Thinking_J

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Design products for many industries


Thinking_J

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  • 08.06.2015
  • PCB Layout: Design in-house, or outsource?
  • "Might expect a touch of bias"... yea, I see a touch. But like most efforts at simplifying complex subjects .. numerous critical issues can be overlooked or weighted poorly. Do those poor souls/managers looking for simplified answers - really know how to answer all of these questions? (6 - D .. what is IPC? 40 points!)
  • 04.21.2011
  • Floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee
  • First level of testing a new product/design, carries a LOT of variables. No getting around it. Minimizing variables (by using proven to be trustworthy bench tools) is very helpful. Allows us to "assume" what we are testing is limited to the UUT. But sometimes we let seeming "safe" changes, creep in to our trusted environment. Good catch!
  • 04.21.2011
  • Floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee
  • Parreco... Transient protection in I/O pins .. sure! Transient protection on power pins of IC, capable of handling this situation .. generally - not a practical idea. Reason: level of power involved. To provide meaningful/useful protection on power would require a LARGE amount of real estate on the DIE. Better to protect EVERYTHING on the power rail ... and that involves more variables than can be known by the IC manufacturer.
  • 07.06.2015
  • World’s smallest computer can fit on the edge of a nickel
  • Upon further thought.. Why would CBS news assume this device could allow tracking of ones possessions? I would think that CBS personnel would ASK those knowledgeable on the subject before making such statements. (or are we getting lazy about correcting the public's understanding of technology?) We should make sure the public understands that having close range radio communications doesn't equal GPS capable or having "location awareness". Or assume GPS has enough accuracy to be useful enough to find things in a room. (do you really have a map of the INSIDE of your home on your GPS? You really want to inform / update your GPS maps when you change the position of your lazy boy chair?) Or GPS that can reliably work indoors! If a simple radio tracking for pointing direction and distance to a object is useful (a very questionable assumption) ... attaching any semiconductor junction (diode/transistor) to the object is the only requirement. This is EDN ... right? This info was intended for Engineers... .right? Or am I completely mistaken (again)
  • 07.06.2015
  • World’s smallest computer can fit on the edge of a nickel
  • typos... "1966 film Fantastic Voyage" (spelling and date wrong)... eh... minor irritation within audience of engineers (yea, we can be a bit like the group on "Big Bang theory") .....Monitoring human body processes.... Q: If the device is powered by ambient light .. how does it obtain power in the human body? The assumption being made , most of the valued monitoring locations within the body would be not be near the skin (surface). EKG?.. not much value in this example, it doesn't require penetration of the skin to do this now. Still , kinda cool.....
  • 12.20.2012
  • Out-of-spec problem with a long tail
  • A very good story... illustrating several aspects of engineering - and problem solving- we are faced with. Well done! recap: - Specs rarely tell the whole story on a part. (Today it is apparent with errata sheets!) - "there is more than one way to skin a cat" (gross but accurate) - We are rarely given ALL the variables... but as engineers are expected to provide solutions without error. Ah.. the grey areas of "life"... (when is a product "over engineered?")
  • 04.29.2015
  • "Old-school" tech still does the trick
  • "...not considered legal documents"..... Blanket statements about legal matters is asking for trouble... see: https://www.netcredit.com/blog/are-faxed-legal-documents-legal/ Sorta like: legally taping phone conversations, burial laws, etc.. the answers "depend".
  • 02.16.2015
  • Simple SSR has zero-cross on/off switching
  • Need to watch the details on the circuit's load... I ran across a 3 phase contactor (Big relay) with embedded controls for reducing it's holding current...(nice idea). The leakage from snubber (R2 100 ohm/ C1 0.1uf cap) across the output of the smaller drive relay was enough to keep the Load relay closed (on) when everything else was off/removed... I wasn't expecting that.. Had to remove the snubber for the circuit to work correctly.
  • 01.10.2015
  • EDN at CES 2015: No news, just an inside look at the electronics---The Zano drone
  • This product appears to be marketed as a device intended for personal use .. not professional/Commercial use. Which would make the (hoped for) legislation/FAA rulings.. .moot. It will be interesting to see how well they resolve their manufacturing / volume production issues through their Kick starter funds.... and what the final pricing will be. The latest available pricing you can get from their campaign is 318 Sterling ($481 US). BTW .. the Lantronix xPico Wi-Fi module shown dimensions... are the width and thickness only. They are 24 to 30 mm in length, depending on the version. A significantly larger area than implied.
  • 12.16.2014
  • The myth called "ground"
  • Electrons... they don't have any illusions to over come when addressing their physics. People .. it's another story. Cop: " Do you know how fast you were going?" Response: "Relative to what?" (the sun?, the center of the universe?, the other people in the car? in which axis?) "Don't play dumb with me.. " (I thought I was doing the opposite of that...) Oddly enough, when explaining grounding issues (loops) to installation techs.. I often get an emotional response very similar to the cop's response! The Cop? .. mmm....OK. To be expected. The tech?... it IS relevant to doing their job correctly! Why so many fall back to galvanic isolation (additional expense) when often it isn't required. Too time consuming to convince others to think.