Lousy datasheet buyouts

Circuit Break Podcast #25

Lousy Datasheet Buyouts

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July 22, 2016, Episode #25

Stephen and Parker rant (again) on bad datasheets, ARM being bought out by SoftBank, and general project updates.
  • Stephen has completed the SSPS Analog board. See Figure 1. Testing will begin early next week.
  • The Macro Amp that Stephen has been working on is almost done. He just needs to solder the through hole onto the board. See Figure 2.
  • Stephen has been working with Altium this past couple weeks while doing DFM work for customers. He would like the software if it didn’t cost $15K.
  • Parker finished programming the new revision of the MacroWatch V2. See Figure 3. Uses the EFM8SB10F2G in a QFN-20 package. EFM8 series has tons of built in peripherals. Reduced power consumption by 5 fold.
  • KiCad will be adding built in SPICE simulation to the schematic portion. Stephen is now willing to try out the EDA tool.
  • ARM was purchased by SoftBank for $32 Billion. Parker and Stephen talk about the implications of this purchase. The ARM founder isn’t to happy about the deal.
  • Microchip will be boosting the Atmel AVR8 product line later this summer.
Figure 1: Stephen’s SSPS Analog board. Hoping for no smoke monsters!

Figure 1: Stephen’s SSPS Analog board. Hoping for no smoke monsters!

Figure 2: The Macro Amp is almost complete. Just needs through hole soldering.

Figure 2: The Macro Amp is almost complete. Just needs through hole soldering.

Figure 3: Parker’s REV 2 of the MacroWatch with the code ported over from the PIC16 to the EFM8SB.

Figure 3: Parker’s REV 2 of the MacroWatch with the code ported over from the PIC16 to the EFM8SB.

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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