Monthly Archives: June 2018

Preventing or Mitigating Whisker Growth in PCBs

Growth of whiskers puts PCB assembly at considerable risk, since whiskers interfere with components, and this automatically qualifies a good product as a defective one. Although a growing tin whisker may seem harmless, it can pose a very real threat to both the product as well as to the human operator. In PCB assembly, one of the most common problems that whiskers create is a short circuit or arcing. This can cause breakdown of electrical equipment, as well as harm people from the arcing. Either Read more [...]

A Cheaper Alternative for Batteries—Sodium Ion

A vast majority of electronic equipment running on batteries rely on the Lithium-ion technology for their electrode material. Since Lithium is relatively rare, its mining and refining make it an expensive material to use. This has led scientists to search for a cheaper alternative, and they have turned to the cheapest substance available, the common salt. A team from Stanford has developed a battery based on Sodium-ion whose cost per storage capacity is far lower than that of the existing batteries Read more [...]

A Music Server on Your Raspberry Pi

If you are looking to create a music server on your Raspberry Pi (RBPi), Volumio may be a suitable choice. Although several websites give perfect instructions for setting up the RBPi as a media center for watching films and video series, very few provide solutions for audiophiles who would prefer to have a server dedicated to music. Volumio is available as a Raspbian distribution. Using the application, one can manage the entire music library on a single device attached to the RBPi. Being very easy Read more [...]

Is It Necessary to Ground Cable Trays?

Within a cable tray system, one may use an Equipment Grounding Conductor (EGC), or use the body of the cable tray itself to ground the system—provided the cable tray is made of metal. There are no restrictions as to where one installs a cable tray system. Since the function of the EGC is to provide electrical safety, the EGC is the most important conductor in the electrical system. Therefore, one has three options for grounding in a cable tray wiring system: Use an EGC conductor within or Read more [...]

What is BiCMOS Technology?

CMOS and Bipolar are two of the pioneering technologies of the electronics field. Components fabricated with the CMOS technology dissipate lower power, have smaller noise margins, and are physically smaller. On the other hand, components fabricated with the bipolar technology operate at higher speeds, switch faster, and offer good noise performance. By combining the two, scientists have created the BiCMOS technology that offers a combination of advantages from both processes. For instance, BiCMOS Read more [...]

Window Blinds Offer Shade and Electricity

Everyone is looking for clean energy, because awareness is growing of the problems the use of fossil fuels is creating. Although alternate forms of energy from wind and waves is viable now, solar energy is more accessible to all, since it needs only a solar cell placed in the sun to start generating energy. SolarGaps from Ukraine offers a new type of window blinds that do double duty. You can control the smart shades by an app on your smartphone, and while they screen your house from the fierce rays Read more [...]

How Good are Cobots at Welding?

The manufacturing industry has been using robots widely for several years as a replacement for the human laborer. Recent advances in this field are the Cobots or collaborative robots. They are called collaborative as their design makes them work alongside an individual as a part of a team rather than replacing the humans. Cobots are good at operations and activities that cannot be fully automated. However, the process speed does not improve for activities such as workers ferrying parts backwards Read more [...]

Keeping Your Raspberry Pi Cool

Any PC motherboard is practically useless until you add some cooling and other accessories. This is because modern processors require cooling as they generate heat when operating. This is regardless of whether the processor is an x86, x64, an ARM based system such as the Raspberry Pi (RBPi), any other Linux or Android chipset, MIPs, or belonging to any other design. The general explanation is the internal circuitry within the processor is microscopic and does not have the adequate surface area to Read more [...]

What is an i-Robot?

The level of CO2 in our atmosphere is increasing at alarming levels, affecting all life on Earth either directly or indirectly. For instance, it is related to global warming risks, reducing the quantity of ice in the polar regions, which in turn changes the level of seas all around as the ice melts. This has significant consequences on several human activities such as fishing. It also affects the submarine environment adversely, together with the associated biological sphere. For long, scientists Read more [...]

Where are AREE Rovers Going?

NASA is planning new types of rover explorers for observing extreme environments, such as the surface of Venus. They plan to build simple yet robust vehicles. AREE is their acronym for Automaton Rovers for Extreme Environments. NASA’s Curiosity Rover on Mars has been roving and exploring the planet’s surface for the last five years. Among rovers, Curiosity is at the top position. It uses special systems for rejecting heat, X-band receiver and transmitter for communicating directly with Earth, Read more [...]