I was invited to speak at the 11th Hardware Developers Didactic Galactic group at the Supplyframe office in San Francisco. I talked about the misconception that capacitors are a simple device. Chris Gammell recorded the discussion and posted it via PHY Media. This video is about 50 minutes. In this talk, I break down a few things to know about Ceramic, Aluminum, Tantalum, and Supercapacitors. You can see the full video via PHY Media’s YouTube Channel:…

A switching voltage regulator is one of my favorite circuits. In school, they were the first circuits I built where I understood how transistors worked. In fact, they were the first circuit I saw an inductor being useful! Switching regulators are incredibly efficient when designed properly. Of course, this detail about design is important. They are not as simple as a linear regulator, which is basically an IC and two caps.

To understand the basics of a switching regulator, I released AddOhms #18 this week. This is video tutorial dedicated the Switching Voltage Regulator. If video tutorials aren’t your thing, then keep reading for my written tutorial.

Whether you are an engineer with enough experience to be called a graybeard or a novice that keeps grabbing the wrong end of a soldering iron, there is one component that eludes everyone working in electronics.

It’s the humble capacitor.

A seemingly simple device, turns out, to be incredibly complex. While the basic electrode-dielectric-electrode structure sounds simple, the materials used in that structure drastically changes the characteristics of the device.

[featured-image]KEMET Engineering Center Screenshot, Courtesy of KEMET Corporation.[/featured-image]

There’s a new website created by KEMET Electronics which aims to educate all levels of engineers about the ins and outs of capacitors. They call it the KEMET Engineering Center.

On every page of my blog, you might notice a chat window. If I’m not busy, we can chat in real-time. If not, the messages come to me by email. Here’s one I got from Matt the other day:

Let’s talk a bit about how (and why) you would use a P-Channel MOSFET. Matt, and he’s not the only one, is probably asking this question based on the “myth” that P-Channel MOSFETs require “negative voltage” supplies.

Keep reading for how-to use only positive voltage in this p-channel MOSFET tutorial.

To save time, breadboard pins or just lack of knowledge people try to skip adding even one decoupling capacitor to a circuit. Either on IRC or in Forums you can almost always see it coming: “randomly, my circuit stops working” And then, “what do you mean a decoupling capacitor?” question.

While working on breadboard Arduino, I came across some unexpected measurements. Initially, the only capacitors on the breadboard were the two 22pF from crystal to ground and the capacitor connected to RESET for Auto-RESET.

Keep reading to find out what happen when I added a 100nF and a 1µF cap. A bunch of scope traces and surprising results follow.