James Bryant was European Applications Manager for Analog Devices for over a quarter of a century, and is a well-known lecturer on analog electronics. He is the author of many articles, papers and application notes on analog electronics, of many of Analog Devices'Technical Seminars, and of about a third of their monthly"Rarely Asked Questions"columns.
Despite his retirement he still lectures frequently on analog electronics, hypnotism and radio, and is experienced in lecturing in English to audiences whose native language is not English. His website may be found at www.jbryant.eu/home-eng.htm
His interests include Amateur Radio (callsign G4CLF), Cooking, Electronics, Hypnotism, Literature (especially Science Fiction), Music, Philosophy, Scuba Diving, Sailing and Travel.
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- Simple 3.3V power backup supply: ADI Power by Linear Design Note
- Electrolytic capacitors are inexpensive, but very cheap ones are unreliable. And in this application a failed capacitor may not be detected until the circuit is needed - when it is too late! While I appreciate that you use the description "low cost electrolytic capacitor" to differentiate the energy storage from much more expensive batteries or supercapacitors I do suggest that you should emphasise that the electrolytic capacitor chosen should be a high reliability one rather than the cheapest available.
- Dead meters expose battery terminal design issues
- No comments on the battery corrosion issue, but I would suggest that while every lab needs a good DVM, it also needs a handful of cheap DVMs. The basic Chinese 830B can be had for as little as $3 post free from China on eBay and it does what it's advertised to do. 2½ digit resolution (but only 5% accuracy) and not extremely reliable. But at that price it's a disposable. I give 'em away in handsful to folks who should own some sort of meter but don't. http://jbryant.eu/pages/DMM.htm
- Magnetic sensor stabilizes drone designs
- This is a very useful product, but it is irresponsible to announce a product as "available" if the announcement states that the data sheet is not yet available - how can we use it if we don't know how to connect it, nor how it will behave if we do?
- Proprietary AC/DC adapters: Good idea or nasty trick?
- Sleazy marketing trick. Particularly sleazy in that if your PSU fails in the field it is impossible to jury-rig a repair.
- Bender senses shocks
- I live beside the sea. Even high-priced "salt-water resistant" doorbell pushes last for less than a year before failing, so I have a large brass knocker on my front door. But we cannot hear it throughout the house - so I have one of these piezo-ceramic discs cemented to the inside of the door behind the knocker, and a cheap, non-waterproof, radio doorbell transmitter is triggered by it. No corrosion and it's been working for several years.
- Marketers talk funnier than ever
- Nah! Helium just makes you squeaky - they're gormless. It's probably nitrous oxide (laughing gas).
- The speed of thought
- If an ignorant Brit is not mistaken it is 60' from the pitcher to the catcher. If the ball travels this in 0.2 seconds it is moving at 300 fps or approximately 205 mph. According to Wikipedia the record (held by Aroldis Chapman) is actually 105 mph, so since few pitchers make that speed the time is actually more likely to be in the range 0.5-0.7 seconds.
- A glimpse of the future of IoT sensors
- It appears that the dominant mechanisms limiting the life of Li-Ion rechargeable batteries occur mainly in cells which are more than 75% or less than 25% charged. If charging is limited to a lower voltage and cells are not permitted to discharge below 25% lifetimes may be tens or hundreds of times greater. The price is, of course, much lower effective capacity from a given cell. I am building a power system for a remote weather station on these principles and in a decade or so will try to remember to report on the current state of my battery.
- Engineering education: "What have you built?"
- When interviewing for engineering jobs at Analog Devices I always asked candidates "What have you used your engineering skills to make for yourself recently - not necessarily a large complex project but useful gadgets?" People who replied that out of working hours they wanted to relax and forget engineering were definitely less likely to make the final list. When I mention this at conferences my industrial colleagues agree but academics too often claim to be outraged by such a policy. It is nice to see an academic who believes in the Engineering Mindset.
- 10 predictions for the next 60 years in power electronics
- What we need is a space-warp that stops all passing neutrinos and converts them to electricity.