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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


Don't Blame Me - I'm Only the Circuit Protection Designer! Kelly Casey
Seen any TV Repair Service trucks on your street lately? No? Have you ever taken a piece of electronics gear to a repair shop? Never? Really?? It's not that electronic equipment doesn't fail - it's just that the repair bill would likely exceed the cost of a replacement product. No one knows how much of the electronic trash in our landfills was put there because of technical obsolescence and how much was tossed before the end of its useful life because it failed.

Weird RF Part One: HAARP Barry Manz
When it comes to strange applications, the “ether” arguably has more than its share. To prove it, in my next few blogs I’m going to look at a few that have caught my attention over the years, and one that definitely meets the criteria for “Weird RF” is the Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), a program administered by the Office of Naval Research and funded by U.S. Air Force and Navy, and DARPA, and located in Gakona, AK (2010 census: population 218). Work began in 1990 and it was made fully operational and instrumented in June 2007. The prime contractor was BAE Systems Advanced Technologies.

Robot Love Steven Keeping
Hiring care for ailing seniors is expensive, and healthcare costs promise to outstrip tax revenues – a problem compounded by a diminishing workforce. Recent developments in technology promise a new generation of “cyberconscious” robots that take on the well-being of seniors from human caregivers, including the ability to determine mood and strategies to alleviate boredom.

The Future Of Wearables Mike Parks
Google Glass. Samsung Wear. Apple Watch. Occulus Rift. “Wearables” is being crowned as the next big thing in consumer electronics. But is it really? Some see wearables as a fad that is being fostered by the hipster crowd and a technology industry that is searching for a few more years of market growth as the smartphone and tablet market matures.

Time to Take All This Knowledge to the Next Level Caroline Storm Westenhover
I am getting to that time in my life, or rather that time in my college career, where I am expected to do a bit more. I now am moving from absorbing information and doing final projects that relate to what I just learned, to tying in what I have learned from multiple past classes and coming up with my own ideas.

Crossing the Uncanny Valley Jon Gabay
As we technologically weave our society into a more machine-centric fabric, machines are going to take on more and more human attributes, and will look and interact with us more like humans do. A funny thing happens on the way to becoming human though. A repulsive emotion buried deep inside all of us flares up at a crossover point between clearly mechanical and clearly humanoid. This visually triggered effect has been called the “Uncanny Valley,” a term coined by professor Masahiro Mori in 1970 based on a concept from Sigmund Freud.

Beware of “Open Drains” Mike Parks
As you get more advanced with your circuits you will start seeing circuit design patterns that may at first glance seem a bit weird. One such design pattern that can be confusing is the “open drain,” also called the “open collector” (when TTL circuits are involved). For the purpose of this blog we will use the term open collector, though the general principles apply to both technologies: Field Effect Transistors (FET) and Bipolar Junction Transistors (BJT).

The 15-Minute Life of a Mouser Order Erik Smith
Life is a marvelous cycle. Starting from birth, a new order must travel through various rites and stages before it can reach its full potential. So many incredible innovations around the world, and in your own home, began as a humble Mouser order. Let’s now take a look at an order that is starting its life right now.

When to Knock Off the Knock-Offs... Kelly Casey
One of the duties that falls to us geek-of-the-family types is playing the role of the IT Help Desk for friends and relatives. In my case, I try to maintain my parents’ computer and connections even though they live 600 miles away. Without the ability to just show up when things go wrong, I need bullet-proof solutions.

The Open Microwave Design Initiative Gets a Kick in the Pants Barry Manz
Welcome to the world of microwave systems, or at least those destined for service in defense systems. Owing to the unique requirements of radar, electronic warfare, and other applications, as well as politics, and a “stovepipe” mentality, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is the owner of a broad array of systems designed for a single platform and incompatible with others. It’s a bit like building “one-off” washing machines for each customer.

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