nanoVNA – touch screen problems

My nanoVNA-H v3.3 is just over six months old. It has succumbed to most of the common hardware faults and some of the less common ones, but until now the touch screen has worked ok.

That has changed, the bezel bears on the touch screen and causes input when the case is held even very lightly by the edges… sufficiently so that it was unusable.

A perhaps temporary resolution was to place four 1mm thick M2 5mm OD nylon washers on the front part of the case before carefully placing the PCB assembly on top, then the case back and screws. This is a bit tedious if one of the washers moves, next time it is apart to fix hardware issues, I might put a dot of CA adhesive under each washer.

The case design is inadequate, it needed some features incorporated into the molding of the front to space the edges of the bezel off the PCB so that it maintained the requisite spacing even when held, even after the molding changes over time (perhaps normalisation of stresses from the molding process).

nanoVNA – measure Transmission Loss – example 5

This article is demonstration of measurement of Transmission Loss in a section of two wire transmission line embedded in a common mode choke. The scenario is based on an online article  MEASURING DM ATTENUATION of YOUR CMC USING THE NANOVNA AND NANOVNA SAVER.

The reference article publishes measured attenuation or loss being -1.45dB @ 28.4MHz. Of course, the -ve value hints that the author is lost in hamdom where all losses MUST be -ve dB..

The meaning of loss in a generic sense (ie without further qualification) is \(loss=\frac{Power_{in}}{Power_{out}}\) and can be expressed in dB as \(loss_{dB}=10 log_{10}(loss)\).

Some might interpret the result to imply that \((1-10^{\frac{-loss}{10}})*100=28 \%\) of input power is converted to heat in the choke.

The result given (and corrected) as 1.45dB was taken simply from the nanoVNA \(|s21|\) result, and so it is actually InsertionLoss, not simply Loss.

What is the difference? Continue reading nanoVNA – measure Transmission Loss – example 5

High voltage test of a couple of PTFE insulated silver plated copper wires

This article documents a high voltage test of a couple of PTFE insulated silver plated copper wires.

In each case, a single wire is tested, one electrode to the wire and another being an alligator clip clipped onto the wire about 30mm from the end. This approximates a knife edge test which subjects the insulation to the highest electric field strength.

At the time of the test, temperature was 21° and relative humidity 65%. Whilst not extreme humidity, it is sufficient to degrade breakdown often giving rise of an arc over the surface of the wire to the cut end. For that reason, about 30mm of insulation is left clear at each end. Continue reading High voltage test of a couple of PTFE insulated silver plated copper wires

An example and explanation of unexpected common mode choke flashover

An online discussion is developing the design of an ultimate common mode choke, at it reached a stage considered final when a transmit test revealed it could not withstand the unstated transmitter power.

The designer did report measurement at the choke looking into the feed line giving Z=493-j740Ω @ 3.8MHz. There are questions about the validity / uncertainty of the measurement, but let’s take is as correct for the purpose of this discussion.

We can calculate the expected differential peak voltage at a given power level at the point where Z=493-j740Ω. Continue reading An example and explanation of unexpected common mode choke flashover

Mornhinweg ferrite core measurements – #61

Further to Amidon’s method of rating ferrite inductors and transformers, this article discusses some interesting measurements of ferrite toroids by Manfred Mornhinweg (Mornhinweg 2019).

Mornhinweg ferrite core measurements – #31 discussed his measurements of a #31 suppression sleeve.

Above are his measurements of a FB-61-6873 sleeve. Essentially there are two measurements at each frequency, and the expected flux density B is in the ratio of approximately 2:1. He has fitted a straight line on a log/log graph to the measurements at each frequency. The similarity of the slopes is not unexpected, and is a tribute to his experiment design, execution and calculations. Continue reading Mornhinweg ferrite core measurements – #61

Using complex permeability to design with Fair-rite suppression products

Fair-rite allocates some of its closed loop ferrite products to two different categories:

  • inductive; and
  • suppression.

Sometimes the same dimensioned cores are available in both categories with different part numbers and possibly different prices, implying some real difference in behavior, eg 5943003801 and 2643803802 are both FT240-43 sized cores.

Material datasheets often contain a note like this from the #43 datasheet:

Characteristic curves are measured on standard Toroids (18/10/6 mm) at 25°C and 10 kHz unless otherwise indicated. Impedance characteristics are measured on standard shield beads (3.5/1.3/6.0 mm) unless otherwise indicated.

I sought to clarify my interpretation of this clause by asking Fair-rite …whether the published material permeability curves / tables apply to suppression product. Can I use the published permeability curves / tables to predict inductor impedance reliably for suppression products?  Fair-rite’s Michael Arasim advised… Continue reading Using complex permeability to design with Fair-rite suppression products

Black body emissivity of ferrite core material

Some of my articles have contained thermal pictures of ferrite cored inductors and transformers.

I have been asked several times recently about the assumed emissivity and the accuracy questioned, I assume this has been discussed online somewhere.

When first measuring ferrites with non-contact thermometers, I performed some experiments to discover whether the default emissivity ε=0.95 applied. It would be convenient if it did, and permit use of some instruments that do not allow adjustment of ε.

In the past, I have compared the reading of non-contact thermometers with several K thermocouple meters and a Thermomelt indicator, and observed insignificant difference (ie less than the variance of repeated measurements).

The following experiment is a thermal pic of a FT240-43 core on the black plastic case of the instrument. The setup has had hours to stabilise thermally.

Above is a combined thermal image and faint visual image. This instrument has only one readout point, and by moving it around, only 0.1° variation was observed between the background and the core. Continue reading Black body emissivity of ferrite core material

Calculate ferrite cored inductor – rectangular cross section – enhancement – chamfered corners

The calculator Calculate ferrite cored inductor – rectangular cross section has until now assumed that the toroid has sharp corners. The corner treatment varies across commercial products, some are burnished which removes very little material, some have a chamfer or bevel, some are radiused. All of these treatments give rise to a very small error in calculated ΣA/l.

The calculator has been revised to include 45° chamfers of a specified length on all four corners. If the chamfer angle differs, the error is very small in the range 30-60°. If the corners are radiused, use the radius as the chamfer length, the error is very small. Continue reading Calculate ferrite cored inductor – rectangular cross section – enhancement – chamfered corners

MH1210A, MH1230A operating instructions

Operation instructions

Press “set” button for 3s get into the procedure menu code mode, display the code “HC”. Press up or down for cyclical selection of parameter code of “HC-CP-LA-HA-PU-CA”.
To enter a code, press the “Set” button, press the up button or the down button to change to the desired data and press “Set” to save and exit;
Control the temperature set: press “Set” button, display blink and it is the default setting. Press up or down to change the data and save automatically. (press on up or down for 2s or more to increase the adjusting speed ) heating control: when the temperature control mode ( code is HC) was H, e.g. the setting control temperature is 28 C , slewing range of temperature is 2 C , when the environment temperature >= setting temperature (28’C), the relay will switch off and stop the output load; when the environment temperature <=setting temperature (28C ) – slewing range of temperature (2 C ) and set “delayed start” before, the reply will switch on and output load again, (if the delayed start function doesn’t need, set the delayed start (code PU) to 0)
refrigeration control: when the temperature control mode (code is HC) was C, e.g. the setting control temperature is 28’C, slewing range of temperature is 2 C, when the environment temperature <=after setting “delayed start” time, the relay will switch on and sart output load.(suggest “delayed start” time to the default setting time to protecting the compressor, please set the (code PU) to) if it doesn’t need). Continue reading MH1210A, MH1230A operating instructions

Jaycar LO1238 ferrite core

Over many years, the Jaycar LO1238 has appeared in some of my projects. I recommended them for a range of applications, particularly applications optimised for low HF.

Above, the core is 35x21x13mm, a mid sized core, two used in my redesign of a commercial balun and implemented by VK4MQ . The mid size limits dissipation, but compactness can be an advantage. The cores sell for less than $4.00 per core and are readily available in Australia. Continue reading Jaycar LO1238 ferrite core