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## Motorised Blinds

Although sunshine is considered to be a relatively rare commodity in London, and is almost always welcomed, it has also been the source of a long-standing frustration. Being a light sleeper, I have often struggled with the amount of light… Continue

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## Strain Gauges [PART 1 – Strain Definition]

This series of posts will cover the fundamental principles of strain gauges, and provide a brief introduction of how they work and how they can be used. Measuring strain is a very basic necessity for a wide range of engineering… Continue

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## Strain Gauges [PART 2 – The Sensor]

The first part of this series covered the definition of strain, and provided a very basic description of the deformation that a member goes through under uniaxial tension/compression. This post will focus on how strain measurements can be taken exactly… Continue

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## Strain Gauges [PART 3 – Wheatstone Bridge]

Having covered strain gauges and how they work (see Part 2), it is worth exploring how they are used and how we can get a useful signal from them to represent the strain that a member is undergoing. As discussed… Continue

Think Tank

## Why do kettles make so much noise?

The electric kettle is one of the most frequently used appliances – at least here in the UK – and yet few people ever question where the sound comes from when we put some water to boil. Sure, when the… Continue

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## Step Up (Boost) DC-DC Converters

A common requirement for many applications is the ability to convert the input power. Usually, a device will have a single power input which could be from a battery, directly from mains, or perhaps it will accept a specific voltage… Continue

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## Analogue to Digital Conversion [PART 6 – AVR]

Having briefly covered the general theory behind Analogue to Digital Conversion (see Signals, Sampling, Aliasing, Resolution, Accuracy), we will now look at an actual implementation. In this particular case we will be using an embedded Microprocessor Unit (MCU), specifically the… Continue

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## Analogue to Digital Conversion [PART 5 – Accuracy]

As an Analogue to Digital conversion isn’t exact, it is important to be aware of the types of errors that might occur, any inherent limitations, and see how this all affects the overall accuracy. In previous sections, aliasing was covered… Continue

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## Driving an RGB LED

The use of RGB Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) is very widespread. From the pixels that we see on advertising boards to indoor lighting that changes hue, they are being used more and more due to their power efficiency, long lifetime,… Continue

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## Making the Internet of Things (IOT) Affordable

I attended a seminar co-hosted by Howarth Lynch and Concirrus entitled ‘Making the Internet of Things (IOT) Affordable’ last Thursday, conveniently held at the Markel offices in the Walkie Talkie building. When I came across the invite by email, I was… Continue