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

Electricity reliability trends

morreale Monday 14 of September, 2015
Berkeley Labs has released a report on electricity reliability on the United States. This study looked at reliability data collected by electricity distribution companies, and created two metrics.
  • System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) which indicates the amount of time a customer is without power over the course of a year on average.
  • System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI) which is the average total number of times a customer experiences a power interruption over the course of a year.
The study looked at power disruptions from storms like Hurricane Sandy, and without major events like this to determine power reliability. When major storms are included then the study finds that hotter days, higher wind speeds, and higher annual precipitation results in an increase in SADI (see the report for all the details).


Energy Harvesting Power Conversion

morreale Monday 14 of September, 2015
Analog Devices has a new power management chip designed for energy harvesting power applications. It can convert power from a solar cell and store the energy is a super capacitor, and supply power from a supplementary power source like a battery. The chip, ADP5090, has a 320 nA quiescent current, can operate from 80 mV to 3.3 at the input, and supply 2.2 to 5.2 V to a load.


Open Health Hardware

morreale Friday 26 of June, 2015
Open Hardware Healthcare has posted a nice Review of Open-Source Healthcare Platforms & Sensors. These platforms support quite a few sensors including pulse sensor, oxygen in blood sensor, airflow sensor, body temperature sensor, ECG sensor, galvanic Skin Response (GSR) sensor, glucometer, accelerometer, blood pressure sensor, and EMG sensor, for example.


Art of Electronics 3rd Edition

morreale Friday 19 of June, 2015
The Art of Electronics 2nd Edition and the Students Manual for the Art of Electronics are both really wonderful references for building practical electronic circuits. Now, Horowitz and Hill have rewritten The Art of Electronics in a 3rd edition. The contents include:
  • ONE: Foundations
  • TWO: Bipolar Transistors
  • THREE: Field-Effect Transistors
  • FOUR: Operational Amplifiers
  • FIVE: Precision Circuits
  • SIX: Filters
  • SEVEN: Oscillators and Timers
  • EIGHT: Low-Noise Techniques
  • NINE: Voltage Regulation and Power Conversion
  • TEN: Digital Logic
  • ELEVEN: Programmable Logic Devices
  • TWELVE: Logic Interfacing
  • THIRTEEN: Digital meets Analog
  • FOURTEEN: Computers, Controllers, and Data Links
  • FIFTEEN: Microcontrollers
  • 16 appendixes
Much of the content is new. A second volume with more advanced material is planned. The students manual has been revised to be more useful for practicing engineers and this version is titled: Learning the Art of Electronics — A Hands-on Approach, and is due out late this year.

element14 has an nice interview with the authors at element14 interviews "The Art of Electronics" authors Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill. Also, Adafruit has a Youtube interview with Paul Horwitz.


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.


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.


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.


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)
  • 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.



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.