Posts tagged ‘DAC’

HP 8566B Spectrum Analyzer “YTO Unlock” Repair

While I was making a video on how to use HP 8671A as the frequency reference for an improved version of my simple DIY tracking generator for my HP 8566B spectrum analyzer, my spectrum analyzer suddenly decided to call it quits and displayed the dreaded “YTO Unlock” message. Although it wasn’t the first time it had done so — other times the “YTO Unlock” message only appeared once in a blue moon and rarely affected any measurements — this time however the problem seemed to be permanent and the error message wouldn’t go away. Continue reading ‘HP 8566B Spectrum Analyzer “YTO Unlock” Repair’ »

Extending DAC Resolution Using Digital Potentiometer

One way to extend the resolution of a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) is by employing a sigma-delta converter in software. The main disadvantage of such approach is the slow speed. Alternatively, we can use some extra hardware to extend the usable resolution of a DAC. In this post, I will illustrate one such method to extend an 8-bit DAC to 16 bits using a digital potentiometer. Continue reading ‘Extending DAC Resolution Using Digital Potentiometer’ »

An Isolated DAC Using PWM Output

Arduino‘s (ATmega328P) PWM outputs via analogWrite can be conveniently turned into analog voltage levels through the use of simple RC filters. Since the PWM outputs are not isolated, using them to drive other devices directly could be potentially dangerous. This is especially true if the target circuit uses a higher supply voltage. Continue reading ‘An Isolated DAC Using PWM Output’ »

Driving 8-Bit Parallel DAC Using STM32F4-Discovery GPIO

I finally got some time to play with the STM32F4-Discovery board I received last year. As for any microcontrollers, learning how to manipulate GPIO pins is always a good place to get started. Continue reading ‘Driving 8-Bit Parallel DAC Using STM32F4-Discovery GPIO’ »

Code For MCP4821/MCP4822

Microchip‘s MCP4821/MCP4822 is a low budget 12-bit digital-to-analog converter. MCP4821 is the single channel version whereas MCP4822 has two channels that can be latched simultaneously. Both chips have internal band gap references and can be controlled via SPI. Continue reading ‘Code For MCP4821/MCP4822’ »

Arbitrary Waveform Generation with Arduino

Arbitrary waveform generators come in handy when troubleshooting digital and analog circuits. Most commercial arbitrary waveform generators are very expensive due to the functionality and very high bandwidth they offer. But for typical uses among hobbyists, the requirements are generally pretty low. Building a very basic arbitrary waveform generator is actually quite simple using a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) chip and a microcontroller (MCU). Here I will show you one such waveform generator using Linear Technology‘s LTC1450 DAC and ATmega328 programmed with Arduino libraries. Continue reading ‘Arbitrary Waveform Generation with Arduino’ »