Desoldering Components (EE Tip #118)

Desoldering components from a printed circuit board.

Every engineer and technician sooner or later faces the challenge of having to desolder a component. Sometimes the component can be a large transformer with 10 pins or a power chip with many connections, and desoldering tools are typically around … Continue reading


Arduino-Based DIY Voltage Booster (EE Tip #117)

Source: Elektor, April 2010

If your project needs a higher voltage rail than is already available in the circuit, you can use an off-the-shelf step-up device. But when you want a variable output voltage, it’s less easy to find a ready-made IC. However, it’s … Continue reading


Circuit Protection (EE TIP #116)

Figure 1

Circuit protection is necessary to ensure that a circuit will work reliably for 10 years and beyond. Input power supplies are susceptible to spikes from various sources including lightning, high-power machinery (e.g., generators and motors), or interference from outside sources … Continue reading


Electromagnetic Compliance Protection (EE TIP #115)

EMC Protection

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) compliance is one of the last processes before a device may be released to the public. EMC goes hand-in-hand with electromagnetic immunity (EMI), but immunity is only needed for critical devices. With EMC, it is very important … Continue reading


Open-Source Guide for Embedded Systems Developers (EE Tip #114)


What comes to mind when you hear the term “open source”? Hopefully, it means more to you than just a software application running on a PC. As an embedded systems developer, you should familiarize yourself with the wide range of … Continue reading


PCB Design Guidelines (EE Tips #113)


Designing a matching printed circuit board (PCB) can be a challenge for many electronics enthusiasts. To help ease the process, Circuit Cellar and Elektor editors compiled a list of tips for laying out components, routing, and more. When compactness is not … Continue reading


Testing Power Supplies (EE Tip #112)

Power supply testing

How can you determine the stability of your lab or bench-top supply? You can get a good impression of the stability of a power supply under various conditions by loading the output dynamically. This can be implemented using just a … Continue reading


Prototyping for Engineers (EE Tip #111)


Prototyping is an essential part of engineering. Whether you’re working on a complicated embedded system or a simple blinking LED project, building a prototype can save you a lot of time, money, and hassle in the long run. You can … Continue reading


DSP vs. RISC Processors (EE Tip #110)


There are a few fundamental differences between DSP and RISC processors. One difference has to do with arithmetic. In the analog domain, saturation, or clipping, isn’t recommended. But it generally comes with a design when, for example, an op-amp is driven … Continue reading


Reduce EMI on a Micro (EE Tip #109)


Electromagnetic interference (EMI) on a typical microprocessor board is related to the clock. If the clock is a square wave, it contains frequencies at the clock frequency and harmonics. A perfect square wave clock would have harmonic frequencies at f, … Continue reading


Toroid Cutting Simplified (EE Tip #108)


Need to work with a toroidal coil? The following toroid-cutting tips will help you prep for circuit deployment. First, pick the correct ferrite toroid for your application, put the windings on, and secure it in a vise (do not over tighten). Consider … Continue reading


Electronics Grounding (EE Tip #107)


Whether you are professional electrical engineer or part-time DIYer, before you start your next project, read through this primer on grounding. This short survey covers one of the most fundamental topics in electronics: grounding. Electronics Signal Ground or Circuit Common … Continue reading


SRPP Headphone Amp (EE Tip #106)

Martin Louw Kristoffersen, Elektor, 081151-I, 7-8/2009

Mention tube amplifiers and many designers go depressive instantly over the thought of a suitable output transformer. The part will be in the history books forever as esoteric, bulky and expensive because, it says, it is designed and manufactured for … Continue reading


FET Drivers (EE Tip #105)

Elektor, 060036-1, 6/2009

Modern microprocessors can deliver respectable currents from their I/O pins. Usually, they can source (i.e., deliver from the power supply) or sink (i.e., conduct to ground) up to 20 mA without any problems. This allows the direct drive of LEDs … Continue reading


Solar Cells Explained (EE Tip #104)

Source: Jens Nickels, Elektor, 070798-I, 6/2009

All solar cells are made from at least two different materials, often in the form of two thin, adjacent layers. One of the materials must act as an electron donor under illumination, while the other material must act as an … Continue reading