DC-DC Converter Effeciency

I aquired a car USB charger in need of repair and was inspired by a recent video from the EEVBlog to measure the power efficiency. The device become damaged when the insides flew out during insertion into the 12VDC car jack and the inductor was nearly sheared off the PCB. I was able to reinstall the inductor and slightly modified the circuit for easy measurements and connection to my DC electronic load.

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Single LED Joule Thief Candle

…the thief said “Let there be light. Behold a single candle lit by the joules of a dead cell.”

There is something about LEDs and the joule thief circuit that keeps me coming back. This time around I went for something festive for the December holiday season along with a SMD transformer, no longer will I have to hand wind toroidal transformers.

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Multi-LED Joule Thief

I believe it is inevitable that most newcomers to electronics will at one point or another build a Joule Thief circuit. To me it is the hello world of circuits and was one of the first circuits I prototyped on a breadboard when I first started experimenting with electronics. This multi-LED PCB is a callback to those days, something I wanted to do the first time I laid out a hand wound transformer, transistor, and LED on a breadboard.

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Breakout the MSOP16

A few weeks ago I received an email from LT that was showcasing the LTC2946, a power monitoring IC that communicates using I2C. I was intrigued and ordered a couple, part number LTC2946CMS#PBF. This is the MSOP-16 package and I would need a breakout board so that I could play around with this chip on a breadboard and explore all of its functions. I looked at my normal sources for electronic goodies; Adafruit and Sparkfun had MSOP break out boards but they were all low pin count. I was able to find another source for a MSOP-16 breakout board but at ~$7 a piece plus shipping I knew I could have my own made much cheaper. On to KICAD.

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