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Your toaster is toast

Circuit Break Podcast #335

Your Toaster is Toast

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June 30, 2022, Episode #335

Part shortages and obsolescence got you down? Parker and Stephen have some tips and tricks to help your design stay ahead of the End Of Life game!

Project: Diff Probe

  • Circuit Cellar design
  • Hack a Day project
  • Active Differential probe with 600V Common mode and 600V differential mode
  • Measure virtually any two points. No need for ground reference.
  • Perhaps a battery system with a boost converter?
  • Excuse to finally use that 3d printer to make a case
  • Basically all precision components

UtracerV6 enclosure

  • Decided to make an enclosure that better suits my use case
  • Stripped down from last time. It does not need all the bells and whistles from last time.
  • Fixed sockets
  • FTDI and SMPS for 6.3V and 19.5V

EOL: The Chip Shortage You Don’t See Coming

  • Instant obsolescence
  • No phase-out period 
    • Foundries are booked three years out
    • Suppliers are working on their most profitable lines and filling standing orders
    • New fabs coming online won’t be buying old wafer equipment
    • New foundries will be making new parts
  • Avoiding instant obsolescence
    • What parts are more readily available and are continuity coming back into stock
    • Look at the market segments using the components you need 
    • Put out orders for the components that you need regardless of lead times. 

Ask and Engineer on MIT website

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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