Karl and Corey run The Spark Gap Podcast which is focused on embedded electronics. On Episode 25 they interview me about Capacitors. We covered all the major types of caps, plus some application bits. Check out their show notes for an impressive array of links on the subject.
Also, my favorite episode of theirs so far is episode 18. The guys talk about different serial protocols like SPI, I2C, CAN, etc. Really good stuff.
|Date:||January 28, 2015|
|Appearance:||Capacitor Questions Answered on The Spark Gap Podcast|
|Outlet:||The Spark Gap Podcast|
When it comes to schematic capture and circuit simulation on a mobile device, iCircuit for iOS got it right from the start. iCloud integration, intuitive touch controls, and fast application performance. Now (or Finally?), iCircuit is available for OS X.
iCircuit is based on the Falstad Circuit Simulator, which sadly, is a Java-based web app. For years I’ve installed the App on my iPhone and iPad almost immediately after turning on iCloud [for Android users, that’s basically the first step of activating an iOS device].
Jan 15, 2015
Understanding what X2 or Y1 capacitors actually are and are not is important when designing them into an AC-mains connected power supply. Recently Electronic Products Magazine ran an article I wrote on the proper role of X and Y safety rated EMI Capacitors.
The X2 capacitor rating means different things to different people–except for UL. When I wrote this article to discuss some common misconceptions around what X2 Rated Capacitors are, and how they can be properly used.
In case the PDF reader doesn’t load, it’s on Page 20 of the November 2014 issue.
You can see the full article with the EP Reader, by clicking here.
|Date:||November 1, 2014|
|Appearance:||Role of EMI X1, X2, Y1, Y2 Capacitors Ratings|
|Outlet:||Electronic Products Management|
The Gecko Zero EFM32 Weather Station Evaluation Board from Silicon Labs is intended to show off the low-energy or energy harvesting capabilities of the EFM32 Zero. The ARM-based board has physical and cap sensitive buttons along with the LCD.
It comes pre-loaded with a demo program, which is the classic Space Invaders.
If you’re interested in more about the board, I wrote a road test of Gecko EFM32 on element 14. (Spoilers: I wasn’t impressed. Not a bad board, but rough development environment.)
Clean Ground Planes on DIY Boards
If you’re making your own PCB with the toner transfer method, you might find that getting nice clean ground planes is difficult. John on twitter (@johngineer) realized a simple, but effective method.
Use a hatch pattern for your planes and then fill in the squares with a Sharpie. Simple, but effective. The paper detaches easier and the etch comes out cleaner.
For help on creating ground planes in EAGLE, check out this video tutorial I put together.
“There is no Moore’s Law for passive components like capacitors, but relentless development is delivering the kinds of devices engineers need to deliver cutting-edge new products for modern living. Capacitors have for many years enabled electronic designers to manage energy within circuits and fulfill basic functions like filtering noise or harmonics, correcting power factor, stabilizing feedback circuitry, coupling/decoupling, interfacing between voltage levels, and storing energy. But the demands placed on these components continue to increase, as electronic devices are expected to be smaller, longer lasting, more feature rich and more robust.”
Read “Capacitor Innovations Address Emerging Opportunities” on Power Systems Design.
|Date:||December 30, 2014|
|Appearance:||Capacitor innovations address emerging opportunities on PSD|
|Outlet:||Power Systems Design|
What happens when you have a random chip or sensor you want to interface with an Arduino, but don’t know how? You search for a pre-existing library of course. And where are many libraries hosted and available from? A place where eager developers hack together code, post updates, and collaborate with others: Github!
Brass Sponge over Wet Sponge
Keep your soldering iron tip from oxidizing.
As it gets dull and gray, it’ll be harder to make good solder joints. My favorite tool to clean a tip is a Brass Sponge. The other option is a damp cellulose sponge, but I’m not a fan of those.
I have just never found a sponge gets the tip as clean as a light dabbing from the brass sponge.
Just be careful not to “scrub” too hard, you don’t want to scratch the tip. When you done soldering, make sure you clean it with the sponge then coat the tip with fresh solder. Leave that solder on the tip until the next time you use it. The layer of solder will prevent oxidation from building up while the iron sits unused.