Monthly Archives: May 2022

Single Pair Ethernet? Yes – It’s Big for Industrial Automation and Changes the Game In Terms of Efficiency, Reliability, Costs and Speed

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

Earlier this month, we released new 10BASE-T1L Single-Pair Ethernet (SPE) prototyping tools - a new MicroMod Function Board and a kit that includes everything needed to get started. These tools offer industrial ready, robust network connectivity for a wide variety of challenging environments. This new connectivity capability facilitates the use of predictive maintenance, Industrial IoT (IIoT), and the gathering of meaningful operational data for automation across the entire industrial enterprise.

Since then, we have had many inquiries from people who want to know more about SPE. Essentially, in contrast to multi-pair ethernet, 10BASE-T1L SPE:

  • Uses two copper wires for both power and data transmission (our new board only does data transmission - we may add power over ethernet in a later iteration)
  • Offers thinner cable diameter, which results in reduced weight, faster installation and reduced costs
  • Provides a smaller, simplified connector, taking up less space on a PCB, simplifying design and increasing connector stability
  • Enables easier sensor integration without additional gateways or interfaces and simplifies communication from sensor to local server or cloud
  • Offers increased range - up to 1000 meters!

Annotated Resource List - 10BASE-T1L Single-Pair Ethernet

Below, please find an annotated resource list of SPE resources - it comprises introductory information, applications, and more advanced information and presentations.

Harting SPE Symposium 2021 (video, ~1.5 hours) - This video captures the 2021 SPE Symposium from Harting. The introduction reviews what SPE is and why it is different; outlines some benefits, particularly in terms of speed, distance, and reliability; looks at SPE’s role in supporting industry 4.0; and introduces applications in UAV, autonomous vehicles, process automation, and mobile robotics. Then the video transitions to panel speakers discussing specific use cases, cables, connectivity, magnetics, and semiconductors.

Würth Elektronik Application Note: Single Pair Ethernet for Industrial Applications (PDF, 11 pages) - This white paper reviews the evolution of ethernet from four pair to single pair, walks through the hardware and components (cables and connectors), filter topologies, and overall benefits and applications for SPE.

Hischler: Single-Pair Ethernet - Enhanced Cloud Access to Sensors and Peripherals (multi-part technical blog) - This content is a great primer for SPE and includes the evolution of ethernet and SPE, deployment characteristics, market potential, and systems adoptions - with a focus on process and factory automation.

Analog Devices: New Single Pair Ethernet: High Quality Asset Health Insights and Power on Two Wires for Condition Monitoring Applications (PDF, 3 pages) - This article focuses on connectivity, range, and power for condition monitoring and predictive maintenance. It discusses how SPE resolves some long-standing challenges in communication/data transmission from sensor to either a private server or the cloud.

Würth Elektronik Webinar: Single Pair Ethernet filter design for industry (video, ~37min) - This webinar compares multi-pair vs single-pair ethernet and shows examples and detailed measurements for the filter design from connector to PHY chip to fulfill all requirements regarding signal integrity and safety according to IEEE802.3cz (10BASE-T1) and IEEE 802.3bw (100BASE-T1).

SPE Industrial Network’s Technology Overview, Applications Snapshot, and Resource List (website) - The SPE Industrial Network is a large group of companies committed to the reliable, coordinate establishment of the entire future SPE ecosystem, standards for transmission protocols, cabling and device components. They provide quite a bit of information on their web site about the overall technology, applications, and quality resources.

MicroMod Single-Pair Ethernet Function Board - Digi-Key Product Highlight Page (new product highlight page) - This page from Digi-Key not only provides information on the new MicroMod Function Board, but also provides several links to additional informational resources in the right navigation.

Want to Learn More? Attend Our Webinar on June 8th

If you would like to hear more about 10BASE-T1L SPE from industry experts and see a cool demo, be sure to register for this June 8th webinar that Digi-Key is hosting, with presenters from Analog Devices, Harting, Würth Elektronik, and SparkFun.

Learn More & Register for Webinar

Ready to Start Prototyping with 10BASE-T1L SPE? Here are some helpful tools

Here are the two tools we just released - they are great for data transmission but do not do power over ethernet (we may do that in a later iteration).

SparkFun MicroMod Single Pair Ethernet Function Board - ADIN1110

SparkFun MicroMod Single Pair Ethernet Function Board - ADIN1110

SparkFun MicroMod Single Pair Ethernet Kit

SparkFun MicroMod Single Pair Ethernet Kit


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Name that Ware, May 2022

via Hacking – bunnie's blog

The Ware for May 2022 is shown below:

If you’re like me, you’re wondering where the month of May went. I guess that’s what you get for spending too much time writing software.

This one is a quickie that I grabbed out of my scrap pile. The photo is cropped to try and make it slightly more challenging, but, there should also be enough details left to unequivocally identify the original equipment from which this was extracted.

Winner, Name that Ware April 2022

via Hacking – bunnie's blog

The ware for April 2022 is part of a tx/rx module for putting video and audio over a single optical fiber. As noted by Don Straney, the contributor of the ware:

This was being used to remotely feed a video signal to a projector in an MRI setup, for neuroscience experiments (although these likely had many more uses than that). Usually the projector has to sit in an awkward corner somewhere, just outside the shielded room, to get the right angle to project straight down the scanner’s bore and off a screen or mirror in front of the subject’s face, while the researchers are sitting in the control room 40 feet or so away, with the entire shielded room between them and the projector – this makes for some long cable runs.

It was actually interesting to see the system that they were part of, because it looked like a very “cottage industry” low-volume sort of thing; seemed pretty professional from the outside, but the internals were a hacked-together combo of 3rd-party boards like these ones, with wires soldered on to tap into power and the any pushbutton controls, and a little bit of custom stuff to power all the 3rd-party devices from a common power supply and “press” their onboard buttons as needed to make it a clean self-contained system.

Interestingly, the name on the board identifies the manufacturer as “Communication Specialties, Inc.”:

However, Black Box seems like the type of company that would OEM many of its products, so maybe that’s just the name of the OEM or a company they acquired. So, I’ll give the prize to Matt for — somehow — figuring out where this design came from. Congrats, email me for your prize!

Celebrating the community: Jay

via Raspberry Pi

We love being able to share how young people across the world are getting creative with technology and solving problems that matter to them. That’s why we put together a series of films that celebrate the personal stories of young tech creators.

Jay at an outside basketball court.

For our next story, we met up with young digital maker Jay in Preston, UK, who wants to share what coding and robotics mean to him.

Watch Jay’s video to see how Jay created a homemade ventilator, Oxy-Pi, and how he’s making sure people in his local community also have the opportunity to create with technology. 

Meet Jay

Help us celebrate Jay by sharing his story on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook!

Jay (11) wants everyone to learn about programming. At a young age, Jay started to experiment with code to make his own games. He attended free coding groups in his area, such as CoderDojo, and was introduced to the block-based programming language Scratch. Soon Jay was combining his interests in programming with robotics to make his own inventions. 

“My mission is to spread the word of computing and programming, because not many people know about these subjects.”

Jay teaches a group of schoolchildren how to use the programming language Scratch on a computer.
“The class teachers learn a lot from him, not just the children.” Mr Aspinall, Head teacher at Queen’s Drive Primary School

When he found out about Coolest Projects, our global tech showcase where young creators share their projects, Jay decided to channel his creativity into making something to exhibit there. He brought along a security alarm he had built, and he left Coolest Projects having made lots of new friends who were young tech creators just like himself.   

“With robotics and coding, what Jay has learned is to think outside of the box and without any limits.”

Biren, Jay’s dad

While Jay has made many different tech projects, all of his ideas involve materials that are easily accessible and low-cost. Lots of his creations start out made with cardboard, and repurposed household items often feature in his final projects. Jay says, “I don’t want to spend much money, because it’s not necessary when you actually have an alternative that works perfectly fine.” 

Jay holds a poster that has a plan of his Oxy-Pi project.
Jay uses his digital making skills to help others.

One of Jay’s recent projects, which he made from repurposed materials, is called Oxy-Pi. It’s a portable ventilator for use at home. Jay was inspired to make Oxy-Pi during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this project is especially important to him as his dad was hospitalised during this time. With his digital making approach, Jay is an example to everyone that you can use anything you have to hand to create something important to you.

Young coder Jay at home with his family.
Jay and his family in Preston, UK.

Digital making has helped Jay express himself creatively, test his skills, and make new friends, which is why he is motivated to help others learn about digital making too. In his local community, Jay has been teaching children, teenagers, and adults about coding and robotics for the last few years. He says that he and the people around him get a lot from the experience.  

“When I go out and teach, I love it so much because it’s really accessible. It helps me build my confidence, it helps them to discover, to learn, to create. And it’s really fun.”


Using tech to create things and solve problems, and helping others to learn to do the same, is incredibly important to Jay, and he wants it to be important to you too!

Help us celebrate Jay and inspire other young people to discover coding and digital making as a passion, by sharing his story on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook     

The post Celebrating the community: Jay appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

App note: Understanding challenges in USB charger design for automotive applications

via Dangerous Prototypes

This app note from Maxim Integrated describes the design and system challenges associated with USB chargers in automotive applications. Link here

Recent advancements in the automotive infotainment market demand high-efficiency and low-footprint power delivery (PD) solutions. The inclination towards a reduction in bill of materials has driven USB power applications to integrate more features and responsibilities into a single IC. The proliferation of battery-powered portable devices has resulted in an increase in the number of USB receptacles or ports in an automobile to charge the batteries of the devices.

App note: How to design DC-DC control loop

via Dangerous Prototypes

App note from Maxim Integrated bringing you back to loop theory to understand loop compensation in a DC-DC converter. Link here

In our life, control systems are everywhere, whether it be an air conditioner that controls room temperature, a driver that controls car direction, or an appliance that controls the cooking of dumplings. Control refers to the operation of a certain device or a certain physical aspect of the production process. It helps achieve a certain variable which maintains a constant or moves according to a trajectory along a preset dynamic process. Usually, systems in nature are nonlinear, but small processes are also considered linear systems. When discussing an electrical circuit, we can consider this technology as a linear system.
A system that has automatic control is a closed-loop system, while the opposite is an open-loop system. The characteristic of an open-loop system is that the output signal does not affect the input signal.