Turn a smart phone into a signal generator

Signal generators are a handy thing to have around the lab. They are perfect for testing inputs on a new hardware design and verifying the behavior of a circuit before connecting all the pieces together. In recent years these lab tools have not only decreased in size but also in cost. The result has been a plethora of portable versions that now exist on the market.

For an engineer-on-the-go, this is very convenient but often times having to bring one more piece of equipment always seems to put the tool bag over the 50 pound limit. This is one reason why it is becoming popular to design lab equipment that can be plugged into a smart phone. Rather than carry around another device with a computer in it, utilizing the computing power and capabilities of the phone allows the device to be smaller, cheaper and weigh less!

Read More Here

FT311 – USB communication with Android devices without drivers

New USB chip from FTDI supports the Android open accessory mode, what enables a straightforward connectivity of USB devices and saves a battery of an Android device.

o connect a device to a smartphone (tablet,…) or other Android OS device via a USB is at the time possible in 2 ways – by means of a USB OTG (On The Go) or via a so called „Android open Accessory“ mode. USB OTG was introduced to you in the article – USB OTG – rather to be a master than a slave. USB OTG functions very well with many external devices but this method has one substantial requirement – your smartphone must recognize a given external device – it must have a suitable driver installed (similarly like at PC). The problem is, that for many USB devices you mast a driver to your Android device, what can be problematic from various reasons – absence of a suitable driver, “locked” system (limited access rights) loss of warranty on an Android device, read more