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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk

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Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics


Challenges of the Final Frontier Grant Imahara
Like many kids in my generation, I grew up with Star Trek. I’d watch the Original Series in re-runs and later followed the Next Generation in college. I found their take on space exploration fascinating and wondered if we would ever be able to explore the galaxy like Captain Kirk. In reality, space is one of the harshest environments that we as humans can face. Since we’re used to our oxygen-rich, solar-powered, radiation-shielded, one-g Earth, in order to explore the cold vacuum of outer space, we need a tremendous amount of ingenuity and determination.

Demystifying the RJ Connector Rudy Ramos
The registered connector, better known as the RJ connector and commonly known as a modular connector, is one of the most frequently used connectors, present in almost every business and household in America. Yet, it is also one of the most misunderstood, and frequently plagues its users with doubts as to whether they are using the correct connector for their application.

The Open Yocto Project Makes Embedded Linux Simple Daniel Hankewycz
With the decrease in cost of microprocessors and ARM cores, embedded Linux systems have become more accessible to the general public. Sure, it’s easy to just slap an Arduino on your project and call it done, but what if you want to go one step further and actually make your own Linux solution? The development team behind the open source Yocto Project have made compiling a custom Linux image simpler than ever.

Get Out and Flex Those Brain Muscles Caroline Storm Westenhover
Oh my goodness, did you see the Robot on Mouser robotics challenge? I have to be honest, I have done many things in software but almost nothing in hardware. I have coded robot brains to do things like clustered object avoidance, but never put it in actual hardware. I have wanted to since my second semester, I just never managed to find the time. Seeing all these robot gets me excited again.

Open Road of Discovery David Fambrough
Sometimes I feel the need to disappear, to suddenly pick up and leave – especially at those times when I feel the world is spinning just a little too fast. To slow it down, I find the perfect getaway vehicle is a car and an open road. It’s just the thing to clear my head and open myself up to new ways of thinking.

Chip To Chip: Tips For Using I2C Mike Parks
Many integrated circuit-based sensors and output devices offer an interface protocol called Inter-integrated Circuit, commonly abbreviated as I2C. There is tremendous value in using I2C-based components in a microcontroller-based solution that can result in a much more streamlined and robust product, especially if you need to interface with multiple external I/O devices. I2C allows you to share a common data and clock bus amongst multiple devices, thus reducing the I/O pin count and the number of interconnecting wires required to get everything communicating. This blog is an attempt to provide some practical tips on integrating I2C into your next application.

Robots Everywhere! Grant Imahara
Robots are nothing new to the sci-fi genre. From servants like Robby the Robot in Forbidden Planet and The Jetson’s sassy maid Rosie, to noble, innocent machines like Johnny 5 and Data, robots seem to be everywhere in entertainment. But back in the day, actually interacting with one of these creations in real life seemed like, well, science fiction. But today, many of us interact with robots on a daily basis without giving it a second thought.

A.I. Finds Love on Tinder Sylvie Barak
You’ve heard of the Love Boat, but have you heard of the Love Bot? Many romance seekers at the recent SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, were tricked into opening their hearts and pouring out their feelings to what turned out to be nothing more than Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) on the popular dating app Tinder.

Tek Ups the Bar in USB-Powered Spec Analyzers Barry Manz
USB-powered spectrum analyzers aren’t new and some are truly tiny -- just a bit bigger than a flash drive. Some have surprisingly good performance over very wide frequency ranges. The least expensive of these “instruments in a stick” is less than $100. However, every once in a while one comes along that reshuffles the deck, and the latest is the RSA306 from Tektronix. While I rarely extol the virtues of any signal product in these blogs, this one has some features that make it very interesting and suited for applications that are way beyond what instruments like this are typically used for.

SiC of GaN? Wide-Band Gap RAP Session APEC Day 1 Aimee Kalnoskas
Your intrepid reporter, a veritable APEC ingénue, felt compelled to take part in the long-held tradition at APEC: Three concurrent RAP sessions closed out on Day 1. The RAP sessions are composed of a moderator, some apparently famous power panelists, topics that foster lively (geek-bait) debates, and historically large audiences blessed with a beer on their way in. The sessions drew large crowds. (Or was it the free beer?)

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