Feb 8 - Day 5 – Bootloading CCS C Compiler Applications
Continuing Education Center 2/8/2013 261 comments The final session will focus on developing bootloadable applications using the CCS C Compiler for PIC Microcontrollers. The idea is to demonstrate the versatility of the Bootloader code by demonstrating bootloading PICBASIC PRO applications followed by bootloading and running PIC18F47J13 applications generated with the CCS C Compiler.
Feb 7 - Day 4 – Bootloading PICBASIC PRO 3.0 Applications
Continuing Education Center 2/7/2013 270 comments The fourth session will describe how to write PICBASIC PRO 3.0 applications that can be loaded via the Microchip PIC18F47J13 Bootloader. A PICBASIC PRO 3.0 driver for the NHD-02C16CZ that can be melded with the Microchip Bootloader code and PICBASIC PRO 3.0 application code will be introduced.
Feb 6 - Day 3 – Bootloader Firmware Design
Continuing Education Center 2/6/2013 252 comments The third session will concentrate on the assembly of the necessary Microchip Memory Disk Drive File System components to support the PIC18F47J13. The concepts presented in this session will be supported by working code examples. The Microchip Memory Drive File System API will also be examined.
Feb 5 - Day 2 – Bootloader Hardware Design
Continuing Education Center 2/5/2013 391 comments The second session will describe the hardware design that will be used to implement the physical components of the Microchip PIC18F47J13 Bootloader. The hardware will consist of a PIC18F47J13 that is supported by an FTDI FT232RL USB-to-UART Bridge IC and a Microchip MCP1703 3.3-volt LDO voltage regulator. A buffered microSD card carrier card and an NHD-02C16CZ 3.3-volt LCD are also part of the Bootloader hardware complement.
Feb 4 - Day 1 – Anatomy of a Microcontroller Bootloader
Continuing Education Center 2/4/2013 386 comments This first session will introduce the students to the basic firmware elements of the microchip microcontroller, Bootloader. The building blocks that make up the Microchip Bootloader will be described in detail. The firmware that supports each Bootloader building block will also be examined.
Jan 18 - Part 5. Advanced Example Designs
Continuing Education Center 1/18/2013 195 comments The review of some example designs with widely different low-power requirements will help solidify the main concepts and capabilities the modern low-power MCUs offer designers. The key low-power requirements of each design will be identified and matched with the key MCU capabilities needed to create efficient implementations.
Jan 17 - Part 4. Extending Battery Lifetime
Continuing Education Center 1/17/2013 198 comments Once the key concepts and capabilities of low-power MCUs are understood it is sometimes critical to use them to achieve a target battery lifetime. Understanding both the key concepts behind extending battery lifetime and the techniques for estimating battery lifetime is critical in achieving the most aggressive design requirements.
Jan 16 - Part 3. Low-Power Peripherals
Continuing Education Center 1/16/2013 214 comments Once the MCU low-power modes are understood it is important to understand how to most efficiently use the MCU peripherals. Modern low-power MCUs have special peripheral features that can assist in reducing power. A detailed look at these features is required to create more efficient designs.
Jan 15 - Part 2. Low-Power Modes in Detail
Continuing Education Center 1/15/2013 240 comments Effective use of the low-power modes (like Sleep, Stop, Snooze, and Standby) in modern MCUs is one of the most important ways to achieve the most power-efficient design. Knowing when and how to use these modes requires a detailed look at the advantages and disadvantages of these capabilities.
Jan 14 - Part 1. Introduction: Low-Power MCU Concepts & Capabilities
Continuing Education Center 1/14/2013 275 comments Modern MCUs have a variety of features that support very low-power operation. In order to get the most out of these new capabilities we will first review common concepts (like special low-power operating modes) and common capabilities (like special peripheral operations) that most modern low-power MCUs share.
Dec 20 - DAY 4: ZigBee in Depth Part 2
Continuing Education Center 12/20/2012 216 comments The Operating Details Under each profile is a set of operating protocols for sending set data. We will look at the structure and operation of these. We will also look at how one may use the strong structure of ZigBee to build a proprietary profile, gaining from the advantages of the protocol while providing for your unique communications and control needs.
Dec 19 - DAY 3: ZigBee in Depth Part 1
Continuing Education Center 12/19/2012 225 comments Profiles one of the primary selling points for ZigBee is the guaranteed interoperability between nodes, regardless of who made the equipment. This is assured by the use of profiles that are established by the ZigBee Alliance and are independent of any one manufacturer. We will look at the established profiles and how they operate.
Dec 17 - DAY 1: Executive Overview - What is ZigBee, Anyway?
Continuing Education Center 12/17/2012 280 comments Much is being said about the ZigBee protocol and its promise for low-power and dependable mesh networking, but what does ZigBee entail and what does it mean for a company that is thinking of incorporating it? We will discuss just what the standard and protocol are about, its history, and where it is going.
Dec 6 - DAY 4: 802.15.4 Radio Design Factors
Continuing Education Center 12/6/2012 212 comments This discussion addresses factors that affect radio communications and small radio design. Range, power, and data transfer rate together with physical size, weight, and cost impact design choices. We will speak about link budget, operating frequency, and antenna considerations. The discussion reviews power requirements for typical 802.15.4 radio systems.
Dec 5 - DAY 3: 802.15.4 Radio Protocols & Topology
Continuing Education Center 12/5/2012 212 comments This discussion considers the 802.15.4 communications protocols. We address various operating protocols, taking a look at Zigbee and competing protocols. We also address 802.15.4 radio operating topologies such as star, star-mesh, mesh, and adaptive mesh approaches.
Dec 4 - DAY 2: 802.15.4 Radio Link Modulation
Continuing Education Center 12/4/2012 235 comments This discussion takes as its focus the 802.15.4 standard as it applies to radios operating at 2.4GHz. We consider 802.15.4 modulation, the concept of "chips" and direct spread spectrum modulation, data throughput, and alternate modulation techniques.
Dec 3 - DAY 1: Navigating FCC Regulations
Continuing Education Center 12/3/2012 233 comments Federal Communications Commission rules and regulations are confusing. This discussion helps you to sort out the relevant portions of FCR 47 as it applies to ISM radio for 802.15.4-style data communications. The discussion limits its focus to regulatory matters in the United States.
Nov 30 - Day 5: USB From the Host Side
Continuing Education Center 11/30/2012 218 comments Day 5 begins with a discussion of USB hosts, which are the most complex component in USB technology. We then are able to draw the differences between device, host, and on-the-go USB software stacks. The memory footprint for typical hosts and devices is described. Finally, the requirements for USB compliance are explained.
Nov 29 - Day 4: USB From the Device Side
Continuing Education Center 11/29/2012 238 comments Day 4 is all about USB devices -- what they are, and what they can be. When a USB device is first connected to the bus, it triggers a process called enumeration. This event is a crucial phase of the USB protocol. USB classes are also presented, which allow USB devices to take on multiple functions.
Nov 28 - Day 3: Understanding the USB Protocol
Continuing Education Center 11/28/2012 276 comments Day 3 presents the complex structure of the USB protocol, which operates above the basic level of transmission and reception of bits over copper wires. Discussed are the concepts of USB packets, transfers, transactions, frames, and endpoints. These concepts are essential to meet performance expectations.
Nov 27 - Day 2: USB Over a Single Wire Pair
Continuing Education Center 11/27/2012 263 comments Day 2 presents the methods and circuitry used in USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 to transmit and receive data over a single wire pair. The methods for USB 3.0 are also presented. The physical layer is examined. For compliance purposes, it is often sufficient to follow the semiconductor vendor reference designs.
Nov 26 - Day 1: Implementing USB in Embedded Products
Continuing Education Center 11/26/2012 295 comments Day 1 begins with a discussion about implementing USB technology in embedded products. This task can be challenging because of the restricted hardware resources available in embedded systems. USB topology is presented, which is a determining factor in what you can and cannot do with this technology. Finally, the mechanical specifications of USB are described.
Nov 16 - Day 5: Reusable Code Tests & Concluding Remarks
Continuing Education Center 11/16/2012 362 comments Code written to support a variety of products requires additional testing to ensure correct behavior when instantiated for future configurations that may or may not occur. Today’s course will discuss these tests, give a review of the week, and make final remarks on reusability.
Nov 13 - Day 2: Writing Code That Is Reusable Through Commonality
Continuing Education Center 11/13/2012 454 comments One approach to reusability is to require that the domain of the code and its adjacent modules conform to a specification. Today’s course will discuss the pros and cons, and give tips, techniques, and examples of this approach for code written to be common across implementations.
Nov 12 - Day 1: Introduction, Myths & Why
Continuing Education Center 11/12/2012 492 comments Much is written about reusable C++ code. But most embedded systems code is still written in C. Embedded systems add additional impact to reusability. Today’s course will discuss myths and reasons for reusable code, along with the topics covered this week on writing reusable code in C.
Oct. 26 - P. 5: Instrumentation for Power Measurement
Continuing Education Center 10/26/2012 176 comments Part 5 discusses available power-related instrumentation that may be applicable to many situations (multimeters, scopes, power meters, source measurement units, among others), as well as implementation issues in practical systems, including 2/4-lead measurements, noise, loops, and other issues.
Oct. 24 - P. 3: The Basics of Electrical Circuitry
Continuing Education Center 10/24/2012 174 comments Part 3 examines the electrical circuitry needed to interface the various sensors, safety issues for the system, the misunderstood term and concept of "ground," and floating/differential measurement situations.
Oct. 23 - P. 2: The 4 Most Common Transducer Types
Continuing Education Center 10/23/2012 237 comments Part 2 looks at the four most-used transducer types (shunt resistor, transformer coil, Rogowski coil, and Hall devices) and their key attributes and tradeoffs, use for AC vs. DC vs. transient power measurement, and low, medium, and high-power regimes.
Oct. 22 - P. 1: The Basics of Electrical Power Measurement
Continuing Education Center 10/22/2012 322 comments Part 1 of this course will define basic terms, explain why power (and energy) measurement is needed, clarify what will and won't be covered, and explore what the role and reality of power measurement is. It will also provide an overview of the remaining parts of the course.
Oct 10 - Part III: Fundamentals of Smart Sensors
Continuing Education Center 10/10/2012 195 comments Many technologies contribute to improving sensors that frequently get dubbed "smart sensors." The "smart" term is used loosely in many technical and non-technical areas, so what makes a sensor smart? Find out from our expert in this session.
Oct 8 - Part I: Sensor Specs 101
Continuing Education Center 10/8/2012 257 comments Obtaining the expected performance for a sensor in a system requires a solid understanding of the terms used to specify performance. In many cases, it is absolutely necessary to sort through the marketing hype about a sensor's capability, but even data sheets are non-uniform and can be confusing. In this course, our expert explains the essentials to avoid application pitfalls.
Part 5: PCB Fabrication: Gerber Files & Ordering PCB
Continuing Education Center 9/28/2012 213 comments Today is the clincher, to take our layout and generate manufacturing files commonly called Gerber files as well as the Bill of Materials (BOM). Then we'll use a Gerber viewer to review the files. We'll then go over the process of how to specify and get a quote from a PCB manufacturer.
Part 4: Finishing the Layout: Finishing Touches & Design Rule Check
Continuing Education Center 9/27/2012 202 comments To finish the layout, we'll need to add some vias for soldering on the wires. We'll also add some text to the board and fill in some extra copper to help with heat dissipation. Then we'll cover some power-supply-oriented design rules and show how to set up the program to do a Design Rule Check.
Part 3: Using PCB Layout Software: Custom Component Libraries
Continuing Education Center 9/26/2012 310 comments If we need a component that is not in the provided libraries and not found in online user groups, we can always create our own components. We'll go through a few examples and use as much copy-and-paste as possible to create custom symbols and footprints for our custom components. We'll also cover the common footprint design guidelines, such as pad size and spacing tolerance, and using Eagle layout designer to create custom library components to fit our needs.
Part 2: Using PCB Layout Software: Schematic Capture & Component Libraries
Continuing Education Center 9/25/2012 234 comments This second class will start with an overview of circuit board layout software. Continuing on with our LED driver, we'll be using freeware to capture the schematic of our design using built-in library components. Then we'll see the real power of the software as the captured circuit is translated into PCB footprints. This allows us to lay down copper traces on the board.
Part 1: Driver Design & Component Selection
Continuing Education Center 9/24/2012 347 comments We start off this series with an overview of the prototyping process from a circuit design to schematic capture to circuit board layout. We'll be using the example of the LED driver design using the HV9910 that we discussed in "Advanced LEDs & Displays" in May. In this first class, we'll start with a quick review of the circuit, then go over the Bill of Materials and start the component selection process using the DigiKey Website.
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.