Tag Archive for Review

Tutorial and Experiments on Energy Harvesting ICs

Energy Harvesting Tree

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.

Rigol DSA1030A-TG3 Spectrum Analyzer Review and Experiments


In this episode Shahriar extensively reviews the Rigol DSA1030A-TG3 Spectrum Analyzer. A wide variety of experiments are performed using the Rigol spectrum analyzer to serve both as a tutorial to use the instrument and to demonstrate its capabilities. Some measurement results are also performed using other calibrated instruments to verify the accuracy of the spectrum analyzer. The Rigol DSA1030A-TG3 can be purchased directly from Rigol Inc.



The following experiments are performed:

1) Signal amplitude, frequency and phase-noise measurements.
2) Low amplitude signal measurements (< -130dBm).
3) Low frequency measurement capabilities (< 9kHz).
4) PRBS length calculations and characterization.
5) Wireless 2.5GHz FM signal transmission and demodulation.
6) Attenuator and band-pass filter response measurements.
7) Amplifier bandwidth and output compression measurements.
8) Calibration and measurements of VSWR using the tracking generator.
9) Characterization of the tracking generator signal quality. 


Rigol DM3068 6.5 Digit Digital Multimeter Review


In this episode, Shahriar reviews the Rigol DM3068 6.5 Digit Digital Multimeter. The Model DM3068 DMM gives reliable, cost effective, full DMM capabilities measuring DCV, ACV, DCI, ACI, Resistance (2 & 4 Wire), Capacitance, Diode Test, Frequency, and Temperature. These DMMs are designed for simple and efficient bench top use, but include software options for datalogging and remote programming from almost any interface.

Shahriar demonstrates various functionality including a computer guided destructive LED IV tracer to investigate LED failure patterns. The DM3068 can be purchased for $799 US dollars from Rigol Inc. The DM3058 offers similar functionality at 5.5 Digits for $695 US dollars.


Rigol DP1116A and DP1308A Programmable Power Supply Review

Rigol Power Supplies


In this episode Shahriar reviews the brand new Rigol DP1116A and DP1308A programmable power supplies. Furthermore, the power supply features are compared against an Agilent dual output power supply.

“DP1308A & DP1116A are high-performance programmable linear DC power supply. They have excellent features including timed outputs and tracking capabilities; extremely clean  ripple and noise, comprehensive over-voltage, over current, over-temperature protection, a large and clear user interface, super performance specifications,and  multiple standard interfaces. The DP1308A & DP1116A meet the requirements of various forms desktop and integrated system testing. DP1308A & DP1116A are widely used in research and development, education, industrial control, mobile communication, and product testing, etc.”

The MSRP for both products is $849. Rigol offers a 30 day no-questions-asked return policy and a 3 year warranty. They also provide an excellent local technical support out of tropical Cleveland, Ohio.

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Saleae Logic and Logic16 Product Review

Logic16 from Saelae


As our first episode Shahriar will review two products from Saleae: “Logic” and the brand new “Logic16″. The video review also features USBee SX which is a direct competitor to Logic. Logic ($149) and Logic16 ($299) can be purchased directly from Saleae’s website or from one of their distributors.

Make sure you watch the next episode where we take these units apart to see what makes them tick!


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