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NOTE: Yes, there were some audio issues this week in the first half of the show. We’ll get back to our better quality next week, sorry for the ears we offend.
Lots of fun this week as we get back to the old format of Chris and Dave just shooting the breeze. Hope you enjoy it and please let us know what you thought in the comments!
- Chris spent the last week recruiting at MIT and wrote about the experince of recruiting at a top tier engineering school on EB.
- One of the students there built a particle accelerator as a high school student! Awesome!
- A new show stereotyping and pitting nerds against one another is looking for people to cast on their show. Yuck, not what we need for STEM.
- Gary Servin linked here from his relatively new site. Thanks Gary! We love it when people put our logo on their site!
- Jon Oxer, founder of Freetronics, did a video response to the ongoing chip-fab-at-home debate. It’s a well measured look at both sides and he gets to participate in the conversation. We definitely enjoyed the fact that people can respond to our ongoing battle (or any other comments we make) in this manner.
- Dave visited the Melbourne Hackerspace and they have an unofficial WOTW in the video.
- TI and National are officially one company. We’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.
- Listener Niels Mosley asked about how to pick op amps when there are so many out there. Chris’ answer? Carefully.
- A new part from Microchip pairs an 8 bit micro with reconfigurable logic and a few other fun bits (like an NCO).
- More on the printable electronics front: Lars Herlogsson from Linkoping University in Sweden published papers about new organic, printable transistors with gate geometries down to 100 nm. Awesome!
- Chip of the Week!
- Dave picks out our top pick of chips this week: The LT1512, a SEPIC topology, multi-chemistry battery charging circuit.
- A new part for solar installations, a 50 mV diode that can pass up to 20A. Cool for solar cell installations.
- Chris didn’t know about this (apparently) Open Source Logic Analyzer. Dave doesn’t like that it’s built on an off-the-shelf development board.
- Some fun breadboarding tips from ProtoStack. We especially liked the part with the SD card plugging into a breadboard!
- This Day in Nerd History:
- In 1922, Dr. Albert Taylor and Leo Young at the Naval Aircraft Radio Laboratory near Washington, D.C., demonstrated that if a ship passed through a radio wave being broadcast between two stations, that ship could be detected, the essentials of radar.
That’s it for this week! Hope to hear from you in the comments or in video responses!
Now if they can get that diode tech to be workable at 100kHz and with a 50V reverse voltage then power supplies will get an extra 2% efficiency boost from them, especially pc power supplies and wall warts.
Thanks for the shout out guys! And talking about the sump, there is another open source logic analyzer board that uses a modified version of the sump software! It’s produced by Dangerous Prototypes and Gadget Factory, it’s called Open Bench Logic Sniffer http://goo.gl/AFZcb.
Great show as always! (I listen the show from the very beginning btw)
Thanks for another interesting show.
Just thought I’d let you know that the link to the LT1512 is pointing at the same URL as the printable transistors link.
Chris Gammell says
John Dowdell says
Can you get small SMD 50mV signal diodes? Best compromise I’ve found is BAS85: 240mA @ 100uA. Signal diodes in low power low voltage applications is tricky.
I think SUMP is also used with Bus Pirate. That would be an assertion if I had got it working.
I wonder if you were allowed to operate a spark gap transmitter if you had braces or piercings :).
Must have been a lot easier as an RF engineer back then.
I don’t do a lot with op amps but I’ve imagined that those that work with them regularly, build a mental library (or even spreadsheet) of known parts that they are comfortable with and they are seated all along an imaginary spectrum of applications.
I’m a sucker for anything with an inductor hanging off the side of it. It has that feeling of real electronics.
The link to the LT1512 is messed up. It links to the printable transistors article.
Chris Gammell says
Thanks, fixed that.
It is me or Chris has awful sound quality this time : ?
Chris Gammell says
I was clipping like I was in need of coupons! Sorry about that. I think it gets better in the second half of the show.
Greg Fordyce says
Soldering to an SD card seems like too much work, just use an old floppy drive cable. 🙂
James Snyder says
Looks like there is alternate hardware to use with SUMP. Hardware is for sale, software is open not sure about the hw: http://gadgetfactory.net/logicsniffer/
For 50$ its a very nice device. The probes are not the highest quality and like to slip, but I can live with that for now. It might be worth getting female headers instead.
The software client is actively developed and will improve a lot. Both the PIC’s firmware and the FPGA’s bitstream can be updated without special hardware.
I used it for debugging an interrupt driven software uart that acted up. That was a lot of fun!
Adam Ward says
Great show again guys. The Amp Hour still sounds as lively and fresh as it did on day 1. Chris mentioned that the comments are getting a little thin these days, I wouldn’t be too concerned about that. I think the reason is that your show notes are so comprehensive and also that the EEV blog’s forums tend to get a lot of traffic from the amp hour crowd so some of the discussions happen there instead. You’re getting great download stats so it’s all gravy.
Anyway Chris, stop having a life and do some projects so we can hear about them! It’s all very well getting married and everything but we want to know about your hacking shennanigans. 😀
The 20 pin version of these new pics 16f1507 is in production… They have 2 CLCs.
Can’t wait for the 12f1501 (8 pin) version.
The Japanese planes were detected by radar about an hour before the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Good old conflict of competences at work, or a conspiracy theory at work again?
A bit off topic.
Carmen Parisi says
I can honestly say I used to feel the same way about power as Chris does but recently I’ve had a change of heart. I just started full time at as a Power Applications Engineer at Intersil and switching power supplies are a lot cooler than I once thought. It really is a small control system in a package.
Designing the proper feedback network for the error amplifier, choosing the right LC filter (not only the right values but also ESR, DCR, resonant frequency, etc.), non-linear control loops (Bode analysis can actually break down and lie to you), current sensing, the list goes on and on, these are all things to take into account when designing with a switcher. All very analog problems, all very cool in my opinion.
Nearly every component in a signal chain can be found in a switching regulator and working with them everyday I can honestly say it’s just as fun as conventional signal chain work.
The official site of the logic analyzer is this:
It is available in a dedicated board and not as a dev board.
Chris should go on the King of the Nerds show!!!
Michio Kaku had build an atom smasher in his garage.
Regarding building a particle accelerator in highschool, I am going to guess it was a cyclotron. I was just watching the physics principles of this last week, if anybody is interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8D3ikuyaGo&list=LLea9xqdvN_xwFd4hf6hWHXg
Catching up on my Amp Hour podcast listening, and really enjoyed the discussion about “choosing the best opamp” in this episode. I don’t have anything to offer as to what the “best opamp is”, but I can assure you that, no matter what the application, the best choice is NOT a 741 (or its dual and quad cousins the 1458 and 324). I love classic chips as much as anyone (e.g. 555, LM10, etc) but I cringe when I see anything modern designed around these “default opamps”. Look just a bit longer and you’ll find something just as cheap and plentiful with much better performance. Thank you for the always entertaining and educational podcast – keep up the great work!