Tuesday, January 31, 2017

GWInstek’s PSU-series fulfills low voltage (6V) and high current demands (800A) http://www.saelig.com/category/psu-series.htm

GWInstek’s PSU-Series power supplies are single output programmable switching DC power supplies covering a power range up to 1520W. Five models provide 6V to 60V and can even be connected in series (max. 2 units) or in parallel (max. 4 units) for additional capacity for higher voltage or higher current output applications.

The PSU-Series’ Constant Voltage / Constant Current selection is a very useful safety feature for protecting a Device Under Test (DUT). The power supply normally operates in constant voltage (CV) mode when the power supply is turned on.  If connected to a capacitive load, this could cause a high inrush current or current-intensive load at the power output on stage.  The PSU-Series can run in constant current to limit a current spike to protect the DUT from the inrush current damage.

The Over-voltage (OVP) and Over-current (OCP) protection prevent the DUT damage. Both OVP and OCP levels can be selected the range of 10% to 110%, with the default level set at 110% of the power supply’s rated voltage /current. The PSU-Series provides USB Host /Device , LAN, RS-232 with RS-485 and Analog Control Interfaces as standard. A LabView driver is also available for rear-panel external control of Power On/Off and external monitoring of the power output voltage and current.

Monday, January 30, 2017

8 Channel Spectrum Analyzer

Analyzing multiple data streams such as audio, ultrasound, vibration, power, and complex timing systems simultaneously is usually a very expensive proposition.  Making simultaneous high-precision measurements on multiple inputs has been the job of expensive, high-end desktop oscilloscopes or PC cards.  Applications like solar power generation, electric vehicle propulsion where high-power, variable frequency electronics is combined with digital control lines are often a challenge to developers.
But European PC-scope specialist Pico Technology has developed a USB3.0-connected oscilloscope with exactly these applications in mind.  The PS4824 features eight analog input channels with 12 bits of vertical resolution, with a useful bandwidth of 20MHz.  Oscilloscopes with multiple inputs and high resolution are also ideal for debugging systems that contain a complex mix of power electronics, clock, digital logic, serial data and analog sensor signals, such as embedded systems in automotive ECUs, industrial equipment, or household appliances.

With a 12-bit A/D converter for each channel, 16 times more resolution is possible over normal scopes.  Housed in a compact 7.5” x 6.7” x 1.6” rugged enclosure, the PicoScope 4824 offers 12-bit resolution, a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface, and an integrated 14-bit arbitrary waveform generator.  The new eight-channel PicoScope has the same small footprint as previous two- and four-channel models, and can replace cumbersome full-sized workbench scopes. Like all PicoScopes, the 4824 is small, light, and highly portable.  Despite its high specification, it is entirely powered via USB and does not require a bulky separate adapter.
With eight high-precision, low-noise inputs, a bandwidth of 20MHz, and sensitivity from 2mV/div, this scope is well suited to a broad range of applications such as power supply start sequencing, decode and time-aligned display of related I/O lines, seven‑channel audio signals, three‑phase voltage and current measurements, and multi-phase motor drives. The maximum sampling rate of 80MSa/s, a deep buffer memory of 256MSa and data streaming capabilities enable the scope to measure detailed, useful signal capture over prolonged periods.

The PicoScope 4824 features a comprehensive list of capabilities, such as a 20 MHz FFT spectrum analyzer, segmented memory (for bursts of up to 10,000 captures in less than 30 milliseconds), math channels, automatic measurements, color persistence display mode, split-screen waveform viewing, advanced digital triggering, mask limit testing, and serial decoding (SPI, I2C, I2S, RS-232/UART, CAN, LIN and FlexRay). A free SDK is also included for developing applications in various popular programming languages including C, Visual Basic, LabVIEW and MATLAB with example code.

In addition, the PicoScope 4824 has a built-in low-distortion, 80 MS/s, 14 bit arbitrary waveform generator (AWG), which can be used to emulate missing sensor signals during product development, or to stress test a design over the full intended operating range. Waveforms can be imported from data files or created and modified using the included graphical AWG editor.  A function generator is also included, with sine, square, and triangle waves up to 1 MHz, DC level, white noise, and many more standard waveforms. Combining offset and frequency controls with advanced and spectrum peak hold options makes this a powerful tool for testing amplifier and filter responses.

The included PicoScope software for Windows harnesses the PC’s processing power, storage, graphics and networking capabilities. The user interface is easy for novices to learn, but professional users will find many advanced features including spectrum analysis, persistence display, automatic measurements, advanced triggers and channel math capabilities. Users can download software updates, feature extensions and improvements free of charge.

The PicoScope 4824 is a low cost, portable solution for multiinput applications. Made by Pico Technology, Europe’s award-winning oscilloscope adapter manufacturer, the PicoScope 4824 is supplied complete with two passive x1/x10 probes and a carry case. They are available now with a 5-year warranty starting at $2,013 from Saelig Company, Inc.

Useful dBm & Voltage Conversion Table

Confused by dBm?  When you're working with RF power, you sometimes need to know the voltage level for a given power. The table in this link provides a chart to convert between dBm, watts and voltage - peak to peak in a 50Ω system.

Useful dBm & Voltage Conversion Table - convert between dBm, Watts and voltage in a 50 ohm system.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Advanced Fiber-optically Isolated Oscilloscope Probe For Floating Signals

The Teledyne LeCroy HVFO103 is a high voltage fiber-optically isolated 60MHz oscilloscope probe that is optimally designed for the measurement of small signals floating on a high voltage bus in power electronics designs. Optical isolation between the probe tip and the oscilloscope input reduces adverse loading of a device under test.  It also reduces noise, distortion, ringing, overshoots, and transients on the measured signal. It far surpasses the measurement capabilities and signal fidelity of both conventional HV differential probes and acquisition systems that rely on galvanic channel-to-channel and channel-to-ground high voltage isolation. Furthermore, it mitigates reliance on dangerous test setups that require floating the oscilloscope and probe, or investments in specialized isolated oscilloscope or data acquisition systems that result in other performance compromises.  

The HVFO103 architecture is simple, with a single laser and fiber optic cable providing optical isolation and modulated signal + data communication. Selectable tips are available for various operating voltage ranges. The HVFO103 is small enough to fit in tight spaces, provides the performance required for real-world needs, and is affordable enough to accommodate tight equipment budgets.

The HVFO103 High Voltage 60MHz Fiber Optic Probe includes a soft-carrying case, a transmitter, a receiver, a 1meter Fiber Optic Cable, a set of three micro-grippers, and a USB Charging Cable. Attenuating tips are available separately. These probes are available now from Teledyne LeCroy authorized North American distributor Saelig Company, Inc. Fairport, NY.

Monday, January 23, 2017

15 Things That Outrageously Successful People Do Every Day

Kim Garst writes an interesting article in her latest blog:

Blog - 15 Things That Outrageously Successful People Do Every Day

It’s easy to look at very successful people and feel jealous, or to assume they’re successful simply because of luck or chance. But the truth is, there are certain things that many outrageously successful people tend to have in common – and these things have nothing to do with luck. In fact, these habits are things you can replicate in your own life, giving YOU the best chance of success in life and business. Here are 15 things outrageously successful people do every day!

1. They start their day with prayer or meditation

It’s well known that many successful individuals throughout history have started their day with prayer or quiet reflection. For instance, Oprah Winfrey has publically said she makes a point of praying every morning.
In the book O’Habits, author Warren Cassell cites Oprah as saying, “My prayer to God every morning on my knees is that the power of the universe should use my life as a vessel, or a vehicle, for its work.”
If you want to be successful, build in time for prayer, meditation, or simply some dedicated quiet time to contemplate your life, business and goals.

2. They read…a lot

Both Elon Musk and Warren Buffett are known to be voracious readers. In fact, Buffett has said he spends up to 80% of his day reading!
Make a habit of reading a variety of genres in order to get new ideas, expand your knowledge and get a break from the tediousness of everyday life.

3. They get up early

Have you ever heard of a highly successful person who sleeps in until 10am? While I’m sure there are exceptions, outrageously successful people tend to make the most of their time by getting up early.
Business Insider reports that Michelle Obama, Jack Dorsey and Richard Branson are all early risers, getting up as early as 4:30.
Not an early bird? Give it a try for a week and see what happens!

4. They make exercise a priority

Author Tom Corley spent 5 years studying the daily habits of hundreds of rich people. In his book, Rich Habits, he reveals his findings, one of which is regular exercise.
He found that 76% of rich people spend 30 minutes (or more) each day doing aerobic exercise. Build regular exercise into your routine, even if that means getting up early to fit it in! (see # 3)

5. They set goals

Tony Robbins has said, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
If you aim for some vague, unspecific idea of success, how will you ever know if you’ve reached it? Instead, set attainable goals (both short and long-term) and then document exactly how you’re going to reach them.

6. They get enough sleep

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Successful people know they need to make sleep a priority in order to have a clear mind and enough energy to get through the day.

7. They spend less time watching TV

How much time do you estimate you spend watching TV each day? According to Tom Corley, 2/3 of rich people watch less than an hour a day of TV per day. Instead of ending your day by binge-watching Netflix, limit your screen-time and cultivate other end-of-day habits instead – like reading, having a cup of tea or spending time with your family.

8. They network

Professional networking is vital for building connections and staying motivated.
According to Tom Corley, who you surround yourself with actually sets a cap on the level of success you’ll attain. He writes, “You are only as successful as those you frequently associate with.”
Make a point of surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who you know will have a positive impact on your life and business.

9. They give back to others

Successful people know the value in helping those around them. In Tom Corley’s research, he found that 72% of rich people volunteer 5+ hours each month. He writes, “Volunteering is a Rich Habit. It exposes you to other successful individuals and allows you to showcase your skill set. The relationships you develop volunteering open up doors and create opportunities for you and the members of your family.”

10. They have a daily to-do list

In her book, What The Most Successful People Do At Work, Laura Vanderkam writes, “Successful people know that hours, like capital, can be consciously allocated with the goal of creating riches – in the form of a changed world, life’s work – over time.” Part of consciously allocating your time means creating a daily to-do list, and then sticking to it. This will help ensure you don’t waste your limited time and resources on tasks that won’t help you meet your daily goals.

11. They delay gratification

Researchers have identified one trait they believe is more important than any other when it comes to success: the ability to delay gratification. What does this mean exactly? This means a willingness to do the tough stuff now knowing you won’t get your reward until later.
It might mean choosing the healthy meal, or determining to get up early, or doing your work now even though you’d rather watch TV. No one ever said success is easy!

12. They batch-check their email

Tim Ferriss, author of the 4-Hour Workweek (and hugely successful entrepreneur in his own right) is a great proponent of only checking email at set times throughout the day.
He recommends setting up auto-responders to let people know when you’ll be checking email, so they know when to expect a response.
Here’s a great blog post he wrote on the subject: How To Stop Checking Email on the Evenings and Weekends.

13. They aren’t afraid to say no

Extremely successful people need to say no by necessity. When you reach the point where you’re constantly being asked to give of your time and share your expertise, you’ll need to set boundaries simply so you reserve SOME time for yourself!
Start preparing for success now by carefully protecting your time and setting clear boundaries with those around you.

14. They carefully consider their failures

Bill Gates once said, “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure”. Everyone fails. It’s just part of life!
But what differentiates successful people is that they think about WHY they failed and what they can do differently next time.

15. They engage in positive self-talk

Apple founder Steve Jobs reportedly gave himself a little pep talk every morning, asking himself, “If today was the last day of my life, would I be happy with what I’m about to do today?” If you want to make sure you start your day in the right frame of mind, take a few moments each morning to check in with yourself and make sure you’re happy with the path you’re on.

Hopefully this post has shown you that success isn’t a matter of chance or luck, but of practicing the habits of other successful entrepreneurs. Success IS within your grasp! Which of the habits above are you going to incorporate into your daily routine?

Friday, January 20, 2017

"The Diagnostic Solution Plus is awesome; I can do so much!"

The Diagnostic Solution Plus is awesome; I can do so much!
Fixed two boards last night so it's already paying off" Indus Elec Repair, USA
PCB REPAIR PRODUCTS from ABI Electronics are fast-to-learn, suit most electronics technologies, minimize your equipment downtime, and fight obsolescence - all at an affordable price!  Create functioning test programs quickly!  More economical than other solutions, ABI equipment pays for itself quickly, and keeps equipment running longer. Relied on worldwide by armed forces, transport, education, and other maintenance facilities, full hands-on, on-site training can be provided if requested. Rapid and local test requirements, the detection of counterfeit devices, together with increasing financial pressures and performance goals, all increase the demands for efficient maintenance, safe operation, and equipment availability.  ABI has your solution!
Electronic Products Repaired – Fast!  
Need a solution which tests and finds electronic system faults quickly? Which can keep circuits working, extending product life, and help eliminate obsolescence and lack of documentation?  For over 40 years ABI Electronics has designed, manufactured and marketed automatic test equipment for supporting and maintaining products that incorporate electronics PCBs.
ABI Electronics products can assist  … whoever you are
Whether it’s Mass Transit, Defense, or Industry - with profits and funding eroding and severe consequences for equipment failure, the efficient and reliable maintenance of electronic circuits over their working life is vital for modern systems. Many of the world's largest transit organizations, military, and manufacturers rely on ABI Electronics for testing, repair and support of their electronic modules in trains and trackside equipment, including SNCF (France), Metro Sao Paulo (Brazil) and other members of the Latin American Alamys group. 
ABI products can keep your electronics working – close to where they are used, saving time and costs. For safety issues: PCBs can be tested for full confidence, and improved reliability.  Products can have their life extended through regular maintenance – cheaper in-house! Fast turnaround times are now possible for repairs by less-skilled technicians, saving money and time for high value electronic circuits

Benefits of using ABIElectronics products:
·         Shorter repair times, inventory reductions and cost savings
·         Accepted by major rail suppliers around the world
·         Improves safety and extends operational life
·         Repairs and testing can be done by less qualified personnel
·         Supports third party and obsolete equipment
Self-maintaining complex, high-value electronic systems require a reliable service provider.  With over 30 years' experience in the test and repair of electronic circuits, ABI Electronics can create and even custom-design the right solution for you.
ISO9000-2008 certified ABI Electronics is a leading manufacturer of test, measurement and fault diagnosis equipment with direct applications in R&D, repair, manufacture, test and education.  Manufacturers worldwide use ABI Electronics test equipment. 
ABI Electronics offers a wide range of products, starting with the flagship BoardMaster 8000 PLUS as a versatile, self-contained and easy-to-use board test system. It offers a comprehensive set of test instruments for fault-finding on almost any kind of PCBs and allows users to generate test sequences. The System 8 Range makes use of a design versatility by offering any combination of the modules found in the BoardMaster 8000 PLUS. The CircuitMaster 4000M simplifies the safe probing of fine pitch PCBs and reduces measurement set-up time.   The JTAGMaster can test, fault-find and program complex PCB assemblies with JTAG ports, including QFPs and BGAs.  The unique RevEng Schematic Learning System generates professional schematics from a sample board. And the award-winning SENTRY Counterfeit IC Detector solves the supply-chain problem of counterfeit components.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

"Elektronik" Interview Discusses Janz Tec's Raspberry Pi System For Industrial Needs

Experiences since the launch in 2015 of the Raspberry Pi Industrial PC

A year ago, industrial systems manufacturer Janz Tec introduced an industrial version Raspberry Pi system. For Janz Tec it was a test to see how the market would respond to such a low-cost system.

What kind of response did you receive to your introduction of an industrial Raspberry Pi at last year's embedded world?
Christoph Mühlenhoff:
A sur­prisingly positive one. We had ex­pected some interest, but not quite so much. And there were not just inquiries - several large projects have developed from it, with quantities up to many hundreds.

And, you are continuing to use the original Raspberry Pi 2 board?
Yes, but we have now developed our own carrier board to allow the system to be supplied with industry standard 24 Volts instead of a 5V power supply. In addition, it still has a se­rial RS-485/232 interface, a CAN and four digital inputs/outputs onboard. Furthermore, over the last year we have developed a more robust casing. It is still a plastic case, but made from a ma­terial with which we can more eas­ily control EMC problems.

In what kind of projects will the system be applied?
In industrial proj­ects, but essentially projects where the system is not responsible for critical, fail-safe functions. That means where it does not matter if the system should fail. Thus, not machine control but, for ex­ample, as a gateway or for obser­vation and monitoring of process­es.

When introducing such an in­expensive system the manufac­turer must inevitably face the question of cannibalization of his own products. How would you sum-up af­ter one year?
 Initially we had con­cerns that we might impede development of our higher priced systems, but the oppo­site has proved to be the case. Our rugged, high-quality industrial systems are control systems, and they cost accordingly. But Rasp­berry-Pi systems are, as such, not used in this area. And there, where they could be used, you might as well buy a system from Taiwan. Thus, we view Raspberry Pi as a door-opener to engage with new customers. If these customers sud­denly develop higher level requirements, we can always meet them with our emPCs - even though they cost a little more.

You offer industrial Raspberry Pi with both Raspbian Linux as well with a customized version of Linux. Is Raspbian sufficient for most customers?
Yes, well over 90 percent take the Raspbian. We have integrated the device drivers for our additional interfaces in this image. Customers could also do it themselves, but who wants to? - They want to buy it and use it immediately, without having to install any drivers. At this point we have not yet built a genuine, customized image.

Joachim Kroll, Elektronik

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Using EMC Probesets for precompliance testing

The H20, H10, H5 and E5 from TekBox are magnetic field (H) and electric field (E) probes for radiated emissions EMC pre-compliance measurements. The probes are used in the near field of sources of electromagnetic radiation. They serve to locate and identify potential sources of interference within the building blocks of electronic assemblies. 
The probes act similar to wide bandwidth antennas, picking up radiated emissions from components, PCB traces, housing openings or gaps and from any other parts that could be emitting RF. The probes are usually connected to a spectrum analyzer. Scanning the probe over the surface of  a PCB assembly or housing quickly identifies locations which emit electromagnetic radiation. By changing to a probe with smaller size, the origination of the emissions can be further narrowed down.
Additional applications include RF immunity tests by feeding a RF signal into the probe and radiating it into potentially susceptible circuit sections: Furthermore the probes can be used in the field of repair or debugging to track down issues in RF signal chains by contactless measurement of RF signal levels. One more application is non- invasive measurement of RF building blocks such as modulators or oscillators. Frequency, phase noise and spectral components can be measured in conjunction with a low noise preamplifier.
The TBWA2/20dB and TBWA2/40dB wideband amplifiers can be connected between EMC probe and a Spectrum Analyzer to increase the dynamic range of the measurements.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

GW Instek GFC-8270H 0.01Hz-2.7GHz Frequency Counter

The GFC-8000 Series performs virtually all of the counting measurements required in laboratories, in terms of both period and frequency. A bright red 8 digit LED display with an included overflow indicator provides a clear view. Both models feature a stable time base with a maximum resolution of 100nHz and 10nS at 1Hz for frequency and period measurement, respectively. Gate time can be configured for fast response (5 digits/10ms) or accuracy (7 digits/s) for more control. For high frequency needs, the GFC-8270H can operate at up to 2.7GHz. The GFC-8000 Series features easy operation with a simple front panel interface, suitable for both portable and bench-top use. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Need to add a serial port to your PC? Here's how!

Our Tech Support Manager Al MacRobbie recently recorded a brief video on the simplicities and trickiness of adding a serial port to a PC that lacks one.  Adding our USB-serial cable is the solution but some folks find it trickier than they should ....   Do they follow the instructions??!!

Here's the video

Friday, January 6, 2017

Easy-use USB Interface ICs that need No Drivers!

Warrior ICs from Code Mercenaries are a family of universal I/O controllers for USB that handle all USB’s complex protocol details. No Windows software drivers are needed since Warrior ICs appear as HID Device Class (Human Interface Device). This means that Warrior ICs are controlled without screen-prompting for additional software - system drivers allow access to Warrior ICs directly from application programs. A Linux driver is also included.

Controlling Warrior ICs from your software is very simple. For Windows (XP, 2K, Vista) you can use any standard programming language to access the libraries, including Visual Basic. For MacOS X, support includes a software library which even allows access via AppleEvents™. Want to make a FileMaker™ solution to open a cash drawer, for instance? Easily done with IO-Warrior!

Code Mercenaries has been a supplier for industrial input device and peripheral manufacturers since 1998.

The keyboard/mouse controller family KeyWarrior, and the mouse controller family MouseWarrior serve as basis for a large number of industrial input devices, such as 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. Joystick/mouse hybrid controllers MW24J8 and MW24H8 make good options for front panel design – they 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 USB connection, 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. Only the number of pins and the data rate limit the use of IO-Warrior. It is used in laboratory setups, test equipment, as well as in hobby projects or full scale device production - either as the core of a device or just the USB interface.  IO-Warrior chips control robots and telescopes, perform quality control on production lines, take measurements in labs, control switches, and displays in front panels or simulator cockpits, or work as the USB interface in many kinds of manufactured products.

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

Recently, Code Mercenaries started developing and manufacturing products for LED lighting applications, delivering maximum efficiency and maximum life cycle to match the potential of modern LED technology.