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DISCOVERED NEW PRODUCTS

DC Magazine Discovered New Products

New product announcements are made nearly every day.  I subscribe to many trade journals and each is filled with hundreds of flashy advertisements.  But, only a few of those product ads catch my eye.  Since I’m a circuit designer, I especially like those components that trigger many new application ideas in my mind.  Sometimes it is the smallest products that are the most useful. 

Tiny surface mounted components that perform a nice little function have countless applications.  I also like anything that keeps battery power consumption low.  These days you can do many interesting things with a well-designed circuit powered from just a few tiny button battery cells.

I often discovered new products in surplus electronic catalogs.  The surplus companies often buy up stock that came from companies that went out of business.  Bad marketing or bad management may have killed a perfectly good product idea.  Their loss can be your gain if you can spot the bargain.                                 David A. Johnson, P.E.

Discovered New Products:

2010     2009     2008     2007     2006     2005     2004


New Products 2004

Charge Pump Converter Works down to 0.3 Volts
Using fully depleted transistors Seiko’s IC S-882Z can produce several volts from an input of only 0.3 volts.  This would be perfect for a battery charger circuit, powered from a single 0.5 volt silicon solar cell. The S-882Z device would provide the needed initial higher start-up voltage for a conventional voltage boost type switching regulator.  Once started, a bit of the output of the regulator would be used to main regulator operation.  This “bootstrap” method could keep the overall efficiency in excess of 85%.

Miniature Flame Detector from Hamamatsu Photonics

Looking very much like a small NE-2 neon lamp, Hamamatsu’s “UV Tron” R2868 deep ultraviolet detector can detect the unique light from an open flame from several feet away.  The 200 nanometer wavelength response of the Hamamatsu device ignores the ultraviolet from sunlight, allowing it to be used in outdoor applications.  The only downside of the device is that it requires a stable 325 volt supply which can source in excess of 1ma of current.  This would make the device difficult to operate using a battery supply.

Near Object Sensor From Sharp
 The GP2 family of devices from Sharp has been used in automatic flushing toilets and in automatic faucets for many years now.  The devices contain both an infrared LED and a PIN photo diode which is connected to a synchronous detection scheme circuit.  This method ignores most ambient light changes and only responds to light reflected off an object that appears in front of the device.  The typical range of detection is 16 inches but with a carefully designed circuit, it can be extended out to almost 10 feet.  The only downside of this device is its power hungry 33ma current draw.

Fluid Filled Tilt Sensors by Federicks

TrueTILT™ Narrow Angle Precision Leveling Sensor 0703-0703-99
The 0703-0703-99 TrueTILT uses patented technology and construction to provide an
accurate and robust narrow angle sensor at an attractive price with excellent
sensor-to-sensor repeatability and reliability. Features include highly sensitive output,
exceptional time and temperature stability, and superior roll axis properties. Unparalleled performance and features.

The Federicks Company has quite a family of products that can produce a voltage proportional to the angle of tilt.  Their devices have been used in digital construction levels and on machinery, which needs to monitor tilt.  They might also be used for vehicle motion sensors and on building sway detection.


Ultra Low Current Drain Voltage Regulators form Seiko
I could not believe my eyes when I first saw these devices.  Here was a low voltage regulator that demanded only a microamp or so of current.  Wow, these things have lots and lots of applications.  Now I could supply some of my ultra low current circuits with a nice regulated voltage, without blowing my total battery current budget.  I have since included these parts in several of my new designs.
I would recommend using the Seiko S-812 regulators.  These have a higher input voltage limit. They offer both through-hole and surface mounted packages.  You can buy them through your Seiko distributor or from Mouser Electronics.  For more technical information visit Seiko’s website Seiko Electronics.


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