Senior Electrical Engineer

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's contributions
    • Related to this comment, when the choice is down to specific devices, check the errata. Living in a fantasy world, there will be none. Some may be for functions that will never be used in your design. There may be a "show stopper" that eliminates that device from consideration.

    • Unfortunately, DST is set by governments, which means that the "spring ahead", "fall back" dates can change, therefore, coding a scheme will probably not last to your 100th birthday. One problem with WWVB is reception, in some areas it is only received at night, although PV electronics' "High Sensitivity" time receiver may prove better. One method I have read about, but not tried is the RBDS (Radio Broadcast Data System), which is the standard some FM broadcasters in the U.S. use for the identification text that appears on some radios. The spec shows that it can also include GMT and GMT offset to local time. I have not tried it (yet). I have read that not all stations include the time, and some have incorrect time. This is NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) standard NRSC-4-B. SparkFun has a board with the Silicon Labs Si4703 FM tuner IC, which claims to feature a "RDS/RBDS Processor". Sounds like fodder for a few articles comparing WWVB vs RBDS implementation and real-world usefulness. Then again, there is no guarantee that FM broadcast radio will last until your 100th birthday.

    • To start with, I don't consider "firmware" to be "The art of designing ...". Firmware is the resulting output of the activity. I agree with others that "firmware" was an important distinction in the days of ROM and PROM, and perhaps that is the best distinction for its use today as well. It reinforced the difference between BIOS firmware and OS software. Your definition of "firmware" belongs in the discussion of the definition of "Embedded Programming" IMHO.

    • For any study aid that you use, be it a book, video, etc., be aware of the dates of the "question pool". For example, Technician class (Element 2) Pool is effective July 1, 2014 and is valid until June 30, 2018, while the current General class (Element 3) Pool is effective July 1, 2011 and is valid until June 30, 2015, at which point a new question pool is used. Questions are changed to keep up with current technology, like Software Defined Radio. You want to make sure the study materials cover everything on the test you are taking. BTW, thanks for allowing my interruption while you were preparing for a presentation at ESC Boston.

    • That is the advantage of needing two or more "controllers" for the classic games like "pong". The internal circuit can be the same, but you can have as many controllers with different shell designs as you have time to create.

    • I first thought of using a wireless connection to a smartphone or tablet, but that would be an insult to someone with your abounding creativity. Much better would be a couple of sonic screwdrivers, or possibly a light saber. I'm thinking a nine-axis sensor (rotation, translation, magnetic) in each end for more precise measurement of the motion. Of course, there would have to be a selector, to select which of your masterful creations is being controlled.

    • I don't remember if it has been mentioned before, but with two wireless remotes (analog!) you could do some classic video games, like "pong".

    • Thanks for the links Perhaps you can get the links to the source code fixed for "Make a PI controller on an 8-bit micro". The article links to "", and a search on EETimes leads to source code at "", which has no link to download, and shows a size of 0 bytes. Hope you can get the source, because converting these equations to code is not obvious to everyone.

    • As a counterpoint to my previous post, the founder of the second company was concerned about "corporate incest". Without "new blood" coming into a company, it risks doing things the same way forever, both in product design and internal procedures. So, like most things, "everything in moderation" is best. A combination of experience and new perspective. The difficult part is having both sides respect the potential of the other. But that is a different topic.

    • Thirteen years at my first company after graduating, 21 years and counting at my second company. I suspect the impact on the company of rapid turnover depends a great deal on the specific industry. I am sure there are some where one can quickly come in and perform at 100%, and others where it takes a year or more to be proficient in understanding the customer's needs and the nuances of the products. While a "successful" project may be completed on time, it may not be optimal in use, and not gain the market share it should. A difficult/expensive thing to measure with respect to engineers jumping jobs.

    • One only hopes that people are not expected to understand how the human brain works in order to use it!