In The Trenches
by Gerard Fonte
IN THE TRENCHES
There is probably no other profession that depends upon specifications as much as engineering does. You create something to meet some set of requirements or you rely on the performance data of various components. Very often, both aspects are employed at the same time. Knowing how to make, read, and understand specifications is an important part of engineering.
Just for Starters
by Terence Thomas
JUST FOR STARTERS
Materials that can conduct current (silver, gold, aluminum, copper, etc.) contain large numbers of loosely held electrons. Their resistance to the flow of current is measured in just a few millionths of an ohm per centimeter. Insulators — such as glass, rubber, and plastic — have very few loosely held electrons and their resistance to the flow of current is measured in a few million ohms per centimeter.
Let’s Get Technical
by James Antonakos
LET’S GET TECHNICAL
Data compression has been around for a long time. If you’ve heard the expression, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” then you are familiar with the basic principle of data compression: replacing one set of symbols with another, smaller set. A high resolution photograph of an object is a better description than a mere thousand words can evoke.
by L. Paul Verhage
The study of electrostatics was our first step in the field of electronics. In electrostatics, electric charges are relatively stationary. So, the natural philosophers (early scientists) who studied the phenomenon of electrostatics concentrated primarily on the creation, storage, and interaction between the two types of electric charges. One of their tools was the electroscope, a device consisting of two metal foil leaves draped over a metal rod and protected within a glass jar.
by Mike Keesling
Some of us build robots for the educational aspects, others for a creative outlet. Some of us undoubtedly have a god complex or parenthood issues, but there is one thing that you can’t deny and that is that robots are great for impressing your friends.
by TJ Byers
In this column, I answer questions about all aspects of electronics, including computer hardware, software, circuits, electronic theory, troubleshooting, and anything else of interest to the hobbyist.
by Jon Williams
On a recent return trip from Starbucks, I noticed myself doing something that actually made me laugh. While steering with my left had, I would reach down with my right hand to adjust the coffee spout such that coffee would not slosh out while I was cornering. Honestly, I laughed out loud, then immediately thought that, if I had an accelerometer, a stepper motor, and a BASIC Stamp, I could keep both hands on the wheel. An idea was born ...