Mark Thoren and Jim Williams needed to test the temperature compensation scheme of a circuit they were designing. The lab had several temperature chambers, but they were always in use. In frustration, Jim grabbed a brand new toaster and plopped it down on Mark's desk, saying, "This will do." Not quite. The hysteresis of the oven's thermostat was 10C — too crude to measure the circuit. Mark and Jim scrounged about and found an auto-tuning temperature controller, some solid-state relays and a shiny platinum RTD probe. After some minor rewiring they had a test chamber, more than adequate and better than most of the "real" chambers that were never available when needed.
The word “smart” is becoming the dumbest word around. It has been applied to almost every device and system in our homes. In addition to smartphones and smart meters, we now hear about smart clothing and smart shoes, smart lights, smart homes, smart buildings, and every trendy city today has its smart city project. Just because it has a computer inside and is connected to the Web, does not mean it is smart.
Are you being paid enough? Do you want a better job? According to a recent survey Manpower released just before Engineers Week, employers and engineers don't see eye-to-eye about the state of US engineers' skills and experience.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.