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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

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


"The Chip" David Fambrough
Since the beginning of time, man has looked up to the stars and wondered…how can we get there? We did get there, in the summer of 1969 when astronaut Neil Armstrong made one giant leap for mankind. NONE of this would have been possible without the development of both fast and small electronic components that now form the backbone of information and processing technology.

Weird RF Part 3: Communication with Submerged Subs Barry Manz
There is no shortage of stories about bizarre Department of Defense programs, but this one is surely in the top tier. Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) signal propagation (we’re talking 3 to 30Hz) allows signals to pass through the earth and throughout the oceans to depths of several hundred feet, allowing a system at a single location to communicate nearly anywhere on the planet. This made it rather appealing for communicating with submerged submarines and might be able to function in the event of a nuclear strike. The idea was championed not just by the U.S., but by the Soviet Union and India as well. Signals degrade rapidly in the ocean, so when a submarine is submerged, it is less likely to receive communication. The purpose of Elf was to reach deeply submerged subs sufficiently to let them know to surface to receive communications through normal (and better) radio communications.

Lexus Builds Hoverboard Because Hoverboard Erik Smith
People seem to just want to keep toying with my hoverboard-yearning heart. After Funny or Die's almost convincing, but ultimate hoax, and Hendo Hover's exorbitantly priced Kickstarter campaign, Lexus is now in on the hover-game. Earlier today, the luxury car manufacturer released a teaser video, claiming to have created a "real, rideable hoverboard."

5 Tips for Getting Started In Electronics Mike Parks
Electronics is an amazing profession and hobby. The notion that one can harness the forces of nature and bend them to one’s whim is immensely satisfying. With the resurgence of the DIY spirit and the evolution of the Maker Movement, getting started in electronics has never been easier. Embedded open source platforms such as Arduino and BeagleBone provide a fantastic jumping in point for learning electronics and software. I could only have dreamt of the resources we have today when I was first starting out. With that in mind, here are my five tips for getting started in electronics based on what I’ve learned over the last 20 years.

Internet of Stuff Arden Henderson
The big buzzphrase today is The Internet of Things (IoT). Things that connect to the internet. Connected stuff. Lots of stuff. And the products that connect to the internet are rolling out at ever increasing rates. Connected cars, connected homes, connected things in homes, connected houses, connected wearables, connected stores for shopping, connected restaurants for dining, connected roads and bridges, and on and on. Hotel robots. Smart stuff. What stuff will be connected? The better question is what will not be connected. Rocks, for example. Wait, someone will market a rock monitor, connected to the internet by forest wifi. When a rock rolls in a forest, does it make a sound?

Connected Contact Lenses Justin Risedorf
Today, we are a long way from the initial offerings of contact lens technology. Research has taken the industry from small, hard plastic lenses that required a constant flow of lubricating drops (and could pop out when a person blinks), to soft lenses that make it easier for the eye to breathe while being worn.

Space, The Harshest Frontier David Fambrough
What makes for a harsh environment? For a person, that’s an inhospitable set of conditions that can cause bodily harm over a period of time. Space is one of the harshest environments you can imagine for human beings – even without monstrous alien predators. Pressure, or the lack of it, temperature, or the lack of it, high-energy particles, and radiation are just not very human-friendly. It’s a cold, dark place that lacks many of the creature comforts of home – like water and air.

We are Kings, with an Army of Roaches at Our Command Lynnette Reese
I finally, finally learned to knit well. Following a book to learn knitting is nearly impossible. (Bear with me, I will get to the roaches soon, you power-hungry roach-overlord-in-training.) Such things used to be taught from mother to daughter in the far distant past. Now we can learn nearly anything from anybody online. Next time you hear some wonk on TV complaining about how over-stimulated we all are with too much data, just remember that technology offers choices, and we experience small miracles every day through technology. We take technology for granted because we were born into it.

Memristors: The Circle is Now Complete Mike Parks
Charles Duell, the commissioner of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office at the turn of the 20th-century was once misquoted as saying, "Everything that can be invented has been invented." Thanks to an intrepid librarian it was later discovered that Duell actually stated, “In my opinion, all previous advances in the various lines of invention will appear totally insignificant when compared with those which the present century will witness. I almost wish that I might live my life over again to see the wonders which are at the threshold.”

It's a Bird... It’s a Plane... It’s a Drone Justin Risedorf
Drones are becoming big players in the toy sector, especially as toys are no longer just for young children. LEGO bricks have long been a favorite toy of the young and old, and a company called Brickdrones is now offering kits with the parts necessary to build your very own operational drone from LEGOs.

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