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[l] at 1/22/24 7:09am
Bus Pirate 5 is the latest version of the multi-tool hackers trust since 2018. RP2040-based, color LCD, 1-5volt power supply and IO buffers, and more! Firmware, hardware and a fresh new forum are hosted at BusPirate.com, which I rescued from spammers a few years ago. The software on this server (Dangerous Prototypes) is seriously outdated and theres a load bearing laptop somewhere in the config, it was easiest to start over with all the latest tools. Soon this site will be ripped to a flat file/static site and archived. Hardware docsFirmware docsGet Bus Pirate 5A Bus Pirate forumA new blog, kind ofIm active on most of the socials

[Category: #liveupdates]

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[l] at 12/31/23 10:21pm
Happy New Year! Thank you for reading the blog and being part of our community in 2023! We’re looking forward to more open hardware projects, more how-tos, more videos, more free PCBs, and more hacking in 2024.

[Category: Holiday, holiday, New Year]

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[l] at 12/24/23 11:53pm
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. May you find many PCBs and other electronics wizardry under your tree or pole. Remember, support is available on Christmas. Just give us a shout in the forum.

[Category: Holiday, christmas, holiday]

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[l] at 11/26/23 10:00am
App note from Bourns comparing current shunt resistors and hall effect current sensing pros and cons. Link here (PDF) Current sensing is an essential design function that is necessary in a broad range of applications. For example, current sensing is needed to detect a battery’s capacity, to measure current flow, or to calculate angles in motor control applications. Applications that can benefit from current sensing include Battery Management Systems (BMS), 3-Phase motor control units and On-Board Charging (OBC) Systems used in electric vehicles (EVs), and in other high energy charging-based designs. Current sensing is also advantageous in medical equipment to detect leakage current. Additionally, it is beneficial for equipment with grounding loops to effectively monitor the level of current flow. Adding current sensing to the design is a cost-effective way to help protect equipment from excessive electrical loads.

[Category: app notes, app note, Bourns, Current sensing]

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[l] at 11/26/23 6:03am
Bourns new thermal cutoff device for LED protection can be found in this paper. Link here (PDF) Compared to traditional lighting technologies such as incandescent and fluorescent lamps, LED lighting has a much longer life span, consumes far less energy and offers shock and vibration ruggedness. LEDs also produce very little heat and do not contain the toxic materials of predecessor lighting technologies. One issue LEDs have is that they tend to fail when they overheat. The fabled long life of LEDs is very much dependent on them remaining cool or at least not being subjected to heat shock. Bourns has recently released its smallest surface mount overcurrent/overtemperature protection device. The Bourns® Model SW Mini-breaker brings a degree of simplicity to the overtemperature protection of LEDs. These ultra-compact devices are small enough to be mounted in thermal proximity to the LEDs.

[Category: app notes, app note, Bourns, LED, protection]

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[l] at 11/12/23 10:00am
App note from Bourns on linear motion potentiometers and how they can be used to detect position by voltage division ratio. Link here (PDF) The elements of the LMPs are manufactured with conductive plastic (CP) for extended wear capabilities. Unlike Trimmers, which are “set and forget,” these devices are designed to monitor position and are thereby designed to have a very high cycle life capability. LMPs are ideal for converting a mechanical linear motion displacement into a proportional voltage output when used as a sensor.

[Category: app notes, app note, Bourns, position sensor]

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[l] at 11/5/23 10:00am
Great read from Bourns white paper about the new SiC Schottky diode which revolutionize power handling capability and other benefits compared to Silicon diodes. Link here (PDF) For diode applications, the ideal component would be one with no voltage drop during forward conduction and no leakage current when reverse biased. It would change instantly from conducting forward current to blocking reverse voltage. Compared to junction silicon diodes, Schottky diodes provide reduced voltage drop with decreased reverse bias recovery current. This paper discusses the properties of Schottky diodes constructed using a silicon carbide (SiC) n-epitaxial semiconductor material layer attached to a metal contact area as opposed to diodes constructed using two differently doped silicon semiconductor materials.

[Category: app notes, app note, Bourns, diode, SiC]

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[l] at 11/5/23 6:00am
App note from Bourns about the robustness of trimmers used on surveillance system, typically sealed to protect agaisnt harsh environment. Link here (PDF) Trimmer technology is designed for use in applications where the unit must be calibrated before it is shipped to a retailer, and eventually the end user. Typically, these pre-calibrated electronics use a trimmer for required adjustments to account for component variations over time. Medical and industrial designs frequently take advantage of the system calibration convenience of a trimmer. In surveillance systems, the trimmer is adjusted to obtain the best resolution of the sensors at an installation point.

[Category: app notes, app note, Bourns, trimmer]

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[l] at 10/29/23 7:22am
App note from Vishay going back to the fundamentals of humble fixed resistors. Link here (PDF) In the shadow of microelectronics, passive components such as discrete resistors would seem to have fallen out of the field of view in electronics. Yet, it is the rare circuit that can do without resistors. And a look at a modern circuit board will show that it has become more difficult to locate them visually.

[Category: app notes, app note, resistors, vishay]

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[l] at 10/22/23 8:07am
Nexperias app note on their load switches, combining multiple load switch functions in to one chip. Link here (PDF) Nexperia load switch ICs are highly integrated Power Management Integrated Circuits (PMICs) designed to efficiently control power rails within electronic systems. Load switches serve as indispensable components for managing power distribution and enabling the smooth operation of various loads.

[Category: app notes, app note, load switch, nexperia]

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[l] at 10/15/23 11:00am
The most used oscillator type in microcontrollers is the pierce oscillator, Abracon introduces you to its circuit basics and how the oscillator works. Link here (PDF) Today, the majority of electronic circuits (including microprocessors, microcontrollers, FPGAs, and cPLds) are based on clocked logic, requiring a timing source. depending on the frequency accuracy requirements, some employ oscillators while others use off-the-shelf quartz crystals in conjunction with the builtin oscillator circuit embedded in most microcontrollers and microprocessors. Most if not all embedded solutions use the Pierce oscillator configuration, integrated as part of the Soc (systemon-chip). the obvious advantages include cost, size, and power compared to a standalone oscillator. the key limitation is the proper matching of the quartz crystal with the on-board Pierce oscillator.

[Category: app notes, abracon, app note, Crystal oscillator]

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[l] at 10/15/23 7:00am
All about supercapacitors explained in this app note from Abracon. Link here (PDF) While batteries have been a mature technology for over a century, the need for energy storage solutions with faster charging and discharging cycles than traditional batteries has led to the search for a new alternative. Although conventional capacitors offer the fastest charging and discharging cycles among energy storage solutions, they lack the high energy densities that batteries feature. Technological research in the domain of energy storage has given birth to a new class of solution that bridges the gap between the properties of both batteries and capacitors: supercapacitors.

[Category: app notes, abracon, app note, supercapacitors]

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[l] at 10/8/23 11:00am
Heres app note from Abracon for EMI suppression using ferrite beads. Link here (PDF) A ferrite bead is a passive electrical component used to suppress high-frequency noise, EMI, and crosstalk in electronic circuits. They come in different shapes and sizes; some beads are available in the form of clamp-on cores, like the ones found at the ends of laptop chargers and digital signal cables. They can also be found as through-hole or SMD components, which are more suitable to be mounted on PCBs.

[Category: app notes, abracon, app note, EMI suppression, Ferrite bead]

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[l] at 10/8/23 7:00am
Example circuits for minimal power upon waking up in RP2040 microcontroller present in this app note from Raspberry Pi. Link here (PDF) Even in deep sleep RP2040 draws a typical current of ~180μA, and sleep current is very dependent on PVT: process (current varies from chip to chip), voltage (current varies linearly with voltage), and temperature (current varies nonlinearly with temperature). For many use cases where minimal current draw is required, the best option is to power off the system (or the RP2040 part of the system) completely if possible. This application note gives a couple of options for how this can be done, and these circuits are simple enough that a designer can adjust them for their own use case.

[Category: app notes, app note, Raspberry Pi, rp2040]

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[l] at 10/1/23 11:00am
App note from Littelfuse about how to properly use Triacs and SCRs and knowing their operating modes for various application. Link here (PDF) Gating, latching, and holding currents of Thyristors are some of the most important parameters. These parameters and their interrelationship determine whether the SCRs and Triacs will function properly in various circuit applications.

[Category: app notes, app note, Littlefuse, TRIAC]

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[l] at 10/1/23 8:07am
App note from Apex Microtechnology on determining the full bandwidth of high power op amp. Link here (PDF) Getting the highest bandwidth out of a Power Op Amp is one of the most common challenges in highpower analog. Whether youre outputting a 3 MHz sinewave into a semiconductor during testing, or getting the sharpest corners on a 100kHz triangular wave to drive a mirror deflector, more bandwidth is always in high demand. This note gives a quick reference for determining the full bandwidth of an Apex product and for maximizing that speed to its full potential.

[Category: app notes, amplifiers, apex microtechnology, app note]

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[l] at 9/24/23 7:52am
App note from CalRamic Technologies LLC on detecting defects in high voltage capacitor by Partial discharge. Link here (PDF) High reliability life critical systems require enhanced reliability high voltage multilayer ceramic capacitors, thereby necessitating improvements in materials, design, process control, and in-process screening procedures. Given that energy stored in a capacitor is proportional to the square on the operating voltage, these capacitors can become their own source of destructive energy if internal defects are present. Consequently critical high reliability systems mandate even greater restrictions be placed on capacitors to be defect free.

[Category: app notes, app note, Calramic technologies, capacitors]

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[l] at 9/17/23 11:00am
OSRAMs app note on their force based sensing by optical reflection. Link here (PDF) An optical force sensing system uses a light emitter and a light sensor that are located side-by-side below a flexible (and reflective) surface. The more forceful a press on that surface, the greater its deflection, the higher the value reported by the sensor. In other words, optical force sensors implement a (force aware) button. This application note reviews the design aspects of such a system, covering optical, electrical, mechanical and even driver and application software. It discusses various component selections from discrete solutions to fully integrated and suggest applications like keypads or even sliders.

[Category: app notes, app note, force sensing, OSRAM]

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[l] at 9/17/23 7:00am
Proper handling of ceramic capacitor presented in this app note from CalRamic Technologies LLC. Link here (PDF) Ceramic capacitors are susceptible to mechanical and thermal shock and larger capacitors in particular can be easily damaged if the operator does not pay particular attention to how they handle the device. In addition, care should be taken to insure that the surface of a capacitor is not contaminated or compromised. Failure to observe basic handling practices may result in the formation of internal micro fractures, surface chip outs and / or other adverse conditions, which may affect the performance and reliability of the component.

[Category: app notes, app note, Calramic technologies, capacitors]

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[l] at 9/10/23 11:00am
I2C-bus utilized on several meters of nodes describe and applied in this app note from NXP Semiconductors. Link here (PDF) The availability of powerful I2C-bus buffers that drive their I/Os on both sides to a nominal ground or ‘zero offset’ logic level allows the removal of noise introduced into one section of a very large bus system. That ‘regeneration’ of clean I2C signals enables building very long I2C buses by combining together relatively short bus sections, each say less than 15 meters, using such buffers or multiplexers. Conventional twisted-pair communication cabling with its convenient connectors, and a ‘modular’ I2C-bus system approach, make very large I2C systems such as for solar panel array control or multi-storey car parks to indicate free spaces by overhead red/green indicators very simple to construct. Together with the clever PCA9674/A GPIOs with their 100 simple addresses this arrangement could provide competition for RS-485 or other bus systems that cannot equal the number of simply addressable nodes possible in the system as described in the application note. It can be thousands of nodes. Because very large numbers of buffers, and the wiring, will introduce signal delays that can ‘skew’ the timing of the I2C-bus clock and data signals it becomes necessary to modify the timing margins generated by the conventional I2C-bus components used in small systems.

[Category: app notes, app note, I2C bus, NXP Semiconductors]

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[l] at 9/10/23 7:06am
App note from NXP Semiconductors shows I2C-bus galvanic isolation solution by splitting the bi-directional bus to unidirectional logic signals and passing them through opto-isolator couplers. Link here (PDF) Many systems that can benefit from the advantages of I2C-bus control are not allowed to share any common reference signal (ground) potential. To prevent any chance of electrocution, AC mains control and medical patient monitoring equipment require a safety isolation barrier, to kilovolt levels, between the system components. Regulations require isolation from telephone lines and Standards require isolation from Ethernet wiring, especially when power is also supplied by the Ethernet wiring (PoE). Techniques enabling reliable I2C communication while addressing these different requirements all require first splitting the normally bidirectional SDA/SCL signals into two uni-directional components and then applying conventional techniques to provide the necessary tolerance to difference in local ground potentials, or to provide total galvanic isolation.

[Category: app notes, app note, I2C, isolation, NXP Semiconductors]

As of 4/18/24 8:26am. Last new 1/22/24 7:16am.

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