Understanding opamp input stages

Choosing an opamp and getting the best out of it involves some understanding of what is inside the chip, particularly the input stage. Simple bipolar input stage A…

Power Electronic Tips

Driving High Power LEDs

High power LEDs, particularly “white” ones are becoming increasingly used in commercial products from cars and domestic lighting to street lighting and with efficiencies which can exceed that…

Power Electronic Tips

Choosing and Driving Laser Diodes

Laser diodes come in a wide range of types and power. They are in DVD and CD players and writers, used in fibre-optic communications, visible laser pointers, distance…

Power Electronic Tips

Biasing bipolar transistor circuits

Bipolar transistors used in linear applications need “biasing”, as do other transistors (JFET, MOSFET) when used for linear applications rather than as switches. When used as a “switch”…

Power Electronic Tips

Switching regulator fundamentals – the SEPIC converter

By Chris Francis OK, so maybe it’s not the logical follow-on from the buck converter but nevertheless a useful converter and probably a bit more interesting than the…

Power Electronic Tips

Switching regulator fundamentals – the buck converter

By Chris Francis Switching regulators are everywhere – buck, boost, SEPIC, Cuk, flyback etc. They are for converting power from one voltage to another in a relatively efficient…

Power Electronic Tips

How not to design analog filters!

By Chris Francis I thought I would share some of the crimes against filters that I have seen people commit over the years. 2+2=4? So, you have designed…

The post How not to design analog filters! appeared first on Analog IC Tips.

Using LTspice for power supply design

By Chris Francis Simulation using a SPICE simulator (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis) is handy for checking out designs before building them as well as helping to…

The post Using LTspice for power supply design appeared first on Analog IC Tips.

Sine Wave Generation

by Chris Francis It is not uncommon to need a sine wave but how do you generate it? The “best” or most appropriate method for a particular application…

The post Sine Wave Generation appeared first on Analog IC Tips.

Comparison of the Cypress PSoC 1, 3, 4 and 5LP

By Chris Francis The first generation Cypress PSoC “Programmable System-on-Chip” – PSoC 1 – was the first programmable analog system that was general purpose, flexible and with usable…

The post Comparison of the Cypress PSoC 1, 3, 4 and 5LP appeared first on Micro Controller Tips.

Microchip PIC Microcontroller Configurable Logic Cells (CLC)

By Chris Francis Some of the newer Microchip PIC microcontrollers feature “configurable logic cells” or CLC. What are they and how useful are they? They appear in a…

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Clock Startup in Low Power Microcontroller Design

By Chris Francis Using a low power microcontroller and making it “sleep” as much as possible is a common power reduction technique as they can be woken by…

The post Clock Startup in Low Power Microcontroller Design appeared first on Micro Controller Tips.

Is Washington tone deaf on manufacturing?

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation is a non-partisan think tank that works to formulate and promote policies to advance technological innovation. President Robert Atkinson recently spoke to a group of industrial component manufacturers at the Annual Conference of the National Fluid Power Association about the economics of innovation. Atkinson spent a good deal of

Scale Effect – Part 2

Other considerations of scale effect occur in control systems as well.  When considering a control system problem, the bandwidth or scaling of the control parameters themselves are often a major issue. What happens when the velocity of a system needs to be controlled over a range 1000 to 1 or greater? This was the exact […]

Mechatronic Tips

Scale Effect

The subtle effects of Scale Effect are sometimes missed.  When you have to deal with measurement and processes at extreme ends of the scale, it gets very complicated. One manifestation is just size and weight of parts.  Obviously, when things get big, there are consequences.  A simple structural element that appears to be perfectly straight […]

Mechatronic Tips

The death of logic

Being an engineer, I value logic a great deal. Give me a free body diagram any day over needless emotional drama. But in watching the continuous political debate unfolds on TV, I’ve grown increasingly concerned over the past few years with what seems to be a movement away from facts, logic and science. In years

I.T. Plus Control means Profits

Information Technology (IT) departments are expected to have a dramatic impact on the companies they work for.  Worldwide spending for IT is expected to be approximately $2.7 trillion.   Across 12 departments of the US government IT spending was just over $50 Billion.  Yes, that’s billion with a “b” and it’s your  tax dollars and […]

Mechatronic Tips

The art of design

It’s fascinating to see old cell phones in movies from the 80s and 90s. I’m amazed not just at the obnoxious sizes of the devices, but also at the lack of elegance in the designs. That’s not to berate the designers who crafted the phones, but it shows how much the art of design has

The trouble with Nissan

Until recently, I was happy with my car. In fact, I’d say that my current vehicle, a 2005 Nissan Murano, is maybe the car I’ve been most pleased with over the years. So, what happened? A couple months ago, my left side speakers began to go on and off intermittently—so I assumed it was probably

Learning from our mistakes

One of the most interesting memories from my engineering classes in college was when a structural engineering professor took an entire class to thoroughly go through a real life engineering disaster. The sad topic was the 1981 tragedy at the Kansas City Hyatt Regency, where glass skywalks collapsed, killing 114 people and injuring 216 more.

Going global has challenges, rewards

One of the best-run industry events that I’ve been to is the annual conference of the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA). This year’s event featured a focus on globalization, and attendees got a fascinating glimpse of what it means for their businesses. Ken Gray, global product manager, large excavators, Caterpillar Inc., discussed the increasing influence

Manufacturing and innovation belong together

Product design in the global economy is different in many ways. One of the things that has long been touted by HR wizards and CEOs alike is how teams—be they engineers, managers, products designers, or all of the above—no longer have to be in the same geographic location. The thinking goes that, Time Zone challenges

Small manufacturing gets interesting

Henry Ford’s assembly line is often regarded as an idea that changed manufacturing as we know it. And while other innovations—in materials, processes, management, automation—moved manufacturing to the point where it is today, there hasn’t been a true game changer since Ford aha moment. Yet today, there are interesting winds of change afoot in manufacturing—it

Offshore continues to bite back

I’ve been writing about the problems with offshoring—and the welcome springing back of the reshoring phenomenon for quite some time. Lately, it has been very interesting to watch how the trend is affecting more than just the manufacturing sector. The big story as of late has involved the new Bay Bridge being constructed in the

A Company that Really Gets Green

There’s a lot of PR value in talking about green. Many consumers want green because they feel it’s the responsible thing to do. Machine builders want green, too, because that can be a buzzword for increased efficiency—and with today’s exorbitant fuel costs, that means a lot less capital going toward energy. Green marketing has become