OnElectronTech https://www.onelectrontech.com Electronics for a better life! Thu, 21 Nov 2019 05:04:57 -0500 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3 https://www.onelectrontech.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/logo_final_large-200dpi-100x100.png OnElectronTech https://www.onelectrontech.com 32 32 Murata Introduced Their RAIN RFID Tags For Use On Metal And Small Items https://www.onelectrontech.com/murata-introduced-their-rain-rfid-tags-for-use-on-metal-and-small-items/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=murata-introduced-their-rain-rfid-tags-for-use-on-metal-and-small-items https://www.onelectrontech.com/murata-introduced-their-rain-rfid-tags-for-use-on-metal-and-small-items/#respond Thu, 21 Nov 2019 05:04:57 +0000 https://www.onelectrontech.com/?p=2311 Traditionally, using of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags on metal is challenging. Metal surfaces reflect the signal emitted from the reader and interfere with communication between a tag and reader. …

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Traditionally, using of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags on metal is challenging. Metal surfaces reflect the signal emitted from the reader and interfere with communication between a tag and reader. Murata’s LXFLANMXMG-003 is designed to use the item’s metal surface as part of the antenna, which makes the item itself part of the RAIN RFID tag.

Murata has developed the LXFLANMXMG-003 series tags specifically for industrial applications requiring tracking the metal assets. Now, Murata has released their newest LXTBKZMCMG-010 RAIN RFID Tag specifically targeted for on-metal use. RFID tags are extremely useful for tracking items, such as construction equipment, IT assets, cage cars and logistics containers, as well as many other parts made of metal in the manufacturing industry. The tags can also be used to identify the locations of items. People have already utilized the tags for tracking Items such as tools, containers and bins that are usually either hard to identify visually, or difficult to track and relocate if they are missing and may also be expensive to replace. Murata’s on-metal tag enables the application of RAIN RFID on all these items and allows for enhanced inventory tracking.

What is RAIN RFID?

RAIN is an acronym derived from RAdio Frequency IdentificatioN, that represents UHF (Ultra-High-Frequency) RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology. UHF (Ultra-High-Frequency) RFID is capable of an extensive range up to 10m. Today, RAIN also stands for a wireless protocol linking between the UHF RFID tags and the cloud that stores the data of tagged items. Via the cloud, the data can be managed and shared. With RAIN RFID technology, billions of everyday items can be connected to the Internet to let the companies and consumers to identify, locate, authenticate and engage each item digitally. It has been widely used in logistics to track and inventory goods in a warehouse, and the tagged items can be tracked and identified using RFID based readers that built in handheld devices, tablets, POS terminals, kiosks, etc.

RAIN RFID Technology promoted by RAIN RFID Global Alliance – RAINRFID.ORG

RAIN RFID is a global alliance advocating the wide adoption of UHF RFID technology like other wireless technologies. RAIN uses the GS1 UHF Gen 2 protocol that has been standardized by ISO/IEC as ISO18000-63.

LXTBKZMCMG-010 RAIN tags include Impinj’s Monza R6-P tag chip that is combined with Murata’s special design to offer an excellent tag read performance. The product meets IP-68 waterproofing standards, allowing outdoor use without degraded performance. The Monza R6-P chip has 96-bit EPC memory and 64-bit user memory, allowing users to encode additional information such as internal identification numbers to the tag.

Features
  • Small package design, measuring 6.0×2.0x2.3mm
  • Covers UHF frequency band (865~928MHz)
  • Complies with ISO18000-63 / EPC Global Gen2 (v2)
  • Designed using the Impinj Monza R6P
  • RoHS compliant
  • Read range (ref): Up to 150cm on Metal (4W EIRP)
Murata LXTBKZMCMG-010 RAIN Tag Block Diagram
Applications
  • Surgical Tools
  • Industrial Tools
  • Metal Assets
  • Consumer Items
Murata LXTBKZMCMG-010 RAIN Tag for on-metal tracking

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Anti-Surge High-Power Thick Film Chip Resistors for Extensive PCB Protection https://www.onelectrontech.com/anti-surge-high-power-thick-film-chip-resistors-extensive-pcb-esd-transient-protection/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=anti-surge-high-power-thick-film-chip-resistors-extensive-pcb-esd-transient-protection https://www.onelectrontech.com/anti-surge-high-power-thick-film-chip-resistors-extensive-pcb-esd-transient-protection/#respond Tue, 19 Nov 2019 05:15:35 +0000 https://www.onelectrontech.com/?p=2301 Surge protection has become increasingly important for modern electronics as the footprints of surface mount device (SMD) devices continuously shrink and high-speed multi-layer PCBs are widely used. As the most …

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Surge protection has become increasingly important for modern electronics as the footprints of surface mount device (SMD) devices continuously shrink and high-speed multi-layer PCBs are widely used. As the most used components on a PCB, chip resistors demonstrate as the weakest entry point of high-peak short-duration surge and pulses in events of electrical failures. In situations when large instantaneous current (e.g. inductive transients, load dump, power charging/discharging, inrush current or ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) events) is likely to be applied, the chip resistors will be more vulnerable than other type of passive components. Chip resistors are typically low power rated at no more than 1/10 W. When a surge is induced on the resistor, it means an overload condition of pulse type – high energy and long duration, or an overload condition of surge type – high power and short duration. To absorb the excessive surge energy to avoid fire, damage and unexpected circuit behaviors, chip resistors that are capable of act against high energy surges and pulses must be used.

The diagram shows the typical characteristics of a high-power short-duration surge and a high-energy long-duration pulse.

Rohm Semiconductor ESR series Anti-surge chip resistors are manufactured with exclusive resistive element pattern and laser trimming technology to provide superior anti-surge characteristics. They are rated for 2kV to 5kV ESD resistance. The SDR03 series anti-surge thick film chip resistors have superior power rating of 0.3W in 0603 size for ambient temperatures up to 70 C. When the ambient temperature is above 70 C, power dissipation derates to 0.25W up to 105 C. Test data shows the anti-surge high-power resistors have excellent performance under overload stress indicated by the below figures that shows nearly constant resistances for all values at 2kV, 3kV and 5kV respectively.

Anti-surge characteristics for ESD test – Rohm ESR 01 & 03 vs. Rohm Standard MCR chip resistor (Resistance change ratio w.r.t resistance under applied voltage)
Test conditions: Anti-surge characteristics for ESD test – Rohm ESR 01 & 03 vs. Rohm Standard MCR chip resistor
Structure of Rohm High-Power SDR Anti-Surge Thick Film Chip Resistor

Read more: https://www.rohm.com/products/resistors/high-reliability-resistors

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IEEE 802.3bt PoE Systems for future Smart Building and IoT applications https://www.onelectrontech.com/ieee-802-3bt-poe-power-over-ethernet-pd-powered-device-pse-power-sourcing-equipment/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ieee-802-3bt-poe-power-over-ethernet-pd-powered-device-pse-power-sourcing-equipment https://www.onelectrontech.com/ieee-802-3bt-poe-power-over-ethernet-pd-powered-device-pse-power-sourcing-equipment/#respond Sun, 17 Nov 2019 19:54:09 +0000 https://www.onelectrontech.com/?p=2291 Since its first release in 2003, the IEEE PoE (Power over Ethernet) standard has evolved from 802.3af to 802.3bt in September 2018 and the power delivery capability has been increased …

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Since its first release in 2003, the IEEE PoE (Power over Ethernet) standard has evolved from 802.3af to 802.3bt in September 2018 and the power delivery capability has been increased from about 15.4W at 350mA to 90W-100W at 600mA-960mA. As the delivered power increases, PoE has found more applications heading into the future, such as IoT (Internet of Things), POS (Point of Sale) terminals, smart LED lighting, IEEE 802.11ax access point and PZT (pan-tilt-zoom) security cameras.

The new PoE standard drastically increases the maximum power level at the PD (Powered Device) and opens the door for new applications. IEEE 802.3bt uses all four pairs of the ethernet cable wires with the current flow spread out among the pairs. The power is delivered carrying along with the data up to 10GBASE-T. As the power increases and the data transmission rate maintains high, the requirements for the quality of cable and the electronic design of PD become more important for delivering the high power and reducing data errors. Cat5e structured cable is the minimum for reliable applications, while Cat6e cable dissipates much less power than Cat5e so more power can be delivered to the PD. With IEEE 802.3bt in effect, a compatible PSE (Power Sourcing Equipment) can differentiate devices that support PoE and  are requesting power  from devices that are either not PoE compatible or not requesting power by continuously sensing at the interface if a valid or a non-valid detection signature is present. The new IEEE 802.3bt standard also support dynamic power allocation using the multi-event classification process for mutual identification between the PSE and PDs that are connected by checking the pair sets for signature connections. When there are two signature PDs that are requesting power from the PSE, the system can have two independent rails using a single cable and allows to monitor them independently for more power saving by shutting down one rail while maintaining the other rail at full power. IEEE 802.3bt defines two more PD and PSE types, Type 3 identifying a PSE that can deliver 60W and Type 4 identifying a PSE that can deliver up to 90W using all pairs in an Ethernet cable.

Comparison between the standard Ethernet topology and IEEE 802.3bt PoE Topology

In applications that requires many PDs, we may have a noticeable power loss in standby state, as the IEEE 802.3af/at standards requires minimum 10 mA and maximum 30% duty cycle to keep the connected port alive, which is called Maintain Power Signature (MPS). Considering a LED lighting system, we expect to have as much as 200mW of power loss per port and more than 2W for only 10 ports. With the new IEEE 802.3bt (that removes the AC MPS requirement and allow class 5-9 PDs to draw 16 mA), the duty cycle can be lower than 2% (minimum 7 ms on/310 ms off duty cycle), which cuts the loss per port by more than 15 times.

With the new PoE standard, it imposes challenges for new designs. Since the change of the standard includes higher current flow, we need increase the current limit not only on the PD side but also on the PSE side. We must increase the absolute ratings of the components, such as protection diodes, load switching transistors, and current sensing resistors. On the data transmission part, the isolation transformer must be sized to allow the worst-case current flow without affecting the data transmission.

Applications

TI TPS2373 is a PSE PD Interface IC for high-power PoE applications. The device provides all the features for designing a compatible IEEE 802.3bt Type 1-4 PD (Powered Device). With a low internal switching resistance, TPS2373 is capable of high-power applications up to 90W that translates into 71.3W at the PD over a 100m Cat5e cable. The following waveform shows the PoE startup sequence for TI TPS2373 high power PoE PD interface IC. The startup sequence includes detection, classification, and startup from a PSE with Type 3 Class 6 hardware classification. According to IEEE 802.3bt, a PSE must allocate Class 6 level of power to generate a minimum of two detection levels, four class and mark cycles, and startup from the fourth mark event.

The waveform shows the startup sequence of TI TPS2373 High-power PoE PD Interface IC

The following schematic is a typical application of TPS2373 for Class 8 PoE PD design.

The design parameters for implementing the above application.

Read more: http://www.ti.com/product/TPS2373

 

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TI General Purpose Bidirectional MUX Switches TMUX1247 https://www.onelectrontech.com/ti-general-purpose-bidirectional-mux-multiplexer-spdt-switch-tmux1247/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ti-general-purpose-bidirectional-mux-multiplexer-spdt-switch-tmux1247 https://www.onelectrontech.com/ti-general-purpose-bidirectional-mux-multiplexer-spdt-switch-tmux1247/#respond Fri, 15 Nov 2019 03:38:18 +0000 https://www.onelectrontech.com/?p=2283 Today, smart devices become more cost-efficient. The trend is to have small package and reduced I/O pins. Very often, the designers have a device that has only the enough resources …

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Today, smart devices become more cost-efficient. The trend is to have small package and reduced I/O pins. Very often, the designers have a device that has only the enough resources for the designated application. This can be challenging sometimes when the designers want to make a change to the old design or they want to add some new features to it, but it turns out that no more resources, such as no spare IO’s or ADC inputs. In such a case, the designer may have to scratch up a new design instead of making small changes to the old one. Now, designers can resort to analog/digital multiplexers (MUX) to resolve this dilemma.

Description

TI TMUX1247 5V bidirectional 2:1 (SPDT) switch is a general-purpose CMOS single-pole double-throw (SPDT) multiplexer switch that enables us easily multiplexing analog and digital switching as well as I2C and SPI communication buses. TMUX1247 switches between two input sources according to the state of the SEL pin. The multiplexer allows a wide operating supply from 1.08V to 5.5V for various applications, such as personal electronics, IoT devices, building automation and industrial controls.

Block Diagram of TI TMUX1247 5V bidirectional 2:1 (SPDT) switch
Feature

The device supports bidirectional signals ranging from rail to rail. The supply current draw is as low as 4nA to allow wide use in mobile applications. For digital signal multiplexing, the logic inputs have 1.8V compatible thresholds to allow both TTL and CMOS logic compatibility. This feature is extremely useful in a case when we need to connect a 1.8V device to a 3.3V device. Without the integrated 1.8V logic capability, we must use an external level translator/shifter that will increase cost and complexity. The device has also a fail-safe circuitry to allow applying voltages on the control pins before the supply pin to avoid potential damage and it eliminates the need for power supply sequencing on the logic control pins.

Applications
  • Analog and Digital Switching
  • I2C and SPI bus Multiplexing
  • Remote radio units
  • Active antenna system MIMO(AAS)
  • Barcode scanner
  • Motor drives
  • Building automation
  • Analog input module
  • Power delivery
  • Video surveillance
  • Electronic point of sale
  • Appliances
  • Consumer audio
Analog input switching application of TMUX1247 General Purpose Switch
Multiple gain selection application of TMUX1247 General Purpose Switch

Read more: https://www.ti.com/product/TMUX1247

 

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TDK Chirp Microsystems CH-101 MEMS Ultrasonic ToF (Time of Flight) Range Finder Sensor https://www.onelectrontech.com/tdk-chirp-microsystems-mems-ultrasonic-tof-range-finder-sensor-time-of-flight/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tdk-chirp-microsystems-mems-ultrasonic-tof-range-finder-sensor-time-of-flight https://www.onelectrontech.com/tdk-chirp-microsystems-mems-ultrasonic-tof-range-finder-sensor-time-of-flight/#respond Wed, 13 Nov 2019 03:38:09 +0000 https://www.onelectrontech.com/?p=2276 The ways we have used to accurately measure the distance between objects can fall in largely into two categories, contact and non-contact methods. Of the two ways, we must use …

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The ways we have used to accurately measure the distance between objects can fall in largely into two categories, contact and non-contact methods. Of the two ways, we must use non-contact measurement in many special occasions. For example, we need measure the fast displacement of an object that requires no external forces to be act on it or it will be damaged, and the system will be disturbed.   So far, we have the non-contact measurement based on following principles:

  • Time of Flight (ToF)
  • Laser Triangulation
  • Stereo vision cameras
  • Confocal Chromatic sensor
  • Interferometry Sensor
  • Optimet Conoscopic Holography

Of all the above non-contact measurement methods, various ToF (Time of Flight) sensors are being used in non-contact measurement applications, such as range finding, positions/proximity sensing, object tracking and liquid level alarming, etc. ToF (Time of Flight) sensors measures the time spent from the point it emits a packet of pulses to the point it receives the reflection of the same packet of pulses. The waves we can use include ultrasonic, Infrared and laser. All three type of ToF sensors are commercially available on the market. They all have advantages and disadvantages over each other. To select a ToF sensor is often based on the application and design requirements.

TDK has the world’s first MEMS ultrasonic ToF sensor Chirp Microsystem’s CH-101. The sensor is based on the proprietary Time-of-Flight (ToF) technology in a small 3.5 mm x 3.5 mm x 1.25 mm package that includes a MEMS ultrasound transducer and a power efficient DSP (Digital Signal Processor) core on a custom low power mixed signal CMOS ASIC. The built-in DSP core makes the sensor compact in size, efficient in power consumption and powerful in real-time signal processing. Compared to other optical ToF sensors, like Infrared or laser based ToF sensors, TDK CH-101 ultrasonic ToF sensor has many advantages:

  • Work in ambient lighting conditions;
  • Detect dark or transparent object
  • Consumes much less power (up to 500 times lower)
  • Low range noise (up to 100 times lower)
  • Wide FOV (Field-of-View) (up to 5 times)
CH-101 Block Diagram
Block diagram of TDK Chirp Microsystems’s MEMS Ultrasonic ToF Sensor
Features
  • Miniature size up to 1000 times smaller
  • Ultra-low power consumption
  • Wide measuring range
  • Low range noise
  • Wide Field-of-View (FoV)
  • Integrated DSP for real-time signal processing
  • All-in-one package – range, proximity, presence and gesture sensors
  • Insensitivity to ambient conditions – lighting and color
  • Programmable SoC (System-on-Chip) for all ultrasonic signal processing
  • Industry standard Interface – I2C
Applications
  • Automotive
  • Automated guided vehicles
  • Robotics
  • Communication devices
  • Drones
  • Position tracking
  • Human presence detection
  • Object avoidance in consumer robotics
Applications of TDK Chirp Microsystems’s CH-101 MEMS Ultrasonic ToF Sensor
Specifications

The information provided by this article is based on the sources from TDK Corporation and TDK Chirp Microsystems.

Read more at:

www.chirpmicro.com

https://www.tdk.com

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Murata Electronics Micro Batteries for IoT Devices and More Applications https://www.onelectrontech.com/cr-sr-lr-micro-batteries-coin-manganese-dioxide-lithium-mercury-free-silver-oxide-alkaline-manganese/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=cr-sr-lr-micro-batteries-coin-manganese-dioxide-lithium-mercury-free-silver-oxide-alkaline-manganese https://www.onelectrontech.com/cr-sr-lr-micro-batteries-coin-manganese-dioxide-lithium-mercury-free-silver-oxide-alkaline-manganese/#respond Mon, 11 Nov 2019 02:24:53 +0000 https://www.onelectrontech.com/?p=2253 Internet of Things (IoT) devices and IoT application deployment have seen an explosive growth in the past year. So does the micro battery technology that have been essential for mobile …

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Internet of Things (IoT) devices and IoT application deployment have seen an explosive growth in the past year. So does the micro battery technology that have been essential for mobile applications. While we are enjoying the wonderful benefit and amazing functionalities these IoT devices have brought to us, we often don’t look at one of the most important part of the device, the batteries, as they seem to us as a secondary component and we have always had plenty of choices on the market; also, we think the batteries in an IoT device act solely as one of the many supporting roles. We all understand that IoT technology is cool and its future is hot. To make this happen and the best yet to happen, the battery for powering it is critical…
IoT technology takes advantage of wired/wireless networking and we believe the best form of it demands cutting all the wires, not only those for the communication, but also for power. Imagine a scenario when we deploy an IoT application that includes many sensor nodes spread out in a remote area. For optimal performance and low cost of maintenance, we expect these sensors will be self-sustaining for months or even years. During the service time of the device, we expect it performs as designed with minimum unexpected downtime. Now we come to the critical point where we must select what type of power source that not only will be able to power the sensor for a long time but also can provide the mobility and convenience for rapid deployment in any type of environment. There are other requirements for an ideal IoT power source:

  • Duty cycle of the device’s work-sleep pattern;
  • Frequency of the device’s work-sleep cycle;
  • Transmission and receiving power consumption of the radio;
  • Multiple power mode capability of the microcontroller and its peripherals;
  • Power dissipation by passive components on board;
  • Loss of the power management system;
  • Energy harvesting support;

When we take all the above factors into consideration, we settle on batteries, that offer us lots of advantages, such as high reliability, large working temperature tolerance, long life, low self-discharge rate, compact size and cost. With so many types of batteries on the market, we don’t have a fit-in-all answer for a battery choice. There are many factors to consider. Come to the battery lifetime as an example, it largely depends on how it is used and what it is used for. Excessive ramping/high surge, long duration and fast cycling can drastically reduce the average lifetime of the battery. Harsh environmental conditions, such as high temperature can do the same harm to the battery. Hence, the final decision is up to the requirements of the project.

  • Battery capacity
  • Battery Life
  • Environmental conditions: ambient temperature, humidity and moisture
  • Current draw limit
  • Voltage level
  • Size

Murata Electronics provides a wide selection of their micro batteries, such as CR, SR and LR types. The nominal voltage ranges from 1.5V to 3V and the capacity can be from as low as 20mAh up to 1000mAh. These coin cell batteries offer excellent performance, high reliability and compact size, which make them ideal primary batteries for various applications, automotive, Internet of Things (IoT), medical devices and Factory automation (FA), etc.
There are many different types of micro batteries categorized according to their sizes or shapes, such as button cell, pin cell and coin cell. They can be also divided into three major types according to their chemical composition, Alkaline batteries (LR), Silver Oxide batteries (SR) and Coin Manganese Dioxide Lithium Batteries (CR). Let’s compare these three micro batteries based on their performance, electrical characteristics conditions for applications.

Key features and specifications of Murata Micro Batteries
CR Micro Batteries

Murata CR Coin Manganese Dioxide Lithium Micro BatteryStructure

Murata Electronics CR micro batteries use specially treated Manganese Dioxide (MnO2) as the cathode material and high-voltage and high-activity Lithium metal as the anode material. The electrolyte in the core of the battery is a composite made from the molten Lithium salt and an organic solution to promote the high-density power exchange from the core to the exterior interface. These batteries can provide high voltage and high energy density, as well as good performance over a wide working temperature range. They are suitable for many general applications. The standard CR micro batteries have a working temperature range from -30 to 70 °C, while the new type of Extended Temperature can work within the range from -40 to 85 °C.  Murata also provides High Drain CR micro batteries that are ideal for tracking devices for logistics and asset management by adopting Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks such as LoRa and SIGFOX for outdoor infrastructures. Due to the excellent performance, High Drain CR micro batteries find excellent applications in FA (Factory Automation) control systems and environmental monitoring sensors.

Discharge current characteristics of Murata High-Drain CR Micro Batteries vs. Standard CR Micro Batteries
Discharge time characteristics of Murata High-Drain CR Micro Batteries vs. Standard CR Micro Batteries
Temperature characteristics of Murata Heat-Resistant CR Micro Batteries vs. Murata Standard Micro Batteries
Comparison of voltage output after 85 °C storage between the Murata Extended Temperature CR Micro Batteries vs. Standard Micro Batteries
Current discharge rate over years of Murata CR Micro Batteries
SR Micro Batteries

Murata Solver Oxide SR Micro Battery Structure

Murata’s SR micro batteries are mercury-free silver-oxide based primary batteries that provide high capacity and stable discharge characteristics over a wide temperature range in compact size. These micro batteries feature a sealing structure made of materials specially treated to provide excellent leakage resistance. They are ideal for applications such as medical devices, IoT sensors, and precision instruments.

Murata SR Silver Oxide Micro Battery Discharge vs Temperature
Murata SR Silver Oxide Micro Battery for Watches
LR Micro Batteries

Murata Alkaline Manganese LR Micro Battery Structure

Murata Alkaline Manganese LR micro batteries are small size primary batteries to offer high performance for medical and health applications. Murata LR micro batteries feature mercury-free alkaline manganese construction with specially treated sealing materials that form the sealing structure of the batteries.

Murata LR Alkaline Manganese Micro Battery Discharge vs Temperature

The above information is based on the available sources from Murata.

Read more at: https://www.murata.com/en-us/products/batteries/micro

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RTL-SDR V3 Teardown and Analysis https://www.onelectrontech.com/rtl-sdr-v3-teardown-and-analysis/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rtl-sdr-v3-teardown-and-analysis https://www.onelectrontech.com/rtl-sdr-v3-teardown-and-analysis/#respond Tue, 17 Sep 2019 17:23:54 +0000 https://www.onelectrontech.com/?p=1775   It’s always fun to take things apart and see what we can learn from them. Or, just to look at the cool circuitry inside. If you want to learn …

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It’s always fun to take things apart and see what we can learn from them. Or, just to look at the cool circuitry inside. If you want to learn more about the RTL-SDR V3, I also reviewed its features and functionality when it was still in one piece.

Note: I don’t recommend taking apart your RTL-SDR unless it’s absolutely necessary. There’s a silicone thermal pad on the bottom that contacts the board and the case, and it’s best not to disturb it. I did this so you don’t have to!

Let’s Take it Apart!

All the components that make up the RTL-SDR
The RTL-SDR V3, in all its disassembled glory.

The teardown process is pretty straightforward; just four Phillips head screws and a nut around the antenna connector hold the endcaps to the body of the device. Then the PCB slides out of the casing. Simple, huh?

The rest of the casing is made from one solid chunk of extruded aluminum, which is grounded for RF shielding. It also serves as the main route for heat dissipation. Along with the big gray thermal pad on the bottom of the PCB, they clearly had thermal management in mind. The unit will feel hotter to the touch when running; that just means the cooling setup is doing its job, instead of trapping the heat inside.

The back side of the PCB, showing extensive thermal via placement
The back side of the PCB. The thermal vias (silver, filled-in dots) in the middle allow solder to directly contact the bottom of the chips, conducting away heat.
A gigantic gray thermal pad found between the PCB and housing
This thermal pad was sandwiched between the bottom side of the PCB and the aluminum casing. Really cool stuff (literally)!
The front of the RTL-SDR PCB
A more detailed view of the front side. That’s a lot of stuff crammed into such a tiny space!

Before we dive headlong into the analysis, let’s talk about how the RTL-SDR (and SDRs in general) works, from an operational standpoint.

SDR Crash Course

A software-defined radio, or SDR for short, is essentially a radio that is to some degree implemented in software. That’s the SDR part of RTL-SDR V3. It’s basically a box that contains all the radio bits that are too hard or impossible to simulate on your computer, like the pre-amplifier and tuner. It’ll then digitize the signal and transfer it at high speed to your computer to decode. This digitization is about the only processing an SDR has to do, which means that the chips running an SDR don’t have to be super powerful (read: expensive).

Function diagrams of conventional and software-defined radios, compared
Comparison of hardware (like your car radio) and software-defined radios (like the RTL-SDR V3). Note that the first few steps are quite similar, but the Software-Defined Radio is able to do the rest digitally. This saves on hardware costs and increases flexibility.

Essentially, it’s a half-built radio. But you’re not getting ripped off here; because so much of an SDR is software, it’s much more flexible than your typical hardware-defined radio.

The radio in your car stereo is fully hardware, but it only knows how to decode FM and AM broadcasts. Likewise, your garage door opener is specifically designed to pick up signals from your remote. You won’t be able to listen to your favorite radio station on your garage door opener! Since an SDR does all the decoding virtually, it can decode FM and AM audio, digital communications, and pretty much any other form of data carried over radio waves!

There’s no free lunch, and there are some drawbacks to the SDR approach. While versatility makes it a jack of all trades, it’s really an ace of none. Most SDRs have a wide tuning range, meaning performance for any specific frequency will be inferior to that of a comparable purpose-built hardware radio. Additionally, an SDR requires heavy computation to operate, which leads to increased heat and power consumption. For these reasons, it’s usually not recommended to incorporate SDRs into consumer electronics, outside of specialized applications.

Nevertheless, SDRs still have their merit in development work. An SDR can serve as a handy instrument that can be adapted to a wide range of protocols and bands. Especially in IoT applications where multiple protocols exist, having the flexibility to quickly and easily switch radio modes can allow developers to be more productive. When a new wireless standard rolls around, all you need to do is change the software!

Back to the RTL-SDR

RTL-SDR PCB, Parts labeled
RTL-SDR PCB with components labeled. Also of note is the tiny choke on the USB signal line to further reduce noise.

It’s time to meet the cast of this show:

  1. Bias-T Section: Contains a voltage regulator and an RF-blocking inductor to inject power, or “bias”, the RF input. Useful for powering amplifiers or other active components connected to the RF line, without the need for additional power supplies. Note the resettable fuse (black component labeled T02), which protects the Bias-T from overload.
  2. Direct Sampling Section: Normally, the RF signal is too high in frequency to directly send to the computer, requiring conversion to a lower frequency before sampling. However, this puts a lower limit on the tuning range. Direct Sampling lets the RTL-SDR V3 bypass that conversion step, enabling it to receive lower-frequency signals as well.
  3. Rafael Micro R820T2 Tuner: Tunes to a specified frequency and down-converts high-frequency RF into a more manageable lower frequency (Intermediate Frequency, or IF). This is a pretty special chip, and we’ll delve into the details later on.
  4. I/O Pins: Allows direct connections to parts of the RTL-SDR hardware, for experimentation.
  5. 28.800 MHz TCXO Crystal Oscillator: This provides a reference frequency for the R820T2 to accurately perform down-conversion. The “TC” stands for “Temperature Compensated”, which means that it automatically adjusts for timing errors caused by changes in temperature. This means that the unit’s accuracy will not drift as much when it heats up.
  6. 24C02N Serial EEPROM: Not particularly relevant to the RF side of things, but probably stores configuration or system information for the RTL2832U.
  7. RTL2832U: AKA the “RTL chip”, this is the star of the show–it’s what gives the RTL-SDR its name! It translates Intermediate Frequency signals into digital data, and sends it to the computer over USB. It also receives commands from the computer to control the tuner as well as on-chip functions.
  8. AP2114 Low-Noise 3.3V 1A LDO Regulator: Marking “GH12E”, signifying a 3.3V device. This device steps down the 5V USB supply voltage to the 3.3V used by all other components on the board, so it’s no wonder they chose a low-noise regulator.

The Nitty-Gritty

To better understand how the RTL-SDR works, let’s follow the signal from the signal input, all the way to your computer.

Tuning

After a matching network to tune the impedance of the RF line, the first stop is the R280T2, which is essentially an RF front-end in a single chip. It amplifies the incoming signal, filters out signals outside of its tuning frequency, and down-converts the result into a lower frequency. This makes the RTL-SDR a Superheterodyne Receiver, which is a fancy way of saying that it uses frequency conversion to work on a lower frequency signal.

A closeup of the RF frontend
A closeup of the RF frontend, including the R820T2 chip

This is all thanks to a special RF component, called the Mixer. How this works may as well be RF magic for our intents and purposes, but there’s plenty to read up on in the Wikipedia article. The short of the matter is that one thing the mixer can do is “subtract” frequency from the input signal, which results in an Intermediate Frequency (IF) signal containing the same information as original signal, but at a lower frequency.

This is huge because all the rest of your components only have to work at this lower frequency. In theory, the RTL2832U can sample a 1.5 GHz signal about as easily as it can sample a 24 MHz one. (Of course, bandwidth is another consideration.) This is some pretty cool RF magic!

The circuit symbol for an RF mixer. Not to be confused with a kitchen mixer.
The block diagram symbol for an RF Mixer. You’ll see this a lot in RF circuits, since they’re useful for all sorts of different applications. Signal goes in from the left, the Local Oscillator (LO) frequency comes in from the bottom, and the output signal exits out the right. Technically speaking, the output signal also contains the sum of the frequencies, but the RTL-SDR doesn’t make use of it, so I’m not showing it here.

This magic is only possible thanks to the Local Oscillator (LO), which is generated on the RTL-SDR by the TCXO and a special circuit known as a Phase-Locked Loop (PLL) inside the RT820T2. The TCXO provides a stable reference frequency and the PLL synchronizes to it, generating a higher frequency signal that remains in-step with the accurate reference (“phase-locked”).

The PLL can then be adjusted to provide the desired LO frequency. The TCXO must be accurate in order for the PLL to be effective. Otherwise, the signal tuning can drift away from the target frequency, or the PLL can lose its lock. Fortunately, the TCXO in the RTL-SDR V3 touts a 1 ppm (part per million) accuracy over a wide range of temperatures, which is significantly better than most non-TCXO crystal oscillators.

Direct Sampling

Although the R820T2 can only tune down to 24 MHz, the RTL-SDR V3 can bypass it in direct-sampling mode. To do this, the RTL-SDR V3 has a split in its signal path, through which RF signals are directly fed into the IF input.

The two signal paths in an RTL-SDR.
The signal can either go through the R820T2 mixer (Blue path), or bypass it and go the direct-sampling route (Orange path)

Digitization

No matter the path, the IF signal enters the RTL2832U, where the Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) samples the signal and streams it over USB. All analog signals stop at this chip; it’s all digital here on out. Although no publicly-accessible datasheet exists (It’s behind an NDA), we can tell from the specifications of the RTL-SDR itself that the RTL2832U is a pretty beefy chip; it’s able to achieve up to 2.4 million samples per second! Its performance makes sense when you remember it used to be a video receiver.

Another pretty picture of the PCB
A closer look at the RTL2832U side of things. Note the choke just above the USB port (tiny gray block) for filtering on the high-speed data lines.

Your computer then uses all sorts of mathematical operations to filter, convert, and demodulate the signal into the desired output format. This could be anything from music and video, to raw numerical data. All this is thanks to Digital Signal Processing (DSP)!

Conclusion

To wrap up, here are some key things we’ve learned about the RTL-SDR V3:

  • The design of the unit places clear emphasis on cooling and temperature stability.
  • Tthe use of a low-noise voltage regulator, a choke on the USB line, and an aluminum casing help to mitigate electrical noise.
  • The RTL-SDR is a superheterodyne receiver, which means that incoming RF is first turned into Intermediate Frequency (IF) so that the digital sampling section doesn’t have to operate on such a wide range of frequencies.
  • But there’s also a way to bypass the conversion step for the RTL-SDR V3 to listen to lower-frequency signals.
  • All together, this makes for a powerful, versatile radio for anyone interested in playing around with RF!

Glossary of Terms (In Order of Appearance)

  • Software-Defined Radio (SDR): A special kind of radio in which a computer simulates many of the components normally found in an ordinary radio. This allows them to be much more configurable than typical radios.
  • Digitization: The process of sampling signals and turning them into digital values. This is key to the operation of SDRs.
  • Superheterodyne Receiver: A type of radio receiver that first turns high-frequency input signals into a lower, more manageable frequency before feeding it to the output.
  • Mixer: An RF component that “mixes” the frequencies of two input signals, by either “adding” or “subtracting” the frequencies. A superheterodyne receiver uses the “subtraction” method in order to shift the input signal down to a lower (non-zero) frequency.
  • Intermediate Frequency (IF): This is the output of the mixer in a superheterodyne receiver. Although the input RF can vary in frequency, the IF frequency remains largely constant thanks to frequency mixing.
  • Local Oscillator (LO): A variable-frequency signal source that mixes with the input RF in order to “subtract” out most of the high frequency. The LO has to be very stable for good performance.
  • Phase-Locked Loop (PLL): A feedback circuit that constantly measures the phase difference between a reference clock and a frequency generator. The PLL adjusts the frequency generator in order to match the phase of the more accurate reference clock. The PLL is “locked” when the two signals match in phase.
  • Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC): A device for converting analog signals into digital signals. This component is where the digitization occurs in an SDR.
  • Digital Signal Processing (DSP): Treating signals as numerical values and applying mathematical operations to them, rather than designing purpose-built analog electronics to modify the signal.

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Trench Gate MOSFET RDS(on) and SOA Characteristics https://www.onelectrontech.com/trench-gate-mosfet-rdson-and-soa-characteristics/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=trench-gate-mosfet-rdson-and-soa-characteristics https://www.onelectrontech.com/trench-gate-mosfet-rdson-and-soa-characteristics/#respond Mon, 16 Sep 2019 03:11:23 +0000 https://www.onelectrontech.com/?p=2165 One of the most important characteristics of MOSFET (Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor-Field-Effect-Transistor) is the resistance between its drain and source when it’s turned on. This characteristic is normally written as RDS(on). When MOSFET …

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One of the most important characteristics of MOSFET (Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor-Field-Effect-Transistor) is the resistance between its drain and source when it’s turned on. This characteristic is normally written as RDS(on). When MOSFET is used in power applications, such as power switches, ORing multiplexer, DC-DC converts or load switches, the RDS(on) is the determinant of the maximum current and power ratings of the MOSFET when the working voltage and thermal management are kept the same. The lower the RDS(on) value, the higher current it allows to conduct when it switches on.

Thanks to the advanced MOSFET Trench technology, very low RDS(on) and low gate-source voltage can be achieved. With the trench technology, shortly trench gate architecture, the MOSFET’s gate electrode is buried in the trench etched in the silicon to form a vertical structure, which allows the current to flow vertically from one surface to the other surface. This feature enables trench MOSFET to have much higher current drive capability. Comparing to the conventional planar MOSFET, the trench gate MOSFET also has drain, source and gate structures, which are constructed in such a way to allow vertical current flow. With multiple trench MOSFET cells connected in parallel, the Drain-Source on Resistance RDS(on) is greatly reduced. The following diagram shows the cross-sectional structural difference between a trench structure and a conventional planar structure.

Comparison between the planar MOSFET and trench MOSFET (by Fuji Electric)

As demanding for higher efficient power supply as well as longer battery life for mobile applications continuously increases while devices with conventional structure is fast approaching their design limits, lowering RDS(on) has become one of the most challenging tasks facing semiconductor industry. Emerging recently, trench MOSFETs have the lowest RDS(on) that makes power MOSFETs greatly efficient and optimal in reducing the losses in conduction and switching. As an example, MagnaChip’s new single 30V N-Ch trench MOSFET, MDU2511S, can deliver 188A at 10V VGS (Gate-Source voltage) and 96.2W power dissipation. The maximum RDS(on) at 25°C is merely 1.7 mΩ (VGS = 10V, ID = 22A).

MOSFET RDS(on) is the total resistance of all elements between the drain and source when the device is turned on. RDS(on) has a positive temperature coefficient, meaning it increases as the temperature increases. This is because the mobility of majority-only carriers (holes or electrons) in the MOSFET channel decreases as temperature increases, so does the resistivity. The relationship between the RDS(on) and device junction temperature is not linear. It’s a high order polynomial function of absolute temperature:

RDS(on) (T) = RDS(on) (25C) x (T/300)2.3

RDS(on) is also highly related to the Gate-Source voltage VGS and the drain current ID. Higher VGS can lower the channel resistance, while higher current increases the resistance as the channel is more crowded. As the plot indicates, at a certain VGS, RDS(on) drastically reduces as the device reaches the point where the channel starts to establish and the channel becomes conductive. This VGS is called the threshold, VGS(th). When VGS continuously increases to VGS(sat), RDS(on) becomes nearly constant, which means the device enters the saturation region and the resulted RDS(on) is the lowest. When VGS reaches the maximum allowable value, the gate oxide begins to break down leading to the irreversible damage to the device.

The power dissipation PD of the MOSFET determines the temperature it can reach under certain ambient conditions with or without thermal management. As the device model suggests, the thermal characteristics of a MOSFET consists of the junction temperature TJ, case temperature TC, junction-to-case thermal resistance RθJC, etc.

TJmax = TC + RθJC x PD

ID(TC) =((TJmax – TC)/(RDS(on)(TJmax) x RθJC))0.5

The following plot shows the characteristics of SOA (Safe Operation Areas) of the trench MOSFET. SOA indicates the maximum ratings of VDS (Drain-Source voltage) and ID (Drain current) that ensures safe operations when the device is under forward bias. Therefore, SOA is also denoted as FBSOA (Forward Bias SOA). AS the plot shows, the working conditions under various extremes define the boundaries of the SOA. The right vertical line defines the limit of drain-source voltage of the device, it is called the breakdown voltage. The top horizontal line is the limit of the pulsed drain current IDM. The lines with negative slope between the drain current and breakdown voltage is the pulsed power dissipation, PDM = VDS x ID. The line with negative slope on the left side defines the maximum RDS(on), VDS/ID.

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RTL-SDR V3 Review: RF-Vision Superpowers! https://www.onelectrontech.com/rtl-sdr-v3-review/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rtl-sdr-v3-review https://www.onelectrontech.com/rtl-sdr-v3-review/#respond Tue, 10 Sep 2019 18:36:38 +0000 https://www.onelectrontech.com/?p=1689 To the average hobbyist, RF electronics is often relegated to the realm of magic and mystery. You plonk down a transceiver and somehow it beams data hundreds of meters away. …

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To the average hobbyist, RF electronics is often relegated to the realm of magic and mystery. You plonk down a transceiver and somehow it beams data hundreds of meters away.
Although the airwaves are alive with billions of packets whooshing by at the speed of light, they are completely invisible to our eyes. The ability to see the unseen world of RF often requires specialized equipment such as spectrum analyzers and software-defined radios. Equipment like that can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. But it doesn’t have to.

Enter the world of RTL-SDR V3, the USB stick that combines spectrum analyzer and software-defined radio to unravel the mysteries of the RF world. By leveraging your computer’s CPU power, the RTL-SDR opens up a limitless trove of possibilities for RF exploration. Boy, this sounds expensive, huh? How does $30 sound? Unbelievable? That’s what I thought, too. Before we get too excited here, let’s see what RTL-SDR is and what it can do.

What is an SDR, Anyways?

All you really need to know is that an SDR, or Software-Defined Radio, is a device that allows your computer to pick up radio signals. It doesn’t have as much fancy circuitry as a typical radio receiver because nearly everything–save for some magical RF goodness–is taken care of by software on your PC. This makes them especially versatile compared to their “hardware-defined” counterparts.

A Brief History of RTL-SDR

Here’s a fun fact: the very first RTL-SDR wasn’t even meant to be an SDR at all. In fact, it was a USB dongle for watching over-the-air television on your computer. It turns out that the RTL2832U chip powering the dongle (That’s where the RTL part of its name comes from) is able to feed the computer raw data from its tuner if you give it the right commands. What’s more, thanks to mass-production, these dongles can be produced very cheaply. As you might imagine, they exploded in popularity with the RF hobbyist community, and the rest is history.
Nowadays, there are many different versions of the RTL-SDR floating around in various forms, functionalities, and costs. But the version I’ll be looking at today is the official RTL-SDR V3, sold by rtl-sdr-blog.

RTL-SDR V3 is the latest member of the RTL-SDR family, shown here above a USB flash drive for scale.

What’s in the Box

I bought the RTL-SDR V3 kit from rtl-sdr-blog’s eBay site here, which, along with the RTL-SDR itself, also includes a veritable cornucopia of accessories to get you started. You’ll get:

  • Two long telescoping antennas for things like FM and shortwave
  • Two shorter telescoping antennas for higher frequencies
  • Antenna mount, to which you attach two antennas to form a dipole antenna
  • Flexible mini tripod
  • Suction cup for window mounting
  • 3m of RF cabling, just in case your favorite antenna spot is a little out-of-reach.
Everything that came in the box

Did I mention that all this is only $30 delivered? Although there are slightly cheaper options out there that come with just the SDR, there’s no reason to not pay a few more dollars and get the full kit, especially if you’re just starting out. Otherwise, you’ll need to bring (or make) your own antennas and cables, which are absolutely essential for the RTL-SDR V3.

First Impressions

Right out of the box, the RTL-SDR V3 feels nice and solid in the hand, thanks to its sturdy aluminum construction. It closely resembles a USB Wifi adapter with an external antenna. It arrived in a protective anti static bag with plastic caps over its ports. Nice attention to detail!

Here’s the RTL-SDR V3, all snug and protected in its original packaging.

Helpfully printed on the top of the unit is a link to a quick start guide, where I was able to find a tutorial for installing the software required to use the RTL-SDR V3. In about half an hour, everything was installed and ready to run.

SDR Test Drive

The versatility of SDR really shows itself when you decide to start switching between broadcast bands. With the press of a button, you can switch between FM and AM demodulation, or even tweak the tuning width to isolate certain frequencies.

So far, I’ve been able to tune in on all my favorite FM radio stations, and even found a few more that my car stereo couldn’t! I’ve also picked up shortwave and AM using direct-sampling mode, although it wouldn’t hurt to have some more amplification on the low end (Bring your own LNA!). Up around ~120 MHz, you’ll be able to hear radio communications from aircraft flying overhead, and NOAA weather radio at ~162 MHz. Some “local” sources of RF to look at include remote-control toys at 27 or 49 MHz and walkie-talkies at ~462 MHz. In short, there’s a lot in the RF world to explore and experiment with.

Although the RTL-SDR V3 has proven reliable so far on all my computer setups, you’ll get the best performance from a laptop running on battery power. Lots of modern power supplies emit RF at a few MHz, which might affect the cleanliness of your signal, especially on lower frequencies.

The unit begins to warm after extended use, but it’s usually not too hot to touch, provided it’s properly ventilated. So far, I haven’t noticed any stability issues related to heat, thanks to its on-board temperature-compensated oscillator. The software is pretty CPU-intensive, so you might find that the SDR isn’t the only thing getting a bit warm!

What Can it Do?

With the RTL-SDR V3, you’ll love all the things it can do:

  • See RF. With software like AirSpy’s SDR# or Alexandru Csete’s Gqrx, you can visualize the RF spectrum surrounding a specific frequency, in both real time and as a “waterfall” showing signal strength over time. You’ll be able to point and click at a frequency band, and the RTL-SDR will take you there.
  • Listen to the Radio. The aforementioned software packages include the ability to demodulate FM, AM, and various ham radio standards, and pipe it to your sound card. If you really want, you can just use the RTL-SDR as a fancy music player with cool visualizations.
  • Tune Across a Wide Range. The RTL-SDR can tune between 24-1766 MHz in its normal operating mode, which will cover broadcast FM, aviation radio, UHF, and much more.
  • Tune Across an Even Wider Range. There’s also a mode called Direct Sampling that allows the RTL-SDR to listen to signals potentially below its “officially-supported” frequency range. In this mode, you can listen to shortwave, AM, and other HF bands.
  • Tune Accurately. The RTL-SDR V3 features a TCXO (Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillator), which improves the SDR’s performance and stability over a wide range of temperatures.
  • Work With Other RF Equipment. The RTL-SDR features a female SMA connector, which is compact but also common (thus relatively cheap), meaning it’s compatible with a lot of other hardware.
  • Not Overheat Itself. The sleek aluminum case allows for better thermal dissipation than in previous generations. Although it gets quite warm during operation, it eventually stabilizes and doesn’t seem to mind too much.
  • Power your Accessories. The RTL-SDR features a Bias-T. This causes the RTL-SDR to inject power into its RF connector (“bias” the line), which lets it power amplifiers and other accessories connected to the RF line. Although a little finicky to activate, it’s a huge convenience once set up right.
  • So Much More. The RTL-SDR is widely-supported by a growing community, finding new features and uses every day, from downloading images from weather satellites to radio astronomy!
Gqrx, a free SDR interface, playing music from a local FM radio station. Gqrx is compatible with Linux and macOS.

What Can’t it Do?

Unfortunately, all good things have a few strings attached. Fortunately for the RTL-SDR V3 they probably aren’t deal-breakers, especially for its price:

  • Transmit. Although you can listen all you want, you won’t be able to send anything with the RTL-SDR V3 There are SDRs out there that let you transmit, but are usually much more expensive and might require a license in your country. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of “receive-only” stuff to try with your RTL-SDR V3!
  • Receive 2.4 GHz. This ISM band is full of exciting activity, from Wifi and Bluetooth to microwave ovens. Unfortunately, it’s out of the RTL-SDR V3’s reach. There do exist downconverters to shift these frequencies into the SDR’s tuning range, but the RTL-SDR V3’s bandwidth is too narrow to see much (2 MHz, compared to Wifi’s 20+ MHz).
  • Plug-and-Play. Once you get it up and running, scanning the airwaves is a breeze. However, it’s the setup that takes a while. Naturally, you’ll need some software to actually use it, but you’ll most likely also need drivers to get it to work. Did I also mention the process of getting the Bias-T working? Nevertheless, there are plenty of tutorials to make installation a relatively painless process.
  • Replace a Dedicated Receiver. This is something that pertains to SDRs in general. As versatile as an SDR is, it probably won’t match the performance or efficiency of an application-specific RF receiver. It draws a fair bit of current and requires quite a lot of CPU horsepower, so don’t be surprised when things start running hot.
    • Also, software processing will introduce a small amount of latency into the system. You’ll notice how the audio from an RTL-SDR will “lag” behind a regular radio tuned to the same station. It’s not much, but this might be a consideration for timing-sensitive applications.

The Bottom Line

The RTL-SDR V3 is definitely a good choice for anyone who wants to give themselves (or their computers) RF-vision superpowers! Especially for those wanting to test the waters of RF, this SDR is a low-risk, high-reward route to learning more about the RF technology. It’ll surely give you a new perspective on how much information is being sent through the air. Just don’t let all that new-found power go to your head!

Hungry for More?

If you can’t get enough of the RTL-SDR V3, stay tuned (pun totally intended!), because a teardown is on its way! Curious about what makes the RTL-SDR V3 tick? I’ll take mine apart so you don’t have to!

Update 17 Sep. 2019: Here’s the teardown!

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Industry’s smallest IEEE® 802.15.4TM compliant Sub-GHz module by Microchip is now available https://www.onelectrontech.com/microchip-ultr-low-power-ieee-802-15-4-sub-1ghz-rf/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=microchip-ultr-low-power-ieee-802-15-4-sub-1ghz-rf https://www.onelectrontech.com/microchip-ultr-low-power-ieee-802-15-4-sub-1ghz-rf/#respond Thu, 29 Aug 2019 02:29:04 +0000 https://www.onelectrontech.com/?p=2148 August 26, 2019 Mouser announced to stock Microchip’s ATSAMR30M18A sub-GHz RF module. This RF module is based on a Microchip SAMR30E18A SiP ( System in Package) with a 32-bit ARM …

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August 26, 2019 Mouser announced to stock Microchip’s ATSAMR30M18A sub-GHz RF module. This RF module is based on a Microchip SAMR30E18A SiP ( System in Package) with a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0+ core and a sub-GHz radio in a single 5 mm x 5 mm QFN package which is combined with all other necessary components, such as a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, discrete balun, lumped element harmonic reject filter and RF shielding. The whole module is housed in a 12.7 mm x 11 mm package that is ideal for space-limited designs and battery-powered applications.

The Pin Assignment of Microchip’s Ultra-Low-Power Sub-GHz RF Module ATSAMR30M18

The built-in ARM Cortex-M0+ core combined with the large 256 Kbytes of flash and 40 Kbytes of RAM provides flexibility for designing functional devices. The SAM R30 SiP typically draws less than 500 nA at 1.8V battery supply with wake on serial communication, real time counter or GPIOs, best for ultra-low power WPAN applications. The sub-GHz RF module is designed for use in unlicensed sub-1GHz frequency bands worldwide, including China’s 780 MHz, Europe’s 868 MHz and North America’s 915 MHz. It delivers RX sensitivity up to -105 dBm and TX output power up to +8.7 dBm.

The Block Diagram of ATSAMR30M18A Sub-1GHz RF Module

Compared to 2.4 GHz devices using same amount of power, the SAM R30 module provides twice the connectivity range and better communications through blockades. The other features offered by ATSAMR30M18A module include:

  • 16 I/O pins
  • 128-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) crypto engine
  • 32-bit MAC (Medium Access Control) symbol counter
  • Automatic retransmission modes
  • Single 1.8-3.6V supply
  • FCC/ETSI compliant RF front end with a harmonic filter
  • Two Serial Communication interface (SERCOM) units for external applications
  • High precision 16 MHz crystal oscillator
  • 12-bit, 350 ksps A-nalog-to-Digital converter (ADC)
  • I2C up to 3.4 MHz
  • USB 2.0 interface

The ultra-low-power feature of SAM R30 Sub-GHz module makes it excellent for many applications, such as Internet of Things (IoT), wireless networked sensors, home automation controls, smart city and industrial control applications.

Microchip Reference Design for Ultra-Low-Power Sub-GHz RF Module ATSAMR30M18A

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