Op-Amp Versus Comparator (EE Tip #128)


Practically every lecture course or textbook on electronics describes how to use an operational amplifier as a comparator. Here we look at the possibility in more detail, and see how it can often be a very poor idea. The idea … Continue reading


Build an Adequate Test Bench (EE Tip #127)

Test Board

It’s in our makeup as engineers that we want to test our newly received boards as soon as possible. We just can’t wait to connect them to a power supply and then use our test bench equipment (e.g., generators, oscilloscopes, … Continue reading


A Wire Is an Inductor (EE Tip #126)


I’m confident you know that you should keep wires and PCB tracks as short as possible. But I’m also sure that you will underestimate this problem fairly frequently. Remember that 1 cm of a 0.25-mm-wide PCB track is roughly equivalent … Continue reading


Triangulation, Trilateration, or Multilateration? (EE Tip #125)

Triangulation - EL-Valens-Feb11

Local Positioning System (LPS) and GPS (not just the US system) both use several transmitters to enable a receiver to calculate its geographical position. Several techniques are possible, each with its advantages and drawbacks. The important thing in all these … Continue reading


A Fundamental Rule of Grounding (EE Tip #124)


Quantum mechanics notwithstanding, our world is analog. And so despite our fascination with everything digital, we need interfaces to provide bridges for our analog reality to cross over to the digital paradigm and then back again. One may ask: Is … Continue reading