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Gough Lui's Blog

64 posts
I seem to be having a lot of luck with Rohde & Schwarz lately, as a RoadTester of their RTM3004 oscilloscope, I was awarded RoadTester of the Year. I also RoadTested their HMP4040 power supply, which led to an opportunity to review their HMC8043 power supply. It hasn’t been even a month since the latest review, but I’m back with more exciting Rohde & Schwarz news!   Today (20th August 2019) marks the official launch of Rohde & Schwarz’s latest specialty power ...
Last year has been a pretty interesting year for me, receiving the RoadTester of the Year award from element14 for my Rohde & Schwarz RTM3004 oscilloscope review and also delivering a review of the Rohde & Schwarz HMP4040 power supply. Since then, it’s been extremely busy juggling review after review – but I’m up for the challenge.   It seems like Rohde & Schwarz took some notice of this and asked whether I’d like to give their HMC8043 power supply a try ...
In late November last year, I reviewed the Rohde & Schwarz HMP4040.04 384W four-channel programmable power supply. This power supply was a beast of a supply with a hybrid linear-design and exceptional performance specifications which aligns well with its positioning as a performance-line supply. Despite being damaged in transit and eventually suffering a failure of its fourth channel, the unit has continued to function well. Quite recently, I dared to take it apart for a peek under the cover ...
Just over half a year ago, I was fortunate enough to be chosen as a reviewer of the Rohde & Schwarz HMP4040.04 384W Four-Channel Programmable Power Supply, which I reviewed here. The unit was a stellar performer, but unfortunately, it suffered substantial damage in transit. In fact, it seems all reviewers were unfortunate to have had some level of damage to their HMP4040 units. I dutifully co-operated with the carrier and lodged the necessary evidence and quote for repair, but I heard nothin ...
As the setup of the board is perhaps not very interesting and isn’t the key focus of the RoadTest, I’ve broken all of those details out into a separate blog posting to save cluttering the review. In this part, let’s take a look at the setup process and the documentation supplied.   Nice to meet you Dave! Upon preparing the XMC2GO and inserting it into the base board, the first step is to program it for operation with the kit. While I think it probably would not have been t ...
Since some RoadTest review readers get bored of looking through unboxing, the unboxing process has been moved into this separate blog post.   Unboxing For this Infineon Gate Driver with Truly Differential Input RoadTest, a special package from element14 arrived, safely packed with crumpled paper to prevent damage. The MOSFET Gate Driver IC Evaluation Board comes packaged in a thin colour cardboard box. The rear is host to a number of labels indicating the order process which it has gone ...
Most embedded systems will need to interface with “reality” in some way, whether that is reading in information measured by transducers or controlling some “actor” device to achieve some action. In the case of the Harting MICA, it has eight GPIO lines which can be used for this purpose.   Working with GPIO The Harting MICA includes eight lines of GPIO on the I/O connector, including four high-side drivers, two low-side drivers and two configurable drivers. These line ...
In industrial applications, equipment can often suffer harsh conditions. While some of these are more obvious (e.g. temperature extremes, vibration, liquid and dust), others are less obvious such as power issues. In this part, I run some automated tests to try and determine just how much power the Harting MICA consumes and how it behaves when faced with different voltages.   Voltage Tolerance & Power Consumption To understand the tolerance of the Harting MICA to various voltages and det ...
One of the key features of an “industrial” piece of equipment is its tolerance to environmental extremes. This includes extremes of temperature, vibration, dust and liquid ingress. In this section, I try to kill ‘n+1’ birds with ‘n’ stones by trying to use the Harting MICA as a weather station, condition monitoring solution and then try to take it for a swim.   Data Handling While the Bosch CISS sensor is happy to stream data continually, to perform this ...
While the Harting MICA may be the main start of this RoadTest, it’s also important to take a good look at the Bosch Connected Industrial Sensor Solution (CISS) as it is in itself a separate product which has capabilities beyond that exposed within the present version of CISS Gateway.   Bosch CISS As mentioned earlier, the Bosch CISS is an IP54-rated puck-shaped device incorporating six sensors (Accelerometer BMA280, Gyroscope BMG160, Magnetometer BMC150, Temperature sensor, Humidity s ...
The datasheet for the Harting MICA CISS Complete IIoT Starter Kit makes a fairly bold claim – that you could be up and running with a condition monitoring system in just 10 minutes. Let’s put this to the test. In this rather long chapter, I will be examining the setup process, software available, hardware, documentation and troubleshooting experience.   Initial Setup As all the necessary components are included in the kit, getting started is a matter of plugging everything in an ...
In this section, I will be covering the unboxing experience – in the case of the Harting MICA, it’s a delight of its own which is well worth looking at.   Unboxing The kit from Harting comes sealed in shrink-wrap for freshness. The design of the box art is very clean, featuring a mostly black, white and yellow scheme. The top of the box labels the unit is as the Harting MICA CISS Complete IIoT Starter Kit with an image of the unit and sensor. The bottom of the box is blank, ...
In this blog post, I’ll provide a little background on the industrial internet-of-things and the various products on the market today.   IoT vs IIoT – Same, but Different Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll probably have been seeing the internet-of-things (IoT) revolution currently sweeping through the consumer space. This includes things like internet-connected Smart TVs, fridges, doorbells, light globes, thermostats and cameras just to name a few. It see ...
Of utmost importance to IoT designers is often the power budget, as battery powered devices may need to be manufactured to meet a given lifetime on a non-rechargeable battery. Efficient radios, power conversion circuitry, microcontrollers and software are necessary to make the most of the power budget while considering peak power usage demands and cost.   In this blog, I try to characterise the power consumption of the SDAWIR03 cube using a Rohde & Schwarz HMP4040.04 Bench-top Power Su ...
In this blog, I will look at the characteristics of the radio emissions from the IDT ZWIR4512 6LoWPAN modules. For testing, the module region has been set to US with 10 channels as this is seemed most appropriate for Australia where ISM operation in the 915-928MHz band is permitted. The EU region has just 1 channel with an extra 4 extension channels in the 868MHz band, which is not legal for use in Australia and thus was not tested. No other regions are offered by the IDT SDAWIR03 kit at this ti ...