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Test & Tools

288 posts
The technology allows researchers to study patients with Parkinson's disease and allows them to monitor mobility. Artificial intelligence demonstrates the movement of a person behind a wall by using a stick figure as a representative of their body. (Image via MIT) Researchers have made it possible to see a person in motion on the opposite side of a wall through the use of radio signals and artificial intelligence. This technology isn't entirely new in today's world. It has been used before on ...
A new phone protection case turns the smartphone into a weapon and explosive detector. Image of the SWORD app scanning a guy. (Image via Royal Holdings)   Every owner of a smartphone knows that it is wise to protect the device. For that purpose, companies rival with all kind of cases: from the minimalist ones to the multi-functional ones that offer more than just protection for the phone. One of those multi-function protection cases is redefining how security is ensured. With that phone ca ...
I'm building a SCPI device for Linux. I have the basis working over TCP/IP. This morning I received a PiFace Digital 2 from element14 (thank you!) This board, with digital inputs, outputs, relays and LEDs can be a nice LAB automation utility.   In this post I check if I can control the PiFace Digital 2 via C. TL;DR yes   In this series, I'm focusing on the specifics for TCP/IP communication with a SCPI service. In the previous posts I made socket server that listens for SCPI ...
MIT thinks they have a way to stop hackers, but can anything truly be unhackable? (Photo via Wiley Systems)   Whether you love them or hate them, smart devices are taking over. It feels like everything we own and do is connected to the internet: our phones, TVs, and even our cars. And while it can make our lives easier, it opens us up to new dangers, like hacking. All these devices can be hacked and have their data perched, overwritten, can jam signals, and cause havoc in general. Companie ...
Many tech companies come together to devise a tool that will allow blind people to have a more normal life and feel more included in social dynamics. USB-IF HID plugged into a phone. (Image via Microsoft)   In the United States, it is a crime to discriminate against anyone when it comes to basic necessities like holding a job. Actually, discrimination against anyone is not recommended, but it is probably harder to defend oneself against it when carrying a disability. To prevent discriminat ...
Have you ever wondered if it's possible to convert your cassette tape players into an mp3 music player? Thanks to TapelessDeckPlayer, the idea is now possible and seems both inviting and enticing for music enthusiasts who are still in possession of their cassettes. After all, who'd be crazy enough to throw them out - especially in this modern and music digital age? The TapLess Deck Player features some pretty nifty add-ons that you would be surprised to know exists on this deck player. It has w ...
How often do people complain about not being able to stay connected or together at big events, or in areas that don’t allow for internet connectivity? Well, now, for all those issues, there is a solution. The Lynq device, one of the many colors available. (Image via Lynq)   I don’t like to talk about a finished product at this level, usually. But this one is so cool. It’s a “why didn’t I make this” scenario. This is a real life tracker like Ripley used i ...
I'm building a SCPI shell for Linux. I have the basis working over TCP/IP on a Raspberry Pi and a BeagleBone.   In this post I'll show the basics: the Pi or BB listens to SCPI commands and sends replies. I'll include the LabVIEW test bed that I used to get this working.     In this series, I'm focusing on the specifics for TCP/IP communication with a SCPI service. I will not make an instrument but this project can serve as the basis of a SCPI programmable Linux device.  ...
Disney’s research team is pushing augmented and virtual reality to the next level with a jacket that let the wearer immerse his senses into whatever game he is playing. The Force Jacket on a volunteer (left and right), one of the 26 bags inside the jacket (middle). (Image via Disneyresearch.com)   Even though Virtual Reality has not taken over the world completely yet, companies are still working to improve the experience for the users who are already hooked on VR. One such company i ...
Analog Time ! I've prepared the DC Load to measure the behaviour of the circuit. In this blog series I'll show dynamic aspects of the instrument. The first blog shows the points of interest and some initial teaser measurements. If you want a particular measurement to be done, ask in the comments.     Test Points  I've wired the main points of the control circuit - an opamp integrator: the inputs of the integrator (set point and measured feedback) the output of the integra ...
A newly designed driverless car called Roborace will make a new spin on wheels, and it isn't something ordinary, either because the vehicle isn't operated with a human driver behind the wheels. It's completely AI-controlled. The leaders behind Roborace hired Daniel Simon to do some navigating in designing the car. Simon is also responsible for designing the vehicles in Tron: Legacy, Oblivion's drones and spaceships and Captain America's hydra vehicles.   Since Roborace is influenced and g ...
I recently received a new oscilloscope, the Keysight DSO1102G, for my workbench. I’ve had the Tektronix TBS1202B-EDU on my desk for a long while. Having never read through its manual I thought now would be a good time do a thorough read of both manuals. This would give me a better and more complete understanding of these two oscilloscopes. It would also allow me to have a greater appreciation of the differences between the two oscilloscopes without missing anything.   Out of the box ...
Introduction This short blog post explores the difference between home-made, low-cost, a mid-cost and a high end 50 ohm load! They have many uses. The larger ones are often used to test transmitters, such as for Ham radio or Citizens' Band (CB) radio.   I used the Rohde & Schwarz FPC1500 Spectrum Analyzer in its Vector Network Analyzer (VNA) mode to examine them. There is more detail about the FPC1500 and how vector network analysis is used in the FPC1500 review here.   What ...
Insight lander offers an enhanced vision of Mars beneath the surface. The mission will take 6+ months to complete. Pictured, an artist's concept of InSight with its instruments on Mars. (Photo Credit: JPL-CALTECH/NASA)   A new mission to Mars hopes to expand and enhance our understanding of the red planet's internal structure. On Saturday, NASA had launched a robotic instrument with a hammer and quake monitor. However, the journey had a different approach - one that launched for the first ...
fluxcap

Soldering Irons

Posted by fluxcap May 4, 2018
I'm looking to step up my soldering game. I've seen the relatively new intergrated heating element into the soldering iron tip, like the JBC stations. Does anyone know a budget version that uses the same tech? ...

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