Spark Analyzer is a USB-C PD analyzer and power supply based on ESP32-C3 (Crowdfunding)

spark analyzer front back

Spark Analyzer is an ESP32-C3-powered device built to streamline the process of developing and debugging USB-C Power Delivery (UCPD) solutions. The board’s design is simple, compact, and includes helpful power delivery and analysis functionality, at an affordable price. Spark Analyzer runs on an ESP32-C3FH4 microcontroller, a low-power SoC with a single-core RISC-V CPU with onboard 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 (Low Energy) connectivity. The wireless chip lets users control the Spark Analyzer and monitor its operation remotely. It also supports integration with other smart devices via Matter.  The device allows you to adjust voltage output from 5V to 20V, depending on your project requirements. Power is sent to a connected device via the two-pin screw terminal block on the device, and a Cross Chip sensor measures the electrical current sent through the device using Hall effect. It includes a software safety feature that turns off the output field-effect […]

Solar power manager module supports 6V-24V input range, battery charging, MPTT function, and outputs 5V/3A

Raspberry Pi 4 solar panel

Waveshare Solar Power Manager Module (D) is a compact power module for solar panels with support for 6V to 24V input, MPTT (Maximum Power Point Tracking), and battery charging. It outputs 5V up to 3A via a USB-C port or terminal block and should be suitable for a range of projects. A few weeks ago, we wrote about the FireBeetle 2 ESP32-C6 IoT development board with DFRobot highlighting support for solar charging of lithium batteries thanks the the CN3165 chip. But with a range of just 4.5 to 6V for solar panel input and a lack of support for MPTT, several readers were unimpressed by the solution. The Waveshare Solar Power Manager Module (D) recently popped up in my news feed, and I thought it might be worth a look. Waveshare Solar Power Manager Module (D) specifications: Solar panel input 6V to 24V via DC jack or 2-pole screw terminal […]

Renesas RA8T1 Cortex-M85 MCU targets motor control applications

Renesas RA8T1 block diagram

It took a while before Renesas released its first Arm Cortex-M85 microcontroller (RA8M1) in October 2023, but the company has now launched the RA8T1 Cortex-M85 MCU for motor control just a few weeks after announcing the RA8D1 for HMI applications. The RA8T1 group is the third Cortex-M85 microcontroller family from Renesas with a feature set optimized for motor control and leveraging machine learning through Arm Helium technology and a DSP for predictive maintenance requirements for motors. Renesas RA8T1 key features and specifications: MCU core – Arm Cortex-M85 clocked at 480 MHz with Helium MVE (M-Profile Vector Extension) with 32KB I/D caches, 12KB data flash Memory & Storage 1MB SRAM including 128KB TCM 1MB to 2MB Flash memory 2x SD/MMC host interfaces (SDHI) Communication interfaces Ethernet MAC with DMA USB – 1x USB 2.0 Full Speed interface 2x CAN-FD Up to 6x SCI (UART, Simple SPI, Simple I2C) 2x SPI up […]

Raspberry Pi 5 gets a PoE HAT+ kit that doubles as a cooling solution

Raspberry Pi 5 PoE HAT+

Waveshare PoE HAT(F) is an 802.3af/at-compliant 24W Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) HAT+ board designed for the Raspberry Pi 5 that also cools the SBC with its embedded fan, a heatsink, and two thermal pads. The Chinese company has beaten Raspberry Pi to it as the UK company is working on releasing the L-shaped 25W “PoE+ HAT(+) for Raspberry Pi 5” a little later. The existing official Raspberry Pi PoE+ HAT delivers up to 25.5 Watts which would be enough to power the Pi 5, but since the PoE header has been moved to another location, it’s not compatible anymore, so new solutions are needed such as the Waveshare PoE HAT(F). Waveshare PoE HAT(F) specifications: Supported SBC – Raspberry Pi 5 only Connected via 40-pin Raspberry Pi GPIO header and 4-pin PoE header PoE (Power Over Ethernet) IEEE 802.3af/at-compliant Input voltage – 37V-57V DC input Output 2-pin header – 12V/2A max GPIO header […]

Emporia Vue Gen 2 energy monitor ships with 16 CT clamps, supports single and three-phase power

Emporia Vue

We’ve just written about the “Smart Powermeter” measuring the power consumption of AC appliances through six CT clamps and running either ESPHome or Arduino firmware on ESP32-S3 WiFi and Bluetooth microcontroller. Some people asked about tri-phase and having more CT clamps. One of the commenters then recommended readers to look at the Emporia Vue energy monitor that ships with 16 CT clamps for individual devices/rooms, two 200A CT clamps for whole house monitoring, and supports single-phase up to 240VAC line-neutral, single, split-phase 120/240VAC, and three-phase up to 415Y/240VAC (no Delta). So let’s do that now.   Emporia Vue Gen 2 specifications: Connectivity – 2.4 GHz WiFi 4 Probes 2x 200A current sensors for service mains; 3.5mm plug; dimensions: 65 x 44 x 41mm 16x 50A current sensors to individually monitor air conditioner, furnace, water heater, washer, dryer, range, etc; 2.5mm plug, dimensions: 41 x 23 x 26; accurate from ±2% […]

SONOFF iPlug S60 – A $10.9 compact WiFi smart socket with built-in energy monitoring function

SONOFF iPlug

SONOFF iPlug S60 is a compact ESP32-C3-based WiFi smart socket with built-in energy monitoring support and available with either Type E/F or Type G prongs for respectively European and British markets, as well as other countries using those types of sockets. ITEAD has manufactured home automation devices that measure power consumption for years, such as the SONOFF POW switch directly connected to the mains or the SONOFF S31 smart socket, but those are/were much larger devices, and the new SONOFF iPlus S60 is fairly small and barely larger than some other smart sockets that lack an energy monitoring function, whiling handling up to 16A or 4,000W at 220-250V. SONOFF iPlug specifications: Wireless MCU – ESP32-C3 RISC-V microcontroller with 2.4GHz WiFi 4 802.11b/g/n  S60TPG Plug type – Type G (UK) Input – 250V, 50/60Hz, 13A max Max load –  3,250 Watts Dimensions – 58 x 58 x 42 mm Weight – […]

KWS-302WF whole house WiFi power meter supports up to 63A, power control, features a color display

KWS-302WF WiFi power meter

KWS-302WF is an inexpensive WiFi power meter with a color display and power control that is suitable for the whole house since it can handle up to 63A/17kW and supports DIN Rail mounting in a fuse box or cabinet. Installation is made through the neutral and live wires, and the display shows voltage, current, power, energy consumption, power factor, frequency, and temperature through an external temperature probe. Multiple KWS-302WF can be monitored and controlled through a mobile app which may make suitable suitable for apartment buildings as well. KWS-302WF specifications: Voltage range – 170-270V Current range – 0 to 63A Power range – 0 to 17 kW Energy range – 0 to 9999 kWh Timer range – 0 to 999 hours Temperature Range – -20 to +150°C (that is for the temperature sensor, and not the actual operating temperature range…) Frequency Range – 50 to 60 Hz Power Factor – […]

Coin cell-powered boards provide an easy way to test USB-C cables

C2C caberQU USB-C Cable Tester

The A2C caberQU and C2C caberQU boards enable the quick and easy testing of respectively USB-A to USB-C and USB-C to USB-C cables without external hardware. Powered by a CR2032 coin cell battery, the boards apply a voltage to all pins of a cable and measure which ones are connected to the other end. The results can be visualized immediately through various LEDS on the board. The C2C caberQU board comes with a dedicated LED for each of the 24 USB pins and the shield, and it’s possible to test the USB Type-C to USB Type-C cable in several different modes: USB 2.0/1.1 USB Power Delivery USB 3.0/3.1/3.2 Alternate Mode Debug Accessory Mode Audio Adapter Accessory Mode The A2C caberQU board has fewer pins and LEDS for testing USB-A to USB-C cables specifically, but it works the same way. Peter Traunmüller (aka petl) has shot a video showing one of […]

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EDATEC Raspberry Pi 5 fanless case