Electronic Toolbox News

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:

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


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:

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:

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


Version 8 is available!

Version 8 of Electronic Toolbox and RF-Toolbox available!

As announced, the version 8 of both apps is finally available on the app store.

This was again a bigger update with a lot of new features, tools, bells and whistles and of course, bug fixes.

The most important changes are:

  • 64 Bit support
  • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus support
  • Native iCloud Drive support
    • Share Projects between apps on different Devices
    • Share Projects between Electronic- and RF-Toolbox
  • iOS 8.x support
  • Introduction of online Projects
  • Introduction of a FAQ
  • New Tools
    • New Beagle Bone Tool (ETB only)
    • New Wheatstone Bridge calculator
    • New Truth table / Karnaugh table / logic formula conversion tool (ETB only)
    • New Frequency counter tool
    • New Logic tool (ETB only)
    • Balun Calculator (RF Toolbox only)

So there are now 77 tools in total in Electronic Toolbox and 60 in RF-Toolbox.

Some more details:

Tool Improvements:

  • Improved Coil calculation now with single- multi- ferrite-core, Tesla flat and straight wire
  • Introduction of scalable formulas. Formulas now look much better throughout the app and not so big anymore.
  • The sound Generator can now still run even when leaving the tool
  • The sound Generator now has a volume slider
  • A double-tap is now necessary to zoom images. No longer accidental image zooming
  • In the scope, the scale for FFT is now linear and easier to read
  • An FAQ has been introduced for common questions regarding this app.
  • Values from the Database tools such as the Transistors tool can now be added to projects and now includes all parameters as it already was for calculation tools
  • Bigger selection lists (e.g. for the color selection in the resistors tool)

Content changes:

  • Tube 807 pinout added
  • Raspberry Pi Model 2 added

Project improvements:

All Project maintenance screens have been improved. However, the most important changes here are the support for iCloud Drive and the introduction of Online projects.

iCloud Drive can now be used to keep your projects in sync between your different devices and even between Electronic- and RF-Toolbox. In the past, you had to export and import projects in order to transfer a Project from one Device to another. When switching on iCloud Drive in the app, Projects will automatically synchronized in the background.

Corrections:

  • Now global search will work again even when in Icon mode
  • Some NTC/PTC tool corrections
  • Some corrections inside the Sockets tool

And of course, several bigger and smaller design changes.

This again a quite long list of changes and improvements. However, some of you might miss something you asked me for but that was just one more update and there are more to come over the time. As usual, I am already working on the next update.

Please don’t forget:

As with every update, please don’t forget to rate this app as all previous reviews will disappear with an update.

Also, since there were many changes and even though there was a quite long testing phase, there might be bugs in the app. If you find a bug, just let me know and I will fix it quickly. Promised!

Thank you so much for your great support and suggestions.

Best regards,

Marcus


Happy New Year 2015!

The recent data update for Electronic Toolbox contains several changes to many databases. The new app versions of Electronic- and RF-Toolbox are almost finished. Just a bit additional coding and some testing.

The new version will then also fix the searching issue which exists in the current version of Electronic Toolbox. (As a reminder: If you want to use global search for e.g. search for a BC107 without starting the transistor tool, you can enter BC107 in the top search fields. However, and that’s the bug, you need to switch from Icon mode to list mode in order to let searching work).

So stay tuned for further announcements.

Meanwhile, I wish you and your Families a Happy New Year and all the best for 2015!

Regards,

Marcus


New Electronic Toolbox data update available

Today, a new Electronic Toolbox data update has been released.

This updates contains the following changes:

  • Arduino Uni Rev 3 Pinout added
  • New Category in the ICs Tool with Solid State Relays (SSR)
  • Raspberry Pi Model B+ additions
  • Constants were updated
  • A few ICs were added as requested
  • A few German language corrections were included

And finally, this update also contains some preparations for the next app update I am currently working on.

Thanks again for your support.

Best regards,
Marcus


Update 7.01.05 of Electronic Toolbox available

Fortunately, it doesn’t took too long for Apple to release this bug fix update.

This update fixes a few bugs that unfortunately slipped in to the last major update:

Device rotation will now work correctly
■ German “Zurück” button fixed
■ Few issues with 3.5″ iPhones fixed (e.g. second slider in Oscilloscope)
Capacitor charge calculation fixed
■ Open image in other… app bug fixed
Duty cycle calculation in NE555 tool fixed
■ An issue that cause the app to crash when swiping back was fixed
■ White-on-white buttons in print screen was fixed

Along with this, the update contains the following improvements:

■ The 4-20mA tool now also shows Hexadecimal values for SPS development
■ Calculation results can now be transferred better to projects (no longer just screenshots)
■ Some speed improvements (e.g. esp. for iPad 2)
Oscilloscope image can now be added to a project

LIKE ALWAYS, PLEASE NOTE: Don’t forget to install the new data update as well

Again, many thanks for your feedback and help to improve this app further.

Many many thanks also for your updated and new app reviews.

Unfortunately, with every update I sent out, your previous reviews disappear. But you just need to slightly update your previous review to let it appear again. Many thanks again for this.

Kind regards,

Marcus


New version 7 finally available!

Finally, as announced yesterday, the new version of Electronic Toolbox Pro is now available on the AppStore.

I have re-coded huge parts of the app. Basically, this release changes many things under the hood, adds many general features you have asked for, offers a completely revised and freshen up user interface and fixes many small or even a few larger bugs. Finally, it adds a new cool tool: an oscilloscope. Also, this app is now already compatible to the recently announced iOS 8.

Here are some changes to the previous version:

■ UI Improvements

The user interface has been freshened up and now uses some remaining iOS 7 features such as special animations, list swiping, popover selections, the new keyboard and some more. To implement those features, unfortunately I had to drop IOS 5 support but the app still supports iOS 6.

However, don’t worry if you don’t want or can’t update to iOS 6 or 7, you can still use the existing Version 6 of the app as it will still be available on the AppStore for downloading and best of all, it will still get improvements via Data updates.

On the special keyboard, you can now double-tap on the X button to clear all input field of the whole screen (Thanks Hal for this suggestion).

Amongst this, every single tool has been revised. They not just look and behave now more consistently.

■ Parametric search improvements

When looking for a certain Transistor, FET or even Tube with certain characteristics / parameters, filters can be used. These filters have been improved in Version 7. It is now even possible to create multiple filters which can be stored and recalled at a later time.

■ iCloud and improved DropBox and iTunes support

DropBox and iTunes have already been supported to import and export projects. Now, Project import and export has been improved in many ways and iCloud has been added as another option for importing and exporting.

In Addition, app settings and your Organizer app customizations can also be saved and restored to and from iCloud. This way, you can save your work after rearranging all icons to your individual requirements. Moreover, you can use iCloud to transfer these settings to another i-Device if you own more than one device. This way, you can use your settings and organizer view consistently on all your devices.

■ Improved action button

The action button now has a new icon and will now act as a real action button. Now, it always opens a popup menu with several options based on the current situation.

■ Grouped Tool view

For those of you, who got lost in the numerous tools (now 72) the app now provides a new grouping option. By selecting this option, tools will now be grouped by the following subjects:

  • General Tools
  • Tools dealing with passive components
  • Tools dealing with active components
  • Conversion tools
  • Circuit tools
  • RF related tools

You can still group and arrange tools based on your own preferences and even mix the grouped view with your own groups by using the included organizer.

■ An Oscilloscope was added

Now, with this new tool, the app contains 72 tools in total. Several more are already under development. This Oscilloscope behaves almost like a real Oscilloscope but of course limited to audio signals and microphone input.

■ Bug fixes and minor improvements

While working on each tool, I did also fix some bugs of course.

 

While almost 70% of the code has been re-coded, I already apologize for any possible new bug which is not unlikely due to this amount of new code, even though I and a couple of Beta Testers have tested this release (many thanks to you at this point).

As always, please let me know about any bug, ideally using the support button inside the app and I promise to fix any bug real quick.

Again, many thanks for your feedback.

Please please don’t forget to rate the app or update your review. Unfortunately, with every update I sent out, your previous reviews disappear. But you just need to slightly update your previous review to let it appear again. Many thanks for this.

Kind regards,

Marcus


Finally another update 6.10.02 of Electronic Toolbox is now available

Finally, the promised update has been released.

This update includes the following changes and additions:

■ Trace-With tool

This tool was moved over from the RF-Toolbox app and helps to calculate width of internal or external PCB striplines based on the IPC-2221 charts.

■ Resistor/Capacitor/Inductor combinations tool

This tool helps to create a certain value by calculating various combinations of serial or parallel connected components. This is especially useful if you can’t find a component with a certain value in your shack or if you need to create a value outside the E-Series standard. So if you are looking for a 10k resistor but have none available, you can just use this tool to find out how to build this value with a certain combination of other resistors.

■ 4-20mA conversion tool

This new tool converts values based on the instrumentation systems 4-20mA DC standard. This was a user request from some users and I was hoping to implement it sooner but finally, here it is.

■ support for oz/ft² (Copper Plating Weight in oz)

Especially for the newly added PCB trace calculation (see above), thickness can be entered in oz/ft² .

■ calculator degree / radian support

The trigonometric functions like sin() and cos() can now calculate in radians and degrees and there is a new button which can be used to switch between these two. However, the degree button ° can still be used to convert values from degree to radians, thus when set to radians and calculating sin(45°) results in the same value as if the calculation is set to degree and entering sin(45) .

■ unit tool improvements

The unit tool received some more improvements and now remembers previously selected unit types and units.

■ New Transistor tool added

A new Transistor tool replaces the former BJT tool. This tool adds bias point calculations and circuit calculation of the three common Transistor circuit types.

■ New FET tool added

Similar to the Transistor tool, a new tool to calculate FET bias point and basic FET circuits has been added.

■ NE555 tool improvement

In the NE555 tool, it is now possible to calculate the duty cycle.

■ NTC/PTC tool improvement

It is now possible to calculate in both directions. You can either enter temperature or resistance and the other value will be calculated.

■ Disable sleep mode

Some users told me that they use my app in the lab all the day and leave their device switched on all the time to quickly perform some calculations. They asked me for the possibility to let the App prevent the device from entering the sleep mode to speed up their access to this app. For this reason, there is now a new setting under Miscellaneous. Please note that, once this setting is on, the device will no longer save battery time. Once you exit the app, everything is back to normal. You may also want to disable the splash screen along with this setting.

■ Additional Types and datasheets

Included in the data update which is required for this app update, several new types and datasheets have been added. For instance about 300+ new datasheets and types in the 40xxx/45xxx cmos IC section. Also, some corrections for the AVR JTAG Socket, 3N140 and 4073 are included.

■ Additional minor improvements

Now, in the calculator, it is no longer necessary to hit the ANS key when entering an operator after the previous calculation has been finished.

PLEASE NOTE: A new major release will also be available soon. It has now been sent to Apple and is waiting for being released. This major release contains some other user requests and improvements so please don’t worry if your request is not included in this release.

In case you find an error or have some questions, please contact me using the Support button inside the app or the support form on the website.

Many thanks for your feedback and your support.

Kind regards,

Marcus


Update Version 6.07.01 for Electronic Toolbox available

Thank Goodness it’s Friday! as the new Electronic Toolbox update 6.07.01 is now available.

This update fixes some issues that have been reported such as the not working “Add to project” buttons in some areas of the app and the inability to add folders in the organizer. Sorry for that.

Now, in the unit conversion tool, it is again possible to see all other conversions at a glance like in the older version. All possible conversions can now be observed by tapping on the selection below “Convert to:”. Thanks for this suggestion!

There is now a consistent way to decide which value should be calculated and which are the “given” values.

As an example, in the Ohm’s law tool, let’s say you like to calculate Current and Power based on Voltage and Resistance. You can tap on the small button in front of the Current and Power fields. These buttons will then turn to have a small arrow indicating that these values will be calculated.

Now, it is also possible to tap at the location where you expect an input field in order to get the white input field for entering a value.

You will also notice a change in the user interface. I have changed several areas throughout the whole app so that it fits better to iOS 7. There are new Icons, new fonts, less 3D buttons and headers and less rounded rectangles. I personally like it much better and hopefully you do too.

Also, the News section has been completely re-coded. It is now also possible to delete news entries.

Finally, I found that the review button was no longer working in the previous version and that was probably why there were just a few review updates with the last version.

So now, it should again be possible to write or update reviews.

The data update I sent out on Wednesday is mandatory for this app update so please also check if you have not yet installed it. Here is a short summary of the contents of the data update:

  • LM34 (Precision Fahrenheit Temperature Sensors) added to the ICs tool
  • 2N6027 and 6028 (Programmable Unijunction Transistor) added to the ICs tool
  • The upcoming Arduino Tre and the older Arduino Duemilanove were added
  • An update to the Italian translation was added (thanks Massimo!)
  • Several changes to the Info texts in German and English.

The two added chips LM34 and 2N6027/8 are both quite interesting. I never heard about them before until two users asked me to add them (thank you!).

Like alway, many thanks to you all who helped me to continuously improve my app.

Please don’t hesitate to write me if you find an issue or ask me to add new features or components.

Many thanks and kind regards and have a great weekend!

Marcus


Windows 8 update available now and iOS Version comming on Friday

Fortunately, the new Windows version of Electronic Toolbox was just released by Microsoft and the iOS Update will be available this Friday.

Lately Microsoft gave me a hard time to fulfill all requirements for the naming of screen shots on the Windows Store and several additional minor requirements. The good thing is though, that Microsoft takes Store approving serious – which is good, for you as customer as well as for me as developer and customer. I hate the lax or even not existing Google approvement procedure which causes many rubbish, non-working, faking and Trojan apps on the Android play store.

However, back to the Windows version, which includes many changes such as:

The Windows version is available here.

iOS update

The iOS Update, as mentioned, will be available this Friday. It contains quite some fixes and internal improvements. I will talk about that on Friday so please stay tuned.

In addition to the app update, I will create another data update which will be available either today or tomorrow.

Kind regards,

Marcus