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How soft are your diodes

MacroFab Engineering Podcast #249

How Soft Are Your Diodes?

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November 4, 2020, Episode #249

Parker's pinball controller has gone gold! Revision 3 is being fabricated! Stephen then explores the softness factor of diodes and the SSPS returns?

Parker

  • Signed up for the EXTRA LIFE charity this year to raise money for the Texas Children’s Hospital
    • This Saturday (Nov 7th) Parker will be broadcasting a 24 hour video game stream
    • Will be playing the Half-Life 2 video game all the way through
      • This includes the two episode expansions to the base campaign
      • Difficulty level will be set to ‘Hard’ and I will be attempting to unlock all the achievements at the same time.
    • Donations are tax-deductible and 100% of it goes to the hospital
    • Learning some JavaScript to build plugins for the stream
  • PinoTaur REV3 has gone gold
    • Added more current sensing
    • Changed Relay to a socketed relay type
      • ISO micro relays type
    • On PCB flyback diodes for coils
      • MRA4004
    • Relay is driven by both the MCU and the Fault pin on the high current sensing IC
  • Walmart fires store robots
    • Saw improvements in inventory control with the robots, but not enough of an improvement in revenues and other measures.  
    • One premise is that stores will sell more goods if the shelves are stocked and wanted items are made available

Stephen

  • How soft are your diodes?
    • Softness factor – a definition of the reverse current characteristic
    • Ta = time when charge from depletion region is removed
    • Tb = time when charge from semiconductor region is removed
    • S-factor = tb/ta
      • S-factor = unity = soft recovery
      • S-factor unity = fast or snappy-recovery
    • General purpose/fast recovery (FRED diodes)
  • The SSPS?
    • @zane is going back and listening to episode 1
    • What was the SSPS?
      • What were the specifications????
      • Where did we leave off

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 began his electronics career by building musical oriented circuits in 2003. Stephen is an avid guitar player and, in his down time, manufactures audio electronics including guitar amplifiers, pedals, and pro audio gear. Stephen graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University.

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

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