VisSim News - September 2013


VisSim Diagram of the Month

With all the long sunny days of August, it only makes sense to look at the IV curve of a solar panel. It turns out that solar panels are great big diodes that happen to generate electricity. When you get close to reverse biasing them, the current falls off precipitously. This nonlinear knee in the current vs voltage gives rise to an interesting property of solar panels. The voltage at which maximum power (I*V) can be extracted varies with the amount of generated current or light falling on the panel. This is shown in the attached diagram.

VisSim Diagrams Available for TI Launchpad

A VisSim diagram suite and accompanying power point slide deck is now available for programming the $17 TI Launchpad. These diagrams now come standard with VisSim/Embedded Control Developer as downloaded from the VisSim web site. They come annotated with schematics and detailed directions for compiling, downloading and any hardware jumpering or switch settings required. In addition to ADC, GPIO, comparators, interrupts, PWM and I2C, the board also has a UART transceiver connected to the USB interface that enables a virtual COM port on the PC.

VisSim at North Dakota State

Dr. Jacob Glower of North Dakota State has been using VisSim an an important teaching aid for his controls courses for years. With enrollment of about 80 students per year, VisSim is used to validate the designs of feedback controls systems developed throughout the semester. At the start of the semester, students are given a copy of VisSim for use during the semester. The first lab and homework serve to get the students familiar with using this software as well as some of the features, such as being able to adjust a gain on-the-fly and see the effect on the response.

Visual Solutions Embedded Consulting Services

While VisSim helps greatly with embedded development, we know that it still takes good knowledge of the MCU target components to get the best performance.In the process of creating the worlds fastest and most complete automatic code generator for TI MCUs, we have learned how the on-chip components work and fit together.If you want to jump start a new project or get a current project back on track, our consulting team is happy to help.

Meet Matt Biron - coder extraordinare

Matt is one of the coding wizards behind VisSim. He is currently working on VisSim peripheral support for the Texas Instruments ARM Cortex M3. Where you see a USB port, say, on a phone charger or in a computer, Matt Biron sees a puzzle.

Featured Add-on

Featured Add-on Our featured add-on for August is VisSim/Serial. This add-on allows you to read and write RS-232 data into the serial port of your PC. You can also query the serial queue to see how many characters have been received. Additionally, string patterns can be used to synchronize and decode an incoming protocol. VisSim string constants and variable can be used along with C-like char constants and hex values to easily write any combination of characters


Sam was new to VisSim and wanted to plot a nice, unit amplitude sin wave as a starter exercise. But all he got was a slowly increasing spray of noise at ~10e-13 in amplitude. Not a sin to be seen anywhere. What did Sam do?

Free puzzler T-shirts will be awarded to the first 3 correct answers we receive. Send your answer to