Monday, October 08, 2018

Drawing Tools for Electronic Schematics in Android

Here are some Circuit Diagram Drawing Tools for Android Tablets, they may be still under development. It may be Interesting to explore and try out.

Schematic Demo is an easy-to-handle and comfortable CAD-software, developed for different kinds of diagrams.

Schematic Demo Dmitry Ustimov

Editing objects performed by interaction with a device touch screen. You can create and edit such graphic objects as: - Point, Line, Polyline, Bezier curve, Arc, Ellipse and Rectangle.

Schematic Demo Dmitry Ustimov

Electronic schematic drawing application for Android by Harry Konstas
palmDraft lite ElectronicsCAD

palmDraft lite ElectronicsCAD

This is a bitmap-based CAD, featuring a high definition, flick-panning, pinch-zoom-able working canvas optimized for finger and pen drawing. It's as easy to manipulate as a sheet of paper. The schematics file format is standard .PNG bitmap file format which can be easily exported and shared for printing.

MCU simulator for Android OS

The MCU simulator for Android OS runs Assembly language code similar to the 68705 MCU on a simulated on-screen prototype board. Great for embedded applications hobbyists, students, teachers or anyone who likes to experiment with electronic Micro-controller prototype boards. It's fun for learning assembly language too!

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Reliable Robust Electronic Products

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.

EE Design Library - Electronic Product Design Resource

Tropicalized means immunity or resistance of an equipment in conditions of varied Temperature, RH, Insects, Fungus, Brine, small life form.

Reliable Robust Electronic Products

Reliability by Simplicity

Vital controls should be Simple Electromechanical. Supervisory and Fine Automatic controls are in Embedded Computing. Mechanical Overrides!  

<< More Reliable - Mechanical, Electrical, Analog, Digital, Embedded System (Firmware), Computing System (OS+Software) - Less Reliable >>  

For a given quality level, more the components or parameters, may reduce reliability. Simpler the solution, more reliable it could be. 

Electronic Product Design is not only about Aesthetics and Affordable Price, but also Reliability, Safety, Longevity & Maintainability.

A Product's Life

If a product gives three years life with minimum service support it can save itself from building a bad reputation. six years will establish the brand on a long term basis, twelve years of product life you will have the user of the product selling for you.

Connectors and Interconnects

"Never Mix Electrical and Mechanical Connections" (probably from tektronix) this is a rule, more so for power connectors. Strain relief prevents mechanical stress from reaching the connector joints/spring metal. The wire terminations are also cushioned by strain relief.

The PCB and Product Engineering should ensure that the mechanical stress or load is not a job/function/role of the connector. At higher currents a small contact resistance can generate a lot of heat, worsening the contact further, similar to thermal runaway of Power Transistors.

delabs- 1999 - updated 2002 - 2010

Monday, October 01, 2018

Ostermiller Basic and Scientific Calculator

Scientific Expression or Formula Calculations. Twenty Transaction Memory and Tape, Different bases like Decimal and Octal, Logic Math, Functions, Constants.

Ostermiller Basic and Scientific Calculator

Deriving knowledge and inspiration from ostermiller.org. The GUI and Skin Modifications were done. This Scientific Calculator was ported to iGoogle with a new UI by delabs.

Screenshot

Scientific Calculator

Source Code - delabs-dapj - scientific-calculator

It has Brackets to build your own math equation. Scientific Functions like Trigonometric, Hyperbolic, Logarithmic.Memory (cookies), A Paper Trail or Tape for Equation and Result History.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Educational Function Generator Demo

This app from keuwlsoft puts a waveform on the audio output at 44.1 kHz and with a resolution of 16-bit. Two separate waveforms can be output to the left and right audio output channels respectively.

Dual channel function/waveform/signal generator for the speaker/headphone audio output. Educational use, for critical applications use a real calibrated function generator.

Educational Function Generator Demo

Educational Function Generator Demo

Output will depend on your device hardware. Some device hardware may may filter out the DC bias and low frequency signals. At high frequencies, the waveforms will be distorted due to limited number of samples for each waveform (for example at 4.41kHz, a sine waveform will be approximated by only 10 points).

Either sine, square or triangular waveforms can be selected with the 3 buttons on the left of this section.

This is a single screen app with two displays at the top showing the waveforms for channels 1 and 2 respectively. The output can be turned on with the blue button at the bottom right. The left and right audio outputs can be assigned to either channel 1 or 2 and turned on or off in this output box.

(This app has not been tested completely by me, looks interesting and useful for learning)

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

SpecScope from NFX Development

This is an interesting attempt in the right direction. The bandwidth may be only the audio range, but the first instruments with touch interface for tablets are being built for tablets even by DIY Enthusiasts.

SpecScope from NFX Development

SpecScope is a spectrum analyzer and is the second in the line of engineer applications from NFX Development. The SpecScope incorporates the speed and ease of use to access FFT frequency measurements in a hurry.

SpecScope Spectrum Analyzer

Some of the Features
  • Logarithmic/Linear measurements
  • Pinch to zoom in both X and Y axis
  • Selectable No. bin for accuracy versus speed
  • Three settings of spectrum averaging
  • Threshold trigger to hold the peak value
  • Tap to pause and resume measurements (graph is still navigational in this mode)
  • A adjustable sample rate allow analysis from 10 Hz to 22KHz

Monday, July 02, 2018

Learn Electronics with EveryCircuit

An Android App on which you can create a circuit, tap play and watch dynamic voltage, current, and charge animations.

Learn Electronics with EveryCircuit

Even when the live simulation is running you can tweak circuit parameters with an analog knob, and the circuit reacts in real time for your study and experimentation. Ohm's law, Kirchhoff's current and voltage laws, nonlinear semiconductor device equations, and more.

Learn Electronics with EveryCircuit


"Simplicity, innovation, and power, combined with mobility, make EveryCircuit a must-have companion for high school science and physics students, electrical engineering college students, breadboard and printed circuit board (PCB) enthusiasts, and ham radio hobbyists."

This app is related to Paul Falstad EE Applets and Tablet Apps

These are some educational java applets I wrote to help visualize various concepts in math, physics, and engineering. - Paul Falstad

Friday, June 08, 2018

Engineering Management Equations

Call it Quotes or Ideas or Instructions, these are thoughts that came from me from the past tech experiences of over twenty years.

Technologies should scale with Infrastructure. Buildings cannot stress the Foundations meant for. Traffic proportional to Road Width. Sync. Software should not overwhelm or Overload Hardware.

Raw Materials - Components - Finished Products. The Entire Processing and Design Chain has to improve, if the final Product has to Shine.

Management of Engineering and Technology

Value Engineering
In Engineering High Value products are those that are a combination of Precision Mechanical + Electrical + Analog + Embedded Microcontroller.

Tools Theory Practice
Excellent Tools alone are not enough, The Techniques & Methods have to be learnt, Then the Skills have to be acquired by Strenuous Practice.

Software 7S
The 7S - Software Should be - Simple, Stable, Spry, Slim, Scalable, Sensible, Scrimping.

Incremental Coding
I do incremental coding - code few lines, test, code again, test. Some extra code to interface for test inputs/outputs (virtual instrument). Incremental Coding, Modular. Test Points.

An Engineered Equation
( technologies + skills + processes ) X ( monitored + managed ) = engineering.

Keep Designs Simple
Circuit or Code - Keep it Simple, Modular, Reusable, Documented, Controlled, Compact, Clear, Creative, Maintainable, Testable, Tunable.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Philips - Tech Innovator and Inventor

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands is a global leader in healthcare, lifestyle and technology, delivering products, services and solutions through the brand promise of "sense and simplicity".

Philips - Tech Innovator and Inventor

The company was founded in 1891 by Gerard Philips, a maternal cousin of Karl Marx, in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Its first products were light bulbs 'and other electrotechnical equipment'. Its first factory remains as a museum. Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. - Wikipedia

Vintage Philips Tape Recorder Transistor based

Vintage Philips Tape Recorder Transistor based

(I have fixed some of these decades ago, if i remember right, it had only transistors, no chips. I am not sure if it was only germanium transistors, but i used both silicon and germanium devices to repair - delabs)

Philips - Tech Innovator and Inventor

Discover everything you need to know about the LED phenomenon. What is a LED? How does it work? Learn about the LED basics

In this page you will fine educative videos on questions like "What is human centric lighting?" and How and LED works. Also about how we can Control or Dim LED Lighting.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Mooshimeter - Smartphone DMM

Measure 600V and 10A with 24 bit resolution through 50 meters of space and 6 months of time

"A wired meter forces you to get up close and personal with what you are measuring. This can be a mild inconvenience or downright dangerous. The wireless link provides you the freedom in your measurements..."

Mooshimeter - Smartphone DMM

The Mooshimeter makes multi-channel measurements possible in situations that are too fast, too slow, too sensitive or too dangerous to use a traditional multimeter. A SmartPhone with an App does the job in Tandem with the Measurement Hardware Box with the Probes.

Mooshimeter - Smartphone DMM

(Please always use external shunts, current transformers, sensors, attenuators to measure High Energy Parameters - means High Volatge, High Current, High Frequency or a combination of them. -  delabs)

Specifications Include
  • Up to 600V, DC or peak AC 
  • Better than 0.5% accuracy DC
  • Better than 1.0% accuracy AC 
  • 10 Megaohm input impedance
  • 1% accuracy over 20 Ohms – 20 Megaohms
  • 8kHz dual simultaneous sampling
  • Up to 10 Amps 1% accuracy
  • Bluetooth Low Energy Radio

Friday, May 04, 2018

Digital Logic Probe Circuits

Digital Test and Measurement Starts with Logic Probe - Any point in a Digital Circuit can be High, Low, Float means TriState. The High Low in a 5V CMOS circuit is just 0V and 5V. In TTL and ECL it is much different.

The Test Point could also be Pulsing or have analog values and waveforms, as in Mixed Signal Chips. Here are Logic Probe Circuits you can Build in your own Home Lab.

Digital Logic Probe Circuits

Digital Logic Probe Circuits

Multi-Instrument Digital Assistant – PIC16F84A

Multi-Instrument Digital Assistant - PIC16F84A - "It contains four instruments in one unit: logic probe, single channel logic state analyzer, frequency counter and serial code receiver."

Small Electronic Testing Tools

Then first thing in Electrical testing is the Continuity Tester, Then we use the Neon Mains Screwdriver, Then we need an Voltmeter or an Ammeter. In electronics we need a OhmMeter and LCR meter too.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

General Electric Company - GE

In 1876, Thomas Alva Edison opened a new laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. Out of the laboratory came arguably the most famous invention of all-a practical incandescent electric lamp. By 1890, Edison had organized his various businesses into the "Edison General Electric Company."

General Electric Company - GE

General Electric 40W light bulb.

General Electric 40W light bulb.

"Charles Proteus Steinmetz, already a distinguished industrial scientist, was hard at work as GE's chief consulting engineer. After years of persuasion, Steinmetz convinced the GE leadership that the company would need a research laboratory to maintain its edge in lighting and electricity and also finding new areas to grow." - Heritage of Research

Charles Proteus Steinmetz

Charles Proteus Steinmetz He made ground-breaking discoveries in the understanding of hysteresis that enabled engineers to better design electric motors for use in industry.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Grundig AG - Consumer Electronics

Grundig AG is a German manufacturer of consumer electronics for home entertainment. Max Grundig established the company in Nuremberg in 1945, shortly after World War II.

Grundig AG - Consumer Electronics

The history of the company began in 1930 with the establishment of a store named Fuerth, Grundig & Wurzer (RVF), which sold radios. After World War II Max Grundig recognized the need in Germany for radios and in 1947 produced a kit, while a factory and administration centre were under construction at Fürth.

Grundig Tonbandkoffer TK 42 - 1962

Grundig Tonbandkoffer TK 42 - 1962

Grundig History

"1952: On the 25th of December, the first television channel starts up in Germany. This means that television receivers also have to be produced. After intensive research, Grundig launches the FS 080 onto the market.

 In the same year the first portable tape recorder Reporter 500 L is created. Technical data: speed 19 cm/sec, frequency conversion 50 Hz to 10 kHz, built-in amplifier and speaker."

Grundig AG - Wikipedia 

Max Grundig recognized the need for radios in Germany, and in 1947 produced a kit, while a factory and administration centre were built at Fürth. In 1951, the first television sets were manufactured at the new facility. At the time Grundig was the largest radio manufacturer in Europe. Divisions in Nuremberg, Frankfurt and Karlsruhe were established.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Eco Green Digital Alarm Clock

You can set Five Alarms with Ten Selectable Musical Sounds and a small Text memo. Digital Alarm Clock Web Gadget with Musical Alarms.

Common Alarm Clock Manual for Both Versions

This is an Alarm Clock Simulation, Eco Green is to inspire saving energy and keeping earth Green, Clean and last longer.

This is an experimental gadget, usable but not easy. This gadget can demonstrate how difficult ergonomics is, when you need to press buttons in sequence to get an electronic gadget to perform.

alarm-clock at GitHub

Screenshot

Digital Alarm Clock

This can be used to preset Five Alarms with a small text memo, The Alarm will remind after set time elapses with musical sounds. It also shows the Time and date.

Digital Alarm Clock Web Widget with Musical Alarms - See Source of this page and use the iframe code to integrate in your blog or site.

The Alarms once set, repeats every day. When the user visits the page containing this gadget, it reminds him of the missed memos for the past three hours. Web Gadget for Google Homepage or Website.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Digital Dice Cubes

Dual Digital Dice Gadget - Click the Dice Cube, Wait, It will Display a Random Result, A random generation for rolling and one for showing value.

Screenshot of Widget

Digital Dice

Dual Digital Dice Cube, It will Display a Random Result for the 6 faces of the Dice, It has both a Cube Animation and Digital Readout for Two Dice. GitHub - digital-dice

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Digital Alarm Clock Gadget

An Alarm Clock with Musical Alarms. This Web Widget was for the iGoogle Homepage, A Web-page or even a blog.  It was an Experiment in User Interface in small a small Facia or Front Panel.

You can set Five Alarms with Ten Selectable Musical Sounds and a small Text memo.- 2005

Digital Alarm Clock Gadget

The Project Page digital-alarm-clock

The simulation is as close as possible to a uC based Clock which you could build, The GUI is more like a electronic gadget than a Software Application. That should charge you to build your Alarm Clock today.

Digital Alarm Clock Web Widget with Musical Alarms

Usability and Ergonomics Research

This gadget has established usability problems. The were intended and demonstrated. It was an attempt to show the limits and strain associated with push button and key controls to operate an electronic equipment.

Many Apps, Appliance and Gizmos are constrained with a small control interface size, these pose a challenge for the User Interface design. I myself have problems with the keyboard phones and remote control. This can be seen even in the puzzling Monitor OSD controls in comparison to the easy analog Pot controls of old CGA/EGA Monitors.

Controls should be easy like the water tap or power switch. Not like a Puzzle, Maze or Quiz.

Technology needs to make things simple. Keep controls minimum and Human Friendly means (analog). A human Being is a "Real Time Analog Machine". This gadget is a continuing experiment in ergonomics.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Instrumentation Amp - Op-Amp Designs

This is the best Instrumentation OpAmp, Great CMRR, ensure supply has no ripple and keep analog and digital grounds separate. Ri can be replaced with a trimpot and resistor to alter gain. Connect a preset ends to pins 1 and 8 and preset wiper to VCC for Offset Null when high gains are configured.

Instrumentation Amp - Op-Amp Designs

Instrumentation Amp - Op-Amp Designs

The Input zeners and diodes form a protective clamp for all voltages above VCC-VDD. If supply is changed to +12 -12 change zeners to 12V zeners. Use similar Zeners at output to protect Output from being zapped by over-voltages or high energy - voltage or frequency transients. Add plastic capacitors across Rf for damping AC operation or ripple. Also avoid floating inputs by providing a bias, till you connect it to a sensor; or you will see electrometer like effects.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Analog Interface for PC Ports

Here are examples of an analog Input and Output interface for Printer Port. There are two visual basic demo programs with source to test out idea.

Analog Interface for PC Ports

USB and wireless interface to PC may be more in vogue, but a higher speed is possible in printer-port. For analog and digital fast data acquisition, PC cards to full Access to PC bus are the best choice.

Analog Interface for PC Ports

The Sensors and Actuators interfaced with a computer form a basic automation system or even a robot. So learning to interface Sensors (input devices like a thermocouple or pH sensor) and Actuators (output devices like a motor or heater) with a PC is the best way to start. It is by studying examples and experimenting cautiously can one learn the science, book reading alone will never help.

See the Hardware Book connector details, cables, adapters, etc. The RS232-Serial Port, The Parallel- Centronics port, The USB-firefire port are good to start with. Then you can interface by LAN or Wireless- LAN or TCP/IP-Internet to make Robots or Automation extend to multiple places and computers. The possibilities are endless, imagination is the limit for students. But entrepreneurs need to be practical and only make equipment that have a utility and sensible market scope.

The circuits and code have some errors, The documentation is not complete.
DVM = digital volt meter MVS = milli volt source

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Mixed Electronic Designs

Analog Designs have to handle Linear Signals, Like 2.03 V and 35.3812 mA. Waveforms of all shapes from Straight Line DC Levels to the Jittery and Multi-Frequency Audio Waveforms.

Digital Designs manage Digital Signals, Like 0 and 5V Logic levels. All families of digital Logic, have some Threshold Limits and Voltage windows to determine Data Voltage or Current levels over Noise; this (Analog) comparator like action evaluates a High or Low Logic state. There are only two states, one is Low and the Other is High. 0 and 1 Respectively. The Third State in the word like Tristate, is a floating high impedance for Bus sharing between devices.

Mixed Electronic Designs

I would like to understand Mixed Circuit Designs as any circuit made of Valves, Discretes or Chips; in which both Analog signals and Digital Signals are Used. That would make an Analog Mux a Mixed Circuit, so also a PLL and a VCO.

Mixed Design Example

This is a R-2R Digital to Analog Converter, It converts a byte (8 bit) to a analog value. It has 256 levels including zero. This can be used to convert a byte sent from a microcontroller to a analog value like say 1.51 V. At full scale, when all 8 bits are high calibrate to give 2.55 V then ever bit increment is 0.01V, 10mV steps.

Digital to Analog with R2R Ladder Network

Mixed Circuits Analog with Digital

Mixed Signal IC or ASIC are chips that are mainly Digital on the Core but have peripheral I/O within the chip to interface with the real world outside, over Analog Signals. Sensors and Actuators use signals in the analog language. The CPU with its Math Power, speaks Digital Words, its behavior thus can be patterned by a Software Program.
RF Microwave and Communication Chips; Power Electronic PWM Integrated Circuits are Specialized Niche Mixed Sub-Domains.

Therefore any Student of Robotics, Multimedia and Instrumentation, must be good at these Mixed Designs and a master of C Programming.

Related Resources

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Aircraft Dashboard Clock Mimic Gadget

Digital Clock with 24 hour Military Time Format, Aircraft Dashboard Chronometer Like Looks, Date, Time, Weekday and Week of Year. Clock Gadget, looks like a Clock in Cockpit Dashboard. It is a Mimic of A Flight Chronometer Instrument. It shows Time and Date close to Military Time-Date format. It also has week number and weekday display.

Aircraft Clock xml code

Screenshot of Aircraft Cockpit Clock

Aircraft Cockpit Clock

Clock Gadget, looks like a Clock in Cockpit of Aircraft Dashboard. It is a Mimic of A Flight Chronometer Instrument. It shows Time and Date close to Military Time-Date format. It also has week number and weekday display. This Project includes an Analog Bargraph Clock Gadget on the same code.

Aircraft Clock Source GitHub  and Aircraft Clock Page

This Project includes an Analog Bargraph Clock Gadget on the same code.

Analog Clock, Linear Display of Time Elapsed using Bargraph, Shows Week Days and Month Days Passed. The WD indicates Complete Week Days passed and MD is Month Days Completed. This is not the date, date is MD+1. This is an example of CSS Animation, that was the Motivation for this clock.

Monday, February 05, 2018

QCRTGraph Real-Time Graphics Tools for Android

You can develop Android Virtual Instruments with these components. You could integrate scrolling graphs, meters, bar graphs, gauges, annunciators, dynamic text, and UI controls to Android/Java based applications.Instrumentation GUI and Graphics

QCRTGraph Real-Time Graphics Tools for Android Studio

The Real-Time Graphics Tools for Android library, entirely written using Java for the Android platform, is for developers who want to add sophisticated real-time graphics to their Android applications.

The software integrates the QCChart2D charting software with real-time data structures and specialized rendering routines.

QCRTGraph Real-Time Graphics Tools for Android

Process Variable and Alarms - Real-time data is stored in RTProcessVar classes. The RTProcessVar class is designed to represent a single process variable, complete with limit values, an unlimited number of high and low alarms, historical data storage, and descriptive strings for use in displays.

Panel Meter Indicators - The RTPanelMeter derived classes are special cases of the single value indicator classes that are used throughout the software to display real-time data in a text format. Panel meters are available for numeric values, string values, time/date values and alarm values.

Alarm Indicators - Alarm indicators are used to display alarm lines, symbols and fill areas for the RTProcessVar objects associated with the single value and multiple value indicator classes.

Quinn-Curtis is a leading supplier of real-time graphics tools software, for Windows, .Net, and Java platforms.

Quinn-Curtis
18 Hearthstone Dr., Medfield, MA 02052 USA

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Pin Note Web Gadget

This is a Tiny memo Pad that will have Sticky Notes on Webpage, saves in cookies. This Web Gadget was for the Google Homepage, Web-page or blog. Pin Notes

Screenshot and help of Gadget

Pin Note Web Gadget

Note - This is toy or fun gadget not for serious note taking, it is more an example of css-dhtml-js for study or learning.

24 March 2010 - Data Freedom in PSV, Pipe Separated like | and ||. Now you can move to a competing Notes Service Provider if you feel our interface or features are not just right. 

Development

This was later enhanced to the Jot a Note gadget. Jot a Note then became Jot Desktop.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Reliability in Axial and Radial Plastic Capacitors

The Axial capacitors like Metalized Polypropylene MPP are more reliable in comparison of their radial counterparts of same voltage rating.

Also note 440V AC Continuous rating reads and translates differently than 630V DC Max. Overrating is an important step in reliability for engineers.

High Energy Circuits

Radial plastic caps, in mass production, due to various inconsistencies in production or quality measurement, are not recommended for high voltage unless its is a Manufacturer known for long term reliability and quality track record.

Reliability in Axial and Radial Plastic Capacitors

The radial caps when being wound, stretches the film/dielectric or weakens the dielectric at some areas as the turn is sharp, top/bot. This is possible unless the winding machine relaxes strain around the turns. In a Axial that may not be a problem as the film has more uniform stretch. The other reason could be that the Film is wrapped a little on corners or compressed on epoxy impregnation. It could also be low quality non-uniform PP material.

Power Electronics & Solar Energy

Components Manufacturers have to spruce up a Raw-Material and Component Quality, not by red-tape but by actually improving the manufacturing and procurement processes, as the quantities involved are huge.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

LED Lighting - The Future is Here

LED Lighting is more important than you think it is. Start Using Alternative Energy, like Wind Power and Solar, Tidal and even Magmatic.

LED Lighting at Wikipedia

On September 24, 2009 the DOE announced that Philips Lighting North America was the first to submit lamps in the category to replace the standard 60 W A-19 "Edison screw fixture" light bulb, with a design based on their earlier "EnduraLED" consumer product.

LED Lighting - The Future is Here

On August 3, 2011, DOE awarded the prize in the 60 W replacement category to Philips bulb after 18 months of extensive testing. The 10-W, 900-lumen Philips bulb was made available to consumers in April 2012.

The same day, CREE demonstrated a prototype lamp producing 1330 lumens with a mere 8.7 W of input power. While the CREE lamp has not undergone DOE reliability testing and no commercial release date was promised, it is an indication that the "21st Century Lamp" performance levels may soon be within reach of commercial products.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Front End Security for SMPS

Now we have smps in most everything. AC Adapters and CFL lamps and many Home Consumer Electronics. The Failures of these units are on the rise. The Cooper transformers are out, but the SMPS reliability is falling.

Designing and manufacturing a SMPS facing a 230V input constantly, is not easy. You cannot Mutz your way in this, in a cost-cutting spree of this Vital Organ, just to have a competitive advantage of 'a lower cost product' (read cheap).

Now 230 V AC 50 Hz is not what you think it has, it has EMI-RFI, Inductive Kickback Spikes from the neighborhood, resonating and ringing with the RLC network that your home wiring forms. Lightning and Atmospheric Static that may strike at the weakest part on the SMPS. Wrong wiring, 3 phase mess ups. short circuits, falling tree branches, thunderstorm. Your SMPS is facing the Real Harsh Cruel world and the best part, they left off the Security Department to keep costs low. The critters in the box get zapped for no fault of theirs.

Front End Security for SMPS

There is one difficult way out of this, we move to a 24V DC standard within the house, it is safe and the Box outside the house faces all the Electrical Environment Variables and Unpredictability. This box that charges the battery and steps down the mains voltage can be protected well. Protection on this one unit, protects all the equipment in the Home or office. This is the Civilized way electricity should be used in Homes and Offices. Easy to integrate with Alternative energy. Factories can have all the High Voltage they want.

When a good technical collaborator is involved, quality is given due respect, the products are affordable yet robust. Some firms cut off vital circuitry (these happen in mechanical, electrical and chemical field too) to keep the product cost low. These products will work well in a Mains conditioned environment which is only affordable in some companies and never at homes.

The Security system consists of something that a Surge Protector from Belkin has. Let us see the traditional way, We need Gas Discharge Tube Lightning Arrestors. Then Varistors, Thermistors, X and Y caps and the Common Mode Choke Coils. A high voltage and high current fast acting fuse or trip circuit. Overrating of Mosfet and caps that face the high voltages. Using HV Back-to-Back zeners with fuses. Snubber Plastic HV self healing caps and Fast Switching diodes to absorb the inductive spikes.

Do it within the budget you have. SMPS should withstand 1.2KV microsecond pulses. 600V millisecond pulses and 400V for a few seconds. 300V AC for many minutes. Else let us go 24V Standard.

Other Protection devices your house or lab may needs to have. CVT - Constant Voltage Transformer, 1:1 Isolation Transformer, Servo Motorized Auto-transformer Stabilizer, Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker, HV-Relay Trip Circuit, Overload Current Relay Trip Circuit, MCB, Switched Triac or Relay, Copper Transformer Stabilizer with Layer or Layer Primary Insulation to protect against high voltage. This transformer should have earth shield, guarded terminals, primary windings should not slip layers, Vacuum Impregnated. 

May the Earth be good to you ! - Means - the earthing in your Home of Office should be excellent and do not compromise on Wiring Insulation and Switchgear. Let the wires outside have concrete gutters which are closed so that water or rodents do not get to the cables.

Read more at my Power Electronics Section

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