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Replacing Tantalum Bypass Capacitors with Multi-Layer Ceramic Devices
Engineering Investigations  
11/22/2016   27 comments
In addition to exploding, Tantalum capacitors almost always fail to a short if you reverse their polarity or exceed their working voltage.
Best Source for Low-Cost High-Quality Cables?
Engineering Investigations  
10/27/2016   11 comments
Even if you are happy employing low-cost cables for your hobby projects, would you use them for a commercial product?
India’s “Huaqiang North:” Can Indian & Chinese Dreams Both Be Achieved?
Engineering Investigations  
8/29/2016   4 comments
The “Indian Dream” would not be possible without the help of Chinese manufacturing, and the “Chinese Dream” is also inseparable from realizing the huge market opportunities in India.
Monkeying with Virtual Reality
Engineering Investigations  
7/14/2016   4 comments
Augmented reality involves adding computer-generated sensory input to a real-world environment, but what if the computer deletes things from the scene?
How Can a Young Software Developer Learn Hardware Design?
Engineering Investigations  
7/13/2016   35 comments
Few companies have mentoring programs these days, and older engineers are too busy to teach their younger counterparts.
Precision Control of a Radio-Controlled Submarine
Engineering Investigations  
6/13/2016   63 comments
Precisely controlling the depth of an RC submarine using a ballast tank may be achieved using a variety of different sensors and techniques.
Where Are All the TEM-Based Bar Jokes?
Engineering Investigations  
5/16/2016   64 comments
When you come to think about it, it looks like the 'S' (science) portion of STEM-related bar jokes is well-covered, but what about the 'TEM'?
How Do You Know When an Engineer is Cooked?
Engineering Investigations  
5/12/2016   40 comments
How can you tell when an engineer is ready to leave the nest and soar wild and free through the engineering skies?
Novel Soldering Technique Using Pseudo TIG Welder
Engineering Investigations  
4/28/2016   13 comments
Although it claims a 100-year life, the power LED in this video comes to an early demise.
Very Affordable & Incredibly Useful Electronic Component Testers
Engineering Investigations  
3/31/2016   28 comments
These testers would be worth the money if all they did was test capacitors -- the fact that they also work with resistors, inductors, diodes, and transistors is cream in the cake.
Standing at the Crossroads of Coherence & Delusion
Engineering Investigations  
3/30/2016   36 comments
We are all travelers of the infinite. The galaxy is calling to us via a resonance cascade. Can you hear it?
Cunning Chronograph: Outfoxed by Daylight Saving Time
Engineering Investigations  
3/16/2016   3 comments
What is required is an algorithm that can take the year, month, day, hour, minute, and second values from our RTC and tell us if we're currently in DST.
Are Your Charging Habits Degrading Your Smartphone & Tablet?
Engineering Investigations  
3/9/2016   12 comments
Recharging your smartphone or tablet computer when it's down to 50% charge may significantly extend the service life of your battery.
The Great Capacitor Plague of the Early 21st Century
Engineering Investigations  
2/25/2016   17 comments
Humongous numbers of capacitors manufactured between 1999 and 2003 started to fail in systems around 2002 to 2005...
Keeping an Eye on the International Space Station
Engineering Investigations  
1/9/2016   11 comments
It is inspiring to think that there are people living and working on ISS, and that there are plenty of embedded systems up there keeping it going.
Be Alert for Power-Related Conventional Wisdom
Engineering Investigations  
12/29/2015   Post a comment
It's a good idea to step back and check those baseline component and design assumptions because there are many legitimate exceptions to mainstream thinking, even in standard designs.
Heating Up: Beneath the Surface Pro 4 Tablet
Engineering Investigations  
11/12/2015   1 comment
Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 hybrid tablet uses innovative system to deal with heat.
Tech Gadgets For Your Halloween Ghost-Hunting
Engineering Investigations  
10/28/2015   Post a comment
If you're looking to get your spooky on this Halloween with ghosts, vampires, or zombies, we've got the technology to help you do it.
Twiddling the Ethics Knob
Engineering Investigations  
10/19/2015   Post a comment
We've all been thinking about ethics recently. Who among us can claim to be purists?
Electromechanical Displays: The Nipkow Disk
Engineering Investigations  
10/4/2015   Post a comment
How to get your oscilloscope to act like this maker favorite: the rotating contraption that makes a 3D display when spinning. Engineer Dennis Feucht has an idea to improve it. Maybe just in time for Halloween.
Developing Prototype Circuits from Home
Engineering Investigations  
8/18/2015   4 comments
Regardless of whether you are independent or employed by a company, there are many advantages to developing a prototype on your own.
Mythbusters Tests Killer Drones
Engineering Investigations  
7/30/2015   Post a comment
See what the team on Discovery Communications' TV series Mythbusters learned when they tested the safety of drones. The results might make you lose your head.
Mowing & Methanol
Engineering Investigations  
6/8/2015   8 comments
An autonomous lawn mower from iRobot may interfere with radio astronomy's use of methanol's radio signature as galactic markers.
Mao Zedong & Little Red Internet
Engineering Investigations  
5/21/2015   12 comments
Linking Internet leaders like Jack Ma with Chairman Mao
Cold Fusion: Alive & Kicking Without the Fusion
Engineering Investigations  
4/22/2015   1 comment
The history of scientific discovery is littered with examples of "pathological science." Just because we want something doesn't make it so.
When Coding Errors Can Kill
Engineering Investigations  
4/17/2015   7 comments
Under a mild-sounding title, software safety expert Sean Beatty will be presenting a design teardown for a detonator at ESC Boston.
10 Greatest Hoaxes in the History of Engineering
Engineering Investigations  
4/1/2015   6 comments
From faux innovations, to fake artificial intelligence, to an Internet-ready Porta-Potty, here's a look at our favorite hoaxes throughout engineering history.
Making the Grade in Industrial Design
Engineering Investigations  
11/12/2014   16 comments
Commercial, industrial, and military-grade designs are about more than paper specs. They're about human nature.
Air Conditioner Falls From Window, Still Works
Engineering Investigations  
10/1/2014   3 comments
Sometimes, it's the mundane things in electrical and electronic devices that make the difference. The strain relief on an air conditioner's line cord saved the day when the unit fell out of the window.
Missing Datasheet Details Can Cause Problems
Engineering Investigations  
9/25/2014   3 comments
A lack of information on a datasheet lead to system crashes from a hot-swap controller.
Engineers Solve Analog/Digital Problem, Invent Creative Expletives
Engineering Investigations  
8/1/2014   15 comments
An analog engineer and a digital engineer join forces, use their respective skills, and pull a few bunnies out of a hat to troubleshoot a system with which they are completely unfamiliar.
Inspection Rejection: Why More Is Less in a Vision System
Engineering Investigations  
6/3/2014   3 comments
You rarely get anything extra for free. Engineers who work on vision systems know this. But sometimes other people believe that just putting a camera on it constitutes an effective inspection setup.
When Troubleshooting Is Like Going Down a Rathole
Engineering Investigations  
5/29/2014   19 comments
It's really mind-boggling to think of what my hourly rate would be if I were paid for the actual time that I spent troubleshooting a problem to get to a fix. The challenge is to avoid going down a rathole.
Troubleshooting a Plumbing Problem the Electronics Way
Engineering Investigations  
5/29/2014   33 comments
Often water flow is used to explain basic electronics in the form of analogies. After learning the hard way, an engineer attempts to explain basic water flow in terms of electronics.
EMI Encounters: Separate Your Outhouse & Well
Engineering Investigations  
5/14/2014   10 comments
We in the EMC/EMI world often use the saying "Don't put the well next to the outhouse" to describe large EMI sources located next to very sensitive victims.
The Case of the Crazy Conveyor
Engineering Investigations  
4/29/2014   8 comments
A new conveyor wreaks havoc in a newspaper printing plant, but what's to blame?
Frankenstein's Fix: The Winners Announced!
Engineering Investigations  
11/15/2013   8 comments
The contest has come to a close. The entries were all fantastic, but there has to be a winner!
Frankenstein’s Fix: Trailer Life
Engineering Investigations  
11/13/2013   7 comments
When adapting a trailer for life near the tree line, everything in the place requires a Frankenstein's Fix.
Frankenstein’s Fix: Troubleshooting a Computer System
Engineering Investigations  
11/11/2013   2 comments
Stuck in some God-forsaken country with new equipment that refuses to work, Steve Karty saves the day with a Tektronix scope. Here's why he deserves a new one.
Frankenstein's Fix: Let There Be Flashlight
Engineering Investigations  
11/11/2013   3 comments
Every engineer has a Mount Electronica lurking. Here is how Brice Harris conquered his and what he had to show for it.
Frankenstein's Fix: Holistic Guide to Reanimating Appliances
Engineering Investigations  
11/8/2013   6 comments
The appliance doctor is in the house. David Carrier explains why laziness is the key to efficiency.
Frankenstein's Fix: The Lady
Engineering Investigations  
11/7/2013   4 comments
She was a hideous wreck, nothing but a scar on the face of our throwaway society. Troy Denton brought her back to life.
Frankenstein's Fix: Repairing the Repair Tools
Engineering Investigations  
11/6/2013   6 comments
When the repair tools are worse than the problem, Seth Peterson gets on with making a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
Frankenstein's Fix: What's Wrong With This Picture?
Engineering Investigations  
11/5/2013   5 comments
What do you do when bored on a Saturday night? Fix Camera 1, of course.
Frankenstein's Fix: the Mysterious Data Packet
Engineering Investigations  
11/5/2013   2 comments
Who knew that using a laptop to upload data to a mainframe was so ahead of its time?
Frankenstein's Fix: Burnt Bulbs & Bright Futures
Engineering Investigations  
11/5/2013   4 comments
A burnt-out bulb brings a challenge to a young engineer. Fix this with no tools to impress the girl!
Frankenstein's Fix: Signals Drift on Tropical Islands
Engineering Investigations  
11/4/2013   1 comment
A signal drifts too far, but Doug White reins it in.
Frankenstein's Fix: Musical Memory Mapping
Engineering Investigations  
11/4/2013   2 comments
When a mill doesn't want to work reliably, John comes up with a creative way to test the system.
Frankenstein's Fix: Lighting the Way With Rechargables
Engineering Investigations  
10/31/2013   4 comments
In an attempt to stop wasting normal batteries, Don rebuilds a flashlight.
Frankenstein's Fix: The Million-Dollar Power Supply
Engineering Investigations  
10/31/2013   Post a comment
Some quick thinking and a million dollar computer save the day when a power source is needed.
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