Infineon TLE5205 and TLE5206 Motor control IC Review

Configuration: Single H-Bridge
Applications: PM DC
Current (continuous): 5 amps
Current (peak): 6 amps
Voltage (max): 40V
Short circuit protection: Yes
Built-in chopper current limitation: No
Control Interface: Parallel
Datasheet: TLE5205 TLE5206

The TLE5205/6 is a simple and robust looking driver chip with only 7 pins and minimal external components required.  The main drawback is that the drivers have a rather long turn-on delay and switching time (in the tens of microseconds.)  This makes it unsuitable for chopper current regulation and PWM operation at typical frequencies.  However, it should work well for on-off control in applications such as electric car windows or linear actuators.

The only difference between the TLE5205 and TEL5206 is the control logic truth table.  The 5206 maps each of the two input pins directly to one of the output pins.  Each half-bridge output is either sourcing of sinking depending on the high or low state of its corresponding input pin.  This permits only forward, reverse and dynamic braking.  The 5205, on the other hand, has a different truth table that allows for the addition of an all-outputs-off coast mode.

How to Convert USB to Serial TTL Level Signals

If you’re designing a device that spends most or all of it’s time connected to a PC through a USB port,  it is probably best to design USB connectivity right into the device.  However, if the device only needs to be connected occasionally to change settings or download data logs, it might be convenient to use a separate adapter that translates USB protocol to TTL level asynchronus serial signals that talk to the microcontroller’s UART.  Also, if you’re a hobbyist, you may not want to spend a lot of time understanding the details of USB interfacing hardware and protocols.  I recently stumbled upon an adapter that makes this easy.

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Simple Thermal Heat Transfer Finite Element Analysis in Excel 2007

mainWhile some free finite element analysis software is available, the engineer or student can learn a lot about how FEA works by constructing a simple model from scratch in a commonly available spreadsheet program such as Excel.  The technique presented here can simulate a two dimensional flat plate of uniform thickness.  Each boundary element can be an arbitrary fixed-temperature or insulated.  The resultant temperature of each active element is iteratively calculated by simply averaging the temperatures of the adjacent cells.  Continue reading

Prototypes and Short runs of a High-Volume Industrial Process

I recently saw a potential demand for a product that was essentially a seamless rectangular metal cup, about 1″ x 3″ on the open end and about 4″ deep.  This sounded like a job for a process called “deep drawing.”  In this process, a flat sheet of metal is punched through a die to form a cup shape.

Great, all I need are a few prototypes to verify the design, then a few tens of pieces for some tentative test marketing, and finally perhaps a few thousand a year for production.  One problem: for a deep drawn part, a “short run” is considered “less than 60,000 pieces.”  I could find only one company that could actually deliver sample parts, but none of their standard sizes were close enough to what I needed.

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