Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk

rss

Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics


Is Your DIY Brain Icing Over? Colin Carter
As I’ve progressed from a writer interested in technology to a hobbyist working with technology, I’ve found that my eyes are frequently larger than my workbench. That is, I keep buying and collecting microcontroller boards, inexpensive parts collections, tools, and one-off gadgets, even though I haven’t turned on a soldering iron or looked at the Arduino IDE in months. I think I’m suffering from DIY overload.

Which Switch: Who Cares if it’s AC or DC?! Rudy Ramos
Have you ever tried to use a switch in an application and wondered whether the difference between the AC and DC rating on switches really matters? ­­There is a fallacy that any switch can be used so long as its current rating exceeds the maximum load requirements in the circuit. Who cares if it’s AC or DC, it’s only a 12VDC system right? Wrong; when it comes to switches, the differences in current-carrying capacity are dramatically different between AC and DC circuits and this is typically reflected in the switch’s AC and DC ratings.

Power Storage Caroline Storm Westenhover
There have been some really interesting innovations in electrochemical storage devices (e.g. batteries and supercapacitors) in my area of focus. These days, bigger products demanding more energy are moving towards battery power.

Medical Wearables: A Product Designer Perspective Part I Mike Parks
Determining the overall health of the human body is a complicated matter that must account for dozens of indicators, including vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen levels), fitness behavior (distance walked and amount of time sedentary), and more complex analysis of internal organs and systems to include blood cell counts, blood glucose, etc. Fortunately there is a lot of work occurring to shrink and converge medical-related sensors into inexpensive tools.

Wireless Charging: What You Need To Know Barry Manz
Charging the batteries of smartphones, tablets, and other battery-operated products is a bit of pain especially if you’re “heavy user”. And how many times do you succeed the first time in correctly plugging in that micro-USB connector on our Android phone? So you would think wireless (inductive) charging would have taken off like a rocket, but it hasn’t for the usual reason: a battle between incompatible standards, with the typical consumer confusion as a result. If you haven’t delved into this area, here’s where wireless charging currently stands.

The Wi-Fi Doctor: Technology and My Health Rudy Ramos
Most of us tend to associate technology in terms of consumer products. For example, if you were to ask the average person what the word “technology” means to them, they are probably going to say things like smart phones, laptops, tablets, or maybe game consoles. Their answers would probably include acronym words like Wi-Fi, 4G, USB, 4K, or words like portable, wireless and Bluetooth. But, seldom will you hear someone talk about technology in medical terms, or more precisely, portable medical devices.

Maker Movement Disrupts Electronics Sector Steven Keeping
In its pomp the electronics retailer RadioShack enjoyed years of big profits from nerds looking for components for their next electronics project. (Two of those nerds used the company’s diodes and transistors to build a “blue box”, a device that tricked the phone system into letting them make free long-distance phone calls. Later those same nerds, both named Steve, went on to found Apple.) But then RadioShack changed its identity, lost its core constituency and, after years of struggle, filed for Chapter 11 in 2015.

Analyzing the Possibilities: Designing a Tricorder BoosterPack Mike Parks
The engineering profession and the Maker movement are both driven by the fundamental notion that if you can dream it, you can build it. Now more than ever, individuals and small teams are empowered to turn ideas into functional prototypes without the need for significant upfront capital investment. The combination of affordable electronics design tools (e.g. Mouser's MultiSIM Blue), open source software licensing, desktop manufacturing equipment (e.g. 3D printers and CNC machines, and PCB manufacturing services (e.g. PCB Assembly Express) that cater to small volume productions are making the niche product design affordable and easier than ever before.

Three Things You Should Know About Ethernet PHY Garrett Yamasaki
The evolution of Ethernet is fascinating. More than 40 years ago, Robert Metcalfe was asked to create a local area network (LAN) for the storied Palo Alto Research Center. The result of Metcalfe’s innovative work would be standardized as Ethernet – an adaptive technology that would forever revolutionize the world of communications. Fast-forward to modern society, and Ethernet is everywhere.

Drones of a Feather Flock Together Rudy Ramos
One of the hottest gifts this past holiday season were consumer DRONES. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) projected one million of these devices were under Christmas trees this past December. The word Drone is one of the oldest official designations for “remotely controlled aircraft” in the American military lexicon dating back to 1935. “Drone” was adopted to refer to these aircraft as in homage to the queen in a bee hive, and became the official US Navy designation for targets for many decades.

View Blogs by Date