Electronics For You
September 2013 Issue
Vol. 45 No. 9
Qi Versus Power 2.0: Who Will Win the Wireless
Like Wi-Fi vs HomeRF and Blu-Ray vs HD-DVD, we are now on the verge of another tech battle, as Qi and Power 2.0 vie to become the de-facto standard in the wireless charging space. While mobile manufacturers are backing one, coffee shops and food joints are backing another. Who will win—the conference room or the coffee shop? Or, will a newcomer jump the line?
Wi-Fi Embedded Webcam
This project is built around an MRF24WBOMA Wi-Fi module, a PIC microcontroller and a camera module using the TCP-IP protocol. The camera captures live video from a remote location, which is transmitted wirelessly through the Internet and can be viewed on a PC or laptop.
Download source code
Arduino-Based Tilt Detector
An accelerometer, which is an electromechanical device, can be used for various applications like tilt detection, obstacle detection, motion inputs, earthquake
Download source code
Solar Compass with Oled Display
The solar compass presented here is a navigational tool, which helps in finding directions through the position of sun in the sky as reference. This solar compass is not influenced by magnetism, unlike a regular magnetic compass.
Download source code
Controlling Stepper Motors through Raspberry Pi
In the last issue of EFY we learnt how to control DC motors using Raspberry Pi, with the help of three projects. Let us now see how we can control stepper motors through Raspberry Pi, with the help of two projects.
Download source code
| ||Software Section|
Designing Server Application
This program is a 3-tier server application developed in Java, which can be used to connect to three different types of databases such as FireBird, MySQL and MSAccess at a time. The screenshot of server application program output is shown in Fig. 1.
|eStyle Buyers' Guide|
The Best Data Storage and Back-Up Device For You
As data grows, so do the options for storing data. There is a wide range of data storage and back-up devices available in the market today, but choosing the right option based on
your needs could be a difficult task. We spoke to some tech experts and chalked out a few criteria that could form the basis of your selection the next time you are buying a storage or backup device to preserve your data
| ||Information Technology|
Mozilla’s Firefox Mobile OS vs Apple iOS, Android and Windows 8
The fiercely competitive smartphone market has witnessed the entry of yet another mobile OS. The Firefox OS from Mozilla does come with a few technology advantages, but it may take more than that to unseat the well-established Android and Apple phones from their positions of dominance in this market. Nevertheless, the battle has begun…
|eStyle First Look!|
. New Range of Low-Priced HD LED TVs
. Boom, Knock and Pop Headsets
. Upgraded Version of Google Nexus 7 Android Tablet
. Smartphone with Touchless Control Technology
. Low-End Smartphone by Zync
. Two-in-One Mouse & Camera
. Full HD Display LG G2 Smartphone
. New Series of Toshiba Laptops
. GizMo ByTes
| ||Buyers Guide|
Selecting an EDA Tool for Schematic Capture, Layout and Simulation
Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tools are used worldwide to design electronic systems. These tools are a boon to designers and researchers, because they enhance productivity by using the capabilities of a computer to assist them in creating, modifying, analysing and optimising electronic systems. This is one tool that has to be consistent throughout the organisation for better communication between departments, which makes choosing the correct tool even more important. Here is what you should be looking at…
|Test & Measurement|
Software-centric Methodologies for T&M
A traditional test instrument is equipped with a fixed user interface and in-built programmed software and, hence, is not capable of testing multiple applications. This means that as soon as the test and measurement requirements change, the traditional test set-up has to be completely revamped. Let’s take a look at another option
| ||Test & Measurement|
How Important is Calibration
Calibration always seems to be scheduled at the most critical time in a project, but is it really important? This article explains briefly what true calibration is, why it is necessary, and how often it should be performed. The article also discusses how to ensure accurate calibration when working with a metrology lab
|The Internet Of Things|
“If PCs had two form factors, and mobile computing had tens of form factors, the IoT will have millions of form factors”
Guru Ganesan, managing director of ARM India, speaks to Janani Gopalakrishnan Vikram about the ‘diversity’ in the Internet of Things (IoT), the kind of processors needed for it to grow, and how these processors foster innovation in the IoT ecosystem
Innovation: Brought to You by All
Innovation is no longer the preserve of technologists. Everybody is innovating, thanks to community help from sites like Quirky, KickStarter and IdeaConnection. If you have an idea for a useful product, and the know-how to design and develop it, you can easily source the required funds to develop, manufacture and even sell the product. Apart from these, there are industry-funded university labs cum incubators, angel investors, seed funders and mentors who help grow an idea into a product and a start-up to see it through. So today it is true that where there is a will, there is a way! Get inspired yet again, with this month’s set of innovations, to start your own project
Supercomputers cannot match human brain
According to a Japan-based research, it has been discovered that even the fastest computers in the world cannot match the human brain. The Japanese researchers used the K Supercomputer, which is one of the fastest supercomputers in the world, to replicate the complicated neural structure of the human brain.
| ||Industry News|
Cabinet approves 100 per cent FDI in telecom
The government of India has approved 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in telecom sector. It was a key demand of the fundstarved industry. The decision to increase FDI cap in telecom sector from 74 per cent to 100 per cent was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet committee on economic affairs.
Install Multiple OS in Raspberry Pi for Enhanced Performance
Raspberry Pi is powerful enough for a lot of applications but we can further enhance its capabilities by simple tweaks. I learnt these tweaks when I wanted to run XBMC Media Center on my Raspberry Pi but also have Raspbian Wheezy for various other things.
| ||Circuit Idea|
Temperature Monitor for Electronic Equipment
As most electronics components’ characteristics vary with temperature, they are selected as per expected operating temperature range of the equipment. So it is important that the equipment stays within the temperature range for which it is designed.
Hybrid Solar Charger
Efficiency of a solar charging system depends on the weather conditions. Usually the solar panel gets four to five hours of bright sunlight in a day. If the weather is cloudy or rainy, it affects the charging process and the battery does not attain full charge.
| ||Circuit Idea|
RPM Meter for Automobiles
An efficient way to measure the RPM of a vehicle is through its ignition pulses. RPM of a vehicle is directly proportional to the rate of its ignition pulses.
Solar-Charged Emergency Light and Fan
In scorching summer days we all feel irritated due to frequent power cuts. Emergency lights do not work long enough as their batteries are not charged fully due to the power cuts. During night the situation is even worse as it becomes impossible to sleep when the fan also stops working.
| ||Software Section|
LED Moving Message Display Simulator
Presented here is a moving message display simulator that runs on a predefined six rows and 48 columns LED matrix.
A Man-Portable Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
IdeaForge’s Netra, an unmanned aerial vehicle built in collaboration with DRDO, has now been commercialised and is being bought by various law enforcement and defence agencies. This article delves deeper into this indigenous innovation
Enabling the Internet of Things in an Automobile
We are nearing the era where your car becomes smart enough to cool the interiors before you arrive, alert you if you have forgotten something, and respond to your instructions from across the world. This interview talks about the challenges in implementing such next-gen features in an electric car.
The next five years are expected to see more technology inflections and shifts than the past 15 years
As we advance from one generation of technology to the next and develop smaller, faster and more functional chips, there are key inflection points at which innovative technologies must be developed. This interview discusses the key emerging technologies in the semiconductor space, including an alternative to silicon itself.
| ||EFY Plus DVD|
SVEditor: For All Your Verilog and SystemVerilog Development Needs
This article focuses on a software that can be used for Verilog and SystemVerilog development projects. As it has been included in this month’s DVD of EFY Plus, let us take a look at its features by installing it and setting up a project with it
Which Wireless Technology Should You Use?
No wireless technology offers everything that you want for an application. You have to choose one over the other, and then work on it to get your product working in just the way you want it to. This article helps you make the right choice
| ||Brain Waves|
Understanding the Brain-Computer Interface
The human brain has fascinated scientists since centuries, and numerous studies have tried to unravel its mysteries. Recent research has brought man and machine closer. The brain-computer interfaces in use today have a range of applications that promise to enhance our lives in ways we haven’t even imagined yet
Ever Thought of Starting A Venture of Your Own?
How would it be if you developed your own technology, created your own business network and started your own firm? Many engineers have a ‘big idea’ but there is always some kind of uncertainty to it. We got in touch with three industry experts and a beginner in this field, and spoke to them about how engineering graduates, especially electronics engineers, can start their own firms… how they could go about it, the pitfalls they might face and the big question—is it worth the effort?
| ||EFY Report|
Strategic Electronics: The High-Return, High-Risk Sector
The manufacture of products for Defence electronics offers very high returns to companies that have patience, perseverance and deep pockets. This report covers key issues like the opportunities available, why it is difficult to enter the Defence market, the key technological requirements of the Indian Defence and aerospace sectors, and industry’s suggestions to the government. It is based on the information provided by industry experts in various sessions at the Strategic Electronics Summit held recently in Bengaluru
|EFY Plus DVD|
National Instruments’ LabVIEW: The System Design Software
The visual nature of LabVIEW makes it straightforward for programming novices to create applications, especially when using features such as express VIs, which replace the coding tasks with a dialogue box configuration
| ||Useful Websites|
Know More About Digital Signal Processing
With the latest developments in technology and the high usage of computers, the need for digital signal processing has increased in the recent past. Here are a few websites that will help you enhance your knowledge on the subject
The Growing DIY Phenomenon
Batteries (SMF, VRLA, etc)