Liquid toroidal electrons

Circuit Break Podcast #3

Liquid Toroidal Electrons

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February 19, 2016, Episode #3

Testing the OPA541, giant resistors, and capacitor weights?
  • Stephen and Parker have been testing the main opamp for the OPA541. Stephen wrote a blog post detailing the opamp tests with simulation and real world testing.
  • GitHub link to the repository for the SSPS.
  • Giant 200W 8Ohm resistor.
  • Liquid Cold Plate Heat Sinks for cooling the opamps in the SSPS.
  • Isolators for the opamps made out of Aluminum Oxide. Part no. 4180. They make Beryllium Oxide Ceramic isolators but not in the right size.
  • Antek transformers is the company that makes the Doughnut (Toroidal) Transformers Parker and Stephen are looking at.
  • Really neat Super Capacitor Flashflight.
  • A 30F 3V cap would weigh 5.685×10^-12 kg more fully charged vs discharged. It would take roughly 1.95 billion of these super caps to have a charge weight gain of 1 kg. Our pre-show calculations where wrong. Revised calculations below.
  • Carbon film capacitors sounds almost as cool as carbon nano tubes. If they can replace bypass caps it would make compact board layouts easier.
  • President Obama going to sign bill to combat chip piracy. FTDI rejoices?
  • Microchip releases the MPLAB Xpress which is cloud-based. Stephen is excited about a GUI interface that auto generates setup and register code.


Calculations

F x V = C or Farads x Voltage = Coulombs
1 coulomb has 6.242×1018 electrons
1 electron weighs 9.109×10−31 kg
30F x 3V = 90 Coulombs
90C x 6.242×1018 x 9.109×10−31 = 5.117×10-10kg
1/(5.117-10kg) would give us 1,954,173,071 of these caps to reach 1kg of weight.

Dual Parallel OPA541 opamp breakout board Stephen designed.

Dual Parallel OPA541 opamp breakout board Stephen designed.

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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