Category Archives: Guides

Variables in Lead-Free Reflow for PCBs

Reflow ovens often show degrees of variability from profile to profile. This may depend on the distribution of components on the board, especially those that are slow heating, heat-sensitive, or of high mass. In general, reflow systems cannot generate one single reflow profile producing capable thermal results for all products. For instance, a large BGA package on the PCB may not allow more than five degrees of variation near the peak of the reflow profile curve. Therefore, even while the BGA Read more [...]

How Counterfeit Electronic Parts and Components Affect Businesses

Although counterfeiting has been an age-old industry, it is only recently that the impact of counterfeit electronic parts and components has come to be highlighted. The public is slowly gaining the awareness of the implications and risks such counterfeited electronics bring to trusting users. It is difficult for manufacturers to trace the origin of the counterfeited parts compared to the traceability present for the authentic components. It is possible these are older, but legitimate versions Read more [...]

What are Flexible Heaters?

Everyone is familiar with heaters. Although the simplest forms of heaters are sunlight and fire, both are not easy to handle or control. Therefore, people prefer using electricity for generating heat, as this is easy to control, requiring only a switch to shut off or turn on. An electric heater generates heat by driving current through a resistive element. The power this arrangement consumes is the product of the resistance of the element and the square of the current flowing through it. The resistance Read more [...]

How is Solid Insulation Tested?

Engineers test solid insulation using two important test methods, and both use the Direct Voltage. One of the tests involves checking the resistance of the insulation, while the other tests the leakage current through the insulation at high voltages. Insulation Resistance Testing The instrument used for conducting this test is a megohmmeter. The instrument can be hand-cranked, motor driven, or electronic. Regardless of its principle of operation, a megohmmeter generates a direct voltage in Read more [...]

What are Memristors?

What are Memristors and where are they used? Professor Leon Chua developed the memristor theory in 1971. A scientist discovered the behavior of memristors when he was working in a lab at HP, trying to figure out crossbar switches. Memristors are also known as matrix switches, as they behave as a switch when connecting multiple inputs to several outputs. When Professor Chua looked at the assortment of resistors, capacitors, and inductors for the switching, he noticed a vital missing component, Read more [...]

Stylus: The Future of the Electronic Pencil?

So far, people have been rather disappointed in using Electronic Pencils (styluses) for the purposes of taking notes on their smartphones. However, a new combination of the MyScript Nebo note-taking app and the Apple Pencil on the iPad Pro seems like a winner. This is really helpful to people who are coming up with ideas at odd times of the day, and have to look for a piece of paper and pencil to jot them down. The trouble with the paper and pencil approach is eventually every hand-written note Read more [...]

What is a QLED?

Recently, Samsung has announced their new TV technology using QLEDs to counter the OLED TVs that LG and others have put on the market. QLED stands for Quantum dot LED, and though Samsung has been using the concept of quantum dots in its TVs for quite some years now, they claim they will be bringing out several flavors of the QLED technology. According to Samsung, QLEDs are transmissive, as LCDs are, and light goes through several layers to create an image on the surface of the screen. The company Read more [...]

Multicolored LEDs Create Secondary Colors

Any student of physics knows mixing two primary color light sources produces a secondary color. For instance, mixing the primary colors red and green creates the secondary color yellow. There are three primary colors—Red, Blue, and Green. This process is easily seen in tricolor and RGB LEDs. There is a disadvantage in this method. As two primary colors are necessary for generating a secondary color, two LEDs must remain turned on at the same time. Therefore, generating a secondary color means Read more [...]

The Law, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence

We use a lot of electronic gadgets in our lives, revel in Artificial Intelligence, and welcome the presence of robots. This trend is likely to increase in the future, as we continue to allow them to make many decisions about our lives. For long, it has been a common practice using computer algorithms for assessing insurance and credit scoring among other things. Often people using these algorithms do not understand the principles involved, and depend on the computer’s decision with no questions Read more [...]

What is a Programmable Logic Controller?

Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) are miniature industrial computers. The hardware and software in a PLC are meant to perform control functions. Specifically, a PLC helps in the automation of industrial electromechanical processes. This includes controlling machinery on assembly lines in a factory, rides in an amusement park, or instruments in a food processing industrial establishment. Most PLCs are designed to facilitate multiple arrangements of analog and digital inputs and outputs. They Read more [...]