Forum Posts

ZSCircuits Support
Jun 13, 2020
In General Discussions
Greeting from ZSCircuits! We are pleased to launch a new product ZS1100A (IOT Power Meter). This is an advanced version of the IOT power profiler with an in-built power supply. So the users can directly power their IOT devices with this, and measure the power consumption. It has better accuracy and slightly higher dynamic range compared to the ZS2102A. We are launching it at CrowdSupply.com at a pledge price of $499 + shipping as applicable. Link for the crowd funding page https://www.crowdsupply.com/zscircuits/zs1100a-power-meter Note that the product is still under prototype stage and shipping will happen only by Oct 2020. The price is limited to first 100 backers only and the products are shipped directly from the USA to worldwide.
ZS1100A : IOT Power Meter content media
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ZSCircuits Support
Jan 18, 2020
In IOT Power Profiler
Our first GUI release of the new year 2020. Ver 2.3.4 is now available for download. It has one minor bug fix for the battery model addition and reduced calibration time.
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ZSCircuits Support
Dec 16, 2019
In IOT Power Profiler
For some applications where the target device is connected to the main earth (ground), the non isolation of the power profiler may be a problem. It could pick-up noise and can cause small offsets in measurement. In order to solve this ground loop, we recommend to use a high speed USB isolator which runs at 480Mbps. We have tested a product named Hifime High-Speed USB Isolator and found to be working fine with the IOT Power Profiler. It provides isolated USB port which can be used with grounded loads with greater accuracy. https://hifimediy.com/high-speed-usb-isolator-480Mbps Note that any USB isolator would not work. It has to work at 480Mbps and should be able to provide at least 200mA to the power profiler. Most USB isolators out in the market work only at 12Mbps and not at the high speed.
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ZSCircuits Support
Nov 26, 2019
In IOT Power Profiler
A new version of the GUI has been released. This has some enhancements made for the profiling. Features better stability and lower load on the PC. It is tested to run on an Intel Core i3 processor at 1.8GHz with just 4GB of RAM and a hard disk (Non SSD). It takes at max 40% of the CPU on this system. Some additional features are added for trigger search. Please download and install the latest version.
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ZSCircuits Support
Nov 15, 2019
In IOT Power Profiler
We have released a new GUI which features better calibration accuracy, options for user to select the compression strength, smaller buffer sizes and better stability in long runs on slow PCs. It has some minor bug fixes for Sigrok Export feature. Please download the GUI to get the best features from the power profiler. Any feature request or bugs report is welcome.
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ZSCircuits Support
Sep 27, 2019
In IOT Power Profiler
Most of the devices made for the IOT space specify their sleep currents. This is the most important specification which determines the life of the batteries, as most of the time the system remains in the sleep state. It is common for the overall system current to be well under 10uA, considering multiple ICs on the system. However, practical measurements often seem to be higher than this and can cause faster battery drain. Many of the ICs have internal timers and these can wake-up sporadically even while in sleep mode. Most of the DC-DC converters draw narrow spikes of current while supplying low currents. IO leakage can contribute to higher power drains, if the voltage levels are not kept in the correct logic family levels. All of these can contribute to significant battery life degradation. Since these spiky currents cannot be caught in a multimeter, there is no easy way to measure them. That is where the IOT Power Profiler tool shows it strength. It can measure narrow and high current spikes, even when the target system is in sleep mode (consuming few uA). By observing the nature of the current spikes, one may be able to debug the cause of this current and come up with fixes to solve them.
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ZSCircuits Support
Jul 25, 2019
In IOT Power Profiler
It has been observed by some customers that on slow PCs, the Windows OS terminates the GUI after running for few seconds. This could be caused by the following 1. CPU is loaded very high and the threads on the GUI cannot get enough time. Kill other applications and re-try. The IOT Power Profiler uses up to 30% CPU on a Core i3 @ 2.3GHz. 2. Not enough priority : Before starting the acquisition, change the priority of the IOT Power Profiler software to HIGH. 3. Do not minimize the application : Running minimized causes the OS not to assign high priority to the GUI. This can cause the application to crash due to limited CPU time. 4. Slow PC and Disk : The GUI is tested to work reliably on a PC with Core i3 running at 2.3GHz with 8GB RAM and a 160GB SSD drive. A slower system can cause problems with the real-time capture requirements of the GUI and cause it to be unstable. Please ensure that the PC used requires the minimum requirements as stated in the user-guide. 5. Anti-Malware : Some anti-malware software can detect a false alarm on the IOT Power Profiler GUI thereby terminating it. Disable Anti Malware and rerun, or add the IOT Power Profiler to the exceptions list in the anti malware program if it allows for a list.
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ZSCircuits Support
Jul 12, 2019
In IOT Power Profiler
The GUI 2.0 is now released with advanced features like data compression, long capture times (> 24 hrs on 10GB file), Session captures, Actual battery models for more accurate battery life estimation, faster estimation times, better stability and much more.. Download now.
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ZSCircuits Support
Jun 17, 2019
In IOT Power Profiler
We got some user feedback about the large size of the data file being created when the Power Profiler is sampling the current. This is due to un-compressed data stream being directly written on the PC. We are working on an on the fly non linear compression algorithm which is estimated to reduce the size of this data by 50x to 100x. Initial tests shows that the re-constructed samples are well within 1% of the least squares fit on the input samples. And they agree to the overall average value to less than 0.1%. Still in beta stage, but we would make a release with this feature in couple of weeks. Stay tuned.
Data compression content media
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ZSCircuits Support
Jun 04, 2019
In IOT Power Profiler
Customers can post their product reviews on this thread. Any bugs found or issues faced are also welcome.
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ZSCircuits Support
May 30, 2019
In IOT Power Profiler
Please add your request for features to be added to a future version of the ZS-2102-A. Since hardware revision is time consuming task, we would debate a lot before implementing them. However all your requests would be considered and a suitable reason would be provided for rejection or acceptance.
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ZSCircuits Support
May 30, 2019
In IOT Power Profiler
Please use this post to request new features on the GUI. Feature request with most likes would be considered priority.
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ZSCircuits Support
May 30, 2019
In IOT Power Profiler
Currently we are working on implementing the battery and load profiling feature for the GUI. This will enable actually measuring the impact of peak currents on the battery capacity. The load profile will be analyzed for peak currents, duration and magnitude of the peaks, the voltage recovery time and other factors to arrive at the capacity degradation. This along with the battery model will predict very accurate estimate of the battery life. We are starting with Lithium 3V batteries like CR2032 to begin with. The battery models will be ASCII files which would be uploaded on the website as and when available. This way the GUI can be released with just one battery type and then the users can add batteries later. Upcoming releases will also feature options to enable the users to profile the batteries so that they can make their own models. If they share the models with the community, we can soon build exact battery models which would benefit the whole community. Stay Tuned.....
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ZSCircuits Support
May 28, 2019
In General Discussions
Almost all electronic system designs feature one or more bulk decoupling capacitors. These are typically placed at the point of entry of the power cables. They are mostly of Aluminum Electrolyte, Tantalum or in case of low leakage systems multi-layer ceramic capacitors. The purpose of these capacitors is to provide large current spikes of lower frequency content while the local decoupling capacitors placed closer to the ICs provide short surges of current typically at the high frequencies. More often super capacitors are being used in systems where cost may not be a large concern. For typical IOT systems using coin cells or Alkaline batteries which are expected to last for couple of years, the selection of the right decoupling capacitor will make a large difference to the overall battery life. Too Low a value If the value of the decoupling capacitor is too low, then the high current spikes are drawn directly from the battery. In case of batteries with limited surge current capabilities like CR2032, the battery capacity gets degraded substantially. This will degrade the overall battery life. Too High a value Another choice would be to simply over rate the capacitor value and chose an arbitrarily high value. This would add space on the board and increase the overall cost of the system. However this is not guaranteed to increase the battery life. Although the large capacitor will reduce the peak current drawn from the battery, it will also have a high leakage current. This leakage current will get added with the overall system current and would actually end up degrading the battery life. Thus the reduction in peak current would be offset by an increase in the overall leakage current. So choosing a very high value is also not optimal. The Optimum Value How do we determine the optimum value in this case? The answer is to profile the current drawn by the IOT device and simulate the system to get the right value of the capacitor. Using the exact current model from the device which can be obtained by the ZS-2102-A, one may be able to simulate the power distribution system along with the bulk decoupling capacitor model in order to keep the peak current from the battery below recommended levels. Using the leakage model for the capacitor one can calculated the overall average current for the whole profile. This would yield the best battery life for the product. Finally after adding the right capacitor to the system, one can re-measure the power profile and battery life using the ZS-2102-A, just to confirm the overall exercise. We would soon add an experimental data for this exercise. The battery profiling feature on the GUI is being implemented now and is expected to be available by the middle of June. Using that battery profile with pulsed loads, the degradation in capacity due to the current peaks can be easily computed. This would yield a more accurate battery life estimation than the one based on the average capacity and would be able to predict the optimum capacitor value.
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ZSCircuits Support
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