The MacroFab Engineering Podcast Design Contest sponsored by Mouser Electronics date has been extended! The contest is to design Useless Machines! We have cash prizes up to $1000 for the winners. The deadline is August 31st and it is closing fast! More information can be found on here!
- Been taking a break from Electronics post Defcon Doom SAO Dash
- Installed aftermarket A/C into the Wagon
- Fermentation controller for brewing
- Processor STM32F – maybe 0 family because UART
- AMW007 Serial Wifi Module
- Takachi Fc series Aluminum Control Box
- 6 DS18B20 probe inputs via an XLR style connector
- USB micro panel connector
- Two Nema 5-15 standard 120V outlets (heating and cooling)
- 120V input via cable gland
- Graphic LCD Display with tactile buttons on front
- Thinking about an adhesive backed printed overlay
- Mindprint DTC
- The first one is fixed! Woohoo!
- How not to Light Pipe -HAD Fail of the week
- Making PCB light pipes and unique lighting effects
- This can be done well
- The right LEDs
- Reminds Parker of SAO style backlit PCBs
- This can be done well
- Making PCB light pipes and unique lighting effects
- The “terrible” 3 cent MCU – a short survey of sub $0.10 microcontrollers
- Are cheap MCU’s terrible or do they actually fill a roll?
- So you want to pick a ___
- Idea for quick look up guides
- Jfet look up guide – Analog devices?
- Community Driven Project? What say everyone?
- Chirp Partnership Brings Data-over-Sound to Arduino
- Similar to dial tones and audio coupled modems
- Nano 33 Sense board
- A DSP-optimised Arm Cortex-M4 processor
- Uses board’s mic as receiver
- New Life Found That Lives Off Electricity
- microbe consume electrons
- Parker needs to take more Biology classes clearly
- Elon Musk says he wants to ‘nuke Mars’ and that he plans to make ‘Nuke Mars!’ T-shirts
- Is it ethical to nuke a planet?
- Al Williams and the non-FPGA articles!
- That is it.
Visit our Public Slack Channel and join the conversation in between episodes!
Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!
About The Hosts
Parker Dillmann is MacroFab's Co-Founder, and Lead ECE with backgrounds in Embedded System Design, and Digital Signal Processing. He got his start in 2005 by hacking Nintendo consoles into portable gaming units. He also runs the blog, longhornengineer.com, where he posts his personal projects, technical guides, and appnotes about board layout design and components. Parker graduated with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas.
Stephen Kraig began his electronics career by building musical oriented circuits in 2003. Stephen is an avid guitar player and, in his down time, manufactures audio electronics including guitar amplifiers, pedals, and pro audio gear. Stephen graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Host 3 00:11
Hello, and welcome to the macro fab engineering podcast. We are your host, Steven Craig.
Host 2 00:16
And this is Parker Dolman.
Host 3 00:17
This is episode 186.
Host 2 00:21
The macro fab engineering podcast design contest sponsored by Mouser electronics NS date has been extended. The contest is to design useless machines, we have cash prizes, up to $1,000 for the winners. The new deadline is August 31. And closing fast More information can be found at Mac fab.com/blog. So
Host 3 00:44
If you were thinking about entering and you had a project almost done, you got a little bit more time. So go ahead and throw it in. Yes and win $1,000 ish, maybe
Host 2 00:53
In a trophy maybe? Yeah.
Host 3 00:57
So this last weekend, I spent a lot of time working on a project that I talked about before. A few weeks ago, I had mentioned that I was going to go into a digital site style project. And I finally like gluten altogether and got my ideas down and parts ordered for a fermentation controller project. But are you seeing everything in ones and zeros? Now, you know, it's more like black and white with gray in the middle, as opposed to like a full spectrum of colors. Ya know, like, I've been wanting to do something like this for a while. And so like I'm going like, all the way in on this. And I'm actually going to do this project a little bit different than we've done projects on the on the met before. Because a lot of times what Parker and I have done is we'll just we do a project, we talk about it the you know, throughout the project, and we go until it's done. And then it's done. And I'm sort of going to do that. But I'm breaking this up into three different phases, they're gonna go back to back, but there'll be like, Hey, we can show completion along the way, which I think will be good. The first phase is design and ordering. So this is where like, I will put the board together, I'll put the enclosure together, and I will talk about the parts that I'm getting and stuff. The second phase is building it, putting the initial firmware into it and getting it functional. And then the third phase is total Steven education phase. Because this, this module will have Wi Fi connectivity, and I've never actually done Wi Fi connectivity. So I have to figure out how to do all of that. So I decided instead of putting the Wi Fi as like a goal for like calling the project complete, it's its own phase where I have to learn all of that, because I've just never done it. And it's a lot of new stuff for me that I'm gonna have to chug through. So you know, at the end of phase two, there will be a thing that is fully functioning minus the Wi Fi connectivity. So I think that'll be, that'll be fun. I say that now I'm probably gonna hate life when I have to start like writing Wi Fi code, because I've already started looking into it. I'm like, just like, shit.
Host 2 03:09
So how are you going to implement the the Wi Fi?
Host 3 03:11
Well, okay, so I think Previously, I had said, I was looking at doing a full Silicon Labs, solution solution for the entire project. So everything's Silicon Labs, chips, and I decided to opt against that for the processor. And the reason why is because I kind of want to go with something that's a little bit more familiar for the processor, just so I can be successful a little bit faster. So I decided to end up going with an STM chip, just because I already had the environment setup. And I've already coded projects for it. So I can just be a little bit faster on that. So I'm going to do an STM F chip, probably these zero family, the F zero family. And mainly because they're inexpensive. They have everything I need. And honestly, they have six yards available on some of the chips. And I have six probes that I want to put on this thing. And I'm considering putting each one on its own, you aren't just for Well, there's a handful of reasons I'll get into later. I still think I am going to stick
Host 2 04:14
Sir Captain Falcon module.
Host 3 04:15
Yeah. So I am still going to stay with Silicon Labs for the Wi Fi module. So I've been looking around and I think I want to go with the am w 007, which is a serial Wi Fi module. That's kind of like the ESP 8266 in the fact that it's its own processor. And you can run everything on it if you if you wanted to. But it's really designed to be a drop in module that that has a UART on it that communicates directly with your processor. And and they sell this basically as a device where it's like, do you want Wi Fi in your project, drop this in with our like designs, connect to it via serial and start sending it codes and you'll get stuff back And so I kind of liked that. And so I want to play with that it's so this is actually not technically Silicon Labs. Well, Silicon Labs purchased a company called Zen tree, ze N T ri. And they're the ones who manufacture this, but it is under the Silicon Labs umbrella, I guess you could say. So yeah, the a m, ws 007. It's not cheap. It's like nine bucks for this one module. But the particular module I want is like a drop on can module like like what you see on top of the ESP modules, I want to use an external antenna on that. And this, this module accepts that. And so instead of a PCB style antenna, I want to get a 2.4 gigahertz external to the enclosure antenna, and run with one of those, which that's another thing I have to learn because I've never, I've never done a 2.4 gigahertz. And you're supposed to create an a matching network with it. And I don't have the stuff to really test that, but I'm going to figure out how to make it work. So regardless, I'll put the pads on the board. And I'll figure out if I need to go take it somewhere and do some measurements, I might ask around and see if I can find somebody who can help me with measurements. Or maybe I'll just try implementing like a default network and just see what kind of performance I get. Because it's not like I'm really trying to sell this or anything like that. I just want it to be useful. So I've also selected a taka Qi FC series aluminum control box. So I went through the entire catalog of Takiguchi boxes, and they're all there's like a lot of really cool stuff available there. But most of them are not the form factor that really works well for what I'm trying to do. But the FCC ares looks like it's gonna be great. The one thing that kind of sucks about it is it's only rated IP 40, which IP 40 is like, if some dust falls on it, it's fine. And that's about it. Like it's not watertight, or anything like that. Not that this needs to be because this is the intent of these boxes to kind of get screw to get into the wall and be near your fermentation fridge. I just thought it'd be cool if the box could be like IP 68 or something like that. It would be really nice, but I'm not gonna cry about that. It's, it's they're nice boxes. They're made of aluminum, but they have plastic corners on them. And they're pretty easy to design around. And they're readily available, which is pretty nice, too. In fact, in basically all the sizes, they are readily available.
Host 2 07:37
It's interesting. They have it, it's only rated IP 40.
Host 3 07:43
It looks like it could be more right.
Host 2 07:45
Yeah, well, that and like all the pictures are like heavy industrial environment. Yeah. Yeah. But notice actually, all these pictures like this one that's like on a loader. Like would be like a backhoe or like a dump truck or something. And the controls are old, grungy. And that thing looks brand new. Yeah, of course. It's definitely was put there for photo op. Oh, for sure. They clean the
Host 3 08:09
Hell out of it. Yeah, well, and the thing is, yeah, okay. So it's guaranteed to be IP 40. But it can probably withstand more than that, you know. But it's probably just tested and rated to 40. Yeah, once again, this is like going to sit in a basement or in like a home or something like that. So it's not a problem.
Host 2 08:31
Fine. Yeah. He's got to make sure that if you have a beer like bubbling really hard, it doesn't just wash on it. And they'll probably be fine for that. Well, this is going
Host 3 08:39
To be external to the fridge, so it shouldn't matter.
Host 2 08:43
I mean, I've had some pretty vigorous fermentations like when we brewed our version of death, I remember you had to clean the fridge like four times
Host 3 08:52
Because it just exploded.
Host 2 08:54
So for our listeners death was a a Americans, I'll say Australian style is what it was. Yeah. And an Australian stout that was 70% ABV, which is through the roof. Yeah, it was so good.
Host 3 09:12
It was it was absolutely delicious. We've, we may have talked about it before, but the beer was so big. That the second runnings which for those who don't know about brewing, like that's kind of like the off lick liquid that comes off. The off liquid was enough to be a beer on its own. Like a full Yeah, like a big beer. Yeah. And that was delicious. We
Host 2 09:34
Made a porter in quotes with that. And it was still it was basically still stout.
Host 3 09:41
Yeah, it was 10 w 40. And 10 w 15. Is what we made, right? Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So the Yeah, the Takashi FC series control box is what I'm going to use. And one of the reasons why I picked that is because a lot of the Taguchi enclosures look really cool, but they're extruded aluminum. And the I want to be able to put holes to mount, you know, sensor inputs and power inputs and things like that on the side of the box. And you can't really do that on on this their style of enclosures. So I needed a box that had a flat panel that I can put all my stuff on an EFC series works pretty well for that. And the reason why is I want to go through sort of the connectors that I have that I'm going to be putting on the bottom edge of this box. So basically this box, it's going to be a rectangle, it's semi flat. On the bottom, it'll have all of the sensor inputs, the power inputs and things like that, on the front plate, it's going to have a screen and some user buttons. And off the top of it, it'll have the four point 2.4 gigahertz antenna coming off of it. So along the bottom, I'm going to have six XLR style connectors on it. So the big beefy nitric ones, so all the temperature probes, I'm going to install an XLR connector on the end of it. So they all just plug directly into the bottom of the box. I wanted something that's beefy and really easy to connect. So I thought XLR was excellent for that big steel connector, there's going to be a USB mini connector. So if you need to talk to the processor, you can do that Mini. Oh, I'm sorry, not mini micro. I don't like mini What what are you? Don't you want me to do USB type C? Don't you? You gotta do type C man. I don't. I'm not I'm not on board with it right now. Come on, I don't know micro like micro, it's super available and easy. Out. Okay, I'll consider let's just put it that I'll consider it. Okay, I've already bought a micro connector, but I could probably switch it over. Okay, so here's the thing, it's gonna have to nema 515, standard 120 volt outlets on the bottom of it. So I found some of these outlets that are PCB mounted, and they snap in to the bottom of a or a panel. So I can have all of this panel mount and the bottom. And then next to those are just regular wall outlet. Those are regular wall outlets. Yeah, exactly. Having one of those PCB mounted is very interesting. Well, okay, so check this out, I want to see what that looks like there's there's 120 volt input, and that's going to come through a cable gland. And that's going to be basically that plugs right into your wall. So you have wall power that goes up through a cable gland into the box. And then that can go through relays to one of the two separate outlets that I have on the box, one for heating and one for cooling. There will also be a 2.1 millimeter barrel jack on the bottom that powers the entire device. So all of those connectors alone, I want to put them on the bottom of the box. So that sort of necessitates that the box is pretty wide. It's not like huge or anything like that. I think I can fit it in 10 inches or something. But because of that most of the extruded aluminum enclosures that that were available don't have like a 10 inch width, other than this FC series. So I figured you know, whatever that that'll work just fine. So so the idea of this project is you have power coming in from the wall and it goes into the into the device.
Host 1 13:29
The six temperature probes the DSA 10 B 20s that connect by XLR up into the device, you can monitor temperature from any of those six in kind of whatever configuration you want. And then you can set up thresholds or averages and trip points that will either activate a relay that controls cooling or controls heating of the device. So I when I was in Houston, I never ever ever had to heat my my chill box basically for fermentation but here in Denver I do. It was in your your apartment, correct? Yeah, it was right. But But here in my basement, it can get cool. Well, I
Host 2 14:09
Had my fermenter outside in the garage and it would, it would drop down below 50 outside. So I had a little tiny like, spacey personal space heater, which is like you look at that thing. It's like Man, that is a fire hazard that you can buy for like $10 on Amazon. Yeah, yeah.
Host 3 14:29
Well, and one of the things Okay, so I already have a temperature controller for my fridge. And one of the things I don't particularly like about it is the fact that in order to utilize it, you actually had to cut the cable on my on the refrigerator, cut the power cable and physically wire the power into a terminal block that's inside the temperature controller. I wanted mine to have just outlet plugs where I just plugged the fridge directly into it. And there's just going to be two relays one that flips on for cooling when it flips on for heat But it'll all be dependent upon how the user set things up within the box. So you can say, Oh, if temperature probe hits this point, or temperature, two hits this point, and three hits this point, then you can do this, you know, I kind of want to have a little bit of like logic that goes on on this, it's all going to be pretty simple, because it's just going to be trip points with hysteresis. And the one thing that I kind of want to really implement that I haven't found before is averaging, I want to say like, temperature probe, one is in this beer, and temperature probe two is in this beer, but I want their average temperature to be XYZ. So I can average it and then control the heating and cooling based off of the average of the two beers. That way, you know, if one is fermenting vigorously, and one is not, I can take the average between those two and get something that is decent. So how
Host 2 15:55
Are you going to handle it could handle how you're going to handle when you need a permit at different temperatures.
Host 1 16:02
So this is not set up for that this has one heating and one cooling. And that's that's it, it could be expanded to have multiple, but as of right now, it's just meant for one fridge. So and so the, the cooling takes place takes place, because you just literally turn the fridge on or off the heating, you put a heat lamp inside the fridge. And then that just turns on or off and heats up inside. What's a buddy of mine actually utilizes that, and it works really, really well. He just uses a heater in there, because he lives way up north, and he never has the coolest beers ever.
Host 3 16:41
So in addition to all of this, on the front panel, I I'm gonna have a graphic LCD display, which I haven't selected one yet. But I've been trolling around by display.com, because they've got a bunch of really cool stuff.
Host 1 16:56
So I just need enough to be able to display six temperature probes worth of data, and then enough user interface to be able to set up logic in there. So I haven't decided what size I want, or what style of communication I want to do to the screen. thing about it is like it doesn't need to be super fast, because we're talking temperature here. So if even if it updates the screen twice a second, that's fast enough, you know, that's even probably faster than needs to, especially with these DSA 18 B 20. probes, they don't particularly update quickly anyway. So even if your screens updating at 60 frames, like your data coming in is nowhere near that fast. And you wouldn't want it to be that fast with temperature, you want it to be accurate.
Host 3 17:43
The other thing is, I really want to kind of create more of an industrial look, as opposed to like a home gamer look on this thing. So I'm really thinking
Host 2 17:53
About not gonna use Comic Sans for font. Well, I
Host 3 17:56
You know, Comic Sans is really useful, and like everyone loves it. Right? Well, so
Host 1 18:02
One of the things I'm thinking about having done is getting an adhesive back, overlay printed, and stick that to the front. Because that always, that always screams a little bit more professional, you know,
Host 3 18:15
I haven't decided exactly how I want the user buttons to be like, it would be kind of fun to do tactile domes, and actually make like,
Host 2 18:23
I'll do like, I think actually kadhi Tokachi. I mean, they will do those membrane. Yeah,
Host 3 18:28
They will do that. I'm thinking about it. Either. Either that or I might just put tactile switch buttons underneath a what's called overlay. And you can still click them. Yeah, but the tactile dome thing is kind of cool. And that would be fun. And we haven't done that yet on the podcast. So it'd be kind of fun to show like, how do you like actually order that and get that made?
Host 2 18:53
And I bet you that if you contacted them them as in to catch you, they can probably point you in the right way of how the make that work.
Host 3 18:59
Yeah, yeah, I actually have some design guide somewhere in a folder on my computer, because I had a customer asking about at once. And so I wouldn't download a whole bunch of information. So I haven't that's one side of the project. I haven't decided like, what screen do I want? How am I going to talk to it? And how am I going to display information, but I feel like well, that's just sort of the next step on things. I've already ordered all of these connectors and everything. So I'm going to do a mock up of the bottom. Now I Okay, so I went a little bit goofy on this and I love it. It's fun. I ordered XLR connectors for all of the probes and they were nitric brand. I found that nitric creates rubberized gaskets for all of their D series XLR connectors, and you can get them in six different colors. So I got six different colors, but they also sell XLR connectors that have those six colors on them. So there will be six temperature probes that each each one references a different color. Hence the six you Arts on the processor that I was talking about. Because all of these, all of these temperature probes run one wire, the maximum, one wire style communication, and STM 32 allows you to do open drain configuration on UART, which means you can do one wire style connection. And one of the things was I wanted it such that one of the things that sort of sucks about one wire is I could like the whole point is that there's one wire right, I could put all six of these probes on one wire, but then I wouldn't know which probe is connected to which port, right? So then it would be really so then you like the user would have to say like, I'm plugging this into port one. That means that this probe is this that I want it to be easier than that I want it if you plug the black probe into the black connector, the it knows that that's one and if you plug it into the red connector, it knows that's probe number two. So you can say oh, the black one is in beer one and the black, the red ones in beer two. So it's it's sort of a huge waste of pins on a processor. But this project doesn't require a lot of pins. The only thing that sort of sucks about that is these, these STM 32 F series have six you arts. And I might want to use one of those to do my USB connection. Oh yeah. So
Host 1 21:28
I need to see if the STM 32 has their own individual USB connection. Because if it has USB, I don't have to use an FTD. Right. So that might be easier. So I don't know, there's still a little bit of juggling left. But I've got a lot of the I've got a lot of the form factor part done, which a lot of times I start with that on a project like this, like I know what I want the end product to look like now I have to make the electronics work towards that as opposed to saying like, well, I have these electronics, what is it going to look like? You know? Yeah. So that's sort of the overall idea of the fermentation controller. I do not have a name for it yet. And we posed a similar question earlier in the year for a project I was working on to the Slack channel. Like I didn't have a name from the graphic EQ.
Host 3 22:22
And somebody in the in the Slack channel help name the project de vente que, which was excellent. By the way, I absolutely love that. So I would love to post that to the Slack channel. Again, I've got a fermentation controller, you just heard me gab on about it for a long time. So if you would like to help name this project, please get on the slack and give me some ideas for what the fermentation controller should be called.
Host 2 22:46
So I have one suggestion. Yeah. Yeast, yeast faced?
Host 1 22:53
You know, the best part like if I did something like that, which I'm not opposed to doing that, but if I did that, like having to send that artwork to get printed as like a professional overlay with like tactile buttons. Yeah, just I don't know, brings us modern industrial controller. Yeah, on an industrial controller. Yeah. Well, actually, so speaking of industrial control, I have, a lot of our projects have been kind of fun. And goofy recently, I kind of have been wanting to do something that fits a little bit more in the industrial category, something that's like, Okay, this project is less about, like blinking lights and having fun. It's more about like, being useful and having a bunch of useful characteristics about it. That's why I'm not using terminal blocks. I'm making like heavy duty connectors, and things like that. And the box is not going to be hacksaw together. It's going to be milled, and stuff. So yeah, it also helps that Mouser is helping us out with creating these projects. So that sponsors so we so yeah, so we can do more industrial style, things like this. So. So yeah, I spent a lot of time last weekend kind of ironing out a lot of those details. I've got a datasheet rant that I'm going to save for later. But But nitric has some incorrect measurements on their view, I just went
Host 3 24:15
On their datasheet. And so the thing about it is that I'm just gonna go on this for a second, the last project I did, which was the macro amp, it worked beautifully, but it ended up having a problem because I interpreted some incorrect data from a virtually non existent data sheet. And I said on the last one, what I should have done is I should have just bought the part and then looked at it. So what am I doing on this one, I have literally bought all of the connectors and I'm going to mock it up and make sure that everything is right. So even with a bad date sheet, I can still measure it and make sure it's all right. So I'm learning from my mistakes on this. So
Host 2 24:51
It's all we can do as human beings. Yeah, hopefully.
Host 3 24:54
Right. And then I actually have one quick big thing that I want to go over completely different project. But hey, let's all celebrate because I finished another project that we have talked about on the map. I'm sort of starting to get on a roll here, if you haven't noticed, but got a year ago, two years ago, I purchased some things, some some free, it was longer than a year ago, it was it was certainly longer than a year ago, because it was in Houston. I purchased some mine print DTCs, which are some rackmount preamps and compressors for recording purposes. And they didn't work. But they were I paid $200 for two of them. And they normally retail for like $2,200 apiece. So like I think I got a deal on I'm like, I'll go with that, even though they weren't working. But I ended up last week spending a boatload of time just repairing them. And, you know, a lot of times these repairs can be pretty brutal. But luckily, this one was just like super methodical, I didn't actually have to fix anything electrical, it was just, I hid every single solder joint on it. I put them in a bath of alcohol, like submerged under alcohol for like, four hours, cleaned every single pot, and I had to lubricate every single switch on it. And the first time I fired it up, everything worked well. Oh, also, there was a broken ribbon cable that I found. So I
Host 2 26:22
Had to fix that too. So it was probably the broken ribbon cable.
Host 3 26:26
I'm guessing that the original issue was due to that I fixed that, but also found that a tech had really done some bad things to it in the past. Yeah, so I had to reverse a lot of there. It was it was interesting, because they replaced capacitors inside of it, which is like, okay, you know, like, Fine, you replace caps. I don't. It's not like I have a problem with that or anything like that. But that's like, when somebody doesn't know how to fix something. They're always like, well, we'll just replace the caps. And it probably works, right. But the good thing is they replaced him with high quality caps, I'm fine with that. Like, they probably spent 20 $30 on four or five caps. So okay, I'm fine with that. But they did a really bad job of replacing them. So I had to fix a lot of that stuff. And they used ra flux all over the place, which I just, if you use our a flux, great, just get rid of it when you're done, you know, clean. Yeah, you can't really let it sit because it just gets gross and gummy, it gets gummy and it also affects things. I've I'm a firm believer that you have to get rid of flux, even no clean flux I like getting rid of it is because I deal with oscillators and stuff at work. And the extra capacitance or impedance that that flux puts on the board will affect things.
Host 2 27:42
So it's what do you use when you build stuff at WMD?
Host 1 27:45
We use no clean, but we actually clean it. So it just it has worked for our process that we use a saponify are in our washer. Okay, so use. Yeah, so So our Yeah, our boards come out of the washer, and they are crystal clean. There's nothing on it. And we've just found that, you know, there's a lot of, especially with like film caps in oscillators, if they get any flux between their pads, it will affect them, and there's chances that they can't be tuned. And they'll just go nuts. And it's an and there's temperature dependencies and all kinds of crap. That's just No, I don't want to deal with that. Just get rid of it. And you'll be you'll be fine. Get rid of it. And it'll act more like what you designed.
Host 2 28:31
Right? Exactly. So like was we're at macro fab like the HQ we use no clean for the SMT stuff. But it's not weird. No clean because it creates like a cap. Yeah, yeah, cuz it's a weird flux, because it's, yeah, it's almost like a clear coat and it doesn't seem to affect that stuff at all. But for our thru hole, we use water based. Right, so we wash that off.
Host 3 29:01
So I don't remember what I can't remember off the top of my head what paste company will use but I think I think the paste is mA or something like that. I mean, I know we use sec 305 for stuff or we have in the past but I think there's a you know, nevermind. I won't go further into it. I don't remember off the top of it.
Host 2 29:21
Yeah, we have to buy ours directly from my chronic.
Host 3 29:24
Oh, yeah, yeah, no, yeah, they have that. That super special stuff.
Host 2 29:30
Yeah, it's like a type five. Super fine. And then it comes in the tubes. Yeah, it comes in tubes, but it's the same price as normal stuff. So it's like, okay, whatever, right. But yeah, it's weird because it only reflows it makes us like, like, Oh, you're right. It's almost like a clear coat. Enamel almost. And so if you have to, like probe it you'd like pop
Host 3 29:53
Through. It almost looks like a thin layer of superglue over over. Yeah,
Host 2 29:59
A little bit. Yeah. It's kind of weird.
Host 3 30:00
I mean, it works. And guess
Host 2 30:02
What? Because thing is regular no clean and you try to wash it without us upon fire. It turns your whole board white. Right? Yeah. Like it grows. Yeah, because you get rid of, because like no clean is a mixture of organic and non organic stuff. And when you wash it you get rid of I can't remember which I think you get rid of the non organic and you leave the organic, or is the opposite way I don't remember. Anyways, at least one of them. And actually, if you wash, no clean without the quantifier, you can actually cause the no clean to become like acidic again. Because last part of what makes it like safe at room temperature, right. And you can get corrosion and bad stuff,
Host 3 30:45
You know. And that's just the thing. I think whoever worked on these mind print DTCs had done that because I flipped the boards over and so many of the pads had that like brown white crust on top of them all over all over them. So they I do know that they used ra because there was like that earwax goop in certain places where there was also that other crap. And it's just no, sorry, that doesn't work. Well, and it might have been two different texts. It very well could have been. I mean, obviously two guys who didn't get it working, right. But okay, so I found out and you know, this isn't necessarily the best stuff. I would I would, I would suggest using 99% IPA, but target sells 91%. IPA, well, just alcohol and water, right? But no 91% IPA at Target is like $2.40 per quart. So I just bought a big thing a Tupperware and got like a gallon and a half of IPA. And so the board inside this thing is 17 inches by eight inches. So it's big. And that's one of them. They're six boards inside this thing. So like I just got this temporary thing filled it with alcohol and just through all the boards that came out crystal clean, you know?
Host 2 32:07
Yeah, that was when I did that. That the aluminum lye bath and my did you do it in your backyard?
Host 3 32:14
Oh, no, I did on my sink. What are you talking about the lie thing, right? No, you're the IPA? Oh, no, that was in the basement. Oh, no, no, I did. I did a lie cleaning in my sink.
Host 2 32:27
Oh, no. I'm talking about remember when I did I built a lie.
Host 3 32:31
Oh, no. Yours was like you fall
Host 2 32:34
Into a backyard? Probably. I mean, it made it be like like cliffside bubble.
Host 3 32:39
His name is Robert Paulson.
Host 2 32:42
Yes. You're not sneak off like, oh, sorry. Rule number one. Someone's gonna bust it in the door behind you and take you
Host 3 32:51
Yeah, right. Yeah. And that wasn't that was meatloaf by the way. It was. Yeah. That was meatloaf. in Fight Club. Really? After? Yeah. He was Robert Paulson.
Host 2 33:04
Interesting. I didn't do that. That's that's a good tidbit. Yeah, it was Bob,
Host 3 33:08
Right. Yeah, he's been in two movies. One that I know of. He's been in Fight Club. And he was like the super religious dad in the beginning of pick of Destiny who sings to young Jack Black.
Host 2 33:20
Host 3 33:22
I can see that. Yeah. Which was it's really funny that they got me lifted. Yeah, do that. Cool. So ya know, I've had a jam packed week. This has been productive. I've been happy because I've been getting finally getting back into like, really actually crushing some stuff.
Host 2 33:38
Yeah, so I haven't really been working on electronics past, you know, ever since DEF CON. haven't really been working with just kind of like decompressing Daikon or DEF CON. decoding. Yeah. Like because beforehand it was like all hands on deck, getting the badges getting the Doom guide done. Yeah. And so I'm just like taking a little break from electronics, but have been working on like the wagon getting caught up with that. So little tidbit is I got the new air conditioning for the wagon all set up and pulled vacuum on and charged. And it was 100 degrees out on Sunday. And the vents were blowing 45 alloy. Wow. So I'm like that is a huge delta delta t 55 degrees. I'm pretty happy with that. Yeah, that's which means I set it up, right. That's cold. I can follow. Yes, awesome. So I can't wait to actually like, get the glass back on the windshield and stuff. And so I can actually see how cold it will get inside the cabin because that's just like, you know, open air no recirculation and
Host 1 34:46
That Okay, so that's the worst because let's say you leave work at 430 or five. It's it's pretty much the hottest around that time in history. So you get into your car and say your drive home is 30 minutes. The first thing tiene are just cooling down the car. Yeah. It's awful.
Host 2 35:06
I've actually been thinking about at work is I got one of those pop ups is take a pop up and kids about the size of a parking space
Host 3 35:15
Can't get up put a pop up over your car every day. Every day.
Host 2 35:19
It would work every totally worth it.
Host 3 35:23
I don't know. I don't know. Like there's not much of a difference between the Sun and the shade down there.
Host 2 35:30
You'd be surprised. Especially when you have a black roof on top of your Jeep. That's true. I should have painted it white.
Host 3 35:39
Host 2 35:42
Yeah, actually you're right. Well insides tan. Yeah, yeah, I just flipped upside down. And then you can collect rainwater.
Host 3 35:51
Host 2 35:52
Yeah, see? Okay, cool. Onto the RFO
Host 3 36:00
Onto the RFO, which are not rapid, and sometimes don't have opinions.
Host 2 36:06
Yeah. And sometimes they don't fire, whatever.
Host 1 36:11
So I found I thought okay, so I found one. This week that sort of hits a little bit home, which is called how not to light pipe, which is a Hakodate fail of the week article. And it's pretty cool. This this is this is implementing light pipes via fr for so basically opening up the solder mask and opening up the copper on your board such that you have an exposed PCB, and then putting an LED behind it such that you can illuminate light through the PCB. Okay. And that's, that's pretty cool.
Host 2 36:46
The it's very similar to like a whole lot of people do their shitty add on
Host 3 36:50
Exactly. In fact, this article talks about bad life. And the fact that they did a lot of, excuse me, bad life, people put a reverse mount LED on the backside of a board and then shine through the board, which that is a totally reasonable way of doing it. Now, in this particular project, the gentleman who was trying to actually illuminate their board, was trying to do it laterally, like,
Host 2 37:17
Drill into the bore, like our TV screen is so yeah, pretty
Host 1 37:20
Much yeah, so to basically put lights and have it traveled through the board, and then out like openings in the board. And if you look at the images, it just doesn't really work. So fr forte, is first of all, it's not a really great transmitter of light, like light doesn't really pass through it very well. It's also extremely diffused, you're not going to get very sharp light through the board. But that really the only direction that you can transmit light through and fr for is through the thickness of it, not across the board. And so yeah, this was not I agree, it's, it's, it's a fail, and the guy who made it is sort of presented it as that way. But also, I wanted to make sure that like, like people know that like that's totally an option, though, like you can transmit light through it. And certainly in my industry, a lot of my customers actually do utilize it because you can get some really cool effects with it. I'm dealing with a customer right now, or I have been active for the past six or so months, that they have a board that has at least 10 or 15 LEDs that are all different colors that transmit through the board. And a lot of cool effects on it. And you can get different colors to actually go through the board. Even though like fr four is like sort of default yellow ish yellow, white, yeah, sort of it yellow doesn't transmit well through it, it ends up being like a really gold kind of light. But you so anything you transmit through it is going to be shifted yellow, in a way. But if you hit a section of the board with a strong enough color, like green, or pink, or red, or whatever it will show through. And so this this design that I've been helping out with, you can get all the colors through it. The thing that I've personally learned and a lot of these customers I kind of like help them through with is that first of all, you have to have a damn bright LED to get through because f4 doesn't really transmit very well. Also, this is a point where you really should pay attention to your viewing angle. You know, when you're selecting LEDs. Viewing Angle is something that is an option that you can purchase. And like you'll see 60 degrees, 30 degrees, 120 degrees and everything in between. And with these kinds of things, you really want to focus as much light in the smallest area as possible. So what is your degree OLEDB via laser pointer Yeah. So yeah, if you can get a really bright 30 degree, or less honestly led this Those are actually kind of hard to find, because you ended up having to put a lens on them and stuff. But a 3030 degree led that focuses directly underneath, it's where the places on the board, you can actually get pretty good light transmission in between and have have good colors come through. But it will always be very diffused. So you're never going to get a really pinpoint light. But what's kind of cool about it is, like, for instance, one of the one of the customers I'm working with, they have it such that if you turn a knob to the right, then on the right side of the knob, something starts to illuminate until at maximum, it's fully lit. And then if you turn it to the left, an LED on the left side of the knob begins to illuminate. So you can show if the knob is at minimum or maximum, and or somewhere in between. And so it's kind of cool. But yeah, we this is one of those ones where you have to really start paying attention to the LED specifications. So I thought I thought it was just a fun thing to show off.
Host 2 41:04
Yeah, that's cool project.
Host 3 41:07
On to the next Arvo
Host 2 41:08
Onto next one. So this is the terrible three set and terrible in quotes, three set MCU, a short survey of sub 10 cent microcontrollers. And so this is a like rebuttal against a Hackaday article on like, a 10 cent microcontroller that the writer said was useless. And so he went through this person, his name is Tim, at least it's Tim's blog. So I would assume the person's name is Tim.
Host 3 41:39
Good, good, good assumption.
Host 2 41:45
And I read through it. And I mean, you people are gonna read through it and to see like, where do you get these inexpensive microcontrollers? How do they work? That kind of stuff? But its conclusion is, are they actually terrible? If you need a low cost, high volume, non serviceable part that has, you know, limited functionalities, they don't have a lot of peripherals on them. But if you just need to, like, flip a couple, you know, pins high or low and with some programmable functionality, is it really, you know, useless? I would say most Arduino projects could be probably you can probably like, you know, use these 10 cent micro Yeah,
Host 3 42:29
They can sit on this, I can see that these 10 cent microcontrollers all have very similar specifications. I shouldn't say very similar. They're all in the same ballpark. Right?
Host 2 42:39
They have. The main thing is they're very limited on RAM. Of
Host 3 42:43
Course, yeah. Because that's expensive. The one thing that's interesting though, is if you look at the category, or the row that he has, in this chart about programming, a lot of them use the more old school version of high voltage programming, where you have to pull a pin high for a period of time, and then it throws it into programming mode. Which Yeah,
Host 2 43:04
Like negative 18 volts or something
Host 3 43:05
Like that. Yeah, it looks like looks like some of these are positive 12 ones positive eight ones. 8.5. There is one that has an ICP though. And then two of them just have a question mark. Program ad? Oh, no.
Host 2 43:23
That's great. Throw bits at it.
Host 3 43:27
Yeah, what do we have? Yeah, they're all stuff that you've never heard of. Just put it that
Host 2 43:31
Way. Yeah, it's, um, you know, if you need something that's super inexpensive, and, you know, like, if you're putting a microcontroller inside, like a toy, that you're gonna build a million of? Yep. And it just needs a flashing LEDs. I mean, perfect.
Host 3 43:48
Right. If this was going into a McDonald's toy, then yeah. Cool,
Host 2 43:55
Though. I wonder when, like getting a custom ASIC rolled, is cheaper than three cents a unit?
Host 3 44:03
I guarantee you. There's somebody out there that has some kind of calculator that shows that, you know, oh, yeah, I mean that. But that calculator is probably not readily available. The
Host 2 44:13
People who do it for
Host 3 44:16
Their calculator always shows well just go with an ASIC. Yeah. Cool. So
Host 2 44:23
Host 3 44:23
So this next topic was something that I was actually thinking about on the way home from work, and I wanted to kind of present it and pose it to you. This is not at all an idea that's new. But something that I haven't personally found and something I wish I had or still have. So I wish I wish there was like a PDF or a some kind of document or some kind of resource or even a book that was called something like so you want to pick a blank and fill that blank with like, so you want to pick a relay or so you want to pick an op amp For so you want to pick a transistor. If it could just pin it
Host 2 45:03
Walks you through, yeah, what kind of like what you would need it for? And then what attributes you need to look through and
Host 1 45:10
Go exactly something where it was like, okay, so you want to pick a transistor? And what are you going to use? What are you going to use it for? And then it could give you demonstrations of like, here's what HFP means on a tray on a data sheet? Because and why does it matter? Let me ask you. Yeah, let me ask you something on this. Did any of your professors in college ever use the word HFT? Or did they always say beta? Beta, beta, right? But you as soon as you leave college, no one calls it beta anymore, they call it HFT, who tells you that, nobody tells you that you have to figure it out yourself. But if you had these documents that just say, so you'll want to pick a relay or whatever, if it could say like, oh, you know, if you go to if you go to Mauser right now, and you look up relays, it'll give you a whole pulldown list of all of these things that say, like forum, one, C, two a, or something like that. Well, what the hell does that mean? Now if you've, if you've looked at relays enough, or if you go to the Wikipedia page, you could figure it out. But like, nobody tells you these things. You always have to figure this crap out, right? Or if you go to op amps, and you look up, it's there's a figure on there that says, R J A theta, right? Well, that's the junction resistance, the thermal resistance from the junction to Ambien. I only know that because I've had to deal with that, at some point in time, no one ever told me what that was, I had to figure that crap out. I wish there was like a quick resource guide that was like, here's the things that are probably you're probably gonna want to know, here is our J A theta. And here's a quick three sentence, like really boiled down, like what this actually is, and what it actually means it's not going to tell you how to use it, or how to design it, or what to like, do in a circuit, it's just a very quick, this is what it actually means because no one tells you this crap, you know, or here's a great example. You go to Mouser right now, or Digi key or anybody, and you type in T one LED, so a three millimeter LED. And there's a whole gazillion slew of luminosity ease. If I were to ask you like that, what's like, what's a good range for luminosity for this? Would you even have a gut feel for that? What if there was like, a, like, so you want to pick an LED? And it says, oh, luminosity X is like looking at a light bulb from 10 feet away? And then you're like, Okay, well, I get that now, like it could give you like, really good. I wish there was things that were like, on average, people pick XYZ. And this is a very standard range for this characteristic or whatnot. You know how useful that would be? Like, I wish there was just a website where it was like, I could click on LEDs. And it would be like, in general, like,
Host 3 48:16
This is the standards, not standards, almost like a design resource to Yeah, yeah, exactly. Or it's,
Host 2 48:24
I wonder if this exists? Maybe our listeners can fill us in if it exists or not? If not, yeah. Should we just let the community like or just like, let this die? Or do you want to try to do something,
Host 1 48:36
You know, the thing is, like, we already have too much crap. The thing is, I would love to do this, I would love to start compiling this, I think it'd be so much fun. I would, frankly, I would love for this to be my full time job where I'd go interview engineers and like, figure out like, what, like, talk to 50 people or 150 people who use relays on a regular basis and just say like, what are the things that matter on a on a daily basis? Not what are like the super specifics? I don't care because I'm not designing a relay. I just am trying to pick one for my design, like, what are the things that I'm going to need to look out for? Ask all 150? And if all 150 say like, oh, this is the one thing you need to look out for? Well, then write that down and tell everyone in the world like, these are the things you need to look out for you.
Host 2 49:23
So the idea, yeah, is we can let someone in the community manage that we can do the interviews.
Host 3 49:31
God, that'd be awesome, wouldn't it? Yeah. In fact, what I would love to see, frankly, and I'm talking to the Slack channel here, I would love to see the Slack channel. Everyone get together and start compiling these things. So you want to pick a MOSFET. Okay, what do you need, like what is rds on mean? I know like most of us know what that means. But if you were new to electronics, would you know what that means? So let's write a sentence about it. That just says what it is. And then if you see it ever again, you What it is, you know?
Host 2 50:01
Yeah, we could actually set up a wiki page that's like just publicly accessible for people to put information on. Yeah, kind of like how we compete. He is, I don't
Host 3 50:13
Think that you and I have the bandwidth to do this, but I would really love to see it happen. You know, if someone wants to pay me a bunch of money for this to be my full time job, then you know, I'll consider
Host 2 50:24
Like, no, no, we have the podcast is we have the resources to provide the server, right, and the website, and then other people in the community can actually start filling that in because I really liked this idea of like, so you want to pick a MOSFET? What your application and then you click that, or your or enter that's like, Okay, you're gonna use this as like a, you know, to turn a motor on or off, right? These are the things you need to worry about.
Host 1 50:54
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah. But but also, okay, let you can go even a little bit more fundamental than it. So you want to pick a resistor. Okay, great. If you go to Mauser right now, you could, you would see metal film, carbon film, thick film, didn't film wire around. And if you don't know, then you just don't know, nobody tells you this stuff. And that's kind of one of the things that sucks
Host 2 51:17
10k pull ups that are wired.
Host 3 51:21
Like, oh, shit, you know, like, so
Host 1 51:22
You go to college, the more expensive, they have to be better. Nobody teaches people
Host 1 51:26
This stuff, everyone just has to figure it out. Or you get into your first job. And some nice engineers sit you down. And he's like, Well do this. And don't do that. Or like, let me ask you right now I'm just, I'm gonna pull one out of my butt. The tangent of, of what is it tangent theta of an electrolytic? Capacitor? What the hell does that mean? It's on every single electrolytic datasheet. It's on there. It's on the first page of most of them. But like, does that matter to you? And should that be something that you spend money to get that number higher? or lower? is higher or lower? Better? No, no? No, probably,
Host 2 52:03
You get tested for?
Host 3 52:04
Host 1 52:07
So like, these kinds of things? Like, I really feel like the community could come together and like start writing about this. And it doesn't like I said, it doesn't need to be something where it's not like you're trying to design the capacitor itself, where you need to know the
Host 2 52:20
Like, if you if you look up the Wikipedia page for a capacitor? It doesn't need to be that
Host 1 52:25
No, no, not at all. And it doesn't need to be like a history of capacitors. It just needs to be like, if you're picking a capacitor, here's the like, big things value and voltage. And it needs to explain like what value in voltage means. It doesn't need to, like go into all the physics behind it. It's just like, value and voltage. But then like, I
Host 3 52:46
Don't know that are in the datasheet. Yeah, I
Host 2 52:49
Think like, especially like, especially when we talked about ceramic capacitors with with fault engineer, James will.
Host 3 52:58
James Lewis, yeah, that's it.
Host 2 53:00
Those were we're talking about basically, we talked the entire time about like, as the voltage creeps up, your your capacity is direct, right? It's like that should be there. And it should be like one of the most important things about ceramic capacitors when choosing
Host 1 53:14
One, right. And if you read this quick, if you read the thing that says, so you want to pick a ceramic capacitor that would be in there. And it would be like, look out for this. Also, there could be all the like the little traps, in fact, okay, great example, relays, and barrel jacks, there's something common between those that you wouldn't expect, both of those components have a tendency for their data sheets to show the device from the bottom side. So if you if you create the footprint, you there's a good chance you'll create it flipped upside down. And that happened at work. The other day, we made a we made a DC barrel Jack footprint, and it was upside down. And it was it's something that those kinds of things about the datasheet could also be done, like, look out for this because sometimes relays are drawn upside down. Just most people learn that by screwing it up. You know,
Host 3 54:08
It could be this guy, you know, man, these things would be so useful. You could sell these for a bazillion dollars. We're giving away a lot of money right now.
Host 1 54:18
But, uh, you know, I would love to create this, because I've been well so one of the things is, I already know that we have a guy in the Slack channel who does LEDs all day long and knows tons of stuff about LEDs. There's a lot of other people in the in the Slack channel that have specialties that could probably speak to each individual thing on this list. So I don't know that would be super cool if he asked me.
Host 2 54:43
So let's see what happens when this podcast comes out and see who steps up to the plate. Yeah,
Host 3 54:48
Macro. fab.com/slack is that Mac fact that slack.com microsoft.com/one
Host 2 54:52
Host 3 54:56
Those things you guys join up if you if you're listening and you haven't joined going up and start talking about it, we'd love to hear about it.
Host 2 55:03
And if we get enough people interested, it would be really cool, which is like two or three people.
Host 3 55:08
But But what if there was like 40 people working on these? That would be so
Host 2 55:12
Put forth the effort to set up a website with a Wikipedia page and just give the keys to someone and be like, have
Host 3 55:20
You want to pick up? Whatever?
Host 1 55:24
Yeah. Yeah, yeah, be cool. It would also be cool to see our our Slack channel start to produce things together. I love. I love the idea of everyone working together to just make the whole community just make it better for everyone. So Okay, next one, I found a cool article. Gosh, where'd I find this? I don't know. I think it was electronics weekly, but it kind of went down a rabbit hole of all these links. Regardless, there's a there's a company out there called chirp. That makes basically data communication via audio protocols, which is kind of cool. But they actually have now brought data over sound to Arduino. So Arduino recently, as in last month released the Nano 33 cents board, which is an Arduino equipped dev board that includes a DSP optimized ARM Cortex M four processor, so you get all the ease and functionality of Arduino. But inside a package that also includes DSP capability, well, chirp looked at that and said, Hey, we can start implementing our stuff on it. So it's pretty cool, because it uses the board's mic as a receiver. And you can transmit data via audio now, using the protocol that chirp has, so we'll put up a link to where you can check this out. And there's a video that they have on the chirp website that shows them like spitting out audio and it's not like supersonic or anything like that. It just say like, and then something changes currently,
Host 2 56:59
A lot of how analog telephones where you have dial tone with the dual tone thing. Yeah, dual tones. And reminds me a lot of before you had modems, you had audio couplers, where you put your your phone on the audio coupler, and it would speak into your modem basically. The funny thing is, though, as I just watched a video with muted, which kind of defeats the purpose. You lost all of I lost all of it. I'm like, oh, yeah, he's spinning a little color wheel. And it's changed led, I completely lost the fact that it's doing it overall.
Host 1 57:40
Yeah, cuz it actually plays like it plays a melody. And obviously, like you, if you listen to it, it plays a few tones, I think it's like three or four. And those are the same for every time they want to change the color. So it's like, it's like an open, like opening the protocol or opening the communication, but then the next few tones tell it what color it is. So I don't know, that's kind of cool. I don't know how particularly useful that is, I mean, off the top of my head, I can't think of things but there I mean, I'm sure there's plenty. Well, actually,
Host 3 58:09
You know, I could see it being really useful for home automation. Yeah. And they mentioned they did mention something about that, like, what if,
Host 1 58:17
What if you're watching a show on Netflix, and that tone comes over the show, and then like, you can get information about like characters in the show or something like that, you know, there's that kind of stuff, which is cool.
Host 2 58:27
I'm thinking like, Netflix controls your RGB lighting, and all that changes the mood versus, so you can like check, they have those lights that go behind your TV, that like expands the ambience of your TV, or whatever the hell they call it. But they can do the whole mood lighting. We're like, oh, like, you're in this, like, the characters are like in the sky. And so like it's all light blue, or like they're in a volcano. It's all right. Yeah,
Host 3 58:55
That's cool. I like that. Yeah, so the TV would have to listen to itself. In that, no, no,
Host 2 59:03
No. Is it the lights have this in it? And so here's the show, you're saying the lights are separate in the show? That's, that's yeah, they're listening to the TV. That way you don't have to have like Wi Fi connectivity for everything is it keeps like that 2.4 gigahertz spectrum cleaner because now it's just an audio band. Right? could drive you crazy though.
Host 3 59:29
Or you just Yeah. Or you set up somehow where you modulate all the audio coming from the TV. You modulate at a fat at a rate faster than 20k and then you d modulate that by everything.
Host 2 59:41
Now all your dogs go crazy
Host 3 59:42
Go nuts. I someone told me the other day that cats have a have a frequency range from 80 to like 67k Is that true? That sounds a little that sounds 67 That's pretty high.
Host 2 59:58
Well, how high is dogs?
Host 3 59:59
I don't think so. I think dogs have a better low frequency range, but I don't know. I guess I could go to Wikipedia and find this out, right? Yeah, cuz everything's 100%.
Host 2 1:00:09
So you want to pick a dog,
Host 3 1:00:09
Say you want to pick one of the things you're going to need to know when you go to the pound.
Host 2 1:00:19
Okay, okay, next next topic. That's a really cool idea, though. I want to see some projects based on that.
Host 3 1:00:26
Oh, that would be cool for our badge. That would be really cool for a badge. If they're all chirping at each other. Think about it in a talk. It would be so annoying. Annoying. Sorry, go ahead.
Host 2 1:00:40
Go to the next one. Okay, so new life found that lives off electricity. How does it work? So these are microbes that consume electrons directly. And we were talking about this one a little bit before the podcasts were fundament fundamentally, all life runs on electricity quotes, it's electrons. Right? And the flow of electrons is electricity. So you can say everything runs on electricity, right?
Host 3 1:01:09
It depends on depends on how deep the hole, like how much semantics
Host 2 1:01:13
Do you want to do? Yeah. And so it was interesting is I was thinking about this. And I'm like, well, for electricity to work, you need a voltage potential, because that's the electron flowing, right? And you have to have it to flow from a higher state to a lower state to do work. Because you have to take energy out of it to do right.
Host 3 1:01:34
Well, the flow of electrons is current, the potential is the potential for it to flow. Right? Yes.
Host 2 1:01:41
And but you need that potential for it to flow. And that's how work is done is you're going from a higher state to a lower state. And I'm like, Man, I must have missed some biology classes, because I know that cells do that. But how do they you do a voltage or a potential state difference? To use electrons as energy for work, if that makes sense? Yeah, how does I guess I need to go take another biology class. Yeah, because I'm an electrical engineer. So the lot my last biology class was in high school. So I think I took biology and not have to take. And I didn't have to take biology in college. I took a lot of chemistry classes, but that was like, you know, the most we got was organic chemistry, which just means it's carbon. A lot of carbon, a lot of carbon. It's all that.
Host 3 1:02:39
We have any chemistry classes. Did you have to take it at? Three. Okay, I only got to take one I had to take Intro.
Host 2 1:02:48
We three are one through two three sucks. I hate chemistry. Yeah, it was fun. I liked it a lot. But like, this is something that's like, I'm trying to figure out maybe it is through some chemical thing that cells are able to get the electrons to a lower state or
Host 3 1:03:03
No. Okay. So if you ask a chemist, like how the world works, they're gonna be like, everything is chemistry. If you ask an electrical engineer, they're gonna be like, everything is electrical, you know, like, so.
Host 2 1:03:12
There's, as a mechanical engineer, everything's not
Host 3 1:03:16
Everything can be fixed with a hammer. Fundamentally, they're all the same, though, right? They're all electrical.
Host 2 1:03:26
Well, just passing electrons around. That's how well, I guess protons
Host 3 1:03:33
Are in a lot more than electrons. But yes,
Host 2 1:03:35
Yeah. But someone's going to school us in Slack. Yeah. That's something we don't get
Host 3 1:03:41
To get a lot of. Excuse me. I think you were incorrect when you said.
Host 2 1:03:46
Yeah. Well, I'm saying we probably had to like, I don't have any idea. Yeah. But I just thought that article was interesting, because it was because somehow this microbe is able to bypass these chemical reactions that our cells use, hmm. And just like go, it basically goes up to some metal and goes, I want that electron for me. Oh,
Host 3 1:04:06
Yeah. Okay, so they have a cute little image on the link for this article. And then it says direct up to uptake. In some cases, the microbe can ingest an electron directly from an electrode. So effectively just consumed electrons.
Host 2 1:04:24
Yeah. And so it's like, so a normal cell has these chemical reactions it's using. And then it's using to create energy by breaking stuff apart and taking a little bit of the mass converting it to wait, is that right? No, they're not doing that. They're, no, they're doing exothermic reactions. They're not doing nuclear reactions.
Host 3 1:04:44
Well, yeah, they're not breaking apart the nucleus.
Host 2 1:04:47
No, they're not No, no, no, no, they're doing like an exothermic reaction. By breaking stuff apart. That's what the that's what most cells do if I recall. Sure. I think that is correct. Because was endothermic they will be getting cold in that one makes sense. Yeah.
Host 3 1:05:03
Exothermic means that when you when the reaction takes place energy is released, not consumed.
Host 2 1:05:09
Yeah, we're really stretching. We're, we're Oh, yeah, yeah. But so most cells have a chemical reaction, that's probably exothermic. And that's how that works. So this somehow, they're able to take a straight up electron though, and use it so that they take that electron from a higher state of energy to a lower state of energy to make it work.
Host 3 1:05:31
So okay. For the thing about it is like, taking an electron from an orbit requires energy. So they have to do something to actually take it
Host 2 1:05:42
Off. So it's from an electrode. And it just so electrode is just metal. And metals usually just have electrons just floating on the surface,
Host 3 1:05:51
But you still have to do something to take it. It doesn't like, I mean, it's not that simple. It's not like it just like falls in your mouth, you know? It just kind of like float over the metal.
Host 2 1:06:11
I really wish. I wonder if there's like a paper that actually explains how these microbes are functioning. Because it's seriously like it goes, Oh, yeah, they just get the electrons directly. It's like, how does that work from a standpoint of make, like, where's the voltage potential there to like, so they can do so the microbe can do work and live?
Host 3 1:06:30
You know what? Okay, I bet you, I'm pulling some stuff out of my ass here, but
Host 1 1:06:35
Follow me on this. So the direct uptake, it says the microbe can ingest and that's, I think that that word is a little bit potentially used incorrectly. Like when you rub when you rub a balloon on your hair, you're moving electrons around, right? That's, that's your creative, static electricity. So maybe just the movement of these, these microbes is the energy payment, and like static, they pulling electrons, and then they bind those electrons with something. So that's, that's the word ingest there. It's not like there. It's not like there's a mouth that's eating these.
Host 2 1:07:14
Well, I was thinking more of electronics where like, the electrons that are flowing in your circuit do not change. States, they stay as electrons the entire time. They don't get bound there. They don't. In the general sense, they do bind to stuff like because they're flowing on metal. And they're actually like, you know, skimming the metal, like, so they're jumping. There's,
Host 3 1:07:37
They're surfing through metal.
Host 2 1:07:39
Yeah, actually, that's yeah, they're surfing on the metal. But when you think about it, and you actually like learning about it, it's like the electrons flow, because that's the easiest way to talk about it. And this sense, you know, is that what's that electron doing? Is it going in and then binding with something? Or when I read that I'm like, oh, yeah, it works like electricity. I'm like, Nah, that doesn't really make sense. Because then the electron has to come out of it somewhere at a lower potential. Well, okay.
Host 3 1:08:07
So the microbe has to somehow be able to set up a situation where an electron wants to move from the metal to the microbe
Host 2 1:08:15
To the microbe, so it must be a lower potential potentially.
Host 3 1:08:24
Host 2 1:08:26
Yeah, yeah, you know, I'm gonna do more reading.
Host 3 1:08:29
I like how we're piecing, like, how we're sort of dissecting this.
Host 2 1:08:33
I don't know, I want to mark this one as I need to not know, read more about this one. Because I'm really curious. I just didn't get enough time to like, really dive into it.
Host 3 1:08:44
How great would it be? How freaking awesome would it be if the if the the the paper that these people wrote was like, so you want to eat electrons
Host 3 1:08:59
Just be a microbe that does it. You know, this article does feel a bit. Click Beatty, first of all, with the thing like new light found that lives off of electricity. And then scientists have figured out how microbes can suck energy from rocks. It's like, oh, gosh, it's just so clickbait.
Host 2 1:09:19
Yeah. And the interesting thing is, they're thinking like, if they they found these microbes on Earth, and they're really robust, and they, you know, they can just eat electrons. So they have a very low form of like, environment they can live in, right? Like they're finding them like deep on Earth and stuff. And so they're they, they said, you know, Hey, these are the kinds of microbes that we should be looking for on Mars. And just recently, Elon Musk talked about Mars again, and he wants to nuke Mars. And he wants to make nuke Mars T shirts, which I'm totally on by one I like he doesn't need any more money. But I want to nuke bars t shirt,
Host 3 1:10:04
But a bit. Okay, so how great would it be if you're like, got flame throwers in each hand and you were wearing a nuke Mars shirt? Like that's so easy.
Host 2 1:10:15
Yeah. So why I want to talk about this is the whole idea of nuking Mars as you nuke Mars to heat up the ice caps. And so the water melts and vaporizes, and all the co2 vaporizes and creates a, you know, it creates an atmosphere and so that Mars can heat back up again.
Host 3 1:10:36
A very dangerous,
Host 2 1:10:40
Very dangerous atmosphere. So it's like, but so is there an ethical reason not to do that? Because you're from a scientific standpoint, you're harming this environment that's existed environment in quotes. Good, I think part of environment and I think I think one of the definitions is like things have to live there. Technically, nothing besides robot No,
Host 3 1:11:06
Of that necessarily. Look that one.
Host 2 1:11:10
Yeah. Yeah. environment, the surrounds are conditions in which a person animal or plant lives and operates. Okay. Okay. So the end environment is something that things live in.
Host 3 1:11:26
So Mars has no environment is Oh,
Host 2 1:11:31
Yes. As that we
Host 3 1:11:32
Were, like new kids, then we can create an environment is what you create environments.
Host 2 1:11:37
So is it ethical? From an engineering standpoint? Is it ethical? This is like engineering ethics going on? Is it ethical to nuke Mars? Because on one hand, you're destroying all this, like, history of the solar system that you would never be able to access again, from a scientific standpoint, but on the other hand, fuck yeah, let's colonize Mars. Well, okay.
Host 3 1:12:04
Now legitimately, I think Elon has has said in the past, like, above, and beyond that, you nuke the the ice caps. So you throw water up into the eighth and not I guess not environment, you throw it up into the atmosphere. Atmosphere, the non existent No, doesn't
Host 2 1:12:21
Have an atmosphere because atmosphere means there's gas there there, isn't it? No,
Host 3 1:12:24
There's some. Let's just not much.
Host 2 1:12:27
Okay, you're right. There is no owsm. Right.
Host 3 1:12:30
I don't think that I don't think there's an ozone layer where we are really going off the reservation.
Host 2 1:12:39
Anyways, is it ethical to nuke Mars?
Host 3 1:12:45
Is it ethical to sell shirts that say nuke Mars?
Host 2 1:12:50
I think that's fine. I don't have a problem with that.
Host 3 1:12:52
I do not condone nuclear weaponry. But in, you know, sort of like in a like a 12 year old boy kind of way. Like it would be kind of cool to nuke Mars. Like, like, you know, like, it's fun to like, put a firework in a banana and blow it up. Like, what if you did that to a planet? It'd be kind of cool, right?
Host 2 1:13:14
Oh, my God. Oh, that's great. So yeah, I've, you know, I don't know what the answer is. Because it's like, yeah, you're destroying you know, all the scientific research and stuff, but on the other hand, creating an environment that humans can live on.
Host 3 1:13:33
So, I mean, there there are, there are lots of people who consider human beings to be parasites. So I think it would be a very
Host 2 1:13:42
Light actually, it's like, the first time like, humans ever went to any Island, or continent or, or, like Antarctica.
Host 3 1:13:51
Okay, so the argument I've heard this before life didn't exist on Mars, until we went there. Because, you know, we've, we've colonized it with, you know, bacteria that we brought along on our spaceships and stuff, you know. Here's a here's a good idea for Elon Musk. We were actually talking about this at work the other day, he should start a cologne. A line of Cologne that's called Elon Musk. And I bet you would sell I bet you it would sell I think this last one. This last one is a joke. And
Host 2 1:14:36
This one's like, it's like steering the ship back on the corner. Yes. Yeah. Kind
Host 3 1:14:40
Of sort of. We love you al Williams. We're not making fun of you here. I just think it's really funny. So I was on Hackaday. And I was going through articles and I noticed an article from Al Williams and it wasn't about FPGAs and then I noticed another article and it wasn't about FPGA, so I started looking through it. And the past couple articles from LEDs weren't about FPGA. And I only left because like everything else Merlin's writes about is about FPGAs. And they're all phenomenal. And he does a great job about it. But it's kind of like, if there's an article about FPGAs on Hackaday, it's guaranteed to be al Williams.
Host 2 1:15:18
Were these non FPGA articles by Al Williams also as brilliant.
Host 3 1:15:24
I will admit, I read the title that just read you it was. So I didn't read the full article on there. Actually, I think one of one or two of them I kind of browse through so they were they were great.
Host 2 1:15:38
That was the Mac fat engineering podcast. We were your host, Sparky Dolman. And Steven Craig. Later everyone.
Host 3 1:15:46
Take it easy.
Host 2 1:15:55
Thank you. Yes, you are listener for downloading our show. If you have a cool idea, project or topic, or want to get on the what was it called? Oh, yeah. So you want to pick a blank? Come join our Slack channel. It's Mac fab.com/slack. Click that link. It's an automatic invite. So yeah, go check us out. If you're not subscribed to the podcast yet, click that subscribe button. It's usually in your whatever app you're using for doing podcasts. And please review us you have to do iTunes reviews because that's the only place people can review podcast. It's really weird. really lame. Sorry for people on Android got US iTunes. Because it helps the show stay visible and helps new listeners find us. Thank you everyone for listening to us ramble for like 15 minutes.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai