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Electronics Circuit Design Ideas

  • July 2010

Microcontroller serial port measures pulse width 07/15/2010

Detect rising edges and cout the time between them

Count objects as they pass by 07/15/2010

Optoisolators and logic let you know when an object is detected.

Eight-digit counter works with common anode or common cathode 07/15/2010

Replace classical counters with a microcontroller.

DC-Voltage doubler reaches 96% power efficiency 07/15/2010

Use this DC-DC  converter in application which power efficiency is critical.

  • June 2010

Low-cost RF synthesizer uses generic ICs 06/24/2010

You can make an AM-band frequency synthesizer from standard components.

Tricolor LEDs create a flashing array 06/24/2010

Create a colorful display with red, green, blue LEDS controlled by oscillators and counters.

Image-capture system uses USB and LabView 06/24/2010

A PC can capture and process images provided it's powerful enough to keep up with the data flow.

Notch filter autotunes for audio applications 06/24/2010

Design a filter controlled through a VCO and PLL.

Bootstrap circuit speeds solenoid actuation 06/10/2010

Bootstrap circuit speeds operation or reduces dc power.

Switched-capacitor voltage multiplier achieves 95% efficiency 06/10/2010

You can use low-on-resistance analog switches to improve efficiency.

Circuit lets you measure zener voltages and test LEDs 06/10/2010

You can use this circuit to measure zener voltages as high as 40V.

Detect missing pulses to avoid losing data 06/10/2010

An external interrupt input catches the missing pulse.

Isolated FET pulse driver increases power rate and duty cycle 06/10/2010

Control power transistors with duty cycles from 2% to 98%.

 

  • May 2010

Water-leak detector uses 9V batteries 05/27/2010

Four comparators sound a buzzer when water is present or the battery is low.

Three-phase digital-signal generator sweeps frequency 05/27/2010

Use a clock divider to sweep frequency by 20 kHz.

Photoresistor provides negative feedback to an op amp, producing a linear response 05/27/2010

A photoresistor, as part of an optocoupler, provides negative feedback to an op amp, producing a linear response.

Circuit may save property and life 05/13/2010

 

Supervise and power-sequence an SOC 05/13/2010

 

Bicolor LED driver uses two leads 05/13/2010

 

Pulse generator with precision output-duty cycle operates at a repetition rate beyond 50 MHz 05/13/2010

 

  • April 2010

Tables ease microcontroller programming 04/22/2010

When creating microcontroller firmware, you often need to work with data arrays. Tables make easy work of data arrays, such as those for digital-code transformation, correction for sensor linearity, sophisticated calculations, and multiple output organization. Table 1 shows how you can organize data in a table.

Three-transistor modulator-amplifier circuit works with swept-control frequencies 04/22/2010

Many applications require a circuit to perform pulse modulation and voltage amplification to drive a load with a train of impulses. A typical application is driving a piezoelectric generator in a robot. Other applications include driving small motors or LEDs. Echolocation and ultrasound visualization use a sweeping-frequency, or chirp, signal.

Monitor alarm and indicator display multiple deviation boundaries 04/22/2010

Use a microcontroller and its ADCs to indicate process errors.

Read multiple switches and a potentiometer setting with one microcontroller input pin 04/22/2010

Use a single ADC input pin to sense pushbuttons as well as a potentiometer.

Single IC forms precision triangular-wave generator 04/ 8/2010

Generate a triangular wave for testing other circuits.

MSP430's port-interrupt-request logic helps debounce contacts 04/ 8/2010

Use the MSP430ís port-interrupt-request flags to save switch input transitions for debouncing.

Efficient LED power supply has battery backup 04/ 8/2010

Power three to six LEDs from an ac- or dc-power source and charge a backup battery.

Use a low-cost PWM ramp generator in switch-mode power supplies 04/ 8/2010

Include this circuit in a switching-power-supply design.

 

  • March 2010

Battery simulator has variable ESR response 03/18/2010

This active circuit represents many battery types.

Rectangular-waveform generator produces 25 and 75% duty cycles 03/18/2010

Use two ICs to produce both waveforms.

Strategy processes video in RAM 03/18/2010

How you process images in RAM can eliminate problems with different image sizes.

Control stepper motors in both directions 03/18/2010

Logic signals turn motors on and off and change direction.

Create LED-lighting patterns without a controller 03/18/2010

Create hundreds of patterns with a few timers and logic gates.

Circuit lets you test sample-and-hold amplifiers 03/ 4/2010

Measure voltage drop with a digital voltmeter.

Add hysteresis to a voltage comparator 03/ 4/2010

Positive feedback is a typical technique for distributing hysteresis around a comparator, provided that you have a resistive path between the comparator's output and the noninverting input. Positive feedback forms two threshold voltages that have (or assume) fixed values. In addition, they depend on the saturation values of the comparator's output stage.

Broken-coil detector is simple yet robust 03/ 4/2010

An oscillator, filters, and comparators detect missing wires in an assembly line.

 

  • Febuary 2010

Electronically generate rotating magnetic fields 02/18/2010

Generate magnetic fields with a microcontroller instead of mechanical parts.

Use eight timers with PIC16Fxxx microcontrollers 02/18/2010

Timers debounce switches and let you decide when lapses have expired.

Tilt/fall detector has staggered thresholds 02/18/2010

Comparators and a voltage-divider network let you set threshold levels.

Voltage reference stabilizes current sink 02/18/2010

Produce a stable current for long-term component testing.

Converter translates Bayer raw data to RGB format 02/ 4/2010

Convert data to a more usable format.

Multidecade BCD DAC uses resistors of only six values 02/ 4/2010

DAC uses fewer resistors than that of a previous Design Idea.

Drive 12 LEDs with one I/O line 02/ 4/2010

Use a binary counter to generate LED-lighting codes.

Circuit precludes common-mode conduction 02/ 4/2010

A crossover-control circuit prevents two or more transistors from powering on at once.

Spice simulators provide behavioral sources to mere mortals 02/ 4/2010

Use behavioral models to simulate circuit elements.

 

  • January 2010

P-channel power-MOSFET driver uses unity-gain op amp 01/21/2010

Drive a power MOSFET to 100V dc with this signal-conditioning circuit.

Schottky diodes improve comparatorís transient response 01/21/2010

Two Schottky barrier diodes clamp error voltages, cut output glitches.

Excel spreadsheet measures analog voltages 01/21/2010

Turn an unused parallel port into a data port.

Algorithm keeps data safe 01/21/2010

Prevent data loss against power blackouts and other interruptions.

LED flasher checks fiber-optic strands 01/ 7/2010

Send visible light through strands to check for breaks.

Resistor network sets gain for fixed-gain differential amplifier 01/ 7/2010

Get the right amount of gain for your op-amp application.

 

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