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Power plants and water treatment facilities diagnose motor problems without highly trained personnel

September 17, 2013 4:58 pm | by Jacob Beck, Electrom Instruments | Comments

The electronic devices used to test and analyze electric motors and other equipment have become much more powerful than in the past. Yet, in many instances these sophisticated devices have also introduced a high degree of complexity for users, requiring that highly trained and experienced personnel perform the testing.

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Everything you need to know about picking the right circuit protection

September 11, 2013 3:33 pm | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Comments

When it comes to circuit protection, the first line of resistance is resistance. Resistance limits current flow and resistance, in conjunction with capacitance, slows the rate of increase of voltage, giving other protection measures in the circuit time to act. But, resistance has its drawbacks. If the current through the resistance is significant, it wastes power....

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Fighting an invisible enemy: How UV robots are clearing the way for germ-free hospitals

September 11, 2013 2:17 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

Though medical devices are always moving towards less invasive, more effective technology, they face a constant, persistent and ever-evolving enemy in deadly bacteria and infections. Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) can be caused by any infectious agent and result in 99,0000 deaths per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Adding a personal touch to automotive interior lighting via LIN

September 10, 2013 3:59 pm | by Michael Bender, Melexis | Melexis | Comments

Solid-state lighting is now becoming commonplace in automotive designs, replacing more costly, less energy efficient and not as reliable incandescent lamps. Though it is only in recent times that it has started to be considered for the parking lights, brake lights, side lights and front lights on the car’s exterior...

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How to design backlights for LCD TV displays with scrolling LEDs

September 9, 2013 5:42 pm | by Girish Ramesh, Sr. Marketing Manager, Atmel Corporation and Kevin Hempson, Staff Applications Engineer, Atmel Corporation | Comments

You can improve contrast and reduce motion blur by sequentially flashing zones in an LCD display that is back lit with edge-mounted LEDs. You achieve this scrolling illumination with improved LED driver ICs. With the help of some timing diagrams this article will reveal how this works in principle and will give a description of the different modes of operation.

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Widespread license plate scanning presents an open road for abuse

September 9, 2013 5:09 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

“If you didn’t do anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.” Well that’s good. But for those of us who are only human and occasionally make mistakes or sometimes do things that are nobody’s business but our own, please keep reading.

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Advanced decoupling capacitors for aerospace applications

September 9, 2013 4:46 pm | by Ron Demcko, AVX Fellow, AVX | Comments

To keep pace with the ongoing technological advancements in the aerospace industry, electronics destined for use in aerospace applications must not only meet a stringent set of safety and reliability qualification requirements, but must also satisfy continual market pressures to provide maximum functionality....

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Fundamentals of transformer testing

September 9, 2013 9:33 am | by Faride Akretch, Tektronix | Comments

Transformers are widely used in electronics and power, so it is important to have an understanding of how transformers work, what they are composed of and test and analysis techniques. The most common type of transformer is called an AC input line, or Mains transformer.

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Will 3D-printing change the world of engineering?

August 12, 2013 2:33 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

Here at ECN we're always looking for what's going to change the world of electrical design and make life better for our engineers. This month we're focusing on Time-to-Market strategies. We're looking at it a little bit differently and discussing the issues from the viewpoint of 3D printing and rapid prototyping.

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Battery harvesting versus energy harvesting

August 6, 2013 3:06 pm | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Comments

Should you use primary batteries or energy harvesting for your low power isolated from the grid application? Are primary batteries better or worse than energy harvesting? Can you use one or the other or do you need both? Neither? It is an interesting question depending on the application, the power required, and the costs involved.

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Making aviation history: A solar-powered plane

August 6, 2013 2:01 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

While most of the country is still struggling with the concept of solar power on land, one team was busy using the panels to power something a little more ambitious: a plane. The program, called Solar Impulse, is devoted to designing a plane powered entirely by solar panels, in hopes of demonstrating the potential of alternative energy.

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New approach to reducing standby power

August 6, 2013 1:03 pm | by Tim Kaske, Product Marketing Manager, ON Semiconductor | On Semiconductor | Comments

Figures published by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) show that US electricity usage is more than double what it was back in the mid 1970s, however it has started to plateau in recent years due to increasing awareness of energy efficiency and more stringent government regulations.

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Now’s a good time to "reclaim your name" from data brokers

August 6, 2013 12:12 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

What’s in a name? Juliet Capulet didn’t see much value in a name in her famous, fictional dialog with Romeo Montague but in the age of “big data,” try telling that to today’s big data brokers. As our modern, personal conveniences put more of our information out there to be gathered and sold, a consumer’s confidence that information or misinformation isn’t going to harm them is usually limited....

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What remains as the biggest challenge for current LED technology? (Part II)

July 31, 2013 10:00 am | Comments

The biggest challenge is that LED chips are quickly approaching their theoretical limits for efficient light output. As they do, incremental improvements to the LED die are providing diminishing returns on investment. Fortunately, innovations in optical silicone packaging materials are introducing new, more cost-effective ways to enhance efficiency (lm/W), as well as cost (lm/$) and light density (lm/cm2).

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What remains as the biggest challenge for current LED technology?

July 31, 2013 9:46 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

Adeline Chan, product marketing manager, Cree, Inc.: LED technology has been evolving rapidly over the years. From a performance perspective, lumen output and efficacy numbers have been improving. Other “areas” of the LED technology have also progressed such as thermal properties, substrate materials, light distribution pattern,

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