iOS 11

iOS 11 is knocking at the door. Even though Electronic Toolbox and RF-Toolbox are running well under iOS 11, I will finally provide an update quickly after iOS 11 has been released.

The reason is, that I like to support some new features introduced with iOS 11 such as the new FileProvider services which will replace the iCloud Drive Project file storage and Drag and drop. But also, because a new App update is overdue.

So expect a new App Update shortly after iOS 11 has been released.

Best Regards,
Marcus


New Data Update

First of all, many thanks for your Feedback and suggestions.

It’s quite exciting to see how many users are working with my App and found it useful sometimes on a daily basis.

While working on the new App Version, I finished a (quite huge) Data Update. So if you download that Data Update, please be patient as it may take some time. It will be included in the next App Version but you don’t need to wait for that so just go to settings and hit Check for data update to download that update.

The Update contains the following changes:

  • ■ Fixed Datasheet for the 40162 (was showing the 4016 DS)
  • ■ Various Arduino Boards added (including Teensy, Adafruit)
  • ■ Several Arduino Pinouts added / updated (Thanks for your help!)
  • ■ Several Tubes added / updated such as the ECC81/82/83, 12AT7, 12AU7, 12AX7, 6146x, QQE06/40, QE06/50 aka 807
  • ■ New Memories Section for the ICs tool with PROMs, EPROMs, EEPROMs etc
  • ■ Some Sockets added/updated
  • ■ Additional minor changes to other databases

Most of this is based on your suggestions and requests. Some users also send me some Datasheets and lists. Many many thanks! I really appreciate.

Best Regards,
Marcus


THANK YOU!

2016 has been an incredible year for Electronic Toolbox and RF-Toolbox.

Now – requested by many users – a “real” Manual is available. Parts of the App have been ported to Apple’s new development language Swift. Major parts have been completely rewritten for a tighter integration of the Tools and Projects and best of all – also requested by many users – it is now possible to draw circuits from inside the App.

Based on this foundation, many new features and improvements are now possible and will follow the next months of 2017.

I am happy to be able to offer this all for free to existing users without adding those features via In-App-Purchases and I hope I will be able to continue this way even though it’s getting harder.

You can support my work by writing an App Review, rating my App and let others know about it.

I know that most of you already did and so I like to say a BIG THANK YOU for supporting me throughout the year.

It means a lot to me.

You are the reason why this App exists and continuously improves.

To you and your families Merry Christmas and all the best for 2017.

Thank you!

Marcus


New Version 1st of December – Manual available

First of all, thanks for your feedback regarding the Manual. Sorry if I can’t get back to all of you individually.

The Manual

Your feedback was quite different. Some of you prefer a separate online manual, some strongly voted for an offline manual since they use the App often when no or just poor internet connection is available. I now hope I will be able to address both of you. An online manual is now available which will cover basic usage of the App. It even contains some movies which would otherwise blow up the size of the App and it is even available as PDF even for printing (of course the movies will get lost then). Based on your feedback, most people trying to get used with the App and trying to learn how to use it prefer either an online or printed manual so they can read it side by side while trying the App.

On the other hand, I left all Help Texts of the individual Tools still available offline so they can still be opened from inside the App using the (i) button. I think that’s a good compromise and will allow me to add the improvements I wanted to introduce.

If you want to have a look already, here is the link to the english Manual which is almost finished: http://go-to.me/etb-manual. The German version will hopefully follow soon.

Now the good news:

Version 10 of Electronic Toolbox and RF-Toolbox will be available Thursday, December 1st – finally !

There was a lot of work to do for me but I am happy that it’s finally finished now.

Besides many other fixes, improvements and changes (see further below), there are the following highlights:

■ A Circuit Diagram Editor

Yes, indeed, you can now draw your own Circuits from inside the Project Tool. Even though I personally prefer to draw my circuits using PC Software (Eagle or DesignSpark PCB), many of you have asked for such a feature. It is currently quite limited (about 75 components) and lacks a few features I had to postpone for a later update (e.g. block selection with copy/paste and a few more components) but it’s working and most testers found it quite usable.

The Circuit Editor also contains a Sync feature which Synchronizes the Components with the Component list of the Project. This way, the Component list of the Project will be maintained automatically.

■ Project improvements

As Projects now play an even bigger role, I added several improvements. There is now an even better integration between the Tools and Projects. You can now jump back from a Component to the corresponding Tools. For instance, for a Resistor Component entry, you can directly jump to the Resistor Tool so see the color coding for that particular Resistor.

You can now search for (or manually add) a Manufacturer Part Number for Components. This way, I was also able to add a Datasheet Browser to search for millions of Datasheets. For instance, if you add an NE555 Timer Component to a Project, you can Browse for the MPN and select the NE555 from Texas Instruments. Next you can tap on Datasheet and will get the TI Datasheet for the NE555 which can also be added to the same Project as attached Document.

Also, the “Add to Project” feature has been improved further to allow to add the results of a Tool to be used for a Project.

■ Identifying Components

Several users asked me for a possibility to identify Components. Exactly this is the purpose of a new Tool. Here you can browse for a particular component (e.g. Electrolyt Capacitor) and will get some background information as well as pictures of various variants of Electrolyt Capacitors. But it is also possible the other way round, to browse pictures of components for identifying an available Component.

The database currently contains more than 100 Components and I am happy to add more upon request. So if you ran across a certain Component (given that it is not too exotic) which is not included, please feel free to send me the picture so I can add it – even if you don’t know what it is. Maybe I can figure it out.

 

Furthermore, the following changes were implemented:

■ The Sound Generator now allows to select the output device.

Sound can now be forced to the Speaker or can be sent to BlueTooth headsets etc.

■ The unfortunate Formula bug has been fixed
■ Several iOS 10 adaptions were implemented
■ The 3D-Viewer bug was fixed
■ Projects can now be shared via Email
■ 2-Digit SMD Codes were added

Electronic Toolbox:

■ Added Tool: TI LaunchPad
■ Added Tool: Audio Amplifier (1500+ Hybrid amplifiers with circuit diagram)

And finally, the aforementioned Manual has been integrated.

 

All for Free

As you know, I am no fan of In-App Purchases if they can be prevented so all of the above will be for free to all existing users.

I am considering a price increase as all developments, especially the Circuit Editor, required several month development time but again, existing users will get everything for free.

So, like always, as all your great reviews will disappear once the new version is out, please amend your review or add a new one to support me.

Thank you so much!

Best Regards,

Marcus


Question

As you know, I am working on the new update for quite some time now. I am getting close but ran into the following question for you:

For some of my other Apps, I have mad a change to the Info Pages (the ones that will be displayed when hitting the (i) button in the top right corner). Instead of maintaining these texts individually for each App screen, I put all together to a ‘real’ manual. For the other Apps, some users asked for that. They said that it would be easier for them to look up this manual on another screen (PC or Mac) while working with the App so they can see both side by side. Of course it is still possible to see the corresponding chapter of this manual when hitting the (i) button but there are some pros and cons of both approaches:

  • The current solution is available offline from inside the App whereas the manual solution will always need an internet connection even though it can still be used along with the (i) button
  • The manual solution can be updated and maintained quicker and easier
  • In order to get a complete overview and learn how to use the App in general, the manual solution is better
  • The manual solution also provides the possibility to create a PDF which could also be printed
  • The manual solution is even available without the App as regular website
  • The manual solution is better readable and can contain images and even movies

So there are quite a few advantages of the manual solution which is why users of the other Apps (NetworkToolbox and SmartSDR) appreciate this approach. As it is not possible to offer both solution and since it is quite some work to do to for this change, I would like to ask you for your opinion.

To have a look yourself, here is the NetworkToolbox Manual: http://go-to.me/nettb-manual and the SmartSDR Manual : http://go-to.me/smartsdr-manual

In NetworkToolbox, when hitting the (i) button, you will directly see the corresponding chapter inside the App.

So please let me know your thoughts. Ideally, please use the support button inside my App for your feedback.

Thank you!

Best Regards,
Marcus


New Data Update – Happy Birthday Raspberry Pi – New Raspberry Pi 3

A new data update 9.03. is available for Electronic Toolbox.
raspi-3
The Raspberry Pi foundation announced their 4th Birthday today and brought out their new Raspberry Pi 3 which uses a faster 64 Bit 1.2GHz CPU and comes with WiFi and Bluetooth LE.

This deserves a data update for Electronic Toolbox which is now available with the following changes and additions:

  • Raspberry Pi 3 added
  • AN1431T and M Variable output shunt regulator added
  • new Arduino Pro Mini with ATmega328 added
  • TMP35,36 and 37 Low Voltage Temperature Sensor added
  • Arduino SparkFun added
  • USB Type C added
  • Several other database updates and corrections are included

I hope to be able to release the next App update soon as well, so stay tuned.

Best Regards,

Marcus


New Data Update 9.02

New Data Update 9.02

A new data update 9.02. is available for Electronic Toolbox and RF-Toolbox.

This update contains the following changes and additions:

  • Additional Coax Types (Belden)
  • Mini-DIN Sockets added
  • HAM Radio RIG Socket Pinouts
  • Aviation Pinouts
  • Additional data and information for the packages tool
  • The Tubes had lost their Pinout images for some reason. They are now back, sorry.
  • Quite a few amendments and corrections for the existing databases

A next App update is also already done and will be available soon.

Meanwhile, I’d like to thank you for your tremendous support.

I wish you and your Families a Merry Christmas and all the Best for 2016!

Best Regards,

Marcus

P.S. Many thanks for your feedback regarding my Windows Project editor. Thanks also for submitting your Projects. I hope I will be able to upload your Projects to the Online Projects soon.


Updated Project Editor

prj-editor-v16

 

Thanks for your feedback to the Project Editor.

I have just created a small Project Editor update 1.06 with the following changes:

  • The recently introduced additional Components are now also available in the Project Editor
  • When selecting a Component, the Component symbol will now be displayed
  • The sample Project file and the few Sample Documents (including the two 3D objects) are now installed in the Project Document Directory in two separate Directories
  • The download and the code is now code-signed so you will no longer get scary warning errors when installing
  • The installation program is now an InstallShield .EXE file rather than a Microsoft MSI File
  • The Installer should now also install the .NET framework, if not already installed

Based on your feedback, I am a little surprised that almost nobody is using iCloud Drive to synchronize Projects between your Windows PC and the Apps. I personally found it the ideal way to share Projects not just between the Windows PC and my Apple Devices but also between my iPads and iPhones and even between Electronic Toolbox and RF-Toolbox. Especially when using the Project Editor, it makes much sense to work with iCloud Drive.

The other options (DropBox, iTunes, email) are still possible but I found that too cumbersome and time consuming.

Don’t be scared, if you don’t like to synchronize your Photos or Keychain by using iCloud (like myself). You really don’t have to, when using iCloud Drive along with Electronic Toolbox or RF-Toolbox. You can use it solely to Synchronize your Projects files if you like.

All information, how to download Project Editor, how install and use it and even how to configure iCloud Drive can still be found on this page:

http://electronic-toolbox.com/project-editor-beta

I still appreciate your valuable feedback about the project Editor.

I am currently finalizing the next update of Electronic Toolbox which will be sent to Apple in a few days.

Thanks for your support.

Best Regards,

Marcus


New Versions 9 of Electronic Toolbox and RF-Toolbox available now

The new versions of Electronic Toolbox and RF-Toolbox are available now.

These new App versions contain new tools, many feature improvements and of course some bug fixes.

A Optocoupler, Packages, Microstrip Mitre and PLL Loop Filter tool has been added. The App are now not just compatible to iOS 9 but also support the new iOS 9 features like Multitasking and Split View.

Also some great feature improvements have been implemented like the possibility to jump to the particular component from inside the component databases (e.g. from a suggested compatible/replacement component) or from inside the Project tool to lookup component pinouts or datasheets for components you are using in a project.

To read more about what’s new, just head to the what’s new page.


iPhone-1-e


Announcements

Some news and announcements regarding Electronic Toolbox and RF-Toolbox:

New Facebook page

Electronic and RF-Toolbox now have a dedicated Facebook Page.

The address is: https://www.facebook.com/electronictoolbox

Some users encouraged me to setup a Facebook page so that it is now easier to stay informed.

Windows Project Editor

As mentioned earlier, I developed a Windows Project Editor. This piece of software was basically developed for myself to create and edit projects on my Windows PC rather than breaking my fingers on the touch screen of my iPad or iPhone.

I thought that I should share this software with you rather then using it just for myself so I invited some of you for testing. The feedback I received from most testers (thank you!) was that the Project Editor is at least “usable” and doesn’t contain any major bugs that prevent it from using. So instead of finalizing this software I decided to release it to you so you no longer need to wait but please keep in mind, it is still beta. I will continue to work on this software once my next App Updates have been rolled out (see below).

You will find more information and the download link for the Project Editor here.

I am still interested in your feedback.

Next App Versions

Even though I sent out some Data updates, you may wonder when next next App updates will be available. I made the following decision:

Rather than releasing a new big update for both Apps, I will release smaller updates during the next weeks and months.

I already finished some very interesting new features, improvements and tools and am still working on some more. Some still need to be finalized and tested, some are already ready to be rolled out.

Instead of waiting until everything is completed, I decided to release Electronic Toolbox and RF-Toolbox in smaller pieces always whenever something can be rolled out. A few weeks later, I will then release a next version with some more features and so on.

The advantage is, that you, as a user, can benefit from the new features sooner. Also, I can directly and faster respond to possible bugs which can then be fixed immediately in the following release.

Disadvantage is, this is causing a little bit more overhead to me as every App Store roll-out is causing extra preparation and effort (sometimes debates with Apple if they claim the App doesn’t comply to a certain App Store guideline rule as happened lately).

Second, and to be honest that was so far one of my most important reasons for bigger updates, I will loose all your great App Store reviews with every update and I don’t want to push you too often to update your review on the App Store. These reviews are very important for the success of any App.

However, I think you will definitely benefit from smaller updates and so I will give it a try.

So during the next months, you can expect many updates with many new features and improvements.

I am really interested about your feedback.

Will keep you updated,

Best Regards,

Marcus


Recommended Websites

As electronics enthusiast, I am frequently visiting Electronics engineering websites with useful information, interesting projects or market news.

I have received many requests to create a list of websites and resources I am using. For this reason, I setup the page Recommended electronics engineering websites.

It has just been started and I will add more resources to it over the time.

Suggestions are also very welcomed.


New data update available

A new data update 8.10. is available for Electronic Toolbox and RF-Toolbox.

In this update I added the recently introduced BeagleBone Green board. This is a very nice addition to the BeagleBone family as it is available for a much lower price as it lacks of a few features such as a Audio and Video output which is often not needed for projects and made the other boards quite expensive.

Some other changes are some additions and corrections in the ICs section and I also added Copper Current Carrying figures to the AWD tool.

I also added several new Component types for the Project section of the App.

Upon request (many thanks!) I also added a CTCSS / NAC conversion table to the Tables Tool.

In addition, this update also contains many changes which are needed for the upcoming release I am currently working on. Hopefully I can finish it soon but there is still some coding work to do. I will keep you updated here.

The same update is available for both, Electronic Toolbox and RF-Toolbox.

Regarding your mails

I would like to mention something else here as well. I am receiving quite a few mails per day from you. Some mails with questions about certain features. Some mails with suggestions and some even with bug reports (fortunately not too many) and some even with general questions of various Electronic subjects not even related to Electronic Toolbox.

Every single mail is greatly appreciated. I am happy even to help in non App related Electronic questions as this may result in an additional idea for my Apps. I am glad anyway to communicate with people sharing the same enthusiasm to Electronics than I do.

However, sometimes when I am responding to mails I found that the sender’s email address does not exist (maybe due to a typo) or somebody – for whatever reason – doesn’t receive my answer mails. This happened recently with a Gentlemen called Pierre. He was using the form on the Website to ask his questions and tried a couple of times. I also responded a couple of times even from different mail accounts just in case. It still seems he didn’t receive my mails.

I am working through my mails every day, even on weekends and when on holidays. I am responding to and answering every single mail. Sometimes it takes a bit longer and sometimes I am quick (e.g. in case of bug reports). But everybody will for sure receive an answer.

So in case one of you didn’t hear back, please think twice if you may have used the form and probably entered a wrong email address or if my response ended up in your spam folder.

The email address issue could be prevented if you would use the support button inside the app by the way.

Its frustrating for both of us. For me after writing a long response and getting an email error or another email wondering why I didn’t respond. Or for you if you think why I am not responding.

But fortunately, this doesn’t happen too often but it happens and that was why I though I should mention this here.

Now getting back to my development work for the next update.

Thanks for your great support and your kind App Store reviews!

Best Regards,

Marcus


Windows Project Editor – Anybody interested ?

While maintaining the projects you sent me (again many thanks!) I found it a bit cumbersome to edit the projects in my App, even on an iPad. This is basically because I am used to enter larger amounts of texts on a regular keyboard and also because I have most of the files that I like to attach to projects on my PC (yes, not my Mac).

I am happy, to carry the projects around with my iPad and even make some changes and additions but for the majority of work I like to use my PC or Mac.

For this reason, I developed a small Windows Program which can read, write and edit Electronic (and RF-) Toolbox Project files (.etb4prj).

So far, this program is really Beta and definitely contains some bugs but I am working with this software for quite some time now.

Here is a screen shot of the current version:

project-edit

So I am wondering if anybody else is interested in this program. Again, it is only available for Windows and should run on Windows 7 and newer.

If you are interested, just let me know by using the “Support” Button inside Electronic Toolbox or RF-Toolbox and you will receive the Beta Version.

Looking forward to your feedback.

Best Regards,
Marcus


New data update, new projects and iOS 9

As you may have seen already, a new data update is available and I added some new online projects.

Data update

This data update 8.8 contains the following changes:

  • 6510 CPU added
  • SJA1000 added
  • LM336Z5 (Programmable Shunt Regulator) added
  • Adjustments to the Circuit Symbols
  • Additions and corrections to the FET database
  • Arduino Nano V2.x and V3.x differences covered
  • A few formulas updated
  • Some Translations added/corrected

New Online Projects

Right after sending out my last news blog post, I received some projects from you. Many thanks!

After adding the 9V Colpitts Oscillator some days ago, I just added the following user projects:

  • A Micro-M Solar charger from Clemente
  • A NE555 On-Off Switch from Karsten
  • A Short wave receiver from Mike (who also submitted the Collpits Oscillator)

To all of you, again many thanks for sharing these projects with other users.

I hope these good examples now encourage more users to send me more of their projects.

Please contact me in case of questions.

iOS 9

I guess some of you have seen the exciting Apple WWDC event yesterday. If not, you can still watch the Keynote from here.

It’s exciting to see how many new and great features like new Multitasking capabilities, the new Keyboard features and Touchpad to move the cursor and other great things are about to come with the next iOS version.

This really shows that Apple won’t stop to further improve something we all already don’t want to miss anymore. It’s also good to see that Apple now concentrates on many small and useful features as well as stability and speed rather than mainly UI design. It is also good to know that all devices that currently run iOS 8 will be supported so everybody will be able to update to iOS 9.

I could not wait to run iOS 9 on some of my test devices and it’s really great – already.

The best news however is, that Electronic Toolbox as well as RF-Toolbox already run on iOS 9 without any issue and they even benefit and can use some of the new features.

Of course will I also integrate some new features of iOS 9 directly into my Apps but first and before I will finish the version I am currently working on.

I will keep you updated,

Many thanks to all users and supporters!

Thanks for your reviews!

Best regards,
Marcus


Online Projects and Data Update

Dear Users,

sorry, the Online Projects section was offline shortly. It is now back online.

Projects of users

By the way, some users asked me for the possibility to add a “Projects from users” section, which I did. But so far, no user sent me his or her project. So I just like to remind and encourage you to share your projects with other users.

Don’t worry if it is too small, incomplete or not professional enough from your point of view. I am pretty sure everybody will appreciate it. I remember somebody told me he has a lot of oscillator circuits. That would be a great example.

If you need some help or have questions, please let me know. I would be more than happy to help.

Some updates regarding updates

I hope to complete the next data update soon. It took me quite some time to collect all the requested information but it’s complete now and ‘just’ needs to be converted for the data update.

The next App update will take some more time but I am already working on it for quite some time now. I will keep you updated about it.

Thank you!

Many many thanks by the way for all your reviews. I really really appreciate. It is so essential nowadays to have reviews that I really appreciate. I think I saw one or two of people with issues but they didn’t contact me so I can’t help – unfortunately.

Thanks again.

Best Regards,

Marcus