Power Points

- December 11, 2012

Power Points looks at perspectives and issues related to power sourcing, distribution, consumption, and dissipation, ranging from microwatts to megawatts, and DC to kHz. We'll discuss supply design, topology, system architectures, test, protection, use, and even abuse with an emphasis on points which are relevant, interesting, and thought-provoking to the design engineer.

Bill Schweber is a degreed EE who has designed, used, and burned out his share of supplies including LDOs and switchers, and spanning low- and high-power units. Besides power issues, he is interested in analog design, signal integrity, real world I/O, the history of science and engineering, and the satisfaction of problem solving constrained by design tradeoffs.


"Digital" sundial: ancient clock gets clever upgrade

  • 08.23.2016

Even this oldest of time-indicating instruments can be upgraded to "digital," but in a very non-obvious, non-electronic way. Read More...


Electric plane design offers insight into design constraints

  • 08.08.2016

An aircraft with electric motors offers insight into design constraints but also invites new options. Read More...


Will tying tuition payments to graduate earnings discourage STEM?

  • 07.19.2016

Tying tuition repayment to income of graduates may be a good idea, but it may also be another case of taking advantage of engineers/scientists and their hard course of study. Read More...


Paralleling supplies: good, bad, or ugly?

  • 05.31.2016

If you need more current than a single supply can provide, using several in parallel is an easy solution in some cases – but definitely not in others. Read More...


Megavolt/kiloamp tests reveal extreme engineering challenges

  • 04.25.2016

The world of extremely high voltages and current is not a linear extension of the lower-level regime, but instead requires a radically different way of thinking, working, and testing. Read More...


When what’s old is new again, with a twist

  • 03.24.2016

Sometimes re-invented versions of classic products can offer fun, features, and insight into what made a classic what it became. Read More...


Wall wart + battery = small UPS: Good idea or not?

  • 03.07.2016

Adding a small circuit to a standard AC/DC converter will result in a low-capacity uninterruptible power system, which may prove useful – or perhaps not. Read More...


Electric motors, pneumatics combine for amazing robotics

  • 02.25.2016

The availability of smart, high-precision electric motors is giving robotics an added impetus, especially at the lower end. Read More...

High-performance, low-cost products: good for consumers, bad for engineers?

  • 02.19.2016

Making advanced products with outstanding performance and price is almost routine for engineers and our industry, but it has the unintended consequence of making the public think it is easy and engineers are accomplishing "nothing special." Read More...


2016 resolutions: Not what you'd expect

  • 02.10.2016

I've decided to be much more selective in who and what I pay attention to in 2016. Read More...


Loading comments...

Write a Comment

To comment please Log In