Liberally Apply Test Points (EE Tip #144)

MCU

When I first started designing, I did not understand the need for the scope posts for hardware test points. I could always tack on a wire or, with many through-hole parts, connect my scope right to the chip. But now test points are essential. … Continue reading

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Use Watchdog Timers (EE Tip #143)

ComponentsDesk-iStock_000036102494Large

Watchdog timers are essential to many complete electronic system designs.  As Bob Japenga explains, following a few guidelines will help make your designs more effective. No longer used in just the realm of fault-tolerant systems, independent watchdog timers are put on systems … Continue reading

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Got Problematic Little Bits? (EE Tip #142)

Source: Raymond Vermeulen (Elektor, October 2011)

While testing a project, something strange happened (see the nearby image). The terminal showed nonsense, but the logic analyzer properly displayed “Elektor” in ASCII. The latter also indicated that the UART was operating at 4800 baud instead of the 19200 … Continue reading

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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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