In this episode Shahriar demonstrates one of the simplest magnetic levitation circuits. First, the basic concept of magnetic levitation is examined. Two different methods of detecting the location of the levitating object is presented and the Hall effect sensor method is chosen. A semi-digital overall system is implemented where a PWM control IC is employed to control the magnetic field strength. The block diagram and functionality of this IC is presented. Finally, the schematic of a dual-Hall effect sensor solution is presented. The circuit is built and tested in both open-loop and close-loop configuration. Magnetic levitation is demonstrated with the capability of adjusting the levitation location. The schematic of circuit can be downloaded here and the electromagnet can be purchased from here.
In this episode Shahriar investigates some state-of-the-art energy harvesting ICs from Linear Technology. The LTC3105 is a highly efficient 400mA Step-Up DC/DC Converter with Maximum Power Point Control and 250mV Start-Up. After exploring the IC’s internal block diagram, the evaluation board for this energy harvesting chip is presented. Various experiments, including the calculation of efficiency, maximum power delivery, start-up behavior and MPPC are presented. As a last experiment, a two stage energy harvesting setup using a solar panel and a super-capacitor capable of charging an iPhone is demonstrated.
The second IC of interest is the LTC3109 which is an Auto-Polarity, Ultralow Voltage Step-Up Converter and Power Manager Energy Harvesting chip. The block diagram and the evaluation board of this IC is presented. The ultra-low voltage capability of the circuit is demonstrated through the use of a Peltier cooler thermo-electric component to generate a 5V output voltage. As a final experiment, several ice cubes are used in conjunction with the thermo-electric generator in order to harvest enough energy to charge an iPhone for 30 seconds.
In this episode, Shahriar investigates the theory and experimental results of the impact of extreme low temperatures on passive and active components. Liquid Nitrogen in used in a transparent glass Dewar where different components can be fully submerged in the liquid. Various types of resistors are compared for their temperature stability. An electromagnet which uses Copper coils is used to generate a magnetic field at a constant power consumption at both extreme temperatures. The impact of liquid nitrogen on the junction voltage of an NPN device is measured as well as the frequency shift of a CMOS ring oscillator. Finally, the wavelength shift of an LED submerged in liquid nitrogen is studied. There is a puzzle at the end of this video, please share your thoughts in the comments section. All documents can be downloaded from here.
In this episode Shahriar uses a few components to beyond what there were originally intended for in order to setup an optical link! By using a BlinkM RGB LED, a Color Sensor, and two PIC USB Boards from Sparkfun Electronics, a stand-alone optical link is established. Various theories of operation, including multilevel data transmission, signal constellation and detailed circuit diagrams are also presented. The final result is an 8-PAM, 3-Wavelength optical link with a colorful three-dimensional constellation graph. The code for the transmitter IC, receiver IC and Matlab functions are available to download from here.
In this episode Shahriar explores the world of filters! Starting from a simple lumped RC filter, he briefly covers the theory before moving onto measurement techniques. The bandwidth of the filter is verified experimentally in the time domain. A more complex RLC band-stop filter is also demonstrated with a tune-able inductor which is measured using an RLC meter. Using a Rigol spectrum analyzer with built in tracking generator and an active probe, the frequency response of the filter is measured. Several other packaged filters are also demonstrated and a microwave band-pass filter is disassembled to reveal its internal construction.
Moving onto “undesired filters”, a Tyco backplane board is presented and the bandwidth limitation of the backplane traces are measured. A Xilinx FPGA board equipped with a Virtex II PRO is used to generate a 1.5Gbps PRBS data stream through the Tyco board. After observing the frequency composition of the date, pre-emphasis equalization is used to compensate the backplane frequency limitations. Eye diagram measurements verify the benefit of pre-emphasis equalization to combat inter-symbol-interference (ISI).
I would like to acknowledge my friend and colleague, Dr. Timo Pfau for his expertise in setting up and configuring the Xilinx FPGA board.
This is "The Signal Path dot com"! An electrical engineering video blog for students, hobbyists and hackers. I do equipment reviews, teardowns, circuit design tutorials, testing procedures and more! Subscribe to my RSS, join the community forum and participate in the discussions.