Innovative Open-Source Electronics

Instruments & Analog Electronics Motion Control
Power Conversion

Robotics

 

What Is Open-Access Technology?

In software operating systems, the open-source philosophy has caught on in the acceptance of Linux. Innovatia extends the open-source idea to electronics hardware and invites the participation of designers, builders, suppliers, and users in Innovatia projects on this website.

Innovatia develops and offers designware, the information product (IP) of engineering that is the source of the creation of technological wealth. Designware is the  technical information about something you can build or repair. Its open access, with only open-source licensing and no patents or other barriers to participation, enables formation of new enterprises as multiple suppliers of products having a common design origin. For builders and users of open-access technology, it reduces dependence on suppliers for repair, maintenance, or product understanding because the technical details of the product are disclosed as open-source documents. For suppliers who want all the engineering information, designware "source code" is available at a nominal price.

Like Linux, open-access designware provides both freedom of information and its use, to encourage a growing community of people involved in the build, use, manufacture, distribution, design refinement and maintenance of commonly-shared technology. Innovatia is an initiator of this activity and a coordinator of communities involved with Innovatia technology projects.

Entry-level designware  includes circuit diagrams with both the operating description and technical explanation. Supplier-level designware includes parts lists with suppliers, circuit-board layout files, software source code for programmable FPLAs and microcontrollers, and instructions for making magnetic parts, if any. It is made available as a set of compressed files. 

Access Innovatia Designware by joining an Innovatia project. Select a project by item name (such as TPA202 or FDS) from this website and email a request to join. You will be sent the PDF instruction manual from which you can build a prototype, subject to the open-source license. Optionally, order from Innovatia the prototype kit for the project that includes circuit-board, magnetics cores and wire bundles (if any), and any specialized parts information. The present version of the instruction manual is sent to you via email at no cost to you. Build your prototype from the manual or for projects that have completed the design phase, order the build kit. As you progress in your project, create a project website and post a log on refinements or problems you encounter. Email the web link to Innovatia as project coordinator.

 

Innovatia Designware Features

Innovatia designware is pre-product technology produced from experience in product design at leading electronics companies. With ongoing advances in circuit integration, what were substantial design challenges in the past have become simplified. Innovatia design is guided by the following maxims:

Keep it simple through simplified and minimized mechanical construction, especially packaging. Devices have single-board, rail-mount, or stacked-module mechanical designs, suitable for benchtop use and easy access. No special tools for inaccessible fasteners or mechanical puzzles are involved. Packaging is a product consideration for suppliers. Designware is about achieving technical function and performance.

Minimum custom parts: Except where performance would be compromised, designware uses multiple-sourced "legacy" ICs and well-established electromechanics. All standard parts are commercially available from major electronics distributors. Custom parts can be made without special skills or equipment. Supplier designware includes files for circuit-board manufacture or digital part programming.

Minimum adjustments by using microcontroller autocalibration or accurate parts. 

Designware for suppliers is moderately priced and includes more than a free manual or low-cost prototyping kit. It includes board layout files,  firmware source code, and detailed engineering considerations underlying the technology. Open-source licensing enables total-ownership control of technology short of reselling the designware itself, as restricted in the open-source agreement.

Limited Edition project units are also being built by Innovatia as engineering prototypes that reclaim older or surplus technology in laboratory inventory, thereby reducing waste by turning non-functioning electronics into useful devices. They are full working units with specifications, are generally more robust than standard production products, and can be more readily modified. LE units are priced at market value, include laboratory versus commodity technical support, and can be useful as a working example from a project. Successful LE technology in the lab becomes open-source and licensed to co-operating suppliers. LE technology is another way to participate in an Innovatia open-access shared-technology project.

 

Project Engineering Advisor

About Innovatia

Designware

 

A 430-page book on Transistor Amplifiers in PDF

Finally! A book that gives the details of engineering thinking for the design of some 2 to 6 transistor amplifier circuits. The circuits look simple at first, but as the design proceeds to deeper layers of complexity, the design considerations become more advanced. Yet all that is needed to follow these design walk-throughs is mostly algebra, a calculator, and an active mind. 

This open-source book, which would retail for over $50 through an ordinary publisher is available in PDF via email on request. The book is free but a recommended donation is suggested to encourage the author to write more of these kinds of books. Print out a paper copy on your printer for less than such a book would cost from a bookstore.

Furthermore, the book contains lesser-known circuit theorems and a much-neglected topic: amplifier behavior above bandwidth, where resistance becomes inductive and resonates with capacitance. Bandwidth estimation is also developed, based on open- and short-circuit time constants.

A 201-page book on Rocketry and Astrionics in PDF

This book combines coverage of rocket fundamentals with an emphasis on rocket electronics, or astrionics. Those working on astrionic systems can benefit from an understanding of the larger context of rocketry, and this book provides a "jump-start" for those seeking to do electronics in an aerospace environment. 

This book is also for those mainly interested in learning the fundamentals of rocketry: flight mechanics, propulsion, liquid-propellant rocket structure and component design, instrumentation and control, ground support, and launch procedures. 

The book ends with a case study of a 21-foot (6.4 m) 1000 lbf thrust LOX-kerosene rocket, showing some of the details involved in a sounding-rocket project.

 

Build a low-cost curve tracer, the TPA202

The TPA202 prototype (shown above) has been completed and meets specifications. Join the project by requesting a free copy of the manual showing how to build one, and measure transistor beta and other parameters. This is a simple non-microcontroller instrument with only one trimpot adjustment. It has an accuracy of 1 to 3 %, depending on your choice of op-amps. It has INPut and OUTput ports and a DVM that measures the voltages and currents at each port. Output-port voltage (VCE) is 35 V full-scale and the current (IB) range of both ports is 100nA fs to 100 mA fs.

The TPA202 is a good introduction to two-port analyzer (TPA) circuits and design considerations. It results in a quite useful bench measurement instrument. Request a free emailed instruction manual from which to build a prototype. Make a request if you want a circuit-board and you will be notified when they are available.

The Floating Differential Source:

An Instrument for testing amplifier common-mode rejection and high-side or floating circuitry

  

The Floating Differential Source (FDS) consists of two voltage sources and a current source. They can be configured in two modes, as shown above. The FDS is a single-board instrument, uses an Atmel AVR microcontroller, and has two custom magnetic transductors in its power supply. The supply is like that of other kinds of two-port analyzers, with multiple floating sources. The FDS has a built-in 4-digit (12500 count) DVM that is used to set output voltages from the common-mode (or grounded) and the floating sources. The FDS can also be controlled through its serial port. It has a typical common-mode rejection of 4 decades (80 dB). FDS construction cost is about $100 US.  A few limited-edition prototypes are available from Innovatia for $350 US.  Input power is 12 V dc, 1 A. Join the project to build your own FDS and request the free manual. Product suppliers (manufacturers, sellers): inquire about one-time open-source licensing of FDS engineering-level designware

Innovatia Seeks Manufacturers or Entrepreneurs Seeking Product Designs

 

Innovatia as a design laboratory is seeking suppliers who manufacture and sell electronics measurement instruments, power conversion, and motion control products. Innovatia offers concept-proven to manufacture-ready designs as designware. Development status is given on this website. Please inquire via email about any of the design projects or designware.

 

 

 

Innovatia Website, AUG14 Version