutions based on Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) and Totally Integrated Power (TIP).

Toshiba - Advanced Electronic Technology

Toshiba, a world leader in high technology, is a diversified manufacturer and marketer of advanced electronic and electrical products, spanning information & communications equipment and systems, Internet-based solutions and services, electronic components and materials, power systems, industrial and social infrastructure systems, and household appliances.

Toshiba - Advanced Electronic Technology

1875 -Hisashige Tanaka opened a telegraph equipment factory in Shimbashi, Tokyo.

1890 - Ichisuke Fujioka and Shoichi Miyoshi established Hakunetsu-sha & Co., Ltd. in Kyobashi, Tokyo. Manufactured Japan's first electric incandescent light bulbs.

1895 - Produced Japan's first induction motors.

1930 - Manufactured Japan's first electric washing machines and refrigerators.

1978 - Launched medium-sized experimental broadcast satellite, Yuri. Released the first Japanese word processor.

Toshiba : History

Piggyback40 Toshiba

Piggyback40 Toshiba

Ceramic DIL Package, 40 Pins + 14pin Socket, Toshiba TLCS90-TMP90G840E, 1988

Toshiba is organised into four business groupings: the Digital Products Group, the Electronic Devices Group, the Home Appliances Group and the Social Infrastructure Group. In 2010,

Toshiba Corporation - Wikipedia

Toshiba Vacuum Tube

Toshiba Vacuum Tube

Toshiba Electronic Components

Toshiba Electronics Europe (TEE) offers a wide IC and discrete product range. high-end memory, microcontrollers and ASIC. Optoelectronic Semiconductors include Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and Photocouplers.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Android Virtual Instrumentation

Any Tablet with an external Hardware can make a nice Instrument. The professional part lies in that external hardware and usability of the software or app. Windows Virtual Instrumentation are well known. Things like USB Scope and Data Loggers have been there for decades.

Now we have Android in which an Open Source product can be developed. The Open Source is both in Hardware and Software.

Android Virtual Instrumentation

See a android virtual instrument - OsciPrime is an Open Source Android high speed data acquisition hardware platform and Android oscilloscope application.

Open Source Android Oscilloscope

Virtual Instruments for Android has a nice future in Industrial, Automotive and Measurement areas. You could start by Interfacing with Bluetooth, USB and then move to IoT and WSN.

Android OPC UA SCADA and Client

TeslaSCADA is a SCADA for accessing production and process data through smart phones and other Android devices, using the industrial communication standard – OPC Unified Architecture (UA).

These were some questions i got a few years back...

1 - If i had to create a crude "Lux Meter" and "db Meter" using the built-in camera and microphone on a Android Device - How would i Calibrate it ?

2 - Is there a Component(software) for Android to interlace with a Arduino Device as an external interface, This will help us make a DMM/Scope or even a Entire Lab Test bench centered around a Tablet and a Plug-in Mini Instrument Rack.

Both Sound or db Meters and Lux or Light Level Meters are in the Google Play nut need calibration. All These Instrument Needs a USB/Bluetooth Sensors.

Add Bluetooth you can carry your Tablet away from the instrument probing the DUT. (Device under Test)

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Protect your Design or IP

If you have made an electronic product with a new circuit or code and need to protect it, then these are some Methods. If your Intellectual Property is an Idea, A Hardware Innovation or Software Application; It may need some protection other than patents. Sometimes patents are used for general applications and generic designs. Patent only an Original Idea or Innovation or an Exclusive and Unique Method.

Microcomputer Circuits in Process Control.

Protect your Design or IP

If you are small and the innovation very big, tie up with established companies with reputed brands. If you are a source for a certain product component or module, make certain restriction on patenting products made from it. Else, your Module or Application Sales may be jammed by Panic Patents.

That is the reason, the Platform that fosters innovation is Open Source.

1. Security Bit -

Use for digital logic area, an atmel uC with security bit protection or any uC-uP with internal memory read protected with security bit. the firmware should be kept in tight control from both external people and your employees and must be on a non-networked and non-internet machine.

2. Hermetically seal -

This is a crude and ancient way, delete the chip part numbers and pot it in a plastic can with ciba araldite epoxy with alumina filler, this way product may not be copied and it will be immune to vibration and corrosive environment. but heat dissipation and serviceability is affected, so make a epoxy potted module of only some part of the circuit.

3. Make ASIC or FPGA -

ASIC is only for volume production and is copy protected, if you design in-house and the chip maker you order is trustworthy, then this is ok, for small volume production use FPGA, CPLD, DSP uC or uP with read protection as practical.

Embedded Systems - More about uC based designs are here.

4. Go open source -

Design a circuit and put it on the internet to share, let the community use it and improve it, here also revenue is made by service of product, custom design and customer support and this will work long term free of tensions. This way has proved to foster greater innovation and stable technologies.

(my dairy log 2002, Amps-n-Volts June 2005, Now logged here - delabs)

Monday, May 02, 2016

Embedded Linux Devices and Gadgets

Embedded Linux is not only Open Source, but can be adapted to any type of dedicated embedded system. It is more like a configurable firmware for Embedded Equipment. Its ability to manage multiple tasks efficiently makes it more friendly and stable, compared to any other OS.

When you look at the History of Operating Systems, you will see that that an OS that meant serious business was UNIX. It was the anvil for the creation of the C Language and AWK. Now we have Linux, the evolved Unix like OS, which is comfortable and versatile for Networking and Clustering.

Related Reading
Here is a Embedded Linux Wiki for the embedded product design community.

Gadgets and Appliances are become increasingly complex. More memory and CPU power for small devices are commonplace. Linux is one OS that can be muntzed to the smallest size. This helps developers make something like a super-firmware. Just what you need for that device, can be the OS.

Touchscreens for Home Appliances, wireless networking and web enabled consumer electronics make Linux an excellent escalation from "Firmware". For tiny systems a firmware is the OS. For complex devices today, Linux is user configured firmware.

Leopardboard DM355

Leopardboard DM355
  • High-performance Digital Media System on Chip 
  • ARM926EJ-S core 
  • Video Processing Subsystem (VPSS) 
DM355 combines high performance MPEG4 HD (720p) codecs and JPEG codecs up to 50M pixels per second, high quality, and low power consumption at a very low price point.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Surgical Tools useful for Manufacturing

Small Boards, SMT circuits and hybrid electronics need special tools. The soldering and handling require some tools and custom jigs which can be custom designed. 

Some product are mass produced, some tools for managing and working on Tiny PCB's and parts may not be available in the market at an affordable price.

Electronic Product Production Manufacturing

So affordable solution can be created, the jigs are supplemented by surgical tools. These are the Clips and Tweezers that a doctor uses when he conducts an operation.

Surgical Tools useful for Manufacturing

Let use see one here an Hemostat Clamp and other tools at P J Tool and Supply

Call it Forceps, Tweezers or Pliers. These tools, both the bent/arched/curved one and straight are useful.

When you go to a Surgical Supplies Store, Buy some Filter Paper, capillary tubes and a spirit lamp as well. These can find a lot of good use in the ultimate quest for the God Particle. Beat the Swiss to it.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

National Semiconductor

National Semiconductor was an American semiconductor manufacturer, that specialized in analog devices and subsystems, formerly headquartered in Santa Clara, California, USA. The products of National Semiconductor included power management circuits, display drivers, audio and operational amplifiers, communication interface products and data conversion solutions.

Wiki of National Semiconductor

National's key markets included wireless handsets, displays and a variety of broad electronics markets, including medical, automotive, industrial, and test and measurement applications.

On September 23, 2011, the company formally became part of Texas Instruments as the "Silicon Valley" division.

An Exquisite Evaluation Board from National Semiconductor

The LMH0356 Serial Digital Interface (SDI) reclocker is designed to recover a clean clock from a serial digital video signal which may be contaminated by jitter and to resynchronize the input video data to the recovered clean clock. The LMH0356 SDI reclocker accepts signals conforming to standards SMPTE 259M (C), SMPTE 292M, and SMPTE 424M.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Blind Dial Proportional Temperature Controller

This is a Low cost controller, Analog Dial Temperature Controller. It is also called Blind Controller. This essentially means Open Loop, just control the fuel or energy input to the system to regulate heat. This is not a Blind Controller that way, it only cannot display the temperature value, that could be another reason it is called blind.

Blind Dial Proportional Temperature Controller

Blind Temperature Controller

Dial cyclic timers were used to control heat, these were purely mechanical clockwork devices. They could regulate well, when the material flow (liquid) is constant and mains power is regulated. But when the job to be heated, varies in quantity, control temperature is close to ambient or when a precise control is required; closed loop controllers are used. Even a thermostat is like closed loop, as the bimetallic sensor is temperature dependent. But not good enough.

This controller is closed loop, precision controller, only the digital display of temperature is absent. Fine one deg variations may not be easy in this.

Blind Dial Proportional Temperature Controller

Blind Dial Proportional Temperature Controller

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

The MOSFET in Power Electronics

delabs Notes - In a Circuit Module, if all Power and Signal Polarities are reversed. All NPN to PNP, All N-Channel to P-Channel and Vice Versa. All Diodes and Caps too turned around. This Topsy Turvy or Mirror Design ought to work in Theory. It has worked for some circuits in practice too in my experience. ?

Some believe that N-Channel is more Robust than the P Type. In Bipolar Transistor NPN is more trusted for the final output stages. The NPN Transistor and N-Channel turn-on by a Positive control bias. It may be inappropriate to say this mosfet is NPN or PNP.

The MOSFET in Power Electronics

The traditional metal–oxide–semiconductor (MOS) structure is obtained by growing a layer of silicon dioxide (SiO2) on top of a silicon substrate and depositing a layer of metal or polycrystalline silicon (the latter is commonly used). As the silicon dioxide is a dielectric material, its structure is equivalent to a planar capacitor, with one of the electrodes replaced by a semiconductor.

If the MOSFET is an n-channel or nMOS FET, then the source and drain are "n+" regions and the body is a "p" region. If the MOSFET is a p-channel or pMOS FET, then the source and drain are "p+" regions and the body is a "n" region. The source is so named because it is the source of the charge carriers (electrons for n-channel, holes for p-channel) that flow through the channel; similarly, the drain is where the charge carriers leave the channel. MOSFET - Wikipedia

This application note discusses the breakdown voltage, on-resistance, transconductance, threshold voltage, diode forward voltage, power dissipation, dynamic characteristics, gate charge and dV/dt capability of the power MOSFET.
Application Note AN-1084 Power MOSFET Basics - IRF

A MOSFET is a transistor. It is a Metal Oxide Field Effect Transistor. Here are the symbols for FETs and MOSFETs: The MOSFET How the MOSFET works

The conductivity of the path from Source to drain is controlled by applying a voltage between the gate and the body of the semiconductor. N-channel enhancement MOSFET

See this simple circuit that explains everything
n-channel MOSFET switch - George Watson, Univ. of Delaware, 1996.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

EDA and Product Design Ideas

Product Design Optimization - Some Ideas of mine that are decades old , related to EDA and Product Design.

Make Practical (it works), Affordable, Usable (ergonomics), Safe, Reliable (robust), Durable and Consistent, Maintainable (means servicing) Products.

EDA CAD Circuit Design Software Tools

EDA and Product Design Ideas

Electronics Product Design Development 

Dust and Contamination in Connectors

Once i opened a RF Millivolt Meter of Marconi Instruments. It did not have a spec of dust inside, not even one micron size of dust particle.

Connectors exposed to Environment should not only be Corrosion resistant but also Dust, Grime & Insect Proof! Dummy Covers on exposed units.

Air Vents, Fans & Unused Slots in Modular Instruments. Missing Fasteners in cabinets, gaps in panel components collect Dust & Insects inside

Dust + Moisture + Smoke + Pollutants = Conductive Grime Deposits on PCB, Parts & in-between the IC pins. Can Simulation include this aspect.

Virtual Environmental Testing a part of simulation and EDA, just like Mechanical Modelling and Studying Thermal Gradients on PCB.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Linear Applications Handbook

National Semiconductors Application note collection. Circuits and design notes of many analog and mixed signal chips. These designs just work and building them will help you learn the Science of Analog Design.

Linear Applications Handbook

National Semiconductor Linear Applications Handbook.

1994 National Semiconductor Corporation (now part of Texas Instruments or TI). TI, Fairchild, National and others were born with the chips. The birth of Integrated Circuits starts with them. Even the people who made Intel and many others have their early roots in these mother firms.

Power Electronics Design Methods

I first saw this practically in the Orthodox Cherokee SMPS. This is where we differentiate from Engineered Products and just Mass Production without following standards. The Cherokee SMPS was a work of art, perfect in all respects.

The Copper Desert or Isolation Land

There is a No Man's Land in PCB. Any good power electronics designer should/will know. Product Safety and HV Isolation, Quality and Reliability all depend on this.

High Energy Circuits

Power Electronics Design Methods

These things don't come overnight, it is a culture, learning, experience and integrity of some of these American Firms. Reliability and Product safety are important. Every human values his life very much. A manufacturer too should appreciate this.

Coming back to isolation, Keep in mind creepage distance, High energy circuits and Low voltage circuits should have clear isolation, use the best insulation. Fire and shock hazard. Mains HV transitions, spikes.

Regulated High Voltage Power Supply

Power supply faces all these, even other areas where a Human Life or Property can be endangered.

HV High Voltage Reliability and Safety

Use a Servo Stabilizer or CVT Constant Voltage Transformer or at least an Isolation Transformer. The First Defense form HV Surges, Spikes.

High Voltage Polyester & Polypropylene Metallized Capacitors in Stepdown Supplies should be Fire Retardant & Self Healing with a MOV too.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

RTD 3-W Mains Power 4-20 mA Transmitter

This is the Photo of a RTD 3-W Mains Powered Temperature 4-20mA Transmitter. The Circuits and PCB are here RTD PT100 Transmitter and Multiplexer.The Circuit RTD-Pt-100-Transmitter Circuit.

RTD 3-W Mains Power 4-20 mA Transmitter

We can classify Transmitters as shown below. The Measured Parameter Temperature, Flow or Events Has to reach an Intelligent Data Storage and Analysis System. It may just be an Human Operator who jots the data on a Notepad and Turns a Few Dials based on his Experience or an embedded controller. It could even be a Computer Network or a Web Application used,
  • Analog Transmitters - Like 4-20mA Loop.
  • Electrically Isolated Analog Transmitters.
  • Transmitters that need to be Intrinsically Safe.
  • Digital Transmitters and Optical Interface.
  • Wireless Transmitters and TCP-IP.
The job of the transmitter is to take the weak analog measured parameter information from sensor, be close to it, amplify, clean, linearize the signal if required and send strong - error free data over a long distance to an operator or system.

Process Control Instruments and Custom Solutions has been my core Strength. The RTD Pt-100 Transmitter with 4-20 mA output shown here was used in numbers with a 4-20 mA Analog Multiplexer. This was in turn monitored/controlled by a PLC SCADA System to monitor many points in a large Industrial Plant. The external multiplexer makes unlimited channels possible with a Standard Analog Input and Digital Output Module.

Monday, January 04, 2016

PLC based PID Controller

Below is a Electrical Control Panel, It has a Strip Chart Recorder which is electro-mechanical, It has a PLC Inside. A handheld PLC Programming unit. The computer is showing the Ladder Logic Program. PLC is based on a embedded uC. The DIN Controllers are Analog + Digital circuits. So you see it is a Electrical Control Panel with Electronics and the PLC Ladder Logic means, Software too.

Process Control Application Notes

This is a PID Controller based Control Panel using a PLC from GE Fanuc Automation. The Computer is a 386 40MHz with 40MB HDD.

PID Controller PLC

Electrical Control Panel Wiring

Multizone Process Scanner

This could take current or voltage inputs from many remote transmitters, 4-20mA or 0-1 V Inputs. Then it would display the calibrated value in a LED display. The Zone number was a digital display. This serves as a monitor of process values. It had a analog output with a digital channel byte-word output for interface with other instruments.

This uses the CD4051-52 for the analog switching. Operating this at +/- 7.5V gives best isolation from channels and low ON resistance. Now you have many types of devices to do this.

Multizone Scanner

When a large area or object has to be heated, many heaters are used. This device can monitor and display the temperature at various points. The Operator then can make adjustments in heating or cooling so that he can maintain Uniform temperature or a Temperature Gradient as specified by the Process.

There are many ways, these scanners are used. Many different parameters like pressure, temperature, level are measured with different sensors and converted to a 4-20 mA level using transmitters for each sensor. Then many parameters can be measured in one equipment, when it needs only periodic attention. As the scan rate can be set from 1 to 50 seconds, the operator will be able to keep a tab on the values or record it. This reduces the real estate required on the control panel. Then the control room can be small, as it has to be at a vantage point, with a birds view of the entire factory floor.

Industrial Process Control Circuits

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Date Time Clock Widgets

I wanted to realize usability of controls within a small footprint. This lead to some innovations.
These are JavaScript and CSS Clock Widgets originally made for my webpage later improved and decorated for iGoogle. Now available as web widgets.

Date Time Clock Widgets

Date Time Clock Widgets

When i found the Remote controls and the early mobile phones difficult to use. I felt i have to try to design user interface within a small footprint. This helped me innovate a Active or Dynamic GUI concept; as shown in the Ability to change the skins of the Audio Music player and Digital Alarm Clock. The metronome too see the other project in this profile. These were done around 2005-6-7. Both for elements on my site and gadgets.

Digital and Analog Clocks
I also made a Virtual Web Gadget Alarm Clock Simulation that will demonstrate a Dynamic GUI in a Limited Facia Area.

Conclusions -

Reduce the number of operations a user would do at achieve a purpose. Auto, Intuitive, Context Gui. When a Customer comes to buy Trousers, Take him to the Trouser Corner. Do not show Tuxedo option. The colors have good contrast and the text clearly visible.

A Highlighted reaction to user action. Tactile. Dynamic GUI, see in Gadgets above. GUI Elements appear only for that sequence of actions. No clutter. Menus if used, should not get stuck. Should not be fidgety, should not be menus at all if possible.

Engineering, Interaction Design, UI/UX