Voltlog #134 – InTheMail

Welcome to a new InTheMail the series that will touch both your passion for electronics and your bank account at the same time.

Here are links to all the items show in the video:

Voltlog #133 – Good Deal On Electronics

Just a short update to let you know there will be some price cuts on the usual suppliers from China on the 11th. It’s a good chance to get stuff at discounted prices.

Voltlog #132 – 4 Digit LED Panel Meter Review

Do I recommend getting this module? Yes, the accuracy is good, the resolution is nice 10mV 1mA and you also have the option for adjusting it manually for both voltage and current.

The design is pretty simple, I believe the microcontroller is an STM8S so hacking it and rewriting the firmware should be pretty easy but it already does what it’s supposed to do so I don’t see a point to hacking this module. I think you would be better off designing a panel meter from scratch.

Buy this panel meter from here.

Someone asked on youtube how should a panel like this be wired up, so here is a wiring diagram that you can use. In this wiring diagram our goal is to monitor the voltage and current for charging a battery.

Example 1 shows the panel meter connected before the battery charging module, which means it will measure everything, even the power losses in the battery charging module.

Example 2 shows the panel meter connected after the battery charging module, which means it will only measure current flowing into the battery or whatever load you have on the output.

In both cases voltage sensing is done right at the output but that wire can be moved according to your needs. Also in both cases the panel meter gets power directly from the power supply because at that point the voltage is constant.

The main thing to remember here is that these panel meters are designed for low side current sensing, that means the ground of the logic board of the meter is connected with the input of the shunt resistor.

Voltlog #131 – Measuring The Efficiency Of The Ruideng Kis3r33S DC-DC Converter

You might remember this small module from the previous InTheMail, this is the Ruideng dc-dc converter with a claimed efficiency of 95%. Now a figure of 95% efficiency is not unheard of these days, many dc-dc converters can achieve this with proper circuit design.

This particular model uses the MP2307 converter chip manufactured by Monolithic Power and if we take a look at their datasheet we can immediately see where they got the 95% efficiency figure they advertise.

If you own fancy equipment like a source/measure unit than one instrument can do all the measurements and data log the results as well but a source/measure is out of our budget so we will be using multimeters for this test.

Here are links where you can find the equipment used in this video:

Voltlog #130 – InTheMail

Last InTheMail video was published almost two months ago so I think you will appreciate this one where I got some interesting stuff from the usual Chinese sources.

Links for all the items shown in this video below:

VolLog #129 – Ebay Bussmann Fuse vs Genuine Bussmann Fuses DMM-B-44/100-R

If you remember Voltlog #117 in that video we analysed some ebay Bussmann fuses to try and figure out if they are fake or real fuses. The ebay fuses we’re way cheaper than anywhere else so that made me suspect they are not genuine.

It’s good to know if the ebay fuses are real or not because they are selling allot of them and people might be relying on these to perform as required when in fact they might be out of spec. For the average bench user which only occasionally goes up to 240VAC it might not be an issue if the fuse is slightly outside the specs but if you are probing some high energy circuit and relying on the ebay fuse to perform according to the datasheet at it is not then something serious might happen, like the multimeter could explode because of a high energy discharge or it could simply damage the meter which is to be avoided.

Links for the products and test equipment shown in this video:

 

Voltlog #128 – LM338 Constant Current Regulator Circuit

Welcome to a new voltlog, today we are building a very simple constant current regulator based on the LM338 linear regulator. This is a very robust and stable classical regulator that is being manufactured by many big names like ST and TI, it has quite a high output current  rating of 5A continuous, it even comes in a TO-3 can package but today we’re going to use a TO220 which is more commonly available.

To make a constant current regulator out of this, is very simple, the datasheet gives us the circuit we need to use and we only need a low value resistor to do that plus the optional input bypassing cap which is 0.1uF. We’re going to use this formula to calculate the value of the resistor, so the output current is equal to the Vref divided by the value of the resistor.

External references:

 

Voltlog #127 – 0-60V 0-10A 1mV 1mA Panel Meter Review

So I discovered this module a few months ago and it’s been sitting in a box since then, I almost forgot about it, until a few days ago when I decided it will be a good idea to do a video on the subject.

Let me give you a few details on the specs of this module and as usual it’s pretty difficult to find the information as it’s the case with every new module coming out of China. First of all we have an input range of 0-60V and 0-10A and a 5V rail is needed to power the module itself. It has a voltage measuring accuracy of ±0.2% + 0.2% full scale which sounds strange because these figures are usually given in a percentage plus or minus a number of least significant digits. The current measuring accuracy is ±0.4% + 0.3% full scale.

The meter is basically capable of measuring with a resolution of 1mv and 1mA (however the accuracy is quite bad, as shown in the video) which is quite nice and useful (not really useful with bad accuracy) for projects like DIY power supplies or DIY electronic loads. It can also display the power in watts with a resolution of 1mW as well as showing the load impedance.

Here are some links to this product:

Voltlog #126 – How fast can you update an e-paper display?

Welcome to a new voltlog, today we are going to answer the question how fast can you update an e-paper display, is it suitable to display live updating values from a sensor for example? Some people asked these questions in the comments of previous videos so I am doing some tests to try and answer these questions.

Now there will be a big difference between trying to update the whole screen and trying to update just a small section. And that delay might also be related to how fast the processor can send the information to the display. So for example measuring the time passed between sending the first byte of data to the display and the last byte going out is not that relevant, it might just be a slow processor, and the display could accept data much faster.

Also in the case of an Arduino the ram size is very limited so a full buffer could not be implemented. This means sending of the data to the display is done inefficiently increasing the time it takes for a full update.

Link e-paper display black/white:

More resources below: