Design Con 2015

Bellhop

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Design Engineer

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Bellhop

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  • 03.25.2014
  • Give me those old-tyme displays
  • I was nuts about those "Electric Eye" tubes that were used for tuning in stations on a radio: http://magiceyetubes.com/pictures.htm
  • 03.25.2014
  • Give me those old-tyme displays
  • The VFDs are becoming obsolete. I had a Rockwell scientific calculator in the 70s that had a low voltage VFD. If you took it into a very dark room, you could see the cathode heaters glowing red.
  • 02.04.2014
  • Pilot and engineer Charles Lindbergh is born, February 4, 1902
  • I'm actually far more fascinated by Lindbergh's involvement with the artificial heart. They didn't get that far with the primitive technology of the day, but it's quite a story. Chances are, if Lindbergh had completed his degree and followed the typical career path of a mechanical engineer, he would have accomplished great things, anonymously. He was a natural.
  • 01.20.2014
  • LEDing it hang out: The downside of higher efficiency
  • When they tried to sell the vacated Hess's department store in downtown Allentown, PA, a serious problem was discovered: It had no heating system! The heat was supplied by the lavish (incandescent) chandeliers and display lighting.
  • 01.07.2014
  • Survival tech - Weathering the winter storm
  • You'll have the inconvenience of standing guard 24/7. The battery disappeared from my unlocked car in the driveway one nice Sunday morning (no power outage) and I live in a small rural town.
  • 12.15.2013
  • A Confession and A Puzzle
  • My parents had an RCA 9x571 (1950) that I grew up with and eventually dismantled. I recently saw an old ad. for the radio. It was $29.99 at a time when the average American was making $3000/yr. That's a lot for a radio that only tuned AM mono! I vote for "burning piece of metal".
  • 09.30.2013
  • Sounds.....in.....(3d)...space...
  • Still, nothing beats more channels - the interior of a sphere covered in speakers. Binaural is great as long as you don't move your head. Hear a sound to your right, turn towards the sound, and the whole world rotates with your head!
  • 09.13.2013
  • Can You Hear the Difference?
  • I've thought of many interesting cable designs with which I could probably make a lot of money, but alas, I'm too honest. Clock jitter does have a measurable effect on audio, but the device at the other end of the cable will be restoring the clock anyway. If you care about it, get a well made, reliable cable and plug it into a quality piece of equipment. Cheap cables give you unreliable operation, nothing else.
  • 08.23.2013
  • EE + music theory = confusion
  • Give the same drawings to ten skilled engineers, ask them to build the device, and you'll get ten identical devices. Give sheet music to ten musicians, ask them to perform it, and you'll get ten different performances. That's the beauty of music!
  • 08.23.2013
  • EE + music theory = confusion
  • I've been designing electronic musical instruments for about 38 years now but, I learned music first, starting at age 8. I started in electronics at age 16. Perhaps it's easier to learn music first. Musicians speak in much more nebulous terms, the imprecision of which gives engineers problems. How do you make a sound less purple and more red? How do you make a song more Friday and less Monday? Engineers who are not musicians have confided in me that certain musicians are just "nuts".