Monday, September 25, 2017

The Oculus Rift DK2, In-Depth Review and DK1 Comparison

The long wait is over, the next generation OCULUS RIFT DK2 is here and it’s a giant leap over what has come before. The second iteration of Oculus VR’s VR Headset, the Development Kit 2 represents the culmination of many months of cutting-edge research and progress since the company released its DK1 to Kickstarter backers back in March 2013.

The DK2’s enhancements include a higher resolution panel, up from 1280×800 to 1920×1080 (1080p) and moved to a pentile matrix, OLED panel for display duties. This means higher levels of resolvable detail and a much reduced screen door effect. The panel features low persistence of vision, a technology pioneered by Valve that aims to cut motion artefacts by only displaying the latest, most correct display information relative to the user’s movements – as users of the DK1 will attest, its LCD panel was heavily prone to smearing, things are now much improved with the DK2.

Other inherent advantages of OLED are a potentially infinite range of contrast – as every element of an OLED panel individually emits light, no backlight is required (as is the case with LCD panels) which means that when OLEDs are not lit, the panel is completely dark. This means that black should appear black (dependant on lighting conditions), and therfore perceived contrast levels are boosted hugely. Colours too should appear more vibrant.

The other major advance is that, unlike DK1, the DK2 uses an optical, camera based tracking system which together with the onboard IMU provides the ability to track not just rotational movement but translational movement too, using onboard IR LEDs which sit behind an IR transparent shell on the front and sides of the DK2.

In real terms, this means that (within the cameral’s field of view) the system knows where your head is in 3D space . You can now move your head up and down, downwards and backwards relative to the camera and a DK2 compatible application can adjust your view appropriately, allowing you to lean in and out of a scene or lean left and right.

Anyway, enough of the theory – what’s it like in practice?
Inside the Box and Unit Build and Comfort Impressions

The DK2 takes a different approach to the DK1 in terms of connectivity. Whereas with the DK1, the Headset itself held only the display, lenses and IMU – the DK2 integrates the guts of the DL1 breakout box, into the headset itself. This means that you have a single, integrated cable running from the headset, splitting into USB (for tracking data) and HDMI (for video). It’s a refreshingly uncluttered approach and means there’s less chance of cable tangle.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Your Guide To Buying a Charge Controller

    The world is searching for sources of renewable energy—and solar energy is a big favorite. It reduces pollution, doesn't have the fossil fuel emissions that contribute to global warming, and lowers fossil fuel prices. If you want to reduce your electricity bill, or if you’re using a recreational vehicle and you need a source of energy, you might want to run off solar power and also use a RENOGY MPPT CHARGE CONTROLLER. Photovoltaic (PV) cells convert solar energy into electricity—and this electricity is stored in batteries. There are solar charging battery systems. But once the batteries are fully charged, they can be damaged if they continue to charge. Also, if there is an intensely bright sun, the batteries might not be able to handle the incoming voltage. Charge controllers, also known as solar regulators, are designed to protect the batteries to prevent overcharging. A controller will regulate the current going to the batteries, according to how much they have charged up.  Once a battery is fully charged, they prevent the battery from becoming damaged as a result of being charged any more. But there are a couple of varieties of charge controllers. There are two main types of charge controllers: pulse width modulated controllers, and maximum power point tracker controllers. Each one has a different emphasis: The MPPT controller converts the voltage from the solar panels, to achieve the optimal voltage and power transfer for the batteries. The PWM controller is geared more to protect the life of the batteries, and to make sure that the charge stored in them doesn't leak out so fast.
    To help you make the right choice, we have put together this buying guide including everything you need to know about charge controllers to make a good investment. It'll help you:
    • Choose the right type of charge controller,
    • See useful tips about that type of charge controller,    
    • Read reviews of different brands of charge controllers, and what customers are saying,
    • Select the right brand of charge controller, and
    • Compare prices and find the best deals.

Types Of Charge Controllers

    Charge controllers are voltage and current regulators that are designed to keep batteries from overcharging. Typical solar panels will produce between 16-20 Volts, which could damage batteries that need only 14 volts to charge up.
    The first charge controllers would allow charging up a battery until a certain voltage was reached. Then it would turn off. When the battery's voltage would drop below a certain level, it would turn back on and start charging up again.
    But then it was realized that the batteries last longer if there are three stages:
    1) Bulk: The batteries charge up gradually to the bulk level voltage of 14.4-14.6 Volts, while the batteries are drawing maximum current.
    2) Absorption: The batteries' voltage is maintained at 14.4-14.6 Volts for a specified time, and the current decreases, while the batteries charge up to the full state of charge (SOC).
    3) Float: When the batteries are fully charged, at the end of the specified absorption time, the voltage is lowered to a “float” level (13.4-13.7 Volts), and the batteries draw a minimum of current, to kept it at that “float” level, until the beginning of the next cycle.
    There are two types of charge controllers:
    1. PWM—Pulse Width Modulated Controller: These use high-frequency electrical pulses to charge up batteries, and change the current by changing the length of the pulses. They work like a rapid "on-off" switch. They send a series of short charging pulses to the battery and then receive feedback from the battery to see how fast to send pulses, and how wide the pulses of charge should be. When the battery is fully charged and has no load (i.e., there is nothing that drains the charge from the battery), the PWM will only tick every few seconds, sending short pulses. If the battery is totally discharged, the pulses will be long, or the controller will be on constantly to recharge the battery. In between every two pulses, the controller checks the charge on the battery and adjusts accordingly as to how much charge to send. The deficiency of PWM is that it will cause noise interference in radios and TVs, by creating sharp pulses. These are used for 12 V batteries that give 30 Amperes of current, but you can find models suitable for up to 60 Amperes of current. A streamlined version is the Morningstar SunGuard SG-4 Charge Controller. It is a single-module, PWM controller, which has two connections to the solar panels, and two connections to the solar batteries. The controller monitors the battery charging and makes sure that the charge on the batteries doesn’t leak out at night, or when there is very little sunlight. 
    2. MPPT -Maximum Power Point Tracker—This involves a computer-driven circuit that scans the battery voltage and the photovoltaic array voltages at regular intervals. This allows calculating the match between the photovoltaic voltage and the battery voltage. This ensures that the power from the batteries is a maximum. (The electronics definition of power is Power = Volts x Current.) Since this controller is more complex, the MPPT controller is also more expensive. It is also suited for greater currents than the PWM controller—up to 80 Amperes. The SolarEpic 4215BN MPPT 40-Amp Solar Charge Controller is an example of a maximum power point tracker controller, which has the benefits of protecting against over-charging and over-current, as well as temperature extremes. The Tracer MPPT Tracer 3215RN Solar Charge Controller is designed to monitor the changes in the voltage of the solar panels during the different times of day and different temperatures.

What People Are Saying

    Based on all the consumers' reviews we've scanned, these are the top things they mentioned about their new stuff:
    • Protection features: Make sure that the charge controller provides protection vs. overcharging, overload, short circuits, power surges, and undercharging: There also is “load control mode”, or “low voltage disconnect”, where the controller disconnects the appliances from the system when the battery voltage gets too low. Otherwise, that can also damage the batteries.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

3 Key Ingredients to Host a Successful Business Conference

Hosting a conference can help business owners build credibility and brand for their business. It can also provide you with number of leads to grow your business. Successfully hosting a business conference, however, requires lot of effort and advanced planning. If it is not done right it can do more harm than good to your business. That’s why it is important to pay careful attention to every minute detail and start planning well in advance. Listed below are 5 key ingredients you need to keep in mind to host a successful business conference.

Determine Topic

You need to determine what the conference is about. Selecting a very broad topic will dilute the message, while a very narrow topic will limit the number of attendees. You need to strike a careful balance in selecting the topic that will enable your goal to host the conference and attract large number of attendees you are targeting.

Book Speakers Early

Inviting well-known speakers will help you attract large number of attendees. Those speakers also tend to be very busy so booking their appointment well in advance help you secure their spot for your conference. Once you find a speaker that is perfect match for your conference, get in touch with him quickly and provide him with full details of your event. Make sure you know how much they want to be paid before you confirm a booking too and don’t be afraid to ask them to promote your event socially after they have agreed to make an appearance.

Friday, March 31, 2017

How Can Small Business Owners Deal with Poor Credit

A poor credit score can have a huge impact on your personal finances. In some cases it can restrict you from getting certain types of credit or even stop you from getting credit altogether. For individuals, dealing with a bad credit score can be tricky enough, but if you’re hoping to start a business, having a poor personal credit score can create further obstacles. This isn’t to say that those with a bad credit score should forget the idea of starting their own business. In fact, if you know where to look and who to turn to, there are plenty of financing options designed to help those with a poor credit rating overcome this and successfully launch their business.


Those with a poor credit score often find that they have more issues than most when applying for business funding, as this can often get in the way and prevent lenders from agreeing to provide them with a loan. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur with a poor credit score, it’s probably best to simply bypass the big banks and look into other, alternative methods of obtaining start-up capital instead. Thankfully, there are various different ways in which entrepreneurs can get funding, even if their credit score isn’t the best. For example, crowdfunding or angel investors are quickly becoming some of the most popular alternative methods of funding a start-up.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

How Online Study Can Boost Your Business Skills

People start small business for number of reasons. Perhaps you are skilled in providing a service or in a trade, and would rather do it for yourself than work for a company or you have a passion for a niche and want to sell products relevant to it. Maybe you have a great idea that you think could make a big impact in a certain market, or maybe you have something you do as a hobby like crafting and think you may be able to earn some money out of it. Because there are so many different types of people who go into small businesses these days, the skills that you have starting out may not be traditional business skills. You may be great at what your business actually does, but all that behind the scenes activities such as managing money, HR, marketing and so on may not yet come easily to you. Fortunately, there are number of ways you can pick up better skills online, in whatever areas of business trouble you most.

Online Degrees

Getting a fully fledged online business administration degree with a college like Arizona State University can be one way to really round out your business skills and become a competent entrepreneur. Getting an online business degree allows you to study in your own time, but also gives access to highly skilled tutors who can answer your questions, as well as giving you a very full coverage of all different areas of running a business.