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Circuit Break Podcast #54

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February 10, 2017, Episode #54

On this Episode, Stephen and Parker talk about Capacitor Part Markings and some tough semiconductors.
  • We would love to hear from our listeners. Tell us what you think, your current projects, any topics you would like us to cover, or just say “hello”. To reach us follow us on Twitter @MacroFab or send us an email at podcast@macrofab.com.
  • Parker
    • Jeep Radio Working! Article out soon. Uploaded a video last week about it. See Figure 1 of the hack!
    • Modified my Tektronik TDS520 scope to have a USB stick. Replaced the low profile floppy drive with a emulated floppy drive with USB on it. Parker bought it here on ebay. See Figure 2.
  • Stephen
    • Synth update. PCBs should arrive next week.
    • To match the transistors for the synth, Stephen is going to use his transistor matcher to test them. See Figure 3.
    • Stephen needs 6 matched BC547C transistors. He is going to buy 100 transistors ($5.70) so that he can pick the best 6 that match.
    • The Open PLC that Parker and Stephen have been talking about is finally doing something!
      • Building a hand place bench
      • Controls sensors and barcode scanner
      • Stephen is also going to use it in a museum project
  • RFO
    • Have we gone too far with RGB LEDs? Razer Chroma Mug holder.
    • Samsung might just be a bunch of pyros. Fire Breaks out in Chinese factory that makes Samsung note 7 batteries.
    • Computers that can survive on the surface of Venus
      • Sulphuric rain is easy, Not being cremated by 470°C (878°F) or crushed by 90 atmospheres or 9MPa is hard.
      • Longest survival time for a human-made object on Venus was 127 minutes, back in 1981 when the Soviet spacecraft Venera 13 landed there. Took the only color picture of the surface.
      • Semiconductor Silicon Carbide electronics, support high temperatures.
      • NASA’s Glenn Research Center developed high temperature wire bonding.
      • GEER—the Glenn Extreme Environments Rig. Can simulate the surface of Venus.
      • Oscillator operated for 521 hours before they turned the simulator off.
  • The Footprint Files – Properly marking parts with silkscreen – Capacitors. Look for the article Parker will be writing next week!
Figure 1: Parker’s Jeep Radio Hack is done!

Figure 1: Parker’s Jeep Radio Hack is done!

Figure 2: Tektronik TDS520 scope modified with a USB port.

Figure 2: Tektronik TDS520 scope modified with a USB port.

Figure 3: Stephen’s transistor matcher.

Figure 3: Stephen’s transistor matcher.

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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