Tiny Hall Sensor Module for Current Sensing

current sensor

Current and voltage are probably the most important electrical properties in any electrical circuit. They are the cornerstones of every other parameter and the first properties you look at when designing a circuit.

As you can imagine, for dynamic circuits, it is quite important to know the voltage and current at certain points in order to control the device operation or trigger certain action as well as calculate the heat dissipation.

Like voltage, current can a constant value (DC current) or a varying waveform oscillating at a certain frequency (AC current).

To measure current there are two popular ways of doing it: by measuring voltage drop on a resistor or by sensing a magnetic field in a conductor.

In this article, we will focus on how to sense a magnetic field in a conductor with the idea of measuring AC current using a tiny, cheap circuit.

Continue Reading “Tiny Hall Sensor Module for Current Sensing”

Arduino Board Design for Custom Projects

solar charger arduino

Believe it or not, the Arduino is one of the wonders of the modern world. It made electronics design and prototyping accessible to everyone by removing a lot of the initial entry barriers such as expert knowledge in C programming and hours of reading datasheets and application notes.

The power of the Arduino rellies in its communities that make good quality software libraries and join forces to make the platform easier and more powerful.

15 years ago, if you wanted to do a WiFi connected device that broadcasts information to another device, you will surely need a team of skilful and experienced engineers. As of today, by buying some modules and following tutorials online, you can achieve the same result.

But what happens when you have your proof of concept Arduino prototype working and want to make it smaller so it fits a sleek enclosure and takes away unnecessary components to make it cheaper?

You need to make your own PCB.

In this article, you will learn how to create a circuit that you can program with the Arduino IDE and works the same as the proof of concept prototype but in a custom-built PCB.

For this tutorial, 2 different MCUs will be reviewed. The ATMega328P from the Arduino UNO R3 and the ATTiny85/45/25, another popular MCU that can be used with the Arduino environment and is cheaper than the ATMega328P.

Continue Reading “Arduino Board Design for Custom Projects”

Tom’s HAT – Wakeup Light Alarm

How many of us have dreaded that alarm clock at ridiculous-o’clock in the morning interrupting our beautiful slumber in the land of nod? Beep-beep beep-beep… Some alarms will keep on going endlessly. Beep-beep beep-beep… Others will progressively get louder until you are forced to be awake, irritated that such a simple and inanimate, yet incredibly annoying object ruins your morning.  

There are studies (like this one) that heavily suggest that waking up to light is actually much better for your mental well-being and a better start to your morning than waking up to sound. Sure, a sounding alarm does the trick, but biologically speaking, your is still in “sleep mode” when you wake up. This is why you might try to get more sleep by hitting that “Snooze” button many (many!) times before accepting that you’re awake. In fact, these wakeup lights have shown to also successfully treat season affective disorders in people. 

It comes of no surprise then that the alarm clock industry has taken to simulating sunrises through artificial light. There are many wake-up light alarm clocks sold all across the internet that range from £20 ($25) to £150 ($190).   

But why buy one, when you can make your own IoT-based wakeup light using home automation hardware?  

Continue Reading “Tom’s HAT – Wakeup Light Alarm”

Freelance as an Electronics Engineer

brithday_developpa

In this article, I would like to share with all readers about my experience so far working as a freelance electronics engineer.

I have only been in this game for around 8 months, still learning a lot, making mistakes and improving.

I have divided this article into different sections of interest that envelope the whole package of what it entails to work as a freelance electronics engineer.

Continue Reading “Freelance as an Electronics Engineer”

Transformerless PSU, round 2

transformerless PSU

A few months ago, in the article Transformerless PSU, is it worth it? two ways to convert AC mains into usable DC voltage were analyzed in terms of cost, space and performance.

These two types were the traditional step-down transformer approach and a transformerless design that uses the property of reactance of the capacitor to create a voltage divider and effectively step-down the voltage.

In this article, we will analyze a third way to convert AC mains into DC voltage to power small electronics. Continue Reading “Transformerless PSU, round 2”

Beginners Guide: First Design with the dsPIC33E MCU

QFP-64-Photo

This post was originally published on Predictable Designs, the original article can be found here

If you are designing an electronic product, chances are that it will have a microcontroller (MCU) embedded into it.

In order to control, process, easily change parameters of the design on demand and keep the design tidy and relatively low complexity, it is unpractical to approach a solution using purely discrete analogue and digital components. For this reason, a natural choice is the use of a microcontroller. A microcontroller is basically a computer shrunk to a chip. It contains a CPU, memory, I/O pins and peripherals, all in a single package. Continue Reading “Beginners Guide: First Design with the dsPIC33E MCU”

Shenzhen Overview as an Electronics Designer and Maker

shenzhen taxi driver

Did you know that there is a place in this earth where electronics and product development is not a weird thing that can only be found in engineering firms, universities and some smart but awkward dude’s garage?

During October 2018, Developpa had the opportunity to experience this reality by visiting the so-called “Silicon Valley of Hardware”. Continue Reading “Shenzhen Overview as an Electronics Designer and Maker”

Current Source to Measure DC Resistance of a Wire

current_source

Have you heard of a current source before? In electronics, when you hear the word source, it means that part is “giving” or “providing” something, in this case, a current. The opposite of sourcing is sinking, this means that part is “taking” or “demanding” something. Continue Reading “Current Source to Measure DC Resistance of a Wire”

Transformerless PSU, is it worth it?

transformer vs cap

When it comes to the design of a power supply that needs to convert AC mains voltage into a fixed DC voltage, it is the norm to think that a transformer is required to achieve that design goal. In this article, a different alternative will be presented, and more importantly, it will be simulated and compared to the standard transformer solution in terms of cost, size and performance. Continue Reading “Transformerless PSU, is it worth it?”