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Content by Bill_Jaffa
Member Since: July 15, 2013
Blog Posts: 447
Posts: 74

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All (100)           Blogs (28)           Comments (72)          
Comment: Re: Units!! - Bill_Jaffa - 11/13/2014
Comment: Re: Trace inductance - Bill_Jaffa - 11/13/2014
That Simple Sense Resistor Isn't So Simple
11/12/2014   18 comments
Using a low-value sense resistor is a common technique for measuring current through a load, but applying even this simple component for such a basic, straightforward application has its subtleties and tradeoffs.
Battery Progress Reality Check: Good & Bad News
10/29/2014   11 comments
A balanced assessment of battery tech shows solid progress is being made but no real breakthroughs are imminent.
Should We Care if AM Radio Fades Out?
10/3/2014   68 comments
How the cycle has turned: Putting an AM radio into a car was a big advance in the 1920s and 1930s; now, auto vendors are considering eliminating the radio as a standard or even optional feature, due to declining user need and listenership.
Oven Performance Shows Flip Side of Thermal Management
10/1/2014   3 comments
The standard, ubiquitous cooking oven is not only inefficient but also does a poor job. The how and why is a revealing discussion of tradition versus realities of thermal physics.
Does Reducing Power Consumption Actually Save Energy?
9/17/2014   41 comments
It's the law of unintended consequences again, as regulations to reduce energy consumption by reducing power ratings may actually have the opposite effect.
Comment: Re: Constants - Bill_Jaffa - 9/11/2014
Comment: Re: Constants - Bill_Jaffa - 9/11/2014
Comment: Re: Constants - Bill_Jaffa - 9/11/2014
Comment: Re: Constants - Bill_Jaffa - 9/11/2014
Comment: Re: Constants - Bill_Jaffa - 9/11/2014
Comment: Re: Constants - Bill_Jaffa - 9/11/2014
Comment: Constants - Bill_Jaffa - 9/11/2014
Goodbye, Fundamental Kilogram & Ampere
9/11/2014   28 comments
The basics of our vital system of defining primary units are changing radically. An article explains and explores the changes, as well as the implications.
In Pseudoscience Grounding Trend, EEs Unintentionally Lead the Way
9/8/2014   21 comments
Some companies think you need to personally be at equipotential with Earth for better health and a sense of well being, but electrical engineers have always used grounding straps.
Comment: Re: Solar Output - Bill_Jaffa - 8/12/2014
Comment: Re: Solar Output - Bill_Jaffa - 8/12/2014
Comment: Re: Water vapor - Bill_Jaffa - 8/12/2014
What if Gravitational Constant G Isn't?
8/10/2014   43 comments
We take this fundamental constant for granted, but determining its value with precision is surprisingly tricky -- and what if that value isn't truly constant?
Comment: DSL shouldn't work - Bill_Jaffa - 7/31/2014
Bicycles, Circuits & Interactive Adjustments
7/1/2014   16 comments
When adjustments interact with each other, calibrating the system requires many iterative loops.
Can We All Afford the Cost of Energy-Efficient Design?
6/9/2014   4 comments
It's easy to promote energy-saving technologies and products, but their up-front cost may be too high for many people, despite the assurance of long-term benefit.
John Houbolt's Passing Has Lessons for All Engineers
News & Analysis  
5/19/2014   21 comments
We can all learn from the champion of the Apollo Lunar Module.
Is There a TEG in Your Power Future?
5/7/2014   1 comment
The low-efficiency thermoelectric generator (TEG) finds a role in a camping stove -- but is the energy used/gained balance positive or negative?
Comment: Remote access - Bill_Jaffa - 4/30/2014
Comment: Re: Hamfests - Bill_Jaffa - 4/28/2014
Continuity: So Easy to Check, Except When It's Not
4/7/2014   26 comments
I'm still looking for a test unit which solves my one-wire continuity problem.
AC Grounds: So Essential, Except When They're Not
3/25/2014   4 comments
"Ground" has become one of those terms that gets used so often that it means everything and nothing at the same time, but it's a very important issue whenever you have an AC line in the system -- and sometimes even when you don't.
Comment: Knobs no more - Bill_Jaffa - 3/18/2014
Comment: What they carry - Bill_Jaffa - 3/5/2014
When Conventional Power Supply Wisdom Isn't So
2/25/2014   2 comments
It's easy to repeat power supply truisms so often that they become accepted as absolute facts, but good engineering means reviewing the specifics of the situation and making a fresh assessment.
Comment: Re: Old Scopes - Bill_Jaffa - 2/13/2014
Whatever Happened to Superconducting Power Lines?
1/22/2014   7 comments
We were assured that these zero-loss transmission lines would be among the next disruptive technologies to go mainstream, but it is not clear what their reality actually is.
Enough With the Solar Power 'Magic,' Please!
1/8/2014   30 comments
Free power from the sun is a great idea, except when it's not. Often such schemes make little or no sense, and are mostly attention-getting ploys that we love to read about, apparently.
Has Signal Integrity Killed the Breakout Box?
12/24/2013   8 comments
The trusty breakout box, once common for RS-232 testing, has fallen victim to the high-speed digital signal.
Comment: Re: Out of balance - Bill_Jaffa - 12/2/2013
Comment: Re: Out of balance - Bill_Jaffa - 12/2/2013
Energy Availability vs. Power Needs
12/2/2013   19 comments
These two critical parameters are related but different, and obscuring their differences can lead to design confusion.
Voltage Is Not Power (But We Still Need It)
11/25/2013   10 comments
You can't have one without the other. We need voltage to drive the current, and we need current to deliver power to a load. Higher voltage alone is nice but not enough.
Comment: Re: Noisy TV - Bill_Jaffa - 11/14/2013
Subtle Power Problem Literally Confounds Logic Circuit
11/13/2013   8 comments
Power-supply problems can show up in many ways in a system and steer you down many wrong paths, looking for the cause.
Surprise: Aereo's Biggest Woe May Be Power, Not Legal
10/30/2013   11 comments
The legal battle between Aereo and traditional broadcasters is getting all the attention, but the power and dissipation challenges may be even bigger.
Nice Circuit, Ugly Schematic
10/21/2013   33 comments
The wiring schematic is a standard part of a design’s "reveal." When it is done with the right engineering esthetic, it reflects well on the design and the designer.
LDOs: Little Respect, but Lots of Innovation
10/15/2013   4 comments
Switching regulators get most of the DC/DC attention, but the venerable low-dropout regulator may be the better choice in your design, especially when encountering higher temperatures.
Want Diversity? Look to New Power-Related ICs
9/20/2013   1 comment
The world of power-related IC controllers and regulators shows that things can be somewhat the same and very different, all at the same time.
Electric Bus Recharging on the Go: Good Idea or Just Too Limiting?
9/11/2013   8 comments
Can the dream of powering vehicles from cables buried under the roadway become a reality, at least in limited applications?
As Digital Cameras Fade Away, Their Driver IC Market Evaporates
8/13/2013   3 comments
The fast growth of the digital camera market has ended, and it is now in sharp decline -- with implications for LED flash- and motor-drive IC vendors.
Li-ion Battery Growth Drives IC Opportunities
8/8/2013   5 comments
The virtues of Li-ion rechargeable cells come at a technical cost in charge/discharge management and security -- and this translates to opportunity for those IC vendors with analog and power expertise.

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