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Smart Micro Fan Controller
If you’ve ever had to wear eye protection for an extended period of time, especially if you have prescription inserts in that eye protection, you’ve probably noticed fogging can be a major issue. Last year I designed and 3D printed a small fan unit that mounts a 25mm x 25mm x 10mm fan on each side of a military eye protection. It directs a small flow of air over the inside of the lenses and keeps them clear even during physical exertion on cool
Create a Buck-Boost Power Supply
In this series of articles, we’re looking at the design and implementation of the main types of power regulators and converters you might use in an electronics project. I gave a graduate engineer who I mentor a series of requirements to demonstrate each of these types and have recorded the results here so you can work through the same exercises and hopefully come up with the same results. The next switching regulator is the last in our switching
How to Design a PCB for a Boost Converter
In this series of articles, we’re looking at the design and implementation of the main types of power regulators and converters you might use in an electronics project. I gave a graduate engineer who I mentor a series of requirements to demonstrate each of these types and have recorded the results here so you can work through the same exercises and hopefully come up with the same results. For the next switching power supply project from my
How to Make Advanced BLDC Motor Controllers
In this project article, we’re going to be taking a different approach to my typical project. Driving a brushless motor is relatively simple from a schematic perspective; however, there is a large amount of theory about brushless direct current motors that you need to understand to be successful. If you only have experience with brushed motors or no experience with driving motors at all, we will be covering everything you need to know. You can
From RC to Atomic Clocks: All Clock Sources
In almost modern circuits, especially whenever digital circuitry is involved, you will find some kind of clock source. All clock sources present a series of tradeoffs regarding stability, reliability, size, power consumption and cost. Luckily for us, such tradeoffs are relatively simple and can be explained almost fully within this single article. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of each clock source, from the RC in a 555-powered oscillator, to a
Temperature Sensor Project: Analog Temperature Sensor ICs
Learn more about the fourth class of temperature sensors in a series of articles that are all about measuring temperature. Discover their advantages and disadvantages as well as common topologies for their implementation.
Huge VU-meter with RGB LEDs Project
A laboratory journal to guide you through the steps to develop a successful product that value-conscious customers are sure to love.
Customizing Performance-Based Electrical Design Rules in Altium Designer
Electrical design rules go beyond manufacturing and assembly. PCBs also require electrical design rules that are based on a signals’ electrical behavior.
How to Use Thermocouples in Your Next Project
Thermocouples are the final sensor type in a series where we look at all the main types of temperature sensors you might use in an electronics project. In this series, we have looked at the various ways to implement different temperature sensors in your project. At the end of the series, we’ll be putting the sensors and implementations in a head to head competition using real-world conditions. Through this real-world testing, will gain a better
Design Your Own USB-MicroSD Card Reader PCB
Altium Designer makes it easy to design your own USB-MicroSD card reader. Here’s a simple project to help you get started.
Digital On-Demand Manufacturing and a 32-Bit MCU PCB for Everyone
Eli Hughes shows us how on-demand manufacturing through a PCB manufacturer's cloud platform helped him quickly produce a set of high-quality prototypes for a MCU board.
Temperature Sensor Project: Digital Temperature Sensor ICs
The final article in this series looks at digital temperature sensors pitting all the sensors we’ve tested against each other in a head to head contest over a wide range of environmental conditions to allow for a comparison of their functionality, accuracy, and behavior.
Pandemic PCB Prototyping: Building Electronics From Your Living Room
It feels like everyone is writing an article these days about how they’re managing (or not managing) with stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19 restrictions. At the time of writing, California (where I am based) has the highest number of cases over any other state in the United States. To combat the pandemic, most non-essential businesses have been closed or open in a limited fashion. This means that folks who are able to work from home (e.g
A Guide to Challenging Projects
Starting a project? Here's an expert advise from Mark Harris to get you through challenging design projects. Read this blog and see if this method will work for you.
The Best Desktop Computers for CAD Design and Engineering in 2020
Calling all students and professional engineers! Here are the 10 best computers for CAD design and engineering in 2020 and 2021.
Temperature Sensor Project: Resistance Temperature Detectors (RTD)
In this part of the series, we’re looking at Resistance Temperature Detectors (RTD), which are among the most accurate temperature measuring elements we have easy access to.
Using Altium Designer for the Cellular Industrial IoT
Industrial IoT can benefit hugely from cellular connectivity, and new cellular IoT hardware solutions are making it easy for innovators to build new products.