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- Sparkfun has a new “grab bag” program for all their pick and place cast off parts. Could be some good pickins!
- Why does the IEEE still charge membership fees to unemployed engineers? And why does the cutoff for waiving the fee occur at 13k(and below)? Is that a realistic point at which people start being able to pay dues?
- Discussion Points
- California gives 100W incandescent bulbs the boot!
- The mentioned EETimes article explaining the switcher circuit innards of a CFL
- Why do LCR meters (like the kind Dave reviewed) output 6 digits of “resolution” through USB when only 3 are displayed on the device screen?
- Electronic junk is back in the public eye. There is some research starting on the topic, but in the mean time 3rd world countries are still burning circuit boards to get the precious metals from them.
- New site about electronic waste and recycling by the people that brought you “The Story of Stuff“
- California gives 100W incandescent bulbs the boot!
- And what contributes to electronics junk more than putting electronics in everything? While this can be a boon to new products, is it oversupply of cheap chips or actual consumer demand of the new functionality?
- TSMC is planning a solar cell manufacturing plant in Mississippi. Good for the local economy (1k jobs, $500M invested). Are we nearing an inflection point where lower income areas in American labor (plus deals from local gov’ts) can compete?
- New list out about trends in 2011 from JWT. Topping the Amp Hour’s pick’s from that list are: 3D printing (#1), Microbusinesses (#51), NFC (#56), Self-powered devices (#76) and Tap to pay (#88).
- Also on the list was Detroit and the transformation it’s going through currently, as documented in Requiem for Detroit.
- Not all predictions go well…Ray Kurzweil responds to the scorching review in the latest issue of the IEEE Spectrum.
- And since we like IEEE Spectrum so much, we wanted to go over their list from a few months back about the top 25 chips of all time. Really great reading.
- Ack! Sorry! We didn’t get to it this week! Thanks to the submissions, we’ll promise to do those first thing next week.
Dave,I think your reviews are about right, I like the detail and,, hey, I wonder off topic abit myself so it seems normal to me. what I dont like on other sites is the “quickie” review, it leaves too many questions in my mind about the product. I hate spending $300 + to find out there is an untolerable glitch. oh where was I?… Lol- keep doing things the way you like, its more interesting that way.
a note- as of jan 5th, 0501 gmt, sparkfun is out of stock on the grab bags for now- :/
Regarding light bulbs:
The website is “http://www.heatball.de”
95% efficiency – only a minor part is lost due to emission of visible light.
Dave, keep doing what you are doing with the reviews. They are some of the better reviews out there. Don’t change a thing.
Long reviews are the best.
Dave, your reviews are what I come to the EEVBlog for I wouldn’t change the duration. For a potential purchaser of the equipment you are reviewing, there can can never be too much information! I suppose you could change the format to do a quick review in the first half & then more in detail later of if viewers are turned off by the duration, but I don’t think it’s necessary.
I’d pay money for you to do reviews like this weekly, or put simply, “more please”
You and Dave are a little hypocritical about e-waste and your support of LED lighting.
Think about it. You talk about the “Story of Electronics” and how wasteful and poisonous electronics are but yet you seem to think that the old fashioned incandescent light bulbs are bad.
The old fashioned light bulbs do not have computer chips and are not made with a lot of poisionous chemicals, the glass in them is totaly recyclalbe without releasing all kinds of poisons into the environment.
Aren’t they then a much better, more reliable solution to our lighting needs than CFl’S or LED’s with all the lead and mercury and other electronic waste they bring to the table?
Dave Jones says
We are all a little hypocritical in many aspects of our lives, and yes, it’s also true in this case.
But you have to look at the bigger picture of supporting new technology and industries.
In the case of CFL’s, yes I have known from day 1 about the chemical content in them and manufacturing complexity, but that doesn’t automatically make it a bad idea to use and support this technology. Also, did you know that if you use coal fired power then incandescent bulb actually poison the earth with more mercury than CFL ever will? Coal fired plants are the biggest emmiters of mercury on the plant. Incandescent bulbs also contain lead may not be that easy to recycle. Incandescents can also be safely recycled for a small cost.
One of the biggest problems facing our planet is our ridiculous waste of electrical energy, and incandescent light bulbs are one of the most obvious insane examples of electrical energy wastage there is. And anyone who supports them will IMO turn out to look pretty foolish. That’s why I chose to support alternative technology like CFL from the start, even with it’s own inherent problems. I knew that in time the product would get better and more environmentally friendly and drive many aspects of the industry that are not immediately obvious.
Also, it is next to impossible to do full global impact life cycle impact analysis on CFL vs incadecent, so I ran with my gut and feel that reducing energy consumption will ultimately be the best possible response.
Also, what about those who don’t have access to the grid, should they piss away their precious energy using incandescents?
When I started using and supporting CFL’s, LED technology wasn’t even a glimmer on the horizon, and CFL seemed like the only genuine alternative to saving energy for lighting, so I supported it and still do.
Would I make the same bet now?, no way, LED is the clear future and is here now, it’s just a matter of cost. That’s why I’ve started installing LED lighting systems were appropriate.
IMO there is no way in hell that incandescents are a more eco friendly lighting solution than LEDs, not even close. They still have their niche uses though, and that’s why I think the blanket bans on them are stupid. Simply encourage support for LED and other new technology and let it happen.
You do have a point with the CFLs and their mercury content. I use these myself, but I’m slowly phasing them out.
But using incandescent lamps for bulk lighting is insane and wasteful, even if you need the heat in winter. I’m assuming that most of the electricity still comes from coal/gas/nuke power plants. It’s the overall wastefulness of energy conversion from primary energy sources to electricity that simply demands thoughtful usage, and creating heat is the absolute opposite of that.
If you want heat, burn something directly.
Setting visual accents in ‘selected’ places using incandescents is a different matter.
Chris Gammell says
I would tend to agree with Robert. I use CFLs…for now. Even go ask Cree and they’ll tell you LEDs aren’t ready for mainstream yet. But they’re working on it! Even locally, I was reading about how GE Lighting (headquartered in my hometown Cleveland) are now working on the shift to LEDs. When GE jumps in with two feet, you know it’s going to be big. And I can’t friggin’ wait!
As for the “waste” of other electronics required in an LED system, I think larger system level design will mandate DC supplies in a house (perhaps 48V?) as a new standard for LED lighting. Because as you say, each individual bulb having a step up or a rectifier for the specific needs of the type of lighting IS wasteful. So perhaps we’re hypocritical, but hopefully only until we start pushing new standards.
Chris, you ever had your CFL’s flame up on you? I’ve had two sprial type flame seconds before they failed- its something to see, flames about 6 to 10 cm in height. melted the lamp shade.
Chris Gammell says
The EU banned 100W bulbs too. Have a look what happened: http://www.allmystery.de/dateien/pr56210,1252485075,zarwka99w.jpg
A documentary that’s viewabe online, lighter on Detroit “ruin porn” and more in depth about the schools, businesses and communities sprouting up in the city, is “Detroit Lives” as linked to from this review http://preview.tinyurl.com/3xt4p7r
Honestly, I think the whole “green movement” is a bunch of baloney. I would say we need to be more efficient not more “green.”
Incandescents are more efficient at providing light than led’s or especially CFL’s. That does not mean I would not use the newer technology because some applications justify using the newer technology. Simply using the reason something is more “green” to choose it is stupid.
I think they should the led lights in Automobiles as dome/interior lights. The low electrical requirment and cool nature would be more ideal than the incandesecnt bulbs currently used. You rarely change those bulbs and led’s would be ideal for this application.
Cfl’s still generate a lot of heat and are proprtionately too expensive to be used in a lot of applications. But they are an longer living bulb (supposedly) and make be good in applications where the bulbs are hard to access and a little heat is ok.
If you object to coal fired plants being used to produce bulbs then use other energy sources. There is hydro -electric, nuclear, Wind, Solar, natural gas, methane gas from the local dump, even oil fired are all alternitives sources of energy. I don’t think We have any “coal fired plant around here in Oklahoma.
Finally feelings alone are usually the wrong reason to make a decision. I doubt that led’s are the final solution to cheap efficient lighting. I’m sure in a few years someone will come up with another alternative and led’s will be declared to be just another way to produce light but not the best way for all applications.