Monday, September 23, 2013

FriedCircuits Now Live!

We'd like to welcome you to our grand opening of our new online store,!

Over the past few months, we have diligently worked toward creating a one-stop-shop that offers tools & parts for sale as well as detailed documentation. There we hope to provide new products, tutorials and share FriedCircuits related projects. 

Fear not! This here blog will remain active, and host most of MobileWill's personal projects and such. After all, it is through this blog that we were able to grow many ideas and tools that helped launched our FriedCircuits tindie shop (which we still plan to support)!

Speaking of supporting - we'd like to thank all of our supporters for helping us succeed to where we are now. As a thanks, we are offering 10% off to the first fifty customers! 

To dive into this deal, simply check out the new shop here:, register and order. Use the coupon code: OPENTEN

We hope you will find FriedCircuits to be easy to navigate, helpful and fun! Please leave us your feed-back of FC - it is greatly appreciated. Thanks!


P.S. Check back soon for an upcoming giveaway!

Monday, September 9, 2013

OLED Backpack New Features

Recently, the OLED Backpack has gone through a few updates and it has come to be quite a new tool! Thanks to Edouard Lafargue for all his hard work, he has made the OLED Backpack extra amazing.

New features:

  • Auto scaling (can change scale range in code)
  • Multiple Screens - Short button press
    • Scope View
    • Energy Readings
    • Peak and Min values
    • Large font for each of the 3 readings (Voltage, Watts, Amperes)
      • Amperes display auto adjusts decimal
  • Button resets peak, min and energy counts
Check out Edouard's review

VA Tester Demo Video

Come watch a demo of the VA Tester and support us on Tindie:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

VA Tester Fundraiser is Live!

After designing and constructing both USB Tester and the OLED Backpack, this next tool was naturally conceived. Introducing the VA Tester, a device similar to the USB Tester. However, unlike its counterpart, the VA Tester allows you to use it inline with almost any project. Additionally, it makes the OLED Backpack twice as useful.

The VA Tester allows you to monitor up to 26VDC at ±3.2A Max. This gives you a wide range of possibilities. Using the screw terminals, you can attach bare wire or jumper wires without having to solder, making for quick and easy connections.

Another useful change from the USB Tester is the replacement of the banana connectors to standard sized test points that fit most of your DMM probes.

Here is a picture of the first prototype:

Interested in owning one of these VA Testers? Then come support the fundraiser on Tindie! If we reach our goal, we'll give away an OLED Backpack to one lucky backer!

To read more about the VA Tester, check out our friend Edouard's, (over at Aerodynes) review:

Coin Cell & Higher Engery Drain

Working with microcontrollers tends to lead to using coin cell batteries. They are great small batteries and due to their internal resistance, you can usually run an LED directly. Here is a an interesting article from Nordic Semiconductor about high drain pulse impact on coin cells.

Ultra low power wireless connectivity is being added to an ever greater number of coin cell battery powered
applications. Calculating the battery lifetime of such a product is always important, buthow is the capacity of
the battery affected by the usage pattern?This article shows how the high peak, but short duration pulsed loads typical of ultra low power wireless
applications affect Energizer® CR2032 coin cell batteries and how your design and operation affects the batterylife time you can expect in your application.

Understanding Efficiency Standards For External Power Supplies

I came across this article about power supply efficiency the other day while researching power supplies. It is quite the informative read, I highly recommend it!

In the early 1990s, it was estimated that there were more than 1 billion external power supplies active in the United States alone. The efficiency of these power supplies, mainly utilizing linear technology, could be as low as 50% and still draw power when the application was turned off or not even connected to the power supply (referred to as “no-load” condition).

Experts calculated that without efforts to increase efficiencies and reduce “no-load” power consumption, external power supplies would account for around 30% of total energy consumption in less than 20 years. As early as 1992, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency started a voluntary program to promote energy efficiency and reduce pollution that eventually became the Energy Star program. However, the first mandatory regulation dictating efficiency and no-load power draw minimums wasn’t put in place until 2004. The following section traces the path from the CEC’s 2004 regulation up to the current standards that are in place today.