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Electronics

This blog described electronic components that can be used to support or interface to nanodevices.

Interview with Bob Dokin

morreale Saturday 07 of March, 2015
The Computer History Museum interviewed Linear Technology's CTO Bob Dokin. In the interview, Bob describes
  • the unique aspects of analog design compared to digital design,
  • the early days of Linear as a startup
  • product strategy
  • a short mention of Jim Williams
  • the low low turnover rate at the company
  • new engineers work with more experienced engineers for years to develop the analog knack
The first half hour was pretty interesting, but then it dragged a bit for me. The interviewer did not seem to know much about the subject matter.

DIY Spectrometer

morreale Monday 15 of December, 2014
Public Works has posted plans for building a DIY Spectrometer to allow people to detect toxins and pollutants in their environment. The spectrometer is based on fluorescence spectrometry. There are three versions
  • USB desktop spectrometer kit
  • Smartphone spectrometer kit
  • Foldable mini-spectrometer kit.
Kits are for sale too ranging from $10 to $50. These spectrometers all work with Spectral Workbench which is open source software available on GitHub. The Spectral Workbench community also operates an open database of spectra to help identify compounds.

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Electromagnetic train

morreale Monday 15 of December, 2014
The Kid Should See This website has posted this neat electromagnetic train that is easily built. Neodymium magnets are attached to each end of an AA batter, and fed into a coil of bare copper wire. The magnets are conductive and cause current to flow in the copper wire which creates a magnetic field around the magnet battery assembly. A force develops between the fixed magnets and the field produced in the copper wire by the battery, and propels the battery magnet assembly through the coil of copper wire.

iRobot Create® 2 Programmable Robot

morreale Monday 15 of December, 2014
iRobot has introduced the Create® 2 Programmable Robot for makers to build robotic projects upon. It can be programmed using the Arduino and Raspberry Pi programing environments.

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The Untold History of Women in Science and Technology

morreale Monday 15 of December, 2014
The White house as posted a new website describing the The Untold History of Women in Science and Technology that are fascinating. The women featured include:
  • Grace Hopper
  • Katherine Johnson
  • Rachel Carson
  • Maria Klawe
  • Lydia Villa-Komaroff
  • Ada Lovelace
  • Sally Ride
  • Barbara McClintock
  • The Mercury 13
  • The ENIAC Programmers
  • Rosalind Franklin
There is documentary on The ENIAC Programmer that is out in very limited release.

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RF Back to Basics presentations

morreale Sunday 02 of November, 2014
The Agilent/Keysight Technologies RF Back to Basics seminar presentation materials are now available on line. The day long seminar covered:
  • Vector Network Analyzers
  • Modular PXI and AXIe Instruments
  • Signal Generation and Signal Analysis
  • Fundamentals of RF Simulation

RF and microwave webinars

morreale Wednesday 23 of July, 2014
Agilent has posted a number of on-demand webinar on RF and microwave measurements. This education series includes:
  • Techniques for Analyzing Millimeter Wave Signals Using Harmonic Mixing
  • EMC Back to Basics
  • Successful Modulation Analysis in 3 Steps
  • Analyze Agile or Elusive Signals Using Real-time Measurement and Triggering
  • Signal Analyzer Fundamentals and New Applications
  • Signal Generator Fundamentals and New Applications

Parallella-16 Desktop Computer

morreale Saturday 19 of July, 2014
Adapteva has released the Parallella-16 Desktop Computer on its website for $149. The board contains the following:
  • Xilinx Zynq®-7010 All Programmable SoC (XC7Z010) with Dual Core ARM A9 CPU
  • Epiphany III (16-core CPU Accelerator)
  • 1GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • 128Mb Quad-SPI flash
  • Ethernet 10/100/1000
  • Micro HDMI port
  • Micro SD card slot
  • Micro USB 2.0 host port
  • Dimensions are 3.4 x 2.1
  • Less than 5 Watt typical power consumption

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Linux Gizmos

morreale Saturday 19 of July, 2014
LinuxGizmos.com provides news and information on Linux in embedded and mobile applications. The site shows a whole bunch of neat SBC and devices that run Linux or are Linux compatible. I have a Linksys WRT54G router and it turns out that there is a openWRT project for a number of SBC like the ALS Atheros Module and Arduino.

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CUSPICE

morreale Monday 09 of June, 2014
NGSPICE has released CUSPCIE for the CUDA platform and requires video cards with the Fermi or newer architecture. CUSPICE is expected to speed model evaluation by a factor of three and is based Berkeley's SPICE3F5.

Component Modeling and measurement short course

morreale Thursday 03 of April, 2014
Agilent Technologies now Keysight Technologies hosted a short course covering
  • Component modeling and measurement,
  • Circuit design and analysis, and
  • System modeling
on April 2, 2014. The course was taught by
  • Venkatesh Balasubramanian from Maury Microwave Corp
  • Roberto Tiniti from Agilent Technologies
  • Murthy Upmaka from Agilent Technologies
  • Richard Hoft from Agilent Technologies
and covered five topics including
  • Pulsed IV/RF Measurements for compact model extraction
  • Amplifier Design Flow
  • VNA and NVNA Load Pull for Model Validation
  • Amplifier Design in ADA
  • Innovation in Nonlinear Measurements and Simulation using X-Parameters
This was a great short course. The instructors lead you trough the process of amplifier design with model extraction, test, verification using a PNA, PNA-X, and augmented PNAs for nonlinear model extraction. The introduction to x-parameters was well done and is a powerful extension to s-parameters.

Photo of the Agilent Technologies PNA Model Extraction test set.