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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk

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


Why Aliens Know Math Lynnette Reese
I spent most of Saturday at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History for Engineer’s Week. I sat at a table with half a dozen kids at a time, showing them how to connect little DC motors to batteries, and exploring and explaining series and parallel connections for the braver ones. We had several DC motors with a glue stick off center on the shaft of the motor so it would wobble, and velcro attached the motor and battery holder with alligator clip leads to a scrub brush. The result was a giant hex bug popping around on the table. Some kids were very interested in how they could take it further, and others had glazed expressions. For the ones that wanted to go further, I showed them how to connect three 9V batteries in series to feed the motor 27 volts… and it really buzzed. Then I told them we were on the Mars Rover team and had to make sure that even if a lead broke, the rover would still go.

Applying The Basics: The Voltage Divider Mike Parks
Hello, everyone! My series of posts are going to deal with applications of open source hardware. My goals are to share applications using open source hardware and teach some fundamentals of electronics and software to turn these projects from concept to reality. To make things easy as possible, I will put links to Mouser’s website so you can get parts ordered fast and get to making cool things sooner rather than later.

Altera Banks on Power Management to Disrupt the FPGA World Landa Culbertson
A decade ago, back when Xilinx’s Virtex®-4 and Spartan™-3, and Altera’s Stratix®-II were new products, it was my job at Texas Instruments (TI) to partner with the leading FPGA manufacturers to produce power management solutions that benefited our joint customers. Multiple power rails, power-up sequencing, tight tolerances, transient response, system reliability, total solution cost, and size – these were all things we were concerned with even then.

When All Else Fails, Ham Radio Shines Barry Manz
Let’s face it: When it comes to communicating, we’re spoiled. We can talk, text, or e-mail nearly anyone we want whenever we want, by simply picking up the phone -- be it wired or wireless. But ham radio can work when nothing else can get through.

Hover Technology is Back from the Future (or is it?) Erik Smith
Back to the Future 2 is turning out to be more prophetic than we thought. First NIKE announces power laces, and now a viral video from “HUVr Tech” is currently making the rounds claiming to have made the break through we’ve been waiting for for 25 years: A REAL Hoverboard. You can believe it because Christopher Lloyd, Tony Hawk, Terrell Owens and Moby have all endorsed it. And if you can’t trust Moby, who can you trust?

Third Harmonic! Caroline Storm Westenhover
I know there are all kinds of rules against anthropomorphizing the equipment with which you work. It makes you overly attached to it, but I just can’t help it when it comes back with a Fourier Transform like this...

CES 2014 Review from a Power Perspective Landa Culbertson
The 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) wrapped up with the usual plethora of product debuts and announcements. Here are some highlights and trends related to power supplies and power management products.

Keep Open Source Weird Lynnette Reese
When I lived in Austin, the phrase “Keep Austin Weird” meant to me that Austin was special in a weird, quirky way. And I feel that way about open source, because as a means for expressing one’s self, there’s a project for everything. Seriously, open source hardware is branching into everything from prosthetics, clothing, and drones to dead cats...

Light of Day Paul Golata
With my new blog, Light & Illumination, I will be seeking to explore contemporary technology and product issues related to LEDs and illumination. My aim is to assist the design engineering community through active and ongoing dialogue regarding the industry’s mission to impact our world through improved methods of incorporating LED technology. I endeavor to serve this mission by providing some personal knowledge, the resources of Mouser Electronics, and the resources of manufacturers throughout the world.

State of the COTS Parts Market Chuck Amsden
I have been involved in counterfeit mitigation since early 2009. I’ve had hundreds of interesting conversations with peers and industry experts. Yesterday it dawned on me what was happening to the commercial off the shelf (COTS) market for parts. Defense contractors and the DOD are trying hard to make the COTS industry conform to QPL or military conformance. Whether it is a conscious effort or not, is yet to be seen. The problem is the COTS industry has not done this in the past and now has problems complying. It’s not that the COTS industry doesn’t want to do it, it’s just the infrastructure and specific records required don’t exist.

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