Intending to enhance my generic heating / cooling controller to read SPI temperature sensors, I purchased an Adafruit MAX31855 module on eBay from a local supplier for about A$26 posted.
The module you might have guessed uses a MAX31855, a Cold-Junction Compensated Thermocouple-to-Digital Converter for K type thermocouple with an SPI interface. The Adafruit module includes a regulator and level translators to use it in a 5V system.
This article describes a simple checkout using a BusPirate V4. Conveniently, the MAX31855 module can be powered from the BusPirate. The thermocouple input is provided by a thermocouple calibrator.
After a short wait to allow both devices to stabilise at ambient temperature, a test was run. The BusPirate session is as follows. Continue reading Adafruit MAX31855 checkout
One frequently sees discussions of coupled coils in ham fora, and the advice of the forum experts is commonly sadly lacking.
An example is the thread Impedance matching transformer where the OP is encouraged to make a transformer for 2:1 impedance transformation ratio based simply on turns ratio and a Rule Of Thumb for minimum number of turns.
Lets review a design where two windings of say 10µH and 20µH are wound on a toroidal core. With no flux leakage, the turns ratio would be 1:1.414. The model is a simple one of coupled coils and ignores self capacitance.
100% flux coupling
If there was no flux leakage, the mutual inductance is (10*20)^0.5=14.14µH, and we can build a three component model of the coupled coils along with the intended 100+j0Ω load.
Above the model for 100% flux coupling.
And above, the response of the network. At 7MHz, the input impedance is 48.7+j8.7Ω, not perfect, but close (VSWR=1.2). Continue reading Coupled coils – a challenge for hams!
This article documents the build of an inexpensive regulated power supply available on the Internet for around A$15 posted.
Above is the completed power supply (with some modifications as discussed below). Continue reading An inexpensive Chinese regulated power supply kit.
Generic heating / cooling controller describes a bang-bang type thermostat based on a AtTiny25.
This article works up an example application using a Pt100 RTD sensor. Pt100 is the designation for a platinum (Pt) resistance temperature detector with nominal resistance of 100Ω at 0°. Pt has a nearly linear resistance / temperature characteristic and high accuracy. Continue reading Using a Pt100 RTD with my generic heating / cooling controller
The N2006P is a inexpensive PID controller, typically for heating and cooling operations. There are lots of similar devices for under A$20 on eBay.
Above, the controller in a minimal test harness using a Type K Thermocouple for temperature sensing and 40A SSR mounted on a heatsink. (The SSR output should be protected with an MOV for inductive loads.) 480VAC 40A SSRs sell for as little as A$5 on eBay. Continue reading N2006P PID checkout #1
Some time ago I published a calculator for estimating the impedance of RF inductors on toroidal ferrite cores (Calculate ferrite cored inductor).
The calculator (input form above) use the core dimensions and complex permeability as the basis for calculation.
There are some popular cores that are not simple toroids and so not suitable for direct use with that calculator. For these cores, a practical method is to measure the inductance constant Al (inductance of 1 turn in nH) at low frequency (where µ=µi), and using the µ’,µ” characteristic from the datasheets, to calculate the impedance at the desired frequency. Note that µ’,µ” are usually frequency dependent for ferrite materials. Continue reading A new impedance calculator for RF inductors on ferrite cores
Steve (G3TXQ) posted a graph comparing Cecil’s (W5DXP) measurements of two turns on FT240-52 and FT240-K.
It is interesting to reconcile the #52 curves with Fairrite’s datasheets. A simple reconciliation is to compare results at the frequency where µ’ and µ” curves cross over. Continue reading Attempting to reconcile W5DXP & G3TXQ’s comparison of K and 52 mix ferrites
Jaycar have sold the MP3090 (Manson SPS-9400) over many years. I have one dated 2001 and they are still in their catalog in 2015. Manson is a Chinese manufacturer of medium quality power supplies, at reasonable prices. Continue reading Jaycar MP3090 / Manson SPS-9400 repair
Among forum experts, there are ready recommendations for the ideal ferrite material (or mix) for a balun, often without knowing any detail of the application.
The ‘magic’ mixes include K. Perhaps they are devotees of Sevick.
Over some years I have searched for manufacturer’s data on K mix, and found only two references:
- Amidon who give a very brief table summarising characteristics, inadequate for RF inductor design; and
- Ferronics who give characteristic curves, albeit in less common format.
Problem is that Ferronics µi is 125 against Amidon’s 290… so their K materials are different.
One has hoped that an interested competent person might have made measurements of some samples from Amidon to give full characteristic curves, it isn’t that hard. Continue reading Ferrite K mix