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April is Oscilloscope Month: In Which We Discover Agilent Offers Us a Happy Deal and a Sad Name

Last month I wrote that March is Oscilloscope Month, because Agilent had a deal on the MSOX2000 and MSOX3000 series scopes offering higher bandwidth at lower prices. I got an MSOX3034 oscilloscope and...

posted by Jason Sachs on Apr 19 2014 under Test Equipment 
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How to Analyze a Differential Amplifier

There are a handful of things that you just have to know if you do any decent amount of electronic circuit design work. One of them is a voltage divider. Another is the behavior of an RC filter. I'm...

posted by Jason Sachs on Apr 13 2014 under Circuit Design | Analog Circuits 
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Garden Rakes Revisited: The Hall of Shame

A little while ago, I wrote about what I call the "garden rakes" syndrome in software, where there are little bugs or pitfalls lying around like sloppy garden rakes that no one has put away, and when ...

posted by Jason Sachs on Apr 12 2014 under Miscellaneous 
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Little to no benefit from C based HLS

As I write this I am on a plane and my destination is EELive 2014 where I am going to give a talk hardware design: the grunge era.  It is a shotgun introduction to three alternative hardware desc...

posted by Christopher Felton on Apr 4 2014
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March is Oscilloscope Month — and at Tim Scale!

I got my oscilloscope today. Maybe that was a bit of an understatement; I'll have to resort to gratuitous typography: I GOT MY OSCILLOSCOPE TODAY!!!! Those of you who are reading this blog may re...

posted by Jason Sachs on Mar 6 2014 under Test Equipment | Measurement 
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Unit Tests for Embedded Code

  I originate from an electrical engineering background and my first industry experience was in a large, staid defense contractor. Both of these experiences contributed to a significant lack of ...

posted by Stephen Friederichs on Mar 5 2014 under Software Development | Tutorials | Debugging 
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DSPRelated and EmbeddedRelated now on Facebook & I will be at EE Live!

I have two news to share with you today. The first one is that I finally created Facebook pages for and EmbeddedRelated (DSPRelated page - EmbeddedRelated page). For a long t...

posted by Stephane Boucher on Feb 24 2014
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Bad Hash Functions and Other Stories: Trapped in a Cage of Irresponsibility and Garden Rakes

I was recently using the publish() function in MATLAB to develop some documentation, and I ran into a problem caused by a bad hash function. In a resource-limited embedded system, you aren't likely t...

posted by Jason Sachs on Jan 28 2014 under Software Development | Applied Math 
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Using a RTLSDR dongle to validate NRF905 configuration

I am currently working on a system to monitor the garage door status from my flat. Both places are 7 floors apart, and I need to send the data wirelessly. I chose to operate on the 433MHz carrier, and...

posted by fabien le mentec on Jan 27 2014 under Tools | Communications | Microcontroller 
Comments (4) |

Implementing State Machines

State machines are a great way to design software but they can be difficult to implement well.To illustrate this I’ll develop a simple state machine then increase the complexity to demonstrate s...

posted by Stephen Friederichs on Jan 18 2014 under Software Development | Tutorials 
Comments (5) |

Efficiency Through the Looking-Glass

If you've ever designed or purchased a power supply, chances are you have had to work with efficiency calculations. I can remember in my beginning electronic circuits course in college, in the last le...

posted by Jason Sachs on Dec 8 2013 under Power Electronics | System Design 
Comments (4) |

Understanding and Preventing Overflow (I Had Too Much to Add Last Night)

Happy Thanksgiving! Maybe the memory of eating too much turkey is fresh in your mind. If so, this would be a good time to talk about overflow. In the world of floating-point arithmetic, overflow is p...

posted by Jason Sachs on Dec 4 2013 under Software Development | Tutorials 
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How to Estimate Encoder Velocity Without Making Stupid Mistakes: Part II (Tracking Loops and PLLs)

Yeeehah! Finally we're ready to tackle some more clever ways to figure out the velocity of a position encoder. In part I, we looked at the basics of velocity estimation. Then in my last article, I tal...

posted by Jason Sachs on Nov 17 2013 under Applied Math | Signal Processing 
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How to Arduino - a video toolbox

I've begun producing a new series of video tutorials for the hobbyist new to the Arduino or microcontrollers in general.  My videos are very pragmatic - I prefer to answer the question "what is t...

posted by Lonnie Honeycutt on Nov 15 2013 under Tutorials | Microcontroller 
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Introduction to Microcontrollers - Driving WS2812 RGB LEDs

[quicklinks]   This tutorial chapter is a bit of a detour, but I think an interesting and useful one.  It introduces a bit of assembly language programming, and demonstrates bit-banging a ...

posted by Michael Silva on Nov 14 2013 under Tutorials | Microcontroller 
Comments (15) |

Introduction to Microcontrollers - Button Matrix & Auto Repeating

[quicklinks]   Too Many Buttons, Not Enough Inputs Assigning one GPIO input to each button can use up a lot of GPIO pins.  Numeric input requires at least 10 buttons, plus however many ad...

posted by Michael Silva on Nov 12 2013 under Tutorials | Microcontroller 
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Levitating Globe Teardown, Part 2

Part 1 of this article was really more of an extended (and cynical) product review.  In this part of the article, I actually take things apart (sometimes a bit more suddenly than I meant to) and ...

posted by Tim Wescott on Nov 6 2013 under Miscellaneous | Education | Control Systems 
Comments (8) |

Energia - program a TI MSP430 using Arduino sketches

TI MSP430 Launchpad I started tinkering with microcontroller a couple of years ago with an Arduino Uno.  I had a little experience with C, so programming in the Arduino environment has been re...

posted by Lonnie Honeycutt on Nov 5 2013 under Tools | Tutorials | MSP430 | Microcontroller 
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Levitating Globe Teardown, Part 1

I've been kicking some ideas around for a long time for a simple and inexpensive platform I could use for control systems experimentation for the beginner.  I want something that can be controlle...

posted by Tim Wescott on Nov 4 2013 under Miscellaneous | Education | Control Systems 
Comments (3) |

Another 10 Circuit Components You Should Know

It's that time again to review all the oddball goodies available in electronic components. These are things you should have in your bag of tricks when you need to design a circuit board. If you read m...

posted by Jason Sachs on Oct 30 2013 under Circuit Design 
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