Friday, April 29, 2016

Forklift trucks need Picoscopes too!

Sometimes it's hard to convince folks about the value of investing in testgear to solve problems quicker.  Forklift truck maintenance is a case in point.

Oscilloscopes may be outside the experience of truck service technicians - but a Picscope can do everything a multimeter does but so much more.  It "makes electric signals - both voltage and current - visible".  You can see what's happening and save the files for later use.  Using a WPS600 pressure transducer allows you to test hydraulics too. High voltage testing can be done safely too with the right probes.  And all the software and video training is free!  Now you can test any sensor before you wastefully replace it.  

Here's a video of compression testing a Hyster S60FT Forklift Truck with a Picoscope 4425 oscilloscope.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Multiple port mobile charging and syncing

Do you need the capability of multiple port mobile charging and syncing technology and connectivity? Cambrionix' products allow multiple USB-based products to be intelligently and optimally charged based on stored product profiles, and software-synced at the same time, via an Ethernet connection if necessary .  This is ideal for manufacturers and retail stores who want to keep all their USB-based products updated to the same software revision – even when located remotely. More details here:

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Jack Ganssle does thorough reviews!

Embedded system devevelopment guru Jack Ganssle Rigol has just done a great review of the amazing DSA815-TG Spectrum Analyzer.  Check it out here:

Monday, April 25, 2016

New PicoScope 2-channel, 4-channel and mixed-signal models released today!

The brand new PicoScope 2000 Series of low-cost, ultra-compact oscilloscopes give you better performance and more features than ever before – all in an extremely portable package. Now you can carry an oscilloscope, function generator, arbitrary waveform generator (AWG), spectrum analyzer, logic analyzer and serial protocol decoder with you wherever you go. PicoScope USB oscilloscopes run on practically any PC or laptop with Windows 7, 8 or 10 - or Mac or Linux.

PicoScope 2407B 70MHz 4-Ch Oscilloscope (PQ017)
 These oscilloscopes may be small, but take a look at the features that are included in the price:

* Up to 100 MHz bandwidth

* Up to 1 GS/s sampling on analog channels

* Mixed signal (MSO) models with 16 digital channels

* Up to 128 MS deep buffer memory

* Decode up to 15 serial protocols

* Up to 1 MHz function generator and AWG

* Free software updates

* Beta software for Linux and OS X

* Free Software Development Kit (SDK)

There are many models to choose from in the new PicoScope 2000 Series with varying channel counts, bandwidths and buffer memory depths. Here is just a selection of the models available in the PicoScope 2000 Series:

 PicoScope 2204A without probes   10 MHz   2ch       AWG  $129 

PicoScope 2206B                  50 MHz   2ch       AWG $379 

PicoScope 2408B                 100 MHz   4ch       AWG  $1235

PicoScope 2205A MSO              25 MHz   2ch+16D   AWG  $489 

PicoScope 2208B MSO             100 MHz   2ch+16D   AWG  $1075

Read about all 15 models in the new PicoScope 2000 Series here:

Thursday, April 21, 2016

ABI's System 8 PCB Repair System is keeping LEGO’s fun-making machines working. Case study here:

LEGO® Case study | Plastic Industry

ABI Electronics, proudly keeping LEGO’s fun-making machines working.
Picture: Entrance to LEGO’s manufacturing plant in Monterrey (Mexico) in 2013.
The world’s most famous toy manufacturer, LEGO®, is headquartered in Denmark and operates manufacturing sites in Hungary, Czech Republic and Mexico, producing a staggering 36 billion plastic bricks per year. The demand for LEGO® products has reached record levels in 2014-15, putting the existing manufacturing plants under pressure.
ABI BoardMaster 7Bay
ABI BoardMaster 7 Bay External case
ABI's BoardMaster was first acquired by the LEGO’s manufacturing plant in Monterrey (Mexico) in 2013, with the aim of taking control of their electronics maintenance of the plant’s 650 plastic injection and molding machines. The external repair services they used had been disappointing and slow. Following the implementation of the BoardMaster as well as other initiatives, the Monterrey plant jumped from 3rd to 1st place in productivity, achieving global recognition and setting a new standard within the LEGO® Group.
LEGO Engineer quote
LEGO machinery
LEGO’s moulding machines in Monterrey (Mexico).
ABI's TestFlow software helped them establish a systematic internal repair strategy for all their driver and controller cards used in multiple molding machines. The TestFlow sequences played an important role in drastically reducing repair turnaround and the stocking of new and expensive PCBs used as spare parts.
LEGO Engineer responsibility
Please check out LEGO® Global Responsibility Ambitions

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Call for volunteers: become a citizen seismologist!

With all the recent earthquake activity, it is becoming increasingly important to monitor seismic activity to see how (if?) earthquakes can be predicted. There is a grassroots network of amateur volunteers who are using a PC, a Nintendo Wii Nunchuck, or a Raspberry Pi on the Quake Catcher Network to gather wide area knowledge of seismic activity.  See this webpage for more details of how you can join - and even see the network results for previous quakes like the recent Berkeley CA and the massive 2010 Christchurch NZ quake.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Imagine if you could simultaneously charge and sync……

by  (Cambrionix)   

Imagine you have multiple devices such as tablets which all need regular charging and syncing with data.  How do you manage all of these devices?  Most people have to plug the tablets in to charge them enough to last through the synchronisation process.  They then have to be manually switched to sync mode.  Once the sync has then finished, the ports have to be manually switched back to charge mode.  This is a lot of waiting around.  A lot of wasted time.  Now imagine you could charge your devices while syncing them.  Think of how much time you’d save!
The clever engineers at Cambrionix have listened and created ChaSync.  For those who are wondering, ‘ChaSync’ is the amalgamation of ‘charge’ and ‘sync’, the two happening simultaneously, merging into one word.  Rather fitting really.
iPad pile
Photographer: Nan Palmero | Source: Flickr
How can I get this?   ChaSync is incorporated into the firmware on Cambrionix multi-port USB, universal charge and sync boards and products (such as the PP15S and the U16S).  It enables charging in sync mode for all compatible devices.  These devices are essentially most of the smart devices which have been released in recent years, including (but not limited to) Google Nexus devices and Apple iDevices with lightning connectors.  Through the presence of ChaSync, you no longer have to choose which mode you want, you can have charge and sync mode simultaneously.  This doesn’t only minimise the time you need to spend with the devices, but also the time the device needs to be attached to a cable.  In addition, it also minimises the complexity of the operation.
If you have an older with a 30-pin connector, sadly ChaSync will not work.  Don’t worry though, Cambrionix hasn’t forgotten you.  In conjunction to ChaSync, the engineers created an app called ChaSync+.  This app is for OS X and is downloadable from our website.  This app will sit in the background of the Mac, waiting for an older iDevice to be attached to a port of one of our products.  When ChaSync+ detects one of these devices, it kicks in, enabling charging to happen in sync mode.  To quote our website, “This brings the benefits of being able to charge and synchronise data simultaneously to these older Apple devices while they are attached to a Cambrionix universal charging product.”

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

How about Wifi with 10,000x less power consumption?

The University of Washington has demonstrated generating WiFi signals using 10,000 times less power

Thursday, April 7, 2016

JRKerr Motion Control Boards - video!

I just made a video introducing JRKerr's popular motion control products.  It only took me 30 minutes to make a 1 min video!  Check it out here:

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Our Panel Approves of This ...

Do you need high quality, economical digital panel meters for industrial control panels and equipment? 

Reliable display instruments, with clear and sharp readability, in a variety of sizes, digits, colors, signal capabilities, and options are now available from Saelig Company. Our European supplier, Amplicon, can provide a wide range of 1/8 DIN 3-to-6 digit displays and miniature digital panel meters to suit a variety of applications and space limitations.

The range includes panel meters which can display AC or DC volts, current (including 4-20mA), temperature, timing/counting, load cell and strain gauge readings, and BCD inputs. 

In the analog world these meters can work with signals from Pt100/RTD probes, thermocouples, process signals, AC voltages and currents (True-RMS) from X/5 current transformers, DC voltages and currents from shunts, batteries and tachometric dynamos, signals from potentiometers, resistances, load cells, etc. From the digital world these meters accept impulse signals for cumulative or instant reading, serial ASCII code (RS232, RS485, ...) and BCD parallel code. 
Panel Meter

Amplicon's in-house configuration service can even supply panel meters which are pre-set for your specific application, making it easier for you to simply install and use. Call 888-772-3544 or email for more details and pricing. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Simulate Missing Components

Useful article in T&M EETimes
reminds us that you can easily simulate missing parts by capturing a waveform with an oscilloscope and feeding it to an AWG for repetitive output.

"The lack of a critical component can often delay testing and product development. If, however, you have access to the missing component's response waveform, you can generate it with an AWG. You can capture real-world waveforms with a digitizer or oscilloscope, then import the waveform into the AWG for playback. One such example is a CAN (controller area network) bus, a serial data stream generated by a steering angle sensor (Figure 5). This waveform was acquired using an oscilloscope and transferred to the AWG in ASCII file format.
Figure 5. An AWG can simulate a serial data stream such as those from a CAN bus.
Figure 5. An AWG can simulate a serial data stream such as those from a CAN bus.
A CAN bus signal is dual-channel waveform that represents the bus' differential (+ and –) components. To generate this signal, you need a two-channel AWG that's set to output the CAN bus waveform as a differential signal.
Once the AWG receives a trigger signal, it can generate the waveform so you can test the system. Additionally, these waveforms can be modified for margin testing of both amplitude and timing.
AWG’s can generate standard function generator waveforms such as sine, square, triangle and ramp signals. They can generate modulated waveforms and serial data patterns. They can even be used to replay real world signals that have been acquired by digitizers and oscilloscopes. AWGs can be paired with an accompanying digitizer and programmed using a manufacturer’s supplied software suite, a commonly available system integration software like MATLAB, or LabVIEW, or custom programmed in the language of your choice through an API (application programming interface).

Monday, April 4, 2016

Useful US Frequency Allocation Wallchart

The January 2016 edition of the United States Frequency Allocations: The Radio Spectrum Chart is available in the poster-sized format for purchase from the U. S. Government Printing Office but you can download it here

Friday, April 1, 2016


write-only memory, black LED, and music chip in one device

Fairport, NY, USA:  Saelig Company, Inc. ( has introduced yet another unique product to the American marketplace.  The newly-announced WOM0401 has the triple functions of a write-only memory, a black LED, and a music chip.

Although write-only memories have been produced before, this patented device from Taiwanese manufacturer Teentsiesoft Incorporated has internal 1024-bit encryption in its open source functionality. Though information can simply be dumped to a PC’s trash-bin, this device removes that extra mouse-click step, saving time and energy – resources in short supply on our planet.  Cleverly designed without any gold-bonded wires, the WOM0401 is fabricated using a very short circuit and can be used for a wide range of supply voltages, from the newer 0.8V logic levels up to 5kV, and offers extremely low power consumption and a write time of under 5 femtoseconds.  This is the ideal device for depositing sensitive information that must never be retrieved, such as company and personal data, passwords, and incriminating email evidence to be withheld from investigators and family members.  This product should see widespread use in government projects and with Fortune 500 companies and those who are sensitive to NSA issues.  The WOM0401 needs no programming or set-up, and comes preloaded with a bootstrap for personal use. It is certain to fill a gap in the IC world.

Additionally, the Black LED feature allows simultaneous discreet non-illumination where places need to be kept in the dark, such as management meeting rooms, stock analyst arenas, White House briefings, new employee hiring situations, etc.  Both of these functionalities can be used simultaneously, and at the same time as well.  The product needs no sophisticated color-matching as it comes precalibrated to a black-body radiator, which was found in the manufacturer’s basement.

The third functionality of the WOM0401 is as a device dedicated to the performance of the world-famous composer John Cage.  His piece called “4:33” requires the performer to sit in silence for exactly four minutes and thirty-three seconds.  4′33″ (pronounced "Four minutes, thirty-three seconds" is a three-movement composition by the American experimental composer John Cage (1912–1992).  Knowing how extremely difficult it is to obtain absolute silence for that length of time, Teentsiesoft proceeded to add this capability into the WOM0401 through a clever means of vacuum-based technology used in the manufacturing process. An external timer IC is required to complete the circuit for this application. A wide range of external amplifiers and speakers may be used with WOM0401 (see specifications for details).

Saelig’s CEO Alan Lowne states: “At Saelig, we are constantly searching the world for unique electronic products for our engineering customers, and I’m glad we made this connection. I think we have found a right one here!”

Made in Taiwan by a very small fabless IC house Teentsiesoft, WOM0401 comes in an unmarked ceramic 1005 package and will only be available today, April 1st, from Saelig Company. Inc.

Happy April Fools