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- What is on your electronics list for the holidays? Dave and Chris both need new chairs for their labs
- Henrik from Oslo, Norway
- Sylvain from Belgium
- David from Portland
- Portable bench setup. Taking your electronics on the road is impressive!
- Mike from the UK (mikeselectricstuff)
- MASSIVE panorama of his amazing lab. Breathtaking how well he uses the space and how much he crams in there!
- IEEE has a podcast. Not the easiest thing to find but there are a lot of different topics and interviews!
- Discussion Points
- Are squishy circuits the beginning of the circuit printing we’ve been talking about? Too soon in the technology to tell.
- Listener Harry tells us about The Woz being on “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”
- The Freagle Campaign is still going. While we appreciate the Cad Soft team getting on Twitter, we still think the revenue generated from EAGLE BOM pushes will offset costs. And if not, RS Design Spark is free!
- EAGLE also just added a script for getting a PCB quote, apparently. No word who the vendor is but Dave thinks this will extend far beyond PCBs into entire supply chains.
- Fluke could use a little work on their Tweeting. Not all engineers care about American football!
- It seems the foundries may be buying into opening up their standards to the EDA vendors. Could this mean more open source tools (like Electric) or will it just open it among the big players?
- Dave and Chris get asked to fix peoples’ stuff because we’re engineers, but Chris much more often gets asked to be IT. Google has a new site to help with that.
- What’s the payoff from getting a PhD? Is it even worth it for all the effort required?
- Inventables, an awesome site with small quantity, weird new materials for use in hobby projects.
A video tour of Dave’s EEVblog lab:
This is the “Summer Oasis” that Dave’s wife made him build her. Dave thinks it’s a waste of space and it should have been used for a big shed!”
(yes, that tiny tool shed is behind the opening fence.
Before and after shots:
Yi Yao says
Wow, great job on the landscaping, Dave!
I agree on that! great shapes in the “fence” too
If you guys wanna listen to the Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me Radio show, they have a podcast of it posted:
(and yes, it’s much better to hear it Dave)
J Franks says
It is not as breathtaking as the Inventables site, but this site in the UK http://www.mutr.co.uk/ “Middlesex University Teaching Resources” has some fun stuff, too. E.g. check out the “Smart Materials” and “Modern Materials” sections. Other stuff is more geared at the classroom and is IMHO not so interesting.
Unfortunately they make a bit of a fuss when shipping to outside of the UK.
Vic Condino says
Hey, just thought i’d fan the flames in the ongoing transistors-in-your-backyard argument :). Check this hackaday article out: http://hackaday.com/2010/12/15/reprapped-transitors/ . I gotta say I am on Chris’s side despite Dave’s many, many excellent arguments to the contrary. Dave, you make a really good case, but I’m an optimist and I really want to see it happen. Cheers!
I’m optimist about this too, maaaaybe a die with an array of OpAmps, but not a MCU not by a longshot.
Now, Dave’s argument is valid, these homemade chips will be innacurate, unreliable, even more expensive that fab chips and a PITA to make, but they’re fun!
Chris Gammell says
I’ve never claimed to care about anything outside if analog. Not saying it’s easy, it just requires a broader range of functions that aren’t always covered. I never have brought that up in our debates though, perhaps it’s time. You’re all right, printing yet another arm chip would be silly. But the future will shift back to analog (at least in exiting places like neural interface and high data rate stuff)
That’s true, any sane debate could take hours (with breaks), and I think at least another moderator (more digital inclined than you, maybe) and two defendants of the DIY chips front.
Anyway, maybe one can remove the (presumed) innacuracies in the die with some R.C.L. circuits.
Chris Gammell says
Haha, we’re speculating (at least I am), not putting Julian Assange on trial! 🙂
Yi Yao says
If you think about it, there’s a lot you can do with with just a few transistors. I mean, there are so many 3 transistor radios and most analog control systems don’t need to be so complex.
Imagine, being able to 3D print your toy car, then, also being able to print the circuit to make it into an RC car. Nifty, huh?
About fixing stuff.
I can take anything, and if I get time and the problem is easy, I fix it. If it is not easy, I just tell them I could not get parts needed. So, I get a chance for getting little extra money but at the same time do not take any extra problems that I have to work with.
At the moment I have few lights to fix and one DC-DC truck converter… Both are quite easy money for a student 🙂
So basically i believe that it just depends on the money/work/free time ratio of the fixer for the thing that needs to be fixed.
Of course, it probably gets completely different once I finish my degree and get a normal job 😀
Re.fixing things, although I generally bat away the requests to fix boring stuff like white goods, PCs etc., I really enjoy the challenge of fixing something I’ve never seen the insides of before, and the satisfaction of figuring out how something was supposed to work & then getting it working. It can often be a good learning experience, and I’d highly reccommend it as a way to learn about the practicalities of how to (and how not to) design stuff.
J Franks says
The wife just made me fix the dishwasher :-(. “Repairman? Its the weekend. And why did I marry an engineer, yada, yada, yada …”
Three hours of my life I won’t get back. In the end is was something I would qualify as rotten fish. It blocked the floater which was supposed to control the water inflow.
Brian J Hoskins says
Hey both – fantastic job on the radio show, keep it up.
Regarding Christmas lists; I decided to put a load of robot parts on mine this year! I had to be really specific about the parts of course, but I’m really looking forward to it! I gave her a list with loads of different modules and robot bases on it so I don’t actually know *exactly* what I’ll get.
I’ve always liked the idea of designing my own robot and writing some software for it, but it’s one of those things I’ve never got around to. Can’t wait to get started!
Have a good Christmas!
You commented that a lot of US companies take advantage of foreign students by paying them lower than prevailing wages.
As a Canadian working in the US I can assure you that much of the paperwork that a company has to file (in particular an LCA) is related to ensuring that they are paying as much OR MORE than the prevailing wage. The government doesn’t care if a company pays a foreign national more than the prevailing wage, but it will NOT allow a company to pay less as this puts American jobs in jeopardy.
A company CAN outsource a job to another country and pay a lower wage, but someone working on US soil must earn as much or more than an American.
This is, of course, the intent of the laws, but I won’t pretend that it isn’t possible to game the system: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-1B_visa#Wage_depression
I enjoy your podcasts (although the Workbenches of the week segment isn’t really compelling via audio and is starting to eat up a lot of your broadcast time).
Keep up the good work, guys!
I checked inventables up until a few months ago but i got pissed and stopped because it used to be impossible to order anything without going through email. I’m glad you posted because I decided to visit an its awesome that they now have a checkout. Plus, the “sample sizes” could be all you need for a 1 off!
I am getting emails from Fluke for a Football game (I would rather go to a cool tech show but a Rugby game might be acceptable)! At least that is what it claims. Even the links show “fluke.com/footballsweeps” but when mousing over the link it actually goes to a different site (fluke.gcsmarket.com). A bit deceitful and usually indicates spam or phishing and my email gives me warnings. I would agree that it is poor marketing. Gift for your favourite boss in exchange for a new meter?
Hey, if you really disgust those blinking christmas tree kits, I just made my own which is controlled by a home made IR remote control.
The blog post about the Ultrasonic Range Finder is just meant to review a cheap part which is similar to the more expensive ones, just for people to know if they need to spend the double or triple amount of money for the more familiar brands. I love Chinese/Asian knockoffs as long as there is no copyrights trespassing or whatever its called.
Same thing goes for the little robot car, which is actually just meant to demonstrate a home made RC car brushed dual DC motor controller, because the pre-made ones are fairly expensive and often have no reverse.
One more thing, about the panavise. There are HUGE differences in quality between different models, but the prices (at least here in Norway) is not that different. If you are buying one, be sure to test it thoroughly in store so you wont get one of those where the lead screw jams and the 360 degree motion is choppy and awful. The bad quality ones are also far to bulky, and the movable joints come lose and are hard to thighten.
Here is a link to the norwegian store where I bought mine, I’m sure this is just a re-branded mass produced product, so look for this design when buying, it is flawless: