Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Digital Signal Processing - DSP

When you are trying to arrive at a complex Embedded Systems and Communications solution, You will think of a DSP. Now that computers and embedded devices are used in most electronic devices, DSP is a way you can process, transform, analyze and generate fast analog data, in Real Time.

Real Time ideally is instantaneous or in sync, in tandem. Not an Zepto Second lost. But in the real world many analog inputs or result outputs can be processed a lot slower. So it is more like, How 'real time' you want, how cost-effective a real-time solution can be provided. If the analog input is slow and the system inertia is high and the user response time is limited by his persistence of vision, you need to make a system just a bit faster, even Microseconds delay may be fine. In yet another case it may be pico seconds.

Modulated Waveform

A web page in a browser delays a few milliseconds, you will not notice; but when you talk over the phone a small delay, echo or glitch can be unpleasant.

In a weather station the wind speed, atmospheric pressure and relative humidity are measured as analog signals using special sensors. This is then converted to digital data and fed to an embedded system or computer. The computer software analyzes the data and arrives at some predictions based on past patterns. This system in its simplest form, may not be DSP, but it is the beginning of this science, the first step.

Audio, Video, Image Processing, Speech Processing, Biometrics, etc. All these can use DSP to Produce an Output or generate a Result in a more repeatable and controllable manner than analog.

Real world signals or inputs are analog, Like the RGB color gradients in a Image or Video, the Harmonics in a Sound and The Noise in a Radar Signal. When these signals are processed in the conventional manner, many stages of semiconductors and Passive RLC blocks are needed and fine tuning them is delicate. Aging (magnetics-electrolytics), Vibration, Temperature, Humidity may alter the tuned parameters. Manufacturing and testing them is also tedious.

In a DSP solution we first convert the analog signals into digital streams. It could be multiple analog sources. Audio may need a slow A/D Conversion, Processing TV signals have to be faster.

An Analog to Digital convertor for an Image Processor in an Object Recognition System may be slow, but the data may has to be processed quickly and results of match or mismatch generated fast. If this system has to work with say coffee beans on a fast moving conveyor.... Check if they have been roasted well or not, even pop off beans that may affect the flavor of that batch, Then both scan and result has to be very fast.

If a Supersonic plane has to watch, prepare and react for all objects flying close by, the Real Time response of the system puts the design and technology to test. Even the software has to be lean and ultra fast, to react before it is too late.

Digital Signal Processing - MIT OpenCourseWare

Digital Signal Processing begins with a discussion of the analysis and representation of discrete-time signal systems, including discrete-time convolution, difference equations, the z-transform, and the discrete-time Fourier transform. Emphasis is placed on the similarities and distinctions between discrete-time. The course proceeds to cover digital network and nonrecursive (finite impulse response) digital filters. Digital Signal Processing concludes with digital filter design and a discussion of the fast Fourier transform algorithm for computation of the discrete Fourier transform.

Digital Signal Processing Overview
Digital Signal Processing Overview

A digital signal processing system takes a continuous sound wave as input, feeds it through an analog low-pass filter (an anti-aliassing filter) to remove all frequencies above half the sampling rate (see Nyquist's sampling theorem).

Digital Signal Processing Control Lab: DSP-59000

Dual processors (TMS-320C5416 & TMS-320LF2407); Built-in audio/video, MP3, Ethernet, Keypad, RS-232/RS-485, temperature control, function generator, PWM , experiment modules.

delabs Technologies

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Electronic Test Equipment - Tucker Electronics

New and Used Electronic Test Equipment from Tucker Electronics

  • New Test Equipment
  • Refurbished Test Equipment
  • Used Test Equipment

Tucker Electronics continues to offer New and Refurbished Oscilloscopes, Analyzers, Meters, Counters and Power Supplies from quality manufacturers.

Here is a page i scanned from an old 1986 Tucker Catalog. Standards and Equipments .

From Electronic Catalogs

Measurement Basics at National Instruments

For an T&M Learning, Start with these tutors of NI. Like Analog Amplifier Circuits and Analog RC Filters. RF and Microwave Fundamentals if you want to be good at Communication Technologies. Sensor, DAQ and Instrument Fundamentals for Industrial Automation Learning.

Measurement Fundamentals - National Instruments

National Instruments Wi-Fi DAQ devices combine IEEE 802.11 wireless or Ethernet communication, direct sensor connectivity, and the flexibility of NI LabVIEW software for remote monitoring and control of electrical, physical, mechanical, and acoustical signals.

Measurement Basics at National Instruments

NI Wi-Fi DAQ features and to learn how you can simplify wireless remote measurements without compromising on the security or performance of a cabled data acquisition solution.

delabs Notes

You can learn about every niche/domain in Electronic Technologies. You also need to Specialize in a niche which resonates within you. The skill sets need to be broad, in case you find less opportunities in the specialization you have. This keeps changing all the time.

Jonard Industries - Precision Hand Tools

Here are two pages from an old OK Industries catalog, now part of Jonard Industries. They have wire wrapping systems, which help build test systems, custom solutions easily. They have many Tools which improve productivity for the Electronics Manufacturing Industries.

"Jonard Industries Corp is a World Class Manufacturer of Precision Hand Tools for the Telecom, Computer, Military and Electronic Industries."

Test Instruments bench rack from OK Industries

From Electronic Catalogs

This is a Mini Electric Drill of OK Industries

From Electronic Catalogs

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Process Control Education - Instrumentation

A Resource of Value for Industrial Engineering. Here is an Online Textbook for learning advanced process control concepts.

The Process Control Education Web Site

The Reference includes Sample Process Control Course, Instrumentation for Process Control, WEB-Based Educational Resources for Process Control and Process Operability.

 The Process Control Education Web Site

The material above can also be found on the -Process Control, 2nd Edition, McGraw-Hill, 2000 - ISBN 0-07-039362-1 a textbook by T. Marlin.

delabs Notes - 

Industrial Automation enables Higher skill levels for workers and reduces danger of accidents too. Now the emphasis is for Energy Efficient Industrial Production, not only to save Energy Costs but as a Social Responsibility.

Industries should not pollute water bodies and the atmosphere, this brings us to new process control area of Air and Water Quality Measurement and regulation.

SCADA – Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition

A Closed loop control system has a Sensor-Controller-Actuator. The Bimetal Thermostat has all the three in the Bimetal itself. The Sensor, the Relay Contact and the Intelligence. This is Process Control when implemented to control the temperature in a Bakery Oven.

This leads us to Sensors-Transmitter-Controller-Outputs-Actuators. Where each is an independent electronic/electrical component of an entire Process Control system. The Process could be Temperature, Pressure, Speed, or Level.

IntegraXor SCADA

IntegraXor SCADA  - Create the interactive graphical interface for multi-device compatibility.

Industrial Automation encompasses many such Process Control Systems to form a Engineered System Solution for an Entire production line with different stages and process types.

At the machine end, the control has to be real time and highly reliable, dedicated controllers both Analog and Microcontrollers based are used. Analog as a fallback/override/trip or backup controller in case Embedded system gets stuck/fails.

These controllers or transmitters also send the data of the process back to a center control panel room. The actuators and outputs also have an override from the control panel. Sometimes Intelligent controllers at machine end can be remotely tweaked/tuned by Control room. This is possible due to Embedded systems and Flash., It also can pose problems if misused. Using SCADA such networking of these process control systems and Monitoring, Tweaking, Data Collection and Analysis is possible.

Come Internet or Web and Wireless, the scenario changes entirely. The Control room stays where it is, the Tablets can Access and utilize the SCADA and entire plant at the machine end also. The Control room can be carried around with limited access. This evolves further to that extent that an expert engineer can check the status of the Product Line from any Web Browser and suggest remedial  actions to the others at the factory. He can even see the status on mobile devices. Now study the Resources below.

Red Lion Controls - HMI and Process Control - HMI operator interface panels for PLCs, motor drives.

Sielco Sistemi - Winlog Pro is a SCADA/HMI software package - TCP/IP Client Server support, Intranet/Internet architecture.

See Some Industrial Grade SCADA Solutions here
Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition WikiPedia

wSCADA - Internet SCADA - Office Factory Integration - Online Automation

Industrial Process parameters, production flow or work status, material offtake, processing of products, incoming inspection status and quality process monitoring. All these need to be interfaced with the ERP and access to Mobile devices like Smartphones and remote Computers provided. This helps smooth micro management of a industry. Some Interfaces may have supervisory control and others just graphs and progress charts. Depending on the person and his work or machine area.

The data and presentation of complex data (by graphs and charts) enhances analysis and timely decision making. Then these solutions will be productive, and be an asset to an existing system. To ensure that; software or webware developers have to be supported by the domain experts having decades of hands on experience on the shop floor. Else; if it is built on theory and some statistics, the result may appear good and work well for small or standard configurations, but in demanding, changing, real life scenario, it may fail to deliver the best.

WebSCADA - Automation Systems - Process Control, Historian, Event Alarm. WebSCADA provides automation platforms on the Internet.

NetBiter - Monitoring and control through web pages - Monitor and control over the Ethernet using web pages.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Molecubes Bionic Learning Network Festo

Molecubes Bionic Learning Network Festo - "Molecubes - an attractive programmable robotics system Molecubes could play a significant role in technical training in the near future. These cubes, fitted with computer chips, can be successively attached to each other."

Festo Bionic Learning Network
  Molecubes Bionic Learning Network Festo
"Bionic design principles serve as the basis for the development of new gripper technology for flexible adaptive grasping in the mechanical handling industry..."

Here Festo is helping students of Robotics and Automation learn from nature's intricate and sophisticated Nueromuscular Systems. I am using the word Nueromuscular in a different way, here it means Wires (Nerves), Control System (Brain, Spinal cord), Solenoids & Valves (Muscular System).

These Bionic Systems can also be used the other way around, they can be designed for Reinforcing/Replacing Weak or Lost Limbs. Even a person with a handicap, can do most tasks on his own, aided by the Bionic Appendages.

Study These Resources to understand Bionics which is closely related to Robotics and Automation.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Analytical Instrumentation Technologies

Let us assume Physics, Chemistry and Biology as Verticals on a Horizontal plane called Science. A part of Physics developed into Magnetism and Electricity, which further evolved into Electrical Engineering a Technology. When a branch of Science is applied to develop, evolve and maintain Life on this Planet it becomes a Technology.

Electrical Engineering as a Technology has evolved and branched out into many specialized domains. With the coming of Semiconductors and the Advancements of Material Technologies, Electronics Engineering emerged as a foundation or a Horizontal for many new Verticals.

Analytical Instrumentation Technologies

One such Vertical is Instrumentation, here you know Industrial Process Control is one and the other is Test and Measurement. The third branch we learn about today is "Analytical Instrumentation Technologies" which is more like an Oblique, it Cuts thru Physics, Chemistry and Biology and many of its sub-branches. It also supports the areas called Life Sciences, Bio Technology, GeoSciences, Materials Science etc. .

Here i have posted some analytical instruments ... Laboratory Analytical, - Research and Lab Instruments, Bio and Earth Science. - EEMetric.com - Test and Measurement Instrumentation.

Start Learning -
(I Inherited some chemistry apparatus and chemicals from my grandfather. This lead to a Tiny Physical and Electro-Chemistry lab in the Store Room and later the Garage when i was at school. That is one of the reasons my website has the name delabs and i created a blog called "Analytical Bionics" around 2004. Later those posts were integrated in my other blogs.)


Basic Electronics
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Learning Electronics
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Production Notes
Prototype Fabrication
Electrical Circuits

Scots Guide Electronics
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Design Lab - Jim Svoboda
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Blobz Guide Electric Circuits

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Constant Current Source
Good Voltage Regulators
Insulation Resistance
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DN Schematic PCB 04
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Hobby Circuits
VU Meter Circuits
LED brightness control
555 Incredible Chip
Process Control
liquid level measurement
Thermocouples and RTD
Design ADC Interface uC
Thermocouple Amplifier
IA Instrumentation 02
Temperature on DMM
Optical Proximity Switch
Analog Mux - Data Acquisition

Test Measurement
Instrumentation Automation
NI Test and Measurement
DMM Digital Multi Meter
Oscilloscope in T&M
IA Automation 01
Build Instruments
Tektronix T&M Equipment
Educators Corner – Agilent

Power Electronics
UPS Background
Transformer Connections
DN Power Electronics 03
DN Power Electronics 02
Half Bridge Convertor SG3525

Interfacing Microcontrollers
Embedded Process Control
80C31 8052 Microcontroller
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Good Voltage Regulators
Relays and Contactors
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Resistors How they Work
Coils Transformers SMPS
Mains Transformers Types
DN Components Selection 05

Tutor Gadgets
Count-Up Timer
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Electronics Tutors

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Muntzing a Circuit Design
Teralab Electronics projects
Historical Instruments

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Ohms Law
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High Resistance Materials

School - Analog Design
DN Analog Basics 06
DN Op-Amps 01
TI Semiconductors