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Bulletin August 2014


Dear customer,

We hope you enjoy our new Bulletin. It provides an update to our customers and prospects on some of our more interesting projects and hopefully inspires you to think about what a redesign of your electronics could achieve.


This month we look at the innovation of the Cirque d'hiver digital waterfall, the in-time delivery of a cost saving solution, and the power of adding an Android app to your product interface.


We hope you find this bulletin of value, but if not you can unsubscribe at any time.


Chris Eiffert Managing Director




We design and supply bespoke electronic solutions globally from our facility in Suffolk. Our designs save you money and improve your products capability and reliability using the latest electronic technology available. /more...




Our services include rapid prototyping, obsolescence & product re-engineering, upgrades, failure analysis or batch-manufacturing including all programming and functional test. /more...




Our customer retention is the best testimonial to our fast, high quality service. We provide all the documentation necessary to support a quality product backed by a 12 month guarantee. /more...

Cirque d’Hiver

The Cirque d'hiver ("Winter Circus") in Paris, has been a prominent venue for circuses, concerts and other events since 1852. As part of their spectacular presentations they wanted to produce a waterfall that could create images in the falling water. In 2013 Circad were retained to develop the electronics controllers to produce these images.

The waterfall contains 288 water valves, each requiring 18 Watts of power to open or shut up to 10 times per second. The controlling PC sends a bitmap graphic at 10 pixel lines per second to the control unit, 100m away, to create the images in the falling water.


The technical challenge was to deal with the large amount of back EMF (ElectroMotive Force) and the constantly changing current draw generated by switching up to 3.5 Kilowatts 10 times a second.


Watch this video showing the first time the waterfall and software were tested together.

DALI Ballast Controller


A DALI (digital addressable lighting interface) ballast controller allows a building management system to automatically control lighting depending on the time of day, ambient light and building occupancy. They are popular for controlling the lighting within bathrooms and corridors of large buildings where a cost saving can be made by not lighting un-occupied rooms.

DALI Ballasts were available for low power LED lighting. However, since only 64 Ballasts can be used on a single network, a lot of ballasts and networks are needed to control LED lighting within a building.


Circad were asked to design a ballast that was capable of driving three 10 Watt LED’s from the same node, meaning that a building could be lit by a single network. Installation of the product was required within 5 weeks from the request.


We created the schematic, laid out the PCB, wrote the firmware, built and fully tested 64 units, and delivered within 5 weeks. As the job was urgent we even attended site to ensure the installation went according to plan.


Android Apps

As hitech becomes commonplace through the growing popularity of smart phones and similar devices, users increasingly expect all the electronic products they use to function with the same level of sophistication.


The user interface on products, designed even a couple of years ago, may not now be providing the functionality or user experience expected.


Circad can help by writing an Android app to change the look and feel of your product. The display will change from a monochrome 320 x 240 pixels into a full colour 7 inch touch screen.


The Android operating system is a well established platform for tablets and mobile phones. We can connect this powerful operating system directly to your electronics, giving your customers a easy and familiar user interface.