Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Spectis 6.0 Spectrophotometer Video published on YouTube

I interviewed GL Optic’s Mikolaj Przybyla at the electronica show in Munich, who described their Spectis 6.0 programmable spectrophotometer.
This rackmounted spectrometer can easily be programmed for LED and luminaire quality test procedures to meet USA standards, including temperature control.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Latest Saelig Video Describes CleverScope's many virtues!

CleverScope from New Zealand is an amazing  PC-connected 10-14-bit 100MHz oscilloscope with digital channels and sophisticated triggering and math capabilities.  This 18-minute video describes some of its best features:

Monday, December 8, 2014

Picoscope Software for PC oscilloscopes has a continuous update rate of over 100,000 waveform/s, faster than any other PC oscilloscope, says PicoScope.
The fast persistence mode is available on all oscilloscopes from the PicoScope 3000 Series upwards, with the PicoScope R6.10.2 beta software or later. Using dedicated hardware, this mode can achieve update rates up to 120,000 waveform/s on USB 3.0 deep memory scopes such as the PicoScope 6000C/D Series. With USB 2.0 deep memory scopes, the update rate can now reach 80,000waveform/s.
Even faster capture rates are possible using rapid trigger mode, which collects bursts of up to 10,000waveforms at a rate of up to onemillion waveform/s into segmented memory for later viewing.
All users can download the latest software update free of charge from the company website and non-users can download the software and run it in demo mode.

Pico Technology's Busy 2014!

2014 was a busy year for our supplier Pico Technology, with the release of new PicoScopes and new
  software features. (Make sure you check your inbox for our newsletters in 2015, as they have plans for many more new products and software updates!  Here's what happened in 2014:
  January - PicoScope for Linux is released. Now you can use a beta version of the familiar PicoScope software on a free, non-Windows operating system. They also provide an SDK for programmers.
  February - The PicoScope 4824 8-channel oscilloscope - with more inputs than an average oscilloscope, but also delivers high-quality measurements with its 12-bit vertical resolution and 70 dB dynamic range. Its deep memory makes it ideal for long-duration power quality monitoring as well as general workshop and laboratory use.
  March -  Drivers for more PicoScope oscilloscopes under MathWorks MATLAB, backed up with example code.
  April -  Received the great honor of a Queen's Award for Enterprise, recognizing achievements in exporting oscilloscope and data logging technology all over the world.
  May - PicoScope math channels gain new low pass, high pass, band pass and band stop filters and a duty cycle graphing function.
  June - A new beta version of the PicoScope software for Apple Mac OS X users, including an SDK for programmers, is released.
  July - Continuing improvements to PicoScope result in faster waveform update rates and faster data streaming over USB. Up to 100,000 waveforms per second now possible in the new fast persistence mode.
  August - A custom version of PicoScope runs on the ARM-based BeagleBone Black development board.
  September - The new PicoScope 3000D MSO Series adds 16 digital inputs to a high-performance deep-memory oscilloscope to allow analysis of complex embedded systems. Capture 512-megasample waveforms at 1 gigasample per second. Multichannel serial decoding of formats such as I2C, SPI and UART is included as standard, as is a built-in arbitrary waveform generator.
  October - More drivers for ARM-based development boards--Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black--are released.
  November - Guidance for using Java Native Access (JNA) with PicoScope drivers.
  December - PicoScope for Linux wins a place in the EDN Hot 100 Products list!  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

SIGLENT at Electronica 2014

During the exhibition, they showcased their affordable digital oscilloscopes along with their latest "Super Phosphor Oscilloscopes"; arbitrary waveform generators with output frequencies ranging from 5MHz to 160MHz; DC power supplies with both LCD and LED displays; portable handheld oscilloscopes including isolated and economy ones; desktop digital multimeters with LCD displays; and a new lightweight spectrum analyzer, totaling six categories of test and measurement instruments covering a broad spectrum of testing needs; and new products to be released in Q2 2015.  Watch this space!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Plessey's dotLED named as one of EDN's Hot 100 Products of 2014

Our UK-based supplier Plessey says that EDN (Electronic Design News) has named its smallest packaged gallium nitride on silicon MaGIC (Manufactured on GaN-on-Si I/C) high-brightness LEDs, the dotLED, as one of the Hot 100 Products of 2014. Chosen by EDN's editors and readers, the 2014 EDN Hot 100 highlights the electronics industry’s most significant products of the year based on innovation, significance, usefulness, and popularity. 

The PLW13D003, a white LED in a 1005 SMT package, is designed specifically for the demands for ever smaller LED components, producing highly collimated light. It is targeted at the surging wearable electronics market and small-display applications. The 1005-size of the PLW138003 (1.0mm x 0.5mm) is a standard electronic component size, handled by the common surface-mount machines used in high volume consumer electronics. Weighing 0.2mg and with a profile of 0.25mm, dotLEDs provide an option for any wearable application with LED content that demands low-profile electronic components, says Plessey.

The dot-sized LEDs delivers up to 0.7 lumen of white light with a 130deg viewing angle from a 5mA drive current. A blue version (PLB138003) is also available. Further additions to the dotLED family will be colour variants and a series in the larger 1608 footprint. Plessey also provides a range of blue LED die for users needing a further breakthrough in size.

Plessey’s LEDs are produced using its proprietary MaGIC technology. By using standard silicon semiconductor production techniques, the firm is able to produce high-volume, industry-standard LEDs for the consumer electronics market. The 1005-size dotLEDs represent the latest product family using this technology.

“Plessey is demonstrating its commitment to bringing to market a comprehensive range of LED products across all performance points, markets and applications, and the recognition as one of EDN’s Hot 100 products is an honour and reflects the focus on innovation through our GaN-on-Silicon LED technology,” says Plessey’s marketing director David Owen.

More info here:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Focus on Code Mercenaries

Code Mercenaries has been a supplier for manufacturers of industrial input devices and peripherals since 1998. In 2008 Code Mercenaries started to develop and manufacture products for LED lighting applications. Their design philosophy for LED lighting drivers is to deliver maximum efficiency and maximum life cycle to enable the potential of modern LED technology. 

The keyboard and combined keyboard/mouse controller family KeyWarrior, and the mouse controller family MouseWarrior serve as basis for a large number of industrial input devices. A small but vital customer base are the manufacturers of products for the disability market and other specialty input devices. The joystick controller family JoyWarrior serves a broad range of customers from industrial machine/vision control, professional and semiprofessional simulator control, to hobby and model building. A good option for front panel design are the joystick/mouse hybrid controllers MW24J8 and MW24H8 which are switch-selectable to work as a mouse or joystick allowing both cursor control and data input via a joystick.

JoyWarrior24F8 is a low cost three axis acceleration sensor. With its small size and simple connection via a USB interface it opens a lot of new application
options. The MouseWarrior24F8 variant of this sensor is a mouse replacement that needs no surface for operation.

Applications for the IO-Warrior universal USB I/O controllers are very diverse. Basically, the number of pins and the data rate are IO-Warrior’s only limitations. It is used in laboratory setups and test equipment, as well as in hobby projects and full-scale device production, either as the core of a device or "just" the interface to USB. IO-Warrior chips are presently controlling robots and telescopes, doing quality control on production lines, taking measurements in labs, controlling switches and displays in front panels or simulator cockpits, or working as the USB interface in many kinds of products.

SpinWarrior is a family of rotary encoder controllers with USB interface. Various models allow from 3 to 6 encoders to be connected to the USB and are suitable for motion control, measurement or human interfacing applications.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Drivers for Pico's scope and data loggers run on BeagleBone and Raspberry Pi

Pico Technology has released PicoScopeR beta drivers for its oscilloscope and data logging devices to run on the ARM-based BeagleBone Black and Raspberry Pi development boards.
The drivers access a range of compact, economical USB oscilloscopes and data loggers, including high-speed oscilloscopes with bandwidths up to 500MHz, high-resolution 12bit and 16bit oscilloscopes, and deep-memory oscilloscopes with buffer sizes up to 512Msample.
Most of the company’s oscilloscopes offer advanced digital triggering, fast block-mode and streaming-mode data capture, and a built-in signal generator or arbitrary waveform generator. The data logger range includes multi-channel voltage loggers, eight-channel thermocouple loggers and the DrDAQ multifunction logger.
Separate driver packages and snippets of C code are available for Raspbian and Debian systems. Code could be developed in C-compatible programming languages such as C++, Java and JavaScript, says the company.
A forum is available via the company’s website. Beta drivers for Mac OS X and Linux, drivers for Microsoft Windows and a free SDK can be downloaded free of charge.

Monday, November 17, 2014

electronica show in Munich

I just got back from three days in Munich at one of Europe's premier industrial electronics shows.  It was good to meet up with more than a dozen of our worldwide suppliers and catch up on their developments and share plans.  Soem excitin new products are in the pipeline!

Here's what Graham Pitcher of the UK's New Electronics ( thought of the show:

By the time electronica closed last Friday afternoon, more than 73,000 visitors had passed through its bar code controlled gates - a modest, but welcome, increase on the number of attendees in 2012.
electronica has always been viewed as a German show with a reasonable international attendance. But the figures released by the organizers showed there were as many international visitors this year as there were from Germany - and the UK was the third largest international group, behind Italy and Austria.

Two themes dominated the event: the Internet of Things (IoT); and 'solutions'. The IoT was the topic for this year's CEO Roundtable. Picking up on emerging themes, the CEOs - from NXP, Freescale, STMicroelectronics and Infineon - called for secure, scalable and energy efficient products to enable the IoT to develop further.

Many leading semiconductor companies and distributors were talking about 'solutions'. What are they? Anything from evaluation boards and reference designs to pre-configured circuit elements. Why are they appearing? Two main reasons: one is that engineers don't have enough time to start designs from scratch; the other is that a 'resource gap' is emerging - companies don't have the necessary skills in house.

Most 'solutions' were, in fact, only partial; other elements need to be brought together to create a product. But if a company, for example, didn't have the analog expertise, these ideas would certainly take the project forward.

Well, that's it for another two years. What might the focus be for the 2016 event? Electronics technology might not be moving forward quite as quickly as it once did, but the pace of product innovation hasn't slowed - it's the applications that now capture our imagination, rather than the 'bits and pieces' inside the box.

What might those new applications be? Gregg Lowe, Freescale's CEO, ended his contribution to the CEO Roundtable by saying: "When we come back in two years, we'll be talking about something we don't know about today."

Monday, November 10, 2014

Handheld 25MHz Scope on YouTube!

Our latest YouTube video features Owon's great RDS1021 Handheld 25MHz USB Oscilloscope. Great for field toolkits! Check it out!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pre-compliance testing ... affordably!

Faced with EMI problems? Need to do pre-compliance testing to avoid expensive Test House failures? We may have just the affordable product to help! See

Monday, October 27, 2014

Videos again

We're learning how to use some Adobe software packages to make our videos look better.  Here''s our latest video - please take a look!  It's a revision of our previous ABI System 8 PCB Repair System video, but with improved graphics - and Sales Manager Dan Evans doing the voice-over in his mellow voice!  Watch here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

YouTube videos

Everyone searches Google daily and it seems that their algorithm really likes videos in its organic web rankings.  So we’ve made a few videos about some products that we believe will be of interest to our colleagues.  We are learning how to make them short, to the point, and informative.  Please do me a great favor and view them.  Give us feedback so we can make improvements in our next batch – as well as helping to boost our viewing statistics!  

The latest was uploaded today and describes Byte Paradigm's lower cost byte-wide datalogger for digital debugging:

Here are some other recent ones:

ABI Electronics System 8:
Economical EMC/EMI test equipment: 

World's Smallest 8GHz RF Spectrum Analyzer:

RevEng Reverse Engineering Obsolete PCBs: