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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk


Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics

Of EPROMs and Erasers Jim Yastic
Have you ever felt elation when your design finally worked, followed by horror the next morning because it had morphed into a brick? This happened to me. No response to commands on the user interface and no indication of what caused it to die. Intermittent design “seizures” were my most feared failure mode. Or what about an intermittent failure that is actually caused by a chain of two or more design flaws in the system? Here’s my story; a snapshot of embedded development and valuable lessons a young engineer (me) learned the hard way.

Harsh Environments: Governed by Murphy's Law Arden Henderson
What is a harsh environment? It might be a holiday dinner with the polar-opposite-political relatives, especially if later trapped in the living room by a crackling fireplace with the distant uncle who sends four chain emails a day. But, today we're talking about harsh environments for electronics. Electronics Hell.

Droning On: Four Ways Drones are Being Used Today Mirko Bernacchi
You’ve spotted them flying at the park, you’ve seen the amazing aerial videos they can take. Drones, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), are no longer just a military phenomenon but have entered the civilian fray. But while you’ll often see drones being flown just for fun, these days they’re being put to work in useful and increasingly surprising ways.

Is There a Pokémon in My Eye? Benjamin Miller
Pokémon Go is a new smartphone game by Niantic which uses augmented reality (AR) to allow players to find and “catch” the popular fictional species Pokémon. Using the phone’s camera and gyroscope, Pokémon appear as if they are in the real world. The concept of augmented reality is far from new, but Pokémon Go is introducing many people around the world to the possibilities of AR. Pokémon Go, with its smartphone integration and franchise appeal, has found the intersection between ease-of-access and mass interest, bringing millions of people into contact with AR for the first time. In a few years, people might be augmenting their reality without having to look down at their phone.

The Internet of Things - In Spaaaaaaace! Bill Giovino
When I think of the International Space Station (ISS), I think of smiling astronauts giving TV interviews while floating weightless in some sort of tube. Meanwhile, the rest of us wonder "what exactly are they doing up there"? Well, it should come as no surprise to you that the Internet of Things (IoT) has finally reached space.

Electronics’ Wizardry: An Arduino Compatible Human-Machine Interface To Win Friends And Impress People Mike Parks
Makers and engineers now have a ridiculously easy way to add a high quality touchscreen display to the Arduino UNO without a lot of fuss. It’s called the CleO35 and seems ideal for projects that need a simple yet elegant Human-Machine Interface (HMI). That’s nerd speak for the barrier between the human user and the digital device. The CleO35 was first introduced on Indiegogo, a crowdfunding site, by FTDI Chip.

Feeling Blue? Human Health in Light of LED Streetlights Paul Golata
White LEDs used in street lighting may consist of packaged combinations of Red, Green, and Blue LEDs, but more often than not employ blue LEDs, which are built generally from indium gallium nitride (InGaN) and have a yttrium-aluminum-garnet (YAG) (Y3Al5O12) phosphor coating placed on their emitter or emitter’s optic. From the base color of blue light, white light can be realized and utilized for white LED streetlights. But does this blue light found in LED streetlights make humans experience any negative impacts?

Haptic Touch – Valuable Feedback or Just a Cheap Buzz? Mirko Bernacchi
Touch technologies have been with us for decades but our experience with them has not always been positive. Often, we’re not sure if the devices we touch have noticed! Even when there’s some visual or audible indication that they’ve registered our intentions, the outcome isn’t always as we expect – false triggering, contact bounce and other interference effects come into play.

Making Art with Engineering Benjamin Miller
This past semester I took an embedded systems course where my lab partner and I had to design a video game system, from the game software to the controls. When we were finished, the breadboard we were working with was an absolute mess. I was perfectly happy with it simply working. My partner, however, insisted that we clean it up and 3D print an enclosure for it, like a true video game.

Starting out: Essential Electronics Tools, Part II: Oscilloscopes, Function Generators and Logic Analyzers Mike Parks
In the previous blog about essential tools for electronics, I mentioned some of the more basic items. As you do more advanced electronics, and sometimes to better understand the basics, you would do well to have the following tools. They are not really needed for building basic circuits and playing around with Arduino projects and the like, but as you start to expand into more complex technologies, you will find these tools extremely helpful...

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