Power factor correction: Part 1

There are thousands of articles online about power factor correction. However i wanted to create a post summarizing the problem and a simple active solution. What is it? First lets look into the what “power factor” actually is. Power factor is a number which remains unit-less and generally speaking the perfect value is 1, we’ll…

Fix Fault Tolerant Heap (Qt Creator)

For a while now when running application from within Qt Creator, i would get a message along the lines of: It looks like somewhere along the line Qt Creator was marked by Windows subsystem “Fault Tolerant Heap“. The system seems to detected repeated problems with a program and apply mitigations to prevent crashes in the…

Silence U-Boot

Recently I was integrating Mender into QutiPi’s Linux distribution. I came across a problem that when booting U-Boot was displaying a range of terminal message as it was checking for OTA updates. This was not acceptable due to the primary purpose of the QutiPi project. After a bit of googling I found that by setting…

Part 2: Front Panel Labels

As you’ll see in upcoming posts at work we make front panel stickers using polycarbonate overlays. So I thought I’d go through the process of cutting out / routing the label. It’s been a bit of a long route to perfect this process as really the labels should be laser cut as they are so…

Inverting Positive Supplies

Currently I’m designing a power supply board for a vacuum reservoir system. I have a 24V power supply and need to generate plus and minus 5V for some analogue + digital circuitry. Normally I would use off the shelf DC-DC that can provide a couple of mA; however this time i want to my +-5V…

Part 1: Front Panel Labels

Back when I first joined the Electronics Section at The University of Manchester. when we designed equipment we would label it with Dymo labels. Weeks sometimes months of detailed thought, design, construction and testing would be finished with 5 minute, wonky labels, that dropped off 3 months later. I personally think aesthetics and UI/UX is…

Cheap 18 bit I2C ADC

I’m current using two MCP3424 in a design and thought it was worth a post as its quite a neat ADC. I’m going to split the post into five sections which I think surmises the chip nicely. Bus type The¬†MCP3424 using I2C as its bus protocol and has two configurable address pins. This means you…

Lets talk PCB mounted IO

When assembling equipment a tedious and time consuming task is creation of wiring looms and wiring front panel IO. Over the past two years the electronics section where I work has been trying to do away with it. Our section has made the switch for 90% of the designs we do and it has massively…

No through hole! No hand soldering boards!

I joined The University of Manchester’s Electronics Section around 5 years ago now. When I arrived the Section was still using through hole components. After a lot a pushing the section slowly made the transition to SMD components, and have never looked back since. Don’t get me wrong there are situations where through hole components…