Double Fed Induction Motors: Clever Motor Control Through Frequency

Somewhere in most engineering educations, there’s a class on induction motors. Students learn about shaded-pole motors, two-phase and three-phase motors, squirrel cage motors, and DC-excited motors. It’s a pre-requisite for then learning about motor controllers and so-called brushless DC motors. [Jim Pytel] takes this a step further in a series of videos, in which he introduces the doubly fed induction motor. If a conventional three-phase motor can have its coils in either rotor or stator, here’s a motor with both. The special tricks with this motor come in feeding both rotor and stator with separate frequencies, at which point their interactions have useful effects on the motor speed.

There are two videos, both of which we’ve put below the break. Understanding the complex interaction of the two sets of magnetic fields is enough to make anyone’s brain hurt, but the interesting part for us is that the motor can run faster than either of the two drive frequencies.

Sadly we’re not aware of any easily available motors using this configuration, so we don’t think it will be possible to easily experiment. But if you want to amaze your friends with an in-depth knowledge of motors, take a look at the videos below.

Continue reading “Double Fed Induction Motors: Clever Motor Control Through Frequency”

Low-Cost Saliva-based Biosensor For Cancer Detection

More and more biomarkers that can help in the early diagnosis of diseases like cancer are being discovered every year, but often the effective application relies on having diagnostic methods that are both affordable and as least invasive as possible. This is definitely true in the case of breast cancers, where the standard diagnostic method after seeing something ‘odd’ on a scan is to perform a biopsy so that a tissue sample can be tested in a laboratory. What [Hsiao-Hsuan Wan] and colleagues demonstrate in a recently published research article in the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B is a way to use saliva on disposable test strips to detect the presence of cancer-related biomarkers. Best of all, the system could be very affordable.

The two biomarkers tested in this experiment are HER2 (in 10 – 30% of breast cancer cases) and CA 15-3, both of which are indicative of a variety of cancers, including breast cancers. According to the researchers, the levels of these biomarkers in saliva can be correlated to those in blood serum. Where other biosensors may include the read-out circuitry – making those disposable and expensive – here the disposable part is the test strips which are plated with electrodes.

Continue reading “Low-Cost Saliva-based Biosensor For Cancer Detection”

Hackaday Links Column Banner

Hackaday Links: February 18, 2024

So it turns out that walking around with $4,000 worth of hardware on your head isn’t quite the peak technology experience that some people thought it would be. We’re talking about the recently released Apple Vision Pro headset, which early adopters are lining up in droves to return. Complaints run the gamut from totally foreseeable episodes of motion sickness to neck pain from supporting the heavy headset. Any eyeglass wearer can certainly attest to even lightweight frames and lenses becoming a burden by the end of the day. We can’t imagine what it would be like to wear a headset like that all day. Ergonomic woes aside, some people are feeling buyer’s remorse thanks to a lack of apps that do anything to justify the hefty price tag. The evidence for a wave of returns is mostly gleaned from social media posts, so it has to be taken with a grain of salt. We wouldn’t expect Apple to be too forthcoming with official return figures, though, so the ultimate proof of uptake will probably be how often you spot one in the wild. Apart from a few cities and only for the next few weeks, we suspect sightings will be few and far between.

Continue reading “Hackaday Links: February 18, 2024”

No Inductors Needed For This Simple, Clean Twin-Tee Oscillator

If there’s one thing that amateur radio operators are passionate about, it’s the search for the perfect sine wave. Oscillators without any harmonics are an important part of spectrum hygiene, and while building a perfect oscillator with no distortion is a practical impossibility, this twin-tee audio frequency oscillator gets pretty close.

As [Alan Wolke (W2AEW)] explains, a twin-tee oscillator is quite simple in concept, and pretty simple to build too. It uses a twin-tee filter, which is just a low-pass RC filter in parallel with a high-pass RC filter. No inductors are required, which helps with low-frequency designs like this, which would call for bulky coils. His component value selections form an impressively sharp 1.6-kHz notch filter about 40 dB deep. He then plugs the notch filter into the feedback loop of an MCP6002 op-amp, which creates a high-impedance path at anything other than the notch filter frequency. The resulting sine wave is a thing of beauty, showing very little distortion on an FFT plot. Even on the total harmonic distortion meter, the oscillator performs, with a THD of only 0.125%.

This video is part of [Alan]’s “Circuit Fun” series, which we’ve really been enjoying. The way he breaks complex topics into simple steps that are easy to understand and then strings them all together has been quite valuable. We’ve covered tons of his stuff, everything from the basics of diodes to time-domain reflectometry.

Continue reading “No Inductors Needed For This Simple, Clean Twin-Tee Oscillator”

3D Print Train Wheels For Garden Railway

There’s something magical about a train, whether you call it a railway or a railroad, plenty of us have hankered after our own little piece of line on which to shunt wagons or chuff around our domain. Envy [Otis Rowell] then, because he’s made himself a garden railway with the laudable purpose of moving wood pellets for his heating. A mere garden railway may be cool but it’s not in itself special, so the reason we’re featuring it here comes from something else. He’s making his rail wheels by 3D printing them with a normal printer.

It’s important to understand that these wheels are not for a high-speed mainline express freight train but for a small flat car designed to carry a modest tub of pellets, thus they are less in need of high strength than their full-size cousins. But even a small car on garden railway-sized aluminum rails can exert significant force, so we would be fascinated to see how well these do. The write-up is a work in progress as this article is being written so we know there’s more to come, but there’s no harm in speculating as to how a better 3D-printed wheel might be made. We would be particularly curious for example as to whether a novel slicing regime could be used to make a stronger wheel.

If backyard railways interest you, it’s not the first time we’ve seen one.

Doubling The CPU Speed Of The TRS-80 Model 100 With A Mod Board

The TRS-80 Model 100 was released in 1983, featuring an 80C85 CPU that can run at 5 MHz, but only runs at a hair under 2.5 MHz, due to 1:2 divider on the input clock. Why cut the speed in half? It has a lot to do with the focus of the M100 on being a portable device with low power usage. Since the CPU can run at 5 MHz and modding these old systems is a thing, we got a ready-made solution for the TRS-80 M100, as demonstrated by [Ken] in a recent video using one of his ‘daily driver’ M100s.

This uses the board design from the [Bitchin100] website, along with the M100 ROM image, as one does not simply increase the CPU clock on these old CPUs. The issue is namely that along with the CPU clock, connected components on the CPU bus now have to also run at those speeds, and deal with much faster access speed requirements. This is why beyond the mod board that piggybacks on top of the MPU package, it’s also necessary to replace the system ROM chip (600 ns) with a much faster one, like the Atmel AT27C256R (45 ns), which of course requires another carrier board to deal with incompatible pinouts.

Continue reading “Doubling The CPU Speed Of The TRS-80 Model 100 With A Mod Board”

Extreme Waterproof 3D Prints

Since the crew at [CPSdrone] likes to build underwater drones — submarines, in other words — they need to 3D print waterproof hulls. At first, they thought there were several reasons for water entering the hulls, but the real reason was that water tends to soak through the print surface. They’ve worked it all out in the video below.

Since the printer is an FDM printer, it isn’t surprising that the surface has tiny pores; even the tiniest pores will let water in at high pressure. They tried using epoxy to seal the prints, which worked to some degree. They did tests using an example submersible hull that you can try yourself if you like.

Continue reading “Extreme Waterproof 3D Prints”