Hot Off the Press: Working with I2C Sensor Devices

Nuts and Volts has published the article “Working with I2C Sensor Devices” in the July 2017 issue.  It walks you through how to interface with an I2C device using a single board computer.  Be sure to visit your local bookstore and pick up a copy while they’re available!

http://www.nutsvolts.com/magazine/article/working-with-i2c-sensor-devices

http://nutsvolts.texterity.com/nutsvolts/201707/?folio=36&pg=36#pg36

 

 

Deionized Water: The Gold Standard for Electronics Cleaning

When washing electronic boards, a common concern among technicians is the purity of their water. Rightfully so because technicians don’t want filthy trace deposits left under and around sensitive components. Some might ask, “If water is bad for electronics, why wash them in the first place?” Washing boards is a common process in the electronics industry because when a board is manufactured or reworked, there is a substance called flux that needs to be removed or it will cause corrosion and longevity issues. Water is a readily available and an effective solution for removing flux. However, technicians need to choose the water carefully.

There are several different levels of water purity. Starting with the least pure option, typical tap water can be used for washing boards. The next quality improvement is using carbon filtered water which marginally helps with the contaminants in the tap water. A quality level above that is Deionized water (DI water) which is commonly used in the board washing process at high quality electronics facilities. Using DI water for the board washing process is optimal due to the absence of contaminants in the water. Because DI water is the purest form of water, electronics manufacturers focused on quality use this as a standard for board washing.

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Reach Out and Touch Something (Capacitive vs Resistive Touch Screens)

You only have to go as far as your corner coffee shop to realize the new human-machine interface (HMI) preference is screens. From the touchscreen Point of Sale systems to the multitude of people interacting with their phones and mobile devices, screens are king. Industry is following suit and the choice for HMI is quickly migrating away from the keyboard and mouse and towards the screen. With the abundance of touch screens on the market and the decrease in costs there has been a marked increase in their market share and penetration. When picking a screen it’s important to determine which is better for your purposes: capacitive or resistive?

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Our Research in SLC NAND Endurance on EECatalog

This whitepaper is the result of many months of effort, working together with our customers in the field, in troubleshooting and coming up with an “smoking gun” explanation and solution for a decrease in SLC NAND flash endurance.  It’s valuable information for any embedded system users who rely on their data and filesystem to be free of corruption.  Be sure to read the full whitepaper at SLC NAND: Secrets Exposed at EECatalog.com.

While you’re at it, you may want to take a look at our related articles, featuring the solution we came up with for the decreased flash endurance, XNAND2: NAND Device Driver for Todays Lower Endurance SLC NAND, and how to further prevent data loss, Whitepaper: Preventing Filesystem Corruption in Embedded Linux.

NetBSD Toaster Powered by the TS-7200 ARM9 SBC

It has long been regarded that the UNIX-like OS NetBSD is portable to every type of machine except perhaps your kitchen toaster. Technologic Systems, however, has conquered this last frontier. Using the rugged, embedded TS-7200 single board computer housed inside the empty space of a standard two slice toaster, Technologic Systems has designed a functional NetBSD controlled toaster.

netbsd-toaster

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Benefits of ISO 9001 Implementation

iso-9001-2015

History

Back in late 2014, Technologic Systems was looking to broaden its customer base and standardize its operations. We were aware that more and more customers were requiring that their suppliers be ISO 9000 registered. A decision was made to pursue the certification.

Why Certify?

We knew ISO 9001 certification would allow us to compete in a much broader arena. We wanted to demonstrate that we use the best practice process approach, have robust procedures, and consistently strive to achieve the highest standards.

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Insiders View of Company Culture at Technologic Systems

 

TS-Stone-Sign-1600x400In every business, no matter how large or small, you work with others. Going to work means daily interaction with your fellow co-workers and workplace. Many people spend more time with their co-workers and workplace than they do their actual personal lives. So what keeps these employees happy and motivated? Company culture. It is a combined atmosphere that each workplace must consider, embrace, and nurture. It’s not just the people you work with or your everyday tasks. It’s a combination of absolutely everything you come in contact with, from the parking lot to the desk or chair you are at, or even the truck you drive (if it’s a company provided vehicle). Every one of these aspects is what makes up company culture.

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Risk Based Thinking, Transition to ISO9001:2015

iso-9001-2015

How Technologic Systems is preparing for the transition to ISO 9001:2015

ISO 9001 was designed to help organizations ensure that they meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders while meeting statutory and regulatory requirements related to a product or service. ISO 9001 deals with the fundamentals of Quality Management Systems, including the eight management principles upon which the family of standards is based. However, with the advent of ISO 9001:2015 upon us, it is clear that the paradigm regarding quality is changing as words and phrases like “Risk-Based Thinking”, “Leadership”, and “Evidence-based Decision Making” make their way into the forefront of Strategic Business Planning.

The new ISO 9001:2015 standard moves the subject of Management Systems into the boardroom. While this will be a cultural change, it is also a great opportunity for the enterprise leaders to improve their business overall. Continue reading “Risk Based Thinking, Transition to ISO9001:2015”

What I Wish I’d Known When I Was an Embedded Linux Newbie

 

embedded-linux-ts-board

Here are some tips compiled from our seasoned engineers on what they wish they’d known about embedded linux back when they were “newbs”.  Newcomers and seasoned veterans alike should get some good nuggets of information and possibly a fun perspective looking back at our own humble beginnings.  We’ll try not to overwhelm you as we make our way through the list.  We’re not here to rewrite the books, but do want to provide a personal perspective.  If you’re in the camp of people who’ve been using desktop Linux, just be aware embedded Linux is a different animal, especially when it comes to space constraints, different CPU architecture (ARM), resilience to sudden power outages, and inability to install any mainline Linux kernel or distribution you please.  And maybe you’re in the microprocessor camp moving towards a more generalized and capable embedded Linux system.  Either way, we’ll assume you have at least some knowledge of Linux as we walk through this guide.

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Who’s (Not) Afraid of the Dark?

power-outage

The Dark Side

Weather is inevitable, downtime shouldn’t be. Per Information Week, in 2015 IT downtime alone costs $26.5 Billion in lost revenue. This does not take into account the loss of customer confidence, productivity, and supply chain interruptions that are a result of these outages. In a constantly wired world, service level agreements (SLAs) with online availability requirements of >99.9% is today’s de-facto standard. It is simply a fact of the new business model that downtime is no longer acceptable. Industry has done what it can to protect itself from these outages as much as possible, and a few of those options are laid out below. But the result is the same, enterprise level businesses can no longer operate without disaster recovery plan with as many contingencies in place as possible to ensure minimal rebound and recovery time should an outage occur. With embedded electronics permeating further into our everyday lives, partially in thanks to the Internet of Things, there are more and more devices that we need to worry about recovering once the lights come back on. So what can you do to fend off the darkness?

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