The Handy Reference Mobile App for Electronics Engineers

RS Toolbox – The Handy Reference Mobile App for Electronics Engineers

Launched at the end of last year, RS Toolbox is a brand new mobile device app for iOS based devices that is available completely free and combines electronic reference materials with calculation and conversion tools in an easy-to-use app for electronics design engineers.

By Mike Brojak, Applications Manager, RS Components

Electronics design engineers are forever under increasing time pressures and are always on the lookout for design shortcuts. Therefore online calculation, converters and lookup tables – usually to be found via leading Internet search engines – have become highly popular. Consequently, to meet this demand and in line with the company’s strategy to deliver software tools that are not only free, but also are high performance and highly useful tools that allow engineers to exploit innovation, RS has now launched its first design-support app for mobile devices – the RS Toolbox. An equivalent App, called Allied Toolbox, has also been launched in the US, where the Company operates as Allied Electronics.

Aimed at electronics engineers, hobbyists and students, the new RS Toolbox mobile app is a collection of popular electronic reference materials and calculation and conversion tools that can now be available at their fingertips and in one handy place. RS Toolbox runs on mobile devices that use the iOS operating system, which includes iPads, iPhones and iPoD Touch devices from Apple. In addition, RS is also planning to introduce the App to run on Windows 8 devices. The new app is based upon the ‘Electronic Toolbox Pro’ app, which was developed by Marcus Roskosch, the author of a range of highly successful Apps for engineers. Electronic Toolbox Pro has already enjoyed a high level of acceptance from engineers with in excess of 200,000 downloads.

 

Functionality

RS Toolbox offers a very wide range of functions, which are grouped as icons on the main screen for the app, including a multitude of engineering calculators, converters and lookup tables. As an example, included in the functions are filter frequency calculators, 555 timer configurator, calculators for a variety of voltage regulators and op-amps, or essential tools such as numbering systems converters, Ohm’s Law calculator and lookup tables for battery types and sizes.

Also included are type listings with colour coding for resistors and capacitor including surface-mount types among many other devices or components. Calculator tools in the app include those for calculating values of many electronic circuit devices including inductors, capacitors, resistors and op-amps. In terms of the App’s user interface, a high level of customisation is also available including a choice of 16 different languages.

 

In one place and on the move

The app means the easy availability of popular reference information in one place, ensuring that the exact same tools are available for the future. It is sometimes hard to keep track of which web sources of reference information were used in a project and when. Web links will often go missing or perhaps are no longer available when a project undergoes a new revision several months later for example.

A second important point is accommodating the increasingly peripatetic role for professional engineers. Engineers will often have ideas when they’re not at the workplace, but are on the move or at home, and it is not always the best place and time to pull out the laptop. RS Toolbox empowers engineers to capture design ideas at anytime and anywhere, as the mobile device becomes an ideal way to record moments of sudden inspiration. Ideas can even be grouped into a user-definable project: the app’s project function can be used to store and collect information, calculation results and diagrams from other tools, for example. The app can become an even more valuable tool to engineers working in the field, for example those fixing equipment or a machine on customer premises and need to quickly look up a colour code for cables.

RS Toolbox can be downloaded via https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/rs-toolbox/id747957895?mt=8 or via the RS website at /web/generalDisplay.html?id=RSToolbox