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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


Build Your Own Personal Drone John Donovan
When I was a boy I loved flying model airplanes. I’d laboriously build them from balsawood kits; cover them with tissue; and add a noisy .049 gas engine. Then I’d go to the neighborhood schoolyard and get dizzy flying them in endless circles at the end of control cables. Today for under $100 you can buy a Styrofoam plane with a battery-powered engine and wireless remote control—a cheap radio-controlled (RC) aircraft.

New Ultra-Low-Power Benchmark John Donovan
As an editor I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of specmanship, which is why I always look to datasheets, though meaningful comparisons of seemingly similar MCUs between different vendors are hard to construct, especially since overall energy consumption is so application specific. As Markus Levy of the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC) remarked to me last week, “Datasheets don’t lie, they just present [information] the way they want to present it.”

Computers on Wheels John Donovan
In 1984 John Gage at Sun Microsystems promoted the idea that “the network is the computer.” Gage was a bit ahead of his time; the Internet was just getting off ground—TCP/IP had only been standardized two years earlier—and the Netscape Navigator browser didn’t debut for another 10 years. Today virtually every computer in the world is part of the Internet.

Doing the Low-Power Limbo John Donovan
Back when they still made vinyl records the Limbo was a popular dance craze. Imported from the Caribbean via Chubby Checker, you’d try to dance yourself under a horizontal bar without falling flat on your back. The lower the bar went the more people would clap—up until the point where you crashed out and everyone laughed. The challenge was, “How low can you go?”

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