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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

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


USB 3.1 Type-C: Making the Connection! Rudy Ramos
It’s not often in electronics that improvements are made to both the hardware and software of an existing technology. In most cases, revisions to the software outpace the evolution of the hardware. Apparently, USB 3.1 is an exception.

Arduino: 3 Powerful, Yet Overlooked Uses Daniel Hankewycz
Most engineers cringe when they see an Arduino in my toolbox. Their reaction is partly due to the fact that Arduino is often viewed as being too easy to use or just not feasible. For the most part, they are correct, but that's not what I'm here to debate about. What these people don't realize is the powerful “shape shifting” tool that this low cost development board is. Here are three commonly overlooked uses for an Arduino:

A Day at the Beach – on 10 Meters Barry Manz
If you’re a ham and haven’t been active for a while, I have the just the ticket: Get involved with someone who just got the bug (no pun intended), and is ecstatic about making his or her first contacts. I speak from experience here.

Internet of Things: Fad or Future? Mike Parks
A lot of talk in the tech world lately has centered on an idea called “The Internet of Things”. What is “IoT”, as it is commonly abbreviated? Is it just the latest in a laundry list of tech buzzwords? Or is it something that is really going to change our lives?

Timing is Everything Even for Yes and No Questions Caroline Storm Westenhover
One of the things that comes with studying electrical engineering is that people assume you know the answers to all kinds of questions. Some are good questions even if they are incompletely worded, like: “How much work does it take to move a kilogram?” It took some discussion but at the end he understood physics a bit better.

Stupid Questions Lynnette Reese
Every now and then our little group of engineers gets into philosophical arguments that go off into the weeds of extreme detail. A Dilbert comic catches this perfectly when a group of engineers argues about how to share two pizzas in a meeting. In our case, it started when I wanted to know the difference between an Instrumentation Amplifier (in-amp) and a Precision Amplifier. I know that an in-amp is a precision amp, but there must be something more if you have to rename it.

Plug and Play: Not So! Rudy Ramos
Have you ever tried to set up a home wireless network? Was it easy? You’ve probably heard of Plug-and-Play (PnP). Does PnP work for you every time? During the recent holiday I had to vacate my home office to turn it into a temporary guest room. I left my cable modem and wireless router in the room but I had to move my printer (not wireless) and my desktop PC to my bedroom.

On Becoming a Maker Dad: Tinkering with a 9-year old & LED Strips Nathan Christiansen
“Dad, what’s a circuit?” Coming from my nine-year old daughter every question is perilous, but this one was precious because it touches something I love, and even more rare it is a question I can answer. My talking about circuits quickly turned into showing about circuits; in a few minutes we were digging through the electrics bin in the garage for parts. We found some three-color LED strips (leftover from a previous Mouser purchase) and away we ran.

See the History of RF Engineering in this Large Old Magazine Archive Barry Manz
On Oct. 31, 2013, Broadcast Engineering, a publication I’ve been reading for 20 years, closed its doors. The company chose to throw in the towel rather than retreating to “digital only”, typically the last gasp before the grave. I learned this not from the company itself but from my colleague Lynnette Reese who sent me a link to back issues (of which there are 340) on a site her Ham dad found: americanradiohistory.com. She blogged about it too, but I had to take a description of this site a step further, as it is absolutely every bit the “gem” she described. It’s also hardly a secret as Alexa ranks it 147,429 in the U.S., placing it above most trade journal sites, but it was a revelation to me.

You’ve Got Mail: Branching Out Beyond The Arduino, Part 2 Mike Parks
We’re going to jump right in with this blog post. If you haven’t done so already I highly encourage you to read this article about an automated mailbox delivery project I recently completed. Also check out the first blog post in this series that discussed some key lessons learned, including the importance of reading the manual and some thoughts on open source software

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