RoadTest: TI LDC1000 Evaluation Module
Evaluation Type: Evaluation Boards
Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True
What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?:
What were the biggest problems encountered?:
Texas Instruments' LDC1000 Inductive Sensing evaluation board is a great unit. The foresight to include perforations and solder points between the primary components gives this utility far beyond evaluation. The perforated board can be snapped apart and wire connectors to be inserted between, allowing you to move the coil out to where you need it to sense, and letting you connect the LDC1000 device to the mcu in your own project via spi.
As I could have expected from reading the datasheet (http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/1744669.pdf) this USB connected device was not recognized by my Windows 8 machine. I had to dig up another machine with Windows 7 that recognized the device and linked up to the LDC1000 EVM GUI. Once connected, though, the software package is really useful for determining the the effectiveness of this device for your own project.
The LDC1000 device really performed impressively with steady readings between very small changes in proximity of metal to the coil. One minor issue I had with the board itself, though, is that for a board that invites sensing metal objects at very close ranges, it should have some coating on the board to prevent shorting critical components in a way that will burn out instantly. That seems to be what I did to one of the boards that I received. It worked great for a few minutes while I was sensing a metal ruler. Then after getting too close and touching the board near the coil, the device stopped sending data and got finger burning hot. That was completely my fault. Had I taken the time to use the well designed plastic device that they had shipped with the unit to precisely exercise the unit, I would not have burned out the first one.
All in all, this is a great unit for both the professional to precisely determine the usefulness of the device for their job, and for the hobbyist to be able to integrate this difficult to handle surface mount part into their project.