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Circuit Break Podcast #276

Skippy Documentation

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May 12, 2021, Episode #276

Are Stephen's LM338 regulators fake? Parker uses X-Ray vision to find out the answer! This and an Adventure in Plastic Injection Molding this week.
  • Fake LM338 Voltage Regulators?

    • X-RAY results
    • Should we Xray legit LM137 and see if the XRAY matches?
  • SCPI or Standard Commands for Programmable Instruments
    • IEEE 488.2-1987 
    • Send command strings over serial to configure and get results from test equipment
    • Test equipment mostly adhere to this with some weird gotchas
  • COM port snooper / sniffer?
    • Is there good software out there that can sniff the buffers / communication string between Windows and a hardware device? 
  • Is bad documentation worse than no documentation?
    • “With no documentation you know immediately you’re fucked.”
  • Bringing back the Tasty Chips segment – E-Z Hook Insulation Piercing Wire Clamp – 8507
    • Spring loaded clamp that has teeth
    • When you insert a wire the teeth slice into the insulation making contact
    • Datasheet specifications are interesting to say the least!
    • Max Current 1 AMP
    • Max Voltage 0 V ?!?
  • Covering the Amplifier
    • Update on Parker’s Amp “refinishing” project
  • Adventures in plastic molding
    • Getting custom actuator parts injection molded
    • First prototype parts got shot this week
    • What to expect
      • Provide model to company
      • Initial review
      • DFM report
      • Release for prototype
        • 5 to 6 weeks for the initial mold to be cut
        • Prototype units are shot and sent for approval
        • Second round of mold adjustments are cut – 2 weeks
        • Second prototype units are shot and sent for approval
        • Mold is sent to US
        • Production is run
      • Mold cost ~12k
        • Half up front
        • Remainder at time of delivery
        • Includes all DFM and both prototypes
    • Previous solution was about $35/unit
      • New solution with dome snap switches and injection molded plastic is about $23 to $27/unit

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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