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 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


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


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


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


Version 7 of RF-Toolbox has been released

This is a new major release of RF-Toolbox. The development took quite some time as I re-coded huge parts of the whole app.

Basically, this release changes many things under the hood, adds many general features you have asked for quite often and fixes many small or even larger bugs.

As 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.

Version 7 contains the following changes to the previous version:

■ UI Improvements
For compatibility reasons, previously I did use some UI Elements such as the Picker control in its old design or the old Keyboard and did not offer some other iOS 7 features even though the app was already compatible to iOS 7. This new release takes now fully advantage of iOS 7 and is now even already compatible to the next iOS Version. However, for this reason I had to drop backward compatibility to iOS 5 and 6. So with this new release, you will now have all the new iOS 7 improvements such as swiping lists to the right, to jump back, new animations, popover selections, new view and icon designs etc. but you have to use iOS 7 in order to install this release.

If you don’t want or can’t update to iOS 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 but the functionality can no longer be enhanced.

Amongst this, all tools have been revised to look and behave consistent.

■ 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 app customizations by using the Organizer 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 restore 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.

■ New and improved action button
The action button now has a new icon and will now act as a real action button. It now always opens a popup menu with several options based on the current view.

■ New Grouped Tool view
For those of you, who got lost in the numerous tools the app now provides there is a new grouping option available. By selecting this option, tools will now be grouped by the following categories:

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

Except for the General group, each group will have it’s own unique icon. Grouping will work in Icon and List view. Regardless of whether you use groups, it is still possible to maintain the Icon location and even create more groups by using the Organizer.

■ Bug fixes and minor improvements
While working on each individual tool, I did also fix many bugs or added numerous improvements to several tools.

Again, many thanks for your feedback and please report any bugs you may find and rest assured they will be fixed timely.

Kind regards,

Marcus


New RF-Toolbox update available – Happy Thanksgiving!

This RF-Toolbox update 6.08.01 includes the following changes and additions:

  • 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.

  • 4-20mA conversion tool

This new tool converts values based on the instrumentation systems 4-20mA DC standard.

  • Negative value entering

For some input fields it was not possible yet to enter negative values. Now, the special keyboard has received a minus sign in the top bar.

  • Support for oz/ft² (Copper Plating Weight in oz)

Especially for the PCB trace calculation, thickness can now 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 now remembers previously selected unit types and units.

And as usual, there were many other minor changes and corrections.

Some new tools are already under development.

If you find an issue, have a new idea or if you are missing something, just let me know. Please just use the Support button in my app or on the app store.

If you like to support me, please don’t forget to write or update your review as it is only valid for the current version.

Finally to all of you in the US Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!

Thanks again for all your mails and support.

Kind regards,

Marcus


RF-Toolbox data and app update

A new app update 6.07.01 and data update will be available tomorrow, Friday October 18th

The new app update adds the Desktop calculator that has been introduced recently in Electronic Toolbox.

Also, there is now a new Newsreader which should now offer news in a more reliable way. The newsreader also has some more features like the ability to not just mark news as read but also to delete them. Also you can see both, RF-Toolbox news and Electronic Toolbox news together in one app if you own both apps.

You will also notice a lot of design changes. Some users requested to adapt the look and feel to the new iOS 7 style with the flat buttons and more simplistic style. I hope everybody of you will like it. Initially, I personally was a bit skeptic so I was with iOS 7 but like iOS 7, I really started to love the new design and quickly adapted to the new look. So now I also like the new design of RF-Toolbox much better and it really fits better to the iOS 7 design.

There is also a major change in the way how input and output fields can be selected. These are the fields with the yellow arrow in front of it. They are now working consistently as follows:

  • If you decide that you like one value to be calculated (you like to get the results for that field), you just need to tap on the button in front of the field and the yellow button appears – this is how it was in almost all tools so far.
  • If you decide that you like to enter a value in a field that has been calculated so far (so it currently has the yellow button but no input box), you just need to tap on the result value (this is were you would expect the white input box) and if you tap on it, the input box appears and you can enter your value.

I think this is much more intuitive like before.

And like always, several additional things have been adjusted and corrected under the hood.

PLEASE NOTE: along with this app update, there is also a data update that is required for the app update. I will release the data update already but the app update will be available by tomorrow. Please don’t forget to install the data update by using the “Check for update now” button in the settings screen of the app. The order of the installation (data update or App update) does not matter.

Thanks again for all your mails and support and please be patient if not everything has been implemented yet – I am already working on the next version.

Kind regards,

Marcus


RF-Toolbox update 6.05.01 and new data update

A new App update 6.05.01 and data update is available for RF-Toolbox

I almost thought that this new update 6.05.01 will never come out or along with the next update I am already working on.

This update is not just a preparation for iOS 7 but also contains the following new tools:

■ Passive cooling calculator
■ PTC / NTC Temperature Resistance conversion
■ AC Ohms law tool
■ Zener diode circuit calculation
■ Constant current source tool
■ ASCII Table

Some existing tools have been extended such as:

■ The OpAmp Tool now can also calculate an Instrumentation OpAmp circuit
■ The number system tool now also supports IEEE floating point numbers

With this update, it is also possible to copy output results (regardless if this is text or a number) by long-tapping the value. This way, you can easier transfer results from one tool to another or even to another App, a mail or notes.

Finally, as usual, many other things have been changed and corrected under the hood.

PLEASE NOTE: along with this update, also a data update has been released. Please don’t forget to install the data update by using the “Check for update now” button in the settings screen of the App. The order of the installation (data update or App update) does not matter.

Most of these changes will also apply to the next version of Electronic Toolbox but there is much more to come so stay tuned.

Thanks again for all your mails and support.

Kind regards,

Marcus


New dedicated website – new ideas

New website

I must admit that I am really overwhelmed with emotions about some of your mails and App reviews. Many many thanks! This really helps me to keep up my work and inspired many new ideas. I wished I would have 48 hours a day to implement all of that much quicker.

As you may have seen already, there is now a dedicated website for Electronic Toolbox and RF-Toolbox and they are no longer part of creating-your-app.com.

This will better suit my future plans with Electronic- and RF-Toolbox. There is much to come over the next months so this new dedicated website electronic-toolbox.com (and .de) will allow me to better inform about these ideas in the future.

Thanks again for all your mails and support.

Kind regards,

Marcus