Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk


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

Rock You Like a Hurricane: Why Diversity Matters in STEM Mike Parks
Have you ever noticed that there isn't one fixed hurricane prediction model? Those “cones of error” represent that wide array of assumed courses from many different hurricane models. Each of those models comes with different parameters, algorithms, and input data that leads to different outputs. No model is ever 100% right, but when you discount outliers and find trends among the remaining model, you can get a good enough idea to start making some rational decisions.

Save Time with Mouser’s BOM Tool Justin Risedorf
Time is a bizarre thing. We’re always trying to find time, pass time, waste time, etc., etc. So, in respect of your time, Mouser has created a couple cool features to help you save time. Of course, you’re always welcome to spend as much time on as you want to, but we also understand if what you’re after is that sweet feeling of accomplishment you get after checking something off your to-do list, we’d like to help you get there faster. Speaking of lists, anyone who has a list of parts can save a lot of time using Mouser’s BOM Tool.

Bi-curious? Which Direction to Take when Dealing with a TVS Lynnette Reese
Should my TVS be “unidirectional” or “bidirectional”? I had forgotten. Had someone asked me to guess, I would’ve thought it meant that you should apply bidirectional TVS whenever you know the voltage will go above and below ground. This is sort of right, and definitely applies to protecting circuits that experience AC voltage. But “sort of right” isn’t something I am willing to live with, so I checked it out.

Home Automation Adventures Part II: The Home Automation Attack Surface: Miles Wide and Wafer Thin Arden Henderson
Bob and Alice Smarts are very excited about their new home automation system. It is the very latest in the latest Information Technology consumer space, incorporating all of the Smarts' smart devices, tying everything together. They can adjust their thermostat from far away. They can view the security system's cams to check on the pets. The baby monitor comes in handy to check on Baby Smart, the newest of the Smart kids. The refrigerator keeps track of inventory and sends reminders. Their smoke detectors and home security system now work together, ready to notify at a moment's notice. All via smart phone. And on and on.

Wearable Devices Enable Portable Medical Device Magic Warren Miller
A new generation of portable medical devices is on the way with capabilities that could dramatically change the way diagnostic and treatment is done outside the hospital setting. In fact, when portable medical devices have access to recent health and wellness information, like that available from wearable devices, it becomes practical to provide a wide variety of treatments in the home instead of in the hospital or with a doctor visit. Now, I’m not talking, at least not yet, about do-it-yourself brain surgery, but there are a wide variety of medical devices that can help us respond to emergency situations to save lives. Let’s see just how close to do-it-yourself brain surgery we can come.

Girls and Engineering: They’re Interested, but Their Parents… Barry Manz
If you’re wondering why there are so few female engineers, you don’t have to look far for answer: Ask mom and dad. That was one of the takeaways from a study conducted by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) in the U.K as part of its Engineering a Better World campaign, and reported in the IET’s Engineering and Technology magazine on March 30. The IET’s research focused on parental perceptions and their relevance to the low percentage of the UK’s female engineers (6%) and 4% of its technicians.

MultiSIM BLUE and the Homebrewed Circuit Board Mike Parks
It’s a great time to be an electronics engineer and an even better time to be a weekend warrior tinkerer. The line between these two worlds is rapidly evaporating as the tools that enable circuit design plummet in cost and skyrocket in capability. The most important thing that a product can do for us is to streamline our workflow while still delivering high quality results.

Work Smarter with Mouser Tools: Project and Cart Sharing Justin Risedorf
Sometimes, sharing is hard. Second graders know it and so do we. That’s why we’ve created Project and Cart Sharing, which are two new features that enable you to collaborate with others more efficiently. When you’re shopping on, you can either add items to your Project Manager or add them directly to your Cart. Though both platforms store the items you need, each serves its own purpose.

Development Kits Evolve to Include Fewer Instructions Lynnette Reese
Development kits (dev kits) save time because they are a ready-made circuit/platform. The purpose of a dev kit is so you can run experiments on it. It’s much cheaper to burn up a dev kit than an original design. A dev kit usually comes as a box with manuals, one or more PCBs, and maybe some cables, a power supply, and software or links to software, and they are perfect for getting a next look past the data sheet. There are dev kits for all kinds of parts from fiber optics to complete design-your-own car remote key fobs. Most processor/CPU/MCU-focused dev kits are complete in that they can be used right out of the box, and maybe you do a little programming to customize things.

Home Automation Adventures Part I: When (Internet) Things Go Bump in the Night Arden Henderson
For Bob and Alice Smarts (not their real names) and their kids, such a world was not only hard to imagine, it was long-forgotten by Bob and Alice, and never known a'tall by their kids. The pre-internet, pre-web world -- if such a world ever existed -- would be a vast empty space. Boring. A wasteland. Such a world was no more real than the black-and-white, scratchy WWII news reels that Uncle Fred, flying in from St. Louis, tuned-in within thirty minutes of arriving if no football games were on at the moment. There is a room with a smart TV for that.

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