Rooting around in the fascinating stuff at the bottom of a draw labelled 'Engineering - Junk Miscellaneous'. Delving amongst the delightful...

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I met EW’s ‘Rising star new engineer of the year’

I attended Electronics Weekly’s Elektra Awards last night and sat next to the graduate who won Rising Star New Engineer of the Year – Daniel Marshall.

What an impressive, enthusiastic, and nice guy.

For me, the impressive bit is that he didn’t actually do an electronic engineering degree at…

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TI spice is not so easy

Having tried the excellent LTspice from Linear Technology, I thought I would give Texas Instrument’s simulation tool a go.

It seems to be based in TINA – which comes from Budapest.

However, not only did I have to sign up to be a fan of TI, but also had to…

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LED flasher actually flashes

Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised, the led flasher modelled in LTspice works, just about as intended – nice crisp flashes at about the right rate.

Seeing as everything is relying on Vbes and Vfs, the timings of the real thing are pretty similar to the model – the scope trace is…

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LED flasher 3 (6!)

Much like kids get addicted to video games, I find time dilating as I mess around with ideas for a ‘simple’ LED flasher using Linear Tech’s free version of spice – LTspice – as recommended by Steve Kurt.

Note: here is a breadboard version.

And now I have led flasher version…

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LED flasher 2: Hats off to Mr Kurt and LTspice

Mr Kurt, wise commenter of this parish, drew my attention to LTspice.

What a revelation :-)

LTspice is a free version of spice from Linear Technology, and it is delightfully easy to use, intuative, and seems to work rather well.

Note, there is a flasher version 3

Current through component and…

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Neat PC scope + sig gen + spectrum analyser lands on tech desk

An unsolicited PC-based instrument landed on the tech desk at Electronics Weekly.

It is the minimalist BitScope Micro (BS05), whose delightfully clever enclosure is a length of heatshrink sleeving.

It combines:

Logic analyser
Protocol analyser
Data recorder
Spectrum analyser
Arbitrary waveform generator
Clock generator

(Full spec below)


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Free 3D Gerber viewer

Someone called Rafal Powierski got in touch about a 3D Gerber file viewer he has written.

Now, I cannot vouch for any of it, so do your own due diligence, but the video looks pretty interesting.

There is also a simulated pcb fly-through.

Apparently, this is largely a weekend…

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Fingers crossed for long wavelength LEDs

Having made a few things containing leds, it has always been nice to have an easy supply of light sources that do not affect night vision – for example, illuminating a scrolling map box for long-distance off-road motorcycle racing (in those pre-GPS days), and the dashboard of a…

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LED flasher circuit

With cycling safety in mind, I bought a pair of low power red LED things that replace the bungs in the end of drop handlebars.

They are a neat way to get a bit of extra visibility – and to give a bicycle some visual width, I assume.

Sadly, the ones…

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Neat log current source

I take my hat off to engineers that know transistors in every intimate detail.

The other day, searching for something else completely, I came across Nat Semi (now TI) document LB-38 ‘Wide range timer’.

It times from 2ms to 2,000s using a single potentiometer – a million to one…

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