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

Installing Office365 without OneDrive.

When you download the installer from microsoft from an office365 subscription, you are forced to install Onedrive alongside all of the rest of your applications in your bundle. I have found discussed online that you can use the ODT (Office Deployment Tool) to install these programs individually instead, as well as create an offline installer to let you save bandwidth on multiple installs. This is a quick walkthrough to help those of us who dont want to read forums :)....

September 5, 2018 · 3 min · Ben V. Brown

Setting up STM32 Debug Options

All good projects will eventually need to be debugged. This is a walk through from starting in CubeMX through to setting up debugging using either a UART or the SWO trace cell in the cortex-M ARM core. This was setup and tested on the black STM32F407VET6 development boards that feature a full size JTAG connector. I’m using a Segger J-Link here, however this works the same using the ST STLinkV2 as far as I’m aware....

April 12, 2018 · 8 min · Ben V. Brown

STM32 PWMing PWM & Injected ADC

In the new release of firmware for the TS100, I have moved the system from using a software-driven bit-bang of the output to hardware-based timers. The issue here is that we cannot just use normal PWM! Why can’t we just use normal PWM? Soldering Iron drive Schematic The above image shows a small extract from the TS100 schematics, with the PWM signal from the STM32. The soldering iron tip is driven by the back to back MOSFETs(Q1A/B)....

September 21, 2017 · 9 min · Ben V. Brown

Elecrow PCB Review

Elecrow PCB’s Recently Elecrow provided the offer of $10 USD towards pcbs (Which can get one 5x5cm PCB shipped for free). The catch for this was to provide a review of the PCB and their service. I ordered two PCBs from this voucher, a yellow PCB that acts as an XT30 joiner board for setting up paralell connections between 3S batteries, and, a black PCB that is the top pcb on the openBMS project I’m slowly moving along on HackADay....

September 16, 2017 · 2 min · Ben V. Brown

ES1006 Barcode Scanner

Review The ES1006 is a tiny (really tiny) barcode scanner module available online from the usual places. The unit supports operating as a USB keyboard, and a UART output for the scanned barcodes. Pinout Pin Name Dir Description 1 NC Input BOOT0 - Used to enter bootloader 2 VCC Input 5V Power Input (3.3V LDO onboard) 3 GND Input Ground 4 Rx Input Serial Rx - 9600 Baud 5 Tx Output Serial Tx - 9600 Baud 6 USB D- I/O USB D- 7 USB D+ I/O USB D+ 8 NC Input SWCLK (PA14) 9 BUZZ Output Signal for Buzzer, 2Khz,150ms after scan done 10 LED Output Signal for LED,on for 650ms after scan done 11 NC I/O SWDIO - PA13 12 TRIG Input Scan trigger, active low

July 6, 2017 · 1 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