Monday, January 1, 2018

A Practical 2018 Engineer

Making Simple, Safe, Sensible and Sturdy Electronic Products should be the aim of any Electronic Engineer. A prototype should be developed to become a Cost effective Solution.

A Practical 2018 Engineer

Never ship Beta products or sell them at High Prices. New products if not tested and developed completely should be marked Beta and Sold at lower prices. When a manufacturer is on "The Rising Edge of the Learning Curve" (delabs phrase 1998) for a product line, he has to sell products marked beta at lower price or wait till the development is mature. I have learnt this from my own blunders.

In Software Beta markings are clear, even in Webapps they mention. Hardware Industrial products are never sold in beta state. Then the Smartphones and Tablets boom led to many beta products being sold to consumers at regular prices. This should be avoided to protect the brand name and the reputation of that business segment itself.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Test Measurement Instruments

delabs designed and built many custom "engineered" Test Instruments. They were not prefect, as only one or two were fabricated. That means it will be costly to produce such instruments. It is just like tooling, you have to make some numbers to recover costs, or price it very high to compensate for the wastages and iterations. But things are better off now for building custom instruments. Yet a design firm has to make modules and keep ready, then put together a solution/system, program and ship.

Test & Measurement Instruments

When making custom equipment, you have to have an extended service agreement like 5 years. Also request a minimum order of at least 5. Make your R&D and Inventory Modular. That way it is profitable and some money available for reinvestment on instruments and Equipment for calibration and quality.

Test Measurement Instruments by delabs

Test and Measurement is all about Measurement or Metrics. Without this, every other part of electronics becomes like boneless entities.

Relationship between Instrumentation and Automation - In Test and Measurement and Industrial Process Control a common factor is instrumentation. The measuring aspect is common to both. T&M instruments are used in Testing, Research,Automated Testing, Troubleshooting and Servicing.

Instruments designed and built. (long ago).
Process control Instruments are used in Production Lines made of Machines in a Factory. It could be Counters and Timers used for Textile or Steel Industry. It can also be Temperature and Pressure Controllers used in Oil Refining or Food Processing.

So you see a difference. We have handheld Test Instruments like DMM and Scope and We have Handheld Instruments for Gas Monitoring or Humidity too. In automated testings we have rack mount test instruments. In Control panels we have Rail Mount carrying DIN standard Instruments.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Instrumentation and Measurement Circuits

Analog Circuits are the core in any instrument design, Even in a Instrument with Digital or uC control. The Interface to the Real World parameters is Analog. High Speed Analog and High Energy Measurements are the challenging areas.

T&M and Process Control Instrumentation have many things in common; but the conditions in which a Industrial Instrument works, may be very unfriendly.

Instrumentation and Measurement Circuits

Industrial Instruments are used both in Clean-Cool Control Rooms and also in a corrosive, humid, hot and vibrating industrial environment. Even high levels of Static, Magnetic influences in conjunction with spikes and brown outs can be expected.

Instrumentation and Measurement Circuits

Test and Measurement instruments are of two types, by way of its usage; Portable and Benchtop. Portable Instruments will consume low power, insulated and rugged. The Product Safety features are more stringent as they are HandHeld or slung over the shoulder. Some features and specs are sacrificed. The Benchtop version has more front panel space and can interface with other instruments or systems. More accuracy and features can be accommodated in this.

Basic Measurement
Other Circuits on this page are - in PDF -
  • Linearizing circuit  using opamps
  • Universal signal conditioner differential amp
  • Simple MilliVolt Source
  • 0-2V to 4-20mA Converter
  • Analog averaging circuit with Opamps 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Process Control Application

A Closed Loop Control System is the most important aspect of Maintenance, Regulation and Stability in any Live Process. Nature itself is self regulated in an intricate fashion, a keen observer can notice the subtle controls. In Human Created Industrial systems we have Process control as a complex science. We can start by understanding a Simple One.

Process Control Application Notes

When you fill a Bucket with water, You keep an eye on the Level of water, as you open the Analog Tap, which is an equivalent of a Motor operated Valve. Your Eye is an advanced Optical Sensor, which is able to sense the level by the computation in the brain, which in turn operates the muscles of your hand, thru the nervous system. The hand along with the Water Tap is is the Actuator. As the water fills up close to the top, you start reduction of the water flow and keep observing, then as it tops up, you tweak the tap to a trickle. When it reaches the limit you shut off the tap.

Closed Loop Control Systems

While you are half way filling the bucket, what happens if you take a short nap, or a friend comes by and you are get absorbed in conversation, the water overflows and goes waste. Then someone raises an alarm after the Runaway process happens. This is of minor consequence, but it is not so in the case of Temperature, Pressure and also many common systems like the driving of an Automobile. Remember the gears, brakes, accelerator to control and steer the car to the correct destination, a Runaway Process causes an accident.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Tutorials on Basics and Instrumentation

Theory must be studied once and referred to, again and again as you do practicals. One is by building DIY projects and then modifying them. Also Repair of equipment, troubleshooting, testing and calibrating. Then you know how components behave and real life limitations. Now design and engineer a product and test it at customer site. do a pilot production and test with more clients. Now you will learn to think based on practical applications.

Tutorials on Basics and Instrumentation Electronics

This invention lead to modern electronics, computers and internet look at this page, Transistor Photo.

History of The Transistor

A picture of the first transistor ever assembled, invented in Bell Labs in 1947. It was called a point contact transistor because amplification or transistor action occurred when two pointed metal contacts were pressed onto the surface of the semiconductor material.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Digital Electronics and Logic Circuits

The digital circuits section has been updated, most are in the pdf format. Broken links removed or changed..

Digital Circuits - These circuits are based on CD40xx Chips and other. You can use 74HCT or any other series that is available. use one family for a particular project. These were used nearly two decades ago. Use it for learning, glue logic or to interface your uC designs to external devices.

Digital Electronics and Logic Circuits

Do not make only Logic based designs like some below. It would be better to use a uC, CPLD or FPGA if you are building a complex gadget Basic Digital Circuits
  1. Basic Digital Circuits
  2. Digital Timers, Counters and Clocks
  3. Mixed and Interface Circuits
  4. 555 Timer based Circuits

More such designs as entire products

Sunday, April 17, 2016

EE Resource Sites

The EE Resource Sites has been updated. These lists are now over a decade old. Many Broken Links have been removed. Some Resources that were listed have moved to the blogs.

EE Resource Sites

Electronics Engineering Reference Resources

Electronics 1 - Hobby or DIY Electronics and Electronic Engineering Design.

Electronics Hobby or DIY Electronics and Electronic Engineering Design go hand in hand. Many inventions, discoveries and improvements in this technology has been done by Non-Engineers who acquired skills and built firms that created many positions for engineers to work in....

Electronics 2 - Embedded Systems, Microcontrollers, Electronic Projects. 

Ham Radio Enthusiasts improved the Communication Awareness and Science of RF Circuits. Now Communication Systems are built on Embedded Systems. In every niche of electronics, Microcontrollers, SoC and DSPs have become indispensable.

Electronics 3 - Industry, Magazines, Electronic Parts and Kits. Companies. 

Understanding the behavior of Electronic Components. Learning the usage of Mechanical Tools and Equipment to build or manufacture Electronic Products or Prototypes. Mastering the use of the Test Bench and Test Instruments like the Scope and DMM. All these constitute the total skill set in electronics.