July 11, 2017 Volume 13 Issue 26

Electrical/Electronic News & Products

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Mike Likes: TI doubles power density with motor control

Texas Instruments recently introduced two new device families that help reduce size and weight in motor drive applications. When used together, the brushless DC (BLDC) gate drivers and power blocks require half the board space of competing solutions. An 18-V compact BLDC motor reference design demonstrates how these components can drive 11 W/cm3 power and enable engineers to jump start their designs for smaller, lighter weight power tools, integrated motor modules, drones, and more.
Read the full article.

Cool Tools: Laser scanner for reverse engineering

The new FARO Laser Tracker Vantage product family sets a new price/ performance standard for addressing challenges in large-scale metrology such as assembly alignment, part and assembly inspection, machine installation and alignment, and reverse engineering. Two high-performance Vantage models are available: E model (operating range to 25 m) and S model (operating range to 80 m). Both compact units offer industry-leading portability with an integrated master control unit (MCU), hot swappable batteries that eliminate the need for AC power and cabling, and industrial-grade Wi-Fi. A single carrying case makes for easy transport.
Click here to learn more.

Specifying intrinsically safe remote monitoring sensor systems for hazardous environments

Josh Schadel from SignalFire Telemetry lays out the plan for how to specify remote monitoring sensor systems for hazardous environs such as a tank- or well-level monitoring application that involves the storage of dangerous or volatile materials. Intrinsically safe (IS) equipment is designed so that energy levels are low enough not to generate an arc, spark, or temperature that could ignite an explosive area. IS equipment differs from explosion-proof (XP) systems where ignition is contained within an enclosure so as not to ignite the explosive environment.
Read Schadel's informative blog post.

Passive component design kit for IoT

The new Passive Components for the Internet of Things Design Kit (Part No. KIT-IOT) from AVX allows engineers to quickly identify effective solutions for IoT devices with widely varying requirements for power, data-processing speed, form factor, and price. The kit contains RF microwave components (capacitors, inductors, circuit protection, and SAW filters), input voltage filtering and decoupling devices, and high-precision crystal products to address a wide span of IoT applications including: wearable devices, smart-home applications, medical electronics, industrial automation tasks, connected cars, and traffic control.
Click here to learn more.

Cool Tools: New Fluke motor diagnostics tool incorporates machine learning

Fluke and Veros Systems have collaborated on asset performance and condition monitoring technologies to increase visibility into the efficiency and reliability of electric motor-driven machines. The Fluke 438-II Power Quality and Motor Analyzer is the first tool to result from that partnership. It analyzes three-phase power-quality measurements and uses an innovative method developed by Veros to calculate motor output torque, speed, horsepower, and efficiency. Using this information, engineers and technicians can evaluate system performance and detect overload conditions while the motor is operational, without the use of any mechanical sensing devices such as tachometers, strain gauges, or other intrusive sensors.
Click here to learn more.

Light pipes used in jetpack controls

Here's a neat application for you: LPC rigid light pipes from VCC were used in an advanced jetpack pilot warning display. Light pipes (light guides) transmit light from an LED mounted on a PCB board to the user interface to communicate vital information. The light pipes offer design flexibility, easy installation, and multiple LED packaging options. The LPC rigid light pipe was selected due to its rugged material, easy assembly, superb daylight visibility, and wide 160-deg viewing angle.
Read the VCC case study here.
Check out VCC's full line of light pipes, indicators, displays, and LEDs.

Wireless and batteryless pull-wire switches

Wireless pull-wire switches from Steute Industrial Controls feature an internal electrodynamic energy generator. No battery required! Displacement of the actuator generates power to send a unique, coded telegram to one or more compatible, easily programmed receivers. If the pull-wire switch does not receive a signal that the telegram was received by the receiver within 15 ms, it transmits a second telegram. Transmits at 915 MHz. Maximum nominal transmission range: 164 ft (50 m) indoors, 2,300 ft (700 m) outdoors. Check out the full range of clever wireless switches from Steute.
Click here to learn more.

Infrared LED optimizes license plate recognition and more

Osram Opto Semi-conductors is expanding its family of high-power infrared Oslon LEDs for illumination solutions to include a new wavelength, 810 nm. The new SFH 4703AS infrared emitter will improve the performance of inspection and scanning camera systems, such as those used to read license plates. The additional wavelength enhances image contrast, making it easier to read patterns from recorded images at any time of day. At 1 amp current, the emitter generates 1 W of optical power. With this new device, designers can now choose from mutually compatible emitters in three different wavelengths.
Click here to learn more.

Automation: Robotic joint control how-to

Versatile and adaptive robotic armatures have the benefit of increasing manufacturing productivity by automating and performing complex, repetitive tasks 24/7. Designed to obey commands or to work in unison as cooperative robots (cobot/co-robot), these robots greatly simplify the design of automation systems. To further improve performance, reaction torque sensors are placed in-line with the drive motors inside each joint, allowing development of closed loop control laws to ensure smooth, repeatable, and efficient arm motion.
Learn about precision torque feedback for robotic arms and co-robots.

Tiniest load cell yet!

The LLB130 Miniature Load Button from FUTEK has a capacity range from 1,000 g to 50 lb and is RoHS compliant. All capacities are in stock and ready to ship. This mini load cell features low deflection and fast response time, and it is fully internally temperature compensated.
Click here to learn more.

New super-accurate magnetic scales equal the quality of optical scales

BOGEN has introduced a more compact version of its magnetic measuring head IKS9. In addition to an 11-mm-wide body, IKS9 is now available in a 9-mm width to be used in the most confined spaces, providing the highest accuracy for magnetic measurements with freely selectable resolutions. The IKS9 impresses customers in automation, instrumentation, and motion control applications with its extremely high accuracy and a particularly high degree of modularity. Distributed in the USA by Electromate.
Click here to learn more.

Mike Likes: Latest thermal imaging for smartphones, tablets

The third-generation FLIR ONE provides a powerful, introductory-level thermal camera that attaches to iOS or Android devices. Featuring the new OneFit adjustable-height connector, including a USB-C version for Android, the latest FLIR ONE easily attaches to more smartphones without needing to remove your phone case. As the most affordable FLIR ONE to date at $199.99, this unit is the perfect camera to introduce people to the benefits of thermal imaging. Also comes in a PRO version for $399.99. Available the first half of 2017.
Click here to learn more.

Carbon-composition resistors for non-inductive pulse handling

The RC Series of carbon composition axial leaded resistors from Stackpole is an outstanding choice for high-speed or high-energy pulse handling requirements. The large mass of the carbon resistive element efficiently dissipates high-energy surge events, while the almost negligible inductance allows for higher switching speeds than comparable wirewound resistors. Carbon Comp remains a favorite choice for switch mode power supplies as well as many other snubber and energy-dumping applications. It is also a popular choice for surge withstanding in meters and data collection devices as well as a variety of lighting products. Available in 1/4-W and 1/2-W sizes in resistance values from 1 ohm up to 22 Meg ohm. Standard tolerances are 5 and 10 percent.
Click here to learn more.

Power converter for industrial, smart grid, e-mobile applications

Siemens has a new addition to its popular Sinamics DCP product family of scalable (4X), bi-directional DC-DC drives. The DCP 120 kW facilitates the integration of larger energy-storage systems such as batteries and supercapacitors into multi-generator applications for a wide variety of industrial, smart grid, marine, and e-mobile uses, including photovoltaics, fuel cells, wind power, and high-dynamic uses such as peak shaving. This new drive features combined buck/boost capability in a single device for optimized interconnection between DC sources and energy-storage devices plus the DC link for both motor inverter and infeed/grid inverter.
Click here to learn more.

Ultra-miniature in-line load cell

Introducing FUTEK's brand new in-line load cell: the LCM100 model. It’s an ultra-miniature threaded load cell that has a capacity range of 1,000 g to 25 lb. RoHS complaint, the load sensor is great for both tension and compression applications. The most impressive feature of the LCM100 is its very low deflection, which allows it to provide high response rates and superior settling times.
Check out this video!

What's next for internet privacy? Founder of World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee calls new U.S. ISP rules 'disgusting'

President Trump signed an executive order April 3 that finalized the repeal of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) internet privacy rules that would have stopped intrusive practices of ISPs. Internet service providers (ISPs) are now free to collect and share their subscribers' private data that includes precise geolocation, financial information, health information, children's information, and web browsing history. While ISPs are claiming they won't sell customer data, now that they are legally allowed to do it, there's lots of skepticism surrounding this claim.

According to the rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation, "Privacy and security are two sides of the same coin: privacy is about controlling who has access to information about you, and security is how you maintain that control."

Many experts say that the executive order is just the beginning -- and the signs of new developments are already visible.

A notice has already been served by the Trump administration that net neutrality -- which guarantees that all content is equally accessible -- will be possibly revoked. If that happens, Verizon and other ISPs will also be able to control which content users see, giving preference to more lucrative options, and making it harder for independent streaming services or smaller sites to compete. Verizon is likely to be one of the quickest ISPs to take advantage of the new liberties, and will seek to use the subscriber data in order to provide sharply targeted advertising.

As a result of the rights given to Internet Service Providers, a new type of ISP might emerge: an ISP that is also an ad network and content company, taking full advantage of data it receives from its tracking supercookies and other methods.

According to Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web, the measure repealing the FCC online privacy rules "was a disgusting bill, because when we use the web, we are so vulnerable." He said the problem with the internet is that it can be "ridiculously revealing" and notes that we have the right to go to a doctor in privacy, and similarly, we have to be able to go to the web in privacy.

NordVPN, a Virtual Private Network, which has seen its U.S. user inquiries triple in the past week, keeps warning American users about the necessity to take their own internet privacy into their own hands. "The next steps that ISPs might take to undermine internet user privacy are indeed worrying, so we want to stress that people need to use tools to protect themselves. If someone wants to swing the door wide open on your private life, make sure you have a key and a lock for that door," said Marty P. Kamden, CMO of NordVPN. "VPNs play the role of a lock when it comes to internet privacy. By encrypting all users' internet traffic into a secure tunnel that connects only to a VPN server, a VPN protects you from snoopers. It is the best known mechanism that keeps Internet traffic private and secure."

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) secures and encrypts Internet traffic, helping protect users' identity and data by hiding their IP address. It scrambles a user's online data, so an ISP cannot decode and use it for building an advertising profile. It also reroutes internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel, preventing any third parties (including the ISPs) from monitoring user's Internet traffic.

NordVPN has an obvious stake in this issue, because it provides VPN technologies.

Three more ways internet providers can impact online security
Here are three main ways that ISPs can potentially impact online security, given their new rights:

1. Storing large amounts of data could attract hackers. The storage security argument always reappears when discussing the mandatory ISP data-retention programs. Security experts and human rights groups usually agree that collecting citizens' data must be balanced with increased data protection. To make matters worse, the FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has recently halted the enforcement of another ISP regulation. It would have required providers to take measures to protect user private data from security breaches. As a result, even if users' data gets hacked because of lax security, broadband providers will bear no responsibility.

2. ISPs could use enhanced tracking techniques. According to a 2015 study, at least nine ISPs, including AT&T, Verizon, and Vodafone, were found to have been using a "supercookies." When supercookies are installed, every website a user visits, and every third party embedded in these websites, can track them. Even if a user deletes their browser's cookies or uses the Incognito mode, supercookies persist. Also, the effectiveness of some privacy tools may be weakened because the tracking could be added after the data leaves a device. To prevent trackers from being added on a network level, users would have to use a combination of tools to fully secure their internet traffic, such as a tracker blocker and a VPN for encryption. Thanks to FCC investigation, ISPs (such as Verizon) were fined and have since agreed to notify users about cookies and give an option to opt in before they can track their data. However, if FCC regulations keep getting struck down, ISPs might revert to using, or invent other, enhanced tracking methods.

3. ISP tactics might weaken web encryption. At the moment, ISPs can only track the portion of user traffic that is not encrypted. Although VPN service encryption is recommended, some people choose to rely on web page encryption offered by HTTPS protocol. Tracking is limited on HTTPS websites secured with SSL (Secure Socket Layer). In such websites, any data that is being sent between a user's browser and the server is encrypted. As such, SSL certificates pose a major problem for ISPs since their goal is to build advertising profiles based on their subscriber data. There have been talks of ISPs implementing a standard called Explicit Trusted Proxy, which would potentially allow ISPs to intercept encrypted HTTPS web-page data, decode it, process it, re-encrypt it, and then finally pass the re-encrypted data along to its original destination. Recent studies have shown that many tools used for inspecting HTTPS traffic end up weakening the encryption and potentially exposing it to various security breaches. If internet providers get their way and obtain access to HTTPS data, they could markedly reduce the security of the entire web.

Source: NordVPN

Published April 2017

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