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Test & Tools

353 posts
  A team from Northwestern University has created a body sensor to help monitor babies in neonatal intensive care units (NiCU). The sensors are wireless, soft and flexible and have an advantage due to replacing other sensors that rely on wires to function. The sensors could be put to use in hospitals within the next two to three years.   Studies on premature babies were collected at Prentice Women's Hospital and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago. They foun ...
Introduction My car battery died recently, and I thought I’d try out an Energizer car jump-starter. This was a new product to me – I had not realized that such compact lithium ion jump starters were available! It reduces the need to find someone else’s car to do a jump-start.   In brief, it is a unit that looks like a USB power bank (it can be used as such) but with a rubber covered flap that has a connector to allow it to connect via a supplied adapter cable to a car bat ...
  Platinum Resistance Thermometer Thermocouple Thermistor Sensor Platinum-wire wound or flat-film resistor Thermo-element, two dissimilar metals/ alloys Ceramic (metal oxides) Accuracy (typical values) 0.1 to 1.0°C 0.5 to 5.0°C 0.1 to 1.5°C Long term Stability Excellent Variable, Prone to ageing Good Temperature range -200 to 650°C -200 to 1750°C -100 to 300°C Thermal response Wirewound – slow Film – faster 1-50 secs typical S ...
Introduction For years I’ve been “helping hand”-less. Since I was a kid, the design of the classic helping hands has not really changed - it has stood the test of time, but just for lightweight tasks. For anything large/heavy, it all goes wrong.   Here’s one attempt at solving the problem.. it relies on cheap camera ball-heads and clamps, and a steel base. It can all be built in an hour or two, depending on how fancy a base is desired. Otherwise, it is all plug-and- ...
Pt100 Sensors for Industrial Use   The use of a platinum resistance thermometer probe in industrial and scientific applications will normally result in good, accurate temperature sensing without the need for special cables (unlike thermocouples). To achieve the best possible accuracy and reliability, care is needed with installation of the probe, connections, and choice of the host instrumentation.   Choice of wire-wound or flat film sensing resistor.   The resistance elemen ...
Now that I have a programmable psu, dc load, oscilloscope and multimeter, it's time to build a flexible test bed. It's main purpose is to specify efficiency of switch mode regulators. But with some tweeking itcan also be used to measure ripple of a power supply under load. It's going to be a flow that can step through voltages, then sweeps the load over a range,makes measurements and log them to a spreadsheet. The flow will be able to loop this process once, or continuous until the STOP bu ...
  Advances in electron microscopy have given a much deeper insight into the nanoscale world. Experiments using electron microscopy only has a small amount of information generated as the beam hits the samples. A team at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has invented a electron detector that can capture information at a much faster rate than before. The new device was installed on Feb. 12 at Berkeley Lab's Molecular Foundry, and it captures those images on a su ...
Late last week at work, our head of Maintenance at work had an older Fluke 190 Scopemeter at his desk. He said that something was wrong with it and he wasn't sure what to do with it - send it in for repair, or get rid of it and get a new one. At almost $5,000 however, he said his department didn't have it in the budget for this year for a new one. The scope was clearly beat up and showing its age. He said it wasn't powering up anymore and probably has a bad battery.   I told him I could ta ...
Advances in a nanomaterial-based detector platform arrive thanks in large part to Mahmooda Sultana's fund winnings. The $2 million award comes from NASA's Goodard Space Flight Center and will take two years to advance the multifunctional sensor. If the advances in research go well, the technology could help NASA with sending humans to the Moon and Mars. The platforms would be installed on rovers to find tiny traces of water and methane. It could also be used to monitor astronauts or be used as b ...
Introduction  Continuing with my insulation tester series, I have changed the rules for this review slightly. Whilst the earlier reviews showed different offerings from manufacturers, this one will be a review of two very similar meters, detailing them in comparison to one another, rather than a comparison against the previous testers reviewed.   Keysight Insulation Multimeter Failure   Megger MIT420/2 Road Test   Chauvin Arnoux CA6526 Insulation Tester Review   Flir IM ...
Cruising in Siberia's Lake Baikal. (Image via pixabay)   The magnetic north pole is rapidly moving away, and scientists can't explain why. It's been occurring in the past few decades, and the effect makes estimates for navigation a bit less accurate.  Scientists released an update on Monday, indicating where the magnetic pole is now.  The pole is drifting 34 miles a year and crossed the international date line in 2017. However, it is now leaving the Canadian Arctic and is heading ...
I'm road testing the  Keithley Bench Digital Multimeter DMM6500. In this post, a simple method to save measurements and list them in a table with a keypress.     Saving Measurements to a Table  This is the default behaviour of the DMM. Measurements are stored in defbuffer1 when you switch on the meter. I'm using this functionality to register a number of measurements, using the TRIGGER button to take a measurement.   I'm measuring a feedback circuit on my bench. ...
One of the things that jump out in Louis Rossmann's videos is the type of flux he uses (and the amount ). The fluxes I have at home are liquid, and that works well when building new PCBs. The Amtech flux I'm testing here is a jelly when applied and becomes fluid when hot. This may be helpful when reworking surface mount ICs, where my flux is gone by the time I'm halfway reworking them.   What I'm hoping to get out of this is to improve my success rate when reworking QFN packages and the ...
A city that was completely lost to time in the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa has been re-discovered. The ancient stone huts that can be seen from the naked eye was actually an active city that had been lost for 200 years. Archaeologists in South Africa had been observing and researching the dense vegetation for three decades and had barely known much about it. Thanks to LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology, the entire site has been revealed for what it was once: a metropolis ...
I'm road testing the  Keithley Bench Digital Multimeter DMM6500. In this post, I review an experimental app to implement Hold functionality. The script is made by a Keithley engineer in his free time. Experimental. See the end of this post for stability remarks.   The DMM6500 doesn't have a hold function out of the box. The App that I'm reviewing here implements it. It shows a maximum of 8 stable measurements. You can move the meter probes around on your circuit. Every time ...

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