Monthly Archives: February 2018

What makes a Soldering Iron?

Solder, usually an alloy of lead and tin, has a low melting temperature. Placed between two metallic objects and heated, solder melts and wets the two metallic surfaces. On cooling, solder forms a bond between the two objects. Originally, a heated iron piece brought the solder to its melting point, hence the name soldering iron. Later, people found copper to be a better replacement for iron piece. People working with electronic components are the biggest users of the soldering iron today. To suit Read more [...]

What is the Automatic Test Equipment PCB?

Targeted towards verification of the functionality of a specific semiconductor chip, all major test activities use an automatic test equipment printed circuit board (ATE PCB) or simply a test board. Testing semiconductor chips with advanced functionality is necessary for manufacturers to ensure their reliability and functionality to OEM customers, and establish they operate according to their specifications. In simple terms, the ATE PCB serves as an interface between the specific semiconductor chip Read more [...]

Raspberry Pi Control for Pool Temperature and Motor

Owners of swimming pools often have no idea of the temperature of the water in the pool relative to the surrounding air. They also are unable to control the pump schedules unless they put up a mains timer. However, using a single board computer such as the Raspberry Pi (RBPi) makes it easy to display the temperature on a webpage, while it switches the pump automatically on or off based on a preset schedule. The pool monitoring system does not need a full version of the RBPi, as the RBPiZW, the Zero Read more [...]

Advanced Control of 3D Printers through Voxel

The spectacularly astonishing new technology, additive manufacturing or 3-D printing, continues to grow thanks to reducing costs, new processors, and greater research. The price reduction comes mainly from an increase in the availability of and access to the technology to a broader audience. However, it has other things going for it too, such as increasing automation, expanding materials, improving software, and voxel control, all continuing to push the limits of additive manufacturing. According Read more [...]

Advanced PCB Technologies — High Density Interconnect

Engineers often face a peculiar dilemma. On one hand, they need to enhance the functionalities of electronic gadgets they design so that customers have more value for their money, while they are constrained to use a sleek form factor. Not only does this impose a tremendous challenge to cram many components within a highly restricted space, but the challenge extends to maintaining the quality and integrity of the design as well. Designers meet the challenge in different ways. They use subminiature Read more [...]

How mSAP Enhances HDI PCB Capabilities

With 5G technology around the corner, we are looking at the emergence of 5G smartphones. While this requires new manufacturing technologies such as high-density interconnect Printed Circuit Boards (HDI PCB), smartphones need to be less expensive and produced at greater efficiencies. Customers usually covet compact sleek devices. Therefore, manufacturers need to balance function and form so that their products stand out in a crowd in a competitive marketplace. The smartphone market can be a treacherous Read more [...]

What Are Thermoelectric Modules?

Discovery of the Peltier effect in 1834 led to the development of solid-state heat pumps, but the devices became commercially available only in the 1960s, when the combination of ceramic substrates with advanced semiconductor thermocouple materials made it possible. Solid-state heat pumps or thermoelectric modules utilize the Peltier effect to dissipate heat through a heat exchanger. While operating, DC current flowing through the thermoelectric module creates heat transfer and a temperature differential Read more [...]

Selecting Universal Motor Controls

Inside the home, one will find a number of gadgets with the universal motor dominating. Mostly, these are used in high speed, low-cost motor applications, such as in power tools, vacuum cleaner, and countertop blenders. However, not all gadgets perform equally. For example, a bargain-basement blender may make a lot of noise when working. Others may be relatively quieter. While some products have a tendency to overheat, others run cool even if you load them over. Actually, the motor itself has little Read more [...]

Interfacing the Tilt Hydrometer and Thermometer to the Raspberry Pi

Tilt is a wireless hydrometer and thermometer combination suitable for home brewers that allow instant readout of the specific gravity of your brew. You can see the specific gravity readings on your Apple iPhone, iPad, or Android smartphone. Furthermore, Tilt can talk to your single board computer, the Raspberry Pi (RBPi). Tilt will talk to most devices sporting the Bluetooth 4.0+ interface. Once you have the data in your device, you can optionally save the data automatically into a cloud using Read more [...]

How Are Industrial Lasers Cooled?

There are several varieties of industrial lasers. Some lasers, such as fiber lasers, have specific arrangements that enable spreading the heat they generate over a larger surface area. This arrangement gives fiber lasers better cooling characteristics over other media. Other lasers need extra cooling arrangements to remove the heat they generate. For example, ion lasers generate extreme heat when active and need elaborate cooling methods. Other lasers, emitting energy in the microwave and far-infrared Read more [...]