Troubleshoot Electronics Problems with Logging (EE Tip #141)

datalog

Electrical engineers often develop “headless” electronic systems—that is, systems without user interfaces. And many of those systems are embedded within product and are generally out of reach when problems occur. Bob Japenga is an engineer with some advice about logging … Continue reading

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Diode Bridge Solution (EE Tip #140)

Diode

Once I connected a battery up to a DSP in the wrong “direction,” thereby destroying the DSP. That incident drove home the necessity of “suspenders and belt” design. After the accident, my colleague and I added a diode to the … Continue reading

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Embedded Security (EE Tip #139)

EmbeddSecurity

Embedded security is one of the most important topics in our industry. You could build an amazing microcontroller-based design, but if it is vulnerable to attack, it could become useless or even a liability.   Virginia Tech professor Patrick Schaumont … Continue reading

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Don’t Trust Connectors, Solder, or Wires (EE Tip #138)

Using the wrong pinout for a connector is a common error, especially on RS-232 ports where it’s approximately 50% probable that you’ll have the wrong RX/TX mapping. Swapping the rows of a connector (as you see here) is also quite common.

Engineer Robert Lacoste is one of our go-to resources for engineering tips and tricks. When we asked him for a few bits of general engineering advice, he responded with a list of more than 20 invaluable electrical engineering-related insights. One … Continue reading

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Test Under Real Conditions (EE Tip #137)

Mark Csele's complete portable accelerometer design, which he presented in Circuit Cellar 266.  with the serial download adapter. The adapter is installed only when downloading data to a PC and mates with an eight pin connector on the PCB. The rear of the unit features three powerful
rare-earth magnets that enable it to be attached to a vehicle.

The world’s best engineers have one thing in common: they’re always learning from their mistakes. We asked Niagara College professor and long-time contributor Mark Csele about his biggest engineering-related mistake. He responded with the following interesting insight about testing under real conditions. … Continue reading

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