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posted in February 2009
E-Cars as power grid stabilizers -- a pipe dream?
Automotive DesignLine Blog  
2/26/2009   6 comments
Utilities are keen on electric cars since they need their batteries to stabilize the grid. Can this plan work?
Vehicle electrification happens in truck market, study says
News & Analysis  
2/25/2009   Post a comment
Despite the ongoing hype about HEV and electric drives for passenger cars, the stage for vehicle 'electrification' is somewhere else. Market researcher Darnell Group says heavy-duty trucks are much more prone for alternative powertrain approaches.
IBM joins Danish EDISON Project to develop smart grid for electric vehicles
News & Analysis  
2/25/2009   Post a comment
IBM has become a new member of the EDISON research consortium, a Denmark-based collaborative aimed at developing an intelligent infrastructure that will make possible the large scale adoption of electric vehicles powered by sustainable energy.
Robot theme park to break ground
Industrial Control DesignLine Blog  
2/24/2009   1 comment
Robot Land, a robot theme park housing entertainment, education and corporate facilities expects to be open to the public by 2013.
MEMS energy harvesting challenges go beyond energy density
Product News  
2/24/2009   Post a comment
MEMS energy harvesting challenges go beyond energy density, says Yole Dveloppement's 'MEMS Energy Harvesting Devices: Technologies & Markets Report'.
Maxon Motor : Coaxial drive is silent and powerful
Product News  
2/23/2009   Post a comment
The low noise coaxial-drive (Koaxdrive) KD 32 planetary gearhead from maxon motor is well suited for use in noise-sensitive, highly demanding applications.
Protection algorithms provide a new way of fault mitigation
Design How-To  
2/19/2009   Post a comment
Smart switches, with protection "in silicon," improve reliability and safety while cutting harness cost.
Understanding regeneration - Part 2: The motor as a generator
Design How-To  
2/17/2009   1 comment
This white paper on regeneration concludes with a look at the motor as a generator and offers example formulas for calculating the required size of a motor.
Can you help find this industrial switch?
Industrial Control DesignLine Blog  
2/17/2009   Post a comment
When you combine Max Maxfield (of Programmable Logic DesignLine) with a fun project you never know what to expect - in this case an unusual request concerning a mono-lever industrial switch.
Schroff : Plug-in housings have slide-in cover plates
Product News  
2/17/2009   Post a comment
Electronics packaging specialist Schroff has launched a family of 19 inch plug-in units that feature a slide-in cover plate, providing a reduction in assembly time compared with screw-on cover plates.
Allegro : Hall-effect switches offer improved repeatability
News & Analysis  
2/16/2009   Post a comment
The A1120, A1220 and A1221 Hall-effect switches and latches are suited for operation over extended temperature ranges up to +150 °C, and are available in two different package styles.
Flared pin heat sinks offer 30 percent performance benefits
Product News  
2/16/2009   Post a comment
A new line of flared pin fin heat sinks have been introduced by Cool Innovations Inc., (Toronto, Canada) that are designed to provide enhanced cooling power performance due to an innovative structure that was specifically optimized for natural convection environments.
Valeo, Michelin cooperate on electric, hybrid drives
News & Analysis  
2/16/2009   Post a comment
French automotive tier ones Valeo and Michelin have announced to bundle their forces in the development of electric drives and hybrid drives. The move includes the development of recharcheable elements in the power train as well as other technology segments relevant for reducing CO2 emission and improving the power efficiency.
New heat sinks claimed to provide unparalleled cooling power
Product News  
2/13/2009   Post a comment
Flared-pin-fin heat sinks from Cool Innovations provide an innovative alternative for natural convection.
Westcode launches water-cooled heatsink
Product News  
2/13/2009   Post a comment
Westcode Semiconductors Ltd. (Chippenham, England) has introduced a water-cooled heatsink for its power semiconductors. The nickel-plated copper heatsink has a 127-mm diameter contact plate, making it suitable for press-pack devices with electrode contacts up to 125-mm diameter.
Volkswagen, Toshiba bundle forces for e-cars, batteries
News & Analysis  
2/13/2009   Post a comment
Volkswagen AG (Wolfsburg, Germany) and Toshiba Corp. (Tokyo) have agreed to jointly develop electric automotive drives and the respective control electronics. In addition, the companies will cooperate in developing high-density battery systems for next-gen electrically-driven cars.
Hall-effect switches and latches offer improved repeatability benefits
Product News  
2/12/2009   Post a comment
A new family of Hall-effect switches and latches has been introduced by Allegro MicroSystems Europe that offer superior switching repeatability through their resistance to temperature variations and thermal stresses.
dSpace expands signal generator for ECU tests
Product News  
2/12/2009   Post a comment
dSpace GmbH (Paderborn, Germany) has added new options to its DS2302 Direct Digital Synthesis Board. The enhancements aim at more powerful signal generation, enhancing the range of application cases, in particular when it comes to simulate intelligent wheel speed sensors.
Transducers USA : Audio buzzers suit harsh environments
Product News  
2/11/2009   Post a comment
The expansion of the operating temperature range for Transducers USA’s line of 400-Hz buzzers makes the products well suited for usage in extreme high or low temperature environments.
Opinion: The illegitimacy of electronics
2/11/2009   2 comments
What do Leica, Olivetti and the Swiss watch industry have in common? All these companies and industries encountered difficulties in achieving the technological shift from mechanics to electronics, despite recognizing the threat at an early point.
Understanding regeneration
Design How-To  
2/10/2009   1 comment
This article provides an overview of regeneration - what it is and how it occurs - and managing it in RoboteQ controllers.
Shock absorber harvests energy
Product News  
2/10/2009   4 comments
By harvesting the energy wasted by ordinary shock absorbers, a prototype device developed by MIT researchers aims to take over much of the work now performed by alternators.
Giving energy harvesting the bump test
Power Management DesignLine Blog  
2/9/2009   1 comment
Energy harvesting is without doubt going to be one of the power management themes of 2009. Throughout the year we are going to be bombarded with new techniques to harness energy from all kinds of unusual power sources. Some will be clever and some will be downright whacky.
ALPS : Smallest TACT switch has realistic operating feel
Product News  
2/9/2009   Post a comment
ALPS Electric claims the industry's smallest TACT switch with a projection for use in compact digital devices.
Omnipolar Hall switches reduce power consumption in hand-held devices
Product News  
2/6/2009   Post a comment
Diodes Incorporated has unveiled two low voltage Omnipolar switches that reduce power consumption in battery-powered, hand-held devices and also simplify production processes.
Advanced user interfaces take safety into account: Part 2 - Flexible HMIs
Design How-To  
2/4/2009   Post a comment
Properly designed, an automotive HMI can bridge the gap between the competing demands for greater connectivity and greater safety.
Use micro-stepping techniques to smooth operation of step motors
Design How-To  
2/3/2009   2 comments
This article details a micro-stepping design technique that improves the precision of the rotor movement and smoothes out the motion of stepping motors.
10 more good reasons to invest in robots
Industrial Control DesignLine Blog  
2/3/2009   Post a comment
Last year robotics manufacturer ABB offered 10 good reasons to invest in robots. Here are ten more.
CIT Relay : SMT tactile switch is subminiature size
News & Analysis  
2/2/2009   Post a comment
With a 2.5 mm profile and a footprint is 8.0 x 3.7 mm, the CS1205 series gull wing, surface mount, momentary switch is well suited for applications where board space is at a premium.
Tyco : Circuit board relays are suitable for through-hole-reflow soldering
Product News  
2/2/2009   Post a comment
Tyco Electronics offers power circuit-board relays suitable for THR (through-hole-reflow) soldering processes.
Allegro : Automotive sensor offers dual operating modes
Product News  
2/2/2009   1 comment
The A1386 is a user-programmable linear Hall-effect sensor IC targeted at applications in the automotive market requiring flexibility and accuracy in absolute position sensing.

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Max Maxfield

Feast Your Orbs on My Vetinari Clock Prototype
Max Maxfield
Well, I have to admit that I have a great big Cheshire Cat-type grin plastered on my face at the moment, because the prototype for my Vetinari Clock project is now well underway.

Jack Ganssle,

Open Office: Your Fart is My Problem
Jack Ganssle,
A Washington Post article, Google got it wrong. The open-office trend is destroying the workplace, describes how the author's ad agency moved her from a private office to an open space ...

Rich Quinnell

Bloopers Book Helps Improve GUI Development
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Courtesy of fellow editor "Max" Maxfield (aka Max the Magnificent), I recently acquired a copy of GUI Bloopers 2.0 by Jeff Johnson of UI Wizards. I found it an interesting read chock full ...

Rich Quinnell

Making the Grade in Industrial Design
Rich Quinnell
As every developer knows, there are the paper specifications for a product design, and then there are the real requirements. The paper specs are dry, bland, and rigidly numeric, making ...

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