STM32 Hardware & Software Design Part 4

Where we left off Part 1 covered the quick rundown of selecting the STM32 and assigning a rough pinout in STMCube. Part 2 provided a quick through the schematic capture process and PCB layout at a high level. Part 3 covered exporting the PCB for manufacture and a quick run through the ordering process with PCBWay. Disclaimer In this section, I’m using PCBWay for the ordering process example. They have kindly offered to cover the cost of the production of these PCB’s before this series actually went live....

May 26, 2020 · 5 min · Ben V. Brown

H2O N2 Part 1

H2O N2 - Water Cooling an Odroid N2 In mid-2018, I started to move all of my home server use and compute from an HP microserver G8 over to ARM-based SBC’s. This move was inspired initially as a power-saving exercise to save the idle power draw of the microserver (50-100W). The original setup consisted of an Odroid C1 running standard developer services and the microserver moving to just acting as a backup device that only powered on to handle backing up computers in the house....

May 4, 2020 · 12 min · Ben V. Brown

STM32 Hardware & Software Design Part 3

Where we left off Part 1 covered the quick run down of selecting the STM32 and assigning a rough pinout in STMCube. Part 2 provided a quick through the schematic capture process and pcb layout at a high level. Part 3 here will cover the exporting the PCB for manufacture and a quick run through the ordering process with PCBWay. Disclaimer In this section I’m using PCBWay for the ordering process example....

April 22, 2020 · 4 min · Ben V. Brown

STM32 Hardware & Software Design Part 2

Where we left off Part 1 covered the quick run down of selecting the STM32 and assigning a rough pinout in STMCube. Part 2 here will run through the schematic capture process and pcb layout at a high level. Schematic Capture I design exclusively in KiCad now, having completely moved off other platforms over the past few years. As such this guide will only cover KiCad related design work. I highly reccomend using hierarchical sheets in your design, to allow for both (some) reuse, as well as make the seperate building blocks clearly definied....

April 11, 2020 · 8 min · Ben V. Brown

STM32 Hardware & Software Design Part 1

Outline This is a half walkthrough / half hints guide to taking a base concept for a STM32 from idea to (somewhat) working hardware. The goal is to roughly document the path I use, but not bogging down into the details on things that are easier to google. For this series, I’m looking at designing out a small development board, designed to mount to the quite nice ILI9486 LCD unit. I’m designing this mostly so that its in a nicer form factor than other development boards, and so I can use USB-C as I really dislike USB mini-B....

April 10, 2020 · 6 min · Ben V. Brown

MDP-XP 90W extendable portable lab supply

The MDP-XP combo MDP by Miniware This is an interesting idea, taking the conventional power supply system and giving it the “Miniware treatment”, which I like to think of as, a nice aluminium housing and a jump in portability. I have reviewed a few Miniware designs recently, and generally I have found all of their products to be a really nice premium feel and quality. Probably the lowest quality (and cheapest unit) is the TS100, which has become rather well known as a portable soldering iron....

July 20, 2019 · 17 min · Ben V. Brown

DS213 Mini oscilloscope review

The DS213 DS213 15MHz 4 Channel Scope The DS213 is a very small handheld scope from Miniware. Its marketed as capable of up to 15MHz on two of the channels, and 1MHz on the other channels. However, at 15MHz input, it is starting to round off and struggle with the signals fairly badly. At 8MHz (somewhat common for SPI), the SPI signals are easily understandable, and I generally use the two high speed signals for CLK and the signal I care most about from MISO and MOSI....

June 29, 2019 · 6 min · Ben V. Brown

TS80 QC3.0/QC2.0 cousin to the TS100

The TS80 TS80 by Miniware The TS80 is an interesting spinoff from the TS100. Origionally called the TS200, it was intended to fill the market gap for an even more portable solution for soldering in the field. The soldering iron is designed to be powered using QC power banks at either 9V or 12V. The markings on the unit state 9V 2A (~18W). Which is a really low wattage for a typical soldering iron....

April 20, 2019 · 3 min · Ben V. Brown

Reversing the current detection of a USB tester

RUIDENG TC64 The RUIDENG TC64 is a very low cost (<$15) USB-C inline power meter. It’s small with a very nice colour OLED screen. It tries to automatically detect if the USB lines are running in a few modes (QC, DCP etc). This unit is very handy for measuring the power consumption of USB-C devices, and it is moderately accurate (Good enough anyway for the price). It’s over on BangGood over here...

October 17, 2018 · 4 min · Ben V. Brown

TS100 Review

Review The TS100 is possibly the best soldering iron I have used for under $200. It is very lightweight and portable, runs off a wide range of power sources and has full PID temperature control built in. The built in accelerometer provides a protective sleep mode to prolong the length of your tip. With the 65W power rating, it heats to 360 Celsius in under 8 Seconds. Main Features 65W rated output (24V Input)....

June 11, 2017 · 5 min · Ben V. Brown