Previously, I wrote up a hands-on with the PicoScope 2204A. At the time I only spent a few minutes with the device. I used it to “debug” an I2C bus between an Arduino and OLED screen. Since that initial hands-on, I’ve used the PicoScope in my lab. Most notably, I hosted another “hands-on” via an AddOhms Live Stream. I used it for another live stream where I talked about op-amps. Unfortunately, the video isn’t watchable due to some technical difficulties.
However, both of those activities plus debugging a new project I’m working on, gave me a chance to understand this humble USB-based oscilloscope. Now that I’ve held well over a month of bench time with it, I can say I am happy with the 2204A. If you’re looking for a low-cost, but fully featured oscilloscope, give the PicoScope 2204A a consideration. For more details on why I feel that way, click the button below to see my full write review on element14.
Sunday September 24, 2017, I will host the 2nd live stream of AddOhms. My first live stream was a test for the technology pieces. I’ve made some refinements and am giving it a second try. For that reason, I’m keeping the topic really simple.
The Agenda for the Live Stream is:
News (3 stories or projects that I found interesting)
Op Amps with the XL741
Whatever surprises pop-up.
In the livestream, I’ll be talking about inverting and non-inverting circuits using an op-amp. But I am not going to use just ANY op-amp. I’ll be using the MASSIVE XL741! (I did a review of Evil Mad Scientist Lab’s XL741 in the past.)
In this video, I discuss considerations for SSD Capacitors, with a focus on enterprise applications. (No, not the ship kind, the business kind.) As more consumer devices use solid state technology, it gets easier for us to forget the importance of keeping data safe during storage. While solid state drives are more robust than their spinning counterpart, they are not perfect. Just like with spinning drives, there is a small delay from when a write occurs until the data is stored permanently. The highest performance solid state drives parallelize data in a way to minimize this propagation time. However, these drives also keep an active copy of the allocation table in RAM.
Just like the RAM in a PC, when power is lost, so are the contents. So it is critical for a solid state drive to have a reserve bank of energy to dump the RAM contents into permanent storage. Modern drives use huge banks of capacitors to write out any RAM buffers when the system’s rail voltage suddenly disappears.
Oscilloscopes belong on the desk of every electrical engineer or hobbyist. They are invaluable in both debugging and characterizing a circuit. While most users can twist the knobs to make things show up on screen, most never fully understand what is happening behind the scenes. Having spent over a decade working at a couple of scope companies, I have unique insight into how these incredible machines actually work.
The 2016 IEEE International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility is sponsored by, no surprise, the IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Society (EMC-S). The EMC Society is the largest organization dedicated to reducing EMI. The society looks at standards, measurements, interference techniques, equipment, and a broad range of other activities.
Previously, I attended the show when it was in North Carolina. A wide variety of information complimented into the deep technical sessions. The vendors on the show floor were varied. I find this to be one of the most technical shows I attend.
KEMET has been working hard to meet the needs of automotive engineers in recent months. These efforts have resulted in several technology developments that will be of particular interest to design engineers involved with automotive electronic systems.
Firstly, the company made several key developments in polymer electrolytic capacitor technology. Recent additions to their high-voltage MLCC’s ArcShield line include new automotive grade parts rated for >500V and an X2-Rated Film capacitor that passes AEC-Q200’s qualification guidelines as well.
The awesome hosts on The Engineering Commons (TEC) podcast asked me to join them on Episode 93-Capacitors! They told me I was the first passive component expert they had on their shown. It was a blast talking to Jeff, Carmen, Brian, and Adam.
The unique thing, in my opinion, about The Engineering Commons is that it covers multiple engineering disciplines. A couple of episodes ago, they talked traffic. Since I am about to move, the episode on Garage Setups was great.
When I put together my list of 5 electrical engineering podcasts, I didn’t include TEC. Which was tough because it is a great podcast, and worth adding to your favorite podcatcher.
Although not all applications are safety critical or mission critical, reliability is still a vital consideration for many electronic products. Making informed choices at the part selection stage can help ensure the product will perform correctly over its intended lifetime.
When choosing capacitors, properties such as volumetric efficiency, frequency stability, temperature rating or equivalent series resistance are often the primary factors that govern technology choice. In these cases, understanding factors affecting lifetime can help engineers make sure the product will deliver the required reliability.
On the other hand, a long operational life may be an essential requirement of the end product.
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.
January 28, 2015
Capacitor Questions Answered on The Spark Gap Podcast