John teel predictable designs

Circuit Break Podcast #106

John Teel of Predictable Designs

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February 7, 2018, Episode #106

Guest John Teel talks about how to make new hardware projects more predictable for manufacturing.

Podcast Notes

  • John Teel
    • Founder of Predictable Designs, a company which helps startups, makers, and small companies develop new electronic products
    • An award-winning design engineer for Texas Instruments (TI) where John designed numerous successful microchips which are found in millions of popular tech products
    • Predictable Designs
      • Making product development process as predictable as possible
      • Predicting the pitfalls and costs, with a focus on the initial stages of product development
    • Common questions people ask
      • How much will it cost to develop and manufacture my electronics product?
      • How long will it take to get my product on the market?
      • I don’t have tons of money, so how can I get my product to market?
      • I don’t have any product development experience, so how can I get my product to market?
    • Common mistakes made by new hardware entrepreneurs
      • Underestimating the complexity and time to develop a manufacturable product
      • Scalability of a product from prototype to mass production.
      • Jumping headfirst into full product design without an understanding of the steps and costs that lie ahead
      • Over focus on product development without enough early focus on marketing

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Parker & Stephen in the podcast studio.

Parker & Stephen in the podcast studio.

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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