The Practicing Instrumentation Engineer

- May 30, 2012

The "Practicing Instrumentation Engineer" covers topics that come up in the daily working lives of engineers who work on instrumentation products. These can include sensors, hardware design, embedded systems and firmware - all the way to PC side applications.

Steve Hageman is Principle Engineer at and provides custom design services for RF/analog and embedded electronic products.


Coming soon to a PCB near you...

  • 04.15.2014

Where the opportunity lies in PCB tools as in all applications is integrating more and more of the design workflow into the primary PCB tool.Read More...


Beware of the square root

  • 03.14.2014

If Mr. Murphy of "Murphy's Law" fame had been a mathematician he would have had a warning something along the lines of: "Beware of Square Root of 2 errors."Read More...


GNU Octave hits a high note

  • 02.07.2014

The GNU design software tends to be somewhat usable but unpolished in many cases, and the same could be said about the many MATLAB-like GNU options. Until now.Read More...


DSOs and noise

  • 01.23.2014

With a little work you can indeed use a DSO to measure the spectral density of noise. Just be aware of what the DSO is doing behind your back or better yet do your own FFT on the DSO's raw time domain data.Read More...


Lab equipment: To build or not to build...

  • 12.05.2013

Way back in the 1970s when we needed some quick and dirty tester in the lab we would hand build the circuit on some double-sided copper clad PCB of the appropriate size, go to the shop, get some more copper clad PCB material, shear it into strips and solder it all together to make a box. Instant instrument!Read More...


Long-lived (design) software

  • 11.12.2013

Way back in the last century my first PC was an Apple ][. The single product that I have used since then, in the same form, but just updated for different operating systems, could be considered a "Spreadsheet for Engineers."Read More...


Simple circuits reduce regulator noise floor

  • 10.15.2013

While you may be stuck with the regulator noise in a system, that doesn't mean that your circuit's performance has to suffer. One of the transistorized circuits described here may make a marginally performing system into one that exceeds expectations simply with the addition of a few parts. Read More...


Shields are your friend, except when... (Part 3)

  • 09.04.2013

In the last two columns we have looked at the possible side effects of adding a shield to our PCBs and a few possible solutions using absorbing materials. So what else can go wrong, you might ask? Read More...


Shields are your friend, except when... (Part 2)

  • 08.02.2013

Last month we looked at one issue of using conductive shields in our high-frequency circuits and showed that they can and do resonate at frequencies. This month we look at some solutions. Read More...


Shields are your friend, except when...

  • 07.08.2013

Engineers just love to put shields on circuits, mostly as a defensive measure against signals on the outside getting in, but also to keep signals inside from getting out, which really makes the EMI compliance folks happy. So what could go wrong?Read More...


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