Author Topic: Components you wish existed.  (Read 36445 times)

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Offline bjcuizon

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #175 on: July 09, 2017, 03:48:53 pm »
Just add heatsinks.

Could be, but how about space restraints? ???
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Offline Cerebus

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #176 on: July 10, 2017, 08:01:17 am »
- A runtime-reconfigurable CPLD. It starts up with the image last flashed via a dedicated programming connection (say, JTAG) to its internal flash. Groups of pins and cells can be locked into fixed configurations via security bits in the flash. It is through this initial image and a non-programming connection that you reconfigure the remaining cells (say, via SPI). The locking protects the runtime changes from being destructive, such as outputting on a pin that on your board goes to another output. Specification is open enough that you don't need a specialised tool to make these runtime changes.

Something quite close to what you describe could be realised with the 'warmboot' feature of Lattice' iCE40 FPGAs.
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Offline MLXXXp

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #177 on: July 10, 2017, 08:50:38 am »
- An adapter that has 2.54mm male header pins on one side (say, 2x5) and individually spring-loaded pins on the other that will make contact with a wide range of PCB hole sizes. The header pins then go to a cable. For testing before soldering real headers on.

- Jumper wire with one end having some kind of connector that lets you make secure, but temporary connections with a plated through-hole of various sizes *vertically* at most points on a PCB.

These ideas are similar to the reusable solderless headers that I wish existed.
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/components-you-wish-existed-88167/msg1206329/?topicseen#msg1206329
 

Offline forrestc

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #178 on: July 10, 2017, 09:43:35 am »
I'd like an input protection IC with a circuit like the following:

Back to back depletion-mode mosfets for active current limiting.   Aka the circuit in figure 4.  http://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/en/AppNotes/AN-D66.pdf
and on the 'protected' side:
Transisitor clamps to VCC and GND arranged to burn the excess voltage/current off as heat instead of just shunting the current to the rails.     

All in one package:  In, Out, Vcc, Gnd. 

I can do the above with discretes, but there are numerous reasons why it would be better all in one package.

Bonus for multiple circuits in the same package.

 

Offline GarthyD

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #179 on: July 10, 2017, 10:00:55 am »
- A runtime-reconfigurable CPLD. It starts up with the image last flashed via a dedicated programming connection (say, JTAG) to its internal flash. Groups of pins and cells can be locked into fixed configurations via security bits in the flash. It is through this initial image and a non-programming connection that you reconfigure the remaining cells (say, via SPI). The locking protects the runtime changes from being destructive, such as outputting on a pin that on your board goes to another output. Specification is open enough that you don't need a specialised tool to make these runtime changes.

Something quite close to what you describe could be realised with the 'warmboot' feature of Lattice' iCE40 FPGAs.

The iCE40 FPGAs are seriously close to ticking all of the boxes here. Thankyou for the excellent suggestion. :) I was wondering if I needed to start wandering into FPGA territory for this sort of functionality.

I was thinking they'd have no leaded variants or would be way too expensive to justify, but I was wrong on both counts: A iCE40HX1K-VQ100 TQFP-100 is about AUD$6.83/USD$5.19 (Mouser). Or AU$8.54 (RS) if I get impatient.

There is an application I'm looking at for the future the could use this and I absolutely will be looking at these when the time comes. For the cost, I might even throw one in my next order just to play with for fun.

In the meantime I've got some interesting reading to do. :)

- An adapter that has 2.54mm male header pins on one side (say, 2x5) and individually spring-loaded pins on the other that will make contact with a wide range of PCB hole sizes. The header pins then go to a cable. For testing before soldering real headers on.

- Jumper wire with one end having some kind of connector that lets you make secure, but temporary connections with a plated through-hole of various sizes *vertically* at most points on a PCB.

These ideas are similar to the reusable solderless headers that I wish existed.
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/components-you-wish-existed-88167/msg1206329/?topicseen#msg1206329


They sound fantastic. I'd love to have had a few of your reusable headers in the prototype board I've just built. Snap in to do testing and measurements, snap out to do some component soldering, and repeat until board is built and the real headers are in.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2017, 11:42:06 am by GarthyD »
 

Offline PointyOintment

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #180 on: August 04, 2017, 02:46:54 pm »
- A conductor/insulator/conductor "sandwich" with a module coming out of the side that you could attach two jumper wires to. To use, you desolder an IC lead from its pad, insert the "sandwich", resolder, and now you can insert something in series between the IC lead and the pad (eg. to measure current). Bonus points if it comes with a tiny DIP switch that you can switch to keep it connected when not in use.
Are there FFCs with double-sided ends? What I mean by that is that the contacts on one side of the end of the FFC go to different traces than the contacts on the other side of the same end. If those exist, you could cut them up and use them for that purpose.

- Fully-assembled boost converter module as a through-hole component with no layout requirements. Five pins: In, out, ground, enable, and a resistor to set voltage.
https://www.digikey.com/products/en/power-supplies-board-mount/dc-dc-converters/922

- Power-pooling IC that accepts a few power sources and outputs uninterrupted power even as the sources are connected and disconnected. One source assumes a single-cell Li-Po and minimises the voltage drop. The battery source is isolated if the other sources are providing power. An output pin indicates if we are running from battery or not.
Those are called "power multiplexers", I think. Pololu sells one or two on breakout boards.

- Shift register where every two bits controls what is connected to one pin: Either nothing, a weak pullup, or a weak pulldown.
Use a tri-state shift register, and put resistors in series with its outputs?

- A small surface-mount component (0603 or much smaller) that conducts as shipped but you can deliberately break the connection with a small tool, magnifier, and steady hand. Essentially a tiny dip switch with default on.
Solder jumper?

- An adapter that has 2.54mm male header pins on one side (say, 2x5) and individually spring-loaded pins on the other that will make contact with a wide range of PCB hole sizes. The header pins then go to a cable. For testing before soldering real headers on.

- Jumper wire with one end having some kind of connector that lets you make secure, but temporary connections with a plated through-hole of various sizes *vertically* at most points on a PCB.
Tag Connect or Tag-Connect—seems they can't decide if it should be hyphenated or not—is the closest thing I know of to those ideas.
 
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Offline GarthyD

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #181 on: August 04, 2017, 06:31:39 pm »
- A conductor/insulator/conductor "sandwich" with a module coming out of the side that you could attach two jumper wires to. To use, you desolder an IC lead from its pad, insert the "sandwich", resolder, and now you can insert something in series between the IC lead and the pad (eg. to measure current). Bonus points if it comes with a tiny DIP switch that you can switch to keep it connected when not in use.
Are there FFCs with double-sided ends? What I mean by that is that the contacts on one side of the end of the FFC go to different traces than the contacts on the other side of the same end. If those exist, you could cut them up and use them for that purpose.

That's a really interesting idea. I've done little with the connectors on flat cables so I wouldn't be sure where to start, but perhaps such a connector exists that would somehow allow it to be attached in that way.

- Fully-assembled boost converter module as a through-hole component with no layout requirements. Five pins: In, out, ground, enable, and a resistor to set voltage.
https://www.digikey.com/products/en/power-supplies-board-mount/dc-dc-converters/922

I had a lot of trouble finding one that definitely converted voltage upward and thought you might have been mistaken. However, after some digging I was able to find some that definitely did. Some more digging in the higher price ranges yielded packages with both through-hole and surface mount (with leads). I didn't find one with every characteristic, but I found a few that were awfully close. I blame the search tools, the suggestion was great. :)

A search for "step-up" and "boost" in a few stores that do breakout boards yielded some results that ticks all the boxes apart from being a fully-assembled module (although the last point could be argued).

- Power-pooling IC that accepts a few power sources and outputs uninterrupted power even as the sources are connected and disconnected. One source assumes a single-cell Li-Po and minimises the voltage drop. The battery source is isolated if the other sources are providing power. An output pin indicates if we are running from battery or not.
Those are called "power multiplexers", I think. Pololu sells one or two on breakout boards.

And so they are! That's the problem I run into a lot. I can describe the type of thing I want but it's hard to find it without knowing what it is actually called. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

- Shift register where every two bits controls what is connected to one pin: Either nothing, a weak pullup, or a weak pulldown.
Use a tri-state shift register, and put resistors in series with its outputs?

Heck, that's seriously close. I didn't know there were tri-state shift registers. :O Now, an all that is left is an all-in-one package with the resistors included.

- A small surface-mount component (0603 or much smaller) that conducts as shipped but you can deliberately break the connection with a small tool, magnifier, and steady hand. Essentially a tiny dip switch with default on.
Solder jumper?

Do you mean solder over a point, and desolder to break? I was thinking more along the lines of something that someone without an iron could safely break if they wanted to. Perhaps like a surface mount resistor but with a conductive middle segment sitting on a nonconductive base that you can push out of the component. Or something with a tiny, tiny switch that you can flick maybe a dozen times before it breaks. Or something that comes with a small wire in it that you can slice with a small blade.

- An adapter that has 2.54mm male header pins on one side (say, 2x5) and individually spring-loaded pins on the other that will make contact with a wide range of PCB hole sizes. The header pins then go to a cable. For testing before soldering real headers on.

- Jumper wire with one end having some kind of connector that lets you make secure, but temporary connections with a plated through-hole of various sizes *vertically* at most points on a PCB.
Tag Connect or Tag-Connect—seems they can't decide if it should be hyphenated or not—is the closest thing I know of to those ideas.

Kind of, but without the requirement of putting in extra holes to match the connector. The sort of thing which you could build yourself by attaching ribbon wires to a set of pogo pins offset by 2.54mm with pointy or mildly-rounded ends (matching any hole size) and attach the other end to an IDC cable. Except without the building it yourself part, just jump straight to the part where I buy the already-assembled cable. :)

...

Thankyou, wish-granting electronics genie. :)

Seriously: Thankyou for the excellent suggestions and starting points. :)
 

Offline dr.diesel

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #182 on: October 05, 2017, 01:57:00 am »
Small single interface (I2C, SPI, whatever) multi gang environmental sensor:

 - Barometric pressure, humidity, altitude, temp
 - Complete 9 DOF IMU (accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope) with available post processing built in
 - CO, O2, NH3, H2S, NO2, HF, SO2, CL2, O3, C2H4, CH3O, ETO, N2, HCL (Probably missed a few)
 - Combustible Gas (all of the *tane's, *anol's, *tone's etc)

All with appropriate PPM/PPB where applicable.

Since I'm wishing let's toss in a ~1cm accurate > 50hz GPS, with external antenna port.

Something size suitable for IoT, phones, small robotics etc.


Online asmi

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #183 on: October 05, 2017, 02:49:14 am »
I would love to have affordable bridge IC CSI/DSI<-> Parallel 24bit RGB. CSI/DSI IP cores for FPGA costs a fortune, as well as in most cases require external circuitry to make MIPI signals electrically compatible with FPGA IO :rant:
 

Online asmi

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #184 on: October 05, 2017, 02:52:43 am »
- Barometric pressure, humidity, altitude, temp
BME280: https://www.digikey.ca/product-detail/en/bosch-sensortec/BME280/828-1063-1-ND/6136314

- CO, O2, NH3, H2S, NO2, HF, SO2, CL2, O3, C2H4, CH3O, ETO, N2, HCL (Probably missed a few)
 - Combustible Gas (all of the *tane's, *anol's, *tone's etc)
That would be huge and cost a fortune.
Something size suitable for IoT, phones, small robotics etc.
BME280 is 2x2 mm I believe, most 6DOF chips are also in that ballpark.
 

Offline xani

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #185 on: October 05, 2017, 02:55:26 am »
I also would like to make a tricorder  ;D
to add, affordable (<$50 each)
  • thermal camera
  • wide-range optic spectrum analyzer,  200(UVA/B) to 1800(to cover various fiber flavours)
  • mini mass spectrometer

- An adapter that has 2.54mm male header pins on one side (say, 2x5) and individually spring-loaded pins on the other that will make contact with a wide range of PCB hole sizes. The header pins then go to a cable. For testing before soldering real headers on.

- Jumper wire with one end having some kind of connector that lets you make secure, but temporary connections with a plated through-hole of various sizes *vertically* at most points on a PCB.

These ideas are similar to the reusable solderless headers that I wish existed.
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/components-you-wish-existed-88167/msg1206329/?topicseen#msg1206329

Wouldn't just a bunch of pogo pins + some way of clamping it to hold it in place be enough ?.

I did something similiar once for AVR isp header and it was basically a isp header breakout board with pogo pins + another one few mm below to make it rigid (basically a sandwich of 2 boards with some spacing).

Basically i could press it to unpopulared ISP header and press program to program the chip
 

Offline dr.diesel

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #186 on: October 05, 2017, 02:57:39 am »
- Barometric pressure, humidity, altitude, temp
BME280: https://www.digikey.ca/product-detail/en/bosch-sensortec/BME280/828-1063-1-ND/6136314

- CO, O2, NH3, H2S, NO2, HF, SO2, CL2, O3, C2H4, CH3O, ETO, N2, HCL (Probably missed a few)
 - Combustible Gas (all of the *tane's, *anol's, *tone's etc)
That would be huge and cost a fortune.
Something size suitable for IoT, phones, small robotics etc.
BME280 is 2x2 mm I believe, most 6DOF chips are also in that ballpark.

yeah, i'm wishing, and want it all in a single package, single interface.

Online BrianHG

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #187 on: October 05, 2017, 03:39:06 am »
as well as in most cases require external circuitry to make MIPI signals electrically compatible with FPGA IO :rant:

To put it more precisely:

I would like an affordable FPGA with multiple 50 gigabit transceivers with built in differential receiver with cable length equalizers and programmable signal level differential cable drivers to accommodate all high speed differential buses directly, not just MIPI, but USB3.1, 10G Ethernet, SDI, HDMI, Display Port, ect...

The darn cable length equalizers are the nasty thing which usually requires an analog circuit...
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Offline westfw

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #188 on: October 05, 2017, 11:03:16 am »
User-programmable USB device chip in the same price class (and physical size) as CH340g...
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #189 on: October 05, 2017, 02:12:34 pm »
A multiple input LDO that uses the lowest voltage input still able to achieve the set output voltage. The main use case being a device that has (for example) a 12V input and a 5V buck regulator that is only only some of the time. It also needs an always on 3.3V at a current too low to justify having a buck converter, but of which having the capability to regulate from the 5V rail when it is on gives a worthwhile power savings.
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Offline technix

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #190 on: October 05, 2017, 04:51:56 pm »
A multiple input LDO that uses the lowest voltage input still able to achieve the set output voltage. The main use case being a device that has (for example) a 12V input and a 5V buck regulator that is only only some of the time. It also needs an always on 3.3V at a current too low to justify having a buck converter, but of which having the capability to regulate from the 5V rail when it is on gives a worthwhile power savings.
I would prefer the bypassable switcher approach (a switch mode regulator that have a bypass mode forcing the switching element on.) This way if you don’t need the 5V rail, you can shut most of it down with a MOSFET and bypass the regulator and force 12V out to the “5V” rail.
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #191 on: October 05, 2017, 06:11:15 pm »
Look for 100% duty cycle switchers. They exist!

I would like serial memory (fram/flash/eeprom) that you can map to memory with read and write capability. Like you can with many parallel memory interfaces or quad-spi (read only).

 

Offline technix

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #192 on: October 06, 2017, 01:25:22 pm »
Look for 100% duty cycle switchers. They exist!

I would like serial memory (fram/flash/eeprom) that you can map to memory with read and write capability. Like you can with many parallel memory interfaces or quad-spi (read only).
That existed for a while and died: Fully Buffered DIMM.
 

Offline cdev

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #193 on: October 06, 2017, 02:32:11 pm »
a navspark mini could likely interface with the bme280 and maybe some of the others and its GPS is in my experience quite accurate.. and its only around $7

will do 20 hz its one of the faster GPSs

Small single interface (I2C, SPI, whatever) multi gang environmental sensor:


 - Barometric pressure, humidity, altitude, temp
 - Complete 9 DOF IMU (accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope) with available post processing built in
 - CO, O2, NH3, H2S, NO2, HF, SO2, CL2, O3, C2H4, CH3O, ETO, N2, HCL (Probably missed a few)
 - Combustible Gas (all of the *tane's, *anol's, *tone's etc)

All with appropriate PPM/PPB where applicable.

Since I'm wishing let's toss in a ~1cm accurate > 50hz GPS, with external antenna port.

Something size suitable for IoT, phones, small robotics etc.


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Offline Jeroen3

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #194 on: October 06, 2017, 06:01:32 pm »
...
That existed for a while and died: Fully Buffered DIMM.
I think there could be a market for say, ST, selling micro-controllers and memory IC that can be memory mapped instead of used with a software layer.
 

Online asmi

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #195 on: October 07, 2017, 12:04:41 am »
I think there could be a market for say, ST, selling micro-controllers and memory IC that can be memory mapped instead of used with a software layer.
Many MCUs have external bus interfaces, and some even have SDRAM/DDR memory controllers.
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #196 on: October 07, 2017, 01:16:06 am »
Yes I know. For large footprint IC's, with a large number of lines.
How about a memory mapped soic8 flash with only 3 lines that you can write to?
 

Online asmi

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #197 on: October 07, 2017, 06:00:06 am »
Yes I know. For large footprint IC's, with a large number of lines.
How about a memory mapped soic8 flash with only 3 lines that you can write to?
How do you see this implemented over 3 lines? Without dedicated address lines any implementation will be incredibly slow, which kinda defeats the purpose of RAM as fast "scratch" memory space.
Besides, there are (Q-)SPI RAM chips out there, so perhaps they can be used to implement it somehow, but like I said, I don't really see utility for RAM which is that slow, unless you use huge bursts to amortise command/address phase.
Also there are HyperRAM chips from Cypress, which do provide up to 333 MB/s of bandwidth over just 11 or 12 lines, I used a couple of them on my FPGA board, but real achieved bandwidth heavily depends on access pattern - if you attempt to use it as RAM (as in random access memory), the bandwidth will be horrible as command/address phase takes 10 to 18 clock cycles, so you will need to use loooong bursts to get anywhere near theoretical 333 MB/s BW (it uses 166.667 MHz DDR interface over 8 DQ lines).
« Last Edit: October 07, 2017, 06:40:26 am by asmi »
 

Offline GarthyD

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #198 on: October 07, 2017, 09:25:16 am »
- An adapter that has 2.54mm male header pins on one side (say, 2x5) and individually spring-loaded pins on the other that will make contact with a wide range of PCB hole sizes. The header pins then go to a cable. For testing before soldering real headers on.

- Jumper wire with one end having some kind of connector that lets you make secure, but temporary connections with a plated through-hole of various sizes *vertically* at most points on a PCB.

These ideas are similar to the reusable solderless headers that I wish existed.
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/components-you-wish-existed-88167/msg1206329/?topicseen#msg1206329

Wouldn't just a bunch of pogo pins + some way of clamping it to hold it in place be enough ?.

I did something similiar once for AVR isp header and it was basically a isp header breakout board with pogo pins + another one few mm below to make it rigid (basically a sandwich of 2 boards with some spacing).

Basically i could press it to unpopulared ISP header and press program to program the chip

That sounds like something that could be built that is functionally close. I don't suppose you remember the specific pogo pins you used? Did they handle holes that house 2.54" headers? I'd like to investigate them if so and you remember.

Yes I know. For large footprint IC's, with a large number of lines.
How about a memory mapped soic8 flash with only 3 lines that you can write to?

The SAM70 series (http://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/en/DeviceDoc/Atmel-11242-32-bit-Cortex-M7-Microcontroller-SAM-S70Q-SAM-S70N-SAM-S70J_Datasheet.pdf) does memory mapped quad SPI with XIP (ie. run code direct from it), and if you used FRAM (8-pin) you've got fast non-volatile storage. It isn't exactly what you've asked for, but it does tick a lot of boxes. Haven't tried it myself but had planned to.

Imagine that backed with hardware cache. I bet one of the high-end ARMS does it.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2017, 04:30:08 pm by GarthyD »
 
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Offline Etesla

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Re: Components you wish existed.
« Reply #199 on: October 13, 2017, 06:49:03 am »
Flux Capacitor
 


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