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Q&A

General Q&A about the design and function of electronic systems, electric power systems and infrastructure, their theory, and tools specific to those fields. Read these guidelines before posting.

283 posts ·
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I've heard that a bootloader is code that runs on a microcontroller, and is used to get your application code onto the micro. How does that work? Is there anything special that needs to be done to...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Olin Lathrop‭  ·  edited 3y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

85%
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What value pullup resistor should I use for a pushbutton connected to a microcontroller input? I've seen values from 1 kΩ to over 100 kΩ. Some references just say to use 10 kΩ because it's a "goo...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Olin Lathrop‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Circuit fantasist‭

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The question: Is there a way to convert from triple-phase 208VAC to single-phase 208VAC? Background: Hi everyone, I am stuck on a project I'm working on. I'd like to convert 208VAC (three phase,...

2 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by cosined‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Andy aka‭

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Recently I have heard this opinion from experienced engineers when discussing PCB design software. The common opinion was that Allegro and Altium are supposedly professional programs whereas Eagle ...

2 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by Wilkins Ticklebum‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Andy aka‭

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I have no experience designing for Intrinsic Safety (IS), but need to do that now. I have read thru IEC 60079-11, which seems to be the relevant standard for my purposes. The board I need to desi...

4 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by Olin Lathrop‭  ·  last activity 5mo ago by Hawk2020‭

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Usual values used in doing electronics/power supplies are almost always round numbers: 5V 12V 28V 48V 60V I understand that in some cases IC's are built to accept the voltage directly com...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by 2kind‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Mu3‭

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Although I have done multiple PCB designs which passed FCC and CE equivalents using the MCU's/Multiple MCU's, I have a doubt about how to approach the high speed design using FPGA SoC - main thing ...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by 2kind‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

81%
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We see schematics of varying quality and conventions. What is good and bad? What are the rules and conventions for drawing good schematics? What matters? What doesn't? This question is about sch...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭  ·  last activity 5mo ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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I am looking at various DC/DC converter topologies for a power system I am designing. The most suitable topology for me is one that can perform both step-up and step-down functions, so I am looking...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Mu3‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Nick Alexeev‭

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The premise In a recent video by the pop-sci channel Veritasium, the concept of the flow of electricity and energy transmission in a circuit was discussed. In that video a thought experiment is pr...

5 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by Mu3‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by coquelicot‭

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The circuit above is used to control a 240W ceramic heater by means of a PWM signal at 30Hz, generated by a microcontroller, with 5V logic. The input is a standard 280W AC-DC external power adapt...

2 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by francesco‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Pete W‭

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I am analysing a pulse transformer which is required to transfer below communication protocol pulse from primary to the secondary side. The pulse duration is 32 μs and off time available to reset t...

2 answers  ·  posted 7mo ago by kadamrohan16‭  ·  last activity 7mo ago by Andy aka‭

80%
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When writing firmware in C for a microcontroller, how can I directly access a memory location such as a hardware peripheral register, given its absolute address? Is there a way to do this safely an...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Lundin‭  ·  edited 3y ago by Lundin‭

80%
+6 −0

Hello. I have a grounding problem on my acquisition system. I have read many articles, app notes and whatever but still could not find a convincing solution for the topic. The acquisition system is...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by stinf‭  ·  edited 2y ago by stinf‭

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I'm designing a high side current source that can be controlled with a Digital-to-analog and can source up to 100mA with voltage supply up to 36V. By high side I mean one side of load will be alwa...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by DeadMouse‭  ·  last activity 11mo ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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As we know there exists numerous different kinds of PCB CAD software. The big ones seem to be Eagle, KiCAD, Altium, OrCAD, Solidworks, DesignSpark and probably a few more. When it comes to mechani...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Lundin‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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First I noticed that clock begins before chipselect gets pulled low on SPI. After eliminating potential sources I started to suspect the scope. I connected all 4 channels to function generator at d...

3 answers  ·  posted 9mo ago by Elleanor Lopez‭  ·  last activity 9mo ago by Elleanor Lopez‭

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One of the ceramic capacitors that I've found(link to the capacitor) specifies the following characteristics at 10 kHz: The difference in value is quite significant, almost 100 fold. Which grap...

3 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by 2kind‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by TonyStewart‭

77%
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I was watching a video from EEVBLOG about bypass capacitors, and he presented a theory that randomly connecting different values of capacitors in parallel can create unexpected impedance spikes: ...

3 answers  ·  posted 10mo ago by Elleanor Lopez‭  ·  last activity 10mo ago by Andy aka‭

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Assume I'm a complete beginner at RF. Is there a way to measure return loss of an antenna, in such a manner that I can reliably reproduce the measurement later on? What I'm talking about is produ...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Lundin‭  ·  last activity 8mo ago by TonyStewart‭

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I know that in transistors there is base, collector and emitter, and in FETs there is gate, drain and source, but what is the fourth grounded connection opposite the gate in this NMOS circuit?

1 answer  ·  posted 11mo ago by NMOS lover‭  ·  last activity 11mo ago by Andy aka‭

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Signal characteristics are: 0 to 3.3V span 0 to 100Hz range( there will be noise superposed on top with unknown characteristics) Output resistance Rout=4700 ohm I want to sample that with a...

2 answers  ·  posted 12mo ago by 2kind‭  ·  last activity 12mo ago by TonyStewart‭

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I saw that this PCB socket: Is marked as pressfit for non-plated holes. However, can it be used with plated holes as well, or will it damage the plating inside?

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Wilkins Ticklebum‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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RF novice here. If using a superheterodyne receiver for the purpose of FM/FSK modulated signals, I'm wondering if the location of an optional automatic gain control (AGC) circuit is always placed o...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by Lundin‭

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I have a PIC32MZ2048ECG064, a 64-pin 32-bit microcontroller with 512kB RAM. This is not enough for my purposes, I need to extend it by at least 32MB, preferably 64 or 128. I believe this means I ca...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by Keelan‭

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Differential pairs, such as for ethernet or a CAN bus, can be designed to be loosely coupled or tightly coupled. For a loosely coupled differential pair, the odd-mode and even-mode impedances are ...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by DavidE‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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I have recently finished designing a buck-boost converter for a job that uses a split (+/-) input power supply. Load power is taken equally from both positive and negative input supplies and, the ...

1 answer  ·  posted 6mo ago by Andy aka‭  ·  edited 6mo ago by Andy aka‭

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I'm supporting a piece of legacy hardware that routes the SPI bus through a set of headers to an expansion board. Since the expansion board doesn't actually use the SPI bus, we simply ignored the ...

1 answer  ·  posted 3mo ago by TimH‭  ·  last activity 3mo ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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I have seen many engineers talk about ESD protection but I had never seen its effects myself. I made many small DIY projects and I have used bare hands to touch ICs and their pins,but nothing got d...

6 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by aditya98‭  ·  last activity 5mo ago by Nick Alexeev‭

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I need to design a simple flyback converter like this: - I want to control duty cycle from another circuit such as an MCU but, I'm unsure how to proceed. My requirements are: - Input voltage 125 ...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Andy aka‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Andy aka‭

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The particular IC I ran into this issue with was DS3231 RTC. The pin configuration shows: However, the datasheet specifies To my knowledge, 'N.C' appears on ICs when it is decided to use a cer...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Kranulis‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

75%
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I can't get my CAN bus application (ISO 11898-2, classic "high speed CAN") working and I'm receiving various CAN error frames. These error frames manifest themselves as sequences of 6 bits with my ...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Lundin‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Lundin‭

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I have seen pi-filters using chokes, ferrite-beads, and plain inductors as the L-element What are the main differences between them? when use one or other?

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by zeke‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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I have a handheld ARM Cortex M based device, which has a USB input port. The product is battery powered and there is no metal chassis. We are going through CE testing, and are having ESD issues a...

4 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by leroy105‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Pete W‭

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Which are the parameters I should looking for when picking a flyback diode to be placed across a generic coil, such as a relay? That is: a coil with plain on/off functionality, for example a 24VDC ...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Lundin‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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Simple thing that I realized I should know but do not -- when is an MOV preferable to a TVS diode (with some associated network to really make it work, in both cases)? Is it even something to routi...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Pete W‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by coquelicot‭

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+4 −0

What benefit has a differential amplifier when measuring the signal from a sensor that is remotely located such as in this example: - Why can't I use an arrangement like this: -

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Andy aka‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Andy aka‭

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My scenario is this: radio equipment controlling an overhead crane inside a steel mill. Specifically it is used for transporting melting pots. With the current, unfortunate installation, the antenn...

1 answer  ·  posted 10mo ago by Lundin‭  ·  last activity 10mo ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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+4 −0

I was looking at different transistors, especially MOSFETS and I saw that N type MOSFETs seem to be way more popular to be used in circuit design. Is there a reason for that, or am I mistaken?

2 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by crusadEEr‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

75%
+4 −0

I am trying to analyse what is controlling the load current in the below Darlington configuration. Is it the base current of transistor Q3 which is controlling current through R14 / emitter curr...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by kadamrohan16‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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One standard used for spacing conductors based on voltage is the IPC-2221. This standard differentiates spacing requirements for inner and outer conductors. Does the IPC minimum separation betwee...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by DavidE‭  ·  edited 1y ago by Lundin‭

75%
+4 −0

I am designing a PCB with somewhat limited space. To save space, I am placing some vias on component pads. However, I am not sure if this is a good practice in PCB design. As far as I understand, t...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Mu3‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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I was hiking around the Berkshires in western Massachusetts yesterday, and came across this metal panel where some power lines were crossing a ridge: The panel is a few meters wide, and appe...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Olin Lathrop‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by DSI‭

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Modern CAN transceivers like MCP2561FD that support CAN FD with high baudrates come with an optional feature called SPLIT, which is to my understanding a reference voltage output pin used to give a...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Lundin‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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When using through-hole ("THR") connectors on a multi-layer PCB, I frequently notice problems with the ground pins, when these are connected to the ground plane(s) through various "thermal relief" ...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Lundin‭  ·  edited 1y ago by Nick Alexeev‭

75%
+4 −0

In all descriptions of how (non-FET) transistors work I've seen, there is an inherent symmetry: There's either an n-doped layer between two p-doped, or a p-doped between two n-doped, and the descri...

2 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by celtschk‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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Whenever declaring a variable in C outside a function at file scope or when specifying it as static, it gets assigned a life time known as static storage duration. Meaning it will be accessible thr...

1 answer  ·  posted 5mo ago by Lundin‭  ·  last activity 5mo ago by Lundin‭

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Hi guys so recently i was looking for a mosfet and a gate drivers and between a lot of their specification the rise/fall time and Turn-On/off Delay Time sometime it called propagation. My question...

2 answers  ·  posted 4mo ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 4mo ago by TonyStewart‭

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[Disclaimer. This is not for an academic class. I'm self-studying.] I’m reading an introductory book on DSP for audio and computer music [Steiglitz 1996, ISBN 0-8053-1684-1 p. 287]. One of the ...

3 answers  ·  posted 6mo ago by Nick Alexeev‭  ·  last activity 5mo ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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A taper pad is a resistive attenuator that maintains impedances on both ports and provides a specific amount of gain-loss ($A_{12}$): - I have derived formulas for each resistor (that I know to ...

2 answers  ·  posted 6mo ago by Andy aka‭  ·  last activity 6mo ago by a concerned citizen‭

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