The Latest LED Driving ICs and Modules

Published at: 3/31/2013 Category:
The solid-state lighting (SSL) surge has created a concomitant boom market for electronics to drive LEDs in various different applications, ranging from incandescent-replacement light bulbs to architectural lighting to streetlights and more. These new driver ICs and modules do more than simply provide power in the form needed by LEDs.


The Latest LED Driving ICs and Modules

Some devices can perform additional functions that engineers want in designing full-featured lighting system, such as dimming control and thermal regulation. In this article, we will examine some of the latest driver ICs and modules for LEDs, and the choices they offer the designer. [Via]
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GSM Voice Dialer with Automation Control

Published at: 3/22/2013 Category:
Connected to a burglar alarm or fire alarm in the event of making phone calls playing voice messages. Controlled via DTMF actuators can operate on the spot.

In recent years we have introduced several telecontrols based on the SIM900 GSM module. We released schematics and code for a gate opener (that activates when receiveing a call from a given number), a GSM thermostat to manage the temperature of remote houses with simple text messages, a remote alarm control with DTMF and, last but not least, a remote alarm with I/O and controlled via calls or SMS.
GSM Voice Dialer with Automation Control

Many of these tools send text messages or place phone calls in response to changes to the electrical inputs. In some cases, especially when the receiver is a human, nothing is like a voice that clearly yields you screaming “fire in progress!”, or”thieves in the house!” etc. [Via]
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I2C EEPROM Plus Temperature Sensor Breakout Board

Published at: 3/22/2013 Category:
This tiny little breakout board has Microchip’s 24LC512 EEPROM and MCP9802 temperature sensor devices, both of which support I2C protocol. This board can be used for both sensing the ambient temperature and storing it. The MCP9802 is a digital temperature sensor with an user-selectable resolution from 9 to 12 bit.
I2C EEPROM Plus Temperature Sensor Breakout Board

It can measure temperature ranging from -55°C to +125°C and notifies the host microcontroller when the ambient temperature exceeds a user programmed set point through its ALERT output pin. This board allows you to store up to 32000 temperature samples when you use the sensor in high resolution mode (12-bit, 0.0625°C) with each sample stored as two bytes. Raj (from embedded-lab.com) is selling this board for $9.00 on Tindie. [Via]
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DC-DC Converter Starts Up and Operates from a Single Photocell

Published at: 3/22/2013 Category:
The bq25504 from Texas Instruments is a good candidate to become a milestone on the road to micro-power management and energy harvesting. A prominent feature of this IC is its ability to start up at a supply voltage as low as 330 mV typically, and 450 mV guaranteed. With an SMD inductor and a few capacitors and resistors, it forms a dc-dc converter with a high power efficiency that is unprecedented, especially in the ultra low-power region.

DC-DC Converter Starts Up and Operates from a Single Photocell
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Design Process for the MAX16833 High-Voltage High-Brightness LED Driver

Published at: 3/22/2013 Category:
Here is a great application note from Maxim describing the process of designing a high voltage LED driver. The guide goes step by step so it’s easy to follow it. This application note details a step-by-step design process for the MAX16833 high-voltage high-brightness LED driver. This process can speed up prototyping and increase the chance for first-pass success.


A typical design scenario is presented, along with example calculations based on the design constraints. Component selection trade-offs are discussed. A spreadsheet calculator is included to help calculate external component values. This application note focuses on the boost converter topology. However, the same process can be applied to other topologies as long as the underlying equations are understood. [Via]
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DIY Chess Playing Robotic Arm

Published at: 3/09/2013 Category:
We’ve seen a few chess robots in the past, but nothing quite this complicated.  In this build, the chess board will actually rotate to move within reach of the robot arm.  The arm itself moves along an axis to move each piece. You can play against the robot itself, or you can play against a friend on the internet, and the robot will act out your moves.



In a more interesting scenario the players can be located remotely using a social networking service such as Twitter to send and receive moves and then observing the results on a Webcam. For automated play one of the human players can be replaced by chess playing software commonly referred to as a ‘chess engine’.”[LINK]

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Embed A USB Hub Into Your Desk

Published at: 2/08/2013 Category:
Embed A USB Hub Into Your Desk

Here’s a dirt simple weekend project for you: Pick up a USB hub for a few bucks and literally embed it in your desk for ease of connecting.That way, when you want to connect a camera or other peripheral device, it’s a dirt simple, cheap, and quick project for the weekend. [Link]

Embed A USB Hub Into Your Desk
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