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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk

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Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics


Electronics’ Wizardry: An Arduino Compatible Human-Machine Interface To Win Friends And Impress People Mike Parks
Makers and engineers now have a ridiculously easy way to add a high quality touchscreen display to the Arduino UNO without a lot of fuss. It’s called the CleO35 and seems ideal for projects that need a simple yet elegant Human-Machine Interface (HMI). That’s nerd speak for the barrier between the human user and the digital device. The CleO35 was first introduced on Indiegogo, a crowdfunding site, by FTDI Chip.

Starting out: Essential Electronics Tools, Part I Mike Parks
The rise of Open Source Hardware (OSHW) has made it easier than ever to tinker with electronics. But even in a world where open source development (dev) platforms are making it appreciably easier to get started, tools are still a must for doing any serious circuit building and testing. Investing in good tools early in your maker career can make all the difference as to whether or not you stick with electronics as a hobby (or even profession), or give up in frustration when a circuit doesn’t quite work the way you intended.

Powered by the Intel Edison Mike Parks
A long time ago (January 2014) at a Consumer Electronics Show far, far away (unless you live in Las Vegas), Intel unveiled their Edison “computer-on-module” development board aimed at wearables and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. A mashup of an Arduino and Raspberry Pi, with a dash of WiFi, Bluetooth, and a 4GB of flash memory compressed into a package just a little larger than an SD card, the Edison has proven to be a formidable embedded platform. In the months since the world got their hands on the Edison boards, a lot of amazing projects have emerged. We’ll take a look at four Edison-based creations that have captured our imaginations.

A DIY Starting Guide with the Arduino 101 Warren Miller
I have been toying with the idea of diving into the Do It Yourself (DIY) and Maker communities, well maybe more like getting my toe in the water, for a while now, but I just couldn’t find the right project to get started. Then just a few weeks ago I saw the Arduino 101 (Genuino 101 outside the U.S.) and was intrigued by this ‘upgrade’ of the familiar Arduino platform using the low-power Intel Curie™ module.

Walking Ham: A Day in the Life of a “Walking Dead” Amateur Radio Operator Mike Parks
“CQ CQ CQ. This is November One Hotel November Papa. Anyone got their ears on?” I ask the ether. Still, nothing but static. It’s been like this for months now. My stomach is grumbling but my desire to find someone, anyone, is too strong to breakaway from my radio. Not to mention the fact that those roaming monsters scare the heck out of me. Leaving the relatively safe confines of my ham shack is decidedly unappealing except for the annoying little fact that my food supplies are running low. Very low.

Analyzing the Possibilities: Designing a Tricorder BoosterPack Mike Parks
The engineering profession and the Maker movement are both driven by the fundamental notion that if you can dream it, you can build it. Now more than ever, individuals and small teams are empowered to turn ideas into functional prototypes without the need for significant upfront capital investment. The combination of affordable electronics design tools (e.g. Mouser's MultiSIM Blue), open source software licensing, desktop manufacturing equipment (e.g. 3D printers and CNC machines, and PCB manufacturing services (e.g. PCB Assembly Express) that cater to small volume productions are making the niche product design affordable and easier than ever before.

Children and the F-word Lynnette Reese
It’s times like that when I ask myself….”Now why did I have kids?” The word “cute” comes to mind, but when I realize I could be drinking mojitos in the Caribbean with the extra time and money. A cross country move or camping means whining and crabbiness, dogs and kids that need a restroom stop every 2 hours, and (purposely?) lost toothbrushes….being a parent comes with a sense of resignation at times. It does get balanced out by the good times, and it makes for some really funny memories. For those of you who don’t have kids, kudos to you, the world is getting crowded anyway. But in solidarity with those of us who do have kids, let’s talk about the good side of that venerable venture, because parenting is as old as man. (Neanderthals were parents, too.)

Milling About: CNC Routing a Circuit Board Mike Parks
Breadboards are fantastic for experimenting with a circuit design and testing components. Eventually, you will want to move to a more robust solution for a circuit that is intended to escape the confines of laboratory and bravely venture into the real-world.

MultiSIM BLUE and the Homebrewed Circuit Board Mike Parks
It’s a great time to be an electronics engineer and an even better time to be a weekend warrior tinkerer. The line between these two worlds is rapidly evaporating as the tools that enable circuit design plummet in cost and skyrocket in capability. The most important thing that a product can do for us is to streamline our workflow while still delivering high quality results.

Development Kits Evolve to Include Fewer Instructions Lynnette Reese
Development kits (dev kits) save time because they are a ready-made circuit/platform. The purpose of a dev kit is so you can run experiments on it. It’s much cheaper to burn up a dev kit than an original design. A dev kit usually comes as a box with manuals, one or more PCBs, and maybe some cables, a power supply, and software or links to software, and they are perfect for getting a next look past the data sheet. There are dev kits for all kinds of parts from fiber optics to complete design-your-own car remote key fobs. Most processor/CPU/MCU-focused dev kits are complete in that they can be used right out of the box, and maybe you do a little programming to customize things.

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