SHRIRAM SPARK

THINK DIFFERENT

Category: MY PORTFOLIO

USB CABLES BUYING GUIDE

One day in 1994, seven world-leading technology companies sat down and created a new standard for connecting computer peripherals. By “one day,” of course I mean, “over the span of several months.” But all technicalities aside, the standard that they laid down became the Universal Serial Bus, or USB for short.

Today, USB is truly a ‘Universal’ standard and you’d be hard-pressed to find an electronic device that doesn’t have a USB port of one kind or another. But how do you know which USB cable will fit your device? Hopefully this buying guide will help you find the cable that you need for your next project.

What Does USB Do?

USB cables replace the huge variety of connectors that used to be standard for computer peripherals: Parallel ports, DB9 Serial, keyboard and mouse ports, joystick and midi ports… Really, it was getting out of hand. USB simplifies the process of installing and replacing hardware by making all communications adhere to a serial standard which takes place on a twisted pair data cable and identifies the device that’s connected. When you add the power and ground connections, you’re left with a simple 4-conductor cable that’s inexpensive to make and easy to stow.

500px-USB_half Continue reading

VARIABLE POWER SUPPLY USING LM 317 VOLTAGE CONTROLLER

We had earlier in 2 different posts discussed about a variable power supply using LM 317. But in this post we discuss clearly about the working and designing of the LM 317 power supply in detailed.

Block Diagram

This circuit, like all voltage regulators  must  follow the same general block diagram

Block-Diagram-of-Power-Supply

Here, we have got an input high voltage AC going into a transformer which usually steps down the high voltage AC from mains to low voltage AC required for our application. The following bridge rectifier and a smoothing capacitor to convert AC voltage into unregulated DC voltage. But this voltage will change according to varying load and input stability. This unregulated DC voltage is fed into a voltage regulator which will keep a constant output voltage and suppresses unregulated voltage ripples. Now this voltage can be fed into our load.

Firstly let us discuss about the need for the smoothing capacitance.As you know  the out put of the bridge rectifier will be as follows

Output-of-Brige-Rectifier

As you can see, although the waveform can be considered to be a DC voltage since the output polarity does not invert itself, the large ripples Continue reading

AMAZON PROMOTES DRONE DELIVERY

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In a masterful publicity stunt, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced on 60 Minutes — on the night before Cyber Monday — that his company has been working on a drone service that will deliver items under 5 pounds, and within ten miles of an Amazon fulfillment center, in under 30 minutes..

This is definitely exciting, but exactly how much does Amazon have to accomplish between now and Jeff’s launch goal of 2015? Getting the FAA onboard will be hard enough, but what about actually getting shipments out safely, when that time finally comes? Is this even possible, or simply a publicity stunt by the e-commerce giant? They’re definitely not the first to think about doing this. Matternet has been working on bringing drone-supported shipping to areas of the world where roads aren’t common, or structurally sound enough, to handle everyday deliveries. CEO Andreas Raptopoulos talked about his vision at May’s Hardware Innovation Workshop.

If Amazon is really going for it, here are the main challenges and some of my thoughts on how Amazon will handle them:

BATTERY POWER

Probably the easiest to deal with. Amazon says they’re shooting for 30 minute deliveries, which I’m assuming means 30 minutes from take-off to landing, not order to landing. Jeff says they will deliver to within 10 miles of an Amazon Fulfillment Center, which is doable if the octocopter can go at least 20mph. The challenge here is giving them enough battery power to survive the trip to the customer and back home. Carrying that much weight at that speed for up to an hour is going to require some heavy batteries. Continue reading

PIR SENSOR ARDUINO ALARM

Build a motion-sensing alarm with a PIR sensor and an Arduino microcontroller.

In this simple project, we’ll build a motion-sensing alarm using a PIR (passive infrared) sensor and an Arduino microcontroller. This is a great way to learn the basics of using digital input (from the sensor) and output (in this case, to a noisy buzzer) on your Arduino.

This alarm is handy for booby traps and practical jokes, and it’s just what you’ll need to detect a zombie invasion! Plus, it’s all built on a breadboard, so no soldering required!

Step #1: Gather your parts.

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  • This project requires just a few parts, and because you’re using a solderless breadboard and pre-cut jumper wires, you won’t need any tools at all — except your computer and USB cable to connect the Arduino.

Step #2: Wire the Arduino to the breadboard.

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SIMPLE POWER SUPPLY

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I bet some of you had the same problem. I was working on this circuit on breadboard and I found out I do not have means to power that circuit. Batteries are too expensive for testing one circuit. In the end I was able to build small power supply that solved my problems.

Many times we can build PSU with small amount of elements. That is the story in this case. I upgraded PSU that already have 12 V output to 9 V with help of linear voltage regulator.

CAUTION : 
Be careful and cautious while proceeding with any project.

Step 1: Parts and materials.

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Parts:

– PCB
– low voltage connector
– 2 pins connector
– cooling element with nut and bolt and with isolating foil (foil is optional)
– piece of black and red wire and two pins
– 7809 voltage regulator
– 470 uF capacitor and 100 nF capacitor
– PSU with output between 12 and 16 V Continue reading

HOW TO BUILD A SIMPLEST VARIABLE POWER SUPPLY CIRCUIT USING LM317

Whether it’s an electronic novice or an expert professional, a power supply unit is required by everybody in the field. It is the basic source of power that may be required for various electronic procedures, right from powering intricate electronic circuits to the robust electromechanical devices like motors, relays etc.
 
A power supply unit is a must for every electrical and electronic work bench and it’s available in a variety of shapes and sizes in the market and also in the form of schematics to us.
These may be built using discrete components like transistors, resistors etc. or incorporating a single chip for the active functions. No matter what the type may be, a power supply unit should incorporate the following features to become a universal and reliable with its nature:
  • It should be fully and continuously variable with its voltage and current outputs.
  • Variable current feature can be taken as an optional feature because it’s not an absolute requirement with a power supply, unless the usage is in the range of critical evaluations.
  • The voltage produced should be perfectly regulated.

IC 317 Power Supply, Simplest Continue reading

LM317 ADJUSTABLE VOLTAGE REGULATOR

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Every project needs a power supply. As 3.3volt logic replaces 5volt systems, we’re reaching for the LM317 adjustable voltage regulator , rather than the classic 7805 . We’ve found four different hobbyist-friendly packages for different situations.

A simple voltage divider  (R1,R2) sets the LM317 output between 1.25volts and 37volts; use this handy LM317 calculator  to find resistor values. The regulator does its best to maintain 1.25volts on the adjust pin (ADJ), and converts any excess voltage to heat. Not all packages are the same. Choose a part that can supply enough current for your project, but make sure the package has sufficient heat dissipation properties  to burn off the difference between the input and output voltages.

Voltage regulator

Schematic of LM317 in a typical voltage regulator configuration, including decoupling capacitors to address input noise and output transients.

The LM317 has three pins: Input, output, and adjustment. The device is conceptually an op amp (with a relatively high output current capacity). The inverting input of the amp is the adjustment pin, while the non-inverting input is set by an internal bandgap voltage referencewhich produces a stable reference voltage of 1.25V. Continue reading

POWER YOUR BREADBOARD WITH USB

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think that it is safe to say that most of the people who make (big or small) electronics-projects have a pc or laptop in theire hobbycorner and a lot of projects need 5V for IC’s or microcontrollers. So using power from a USB cable isn’t that farfetched and lets face it: a lot of devices around us use a USB-connection to get their power or to charge their batteries.

 About USB-connectors and power

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1.25 V TO 37V – 1.5A VARIABLE, ADJUSTABLE POWER SUPPLY USING LM317

A well designed and variable power supply for electronics hobbyists and DIY’ers is a must, you don’t want to spend a huge amount of money in batteries [On the long run]. A variable power supply can come in handy for testing and powering  any project you are building. The mentioned power supply ranges from 1.25V – 37V @ 1.5A using the famous LM317 voltage regulator. LM317T is a very famous IC and easily available in the market comes with 3 pins, supporting input voltage is from 3 volt to 40 volt DC and delivers a stable output between 1.25 volt to 37 volt DC.

THREE REASONS TO TAKE DIY TO THE NEXT LEVEL

Whether you are watching it on television or searching for it on Pinterest, chances are you have admired a few Do It Yourself (DIY) projects recently. Have you taken it a step further and actually completed a DIY project? There are three key reasons why the trend of DIY projects is so popular.

Fun

The first reason that people want to try a DIY project is usually because it sounds like fun. You learn a new skill and the end result will be just what you are looking for. Since Halloween is just around the corner you may be thinking: “Should I go searching for the perfect costume or should I try to design and sew it myself?” Not everyone would have an interest and natural ability in making their own costume so learning to sew would seem like fun. Chances are you are artistic and enjoy ways to tangibly express that creativity. Now imagine taking it one step further and Continue reading

SOUND GIVES OBJECTS A HUMAN TOUCH

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Touch screens are so ubiquitous that physical keyboards are becoming a thing of the past, at least for mobile devices. Now imagine if the capability of touch spread from the display to the entire device, allowing control by gently pressing on any part of the phone, or even making any household item into a touch-sensitive interface with your computer.

Anything solid vibrates a specific way when it’s hit physically with another object or with sound waves. The characteristic is called resonance. For example, when you tap on a crystal glass, it vibrates at a certain frequency, producing a ring. If you hit it with sound waves — for example, the ambient background noise in a room — it vibrates at a different frequency. Grip the glass while it rings, and the sound stops. Continue reading

SMART SMOKE ALARM

For a device created to save lives, the household smoke detector sure takes a lot of heat for being annoying: the false alarms when the cookies get burned, the incessant beeping when the battery needs changing and all those times standing on wobbly chairs while trying to find minuscule buttons.

dnews-files-2013-10-nest-smoke-alarm-gallery-670-jpg Continue reading

POWER AND THERMAL DISSIPATION

As your embedded project grows in scope and complexity, power consumption becomes an ever more apparent issue. As power consumption increases, components like linear voltage regulators can heat up during normal operation. Some heat is okay, however when things get too hot, the performance of the linear regulator suffers.

How much is too much?

A good rule of thumb for voltage regulators is if the outer case becomes uncomfortable to the touch, then the part needs to have an efficient way to transfer the heat to another medium. A good way to do this is to add a heat sink as shown below.

breadboard Continue reading

FLEXIFORCE PRESSURE SENSOR – QUICK START GUIDE

Introduction

This is a quick how-to explaining everything you need to get started using your Flexiforce Pressure Sensor.  This example uses the 25lb version, but the concepts learned apply to all the Flex sensors.

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Requirements

Necessary hardware to follow this guide:

  • Arduino UNO or other Arduino compatible board
  • Flexiforce Pressure Sensor
  • Breadboard
  • M/M Jumper Wires
  • 1 MegaOhm Resistor  Continue reading

WHY SHOULD YOU DE-RATE CAPACITORS

Capacitors Galore

Capacitors are one of the most common elements found in electronics, and they come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and values. There are also many different methods to manufacture a capacitor. As a result, capacitors have a wide array of properties that make some capacitor types better for specific situations. I would like to take three of the most common capacitors – ceramic, electrolytic, and tantalum – and examine their abilities to handle reverse and over-voltage situations. Note: several capacitors were harmed in the making of this post.

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Ceramic Capacitors

The most common capacitor is the multi-layer ceramic capacitor (MLCC). These are found on almost every piece of electronics, often in small, surface-mount variants. Ceramic capacitors are produced from alternating laye Continue reading

UNDERSTANDING POWER FACTOR AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT

Power factor is a measure of how effectively you are using electricity. Various types of power are at work to provide us with electrical energy. Here is what each one is doing.

Working Power – the “true” or “real” power used in all electrical appliances to perform the work of heating, lighting, motion, etc. We express this as kW or kilowatts. Common types of resistive loads are electric heating and lighting.

An inductive load, like a motor, compressor or ballast, also requires Reactive Power to generate and sustain a magnetic field in order to operate. We call this non-working power kVAR’s, or kilovolt-amperes-reactive.

Every home and business has both resistive and inductive loads. The ratio between these two types of loads becomes important as you add more inductive equipment. Working power and reactive power make up Apparent Power, which is called kVA, kilovolt-amperes. We determine apparent power using the formula, kVA2 = kV*A.

Going one step further, Power Factor (PF) is the ratio of working power to apparent power, or the formula PF = kW / kVA. A high PF benefits both the customer and utility, while a low PF indicates poor utilization of electrical power.  Continue reading

RFID TECHNOLOGY

Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) is technology that allows machines to identify an object without touching it, even without a clear line of sight. Furthermore, this technology can be used to identify several objects simultaneously. RFID can be found everywhere these days – anything from your cat to your car contains RFID technology. This post will cover how RFID works, some practical uses, and maybe even some example code for reading RFID data.

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What is RFID?

RFID is a sort of umbrella term used to describe technology that uses radio waves to communicate. Generally, the data stored is in the form of a serial number. Many RFID tags, contain a 32-bit hexadecimal number. At its heart, the RFID card contains an antenna attached to a microchip. When the chip is properly powered, it transmits the serial number through the antenna, which is then read and decoded. Continue reading

ADAPTIVE VEHICLE LIGHTING SYSTEM

When a vehicle is driven on the highway at night, it is required that light beam should be of high density and should illuminate the road at a distance sufficiently ahead. However, when a vehicle coming in the opposite direction approaches the vehicle with a high-beam headlight, driver of that vehicle will experience a glare, which may blind him. This dazzle effect is one of the major problems faced by a driver in night driving. To avoid this impermanent blindness, a separate filament is usually fitted in the “dual-filament” headlight bulb in a position such that light beam from this second filament is deflected both down and sideways so that the driver of the oncoming car is not blinded. In practice, one mechanical dimmer switch is used by the driver to manually select high (bright) or low (dim) headlight beam. However, this is an awkward task for the driver especially during peak traffics.

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Our project “Adaptive Lighting System for Automobiles” is a smart solution for safe and convenient night driving without the intense dazzling effect and aftermaths. Adaptive Lighting System for Automobiles needs no manual Continue reading

COMPUTER PRINTER SALVAGE

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It’s easy to build up a “junk box” of items you can use to build projects seen in just about any-thing you can imagine.

Many of my articles take advantage of found components, often picked out of trash bins. Just because an electronic device has failed at its original task doesn’t mean it can’t perform other tasks. Castoffs can be recovered and the parts repurposed in countless ways.

Recently, my trash-picking adventures turned up a discarded laser printer. I set about finding what wonders were waiting beneath the plastic covers.

JACKPOT OF PARTS

My first discovery was the main circuit board. Once I stripped the heat shields off, I found over 50 nonproprietary electronic parts, including capacitors, resistors, voltage regulators, transistors, transformers, coils, and integrated circuits. Jackpot! A couple of boards like this, and you’re on your way to building a backup supply of parts for future projects. A second, smaller PC board also yielded numerous useful components. Continue reading

DIGITAL MULTIMETERS

“Digital Multimeters” the most important and the most versatile device an Electrical or Electronics engineer should be having. Multimeter as the name suggests can measure multiple parameters like AC voltage, DC voltage, resistance, DC current, Continuity and lots more.

All these are measured using just a single device, that’s the specialty of this device.

Now lets have you all briefed upon the features of a Multimeter.

Digital Multimeter

Digital multimeters (DMMs) are great for measuring things that don’t change quickly. Battery and power supply voltage, along with resistance and current, are prime candidates for being checked with a DMM. The instrument is less effective for observing changing voltages and currents, which look like moving numbers and are tough to interpret. Continue reading

GETTING STARTED WITH ELECTRONICS

Electronics is really a very interesting field of Science and Technology since its really vast and deals with a lot of projects and DIY hacks and a lot more interesting stuff. Its really a great hobby in fact, be it building your own variable power supplies, or building your own crazy Robot, its time we become “EVIL MAD SCIENTISTS”.

To get started we have to learn about the various components and their functions. So lets get you briefed thoroughly.

All budding engineers  and electronics hobbyists out there, get ready for an in depth analysis of the most common electronics components for you to get started. Continue reading

POWER SAVING LED LAMP FROM SCRAP

Are you confused on how to give a fresh new life to a broken CFL bulb, read on you’ll get the answer to this question here.

In this post i’m sharing a LED lamp circuit which can be mounted in a broken CFL bulb and can be  converted into a LED based power saving light. This is just a LED lamp circuit that can be operated from the mains voltage. A string of five LED is driven using a capacitive transformerless power supply. In the circuit 0.47uF/400V Polyester capacitor C1 reduces the mains voltage. R3 is a bleeder resistor which drains the stored charge from C1 when the AC input is switched OFF. Resistors R1 and R2 limits the inrush of current when the circuit is switched ON. Diodes D1 to D4 forms a bridge rectifier that rectifies the reduced AC voltage and C2 acts as a filter capacitor. Finally Zener diode D5 provides regulation and the LEDs are driven.

Here are some of the pictures of the LED lamp.

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Components used :

  • 120 Ohm 1/2 Watt resistors [2]
  • 470k Ohm 1/4 Watt resistor [1]
  • 0.47uF, 400 V Polyster capacitor
  • IN4007 Diodes [4]
  • 47uF, 25V electrolytic capacitor
  • 16-18V 1W Zener diode [1]
  • Hi power LED’s. [ Here i have used 1W circular LED’s ]

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The circuit board arrangement which i have built.

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After assembling the Circuit board in the CFL bulb casing.

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The LED arrangement on a laminate sheet.

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The completely assembled, finished LED light.

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My smart LED lamp in action.

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Another close view of the illuminating LED’s.

Procedure

1. Carefully remove the broken glass pieces of the CFL bulb.

2. Open the assembly carefully

3. Remove electronics and discard

4. Assemble the circuit in dot matrix PC or on a 1mm laminate sheet.

5. Cut a round laminate sheet with (scissor)

6. Mark the position of the 5 round holes on the sheet

7. Drill the holes to suit the LEDs to flush fit in the six holes

8. Use a dab of adhesive to keep the LED assembly in position

9. Close the assembly

10. Ensure the internal wiring does not touch each other

11. Now test on 230Volt AC Your nice compact table lamp / puja room lamp / passage lamp is ready for use.

For any queries related to this post, ask your questions in the comments section below.

SELF BUILT TEMPERATURE SENSOR USING LM 35 TEMPERATURE SENSOR

Formally announcing the success of my latest project ‘A DIGITAL THERMOMETER using the famous temperature sensor from National Semiconductor LM35. This is actually a small circuit in which the temperature sensor senses the temperature and the circuit converts the temperature into an equivalent voltage which can be read by connecting the circuit to a Digital Multimeter [DMM].This can sense the room temperature and can be connected to a DMM for the output. This circuit converts temperature into a corresponding voltage i.e., for every degree of the temperature increase the output increases by 1 mV VDC. It uses a 3 lead LM 35 Temperature Sensor. Continue reading

THE 'ILLUMINATOR' SURGE PROTECTION LED LIGHT – BUILT AND TESTED

LEDs are being Incorporated in vast magnitudes today for everything that may involve lights and illuminations. White LEDs have especially become very popular due to their mini size, dramatic illuminating capabilities and high efficiency with power consumptions. Here we are discussing the making of a simple LED bulb CIRCUIT DIAGRAM, Which i have built and tested.

  • CIRCUIT DESCRIPTION

The circuit of a LED bulb explained here is very easy to build and the circuit is very reliable and long lasting. The exclusive surge protection feature included in the circuit ensures an ideal shielding of the unit from all electrical power ON surges. Looking at the figure we see that basically LEDs have been used which are connected in series. The diagram shows a single long series of LEDs connected one behind the other to form a long LED chain. The power supply circuit used for powering these arrays is derived from a high voltage capacitor, whose low reactance is exploited for stepping down the high voltage input to a lower voltage suitable for the circuit. The two resistors and a capacitor at the positive supply are positioned for suppressing the initial power ON surge and surges during voltage fluctuations. In fact the real surge correction is done by C1 introduced after the bridge (in between R1 and R2), this modification has been incorporated in this circuit after a long research process by me to protect the circuit from voltage surges. Continue reading

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