- PCBA Lead Times in Q1 2021
- Supply chain disruption in 2020 started with the Lunar New Year and quickly extended into the COVID-19
- 2021 LNY falls between February 9 to February 16
- COVID-19 Vaccines
- Logistic capacity being reserved for the vaccine distribution
- 10 Day service at MF will be the biggest hit. Guaranteed 10 day service will be disabled on January 13th and will resume on February 16th.
- On Dec. 31, 2020, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) allowed the exclusion for 2-layer and 4-layer printed circuit boards HS code to expire.
- Any orders for 2- and 4-layer products going forward or that have not yet been received into the U.S. will have a tariff surcharge if built in Mainland China.
- Other interesting PCB related things
- Copper – the price of copper has increased 68% YOY
- Gold – the price of gold has increased 22% YOY
- Resin – cost of epoxy resin has risen 40% since the recent fires at Epoxy Resins factories in China and Korea
- UL aims to put a security rating on every connected device
- Categorizes products according to an ascending five-level scale: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond.
- For consumer level devices this could take hold if customers pay attention to markings.
- Do customers look for UL markings? If not who does? The seller/store?
- Covid-19 5G Chip Diagram NOW THIS IS NEWS!
- Is everyone getting more metal?
- Conspiracy theorists in Italy are warning the public about a ‘5G Chip’ they claim has been planted in COVID-19 vaccines
- However, the widely circulated image of the chip in question has been outed as a reworked schematic for the Boss Metal Zone pedal
- Best response to this : “Excellent. Reassured to know that 5G relies on op-amps and some 1n4148 diodes. Proper old school. None of that digital and microprocessor nonsense. I’ll take one in each arm.”
- Boss metal zone uses a very interesting gyrator circuit within a non inverting opamp configuration
- Dual gyrator to simulate two inductors to ground. Must be for filtering to get “the right shitty sound”
- A very interesting frequency response with multiple peaks
- One before clipping and two after – Interesting choice
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 2 00:10
Hello, and welcome to the macro fab engineering podcast. We're your host, Stephen Craig and Parker, Dolman. This is episode 258. This is going to be a stack podcast. There's a lot of good stuff here. I mean, this. It's been a while since we've had a notes page that's like over a page long. Yeah, yeah. I mean, but usually our notes are just like random bullet points that we just kind of gig off of. That's true. That's true. So I guess I will start, I'll start off, do it. So this is about printed circuit board. lead times in quarter one this year. 2021. was the first podcast of the new year.
Host 1 00:51
Yeah. Happy New Year, everyone. We made it. I hope so. Yeah. Last year, last year was was a special year. Let's let's all band together this year to make 2021 better than 2020. Even more special or less special. Special as in it's sucked for a lot of people.
Host 2 01:12
No, I'm saying this for this coming up here. Because usually when you say I want to make something more special, that's a good thing. But in this case, I think that's a better let's just make it better than last year. Let's just make it normal. Sure. Normal is that's been completely redefined. Like I don't, whatever. What talk about the pcva lead times in quarter 1.1. All right, so wind back the clock one year. Oh, my God. We did talk about this, didn't we? Yeah, one year ago. Gosh, that was with church. Yeah. That was with COVID-19 stilbene, in Wuhan, China. Coming off the tail of the Luna Lunar New Year from 2020. So basically, all that supply chain disruption just continued and continued and continued. And we're still dealing with it now. So basically, this year, we have another Lunar New Year, happens every year, I think tends to tends to happen every year. So 2021 Lunar New Year falls between February 9 And February 16th. This year, I don't know what the qualifications of what week they pick is Lunar New Year. I guess I should look that up. That'd be interesting to know. Yeah, the Moon says that right? Moon sets it. Lunar? Well, yeah, but like, I don't know. I have no idea. But so, of course, you know, it's really hard to get good stuff out of out of the east when Lunar New Year is going on. So that happens February 9 to 16th. Also, some interesting things to think about coming up, at least in this quarter, and probably quarter two is going to be the logistics capacities for the vaccine influencing stuff. Because a lot of these vaccines are it's not like you know, chickenpox where you stick a bunch of kids in a room and they all get sick, right? I guess that's technically not the vaccine but but these vaccines require like really specific temperatures and like logistical stuff is like insane that that the handle is that the ship all the stuff like subzero temperatures and all that crazy stuff. Yeah, and I've heard you once you bring it up to temperature, you basically have to use it. Yeah, within like, a day or something like or hours. It depends on the vaccine too. Right. So there's definitely gonna be like, you know, logistical companies like USPS and UPS and FedEx are all gonna be shipping these vaccines and stuff. So that stuff is going to impact especially, I think air, air freight is definitely gonna be impacted. So because of all this stuff, at macro fed the 10 day service is going to be basically the one that gets hit the most, the 10 day guaranteed turn service for prototypes. So I think we are disabling that service on January 13 of this year, and then it will resume on February 16. Basically, after Lunar New Year happens, we'll be able to turn that back on. So that'd be good. But it's amazing that only like a one week like holiday effects, basically like four weeks of supply chain. Yeah, everything takes a hit every year during that. Yeah, but it's just like Like, it's like a Gantt chart slide, right? It's just like one week of delay cascades four weeks down the road. I'm glad I don't make Gantt charts on the on the regular. They're not fun. So, we're going to keep talking about printed circuit board stuff that's a lot of fun to talk about. This one's This one's not so fun, I guess. So um, December 31 2020, the last day of the year, the United States trade representative or USTR the exclusion they had for two layer and four layer printed circuit boards HS codes expired from the tariffs so means your two layer and four layer circuit boards coming out in mainland China are now hit by the tariffs. Oh, man. Yeah, so that that was the map we talked about that was April last year. They put those exceptions in for two layer four layer boards, they have expired and they did not renew those exceptions. So yeah, you will have tariff surcharges of three layer four layers now.
Host 2 06:12
Is that a 25%? Tariff? Like the rest is 25% tariff Yeah. Yay. Yep. Go find suppliers that are not in mainland China I was just about to say like just buy elsewhere. But that's this is the thing is looking more into this is so last year alone, copper increased 68% and cost and gold increased 22%. And then we touched about this a little bit but we're starting to really see the effects now is the epoxy resin that is used in fr for to glue all the laminates together. There was a big factory in in mainland China that like caught fire and exploded. And there was also one in Korea that caught on fire. And so that was a couple months ago. So now we're finally seeing the fallout. Basically, everyone's supplies are running low, and they're going to have to buy more. And so there's like a 40% increase in price on the epoxy resin that goes into the FR fours. Okay, so 68% on copper 22% on gold 40% on resin, and then a 25% tariff if you're buying from mainland China.
Host 3 07:34
Yes. Awesome. Yeah, awesome, isn't it? You know, that's gonna affect unfortunately, it's gonna affect, like, the hobby level. Pretty, pretty heavy. Because I mean, like, that's where like, you get some some cheap PCBs from
Host 2 07:52
Yeah, that's what it really hits, I think. Yeah, it's, well, it's why it hits that and also really cheap consumer electronics, right? Yeah. But I actually never thought about, like, the actual materials that make up the circuit boards themselves. And I'm like, oh, yeah, those the materials have gone up and cost quite a bit.
Host 1 08:16
You know, I wonder if that's going to be flat out permanent you know, if it'll fluctuate down or if this is just like, here's the new norm
Host 2 08:23
On terms of the tariff or like the price of the materials. Well, the present materials will fluctuate but I mean, 68% increase in copper. That's enormous, right? Yeah, I wouldn't I wouldn't be surprised if that comes down. But you know, go well and gold fluctuates to perhaps the resin though, that might go down. As more suppliers come. I think resin will definitely go down. The problem with that or not, I guess not the problem I keep, I always say the problem. The interesting thing with copper and gold in in this list is that they're they're traded minerals. Or elements, I should say because they're, I guess there are minerals as well, but they're traded elements on the stock market. And so they do fluctuate. Whereas like resin isn't, you know, like you don't go on the stock market and trade resin. I mean, maybe you do but I don't I don't see a ticker for resin. SB fr for resin. I am really showing my ignorance here. But I've watched something a little while ago, there's there's the stock market for stocks and there's like completely separate but in parallel entity that does minerals, metals. And yeah, it's like a commodity. Yeah, yeah. I can't remember the name of it now. But it runs basically in parallel. It's just specific for, like raw materials and stuff. I'm trying to find it but I don't even know what to Google mining stocks. Is that what they call it? Oh, no. Yeah, some somebody out there? Let us know for sure. I think there's another one for livestock as well, that they handle it separately. I mean, that would make sense. Yeah. So So effectively, you just decided to start the podcast off by telling us that our lead times are going longer. Get everything on order right now. And it's more delay times being longer is normal for this time. I'm just saying it's just, there's a little bit of doom and gloom here, Parker. It's not doom and gloom. So actually, that that being said, Do you guys try to anticipate at macro fed long lead times and make adjustments based off of that? Oh, yeah, we've been planning stuff for like, we plan about two, three months ahead. Especially stuff that you can plan for, like Lunar New Year, you can know when it's going to happen. So you like, okay, we can gear up and make sure we like front load material, you know, beforehand, before those four weeks of slow down? Yeah, we typically try to tell our customers at the beginning of the year, it's like, if you want your your projects in February, March, basically, if you want your projects in March you by now. Yes. So if you're listening to the podcast, and you need a 10 day prototype turn, order now. You have until the 13th of January, before you start seeing slow down on that on that style of boards. Yeah, so So do you guys. Like I think I heard you say earlier, but you shut down 10 day for just a period of time. Yeah, I think that's I didn't actually ask product. Joey, who runs product that markup? I was actually just reading our blog. And that's what it says. Yeah, sure. No, that's totally me. You can still order stuff like through the standard service and stuff. It's just a 10 day guaranteed service. It I don't think it's going to be 10 Day guaranteed. Because it's going to be really hard to guarantee 10 days when it's hard to get materials. Right. Right. That's That's it for the 10 day service. It's like seven days is like getting older, all the materials. Actually, quickly. That's actually not the problem. It's actually getting everything into the facility on time. Yes, the biggest problem? Yeah, and you start really sweating bullets when you offer less than 10 day service. Yes. That's tough. I mean, you gotta think of like, if you order parts, let's say you order parts from Mouser, or DigiKey. It takes two days show up.
Host 1 12:51
Not if you're in Texas, like overnight. It's if they have that in stock. I'm just playing Yeah, two days, two days is fair to Yeah. To accept.
Host 2 13:00
No, no, you're right on Mauser, but not DigiKey. For us, at least here in Texas, Mouser and DigiKey. Like we're kind of, if you look at the triangle of it, where equal distance from them so we get we get them both be about the same time.
Host 1 13:16
It's kind of nice, because then we can predict it. But in general, we actually, we, we try to play our lead time game a little bit longer out with our customers, they just, it's it's easier to set expectations up front and just say, hey, there's gonna be some length to everything. You know, to build. We don't, we don't necessarily try to stress and hit 10 days and our customers know that and it works for everyone. But I get why Mac Feb does it. And I remember trying to do it when I worked.
Host 2 13:49
Oh, man, I'm wonder how many people I don't know if you were there when we still did it. Maybe it was five day. Yeah, well, I remember five days. Yeah. Anyone listening that saw remembers our five day service, which was basically by the way, Steven Knight building boards Yeah, five day was like, anytime one of those came in, we were just like, oh, god, there's basically Steven I would just shut down whatever we're working on. Order everything like the hour it came at that order when it came in. Right. And then the moment the parts show up, like Steven are building those boards, like immediately Yeah, that only lasted so long. Yeah, that it? It was an interesting experiment. Yeah. I did come up with a cool idea for like, a a service where you could do I don't know if I should talk about some podcasts but I can I can remove this if if someone tells me I need to remove it. The secret sauce Yeah, well, it's a secret sauce is just an idea of like having a Yeah, like weekend turn for Okay, so if you get your if you get your board design in on, let's say Friday at noon, okay. And let's say let's just assume that ply for let's assume that the DRC basically there's no not going to be any engineering questions from like the fab or anything like that. So like your bomb is rocksalt like, and your bomb is only from like Mauser. Okay. The stipulation start Hell yeah. Yeah, there's stipulations, but like, so show your ad money is not an object. Oh, yeah, exactly. Because you have to you have to run your, your line on a on a on a basically a Sunday morning. Yeah. Right. So it's gonna be like 20x cost. But but because you got you have to pay the basically the turning the line on. But it could be possible because you if you got it in Friday at noon, it leaves plenty of time for supply chain to basically order all the parts from Mauser. And you get those next day on Saturday. From Mouser. You can get the boat, there's actually PCB manufacturers here in Houston. So you can get we can get the boards, Saturday afternoon ish. And then you'd have to have a courier, take them from that facility and bring it to HQ. And so you'd get them by basically, Saturday afternoon, evening. And then Sunday build, and then ship out. And if you really want to do like, white glove service, courier the boards out on a private courier, so they can actually get there Monday morning. We're in like, 8am Monday morning. Yeah, you could do it. It's totally possible. Just money is not an odd, I was totally like, the client would have to send you a bag of money. You know, like the the cartoon ones with like money signs on the side. And as they're walking down money's, like coming out of their pockets flying out of the bag instead.
Host 1 17:06
Yep. You know, it's funny that we sort of use a rule like that at WMD. For for the for the assembly line. Basically, our goal is every day to put enough money on the line, such that the line pays for itself. It's a simple way of doing the finances of like, how do we schedule things out? Well, like we know how much our employee cost is we know how much our electricity cost is. So we have a rock solid number where we say if we build X amount of units, they turn the lights on in the morning, we have paid for the line for that day kind of thing. And so yeah, you're absolutely right. Like, you'd have to basically take that into account and just be like, well, all of that, like you're paying for that for the year.
Host 2 17:53
And the interesting thing, too, is if you have to have like, because you're not going to get one of those orders in less like there's a lot of people that need that service, right? I don't know how many people ever need that service, but so you have to have people on retainer. So that you can go, Hey, I need you to come in on Sunday morning billboards. I need you to come in, like I need I need supply chain to come in on Saturday afternoon to receive this stuff. I would be curious, who who would need that kind of board spin? You know, I'll know. But it's it's fun to think about that, like from a logistics standpoint if like, could that be possible? And if so, you could make it work, you could totally make it work. I mean, the moment you run into like an engineering question coming from the board house, it's done, like full stop, you can't do anything about it. Because that like adds that we were talking about earlier, adding an hour there add like eight hours on the tail end of that manufacturing run,
Host 1 19:01
You know, actually at the same time, like the moment that board you said Friday at noon, in terms of in terms of being able to place the order for the parts at Mauser, you've got like three hours, you have to have somebody who has nothing to do such that once that order comes in, they're immediately scrubbing the bomb and making things work because I you know, I remember a lot of things that make Feb, it's probably different now. But, you know, determining how much overage you need for cut tape. And so things like that. Cool thing is platform handles all that that handles it. Okay, yeah. So based off of component package or whatnot. Yeah. And it also will, like we could we know, from like, one of the order like what distributors were ordering from to. So that's actually not the biggest problem. You know, baseball would be like,
Host 2 19:55
It's basically if there's a question that we have to ask the customer because then it's like Well, good luck, right?
Host 1 20:03
Right. Yeah, actually, we can have an app. So it gives you push notifications. If you have questions. The thing
Host 2 20:08
Is, here's the thing, if you as the customer were willing to participate in that service, let you know you would be spending so much money that like, I would think that the rules would be you need to be on call available 24/7 such that we, we give you a call and we get the answer immediately. I would assume that I would assume if you were paying that much money for a service like that, you would your engineer would be like on call 100%? Yeah, yeah. Because that would be a small fraction of the cost of this run.
Host 1 20:51
You know, I could almost see a line, if there was enough people willing to do that, you could dedicate an entire line to that style of service. And just, you run one customer at a time. And like, you don't have a backlog. As soon as that customer is done, then it's available for someone else to
Host 2 21:11
Take that you dedicate an entire manufacturing line to that one customer for two days, or three days or whatever. Yeah, basically, it would be you'd base you would basically, if you or you would rent a cm for a day, is what you would do, right. And all the operations and headcount and all of that you read for a day? Yeah.
Host 1 21:39
It's it's an idea. It's stressful as hell. Yeah. Yeah. You have a guy fly out and hand deliver the boards in a briefcase.
Host 2 21:50
That's one thing, the Handy briefcase, they open up and just like, it's like in Pulp Fiction, where like, it shines gold out, then your engineer turns it on and the blue smoke Yeah, I don't I don't see. I don't see anyone. I don't know what what situation you would absolutely need that for? Yeah, I would, I would say because most people that would need a service like that they probably order the parts or the boards from a fast turn and build it themselves over the weekend. I would only think if you needed specialized equipment, like if you're doing a fine pitch BGA or something like that. And then wanted to throw X ray in there for some reason. Like, over the weekend, that's the only thing I can think of is like you need some very specialized assembly practices to happen while building it. Otherwise, your technician is going to build it, you know, on Friday on Monday morning.
Host 3 22:51
Excellent. You know, I could see I could see the government contract or military using that. You because You can't just, you know, you can't hand build a board that goes in a missile or something like that. They're gonna frown upon that. They would need a place that is certified to do these kinds of
Host 2 23:08
I don't know, have you seen some of the tear downs of military grade equipment? It's kind of scary. Well, yeah. So I don't know. And actually, I could see the military being like, oh, ran a SEM. Yeah, sure. Why not? When it's just taxpayer money. We got a lot of that.
Host 2 23:29
I don't know you. It sounds like you spilled the beans, Parker. Sure. I like I like you're like, oh, I don't know if I should say this. It's kind of a ridiculous idea, isn't it? I mean, I love the idea. But it's also like, I don't think anyone's gonna I've thought the idea around a couple times. So I think you're actually talked to you about it. When you were at the fab two. We might have been pretty drunk. That sounds like something that like starts from Pedro. Hey, I got an idea. Well, because we were it was at the time where we discontinued the five day right and like, we talked about it over like brewing beer or something like that. And that talked the church about it and churches is like Parker, you are we just discontinue the five day? No,
Host 1 24:11
Yeah, we just continued the five day because it was hard. So so do weekend job. Yeah, this is a weekend instead. I'm sure I'm sure all the crew would love to spend their entire weekend doing
Host 2 24:23
That. Yep. I don't know. If you offer him like 5x pay for the weekend, then they might do that. You know, I think they're, it's interesting is on on that kind of stuff is I guess I don't do a lot of the payroll stuff. But we do have some people that are like that like to work on for four hours or on a per hour basis. Because it's a good way to put it. I think it's kind of weird. I like salary Yeah, I don't know, just depends on the person. Yeah, it just depends on the person. So there might be like, I guess someone like me was I really like, for Christmas? I didn't do anything I worked, you know, Christmas Eve. So get stuff done, some people prefer. Yep. So awesome conspiracy theory has been going around. In fact, it was kind of some of the people on the Slack channel started sort of posting this up. And I've seen articles about this all over the place. Hopefully, this doesn't lead to anything more in the Slack channel. Because Slack channels been pretty chill. Yeah, like since we started it. It's first series, how it starts.
Host 1 25:50
How the wheels fall off here. Yeah, this Okay, so get this. So this conspiracy theory, from what I can tell from the articles I've read began in Italy, and it started being passed around on Twitter, where somebody I don't I don't know how it originated. But somebody took a schematic that they found online, and they put the words COVID-19, five G chip diagram on it. And they started posting information about this circuit was being was was engineered inside the COVID-19 vaccine. And it's getting pumped into everyone who's taking the vaccine. And the best part about this whole thing is that the schematic is a schematic for a guitar pedal called the boss metal zone, MT two, which, and it's not it's actually not even an official schematic either. It's like somebody's you know, like, side by side diagram that they did to make it more like hobbyist friendly. So it's just some random schematic that they found on there. And this This pedal has been around for a long time. I frankly, I don't know when it was. I, my buddy bought one when we were 14. And we played around with it a bunch back in the day ed. So like, the own of metal. It's okay, so one way I can describe the sound of this pedal is it's like attacking a bag full of wasps with a chainsaw. Like, it's not a very nice sounding sounding pen, but it's definitely what a 14 year old is like, that's cool. Oh, yeah, that's super cool. Yeah. And I think it is very apt. It's kind of the sound of COVID-19. If you asked
Host 2 27:41
Me, kind of like, what was the year?
Host 1 27:46
Was it 16? What was the World Cup with the vuvuzelas? Oh, yeah. Oh, gosh, was that it? was a 14? Well, it would have been 12. Right? Because it's every four years. And 20 was one so 1612. It could have been 12. I think it might have been 12. Yeah. Were they and they banned them after? Yeah, yeah. This this thing is like, Yeah, put about 300 vuvuzelas together, and you get, you get the boss metal zone, which this is a super classic. This is like one of those pedals where you're a kid and you start hearing all these metal bands, and you want to start playing that music. And you're like, Oh, I could buy a $3,000 gear that does this really well. But I have $150 amp and this pedal is only like $89 And they say that it can do all of those sounds. So you buy this and you sit in your room and you just crank out like Nirvana riffs all day long on this thing. And, and it's it's not the the best sounding thing out there. I mean, you can't get good, good sounds out of it. In fact, there's like there's a guy on on YouTube, by the name of Ola, England, who does all kinds of reviews on on pedals and stuff. And he actually gets some pretty cool sounds out of this thing, if you use it in a very particular way. But I just love that like, out of all the schematics, you could find that you landed on something like this where sure I get a schematic is something that like, people just look at it and they usually let your eyes gloss over. They don't know what it is. But you could have picked a schematic that's more confusing. Or something with like, weird stuff. This thing is literally just like op amps and diodes and stuff. In fact, there's there's a tweet, I apologize. I don't know who it's from. But, but I quoted on here it says excellent. We reassured to know that five G relies on op amps and some one and 4148 diodes proper old school, none of that digital and microprocessor nonsense. I'll take one in each arm please. So, so great. And you know it's funny because the The this was the pedal I wanted to make as the first electronic project. Because I was I was like 14 in a band. And I was like, I don't have 80 bucks, can I build one of these things? Because that's usually how my mind worked, as opposed to like, go to my parents and be like, Hey, can I have 80 books or whatever? It was like, maybe I can figure out how to make one. And I ended up making a different circuit that sounded even, like, way worse than this. Like, it was so awful. But I wanted to make this and this was one of the first schematics that I tried to understand. Like how it functions like how it functioned. Yeah, cuz it was just like, Okay, can I buy all the parts and just connect them the way it says to connect them? And of course, like, I looked at it, and I was like, I have no idea what's going on here. This is Blackmagic, for sure.
Host 2 30:46
You know, I finished a story, I'm gonna jump back to that what you just said there, though.
Host 1 30:53
I mean, that's, I want to go into so like, looking at this schematic. I started like peering around and looking at the original bus schematic, because you can find that still. And I wanted to look at it and just like, hey, you know, I haven't seen this in a very long time. Is there anything special in the in the schematic? And I'll look into that, but but if you got something to say, go for it. Yeah. So
Host 2 31:17
It's interesting that people will think that they're injecting electronics into you. Yeah, through a needle. Yeah. Okay. I don't I can't remember, that makes total sense. I can't remember who said the quote, and you might know it, but it's like any sufficiently advanced technology is just magic. Yeah. To people who don't understand it, right. I don't know who said that. But that is what we're starting to become in that era of people don't know how their cell phones work. It's, like, think about, like, if you give a phone or a tablet to a, like, eight year old kid, that kid just thinks it's a thing that displays images to them and like fortnight, yeah. All right. I tap it and Game goes, boom. Yeah. And it's not till much later that, you know, you can understand like, circuits and, or like, like how electronics work. But like, if you had any idea of like, maybe how electron like, even what does electronics look like? You know that you're not injecting that into your arm? Right, right. It's, I don't know, man. I don't have a lot of faith in the future humanity. Well, especially if you're just pumping out stuff like this on the Twitter. Exactly.
Host 1 32:43
I love to how it's like, it's not just the COVID 19 vaccine that has this. It's also like 5g. That's it. Oh, yes, 5g. You're pumping liquid 5g into you?
Host 2 32:55
Yeah, it's like, do people not know what electromagnetic waves are? No, no, of course they don't. Yeah. So so. And I started did do a little pre gaming when you started putting this down. I said, doing some research on this stuff. And like, where the 5g COVID-19 thing started? is in countries that don't have 5g. Well, it's magic. Like Bolivia, Bolivia doesn't have 5g networks yet. And people were tearing down cell phone towers, because they thought there were 5g Towers broadcasting COVID-19 into them. And so slike just COVID 18 Yeah, COVID 18. Yeah. Oh, COVID for G for it. Yeah. Edge. COVID edge. How many G's does your phone have? Is that serious question. Mine only has four nines. Only four as well. I haven't. I haven't upgraded in a couple years. Yeah. Oh no, I think it's like phones like five years ago have gotten sufficiently advanced enough where each iteration doesn't really matter anymore. It's like I don't I don't game or anything like dumb I'm like I want to be able take decent pictures. And that's about all I use my phone for likes, you know chatting with people. You don't need a lot of horsepower for that.
Host 1 34:21
You know, okay, the one thing I've noticed, frankly out of all the phones that I've I've owned in my life the the thing that changes the most is battery life. The batteries just get way better. I mean, my they do get better. My phone like two or three iterations back basically did all the stuff that I that my phone I currently used us like and like yeah, my my current phone is probably mildly faster in general. But like, probably not terribly noticeably faster.
Host 2 34:53
It takes better pictures, maybe. Yeah. But I'm not sitting there on Instagram taking selfies all the time. That's true. No one wants to look at me. No, I mean, I have your webcam turned off. Actually, what I've noticed is because I have a pixel two, which is a couple years old now, the battery starting to go on it. So I've definitely hit probably its peak recycle like recharge cycles, which is like 350 full cycles on a lithium battery, I'd probably pass that. Because that's like the safe engineered number. Like, we maintain that you're going to have 90% capacity for three and a 50 cycles. I probably double that, because I probably get maybe half of that battery now, because it used to be for the first couple of years. I never plugged in my phone at all during the day. Yeah. And now we'll have I know what happened. My last ski trip, it definitely did not like the cold. Oh, I got upset. I had it in the jacket, outer pocket. And it was like 15 degrees that day and night. And the phone said that had 80% power, but it couldn't do anything besides like test text message, like anything past that, like opened up maps, or the camera would immediately kill the the phone. And then yeah, ever since then the battery has not been happy. That's cool. But the problem is now they glue these phones together. So it's like you can't replace the battery anymore. Well, you can't easily you have to unglue the phone and then put a new battery in and put it back together. But I think the last quote I got was like $120 get that done. still cheaper than a phone though?
Host 1 36:43
Yeah, isn't? are not the pixels go for like four or 500? Something like that? Yeah, summer net range.
Host 2 36:50
So I had the way. If I put a new battery in it, it basically if it returns the battery life back to normal. Like how it was when I first bought it, then I'm totally going to do it. Because basically I get another three and a half years. 420 bucks. Yeah. I just wish they weren't easier to fix. But it is it is a small price to pay because they are completely waterproof or mostly waterproof now. So like dropping them in the snow or whatever doesn't seem to affect them anymore. Yeah. Because I remember dropping my Blackberry 9000 into a puddle and then immediately having to run home and drop it in rice.
Host 1 37:33
Because that keyboard is definitely not waterproof. No, not at all. I guess that is the good. That is the good thing with touchscreens.
Host 2 37:41
I hate touchscreens a lot because the user interface like just there's no tactile feedback or haptics or anything like that. But they are waterproof.
Host 1 37:49
Honestly, that's one reason why I don't game on my phone at all, like gaming on a touchscreen, that's just not fun. You don't bring your mechanical keyboard with you to game on the bus. Actually, it's really sad. My mechanical keyboard has officially bit the dust. I accidentally spilled some Diet Coke on my keyboard the other day, and I tried to fix it with some some alcohol and cleaning it very thoroughly. And two keys don't work. Z being one of them, which you don't think that z is a key that you press super often. And that's true when you're typing. But when you want to undo something, you use it a lot. And I'm an undoer so you're not a doer. Yeah, I'm a total under Yeah. So it's like, I need my Z and the I actually got to the point where I got out my multimeter and I was measuring all the contacts on the back of the keyboard, because it does like a key scan thing of course, right. So you know, you can you can measure DC on it. And I got something like 1.2 Whatever. I don't know what frequency it's doing. I didn't put on my scope, but like that, it's somewhere between zero and 3.3. So that means that like, the keys are actually key scanning, except for the Z key and the left alt key. And it's just like, you know, see you later keyboard. And it's not because it's an expensive keyboard, but no, I guess don't put Diet Coke next to your keyboard.
Host 2 39:25
Yeah, I actually was thinking about getting one of those like clear covers that you see mechanics have Oh yeah, for the key over my keyboard here because I'm out in the garage. And then I come in here and like I wear gloves but I'll leave the gloves on and then type on the keyboard and there's like grease and slot automotive slime. And I'm like, completely forgot. And then you take the keyboard apart and clean it with degreaser and stuff. Because I don't typically spill stuff on it. It's mostly grease.
Host 1 39:59
Looking at now Actually, some of those keys are getting grimy again. Yummy. Yeah. All right, well, let me back up a quick second. Oh yeah, let's get to get back a hell of a hell of a tangent there. So okay, back on this, this schematic here for the COVID-19 5g Chip diagram that they're pumping into all the vaccines. So I'll put a link up to the schematic here. At first, I thought like, okay, so this is just like any Joe Schmo schematic out there, that I've seen for some kind of distortion generator. But I started peering a little bit deeper into it. And it's got some unique characteristics about it. So if you want to take a look at it, follow this, the link we put up in the show notes, it's got some cool stuff. First of all, it has some, some op amp configurations that you don't normally see. There's, it has multiple, non inverting op amp configurations, where the inverting terminal isn't grounded, it actually goes through a Gyrator, which we've talked about a handful of times on the podcast. So Gyrator allows you to use active components to simulate an inductor effectively. But with with this configuration, you can actually simulate an RLC circuit, that you control the Q and you control the value of the L in the RLC. And depending on how you set your RLC you can get peaks effectively. So what I've actually never run into this before so digging into the schematic was it was really interesting to kind of like poke around with what the original designers are trying to do. Because if you if you peel apart what what's going on, you just basically have tone shaping, clipping, and then more tone shaping. And that's all the circuit does. And the clipping is literally like 90% of pedals. It is it is but they do it differently in this one. So the clipping is just parallel back to back diodes to ground. So the diode conducts and it just saws off your your wave. Yeah, your waveform. Yeah, nothing special there whatsoever. But this the op amp stage that comes basically before that, they put a Gyrator circuit in in there. So it focuses and it's actually tuned to one kilohertz. So you get this super, super high peak. So whatever your whatever your signal going into it, you're pumping way more 1k into the clipping circuit. So even if you're not playing 1k, whatever harmonics harmonics are being pumped, it gets sawed off and 1k is pretty up there. And so that's pretty interesting that they they did that. But immediately after the clipper, they have another stage that has two generators on it. So they put two separate peaks. And the peaks have different queues. And they're at different levels, which I, I can only imagine that the original designers just kept trying things until they liked it. Because it's so hard to tune these kinds of things. So this circuit has three generators in it that do different peaks before and after the clipping circuit. So I don't know, really, really interesting. And curious why they would do the peaking after the clipping, especially because immediately after the second dual peaking stage, they have a full tone control stage, that is also peaking stages that are just controllable. So it's just it's just a really brutal tone shaping circuit, and a very simple distortion circuit.
Host 2 43:45
I wonder if the second stage of direct generators is for like cutting out any, like really weird harmonics that come out of those diodes?
Host 1 43:55
Possibly, I'm not sure because one of the peaks is lower. In fact, there's, so there's an entire webpage on electric druid.net that's dedicated to the analysis of this circuit. So it's pretty cool. We'll put that link up there too. When we pull it up, there's the second stage, it looks like there is a peak somewhere in the 120 Hertz range. And then another ridiculous peak like a like a 10 dB increase at like 9k which is like the part of the audio spectrum that a guitar would produce at 9k is just fizz and hiss and sizzle. Like there's not a lot of like, like grounded content in there. Like the highest note that string note that you can play with your fingers is like 1.2 kilohertz. So nine kilohertz is like multiples of harmonics out there. The fact that they put this x drip boosts hump way out there, I think is just that probably gives this like you remember I described this as a bag of Wasp being attacked by a chainsaw? Like that hump probably emphasizes the chainsaw part, right, that real high school kind of thing going down
Host 2 45:16
There or not the Wasp part. Maybe that's the Yeah, maybe the chainsaw is the low peak and the Wasp part is the 9k. I don't know, it's really interesting. Like,
Host 1 45:28
That's, that's what's so fun about designing the circuits is like, half the time, you don't really think of it as in like, a we need a peak at 9k You just find out you need a peek at 9k because you played within you like I like that, you know?
Host 2 45:42
Oh, yes. And then somebody goes back and measures it and goes, the fuck is that?
Host 1 45:47
Yeah, yeah, exactly. That's That's exactly it. So it's funny that this like, pretty, the circuit that looks pretty simple, ended up being something that's just like, Whoa, there's a lot more behind it there. So and in fact, the tone circuit that comes after the dual peaking stage. It's a fun one too, because it's like a parametric EQ, but it allows you also to move the midpoint. So if you ever need a circuit that just uses a minimal amount of op amps, and allows you to change the frequency and then do positive negative. This is actually a fairly decent one.
Host 2 46:25
Parker just named the episode I love it. Well, I write down ideas. And I actually one day as we're doing podcasts, I don't have to like, come up with something like, you know, three o'clock tomorrow. But there was something I said earlier, and I can't remember what it was though. I'm like, oh, it'd be good podcast title. But then you went on, like really good tangent. And so I didn't type anything. Completely forgot about it. Sorry. No, it's not your fault. It's my fault. So this is interesting. Especially like when this podcast started. We were very like, what's the Twitter the Twitter account? Internet of shit? Yeah, we were very on that slant of like IOT. Like, finding, like we had a whole sec, we actually had a segment for a bit I was bad was like, finding really bad IoT devices and talking about them on the podcast. It took a couple years, but the UL aims to put a security rating on every device or any connected IoT device. So you can get so you can get a UL rating for like your lamp. Or you can get a you're ready for your IoT toaster now. So they're, they're coming up with a categorization of products that will scale depending on I guess how good your devices security wise, from bronze, silver, gold, platinum and diamond, which sounds like League of Legends. Tears for ranks. But Sure. This is my question, though. Because with security, it's difference between like product safety, because that's what you wells for is like product safety. Right? Like, your refrigerator isn't going to burn your house down because it's designed correctly and has been tested. Right? And then UL puts their stamp on it, right? The thing was security is you can have something that has been that you think is so secure. And all it happens is one little hiccup happens like
Host 1 48:41
What was it the heartbeat? SSL or that what Bluetooth chastity belt? We talked about a few Oh,
Host 2 48:53
Yeah. Yeah, the heartbeat Heartbleed bug, which is the SSL bug that happened? Oh 2014. But which is like SSL was like how so much stuff over the internet works. And then like, oh, there's a vulnerability and we're screwed unless you install this update. So it's like you can go from diamond level UL to like nothing. And like the course of like one person making a blog post about it, right?
Host 1 49:28
Yeah, I'm wondering now like Okay, so let's say you do you Will's fancy security rating thing and you get the platinum or sorry, the diamond rating, and you get to put the UL symbol, right diamond underneath it. And then somebody finds a security fault in your thing and breaks your product. Do you go down the list? Do they like downgrade you and then you have to not write diamond lunch?
Host 2 49:52
How does that work? So how the in the article that I'm going to post in the in the show notes There's some standards from security standards that that UL is as following basically. They don't really cover what happens if something like that happens. Like, I could imagine if you're like, let's say your toaster is UL certified, right, but then someone figured out some weird way that you can abuse it and breaks the UL certification, right? Or something like that. Like, I don't know, what UL does in that regard. Like, do they revoke your your listing? Yeah. I don't know. That seemed Yeah. I don't know. Maybe they, maybe they do a pretty heavy review of things. Also, isn't this kind of like, a beacon of like, oh, this is only bronze that's easier to break into, you know, could be. But there's also another thing I was thinking about with this is they're doing this for consumers is what they're saying, right? So that a consumer can look at two IoT thermostat, this is actually the example to give to IoT thermostats. And one has a bronze and one has a diamond. Is this is my thing is, is a customer even going to look at that. No. Unless you put it on, like the front page of your product, because like, people don't go like to the store and go, Oh, does that lamp have a UL mark? Right? Know that? The only reason they only worry about that when it burns their house down? Right, right? Yeah.
Host 3 51:35
No, the only the only way anyone would pay attention to that is if that was like in your product literature or something where it says, We're diamond certified. And here's what this means for you. Like, you'd have to spell it out.
Host 2 51:48
Yeah, it's on the front of the box, like, and then you go, Oh, someone's actually conscious about their security, and so they're gonna be looking for that. But I know one place that people actually look for these kinds of markings, and it's like industrial equipment, suppliers, that kind of stuff. Because I know there's like, some places like one place I used to work with, or for, I guess, not with, I was a lowly technician, I guess, call a college student. But um, they would only buy, the only equipment they would buy is it was UL marked. If it was ETL. Mark, they wouldn't buy it. So it had to be UL marked. Yep. So I could see like, this enables companies to offset their risks, for sure. Because they can go, Oh, our thermostats are Platinum certified, or diamond certified. And so you get like, you know, less insurance costs or something like that. I could totally see that being a thing for average consumers, though, I would say the average consumers probably aren't really going to care too much about this. It's gonna be in, like, you know, the the.
Host 1 53:07
I just said, commercial market, commercial market. Well, okay. So the one thing though, is like, none of these, okay, so these are all reference safety. But these don't necessarily reference. The business dissolving. Like, remember with our garage company that that we talked about a long time ago, where the company just folded and now a bunch of people's IoT devices just didn't function anymore. Oh, they could have had diamond security. But that doesn't mean anything about the company folding or not. That's true. You're not gonna be like, you still gotta be careful about that.
Host 2 53:42
Yeah, but this is more of security for the IoT devices. What this is testing, right? Not the sovereignty of the company. That's making it Sure. Or I'm wanting to say making it is selling it sounds like what I'm curious about is like, how do they test this? Do they have like, people try to break into your product there is in that link, there's a standard called ensures minimal security capabilities are met as articulated by ETSI ts 103645. And it's that's a big old PDF thing. Go read about it cybersecurity, oh, and other industrial standards. Oh, okay. You know, it'd be we I think we've said this before, last time, you well, and ETL and stuff like that came up. We should probably get one of those kinds of people on this podcast. Yeah. Talk about the like, what does that mean? Right. What does reasonable security look like? Lincoln?
Host 1 54:48
Yeah, this this would be the ad this would be pretty cool. Now, just another thing to get certified on your project.
Host 2 54:57
Yep. Actually, I'm I'm gonna write that down. I'm going to Slack Misha, who's our CEO and be like, dude, use your connections. Get us a UL dude on the podcast. See more if there is a UL dude or dudette on the listening right now that's in our Slack channel or not in our slack so reach out to join the Slack channel and ping Steven and I and come on the podcast, we'd a lot of fun or I guess you could send us an email podcast at macro fab.com Yeah. I like that. This is the one situation where the wheels will or the you know, things go backwards. Normally, the CEO of a company like pokes you with a stick is like, ah, do engineering things. This is where we get to turn around and say good network for us. Yeah, that worked for us. He listens to our podcast so Hey, Misha. Yep, I think that is it for this episode. I think that is so it's either gonna be a 56 minute episode or we're gonna cut 10 minutes out of it because that topic
Host 1 56:07
Because your super secret sauce topic super secret sauce man build things fast. Gotta go fast. TM so that was the macro fab engineering podcast. We were your host Stephen Craig
Host 2 56:23
And Parker Dolman take it easy
Host 2 56:33
Thank you, yes, you our listener for downloading our podcast and listening to my million dollar idea. If you have a cool idea, project or topic, let Stephen and I know Tweet us at Mac Feb at Longhorn engineer or at analog E and G or email us at podcasts at Max red.com. Also check out our Slack channel. I think we're over 500 people now. Things like 550 you can find that at Mac fab.com/slack You can get then that's like the invites. So click that link and come join us. Join us
Transcribed by https://otter.ai