No flex allowed

Circuit Break Podcast #51

No Flex Allowed

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Tour MacroFab's ITAR-Compliant Facility

January 20, 2017, Episode #51

On this Episode, Stephen and Parker talk about binned LEDs and what to look out for with mounting holes on PCBs.
  • Parker’s Jeep Radio should be finished next week! Will have a write up either on the MacroFab blog or his personal blog.
  • Crazy awesome PLC for the SAIM we found. See Figure 1.
    • ATMEGA2540
    • ESP8266 with expanded memory
    • Protected I/O
    • Relays
    • Built in Speaker and Screen
    • $90!
  • Stephen’s FX Dev Board is 29% funded! Thanks everyone! New Content soon!
  • FXdevboard.com is up and templates are available. Stephen just finished tubescreamer clone using the templates.
  • The greatest resistor in the world is on order – Double Sided for resistors and caps.
  • Will Super Caps ever replace regular batteries?
  • AutoDesk moves Eagle to Subscription only.
    • Free version, Standard is $100/yr or $15/month, Premium is $500/yr or $65/month.
    • Has a chart comparing the price of Eagle per day and Coffee? Error in chart. See Figure 2.
  • LEDs categorized by product bin?
  • Stephen made an actual silicon die ICs in college! See Figure 3.
  • New to the MEP! Discussions about PCB assembly and design practices! Mounting holes on PCBs. What to look out for?
    • iPhone inner layer repair video.
    • Be careful with ceramic capacitors near mounting holes.
    • Kemet article about flex testing of ceramic capacitors.
    • Let Parker and Stephen know what future topics you want to listen to.
Figure 1: The Open Source PLC running on the Arduino platform.

Figure 1: The Open Source PLC running on the Arduino platform.

Figure 2: AutoDesk price chart error.

Figure 2: AutoDesk price chart error.

Figure 3: Stephen’s silicon die he made in college.

Figure 3: Stephen’s silicon die he made in college.

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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