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Workbench Wednesdays

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In August 2022, Nordic Semiconductor announced its first Wi-Fi product. The nRF7002 is a dual-band (2.4 and 5 GHz) Wi-Fi 6 compatible companion IC. It does not have a general-purpose microcontroller built-in. Instead, Nordic intends for you to combine it with another microcontroller, like one of their nRF52 or nRF53-series system on chip (SoC). https://youtu.be/U3aBK9OM1OQ Nordic and the element14 Community sent me an nRF7002 Development Kit (DK), Evaluation Kit (EK), and some nRF7002 QFNs. I…

During the component shortage, I got to know Raspberry Pi’s RP2040 microcontroller. It is a dual-core Arm Cortex-M0+ with about 262 kilobytes of RAM. The feature I like most is the programmable IO pins. These are small state machines that run independently of the Arm cores. They allow for some clever tricks. For example, I used them extensively on the Mega IIe project. This video was supposed to be a project I thought of during…

Often I hear this question: “how can I get better solder joints?” Without looking at anything they are doing, I already know that they could be using more flux. Or, as I point out in this video, perhaps the correct type of flux! Flux removes oxide layers, gets contaminants out of the way, and makes for better solder joints. But there are so many different types of flux and even more ways to apply it.…

A powerful, but an underused feature of digital oscilloscopes is the trigger circuit. Learn from James how to use an oscilloscope’s trigger to find glitches, measure pulse widths, see transients, and stabilize a scope’s screen. This video explains the difference between Auto and Normal sweep modes, shows how to use a Pulse Width trigger, and explains how to use Hold-Off.

When running on a battery, it is important to know what parts of your circuit draw the most current. Profiling is a process where you look at sections of code or interactions with hardware to see how much power each requires. In this video, James shows four tools (and their tradeoffs) when profiling IoT or Edge Machine Learning devices. See if it makes more sense for you to use a Digital Multimeter (DMM), Power Supply…