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 ó 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 National Highway Traffic Safety Administrationís recent backup camera mandate could open the door to more vehicle innovations, including better graphical displays, 360-degree camera views, and the increased use of Ethernet.
With support from National Instruments, a group of dedicated students from Connally High School in Austin, where more than 50% of the students are at risk of not graduating, have created a successful robotics team that is competing in the FIRST World Championships.
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.