Doing something magical

Circuit Break Podcast #246

Doing Something Magical

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October 14, 2020, Episode #246

Will graphene allow us to transcend to the next level of existence with free energy? Parker and Stephen discuss limitless power and the iPhone 12.

Parker

  • Physicists build circuit that generates clean, limitless power from graphene
    • University of Arkansas physicists 
    • Energy harvesting the thermal motion of graphene
    • Without getting all quantum about it, it seems to work by configuring the graphene as one electrode (or both) of a capacitor. As the graphene flaps in the breeze (actually Brownian motion, I assume), the changing geometry will change the capacitance.
    • The team’s next objective is to determine if the DC current can be stored in a capacitor for later use
    • Youtube video

Stephen

  • New test equipment design – picking the right opamp
    • Current sensing with a bit of a twist
    • Powered by +/-12V
    • Need to read current on the +12 and the -12 along with a +9V rail
    • Opamp needs to be capable of reading a voltage drop in an environment where the common mode voltage is at or near the opamp supply voltage
    • Current sense amplifiers
    • INA1x9 series amplifiers from TI
      • Supply and common mode range are independent of each other
      • 2.7v to 60v
    • Convert a voltage to a current then change the gain by selecting an appropriate load
  • Iphone 12 doesn’t come with a charger?
    • Are chargers necessary?
    • Don’t we have like 300 of them lying around?
    • Apple states environmental reasons for dropping the charger
    • Also no earbuds
    • Examples of other products that lack the equipment necessary to function
      • Video game consoles?
      • Appliances?
      • Internet router?

About the Hosts

Parker Dillmann
  Parker Dillmann

Parker is an Electrical Engineer with backgrounds in Embedded System Design and Digital Signal Processing. He got his start in 2005 by hacking Nintendo consoles into portable gaming units. The following year he designed and produced an Atari 2600 video mod to allow the Atari to display a crisp, RF fuzz free picture on newer TVs. Over a thousand Atari video mods where produced by Parker from 2006 to 2011 and the mod is still made by other enthusiasts in the Atari community.

In 2006, Parker enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin as a Petroleum Engineer. After realizing electronics was his passion he switched majors in 2007 to Electrical and Computer Engineering. Following his previous background in making the Atari 2600 video mod, Parker decided to take more board layout classes and circuit design classes. Other areas of study include robotics, microcontroller theory and design, FPGA development with VHDL and Verilog, and image and signal processing with DSPs. In 2010, Parker won a Ti sponsored Launchpad programming and design contest that was held by the IEEE CS chapter at the University. Parker graduated with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Spring of 2012.

In the Summer of 2012, Parker was hired on as an Electrical Engineer at Dynamic Perception to design and prototype new electronic products. Here, Parker learned about full product development cycles and honed his board layout skills. Seeing the difficulties in managing operations and FCC/CE compliance testing, Parker thought there had to be a better way for small electronic companies to get their product out in customer's hands.

Parker also runs the blog, longhornengineer.com, where he posts his personal projects, technical guides, and appnotes about board layout design and components.

Stephen Kraig
  Stephen Kraig

Stephen Kraig is a component engineer working in the aerospace industry. He has applied his electrical engineering knowledge in a variety of contexts previously, including oil and gas, contract manufacturing, audio electronic repair, and synthesizer design. A graduate of Texas A&M, Stephen has lived his adult life in the Houston, TX, and Denver, CO, areas.

Stephen has never said no to a project. From building guitar amps (starting when he was 17) to designing and building his own CNC table to fine-tuning the mineral composition of the water he uses to brew beer, he thrives on testing, experimentation, and problem-solving. Tune into the podcast to learn more about the wacky stuff Stephen gets up to.

Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!

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