Andy_I

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Andy_I

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  • 06.02.2017
  • Limitless gain
  • Mike Engelhardt's LTspice seminars are not meant to win over new converts. He doesn't lead his audience through it as if they never used it before, for people who signed up for a seminar about a tool they don't use. His seminars are mainly for existing LTspice users who want to learn more about the advanced features, ask him questions, etc. Every program has a learning curve and a new "feel" that doesn't seem familiar. I found LTspice's user interface annoying sometimes, but easy enough to learn. I'm guessing that the main thing that confounds you, is how to rotate components. That is where LTspice differs the most from what I'd expect. For me, just about everything else should be intuitive.
  • 06.02.2017
  • Limitless gain
  • I'd have to disagree with you about the "stability is guaranteed" statement. It isn't. Some feedback is always there, through capacitive coupling, inductive coupling, the power supply, even through the common "ground". At some point with enough gain and depending on the layout and bypassing, it becomes unstable. You just didn't hit that point. That's one reason why TRF receivers can run into trouble -- too much gain with no change in frequency. Superhets avoid that, by shifting the frequency between input and output.
  • 07.27.2016
  • With little fanfare, EDN covers Microsoft Windows
  • I don't remember what month it was, but we bough Windows version 1 from Microsoft for far less than $500. Yeah, it was pretty useless. But it satisfied our curiosity. We had no mouse yet, and no hard drive. I still have the box and floppies around here somewhere.
  • 01.18.2013
  • What were they thinking: A crazy patent makes money
  • Peanut butter on both sides is something I had been doing decades ago. I didn't think it was so unusual. It helps keep the jelly from bleeding through the bread, useful for sandwiches made at breakfast time but not eaten until later in the day. Cutting off the crust, well that wasn't something I used to do (for sandwiches I ate) because I liked some crust. But I did trim the crust for others. So here we have a patent that combines two (or more) practices that have been around for ages. Is that what makes it new, the idea of combining things into the same sandwich? Did the patent elaborate on whether it was white or wheat bread? Hmmm.
  • 07.12.2012
  • Engineering disasters
  • I just came across this EE Life article, so here is my entry. Years ago, my parents went on a vacation and made good friends with a gentleman by the name of Dick Mendenhall. Dr. Mendenhall was a giant in the early years of vacuum tubes (valves) at Bell Labs, and he had the scars to prove it. He had lived through at least one accident involving high voltages and metal lab floors. He was missing toes on both feet, and the feet themselves were deformed, as a result of those accidents. Some of you might remember the very powerful AM radio stations across the border in Mexico. Dr. Mendenhall designed the power tubes that ended up in some of those 500 kilowatt radio transmitters, back in the 1930s. They were big, 8 foot long vacuum tubes, with non-thoriated filaments that dissipated over 15KW of filament power alone, per tube. Dr. Mendenhall's daughter or granddaughter ran Jim Henson's Muppet Lab. FYI.
  • 10.31.2012
  • "Arrgghh," said I…
  • This wasn't in a work situation, but the following just happened to me two weeks ago. I have my Gmail account set up to automatically import email messages from another personal email account that I have. For the last few years this regular import of new messages has been running just fine. Then all of a sudden the database must have gotten messed up, because Gmail started re-importing old email messages from the other account, all over again. Tens of thousands of them. As this begins, I see a message show up in my Gmail Inbox, asking me a question. I failed to notice that the message was dated October 2010. It seemed kind of odd, and vaguely familiar, but I replied to it anyway. Fortunately for me, I was saved the embarrassment by the fact that the originator's email address had changed since 2010, so my reply to him bounced. It was then that I noticed the time-warp!
  • 07.18.2012
  • Yum Yum – canned uranium ore!
  • I've got a chunk of uranium ore around here somewhere. It was a mineral sample, stuck to a small card, which they used to sell. I remember getting it as a boy, but I don't remember where. Do they still sell mineral samples like that? Mine was about an inch across. I never had it tested. My son was going to try it out in his science lab, but I think he lost the nerve (in case he was discovered carrying uranium ore in his pocket).