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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 added May 19, 2007

 

 

Remote Mobile GPRS GSM Wireless Internet Snapshot Camera

Colorado Video’s Observer IV GPRS, GSM, Remote, Mobile, Wireless, Internet, snapshot camera enables you to get pictures from remote sites or locations with maximum ease.

Its simple installation makes it ideal for monitoring temporary or distant sites or mobile assets.
The Observer IV is well suited for monitoring current pictures from mobile assets such as ferryboats, dredges, busses, railcars, and trucks. The Observer IV can keep web pages fresh by providing continuously updated JPG images to your server for your web surfing audience to view.

Colorado Video’s Lookout-V GPRS, GSM, Remote, Mobile, Wireless, Internet, snapshot camera enables you to get pictures from remote sites or locations with maximum ease.

Remote Mobile GPRS GSM Wireless Internet Snapshot Camera

Its simple installation makes it ideal for monitoring temporary or distant sites or mobile assets.

The Lookout-V is well suited for monitoring current pictures from mobile assets such as ferryboats, dredges, busses, railcars, and trucks.

Lookout-V can keep web pages fresh by providing continuously updated JPG images to your server for your web surfing audience to view.
 

Ultra Low Voltage Switching Regulator from TI
Finding any IC that operates at low voltages is rare.  Finding a switching regular IC that runs down to 0.3 volts is therefore really a surprise.  The TPS61200 (http://focus.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/tps61200.pdf) from Texas Instruments was designed to boost the voltage from single NiMH cells to a higher voltage.  With an operating range that extends down to 0.3v, the device is perfect for powering something from a single 0.5v solar cell.  It has a maximum average input current of 1.5 Amps, which can translate to an output current of 500ma at 5 volts.  I think I might try using this part to design a 4 cell 4.8v AA NiMH battery charger, powered by a single large solar cell.

Zero Bias Voltage FETs from Advanced Linear Devices
Advanced Linear Device (http://www.aldinc.com/) has been able to carefully fabricate some N and P channel enhancement mode FETs so they conduct current, even when the voltage between the gate and source is zero volts.  This feature comes in handy when designing some low voltage Amplifiers and oscillators.  I have been able to run a square wave oscillator using two of their FETs with a supply voltage of only 0.16 volts.

Tiny Coin Shaped Thermocouple Thermopile Voltage Generator
Thermo Life Corporation (http://www.poweredbythermolife.com/corp.htm) has developed a coin shaped heat to electricity converter.  A 5 degree C temperature difference from front to back will generate an open voltage of 6 volts and will feed 10 micoamps of current into a 300K load resistance.  With a 10 degree C difference, the power generated increases to about 100 microwatts. The maximum operating temperature is 100C. At such a temperature difference, the device should crank out about 1000uw of power.  These devices might be used in energy harvesting applications where warm objects exist.  At 10ua, the device could charge up a 100uF capacitor in about a minute.  The energy stored in the cap could then be used to power a wireless sensor link, such as Zigbee.

 

 

Linear Magnetic Hall Effect Rotary Sensor

Melexis (www.melexis.com) makes some of the best hall sensors on the planet.  Their MLX90316 offers a unique device, which exports a voltage proportional to the angle of rotation of a nearby magnet, as shown below.  This function might come in handy for some human interfaces where a knob can adjust the volume of an audio signal or some other variable with no physical contact with the device.

 

http://www.melexis.com/ProdMain.aspx?nID=566


Super Small Memory Cards From SanDisk
SanDisk (www.sandisk.com) is now offering a tiny flash memory card with storage up to 4GB.  Their “Micro SD” cards shown below measure just 0.6” x 0.4.”  These incredibly small memory cards will find their way into all kinds of applications, which require a compact method to store data.  A 4GB card can store about 1000 MP3 songs.

Monolithic Schottky Bridge Rectifiers From Central Semiconductor Corp.
   

Many power supplies take advantage of the lower voltage drop of a schottky diode to improve overall efficiency.  However, usually four separate diodes have to be used to form a full bridge rectifier circuit.  Central Semiconductor (www.centralsemi.com) has now made things easier by packing four schottky diode inside a monolithic surface mounted bridge rectifier.  The small 1 Amp rated device saves circuit board real estate and reduces the total parts count, which can translate into cost savings.

 

http://www.centralsemi.com/pdf/CBRHDSH1-40L.pdf

 


Digital Pots from Micro Bridge Replaces Mechanical Pot
Often a mechanical potentiometer is used to calibrate a circuit, set the gain of an Amplifier or null a voltage offset.  These can often become contaminated or broken. Micro Bridge Technology (www.microbridgetech.com) has solved this problem by offering a digital “rejustor” device, which can perform the same function as a mechanical device.

Tiny Piezoelectric Motors from New Scale Technologies
   

These incredibly tiny motors are driven by a small piezoelectric element, which rotates a tiny treaded lead screw.  New Scale’s (www.squigglemotors.com) squiggle motors are being used to move small devices, such as auto focus lenses and micro fluid pumps, with great precision.


Ultra Low Power Crystal Oscillator IC from EM Microelectronic
When trying to squeeze every last joule of energy from a circuit, even the power required by a crystal oscillator can be important. EM Microelectronic  (www.emmicroelectronic.com) has solved this problem with their EM7604 crystal oscillator control IC,  This device draws only 0.25 microamps, when used with a standard 32.768KHz watch crystal.  The IC operates from 1.2v to 5.5v and over a temperature range of -40C to 125C.  Internal integrated oscillator capacitors keep the part count to a minimum.  You only have to connect a crystal.

5 Watt Infrared LED from Cold Fusion
I could not believe my eyes when I saw this device.  I still don’t know exactly who makes the part but you can buy them through a distributor on eBay. The multi-die part shown below launches a vast amount of near infrared light.  The single part can emit as much light as about 150 standard plastic IR LEDs.  When used with the matching plastic reflector shown below, the light launched forms a clean 15 degree half angle light pattern, as measured by my IR camera.  This part may find many applications, such as night time camera illumination and active infrared motion sensors. 


Full Featured Digital AC Wattmeter from Electronic Educational Devices
 

Electronic Educational Devices (www.wattsupmeters.com) has developed a great digital wattmeter.  This device is similar to but better than, the very popular “Watts Out” AC power meter. You simply plug the device into an AC wall outlet, then plug the AC load you wish to monitor into the device.  This neat device has more features than you can shake a stick at, including the ability to record the power line data to a computer, through its USB connection.  PC software is included with the device.

 

 


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