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Batteries not included Here's a demonstration of the first IDIOT product. The IDIOT Energy Harvesting TV Remote Control. No batteries required. ...
Today while traversing the corridors of the University, I came across this sign:   It's a promotional sign for the nanotechnology lab of the University of Twente, apparently they're diving into the energy harvesting material science. Although probably not relevant to what they're actually doing, the demo is funny; you can light up each LED corresponding to the peltier tile:   No fancy processing needed here: behind each peltier, a small converter modul harvests the energy and pow ...
A Key Point This is a circuit can be used to support a 4x4 key matrix and be made energy efficient by not requiring perpetual polling. This is done by the use of interrupt inputs. When a key is pressed, the KBINT ISR (Interrupt Service Routine) is launched with then commences keyboard polling to determine which key was pressed, performs the desired action and then goes back to sleep. In the sleep state;      The key rows are configured as outputs where all outputs are pull ...
Sorry for the Interruption to the current Service. The remote buttons are interrupt driven and its supporting code is so simple.     The interrupts are configured using;   /* Setup interrupts */   GPIO_IntConfig (gpioPortB, 9, false, true, true);   GPIO_IntConfig (gpioPortB, 10, false, true, true);   NVIC_EnableIRQ(GPIO_ODD_IRQn);   NVIC_EnableIRQ(GPIO_EVEN_IRQn);   I didn't even have to specify the ISR (Interrupt Service Routine) function names. ...
It's all in the timing! Configuring the EFM32 to produce the correct timing for the InfraRed signals is easy. All the fiddly work has been done and hidden from the developer. All the developer needs to do is include and call upon the Clock Management Unit (CMU) API from the EFM library. For a 1MHz inbuilt Oscillator Frequency we use,      CMU_HFRCOBandSet(cmuHFRCOBand_1MHz);           To derive the carrier frequency we can a ...
Ancilliary Energy Storage Unit As mentioned at the end of Part 001 the EHSTG kit comes with a bank of capacitors can be configured as VSTORE for the LTC3108 TEG energy harvester or as an energy storage bank for the outputs of then energy harvesters (including the LTC3108). http://www.element14.com/community/groups/energy-harvesting-solutions/blog/2013/04/09/a-very-compact-guide-to-energy-harvesting--part-001   This capacitive bank is used to accumulate the energy as electric charge. Wh ...
IDIOT - Intelligently Designed Internet Of Things. Rather than just a single product I am submitting a family of products for the Energy Harvesting Solution To Go Challenge. I've aptly named it the family the IDIOT to mean "Intelligently Designed Internet Of Things".   Why a family of products and not just one? The reason why is because the Energy Solution To Go kit (EHSTG) and its parts are so versatile that the development and commercialisation of a single product would not have done ...
I would like to sum up all the work I have done in one post for those who did not follow this RoadTest and do not want to go through all the posts one by one.   Project descriptionThe other night I was making diner in the kitchen and I saw a blinking red LED on my carbon monoxide detector, indicating that I need to replace batteries. That is when I realized that some energy harvesting technique should do the trick for me next time with a help of some hack. These types of alarms are usually ...
Like Victor, I have finished my movie showing off the project. At the end of the week I will try to sum up what I did and learned during this RoadTest. But right now with no further ado, I present to you the carbon monoxide detector project supplied by energy harvesting.   ...
  Energy Harvesting Solutions: egg timer from Tinkerer on Vimeo.   Hello All! This is my 'grande finale' post in the Energy Harvesting Solutions Roadtest Challenge! It's been a nice challenge, with a lot of technical, well, ehm... challenges!   Thanks! First, I'd like to element14 for organizing this challenge. After that, I'd like to thank Wuerth both for the Energy Harvesting Solutions To Go kit, and for helping me to get a PCB in time, and of course Linear Technology (how do ...
Becoming Deranged In addition to the Expansion connector on its right hand side the STK3700 has perimeter peripheral and signal pins that can be used for connection. To use these easily I soldered on some gold connector pins.   To enable the connection of both e-paper and Energy Harvesting modules the following actions were undertaken; Solder header pins to perimeter connection pads of the STK3700 Relocate e-paper connections from Expansion header to the new header pins.   This ...
After the last time, I've added the following features / bugfixes to my project   Added button handling; one button to reset egg temperature (if inserting new eggs), the other to switch between showing water temperature and egg yolk temperature The button functionality already existed, but I had tho remap it to other pins, and add some wrapper functions Added buzzer output (controlling the VOUT2 of the LTC3108). When the egg yolk is above (calculated) 85degrees celsius, three beeps are ge ...
I have soldered and tested my board and I must say – it works great! Here are some pictures of the whole thing: detector, harvester and STK with uC.   I have done some energy tests. The output of the harvester chip has 0.1 F supercap. I used LTC3108-1, so the output is 3 V. As I have mentioned in one of my previous posts, I use internal EFM32 5V reference, so the usable voltage for me is 2.5-3 V. Below, there is a graph of discharge process. It takes more than 2 h to drain the 0. ...
  My LCD screen is working! Great, great, great.... I'm so happy this is starting to work well! I don't have much time explaining what I did, but I must give credits to EnergyMicro (again) for their outstanding documentation and code library. Last weekend, while not having any hardware, I dug through AN0057 (EFM32 Segment LCD), and the description of what needs to be done to driver your own display, in combination with the source code is very good.  I didn't fully grasp all concepts ...
Two big anouncements: The roadtest challenge has been extended one week, so the deadline is now friday the 19th. I'm still planning to finish my project this week, otherwise my girlfriend and son will go crazy because I'm spending too much time in my 'lab'. Hooray! This morning, using a flashlight shining close over the floor, I found the LTC2935 back that I lost yesterday evening! Now my project can continue!   Documentation, again.... I finally got my board working, at least harvesting ...
gelmi

Homemade PCB

Posted by gelmi Jul 9, 2013
I see that everyone is finishing projects before deadline I wanted to order a custom PCB for my project, but it takes about 7-14 days, so I decided to go back in time, when I lived in my dorm. Me and my friends were creating our own PCBs back then. The process is really simple. Create schematic and PCB design. Print the layers (laser printer) and iron them onto the raw copper board. Soften the paper with water mixed with citric acid and washing-up liquid. Peel off the paper when it ...
Here's a word from our other sponsors In addition to Würth Elektronik and element14 Energy Micro and Linear Technology are also sponsors of the Energy Harvesting Solution To Go Challenge. This is the result of another test run on the e-paper.   According to its datasheet the e-paper uses 0mA except when the display is updated with a new image. When the display is updated it typically draws 8mA for the duration of the update with a short 40mA pulse when its DC/DC converter initiali ...
Early Morning Amnesia This is the result from my work from the Ultimate RoadTest. A road test that was sponsored by element14 and Texas Instruments. Read on to find out why it is here.     Unlike what the deer says the Energy Harvesting Solution To Go RoadTest Challenge is sponsored by Würth Elektronik, element 14, Energy Micro and Linear Technology.     The EFM32 offers five power modes. These are described in many document including page 4 of http://cdn.energymi ...
First: the good news:I found the problem! Now the bad news: I've still got to find the solution....   Recap In my post from yesterday I told that the output at Vout on the LTC3108 was very low. It was about 800mV. Today I did some experiments: I desoldered the LTC3108, and replaced it with the one from the demonstration board; to my surprise, the VOUT was zero volt, but the LDO voltage was 2.2V, and the VSTORE (excess energy storage) pin was 5.25V! Was VOUT defective? No, it was badly sold ...
Yesterday I had everything I needed: Components from Farnell, samples of the microcontroller from EnergyMicro, and PCB's from Wuerth / WE-Direkt  ! And to further thank the main contributors to this build: From left to right: coil by Wuerth, LTC3108 from Linear and of course the GiantGecko from EnergyMicro!   Building and debugging - No power, no connection........  I had some trouble getting the design going. I soldered everything in place, omitting a few C's to play with ...
Graphics Upload Unit Testing  This is the first test run of some graphics in inverted mode. The protective plastic film has been left on. ...
Bit Moped Graphics Note: Apologies for this post for being blatently Black and White. To produce graphics for monochrome LCD screens I thought I could take the following approach;      1. Use an existing editor      2. Export the bitmap data into a suitable format for the LCD screen and importable into the code.   As I have found out, it's not just not that simple.   In the early 1980's I wrote a bespoke graphics editing program to create ...
While my project is not quite finished yet, I would like to share my thoughts about the EH seminar I attended on Tuesday two weeks ago. There were people from all over Poland, even from the opposite site of the country. That shows that companies here seriously take energy harvesting techniques under consideration in their current and future designs. Since EH is quite new, there is still much to learn for all the engineers, despite their experience in electronics. The seminar was led by element14 ...
It's far too simple to be true. The e-paper I obtained included a connection diagram and sample software to get it running. It looked straightforward but being the skeptic that I am it seemed too simple to be true. My inital hunch was spot on.   I followed the instructions to the letter and there wasn't enough material to get it working. Some additional research was required.   The Connector The first thing I noticed was that of my previous blog. The connector on the e-paper interf ...
Be Cautious... Very Cautious... When interfacing my evaluation e-paper modules to the STK3700 I had to be very aware of what's going on. Here is a picture of the e-paper module's interface connector (box header). Can you spot anything wrong with it? At first glance everything looks fine but it's not. A hint - Have a look where the Pin 1 indicator is on the box header and where it is on the PCB.   Pin 1 of the connector is the bottom left hand corner pad Pin 1 of the PCB is the top r ...
After sending a design to a fab house, I always take a deep breath, and start looking at my design from the relaxed position that I'll just have to wait for my boards to arrive. Now is the time to do some administrative chores such as making a partlist, look at assembly sequence, read through that part of the datasheet that I skipped earlier because I was in a rush... hey.... what's that?   I found some new insights that might be interesting to look at when testing my design: I was lookin ...
Not all is what it seems! When you look at the STK3700 there are two USB connectors. - A Mini-B USB socket for the debug interface - A Micro-AB USB socket the GG's USB interface.   A Mini-B USB socket is self explanatory. Details of the connector can be found at: http://katalog.we-online.com/em/datasheet/65100516121.pdf   Well what is a Micro-AB USB connector? It is a Micro USB connector but with a different perimeter shape allowing it to function as both a Micro-A or Micro-B USB c ...