qqrqyscb

WKetel

's profile
image
Engineer

Biography has not been added


WKetel

's contributions
  • 02.22.2012
  • Neil Young: Say No to MP3s
  • What nobody has mentioned yet is that the real reason to make a change is to sell "new and improved" equipment. Yes, poor quality MP3s sound worse than good vinyl, but that is not the reason. The new format will have far more RIAA-mandated anti-copy functions than anything we have seen yet. Just wait, with the new format you can download to your portable player, but you can't copy it to your home player. Let us be realistic: it was never about sound quality, it was about money, both for the recordings and also for the equipment. Neil Young is OK, but listen to Erick Clapton for the very best music.
  • 10.08.2009
  • Keep it simple, stupid, and kiss problems goodbye
  • An interesting tale indeed. No, the op amp would not have provided the full 15 volts output, at least not anywhere near accurately. The problem was that nobody let you know that you were allowed to modify the voltmeter assembly by changing a resistor. The assumption that you had to work around a "defect" instead of fixing it was the error. Usually not knowing enough about a system is the reason that things get made more complicated, and this certainly was one of those times.
  • 02.08.2012
  • What's in your emergency repair kit, besides tools?
  • In addition to an assortment of screws I also carry wire nuts and wire, #14 and #16, stranded, and both black plastic electrical tape and the wider masking tape. A small tube of grease, a few nails, and often cable clamps, the kind that clamp Romex and have a half inch pipe thread, to attach wires to a fixture box. Often times a small bottle of wood glue, or a tube of liquid nails. That stuff can also mend broken plastic drain pipes, and plug holes in a plaster wall, as well as fixing aluminum siding and re-attaching house numbers. Also a spare outlet or two and a three way switch. The Fluke #77 meter comes along in a separate kit, which also includes a screwdriver and pliers, and clip leads and wire nuts.
  • 02.02.2012
  • Stable pulse generator uses matched transistors in a current mirror
  • I concur with the others that the actual value of this circuit is a bit hidden. And how inaccurate are those CMOS gates? The gates that get such criticism? Variable threshold will cause some variation in pulse width for some devices from some makers. The solution is often to make the input pulse have faster rise and fall times. These circuits do represent an interesting set of analysis, though.
  • 01.26.2012
  • Targeting RF key security
  • I can unlock a steering wheel lock with a bolt cutter. The real solution is to just disable the remote unlock function. Leave remote lock working, though. Of course it would be better if the cheapo car makers had left the key locks on the passenger side doors instead of being so cheap. Many times all I want to do is unlock the passenger side door and put things in, I don't want to unlock all doors in some of those areas that I do have to visit on occasion. Of course, disabling the remote unlock function is probably not possible with the way the system is designed now.
  • 01.29.2012
  • What's private anymore?
  • A GPS device on a car may have been installed by a "trespasser", but the person was caught in the act of crimes, so clearly there was adequate cause for suspicion. What are the supreme court guys hiding about their activities? Bugging a car would be invasion of privacy, but the GPS just did the same thing that following the car would have done, just a whole lot cheaper and safer. What about the times one is followed by the police just waiting for one to make a traffic mistake? Of course, when I really want true privacy I go in the house and draw the blinds. PLus I turn off the cell phone.
  • 02.01.2012
  • What's a good "real engineer" question?
  • In one job interview the interviewer sketched the symbol for a 4-way 2 position valve and asked if I understood what it was. I was able to explain in more detail than he had been expecting. Not bad for an EE? My goal has been to learn a lot about everything related to the work that I do, which has been valuable over the years. I have not figured out the answer about the cream and coffee, but any explanation would be interesting.
  • 02.02.2012
  • Parallel resonance
  • Damping factor and "Q" seem to be reciprocally related. The higher the "Q" the less energy is lost, which in control systems can mean overshoot and even oscillation. While a filter with very high "Q" will be quite selective, it is also likely to ring, since it does not lose energy quickly. While it is possible to have both high "Q" and adequate damping, it is certainly not simple.
  • 01.20.2012
  • What were they thinking: Patent Crazy in LEDs
  • Perhaps it is indeed filings in multiple countries, but I see that perhaps it was just a fabrication intended to raise stock prices and also to intimidate the competition. How's that for a polite interpretation?
  • 01.24.2012
  • The elephant in the corner
  • My observation has been that sales or marketing will promise anything to get the order, and then engineering and production are blamed when delivery does not happen as promised. This was in the industrial equipment realm, not chip design. Once, a salesman with integrity told us that he would really like the order, but he could not make that delivery. He told us what he could make. Another company claimed no problem with the delivery date, and then wound up being several days later than the supplier that we did not go with. Worse yet, the transducers cost more and were not quite as good. Their catalog got a big red "DO NOT USE" note at that point. I seldom forget a betrayal, and I do take it personally.