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Entries for the 'Custom Hardware and Software' Category

DMC Selected to Join Microsoft’s Azure IoT Red Carpet Program
Rick Rietz

DMC Selected to Join Microsoft’s Azure IoT Red Carpet Program

DMC is proud to join Microsoft’s new Azure IoT Red Carpet Program. Partners are individually selected by Microsoft and invited to join the program based on their expertise and proven success in implementing IoT solutions.  By joining, DMC will be listed in Microsoft’s IoT Partner Directory, and gains access to exclusive resources including engineering, marketing, and sales support. This also includes access to a private network of IoT partners to share insight as the Internet...

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Exploring Altium: Using Design Variants
Ryan Taylor

Exploring Altium: Using Design Variants

One of my absolute favorite things about embedded design is watching a product evolve over the development cycle. From unboxing the first prototype all the way to the release of the deluxe commercial model, each revision of the design poses new and interesting challenges. One of these challenges is managing each revision of the electrical schematic and PCB layout in a way that minimizes human error and maximizes automation. Altium Designer has an excellent tool to assist the embedded engineer...

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Reducing Altium Designer's Hard Drive Usage
Ryan Taylor

Reducing Altium Designer's Hard Drive Usage

Have you noticed your hard drive usage climbing steadily when working with Altium Designer? Here's how you can reduce the disk footprint for each of your PCB projects. Every time you manually save a schematic sheet or PCB design, Altium saves a local, compressed copy. You can compare between versions from the Storage Manager tab and manually delete versions that you no longer care about. This is generally a useful feature; however, if you are already using a version control tool (like Git...

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Connecting Custom Applications to the Factory Floor
Jon Carson

Connecting Custom Applications to the Factory Floor

DMC has expertise in both industrial and PC-based software development. In other words, we do a great deal of projects involving PLCs; but we also write plenty of complex PC-based apps. But my personal favorites are projects that combine the two. We’re seeing them more and more. Don’t get me wrong, off the shelf solutions are great, and should be used wherever they make sense. But sometimes they don’t fit all of the requirements our customers need. Here are some examples I&r...

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Lunch for Business: A Better Way to Lunch
Lyndon Sapozhnik

Lunch for Business: A Better Way to Lunch

DMC had a lunch problem. When noon rolled around, someone would inevitably decide they wanted to go to Chipotle. They’d get up from their desk and circle around the office, asking everyone they saw if they wanted to jump on the Chipotle train. But “everyone” wasn’t actually everyone, since everyone isn’t necessarily at their desk at 11:58 AM. Some people would be on the phone, others in collaboration rooms. Perhaps they’d even be on the other side of the offic...

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Visual Studio 2015 Debugging Tips
Sam Weber

Visual Studio 2015 Debugging Tips

We had a great summer here at DMC's Chicago office. We got to watch the Air and Water Show at Belmont Harbor, go to the Circus, drink on a boat, and play some beach volleyball. However, for a .NET developer like me the real highlight of the summer was the release of Visual Studio 2015. VS2015 was released officially on July 20th, and over the past several weeks I've gotten a chance to dig into it and explore all of the great new features. This new version of Visual Studio includes many i...

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Introduction to Bluetooth
Alex Krejcie

Introduction to Bluetooth

With the wide adoption of smartphones and the attractive market for the Internet of Things (IOT) and other accessories, Bluetooth connectivity has made its way into many products and most people’s daily life. In the last five years there has likewise been rapid advances in the Bluetooth protocol and its integration in devices. Beyond the consumer applications most people think of when Bluetooth is mentioned, the technology has also proven its worth in the Industrial IoT (IIoT). Thi...

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Automating Web Development - Tools
August Karlstedt

Automating Web Development - Tools

I’ve been working on a new DNN skin for a while now and much progress is being made. Along the way, I’ve learned about tools that can help speed up website development drastically. In this blog post, I’ll give an overview of these tools and how to use them by themselves and together to harness the power of automation and simplify development tasks. Tools Ruby Sass (or Less) Node.js npm Bower Grunt or gulp Ruby We won’t be using Ruby as a program...

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How to Make and Test Your First Android App in Android Studio, FAST!
Frank May

How to Make and Test Your First Android App in Android Studio, FAST!

Android Studio is Google's free IDE for making Android apps and replaces Eclipse as the primary IDE for making Android apps.  In this less than 10 minute video, I'll show you how to: Install Android Studio (along with the Java Development Kit) Design a simple "Hello World" app Test the app on a Virtual Device Attach a real device to your computer and test the app there Fix common installation problems Learn more about DMC's custom softwar...

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RESTful Logins
Jack Cosgrove

RESTful Logins

If you are constructing a web application, you will probably have to create a login page that generates a user session. If you are not aware, RESTful (representational state transfer) URLs are considered best practice for internet applications. As a general rule (only to be broken under duress), RESTful URLs should be nouns, while the HTTP method is the verb. For example, if you want to see a user profile page and the user ID is 8, then a RESTful URL would be https://host/users/8/. “users&...

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Nobel Committee Recognizes Inventors of Blue LED
Ken Brey

Nobel Committee Recognizes Inventors of Blue LED

I want to congratulate the Nobel Committee for recognizing the inventors of the Blue LED - a truly transformative technology. As an engineer working with machine vision systems I have been using LED lighting longer than most people. LEDs are great for their brightness, strobing capabilities, and consistent intensity over a long product life. The first time I saw a blue LED was in a trade show in 1998. One booth of lighting equipment has a light that was a brilliant deep blue. I asked the man ...

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B&R Automation Studio: Create Popup Windows on HMI Pages
Otto Gottlieb

B&R Automation Studio: Create Popup Windows on HMI Pages

Creating popup windows on HMI pages enhances the interaction between the operator and the machine. The creation of popup windows in Automation Studio involves many other important aspects of making an HMI more dynamic such as formatting layers on pages, controlling and using the HMI display in program code, and manipulating the statuses of HMI elements. If you are new to creating HMI pages with Automation Studio, then you can learn a lot from this video. Learn more about DMC's B&R Aut...

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Pet Project: Turn A Fan Into A Clock
Devon Fritz

Pet Project: Turn A Fan Into A Clock

For those of you with electronics hobbies, here is an interesting pet project that is not very difficult or expensive. In fact, you can find most of the parts lying around your house. The idea is to make an analog display clock. The finished product will have a rotating circuit board that flashes LEDs at the correct time in order to make a floating image of an analog clock. Here is a list of basic materials that you will need: White box fan Perforated board PIC (or any microcontroll...

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Repairing an NI USB-6351 X-Series DAQ
Johnny Sun

Repairing an NI USB-6351 X-Series DAQ

Recently, I’ve needed to do some proof of concept testing for a LabVIEW-based project. The only special I/O requirement for my prototype was a +/- 10V analog output that is capable of sourcing at least 1mA of current. The good news was that DMC owned just the piece of hardware: an NI USB-6351 X-Series DAQ. The bad news was that it was handed to me with the caveat that it doesn’t turn on and may or may not smell bad when plugged in. Undeterred, I resolved to resurrect our $1500 out-of...

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Refreshing Datasources in Iconics’ Genesis64 HMI/SCADA Development Software
Sudeep Gowrishankar

Refreshing Datasources in Iconics’ Genesis64 HMI/SCADA Development Software

Datasources in Genesis64 are defined within the GridWorX64 application to cache data for display and use in the HMI. My experience with datasources has been as a link between a SQL server database and Genesis64. However, while developing an application that contained numerous datasources (40+), I ran into an issue that rendered the application unusable. This blog post describes the issue and a workaround. The Problem: Refreshing datasources with a time trigger takes an increasingly long amou...

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Source Code Protection For Your SIMATIC S7-1200 PLC in TIA Portal
Jason Mayes

Source Code Protection For Your SIMATIC S7-1200 PLC in TIA Portal

From time to time, we'll run across situations where a client believes it is necessary to lock down code on a PLC. In some cases, there may be valuable intellectual property they would like to protect. In others, its purpose may be to prevent unauthorized modifications to safety-related code, or activation of disabled options. There may also be cases where it is necessary to interlock a PLC program to a specific memory card or CPU, especially in cases where there may be multiple, similar (bu...

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USB Charging Overview
Alex Krejcie

USB Charging Overview

In this video, I'll give you an overview of the USB charging specification, how it came to be and the limitations and hardware design of each charging port.  

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20th Annual NI Week Conference Vision Inspection Presentation
Darren Jones

20th Annual NI Week Conference Vision Inspection Presentation

The 2014 NI Week Conference in Austin, Texas hits day three of four today Wednesday, August 6. The 20th Annual National Instruments Conference is an opportunity for those working in the fields of engineering and science to come together in the spirit of sharing information, inspiring innovation and exploring new technologies. DMC has sent engineers from each of our Chicago, Boston, and Denver offices to present on topics ranging from automation, to battery management systems and vision i...

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Android Open Accessory Protocol (AOA) using an FTDI 311/312
Alex Krejcie

Android Open Accessory Protocol (AOA) using an FTDI 311/312

In this video, I'll give you a brief overview of implementing the Android Open Accessory Protocol (AOA) using an FTDI 311/312. AOA is a protocol designed by google to allow android devices to connect with a wide variety of external peripherals over USB.  Since the AOA device acts as a host, it is able to connect to most Android devices, even devices that do not have USB host capabilities themselves.  FTDI provides chips that are preprogrammed with the AOA protocol, making it ...

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Firmware Programming and Configuration Application for Embedded Device
Alex Krejcie

Firmware Programming and Configuration Application for Embedded Device

In order to support development, deployment, and management of a customer’s embedded device, DMC developed a simple windows GUI using C# and WPF to assist in programming and configuring the device. The program uses a single USB connection for both actions, allowing the customer to simplify connections and have access to all functions even on assembled devices. Technologies Used Texas Instruments MSP430 NET C# (WPF) HID, CDC device interfaces Programming DMC leveraged t...

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