Thermal hum universe

Circuit Break Podcast #368

The Thermal Hum of the Universe

Related Topics
Chunk 2 Chunk Current Returns

This week we have PCB ground layouts and what to thing about in regards to current returns, elevated inductors, and should XYRS have a Z component?

Other Resources

Circuit Break Podcast
Tour MacroFab's ITAR-Compliant Facility

March 3, 2023, Episode #368

Relay manufactures hate this one simple trick that makes your “sealed” relays last longer! Except TE connectivity who has an application note about this common relay feature.


  • May 4th, Bringing back the MacroFab meetup.
  • Stephen Kraig looking for a job. Email

Another thought on ground planes

  • Finally tried an honest to god ground plane on an amp and the results are what you would expect.
  • Realizations
    • Component placement matters as much if not more than trace routing
      • Pool analogy
    • Understanding current is key
  • Trade offs
    • Makes ground easier while making signaling harder
    • It is possible to have too much ground

Venting of Sealed (washable) Relays (that have vents provided)

  • TE Connectivity application note about sealed relays
  • Unless specifically advised otherwise by TE Engineering, all sealed relays (that have a venting means provided by the manufacturer) must be vented after PCB assembly and cleaning, but before use electrically, in order for published ratings to remain applicable.

Dumb Aviation plug

  • Bought GX16 aviation plugs
  • Need Gx20
  • What does the number mean? The mounting hole size….

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,, 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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Chunk 2 Chunk Current Returns

This week we have PCB ground layouts and what to thing about in regards to current returns, elevated inductors, and should XYRS have a Z component?