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TI industrial control training comes to Boston!

March 13, 2012 6:47 am | by Dave Wilson, Motion Products Evangelist, Texas Instruments | Blogs | Comments

This blog is for all you control engineers up there in the New England area. The TI Industrial Control training event is coming to Boston on Tuesday, March 27th through Thursday, March 29th. We did this about a month ago in Chicago...

Atmel Broadens AVR MCU Family

March 12, 2012 1:38 pm | Atmel Corporation | Product Releases | Comments

Atmel Corporation announced 14 new devices in its AVR microcontroller (MCU) family, providing more options to meet unique design requirements. Used by well over 100,000 engineers worldwide, AVR microcontrollers are regarded for their performance, power efficiency and flexibility across many application areas. Adding more memory, connectivity peripherals and system integration, the newest devices

Notes from the electronic underground

March 9, 2012 4:19 am | by M. Simon | Blogs | Comments

I was hanging out at the FreePCB blog where commenter gnuarm suggested DorkbotPDX for production of hobby boards. The production process is not hobby grade. You get a solder mask on both sides, silk screen (legend), and a 6/6 process.


The Tinker's Toolbox - Joseph Citrano of Honeywell on Industrial Wireless

March 8, 2012 6:12 am | Podcasts | Comments

Joseph Citrano of Honeywell Sensing and Control (S&C) is my guest for this edition of Tinker’s Toolbox. As wireless technology gains widespread adoption on the factory floor, concerns about

Electric power steering turns the corner

March 7, 2012 10:15 am | by Dave Wilson, Motion Products Evangelist, Texas Instruments | Blogs | Comments

Did you know that your hydraulic steering system wastes more energy than any other system in your car and is third highest in total vehicular energy losses (right behind wind resistance and road resistance)?

Gerbers: Food for designers

March 5, 2012 7:49 am | by M. Simon | Blogs | Comments

In my search for good tools that don't cost too much (I like free) I have found an excellent tool for viewing Gerber and drill files. Those are the files produced by most PC board design software and required by most board producers to produce boards.

Elevator TARDIS

March 5, 2012 4:48 am | by Mike Grusin, Engineer, SparkFun Electronics | Blogs | Comments

We here at SparkFun have been known to use our products to play pranks on each other from time to time, and we're always on the lookout for ways to make life at the office more Fun.

Bright Bunny Kit

March 2, 2012 7:49 am | by Chris Taylor, Project Manager – Engineering Department, SparkFun Electronics | Blogs | Comments

The Bright Bunny Kit is a great way to learn soldering and hand sewing. At the end of this project, you'll have a cute stuffed animal that lights up when you feed it a carrot! The original design for the Bright Bunny came from Phillip Lindsay, aka follower.


Laser Limbo

February 29, 2012 6:39 am | by Jordan McConnell, Engineer, SparkFun Electronics | Blogs | Comments

Sometime around mid 2011, Sparkfun had the idea of holding an Open House as a fun event that would give us the opportunity to interact with the community. We brainstormed many fun ideas for the event and decided on which ones to shoot for.

General-Purpose 8-bit MCUs Include Next-Generation Digital and Analog Peripherals

February 28, 2012 12:28 pm | Microchip Technology Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Microchip Technology Inc. announced a new family of 8-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) featuring next-generation analog and digital peripherals, making them desirable for general-purpose applications, as well as

Turn your ProMicro into a USB keyboard-mouse

February 28, 2012 10:59 am | by Jim Lindblom, Engineer, SparkFun Electronics | Blogs | Comments

How cool would it be if you turn any button, joystick, sensor, or other electronic gizmo into a USB keyboard and/or mouse? You could make just about any input device you want into a controller for your computer programs or games.

Office door Young Frankenstein castle knocker

February 28, 2012 6:04 am | by Chris Taylor, Project Manager – Engineering Department, SparkFun Electronics | Blogs | Comments

We're always looking for more ways to make our office fun and strange. One of our engineers, Mike, recently rigged up the elevator to play the Tardis noise. I wanted to do something similar, but, specifically, in my office.

Key Metrics for Understanding Color Quality for LED Lighting

February 27, 2012 5:03 am | by Gui-Rong Zhou, Synopsys, Inc., | Articles | Comments

Terminology used to describe the color quality of an LED light source is often reduced to three letters: CCT and CRI, which are probably the most familiar, and CQS and GAI, which are relatively new. What do these abbreviations stand for, and how are they used?


Tips Help Engineers Write Well -- Part 1

February 24, 2012 6:45 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

Many engineers see engineering and writing as mutually exclusive skills. They think people can do one or the other, but not both. Engineers can write well, although it takes some practice.

Congress Opens Market for Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Systems

February 22, 2012 11:52 am | by Paul Dempsey, Senior Correspondent, Footwasher Media | Articles | Comments

Buried deep in this month’s controversial Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funding bill, passed by the Senate in an unusually bipartisan 75-20 vote were provisions to boost commercial potential for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Assuming President Obama’s signature, the four-year $63B budget bill mandates the FAA to

It’s been fun

February 17, 2012 9:49 am | by Alix Paultre | Articles | Comments

This is the last column I’ll write as an editor and least for now, as I’m moving on to another job where I will continue to serve the electronic design industry. Since joining this publishing group five years ago, I have had a fantastic time working with a great team...

Don’t be alarmed - SIMS keeps you protected

February 15, 2012 11:02 am | by Steve Ryckman, VP Technical Services, SIMS | Articles | Comments

It’s no secret that alarm systems provide crucial functions for homes and business, but what would happen if the technology that keeps an alarm system up and running failed? There’s about a million different scenarios that come to my mind alone...

Five Reasons You Need Effective WAN Optimization For Cloud Storage

February 15, 2012 5:25 am | by Robert MacIntyre, Vice President of Business Development and Marketing, NetEx | Blogs | Comments

Cloud storage is positioned to be one of the hottest IT trends of 2012. At the same time network WAN performance has been identified as a key inhibitor to cloud storage adoption, according to NetEx...

The Tinker's Toolbox - Sasha Gurke of Knovel on the Next Generation of Engineers

February 14, 2012 6:06 am | Podcasts | Comments

In this episode of the Tinker's Toolbox we talk to Sasha Gurke,  Senior Vice President and co-founder of Knovel, about inspiring and creating the next generation of engineers to serve the industry.

Technical Training Series in China Shows How To Move Applications Among 8, 16 and 32-bit

February 13, 2012 5:48 am | News | Comments

Microchip Technology Inc. announced a series of technical training seminars in China-beginning in February - that will show designers how to easily adapt to changing product requirements by migrating a real-world application from 8, to 16, to 32-bit PIC microcontrollers (MCUs). The seminars will run from

A Digital Power System Demonstration from Texas Instruments

February 10, 2012 7:34 am | Videos | Comments

This is a video shot at the Applied Power Electronics Conference at the Texas Instruments booth of their latest PM-BUS-compatible digital power system solutions.

Maxim's Power Measurement Technology Demonstration at APEC 2012

February 9, 2012 8:29 am | Videos | Comments

Maxim demonstrates their latest single-, three-, and multiphase power measurement solutions at their booth at the 2012 Power Electronics Conference.

The Tinker's Toolbox - Energy Management and Device Efficiency

February 9, 2012 7:16 am | Podcasts | Comments

Here we talk to J. Francois Crepin and James Ashe of Akros Silicon about energy management vs. power managment, and how proper energy management impacts device efficiency.

The Tinker's Toolbox - Mrinalini of Motorola on Civic Infrasturctures and Large Scale Systems of Intelligent Subsystems

February 7, 2012 10:25 am | News | Comments

Hosted by ECN's Editorial Director, Alix Paultre, the Tinker's Toolbox is ECN's web-based interview show where we talk about the latest technology, components, and design issues for the electronic design engineering community.

The Tinker's Toolbox - Dr. Scott Nelson of Logic PD on Developing Smart Devices

February 6, 2012 4:43 am | Podcasts | Comments

Hosted by ECN's Editorial Director, Alix Paultre, the Tinker's Toolbox is ECN's web-based interview show where we talk about the latest technology, components, and design issues for the electronic design engineering community.

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