Congratulations to Wisam Sabban for winning the EDN Innovation Award 2009 for the best application of embedded computers. His application was a solar powered unmanned airplane. To me, the design has many useful applications both in military and surveillance fields.
Wisam is an M.Sc. student who’s completing his degree in engineering design at Queensland University of Technology in Australia. He is from Saudi Arabia so congratulations also to all Saudis on this achievement.
For more information press here or here (Arabic)
What encourages me to write this post is the awful black Wednesday of Khobar, Saudi Arabia. For those who don’t know Khobar, it’s a quite and nice city on the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia where Aramco “famous Oil company” exists. Last Wed, Saudi Arabia celebrated it’s national day, however, some few teenagers destroyed some restaurants, showrooms and shops, and officials claim that the total loss was around $125,000!! Read more here
So how can we control these teenagers?
Here’s a simple non-lethal weapon that can give cops a quick control. It’s based on the use of LED flashlight to produce pulses of different colors at 10 Hz that affect your brain. Just press the button and the suspect will immediately run away!
The device is called the “Bedazzler” based on LEDs which are controlled using Arduino that generates PWM signals. It operates by a 9V battery!
The complete circuit and code can be found here. Thanks so much to Ladyada!
Let’s hope we celebrate a safe national day next year!
To me, this year has been full of amazing new technologies that really hit the ground. Ranging from components like Memoristor and ending with consumer electronics applications like Wireless Power. It’s been really fascinating!
Now what’s next?
Water Powered batteries are here. Yes, just drop some water in it and let the party begin.
I had seen some interesting youtubes covering this technology, watch this one:
and it turned out that the company behind it was Aqua Power System from Japan. Reading more in their profile, the company stated that research on this type of batteries about 18 years ago, where they produced 0.2mA only. Currently, they claim their batteries can produce up to 1.2A!
How does it work?
It works by reaction of water and natural substances such as special alloy like aluminum, magnesium and cupronickel generating electric power by natural chemical reaction.
I can see a bright future for this technology in many fields like: military, medical, consumer products if it was proved to be working perfect as claimed!
Continuing our talk that we started about online design support tools, today I’m gonna discuss a very useful online resource widely used by engineers around the world. There, you can find blogs, forums and videos that will add a lot to your experience.
It’s the TI E2E: Texas Instruments Engineer-to-Engineer online community found by Texas Instruments. Personally I like it so much and there you’ll find your peer engineers who will share their technical challenges & solutions.
So don’t waste your time and sign in from here to start your exciting experience.
How To Read A Standard Logic Datasheet?
So let’s meet there!
I’ve been designing a protection circuit for a USB driver and was looking for a solution to protect my source against high capacitive loads or short circuit that might damage my source.
To protect your source against this kind of faults, usually designers refer to it as high side current measurement. The idea is simply based on a comparator with a sense resistor between its input terminals such that when high current occurs, a voltage drop will occur between the inverting and non inverting terminals and hence turn on the comparator. The comparator output can then be used to switch on a MOSFET to control the load and probably isolate in this case.
Many solutions are available in the market like: LTC6101 from National, FAN4101 from Fairchild and TPS2020 from TI.
LTC and FAN both need external sensing resistor unlike TPS2020 which has internal setup that will stabilize the load current to defined value and will shut the load off if a short circuit occurs.
To find more about TPS2020 click here.
Many online design tools are available and widely used by electronics designers. These tools help engineers to explore, learn, design and build their projects from scratch. They have some cool GUI which has input/output indicators, push buttons, etc. that simulate a real system. Out of those famous tools is the WEBENCH Designer from National.
Design assistant tool that takes step by step till you generate Bill of Material (BOM).
I like these tools because they guide you to the right design path.
Click here to see WEBENCH
Thanks to You Tube!:)
Also Thanks to Make Magazine for their great stuff!
Every time I watch a tutorial or enjoy a clip I thank YouTube team for this great service. YouTube started becoming a valuable resource for many students and that’s why many US colleges have started publishing their courses using You Tube, check here
The famous Make magazine has published a good series that covers electronic fundamental components like: Diode, LED, Resistor, Capacitor, etc.
I invite all electronic enthusiasts to make use of YouTube and share the good stuff.
I wrote a post five months ago discussing the nature of wireless power which implements e-coupled technology based on a resonance induction between a primary transformer that sends data and power to a secondary transformer attached to your device. At that time I thought it would take manufacturers at least a year or more to release some products in the market that use this technology. I was wrong!
Recently, Duracell has just announced the release of their wireless battery charger Mygrid that works with Apple, Nokia, Motorola, etc. So now it’s time to say Goodbye to long cables and wires!
I just got two concerns:
1. Is it safe? Wouldn’t it affect our skin? Some health issues must first be confirmed before running for it.
2. What is the actual distance where I can charge perfectly?
What else do you think?