Oliver Sedlacek

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Oliver Sedlacek

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  • 01.15.2013
  • S9051 LED downlights ENERGY STAR qualified
  • How much light (in lumens) do you get out of these downlighters? How closely colour matched are they? If one fails, will it's replacement have the same colour temperature? How good is the rendition (CRI)? If manufacturers don't routinely provide this information they will hamper take up
  • 12.07.2012
  • Charge a nickel-cadmium cell reliably and inexpensively
  • Surely no one should be designing for NiCad batteries these days! They contain cadmium, which is horribly toxic and not RoHS compliant. Cordless power tools are the only place that I know of where they are still legal. Using a linear regulator is also a throwback to a profligate mindset. As a consumer, I would be unimpressed to feel my charger getting hot, knowing that it's a waste of my electricity.
  • 11.26.2012
  • How hybrid electric vehicles can pay off
  • In our household we have three petrol cars that have done 113,000 miles, 190,000 miles and 232,000 miles. The last car I got rid of got to 220,000 before it got scrapped, and the drive train was fine. Body corrosion had made it uneconomical to repair when faced with a bill for $800 for supension bush replacement. An HEV wont last longer than a regular car as it isn't the drivetrain that determines end-of-life.
  • 11.26.2012
  • How hybrid electric vehicles can pay off
  • Figure 1 seems to show that an HEV will never be justified on cost grounds when compared with a modern fuel efficient car. A quick office poll shows that people are getting 50+ MPG in real world conditions (in a modern turbo diesel). Even at $10/gallon £6.50/gallon you only pay $2000 for 10,000 miles of fuel.
  • 10.29.2012
  • Electronics engineering and the art of automatic transmission repair (or is it the other way around?)
  • Talk of using a sealed part of the frame as an air reservoir reminds me of the old Lotus Elan of the 1960s. That used part of the frame to hold a vacuum generated by the intake manifold depression, obviously through a one way valve. The pop-up headlight mechanism used the vacuum to lower the lights, with a spring to haul them up. As you might suspect, wear and tear like corrosion of the frame played havoc with this system and led to odd headlight behaviour.
  • 10.18.2012
  • One processor to rule them all?
  • As a working engineer the dominance of ARM can be a blessing. If I suggest it for a new project I rarely much negative feedback as it's a 'safe' solution. The coders don't need to learn anew architecture or toolset and can reuse a lot of code. Choosing which particular device to use can still take a lot of time and effort, but you also know that you will have a migration path. On the downside, there's quite a lot about the ARM architecture that I don't like. Microprocessor architecture seems to have stagnated, with little real innovation apparant. This may just be a reflection on the maturity of the industry and the entrenchment that has occured, but I miss the buzz.
  • 07.26.2012
  • Do I really need more of that?
  • I'm definitely with you on most of these points. I can now afford pretty much any bit of digital equipment I want, but I don't want most of it. Most of it comes with a substantial hidden cost in terms of backup and security, more so if it's wireless. Maybe I should worry that my ebook reader needs antivirus software on it, maybe I shouldn't. Backup is certainly an issue that catches out the novices, and cloud storage is probably the solution for a lot of people. I personally don't entrust important data to the cloud as the security record of a number of big companies has been distinctly disappointing. Interestingly older users pick stronger passwords than younger users, but as I probably have to remember nearly 200 user names, passwords and PINs, they are not unique. Where next for the digital world? Perhaps a user backlash against the 'bigger - cheaper -faster' products in favour of ones that work well is on the cards?